Thursday, July 31, 2008

The "Winds of Life"

The winds of life are blowing in new directions this week.

I've been in touch with my daughter just about every other day. Catching up and learning.

Here's a quote that made a cranky old man grin and giggle, "... I can't stand that Rap crap."!!!

She sent me a list (alphabetically but) the first band on the list- AC/DC!!! That Southern Belle didn't fall far from the Ol' Pine Tree eh!? Yeah, my baby rocks.

She doesn't like Algebra. I really wish that gene hadn't been passed on.

Today, I got my little raise. I guess you already read that.

I was still a little aggravated as I drove home.

I stopped at a convenience store in the old neighborhood. Mostly, because it was the easiest place on my way to get out of and back into traffic again. It's right across the street from both; a little house I rented years ago and the car lot where I purchased the Dodge. That intersection is the site of one of the darkest scariest days of my entire life.

Hell, it was a very black period of my life.

It's not the first time I've stopped there on this 'Tour of the OKAY City'. Partly, like I said it's a convenient convenience store. Largely, I stop there to face demons with my shoulders squared.

As I got back back into the truck I saw an older man walking across the street. He had on a sporty hat, a loose fitting shirt with a tropical print, slacks, and brightly polished shoes...

I got out of the truck and locked eyes on him. My mind was trying to verify what I already knew in my heart.

Eyes locked, I walked directly at him.

As he stepped up to the sidewalk he looked up and saw me.

He recognized me immediately.

We shouted each other's name. It was one of those moments when your right hand reaches out to shake hands and both hands reach out for an embrace.

I hugged that old man as tightly as he hugged me.

The fuckin' tears tried to tear down the damn dam again.

That old mad is a true true friend.

Whenever I hear the song "Curtis Lowe", Old John is the old man I see.

My eyes are still damp but I'm laughing.

You shoulda seen the neighborhood folk looking at the old black man and the not yet so old white boy hugging and wiping tears away!!!

[Epilogue: I'm not going to go into the details here today but John had my back at a time when I sure as hell needed back up. "That's what friends do." Right? No. Not always. That day John and a friend of his DID. They did so at great risk to themselves. That, is why my eyes are damp.]

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