Stump Humping

Back when I was a practicing psychologist I/we would get a lot of referrals from the court.  When it was a court order we had to see the person in trouble and they had to see us if they wanted to stay on probation and out of the joint.

There’s one that i remember vividly.  It was an ol’ boy from way out in the sticks who was highly unsocialized but there was nothing really wrong with him.

When I asked him why he was there he said he was there was for stump humpin.’  Now I’m a city boy and didn’t know what that was.  He said it was when a cow was out in the field with its ass toward you, you would get up on a stump behind the cow and drop your pants and…

At that point I stopped him and said that I got the picture.  In my psych eval I said that this guy was just unsocialized and was neither disturbed nor criminal nor a danger to society and that he should be taught more appropriate ways to express his sexuality,yak, yak yak.

Anyway, I wrote a song about him called Bessie and Me.  I borrowed a melody from a beer commercial and put the chords in from that.  The lyrics are all mine.  And I’ll share it when I find it.  BTW I don’t see that there was any damage to the cow.  I doubt she even noticed.

The Promise

I got this from someone at a cat lover’s group on FB who got it from somewhere else.   The last three lines are mine, since i cant leave anything alone.  If you’re a hard core cat lover i think you’ll understand.

I will never leave you at a shelter

or let you starve

or let you hurt

or desert you when you get old

or leave you when you go blind

And if that time ever comes

I will be there to hold you

Even to the end of the world

Because i love you

And you are my child


Ramblings About Dylan

Early this morning I got the news that Bob Dylan won the Nobel for Literature for 2016.  Maybe it’s just me, but this is a very big deal.  I posted it on FB and got one like.  Everybody else was busy slinging political shit, getting more wound up as they went on about an election whose outcome is all but a foregone conclusion.  I backed away from this, not wanting to make it worse.  I did make a couple of witty remarks that people liked, just to slow things down.  Maybe it helped.

It just served to remind me how out of phase I am with everything and how it seems to get worse with time.  This Nobel is just something that I never thought I would live to see, like when the Braves won the World Series.  Someone at Nobel referred to Dylan’s work as being sort of like poetry.  Actually it’s different.  Poetry rhymes words where song lyrics rhyme syllables.  Take it from someone who has written both.

But this is quibbling.  It’s a great day that I’m glad to see and that is that.  It even motivated me to work on the next chapter of Roswell which I havent added to in weeks. Fan fiction is much more complicated than I would have dreamed but writing it gives me a purpose that lately I have lacked.

As to why I wrote this I guess I just thought that a lot needed to be said about this instead of almost nothing, which is what seems to have happened today.  During the summer of 2009 when I was writing Destiny Road I was listening to Blood on the Tracks and realized that the whole story’s language was inspired in part from Dylan’s worldview.  And I remember playing Girl of the North Country on a Yamaha guitar at parties when i was in college.  I got to sing Dylan’s part because I did a better Dylan than my room mate, who was stuck singing Johnny Cash.

I’m rambling, which is what happens when I’m not writing regularly.  I guess I’ll stop.  Spotify finally got a Dylan playlist today.

Roswell 24 Michael and Maria


So you get hungry like the rest of us?  Maria says with tentative curiosity.

Of course i get hungry, Michael says.

What other human urges do you feel?

They are standing close to each other.  Michael says, not if you were the last woman on earth.

Likewise, Maria says bitterly.  And i will not get an F on this assignment so you better start answering some questions.  Right now.  And i mean for real.  So, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Pistachio, he says.

Uh, favorite book?

James Joyce.  Ulysses.  

You have not read Ulysses, Maria says.

‘What incensed him the most was the blatant jokes of the ones who passed it off as a jest, pretending to understand everything and in reality not knowing their own minds,’ Michael quotes.  Page 655.  Michael smiles.  Told you you wouldnt understand.  Next question.

Alright.  If you’re so smart why RU failing every class in school?

What number is that?

It’s my own personal question, Maria says.

I dont answer personal questions.

Then maybe it’s number 16.  What RU afraid of?

I hate this.  This is stupid.

Alright.  Then how about just one personal question?  Since i didnt turn you in back there?  Why is it so important to you to find out where you come from?

Because there must be something better out there than Roswell, NM.

How about somewhere else on Earth?

I dont think i’ll find it on Earth.

Maria chuckles.

Michael’s face turns grim and he says, You think that’s funny?

No, no.  I dont.  When i was a kid i used to stay up at night and um, make up stories about my father.  About where he was and what he was doing.  They all ended exactly the same way.  He would come in a limo and pick me and mom up and take us off to some exotic place where we’d live like royalty.  Because i believed there’s gotta be something better than Roswell, NM.

Substitute a starship for a limo and you’ll understand then, Michael says solemnly.

I’m getting really tired, Maria says.

Yeah, he says.  Been a long day.  He gestures at the bed and says, I dont suppose we could share?

Maria stands up and faces him and says, Not if you were the last alien on earth.



Blowup, Minimalism, and the Baroque

Believing and seeing are often both wrong…Robert McNamara

When you live like i do every day is pretty much like every other day, and you’ll do anything just to occupy your mind.  Lately it’s been mainly Netflix.

Since i dont even leave the house much there’s even less reason for one day to be memorable at all but today was, just by accident.  When i cant find what i want on Netflix i go to Amazon and rent a movie.  Last night it was the largely forgettable The Fog of War, Robert MacNamara’s movie.  But today it was a very old film i have wanted to see for years but was never able to watch on cable when it was on in the middle of the night.  And i’m very glad i saw it before i croaked.  It was a 1966 art film called Blowup.  And yes, it was just that fuckin good.  Most of you wouldnt even like it but from the standpoint of being as close to perfection as flawed humans can be, it is very close to perfect.

It’s not like other great films like Deliverance or Chariots of Fire in that they are enduring masterpieces that retain their stature over time; everybody’s seen these but not many have seen Blowup.  It was before my time and starts off looking like a period piece but that is soon forgotten because there’s so much that hooks you early.  I wont even describe the film because it would be too involved and because if i did and you watched it my perception might blind you to something in the film that only you could see.  That’s the only relevance of the opening quote here from MacNamara except that it sounded good.

I understand that Antonioni ran out of money when he was making this film and had to omit some extra scenes that would have “explained” some of what happened in the movie.  I think the fact that it remained unexplained added a crucial touch of minimalism that is often the last touch needed for greatness.  I’m a big fan of minimalism and they really are right in English 101 when they tell you less is almost always better.

Still, you cant generalize too much.  If this were always true Baroque art and music would all suck.  Actually i do think Baroque art sucks but that the music is the most moving and perfect that i have ever heard.  Check out the second movement of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor.  

But now i am rambling like the fool i am and the greater fool that i am becoming.  There’s a birthday looming and it’s making me distracted.

Cinder Blocks and Broken Glass

Yogi Bera said when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

This might be smarter than it sounds.  I think there are no forks in the road.  We may contemplate alternate courses of action but there is only one path, that which is written in our hearts and which we follow assiduously.  I used to think we made important decisions rationally.  Now i am convinced we do not; we do what our hearts tell us to do and rationalize it after the fact.

And i’m not sure where i’m going with this.  I just spent a morning in the car with my ex wife and was schooled in just how much she hates me.  If it were anyone else it wouldnt matter.  I guess it doesnt matter that i cant imagine what i ever did to deserve it.  What matters is that i have feelings that can be hurt with words.  And she’s the only one who can do that because i dont give a shit what other people think of me or say about me.

This is a horrible time of year anyway.  The sight of daffodils fills me with vague nausea and millennial dread.  Four years ago when i was writing Tenement i tried to put this horror into words but failed.  Sometimes the stronger the feeling the harder it is to get the words out.  All i could come up with was “green shoots up through cinder blocks and broken glass.”  That was it.  I was trying for a verbal image of the album cover of the Jayhawks’ Rainy Day Music because after it rains here in the spring that’s what it looks like.  Like you’d expect to see in the yard of a tenement.  It’s not a place or a time; it’s a state of mind.  The state of mind i have been in since May 19, 2014 when, after hearing some very bad news i thought, “You are a dead man.”  Less than a month later i almost was when i almost died of a staph infection.

But i didnt.  What kind of luck is that?

October of last year i drove to the doctor to get my monthly refills and had a seizure right in his office.  Just the place.  Not on the road, killing myself and maybe somebody else.  What kind of luck is that?

But i wont go there either because it gets into the question of what is luck and is there such a thing or is it a mirage?  I think there is and the question is what kind.

For the last two years every doctor in creation has been asking me if i am depressed.  Which i kept telling them i was not, because i was not.  Well, i’ve finally made it.  I’m depressed.  So what?

I have no idea why i wrote this but for anyone who endured it, thank you for reading.  I want to write something but i’m too disorganized.  This time last year i was in the hospital from some other godforsaken infection.  Let’s hope i can stay out of it this year.

If i could not stop cursing it would be different.

But i cannot stop crying, and that is not like me.

I am terrified of dying alone.

Letters From Indiana :Drug Bust on My Street

It can be demoralizing to see how out of touch you are with even your immediate surroundings and that you’re becoming more behind the times with each passing day but despite that I can gloat a little because a post of mine last May 28 titled Letters From Indiana 4.   A week ago Friday I was backpacking down to the grocery store when i saw a Sheriff’s car and a State Police car in the parking lot of an auto detailing shop where i had cut thru.  The cops were out of the cars talking to each other.  I didnt think much of it until i heard about a big bust in a house six doors down from me on my block.  The auto shop belonged to the people who were busted so it obviously must have been a front they were using for laundering money, although nobody said that.  It just makes sense.

That was about eleven Friday morning.  On Saturday morning my ex wife called me and told me there had been a big drug bust on my street and had i heard sirens.  I was in a foul mood and told her i hadnt heard a fuckin thing.  I thought it had just happened and wondered why i am the last to hear these things.

It wasnt until i got on the website of the local TV station that i saw the clip about the bust, which had occurred at four AM Friday.  I immediately recognized the house since i walk by it all the time.  And i made the connection to the auto shop.

This all began a couple of years ago when this place passed very tough laws restricting access to needles.  Predictably, the subsequent explosion of HIV cases here made the national news and became a national disgrace.  These people just dont get that intravenous addicts dont care if a needle is infected with HIV or Ebola.  They’ll still use it to shoot up.  So these idiots passing the needle restriction laws created their own problem.  To them, like to my ex wife, when something goes wrong it’s always somebody else’s fault.  Just blame it on the addicts and pushers.

What’s amazing is that the Draconian policy about needles has not only changed; it’s done a one eighty.  According to the local paper the Scott County Health Department got “permission” from our Fascist Governor Mike Pence to establish the state’s first needle exchange.  I hear Pence is in trouble politically so that might be part of this but it doesnt matter how it got done.  At least it got done.

Of course there was much self righteous, self congratulatory posturing by the local constabulary about the bust itself, complete with a blood curdling ultimatum to all pushers.  Ho hum.  This place is too small.  I cant even go out for a walk without feeling like i’m being watched.  It’s more like East Berlin in the sixties than Indiana.

There’s a much deeper problem at work here of course.  When there’s a big demand for anything in a market economy and a niche becomes vacant it will immediately be filled by somebody else.  Prohibition comes to mind and is the same in principle except Prohibition was very unpopular from the gitgo and was eventually repealed after the unspeakable damage it did.  People do not understand that you cannot legislate away appetites.  They never will.

And Austin, just a fit’s throw up the road, remains ground zero.  It looks the same and i will never be able to pass thru it without thinking about The Walking Dead.  A lot of fucked up people walking aimlessly around.  And now, as back in May, i believe the best cure for this county is a few megatons up the ass.  And from a safe distance i would push the button myself.  Maybe just take out all of southern Indiana while i was at it.

This is Troy Eriksen.  Good day.