Saturday, December 10, 2016

Almost wanting Hell to get hotter

Well ... cold weather has arrived so you know what that means ... I'm ready to get the Hell out of here!

Winter can go to Hell where it's warmer anyway!

It's one reason I like Hell and have been so much in my life.

I am all for Global Warming and vote for it!

The only thing Winter does is refine my already immaculate cussing skills!

"Holy Shit!" they scream as I stroll through the door marked "Exit Only" at the Breakfast Club.

"Get out of my way," I wish everyone a good morning knocking them out of the way of the coffee.

"My God," Dani exclaims, you're wearing long sleeves, pants AND SHOES!"

By far Dani is the most observant person at the Breakfast Club.

"I'm not wearing socks," I reply pouring myself a cup.

"We did," she, Caroline and Denise sing in unison showing me their socks.

As if I care.

Grumbling I take my stool (second from the left on the front part of the counter) and sip the hot, steaming elixir of life.

Seventy-five's pretty chilly to me so when the meteorologists flash their plastic grins extolling the perfect fall weather ... or even snow for the Holidays ... they can go to Hell too!

To warm myself, I start thinking about Hell ... who I think should go ... because if we get enough there, the fires will burn larger ... heat rises ... and it gets warmer here!

Obviously Hell is not hitting it's quota anymore.

Though I can't fault Satan because hardly anyone's hitting it anymore as the economy continues to falter in spite of what politicians say.

"Let's see," I say out loud, "who should go to Hell who's still alive and just needs the advance ticket because God knows they're going anyway?"

"What?" Jeff asks wearing a black short sleeve Breakfast Club tee shirt.

"Wasn't talking to you," I say to my brain frozen friend.

"Hmmm," I ponder. "Who should go now and make the world a happier place?"

The Board Chair who chose to remain anonymous comes to mind ... but he is a sad little angry man with a Napoleon complex who built a career climbing up latters to look down on people before tearing them down so he could built himself up.

His father must have been a real prick!

The coffee and friendships warm my soul so I really don't want to send anybody to Hell ... even him ... though he remains first in line.

I don't like negative thoughts and do my best to keep them in check.

There's too many negative things in life already and I don't want to be a contributor to them.

Satan can meet his own quota.

I got enough problems with this damn cold weather and happy meteorologists.

Besides, as soon as I get home, Sarah and Che gonna warm me right up in a toasty sort of way.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Managing Waste Island Style

Tiny black berries fall from the Palm Trees and I'm tried of them sticking to my bare feet on this damp 60 degree morning so I'm blowing them off the Driveway.

Our neighbor JJ sits across the street on her front porch wearing pajamas, intensely staring at her phone, leaving her oblivious to the noisy lawn blower.

Sarah feeds Baby Che in the house so I'm exploiting the window of opportunity to make noise.

"HEY JJ!" I scream as tiny Palm berries roll across the concrete.

"WHAT?" she screams waving.

"SORRY!"

"WHAT?" she repeats leaning forward.

Turning off the high pitch whine of the blower I repeat, "Sorry."

"It doesn't bother me," she laughs quickly returning to the intensity of her phone.

After putting away the blower and electrical cord, I stand at the top of the stairs admiring my work, all seven minutes of it.

Interrupting the pride in my incredible sense of accomplishment, the Atlantic Waste Services truck slowly makes it's way down our street.

Tybee Island is an eco-friendly clump of sand that does not tolerate anything that doesn't naturally wash up on the Beach.

Except discarded "To-Go" Cups which are definite linchpins of the island's economic engine.

The sharply dressed Atlantic Waste Management worker opens the blue recycling can proudly displaying the "Tybee Recycles" logo in white letters and looks inside.

Apparently satisfied, he opens the brown trash can with "Atlantic Waste Management" in green letters before professionally and quickly picking up the "Tybee Recycles" can and emptying it inside the trash can.

Efficiently the waste is disposed of inside of the brown "Atlantic Waste Management" truck whicih proceeds slowly down the street.

In utter disbelief, I cuss ... "Why don't I have my damn phone when I need it? so I can snap a photo and post in on Face Book and the local news picks up the documentation and broadcasts the travesty on the 6 o'clock News ... like last time.

But Don Logana was tragically killed and no longer follows me on Facebook.

Before I can react, a second "Atlantic Waste Management" truck slowly makes its way down the street as I stand frozen ... wondering why.

On the side in white letters are the words, "Tybee Recycles."

It doesn't stop ... following the brown "Atlantic Waste Management" truck as it turns the corner.

"I better let someone know about this," I say to Sarah and Baby Che, grabbing my phone to send a text to Johnny O, who used to be somebody.

Forever the consummate professional Johnny I quickly text a detailed account of what I'd personally witnessed.

"Yep," he immediately replies.

And that's recycling on Tybee Island ... an eco-friendly island financed by fees and charges to residents, businesses and tourists ... so we can feel good about ourselves for things that simply don't exist.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mismatched Living

Any time you stop something suddenly there's a jolt to the system and a shock to no real agenda.

Taking things personally as every one does, it's good to be reminded the whole keeps on turning without you ... even the tiny world you just left.

My friend Angela was scared to retire because she didn't think she could handle the change ... waking up every day to see who cared about her on Face Book ... so she kept working long after she wanted ... letting them take far more than they should ... giving the last of what she held dear.

"I don't want to be alone in front of my computer hoping somebody cares enough to like because I need affirmation to live ... that's just sad."

In the end, it happens anyway.

It always does.

Sometimes though, you get to pull the trigger.

Angela did and found a new life full of family, grandchildren, road trips and introducing herself to herself again  ... and liking who she is away from ... it all.

Her Face Book posts are joyful celebrations of life now and thoughtful, loving responses to what she sees in the lives of others.

When I suddenly stopped last week ... because at this stage of life I'm not going to let them take more they give ... having learned that's merely Rape by another name.

So I shock most everyone at work I've grown to love ... and didn't care about the others.

It shocks me too because, I have lots more to give ... so it's a shame it didn't match what the "Company" demands.

Life's too short for such mismatched living.

On this first day of the non-work week, I'm feeding our Baby Che ... staring at the Palm Trees outside the window ... writing a song in my head for my wife ... with my bare feet propped on Goddess our bag-o-bones dog ... listening to birds and frogs sing through the open windows.

Sarah's off stocking up on groceries because, God knows, we need to make things stretch out but ... Che's flashing me sleepy smiles as I read text from our daughter Maddie ... the clueless 15 year old who knows everything ... wants me to take her to Target.

"Mom said you should," she writes.

"Che," I say out loud, "don't believe everything you sister says. You'll do much better in life."

The six week old smiles melting my heart into a glowing pool of love I don't deserve at this stage of living.

The time for the Monday morning Conference call arrives, the one forgetting everything you've ever done to remind you of what's needed now, and I'm tempted, having kept the number and access code.

But I'm no longer a contributor to their madness ... though it was fun for a while.

Goddess sighs under my bare feet ... the Palm Trees drip wetness in the warmth of a December day ...the birds and frogs grow tired ... Maddie can't text because school's started ... Sarah's on her way home with groceries and ... Che smiles.

Friday, December 2, 2016

God's Memory

This is what happens when you leave a job.

1. The people who love you cry.

2. Colleagues say, "Has he lost his mind? It's a job for God's sake!"

3. You'll be blamed for everything that went wrong over the last six months even if you had nothing to do with any of it ... it'll be your fault.

4. Management will say, "It was a bad hire from the beginning."

5. The Dickheads in your office proclaim, "He was never one of us" and pretend you were never there.

6. Then in no time at all ... nobody remembers you at all.

Even if you're given a Gold Watch and they hang your picture on the Wall of Fame, in no time at all no one remembers.

This is my favorite story about pictures on the Wall of Fame ... in the Board room of the United Way of the Coastal Empire hung each Chairman of their annual fundraising campaign ... great head shots in black-and-white ... except for one ...  his was in color ... so when I enter for the first time I say ... "Oh! I'm so glad you don't discriminate ... you even had a colored guy to head your campaign."

Next time I was in the room his photograph had been replaced by a black-and-white.

No one remembers when he was colored.

Now that I'm gone ... no one really remembers me either.

Course I'm glad this had absolutely nothing to do with why I left ... who cares if I'm missed ... remembered ... talked about ... longed for ... wished upon ... desired to return regardless of the costs?

Well ... the truth of the matter is ... I do.

It's a shame we get so much of our self-esteem from others.

Honestly the longer you live ... the more you've done ... the less you care.

Old people who still care amaze me.

They've done it all ... seen it all ... been everywhere but still want to keep at it.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, each member of Congress and everyone on 60 Minutes spring to mind.

The funny thing is in the end they won't be remembered either.

That's why elected officials name shit after themselves ... to achieve immortality even though no one cares.

Though ... there are those who never forget.

The ones you'd never expect.

Those who matter most ... the lonely widow heartbroken with loneliness who laughs and then cries when you enter ... the hungry homeless man sleeping in the Dumpster before you offered a room ... the orphan taken though it didn't work out ... a sick friend in the Hospital needing the visit and in spite of other plans you were it ... the little old lady wearing her nightgown in the afternoon asking, "Hey Micheal ... is it okay if I go?"

They remember though it doesn't count for much,

Though ... I believe these are the things that God remembers ... for whatever that counts for.

Still ...

I'd rather be remembered by God ... and widows, hungry men in Dumpsters, orphans, sick friends and dying ladies wearing nightgowns in the middle of the day ... than anything they say beside the water cooler ... or to hang there in black and white ... or in color.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Oh they tell me ...

As the cool, hip, Beach Bum, rock-and-roller, lover of stripped down fashion, haven't had a hair cut in four years, crazily in love with the wife and father to more than one generation of children ... I have a confession.

I'm pretty old school.

Old fashion stuff like loyalty ... doing what you say you're going to do ... following through on commitments ... taking care of the down and out ... still picking up hitchhikers ... whispering prayers ... crying when it's right ... mean a lot to me.

It's who I am.

I'm made of these things.

"The world's not like that anymore," my wife tells me as we discuss my job. "There's nothing old school about today's work place."

"Well," I protest, "it should be."

"But it's not," she shoots.

"It's about being replaced if you cost too much or question anything ... it's about getting by without making waves ... there's no room for creativity ... and you do what you're told regardless of the logic ... or the result."

I open my mouth but ... there's nothing to say.

She's right.

Today's about keeping a job no matter how much it hurts ... the amount of abuse ... or the fact the majority of modern managers are mental midgets with the IQ of a fence post.

There is no kindness in work anymore.

I must confess I hate McDonald's almost as much as winter.

The one on Whitemarsh Island has achieved standards lower than snake feces under wilted grass ... but their marketing is great ... in spite of the rude incompetence of the staff poorly serving tasteless food.

"Why isn't it ever as good as looks on the commercial?" Sarah asks watching television of a steaming Quarter Pounder with Cheese when in reality ... McDonald's doesn't melt the cheese ... throwing a slice on the bun in hopes you'll believe you're tasting what you saw on television.

It's the same at work.

"We're a great wonderful Team" ... when we're not raping you ... demanding doing more with less ... using your own money so you keep the job ... saying things right even when they're not ...and claiming "WE ROCK!" ... even though they're mostly thrown.

The illusion of productivity is easily demonstrated by the lack of results.

Satisfaction's achieved only by pretense.

"How do you fuck up dying?" I asked last night, introducing a song at Monty Park's Tuesday Night Acoustic Jam.

Pointing at Faye Allen, a Hospice Nurse, who's laughing at the question, I say, "Money."

Covering her mouth as though I've spoken the unholy, she nods in affirmation.

"Oh they tell me of a home far beyond the skies," I sing. "Oh they me of a land far away."

Oh they tell me.

I just don't believe them anymore.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Getting Ready For Winter

"Well," I respond to my wife, "I've been to every city that has an NFL Team."

She'd reminding me she worked for the Buffalo Bills and probably could be still ... which is impossible to top but I'm a competitive soul.

"The best time to get your car washed," she happily continues, "is during the game ... no one's out cause they're all watching the Bills."

"What?" I wonder in confusion ... miss a game?

She shrugs her slinky shoulders and smiles.

I love football season!

It makes fall doable when temperatures begin to dip.

Football also gets me through January when that cursed time of year dominates with cold winds, freezing climate and snow.

Did I mention I hate winter?

Hate is such a strong word but every bit applicable in this case.

"75 is pretty chilly to me," sings the great Beach minstrel Jim Morris as he nails the line where hate is crossed for me.

"You know," Sarah says, "you really don't hate anything. Even people who've treated you very wrong ... people you should hate ... you have a soft spot ... you forgive, move on and look back fondly ... even when they raped and killed you ... but ... you really do hate the cold!"

I love my wife because she understands me.

I love her for lots of other reasons too but this isn't about eroticism.

"I've never heard so many cuss words strung together in my life than listening to you curse the cold," she continues. "And you don't use any of the nicer cuss words! You just keep using the worst of the worst over and over again."

"The girls need to know how to cope," I answer.

The girls all wish for snow which makes me groan in agony.

But, I have to give thanks to God who, for whatever reason, is looking kindly on me these days.

Temperatures in November have been delightfully summer like.

My clothing remains optional.

Plus, every time I look at Baby Che my heart melts!

Every time the girls ask for my opinion before ignoring it, I'm left flush!

And ... I have to admit getting under the covers with Sarah is pretty Tropical.

Yeah ... I'm gearing up for winter.

I hate winter!

I'm glad I'm blessed with so many other things to love instead.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

An Island Thanksgiving

Sunshine pours through the open windows as I listen to the choir of cicada sings Hymns of Thanksgiving outside.

The Macy's Parade is blaring from the television.

The girls run around in various stages of undress with hair designs by "Pillows".

Sarah's in a great mood because she slept through the night for the first time in months or because it's a family holiday and we're not leaving the house.

Of course this thoroughly pisses off the family who want to meet Che but if home is where the heart is ... sometimes your ass needs to stay there too.

Truth be told ... we're tired.

Sarah's four weeks into the fallacy of maternity leave in the United States and hasn't had a full night's sleep in months ... I'm working six days a week not including the social media gigs I do ... and the girls are sick of school needing to redirect all of the energy and effort into themselves.

So we opted to stay home, greatly irritating our family while immensely pleasing our dogs.

A few close friends are stopping by at some point.

Apparently blessing our decision is none other than God who has given us a glorious summer's day on Thanksgiving.

It's hard to not love God when she gives gifts like this!

I'm having a beer to celebrate and give a Heavenly toast.

The aroma of baking bread fills the house sprinkled with the salt of Sea and Marsh Mud.

Suddenly I'm compelled to wonder which tee shirt to wear with the black running shorts ... a UGA grey one will perfectly compliment the ensemble.

No need for shoes ... even Flip-Flops.

I talk to the kids who are scattered to and fro on the face of the earth and every one wishes everyone the same thing.

The people watching the Macy's Day Parade look awful dancing to lip synched performances.

A giant wave crashes on the pristine sand of Tybee Beach making me smile, reminding me how thankful I am for everything.

I hope you are too!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

So they Tell Me

"Do you see how someone's going to die?"

"What?" I ask, tuning my guitar, checking the microphones, adjusting the sound and getting ready for whoever shows up.

"Can you tell how people are going to handle dying?" he replies, looking out the corner of his eye fumbling with cables.

Smirking at the oddball question, I shrug my shoulders and answer, "The same way they live."

It's his turn to ask, "What?"

Behind the Bar, Mary asks if I'm going anywhere because she needs to go get Bobbi so I nod as she hurries into the sunshine flooding the crowded sidewalk of a Sunday morning Beach town.

In the silence of the tavern, it's just he and me.

"I think people die like they live. If they are accepting people they'll likely accept the inevitable ... if they're always angry, they be pissed ... if they're confused they'll wonder what's going on ... if they don't care they won't start ... and if they're ready to try something different they're out of here quick, pretty excited about whatever's coming."

If a pin dropped we would have heard it.

In the silence I resume tuning my guitar.

"So, you're telling me ..." his voice trails off.

"Yeah, so as you live so shall you die."

"And you can see that?"

Putting the guitar in it's stand, I walk behind the bar to collect my thoughts and get something to drink.

People stick their heads in the doors propped open, "Y'all open?"

It's 9 am on a Sunday. The Bar's not open. It's just my friend helping me out because what I'm doing is over my head and he's knows things I don't know.

"No, we're getting ready for Church," I smile from behind the bar and they look confused, then appalled before hurrying away.

It makes us laugh.

Church isn't supposed to be in a Bar and a Bar should be open during Church but ... it's hard to discern the truth these days.

"But you know someone's going to die before they do and you can sort of see how it's going to happen?" he prods while making the sound system perfect.

"Hmmm," I mumble returning to my Bar Stool on the stage, "I really don't think about it," as I pick up my guitar and strum, "I mean I'm pretty zoned on how they're living right up until they die."

"But you know," he says standing to stare in my eyes.

Strumming the chords to "An Unclouded Day" I shrug ... "Yeah."

People meander in bringing baskets of food to spread on the Pool Table and greetings, hugs and laughter fill the empty Bar.

"Alright," he says, moving to the door, "the sound is good. Have a great service."

"Sure you don't want to stay?"

Smiling, he's gone.

"Oh they tell me of a home far beyond the skies," I sing, "Oh they tell me of a home far away ..."

So they tell me.

We'll see.

In the meantime, there's way more living to be done.

So they Tell Me

"Do you see how someone's going to die?"

"What?" I ask, tuning my guitar, checking the microphones, adjusting the sound and getting ready for whoever shows up.

"Can you tell how people are going to handle dying?" he replies, looking at me out of the corner of his eye as he fumbles with the cables.

Smirking at the oddball question, I shrug my shoulders and answer, "The same way they live."

It's his turn to ask, "What?"

Behind the Bar, Mary asks if I'm going anywhere because she needs to go get Bobbi so I grin and nod as she hurries into the sunshine flooding the crowded sidewalk of a Sunday morning Beach town.

In the silence of the tavern, it's just he and me.

"I think people die like they live. If they are accepting people they'll likely accept the inevitable ... if they're always angry, they be pissed ... if they're confused they'll wonder what's going on ... if they don't care they won't start now ... and if they're ready to try something different they're out of here quick pretty excited about whatever's coming."

If a pin dropped we would have heard it.

In the silence I resume tuning my guitar.

"So, you're telling me ..." his voice trails off.

"Yeah, so as you live so shall you die."

"And you can see that?"

Putting the guitar in it's stand, I walk behind the bar to collect my thoughts and get something to drink.

People stick their heads in the doors propped open, "Y'all open?"

It's 9 am on a Sunday. The Bar's not open. It's just my friend helping me out because what I'm doing is over my head and he's knows things I don't know.

"No, we're getting ready for Church," I smile from behind the bar and they look confused, the appalled before hurrying away.

It makes us laugh.

Church isn't supposed to be in a Bar and a Bar should be open during Church but ... it' hard to discern the truth these days.

"But you know someone's going to die before they do and you can sort of see how it's going to happen?" he continues making the sound system is perfect.

"Hmmm," I mumble returning to my Bar Stool on the stage, "I really don't think about it," as I pick up my guitar and strum, "I mean I'm pretty zoned on how they're living right up until they die."

"But you know," he says standing to stare in my eyes.

Strumming the chords to "An Unclouded Day" I shrug ... "Yeah."

People meander in bringing baskets of food to spread on the Pool Table and greetings, hugs and laughter fill the empty Bar.

"Alright," he says, moving to the door, "the sound is good. Have a great service."

"Sure you don't want to stay?"

Smiling, he's gone.

"Oh they tell me of a home far beyond the skies," I sing, "Oh they tell me of a home far away ..."

So they tell me.

We'll see.

In the meantime, there's way more living to be done.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

More than life

It's funny in the United States that you have to wait 8 weeks to adopt a newborn puppy so it can be properly weaned but ... a Mother of a newborn baby goes back to work after only six weeks of maternity leave.

It really isn't maternity leave.

It's all the vacation and sick days that's been saved up.

Who makes such silly rules?

Employers ... the Insurance Industry ... Government?

In the United States we talk about children being the most important thing but ... they're not.

If they were the country would really have maternity leave ... or ... at least treat our newborns as good as we do our dogs.

In full disclosure, I've never been pregnant or borne a child ... though I'm very close to some who have.

Other than watching it happen, I know nothing of the changes to a woman's body, the hormones running amuck, the pain of delivery, the shock of having your center of the Universe change ... and the lame ass American Health Care system that allows a woman 9 months to have a baby and 6 weeks to recover.

It's apparent men still run things.

I don't know shit about actually having a baby ... I'm more a contributing witness ... and I watch Sarah struggle to get back to normal in the federally sanctioned pre-allotted time line.

I do know though that the greatest miracle in humanity is the authoring of life ... taking what's given to a woman and making eyeballs, livers, feet, skin, hair and somehow sewing them all together in a living breathing person.

That's pretty God-like because ... well ... God's the only other to do it ever.

It's far better than what men create ... profit making companies that don't give a rat's ass about it's employees ... Government ... institutional religion ... competitive fishing ... and outlet malls.

Watching Sarah struggle to recover both physically and emotionally within the guidelines of stupid policies and profit shares, I'm a bit ashamed as I roll merrily along ... doing the things I pretty much do all of the time ... just with a baby.

My wife has suspended all activity save loving Che ... making her the center of the Universe ... while ignoring her own needs ... while we continue to make the same demands on her because ... that's what we've always done.

No wonder there's the theology of an angry God!

You give them and they want more?!

It'd piss me off.

But Sarah struggles through, really needing to be the center of attention while healing from creating life ... while the rest of us commit the sin of always wanting more than what we've been given.

More than life

It's funny in the United States that you have to wait 8 weeks to adopt a newborn puppy so it can be properly weaned but ... a Mother of a newborn baby goes back to work after only six weeks of maternity leave.

It really isn't maternity leave.

It's all the vacation and sick days that's been saved up.

Who makes such silly rules?

Employers ... the Insurance Industry ... Government?

In the United States we talk about children being the most important thing but ... they're not.

If they were the country would really have maternity leave ... or ... at least treat our newborns as good as we do our dogs.

In full disclosure, I've never been pregnant or borne a child ... though I'm very close to some who have.

Other than watching it happen, I know nothing of the changes to a woman's body, the hormones running amuck, the pain of delivery, the shock of having your center of the Universe change ... and the lame ass American Health Care system that allows a woman 9 months to have a baby and 6 months to recover.

It's apparent men still run things.

I don't know shit about actually having a baby ... I'm more a contributing witness ... and I watch Sarah struggle to get back to normal in the federally sanctioned pre-allotted time line.

I do know though that the greatest miracle in humanity is the authoring of life ... taking what's given to a woman and making eyeballs, livers, feet, skin, hair and somehow sewing them all together in a living breathing person.

That's pretty God-like because ... well ... God's the only other to do it ever.

It's far better than what men create ... profit making companies that don't give a rat's ass about it's employees ... Government ... institutional religion ... competitive fishing ... and outlet malls.

Watching Sarah struggle to recover both physically and emotionally within the guidelines of stupid policies and profit shares, I'm a bit ashamed as I roll merrily along ... doing the things I pretty much do all of the time ... just with a baby.

My wife has suspended all activity save loving Che ... making her the center of the Universe ... while ignoring her own needs ... while we continue to make the same demands on her because ... that's what we've always done.

No wonder there's the theology of an angry God!

You give them and they want more?!

It'd piss me off.

But Sarah struggles through, really needing to be the center of attention while healing from creating life ... while the rest of us commit the sin of always wanting more than what we've been given.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

My Cat Lifes

Gypsy, our gender confused cat, began as an outdoor cat.

Sarah loves him so much she tried to make him an indoor cat to spend more time with us.

It worked for a little while until he began "marking his territory" over pretty much everything.

Sarah tolerates it trying to correct things until ...

Gypsy lovingly jumps on the sofa as Maddie, our clueless 15 year old who knows everything, watches television and ... pees on her.

Maddie screams at the warm expression of love.

Sarah immediately determines Gypsy needs to again become an outdoor cat lest he start showering the same affection on her.

Gypsy adjusts pretty well.

He used to spend all of his time trying to break out but now he spends all of his time trying to break in.

I suppose it comes down to which side of the glass you're on.

When Hurricane Matthew slammed into Tybee Island, we pack up the kids and the dogs but leave the cat outside.

"He's going to die," Laurel the 12 year old sobs.

"He'll be fine," Sarah replies without emotion, winking at me to stay out of it.

Upon our return, trees lay in our yard and house, the roof's mostly gone, but Gypsy's fine on the back deck still trying to get inside.

That's four lives Gypsy has burned through so far.

They say a cat has nine lives and ours is at the tipping point.

Staring at the stars in the black sky, steam rises from the hot water in the outdoor shower hitting my body as I brush my teeth listening to the Ocean sloppily kisses the shore in the distance.

It's a lovely, albeit, slightly chilly morning.

Thank God for hot water!

No shrinkage.

Grabbing my razor to shave various body parts, Gypsy ... our outdoor cat ... jumps on the wooden shower door with his tail straight up and hisses at me.

"Halloween is over dumbass," I spit, lathering up with shaving cream.

The cat looks away but doesn't move.

It strikes me, I've already lived way more lives than a cat is allotted ... I'm on 14 or so.

Shaving under the stars, I count them all.

Life as a child ... becoming a man ... educated man ... independent man ... married man ... a family man ... divorced man ... career man ... married man ... traveling man ... semi-famous man ... divorced man ... happily married man ... father of Baby Che.

Yep, that's 14 lives so far!

"Hey Gypsy," I say out loud feeling content and excited about the day, "you've only got five left! I've already beat you big time!"

The cat hisses and disappears into the breaking dawn.

Lingering in the shower, pointing my head to the sky, I say, "Hey God! You listening?"

It's silent.

"Of course you're listening," I continue. "You're God!"

God doesn't seem to find this funny and keeps quiet.

"I had no idea what you meant with the whole being born again thing ... but so far I've been born again 14 times and I appreciate that. Each life has contributed to where I am now which ... well it may not be where you want me to be but ... it's awful damn close."

And in the distance, someone laughs.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

More Important Than The President

Everyone's gone a little nuts.

It's almost like each American is a member of FOX News or CNN or pick your brand of extremist pontificator ... saying the world's coming to an end!

The Businessman outsider won.

The Saintly Woman lost.

Or Satan Triumphed.

The Criminal Slut finally got what she deserves.

But reality is everyone in Congress pretty much stays the same (because they're the true masters at raping us while staying put!) and we don't seem to care.

Rage all you want about Trump or Hillary but Congress still controls the country and we din't do anything about them.

I don't care.

I used to but I don't anymore.

It's a beautiful sunrise this morning ... God finger paints the sky in blues, gold, red, orange, yellow and purple.

The Ocean lovingly kisses the shore in the distance.

Choirs of birds sings Hymns in Palm Trees and Pines.

Baby Che makes noises from her cushion on the sofa so Goddess and Winston rush over to make certain she's okay.

Sarah and the girls are rushing to make ready for school as the world keeps turning round and round.

The new President is going to do some good things and some really stupid things too.

Just like his opponent has done.

To believe otherwise is foolishness.

I pray he does more good than bad.

All those despicable people we continue to elect to Congress continue to keep us pretty much as we are because they're sure as Hell going to maintain their lifestyles over ours ... and retire naming buildings, bridges, roads, overpasses and parks after themselves.

Unlike Presidents, Congress rolls merrily along with terms lasting forever, ever increasing luxurious perks, totally disconnected to reality and $1,500 a plate breakfast meals to eat with them funding perpetually re-election campaigns.

Maybe one day we'll tackle the bigger problems in America than who's President.

It's not now.

Thank God for sunrises, Ocean breezes, birds singing and newborn babies.

They're more important than who's elected President right now.

Actually, lots of things are more important.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Day

Let's see ... write a few sentences? ... stare at the baby? ... or ... at the baby's mother?

There's certainly lots to write about.

Apparently we're electing President ... unless the country collective pukes over the choices, drowning our sorrows in how far we've descended as a democracy.

I'm not certain what we are anymore ... a nation that hates itself.

A nation that hates other nations.

We've become good at that!

And self-righteousness ... damn we're good at it too.

Congress is the epicenter of self-righteousness and it's a shame because it used to be pretty decent democracy.

The fact of the matter is America is a people who no longer care about ... people.

Go to work and see how you're treated.

Employers simply don't care anymore.

When I was a little boy my Mom worked for Mills B. Lane who, started a bank and believed, the best bank has the best people.

To have the best people you have to treat them the best.

And he did!

Mills Lane hosted free family days for his employees at the minor league Ball Park paying for everything, including the beer ... he bought a boat employees used for free if they earned the right ... and he built a cheap vacation wonderland named C'esta for his people.

They worked their asses off for him and the lowly local bank is now Bank of America ... which isn't the same ... no longer caring about anything other than profits, image and fees.

These days people don't care any more.

Companies certainly don't.

And Government just cares about Government.

I find it hard to care who's President.

They're both the same ... one's got a penis and the other's got penile envy ... and whoever's elected will merely attempt to work with Congress ... the house of self serving pricks.

America used to be a land build on the Golden Rule ... "Do unto others as you would have done unto you."

As Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan says, "I used to care but things have changed."

I find myself in the minority.

I still believe in the Golden Rule and do my best to treat others as I know I want to be treated.

It rarely works out that way.

Still ... I believe ... in spite of the scars ... lies ... betrayals ... and ever demanding takers who never give.

After I vote, I'm visiting some dying people, enjoying my fire cracker wife who Satan certainly lusts and holding our baby.

These things are more important to anything else happening on election day.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Age Doesn't Matter

"What have I done?"

The sane side of me consistently asks myself.

"Can you believe we have a baby?" my wife asks.

After a thoughtful pause, I answer ... "No."

"That's honest," she replies. "Me either."

Yet here she rests, stomach on mine, head cocked as a contortionist so it lay in the crook of my arm, half open eyes staring out of open windows.

I'm supposed to be coasting, enjoying the fruits of my labors, working less, traveling more and if I want to see children ... keep the grandkids for a few hours before giving them back and getting on with life as it's supposed to be ... chillaxing!

Yet strolling through Tybee Market ... as I like to do most every day at least once ... I'm accosted by people my age ... all saying the same thing ... "Have you lost your fucking mind?"

"Yeah," I smile, "but honestly I don't remember when."

Jane Coslick says, "That's what grandchildren are for."

Michael Hosti says, "How old are you?"

Matt the Butcher hugs me and says, "Hey man! You went for it and I'm glad you did."

Then Benny ... from Benny's ... smothers me in a bear hug, tells me he loves me and asks to know everything about our baby Che.

When I finish, Benny hugs me again in front of the meat counter while locals gobble the daily specials and tourists exclaim, "Can you believe these prices?" or "Oh My God! Look at this meat! Look at this fresh shrimp right off the boat!"

"Bring me a picture," Benny uncaringly says as we block their attempts to grab the deals. "We're starting a baby wall at Benny's and Che's going to the first."

A Baby Wall at Benny's?

I already see lots of patrons defensively protesting, "That's not my baby!"

There's not enough wall space to accommodate all the babies conceived after encounters at Benny's ... but Benny's pretty successful so who am I to question?

Baily McNally yells across the market, "MICHEAL! I KNOW YOU ALREADY HAVE BUILT IN BABY-SITTERS BUT I'M ALWAYS AVAILABLE!"

I smile and nod.

It's hard to not love Bail McNally.

Making the short trek home I notice signs for "Trump" or "Hillary" because I'm forced to halt at the 15 Stop Signs between Tybee Market and our house 5 1/2 blocks away.

Everybody's got an opinion about who should be President.

Just like everyone seems to have one about me being a father again ... at my age.

I don't care about either the Presidential race, running Stop Signs or people's thoughts of our daughter.

I'm in a hurry to hold Che.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Skipping Church

The ceiling fans are swirling and the windows are open at the end of October.

Pumpkins from somewhere else await carving downstairs.

The Ocean sloppily kisses the shore in the distance, the sun dances in Palm Trees and Geckos dart through the Jasmine growing on the Beloved Back Deck while "The Boat Drunks" stream on my computer.

Sarah and the girls sleep, Winston, the Little Gay God, slumbers too but Goddess attentively watches baby Che watch the dangling mobile on her carrier.

Sitting at the kitchen table, I'm wired to the world as the two of them are major distractions to my thoughts.

Goddess kisses Che before sighing heavily and laying down beside her.

Che's eyes grow wide before closing and joining her sisters in slumber

It's a wonderful Sunday morning and a damn shame I'll be going to Hell.

I broke one of the Seven Deadly Sins and called off Church today.

Sometimes there's too much Church in the world ... forever demanding attendance, allegiance, tithes, time, adherence to a Bulletin ... pretense.

Of course lots think I was heading to Hell anyway because my Church is in a Bar ... no stained glass, structure, clothing's optional, liquors not served but if you bring it we don't care, the service is never planned ... though we do have a Bulletin that arrives after service begins and we don't particularly follow.

Saving Bar Church from itself is the music.

We have great music delivered by great friends ... wonderful people ... givers of themselves asking for nothing in return other than the chance to give.

A congregation of sorts stumble in, bringing food or hunger, clarity or cloudiness, longing or lust, prayer or demands ... each sharing an unworthiness ... and fear being in the presence of God.

The music begins, the crowd raises itself from the dead and Holiness hits like a ton of bricks.

Every Sunday, Mary Nettles and I show up, get the key to Benny's from Shawn at Wet Willie's, and set up for Bar Church but today ... Mary's out of town ... and I'm holding my newborn baby in the kitchen feeding her and singing her songs by "The Boat Drunks."

Church be damned today.

This is pretty Holy and takes a lot less work.

I don't think God cares I'm skipping Church and don't give a shit if it makes Satan happy ... speaking of which ... I have to change a diaper.

Che cries ... then smiles ... and our hearts our one.

Hers ...

Mine ...

God's.

Skipping Church

The ceiling fans are swirling and the windows are open at the end of October.

Pumpkins from somewhere else await carving downstairs.

The Ocean sloppily kisses the shore in the distance, the sun dances in Palm Trees and Geckos dart through the Jasmine growing on the Beloved Back Deck while "The Boat Drunks" stream on my computer.

Sarah and the girls sleep, Winston, the Little Gay God, slumbers too but Goddess attentively watches baby Che watch the dangling mobile on her carrier.

Sitting at the kitchen table, I'm wired to the world as the two of them are major distractions to my thoughts.

Goddess kisses Che before sighing heavily and laying down beside her.

Che's eyes grow wide before closing and joining her sisters in slumber

It's a wonderful Sunday morning and a damn shame I'll be going to Hell.

I broke one of the Seven Deadly Sins and called off Church today.

Sometimes there's too much Church in the world ... forever demanding attendance, allegiance, tithes, time, adherence to a Bulletin ... pretense.

Of course lots think I was heading to Hell anyway because my Church is in a Bar ... no stained glass, structure, clothing's optional, liquors not served but if you bring it we don't care, the service is never planned ... though we do have a Bulletin that arrives after service begins and we don't particularly follow.

Saving Bar Church from itself is the music.

We have great music delivered by great friends ... wonderful people ... givers of themselves asking for nothing in return other than the chance to give.

A congregation of sorts stumble in, bringing food or hunger, clarity or cloudiness, longing or lust, prayer or demands ... each sharing an unworthiness ... and fear being in the presence of God.

The music begins, the crowd raises itself from the dead and Holiness hits like a ton of bricks.

Every Sunday, Mary Nettles and I show up, get the key to Benny's from Shawn at Wet Willie's, and set up for Bar Church but today ... Mary's out of town ... and I'm holding my newborn baby in the kitchen feeding her and singing her songs by "The Boat Drunks."

Church be damned today.

This is pretty Holy and takes a lot less work.

I don't think God cares I'm skipping Church and don't give a shit if it makes Satan happy ... speaking of which ... I have to change a diaper.

Che cries ... then smiles ... and our hearts our one.

Hers ...

Mine ...

God's ...




 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

All the Difference in the World

"Beautiful Baby!" she exclaims passing me exiting the elevator as she stumbles inside.

"Dumbass," I think.

I'm carrying an empty car seat in one hand and a dozen roses in the other.

Quickly stopping to turn, I catch a glance ... askew gray and frosted hair rests on top of a sad white face, adorning a frumpy body dressed in black with pale white feet in sandals and bright red toenails.

Clutching her purse and a St. Joseph/Candler bag, she stares at my empty car seat smiles.

The silver elevator doors slide shut.

Sometimes when you're busy with your own life, the life of someone else collides with yours ... even if it's a glancing blow.

Was she sad? ... Tired? ... Both?

What did she see in Che's empty car seat?

Obviously she believed whatever it is she's hoping for was in it ... so much so it moved her to exclaim to a perfect stranger ... "Beautiful ..."

I'm in a hurry and rush to the car. Sarah and our baby girl are being discharged and we're in a hurry to get away from the insurance run mess that is American Health Care and go home.

It's beautiful outside ... cotton candy clouds rolling across a deep blue sky, bright sunshine drips through low humidity as the morning temp pushes 80.

"Sarah's gonna love this," I tell myself  thinking, "and it's perfect for Che's first day in the world."

Rushing back, the silver elevator doors slide open reeking of sadness, Nurses carrying food from the Cafeteria, angry looking Doctors and lost souls carrying McDonald's bags to their loved ones.

The silver doors slide shut as everyone looks at the numbers on the screen as I look at them.

"It's beautiful outside," I say breaking the sadness.

Mumbling indistinguishable  responses, they remain focused on the number on the wall.

Sarah has Che ready for the "Breakout" upon my return and a very pissed off wheelchair driver is in a hurry to get us out.

"Why is it," I ask my wife, "you have to be able to walk to the bathroom and back without assistance before you can be discharged but they wheel you out?"

This infuriates the Wheelchair driver so when Sarah asks to pause and say hello to friends, the angry woman snaps, "It's not allowed!"

"Bitch!" I mouth to Sarah who smiles as she cradles our baby.

As I get the car, our friend Kyle is the first to meet Che from the outside and I return it's a great celebration.

Driving towards the Ocean with Sarah watching Che as only a Mother can, I wonder about the woman and what she saw in the empty car seat.

I wish Che would have been in it.

It would have made all the difference in the world.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Sunday Means to me

I was born in Church, Mom and Dad dragging me every Sunday, regardless of any appreciation I may have had of any Divinity outside of bed.

I grew to love it over time because ... the girls were hot, opportunities to make out were bountiful and we even went on mission trips to Florida and assumed Missionary positions.

In College, I went to other Churches ... meaning not-Southern-Baptist ... breaking the first of the Seven Deadly Sins ... but I checked out the Methodists, the Presbyterians and these really cook alternative services hosted by Christian seniors where the girls were hot, opportunities to make out were bountiful and Missionary positions were assumed without having to travel.

Then Guy Sayles ... er, I mean God ... calls me on the phone and talks me into going to Seminary where I inexpiably became a "Professional Christian" ... which is a great gig if you can get it.

It was a Southern Baptist Church but we didn't act it and in no time at all, Jeff Street was the cool place to worship among the hip crowd where the girls were hot, making out was plentiful and positions other than Missionary were assumed.

It didn't last because I opted to use real wine for Communion instead of Welch's Grape Juice ... the second time I broke a Deadly Sin ... and I was encouraged to take my ministry elsewhere.

Afterwards I tried to attend Church but once you've been a "Professional Christian" (paid to love everyone while asking everyone else to do it for free), it's hard to go back again.

Then I quit and went to Beach on Sunday mornings.

I found myself thinking more about God, praying intensely and thinking of others beside the Ocean than I ever did behind stained glass or a chunk of wood on a stage.

On the beach of course, the girls are hot, making out is plentiful and you see positions you could never have imagined were possible.

This remains my preferred method of worship.

But this little Church that meets in a Bar asked Sarah and I to join the band, kicked us out after it got pretty successful, before asking me to be the "Un-Professional-mostly Christian" in charge.

That was two years ago.

The whole service is built around live music, stories instead of sermons, food and if you want something besides Welch's Grape Juice ... we don't judge.

It's pretty cool because the Beach is right outside ... the girls are hot, making out is plentiful and the positions are beyond definition.

But every single Sunday, something special happens boarding on Holiness and while we all may sleepily drag our asses in ... we leave lighter and more at peace than before.

That's what Sunday means to me.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just Waiting On Che

Sitting in the floor rubbing Sarah's swollen feet, we're flipping channels searching for something to watch.

Laurel, the twelve year old stares at her phone on the sofa oblivious to the fact there is a television in the room.

Maddie, the clueless 15 year old who knows everything, has locked herself in her room as most 15 year olds who can't figure out a way out of home to be with their friends do.

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show!" I exclaim. "We gotta watch!"

Sarah and Laurel groan.

A lover of Broadway, ever since "Hamilton" anyway, I scold Laurel ... "Listen! Broadway's always ahead of the curve on social change ... West Side Story started acceptance of people of different races falling in love ... and "Rocky Horror" brought the LBGT Community out of the closet."

She shrugs her shoulders mumbling, "Hamilton's better."

My phone buzzes and it's Chelsea, our daughter living in Atlanta, "You watching?"

"Yes we are" I text.

When Chelsea was young she had a group of friends spend the night and after cooking them supper, I told them we have a show to watch together and ... as they gleefully gathered on the floor, I hit the VCR and we watched the original ... Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The next day every single parent of every single kid called to ask, "What the Hell do you think you're doing?"

"We changed their lives for better," Chelsea text decades later.

It left me contemplating Che, our soon to be born daughter, and music in her life.

Music's big in my life.

I'm never far from it, think in song lyrics updating my Facebook status with them every single day and now have the joy of making it with good friends every week.

All of our kids live with music enriching their lives.

Jeremy is by far the most eclectic ... Kristen's hard core romantic ... Chelsea's drifts towards sweetness ... Maddie prefers whatever's most popular with her friends ... Laurel believes "Hamilton" is only music ever created and Cassidy actually has the ear to be a musician should she choose.

Which leaves me with Che.

Sarah tells me Clare Hope Elliott can already hear music and if her movement in the belly last night means anything ... Che's a huge fan of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" ... which brings me great joy.

Sarah has an angelic voice and plays classical piano.

I'm a wanna-be rock-n-roller.

Hmmm ... I think the Cowsills are one of the most underrated bands of all time.

Hmmm ... gonna play Che some songs by the Cowsills as soon as she gets here.

Move over Partridge Family ... we may be starting a band!

Just waiting on Che.