Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I got a Facebook message tonight from a good friends daughter.
"Steve, call me please" along with her number.
And you know a message like that can't be good.
I called.
"She's gone" Dawn said. "Mama is gone."
I've known her mama Cyndy since I dated her in1973, Cyndy had lost her son to a suicide a few years ago. She was a handful before she lost her son, and barely kept it together since then.
She delighted in nature, and lived on a lake, and owned one of these exotic cats from Persia or something. Here is a response from her to a comment I made a few weeks ago concerning one of her posts:

"There's a place I love to visit deep into the nature trail. It's a small pond and on the top it has a sort of green moss. I forget what it's called but I'm sure Tom McMurray, could tell me. 
When I go there, I sit in silence, with the fruits of nature surrounding me. The pond remains undisturbed for the most part. 
If you can imagine that small pond without one ripple of water, and can become one with it, it clears your mind. 
I carry that image with me as a form of meditation. 
I regulate my breathing shut my eyes and I can journey down the path, take whatever's bothering me and imagine placing it in my back pack and leaving it on a log and then continue my journey before I reach the pond where there is stillness of the water. 
I find no discord with animals in nature. It's humans interaction that I fall short. 
In nature I can hear a cotton wood tree in the gentle breeze before I see one. The sound of humming bird wings. 
I've been watching the lake melt and freeze up and melt while watching the great blue heron fish. 

Most people don't agree that I have such an exotic cat. But I know that special and odd cat. My soul tells me in a visceral way, that we were made for each other. 
She does things that I cannot describe in spoken words without murdering the English language. 
I can look into her green eyes that go fathoms deep and she looks into my eyes the same way. Spectacular friend and although wild and exotic, I'm somewhat a unusual breed of person myself. We are both exotic and unusual. We are one but separate. 

Once the great blue heron has left, I will go feed the ducks. 
The great white egrets have moved on for the season. I'm waiting to spot a cormorant. 

When I started planting for bird life rather than just flowers and common bushes, they told me I was hooked.
Oh, look! A cormorant!"

I told Cyndy when she posted this comment that it was pure poetry. I know she didnt try to write a poem. It just fell out of her, the way things, beautuiful things fall out of us from time to time.
Goodnight Cyndy. You was just too human.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I looked around and found Willie and Cheryl singing this, but I couldn't handle the way she bopped around on stage in her miniskirt. Then I watched June and Johnny clown around with it, an entire orchestra in the background and Johnny in some kind of tuxedo, making fun with June.
I prefer it stripped down, and by the writer, Tim Hardin, born 12/23 and lost to a heroin overdose.
I've always thought of it as a Christmas song.

Monday, December 23, 2013


""A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The was deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires gong out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty, and charging high prices.:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly."


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


We went to Home Depot last week to do something we hadn’t done in a long time. We bought a Christmas Tree! Not some "molded plastic and twisted metal perfectly formed cone shaped made in Taiwan with lights already installed (BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED) all you have to do is unfold it and plug it in" tree.

And not some poor innocent conifer severed from Mother Earth bleeding sap tree; a Clark Griswold hack job of a tree that at worst, in a week’s time will be a fire hazard and the entire apartment complex will be shivering cold and wet out in the parking lot at 3am on Christmas Eve, their faces lit by flames and illuminated by the flashing red lights of the Bedford Fire Department;  or a tree that at best, in a month’s time will be rotting next to leftover fruitcake and banana peels at the local landfill.  
For you dreamy idealists perhaps it will be chopped up into mulch to live eternally in communion as a living sacrament, the Body and Blood for Dogwoods and Daffodils,the promise of Christmas realized.
That’s not the kind of tree we bought either.

With a joyous heart we bought the prettiest little secular Norfolk Pine you ever did see!
It’s alive, and growing in a pot, and when Christmas is over it will be our companion. We shall water it, and it shall live on until next Christmas, and the Christmas after, providing us comfort and joy year round. And we bought some happy little twinkle lights to go on it, and ten teeny-tiny little glittery shiny gold bulbs to hang from its pretty branches.
Just 10 little ornaments, nothing gaudy or gauche, and we were excited.
It looked like it was going to be a great Christmas.

The first sign that things might not be as Fa-la-la-la-la as they looked was when we put our car in the shop the next day, and $1100.00 later realized that Christmas this year was going to be a little spare once again, just like last year, and the year before that. But we’ve learned to handle it. We make the best of things generally.
And since we suck so bad at buying gifts anyway (its well documented), it was almost a relief to be penniless. The pressure was off. At least, now we have an excuse for the sucky Christmas presents we will buy.
Who could blame us for a severe lack of funds?

So to cheer ourselves up last night  we decided to decorate our Norfolk Pine.
First the lights!
As we opened the package, we started to take a better look at what we had bought.These weren’t just any Christmas lights. We were horrified to find the words“Martha Stewart” on the outside of the box.
And when we turned the box over, there she was, smiling at us that little millionaire convict smile, as if to say “Not only have I been to prison, I can cook better than you, and I’m rich.”. We can’t believe we bought Martha Stewart lights. Should we take them back? We look again at the box, maybe they were made in America. That would be a redeeming factor, and reason enough to keep them.There it is, in all caps…
That bitch.

We’ll get over it. They haven’t made Christmas lights in America since Nixon visited China. It’s not Martha Stewart’s fault any more than its Barack Obama’s fault,even though we have a feeling he is in on it, somehow.
The idea is to stay joyful and triumphant, right?

We string up the lights and open our pack of 10 little ornaments.
It’s the last straw. We are reminded why we hate Christmas.
There are no wire hangers.
Those bastards.
How can they sell ornaments without hangers?
Have we become so desensitized and accustomed to batteries not being included that now we accept buying ornaments with no hangers?
Ten lousy hangers, that’s all we need.
We just can’t believe it.
How did it come to this? We cried for a little while, not so much for ourselves, or our tree, but for the world we live in where hangers are extra.

Against the current, we beat on.
We found some old Chinese speaker wire, and with a little Martha Stewart jailhouse improvisation managed to fashion some hangers, and now our Norfolk Pine stands decorated for Christmas in all its wonder.
Joyful and Triumphant baby, joyful and triumphant.
Only six more days to suck at shopping.
Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Being white and all, I don’t get to hear much stuff like this, unless I start acting all Scandanavian.. But when my family moved to Detroit from Fort Worth when I was 5, and I started 1st grade the next year, the principal called my mother and asked if there was anything she could do to keep me from “talking like a little black boy”.

There wasn’t.
All little 6 year old boys from Fort Worth Texas, black or white, talk just about the same.

But then when we moved back to Forrt Worth when I was 12, I caught a lot of crap from my new classmates down here who tortured me over my “Yankee” accent.
“Yankee kid” they called me.
I had to forgive them and move on.
They were just mad they had lost the Civil War.
Some of them are still mad.

Monday, December 09, 2013


We had a big ice storm down here, you may have heard. Freeways shut down, no school, no government offices, most businesses, all closed. It started Thursday night, and really got bad Friday afternoon.
I did make it to work Friday morning, I only live two miles away. Only saw one car on the way in, a cop, and he was watching me pretty close.
So I went 48 hours between Friday and Sunday and didn't see another single human being. Everyone was iced in, no one going anywhere. I was really starting to feel like Nicholson in "The Shining", isolated with a bad case of cabin fever. So I ventured out to the grocery yesterday afternoon about 5, but they were out of what I needed:
Milk, TV dinners and certain other essentials.

Which reminds me of a trip I made to Walmart last week. I went through the groceries, had a lot of food and beverages, and then remembered I needed Anti-Perspirant. I rolled over to the deodorant aisle and I look and there is a gorgeous woman shopping there. Oh my, what luck!

Man, she is really built too, gorgeous blonde hair, wrapped up in some kind of stylish semi-sheer blouse unbuttoned down to about here, and a pretty gold chain with a huge cluster of amethyst crystals nestled snugly in her cleavage. Through the thin veneer of the blouse she has on some lacy red brassiere, and her jeans are just about painted on, and she's wearing gold peep-toe stilleto heels and I'm embarrassed just looking at her from 20 feet away. I take a deep breath, suck it up and take a right down the aisle and to my horror, she is not looking at deodorants, no, she is looking at the condoms, personal lubricants, and creams in the "Family Planning" aisle which happens to be, you guessed it, right next to MY anti-perspirant.
She looks up and smiles at me.
I've reached a cusp here.
I can keep rolling over to the AXE deodorant display, where I'll be shoulder-to-shoulder with this Venus-like Love Goddess with the blood-red nails from Colleyville, and maybe we'll discuss the pro's and con's of the different products she is admiring; maybe I can put some on my wrist and she can see what it feels like, just a little sample; or else I can pretend I am on the wrong aisle and boogie my butt out of there.
Any guesses what I did?

Saturday, December 07, 2013


I've found the whole trick to dating is to not date. Too much contrivance. The minute I start trying to date I turn into a jerk like everyone else. Just relax, and pretend you don't really care if you get laid or not. In fact, its best to just pretend sex doesn't even exist. Right up to the point you are actually having it  in flagrante delicto.
You dont have to care, in flagrante delicto, because in the end, sex is what drives everything anyway.