Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hearing from Two Mikes

Mike of Ifs of Og fame emailed me again, and gave me the okay to share a bit of what's going on in his life.


Shouldn't complain, but it's been one of those years, you know?

Just buried my Dad down south, sister-in-law died a couple months ago, wife had major surgery this week. Mom has early stage Alzheimers and fell her first day in Tennessee- Naturally it was during a snowstorm this past weekend, one of her biggest fears and a thing we promised would not happen before Christmas!

I should probably mention that I have now fully deconverted, which makes me feel like a source of disappointment to Christian friends everywhere, but at least I know I lost my faith honestly, that is, in the process of attempting to strengthen it.

Stress factors have been high, but 2010 promises better things.

Mike also hinted that he may be rejoining us in the blogging community in the months ahead. I sure hope so.

A couple of days after Mike's email, I got one from Michael McCrickard, aka Ice Mac Sea. (I wrote about Ice Mac Sea here.) I hadn't heard from Michael in a good while also, so it was really great to hear that he'll soon finish his second CD. He says it will be more acoustic than Measure for Measure, and he wrote, "The whole thing sounds better than I could have hoped for."

Hearing from the two Mikes has made my week, and after missing the last two Christmas mornings with my wife and son, it's looking like I'll get home Christmas Eve. It can't get much better than that.

In case I'm not back here before the day, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ifs of Og

One of my favorite bloggers has long been Mike of Ifs of Og. A while back, Mike discontinued his blog, and we wondered what came of him.

Out of the blue, Mike answered an email from me today. He's still alive on this earth, which should come as no surprise, since it takes a live person to discontinue a blog.

I have no explanation to share with you as yet about Mike's withdrawal from blogging life. But, I'm glad he's still with us.

And, I hope he'll one day choose to share his writing online again, because I'm a selfish bastard.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Dream About Dead Women and a Harley

I had sort of a replay of the dream this piece was based on last night, minus the Jeopardy skit, so I decided to post it again.

I'm at the Rockfeller Center, sitting in the audience with Judy and Lisa, who were friends with my old girlfriend Terry. Terry and I were in the eighties, off and on. Terry and I are still friends, but Judy and Lisa are dead. They were party girls; either of them could light up a room. They both drank themselves to death in the nineties.

My favorite Saturday Night Live skit, "Celebrity Jeopardy," begins. Judy and Lisa, sitting each side of me, giggle in unison. They both wrap their arms around mine.


Alex Trebek (played by Will Ferrell): "Mr. Connery, go ahead."

Sean Connery (played by Darrell Hammand): "The day is mine! I'll take 'Famous Titties' for 400."

Alex Trebek (looking exasperated): "Titles, Famous Titles."

Sean Connery: "Damn!"

Alex Trebek: "And the answer is: 'This movie title is taken from the name of the book
Gone With The Wind,' Mr. Connery."

Sean Connery: "Dolly Parton!"

Alex Trebek
: "TITLES, Mr. Connery. Not TITTIES."

Sean Connery: "Not a fan of the ladies, are you Trebek?"


We laugh, the three of us. We laugh hard. Judy kisses me on the cheek. Lisa kisses me on the cheek. "We'll see you at The Wheel, okay? Don't wake up."

For a few moments, I'm outside of Hussong's Cantina in Ensenada. I'm in handcuffs, leaning up against an Ensenada Police Department patrol car. Hell, all I did was push my fellow gringo into the crowd so the little cop wouldn't split his head open. I look at the little cop. "We both already know how this ends, officer," I say. "The lieutenant shows up, listens to both our stories, then tells you to let me go." "Yeah, you're right," says the little cop. Then, just as it really happened that New Year's Eve in 1978, he leads me through the crowd waiting to get in the bar. The crowd boos when they see me in handcuffs. The cop continues to lead me through the crowd to the bar, where, with a flourish, he removes the handcuffs. The crowd cheers. The cop leans close, shakes my hand, and says, "Good seeing you again, amigo."

Yeah, I remember that weekend in Ensenada. The next day, I suffered through the worst hangover of my life.

But now, I'm walking into The Wheel. It was a biker bar up on Highway 33 above Ojai, and for the twelve years I owned a Harley--from the early eighties until the early nineties--it seemed like a second home. As I reach the door, I look back. I feel a pang as I see it: my 1980 FXS Low Rider, all black and chrome. I walk in, and there's Mary, the owner, an angel in a 300 pound body. She's already got a beer waiting for me. She died a few years ago from complications of diabetes. Sitting at a table, I see Judy and Lisa again. Sitting with them, I see Bill Greene. He died in the late eighties while on a camping trip. Everyone liked him, and everyone made fun of him because he rode a Yamaha. Robin is sitting there too, and she's looking stunning, because she's actually smiling. She died when she had an aneurysm and rode her Sportster into a telephone pole.

I hug Judy and Lisa again, shake Bill's hand, give Robin a kiss on the cheek. "I'm jealous that Judy and Lisa got to spend more time with you," she says, with a twinkle in her eye. That gets to me. As guy who grew up thinking of himself as a goofy-looking kid, I always feel surprised when a woman compliments me. Even in dreams.

Abruptly, I wake up. It's four in the morning, so I decide to get out of bed. I brew tea and get dressed. Remembering a mountain lion had been spotted in the area, I walk outside to check on the chickens and the llamas. Everything is okay. Then, as if on cue, I hear the rumble of a Harley on Bear Mountain Road, a mile or so away.

I close my eyes, standing there in the mild late-winter chill. I listen to that sound. I love where I live, I love my wife and son, and I'm grateful for my life in the here and now. But for a moment, as the Harley's muted roar fades into the darkness, I feel strangely homesick.

March 22, 2007