Wednesday, April 25, 2007

At home and on the "Headphones"

Back in the hovel sweet hovel.

I've been working on a weak weak post ever since the airport in Indy on the way outta town It's 'saved to draft'. Might be a nugget in there somewhere.

We had some odd storms around these parts last night.

I did hear some rolling thunder without the lightning prelude. A little bit of wind. Sporadic rain, some of it heavy. No big deal.

There was one moment that I had to ask the most important question known to us Plainsmen, "Is that a train?" Naw, just rolling thunder.

I headed out to Pat's this morning. My trash cans were blown over but still in place. No signs of a struggle.

The Homestead is about 8 miles to my South. Brightledge (Marge and The Architects place) is about 30 miles to my North.

The Homestead is on my route into Floresville. The closer I got the more storm signs I saw. sporadic bursts of limbs and leaves in the highway.

"HMmmm."

The talk at diner was all storm.

"Who? Me? Slept like a stone."

No casualties within our Circle. Haven't heard of any in the area. No grand catastrophe's. The Folks neighborhood did make the San Antonio TV news.

The odd part is the way the wind did some things and didn't do other things.

In trailer court fashion one yard was full of limbs and leaves and the next untouched.

Several trees down, a lot of trees damaged.

Hanging plants still right where they were this time yesterday not a leaf or petal missing while a bird house hanging the same tree was destroyed.

The huge Live Oaks at the Homestead still have a lot of dead wood I need to climb up and cut out. (Borrowing a heavier chainsaw tomorrow!!! BIG FUN!)

The wind didn't pull any dead stuff down but it did knock a full grown size oak tree (limb) out of one of the Live Oaks. Leafy and green it hangs upside down from the host tree.

Up North at Brightledge they spent a long and worrisome night. (Echo November snoozed through it all. < Insert Big Grin Here!) They are up on a hill and the lightning was on top of them. The Architect reports Zero time from Flash to High Intensity BOOM. The kind that penetrates the marrow.

Thanks to all that called to check our status!!!

(That kind of action would have had Comanche and the Master SGT on the top deck hollering, "Hell YEAH!!!!)

Total topic twist. I never did get to listen to my 'Leaving Indy' CD. I have it on the 'Phones and cranked up to Painful. I must say, I made some great picks! I keep resisting hitting rewind and I'm happy every time that I didn't.

I'd have to call it "Deep Pop Cuts". Walter Egan, "Magnet and Steel". Sweet, "Ballroom Blitz". Leo Sayer, ... ''I did the two step quick step and the bossanova, ya know I can dance, ya know I can dance..."

Great harmonica.... Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

Keep twisting topics.

Looking back at the Indy trip, gripes aside, it was a good trip.

I was treated with courtesy and respect by the folks on- site.

I realized that I am not a piece of doo. I found that I can still do what I do. I am good at what I do.

I got reacquainted with a friend that I had not seen in over a decade. I met new people. I got to know a few people that I work with now a little better.

I wrote a poem (lyrics) that I like a lot.

The latest "Writers Digest" was waiting when I got home. I've decided to enter their 2007 contest. Maybe in a couple of categories. Actually yeah, at least two entries. Poetry and short story. LOL! What are they gonna do? Ignore me? Gee, that would suck.

This morning at Pat's the crowd thinned out (((NO, I' not gonna 'poach'! I promised.))) I was
waiting for a call from Pop that his oil change was done and he was headed to the Homestead.

I had an opportunity to tell another story within a story. Actually it was a prelude to, "There we were... 18,000 feet over the plains of Africa"

No, this was after, back in Bahrain....

I was holed up at the Holiday Inn Bahrain. Spending my evenings in the hotel bar.

I met two Saudi gents. We would sit at the end of the bar and drink and talk. I have no idea what we talked about most of the time.

I launched a couple of Tequila Assaults. They were with the spirit. "Salud!".

Mostly, I could not buy a drink much less a round. They covered every drop.

I had been hanging out every evening drinking and even going to an after hours belly dance show with them.

One night I launched the story of my trip to Kenya. Just the part about the flight down...

I flew out of Bahrain with another guy from the company. We were to have less than an hour layover somewhere in Saudi Arabia.

We deplaned and had to go through security.

I kept setting the metal detector off. The infernal machine would not stop beeping no matter what I took off.

Finally they wanded me and declared me unarmed.

In the meantime there was a young Saudi Sargent going through my carry on bag. He unzipped my shaving kit to find (UH-OH!) a well traveled bottle of Amaretto.

Airline bottle, a couple of thimbles worth of liqueur. He kept the kit inside the carry on and his hand inside the kit.

He dropped the bottle and rooted around some more. I was relieved briefly but he kept rooting and going back to the Amaretto then rooting some more.

Then, he pulled the little bottle out. The label had worn white during it's time in my bag and was completely illegible,

"What is this?''
"Amaretto."
"Whiskey?"
"Amaretto." I said again. Looking him in the eye. Hey, I wasn't lying!
"What is Amaretto? Whiskey?"
"No, liqueur."

My travel mate (and the rest of the passengers) was in line behind me and chimed in,
"It's liquor."

Thanks a load there Mr Lick!

The SGT carried the bottle over to his supervisor. The hollered at each other for a minute. I didn't have a clue what they were saying but knew it wasn't good.

"Come with me." I followed the SGT across the terminal.
Not looking good here...

He came to a door. The men's room door. He pushed it open,

"Come with me."
Looking worse...

He walked to a stall and pushed the door open,

"Come with me."
This is bad...

"I can see just fine from here." I figured what the hell. It's one on one in an empty bathroom He wasn't much bigger than me. I wasn't going into a smaller box. I'd have better room to maneuver outside the stall.

Thankfully he was satisfied with my answer. After all, it wouldn't have been one on one for long now would it?

He opened the bottle. He poured it into the toilet. He flushed it, twice.

"Come with me."

I followed him to the sink. He rinsed the bottle and cap, twice.

"Come with me."

He put the bottle and cap in the trash and covered it with paper towels.

"Come with me."

We exited the men's room and walked back towards the security station.

You know me. Can't leave well enough alone. Curiosity over came logic.

"Uh, what was that all about? Ya have to have a witness or what?"

"Many people the that the police, the soldiers take it for themselves but that is not The Way."

Then he leaned in conspiratorially and whispered,

"I used to live in Brittain from 1982 to 1984. I used to drink and smoke and do all things but that is not The Way."

Whatever you say...

So, back to Bahrain several weeks later and I tell this tale to my drunken bar buddies. You want to talk about turn on a dime, change at the drop of a hat!

"Why did you bring it into my country!!!"

Just like that. Stone cold sober and just as serious. Offended.

I managed to back paddle into somewhat smoother water.

I guess I was as taken aback at their reaction as they were at my transgression.

Live to learn, learn to live.

"Back Into Dust"

"I've been ground to dust
between the wheels of love
and the stones of the
long long road
nothing left now
but for the winds to sweep me away...

another time and place
a place to collect and
wait for the rain
wait for the rain...

begin again
begin again as mud
and wait for a seed
wait for a seed...

but will it take
will it hold
will it find
will it find

any love
any love
any love in me

is there any love left in me

is there anything left of me

I tried so hard to give it all away
I had so much
I had so much

is there any left in me?..."

1 comment:

Bob Barbanes said...

God-DAMN that's a great story, David! You cram, like, eight stories into one post. I hope everyone follows the subtle shifts and obscure literary and musical references. And is it just us true barflies that love that Bob Dylan line? Because we've lived it maybe once too often? Like, when you look around the bar that was earlier so crowded and alive and fun but is now depressingly dead and go, "Should I get outta here now, while I still have some money and dignity left...or do I really want to stay until 'last call? Ah, screw it, set me up again!"

And isn't it strange how the wind affects things? In Pensacola, after Hurricane Ivan hit a couple of years ago, we were amazed to see the capriciousness of the destruction. Some things utterly blown apart to their molecules, but a fragile piece of crystal or a book RIGHT NEXT TO IT untouched. Why is that? HOW is that!

And about the road trip: Glad it went well. But yeah, isn't it great to get that validation...that you're still good at what you do? I'm with you, man. We professionals all assume it is so...on some level...because we've been doing it for so long. But it's nice to see it demonstrated in a tangible way. "Hey, I *am* pretty good at what I do!" It's a nice feeling.

Do enter the contest! In my opinion, you're a shoe-in. Oh, and it seems that in addition to the lyrics, you've also got the music to go along with it, no? And let's hope that yes, there is still some love left inside of you. 'Cuz yeah, we do know you...we know that there's a lot of...um..."stuff" in there. Maybe some love too. Which actually brings up a question: Do we ever run out? Lord, I hope not.

(My laptop has decided that it does not like Blogger anymore. Don't know why. Gives me a hard time logging in - makes me go through the 'back door' old way, and often won't display blogs at all. Or if the blog shows up, I can't access the Comments, much less make any. But rest assured that even if I don't comment on your posts, I do read and enjoy each and every one.)