A friend asked me recently why I haven’t blogged lately and
my initial response was, “Somebody reads my blog?”
So think of this as less of a blog and more of a note to
D-from-A, catching him up on my little life.
Let’s see, when did I bail…? We had an election in November,
happy outcome. Loser… [um, geez, I want to say Rip Chutney? …Brit Rockne?] has
already retired from public life, one assumes returning to raping and pillaging
financially-troubled companies. (Motto: We didn’t build that, but we will buy
it from you for pennies on the dollar.)
Prez. Barack is still killing bad guys and random strangers
with unmanned drones overseas. It’s supposed to be a scandal, but to me, it
sure as fuck beats invading a country with overwhelming force. And as far as
civilian casualties, I’d bet my last nut that we rack up fewer of them with
targeted assassinations than 24/7 carpet bombing. In a time of asymmetrical
warfare, it’s a lovely, life-saving innovation. And yeah, I know it was a Bush
administration carryover, but even a broken clock can be right twice a day.
[...uhm Chet Rumpley?]
The president also gave a shout-out, explicitly, to the gay
community in his inauguration speech. Even if the other candidate hadn’t been a
4th-rate cartoon super-villain, that recognition alone would have
made me happy I voted for Obama.
Over on the personal side, I still miss living in California
and “miss” is soft-pedaling it. If there is anybody else in Idaho—besides my
friends in the lesbian and martial arts communities—at all like me, I don’t know where to find
them, and I’ve been looking since we got here. I even joined shit to meet
like-minded people, and I am not a joiner. But apparently I vibrate at a
different pitch than my fellow Idahoans, and usually feel like I’m coming
across somewhat pixilated.
That’s all for that.
Grateful that the holidays were finally behind me and more
than ready to unwind a little, we woke up New Year’s morning to find the heater
had been off all night. Broken but good. The family had to flee to a local
hotel to avoid indoor frostbite. I can’t really say it seemed an ill portent
for new year; Leslie’s unstoppable pneumonia from before Christmas to well
after Jan. 1 had already done that. The heater incident was just the second
Fate standing up and saying, “I second that motion!”
Here’s something good that happened, though. My best friend
from 4th grade finally found me via the interwebs. It turns out
we’ve both been looking for each other for a while, and when he tried a
variation on my name, finally came across my site.
This wouldn’t be interesting to anybody but he and me except
for the fact that, having started out from the same place, it’s interesting how
differently our lives played out. (I think at 50 it’s fair to take a peek back;
we’ve pretty much both arrived at where we’re gonna be.)
We’ll call my friend “Bob” because it’s quick and easy to
type. Also, “Danny” was taken.
Bob left our severely white-trash south Chicago suburb at
the beginning of 5th grade, I at the beginning of 7th. He
moved to a rural community in Indiana, went to a one-room, K-12 schoolhouse, he’s still married to his high school sweetheart, went to Notre Dame and now I am guessing
makes a comfortable living on his own terms. And has four daughters to fill his
golden years with grandchildren.
Fang’s family left for Arizona, where he was almost
immediately drawn into a life of booze, drugs and juvenile delinquency. As my
faithful reader knows, it was downhill with a bullet after that for a good 25
years. I’m still pulling myself out of holes I’ve dug for myself.
Bob moved to Mayberry and became Jimmy Stewart, I moved to
the middle of the desert and became Iggy Pop. As we swapped stories about our
lives, I became more and more jealous of his. Sure, I’d seen more concerts and
done more ‘stuff,’ but he was, like, you know… happy and not crazy.
I would trade a lifetime of happy and not-crazy for all the
wild and crazy youthful indiscretions in the world.
Besides that, he’s the only guy I know who started out where
we did—full disclosure, I’m talking about Glenwood, Illinois—who went on to
live the honest-to-gosh American Dream in its Cinemascope fullness. Everybody
else I know from then and there is damaged goods, even the successful ones. Or dead (seriously).
Pretty sure he’ll never read this, but talking to Bob this
week gave me the shot in the arm I needed. Somewhere out there, good things
actually do happen to good people. I haven’t seen or heard about that
first-hand in ages and had lost hope long ago.
Obviously, there is no hope left for me. As I said at the
top, at 50, I’m pretty much who, what and where I’m going to be in life. But
The Boy… He’s tall and not unattractive. Smart. Funny… Even-tempered, an
attribute for which I am eternally grateful to The Missus for having
It made me realize that, if The Dream actually is real, maybe if we don’t fuck anything up too badly,
we can set The Boy on the road to realizing it for himself.
Shit howdy, man, it’s something to work toward, anyhow. I
might even write about it as long as I’m sure no one will ever read it but