Thursday, July 29, 2010

"The shit you been through..."

I had this thought of writing a fairly long piece, as a salute of sorts, to a couple who touched my life several years ago, but I'm keepin' it short 'cause I just don't think my words could do 'em justice.

Tulsa World Article

Kenny & Debbie were friends of a guy I used to spend a good bit of time with, they were kind-hearted people who were fun to hang out with when they had the time -- it seemed like they were always busy, always going, traveling, doing; Kenny embodied that phrase "busy livin'," and together, he and Debbie were one of those couples who seemed so permanent, I was a little shocked to see the word "boyfriend" in the newspaper article, I just thought they were married.

For all the questions I may never know the answers to, I know without a doubt they Loved each other.

For all my love of storytellers, Kenny was the first person I'd ever heard give a first-hand account of climbing out of a wheelchair to jump out of an airplane, and it was quite a story.

For two people who survived a lot of rough patches and lived a lot of life, it breaks my heart to think it ended so suddenly and so close to home.

For two people who met the end way too soon, I hope there was no pain, no fear, no evil...


Here's to you, Kenny, your buddy's ex girlfriend sends her best -- hope it's okay that I used a bit of a song for a title here, it just seemed to fit.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh Dear.

A few quick postcards:

Dear Neighbors: Today was the third morning in a row that your horse was out wandering in the ditch and back and forth across 92nd Street. Seriously? Three days? Don't you feed 'em once a day or something? Did you not notice he's been on the wrong side of the fence since Monday? Will your homeowner's insurance cover my car if he ends up on the hood?

Dear Local Politician: I need to let you know that I refuse to vote for you because of your TV commercial, and I scramble for the "mute" button every time it comes on. When your little girl tells us how you've "pwotected pwesidents fwum bad guys," I want to punch you in the neck. If you don't care enough about your own child to take her to a Speech Therapist (translated: Thewapist), there's no way I'd trust you to care enough to make the decisions involved in government.

Dear Post Office Employee: Thanks so much for protecting the security of my mail by refusing to hand over the contents of my PO box that time when I couldn't find my keys. I appreciate the fact that you hold everyone to such high standards that even long-time customers with photo ID can't get their mail without the key. Now, I have questions about you fishing out some "package" for that guy who "had his stuff shipped to my address" even though he's in no way related to me or associated with my business and has never had a key to either one of my mailboxes to begin with.

Dear Limo: Please steal the heart of a cash buyer very soon, 'cause I found a truck that caught my eye. Don't take it personal, it's just that I don't think you can handle the trailer like the truck would.

Dear QuikTrip: Please come to Sperry Oklahoma, please? I've been crazy about you, QT, ever since way back when ten bucks would fill up the Honda Accord's gas tank and get a quart of Lime Koolie and a Butterfinger with some change left, and Sperry Oklahoma needs you in such a serious way. Sperry is a quiet little out of the way place, but it's full of good, kind-hearted people who could really use a nice place to buy gas for their cars; and I personally would love to be able to grab a good glass of iced tea and a corndog every once in a while too.

Dear Telemarketers: I can talk faster and louder than you can, if you'd like to turn it into a "Talking Carl Fight," we can, and there's nobody here to get mad at me for pissing you off 'til you hang up. Thanks for the laughs...

Dear Internet Search Engines: When I'm looking for images of motorcycles, I do not need to see kitchen appliances. When I put in a town and search for a list of Churches, I want to see phone numbers and/or addresses for churches, as in places where groups of people worship, designated as plural by the "es" on the end. When I search for Churches, I want to read about this church or that church, not "restaurant reviews" involving "Church's Chicken." Apostrophe-s is totally different from e-s.

Dear Pimple-In-A-Really-Scary-Place: Boy am I ever glad you're gone, please don't come back, okay?

Dear Hard Drive: Though I'm glad you were so easy to remove from the MacBook and place in that USB Enclosure, I really wish you'd spin up one last time and stay on at least long enough to pull my Mojo Nixon albums and a few other things out of my old iTunes folder...

Dear Snow Leopard: I think I love you, I wish I hadn't waited so long to make the switch!



Friday, July 02, 2010


Clay and I were talkin' in the car on the way home from dinner tonight about the campers and boats and motorcycles and summertime-ish stuff...

Sometimes I miss the motorcycle, the shimmery emerald green Triumph Thunderbird that I sold off to pay for my race trailer. I never could quite get comfortable with myself on it, and even though it was hard to let it go, watching that tiny little lady from Fort Cobb ride away on it was easier than I thought it would be, and easier than listening to My Mom have a fit about it every time the subject came up. She had enough reason though; my oldest brother crashed a bike and nearly lost a leg.

I just couldn't get used to working a clutch with my hand and shifting gears with my foot, not even on the cheap ol' Yamaha that I bought from the wrecker auction just to "practice with," so I sold it off to put the money toward the Triumph payments and I was perfectly content to just ride on the back. I rode with Dave every chance I got -- the first close look I got at a Ford Escort ZX2 was when one passed us on the left and then made a right turn across in front of us over by the Gilcrease QuikTrip; she pulled into the driveway of a house right there in the neighborhood and when we got home, I was so mad I was ready to get right in my car and go back over there but Dave wouldn't let me -- I kept my lugwrench under the driver's seat even way back then. Those first couple years after Dave died, I missed riding with him just as much as I missed everything else about him, and I'd get on just about any bike and ride away with just about anybody who'd let me. If it weren't for Clay, I might've tried to charm one last ride on the Triumph with the lady who bought it -- she was only about half my size though...

Like I told Clay in the car tonight, I miss riding, I miss sitting up there; I don't miss encounters like we had with that dumb bitch in the ZX2. There's a place out on the highway between Tulsa and Sand Springs that always seems a little cooler than usual; I've felt it in the convertibles, I've rolled the windows down to feel for it in a regular car, but it's the best, the most intense, on the bike. I have no idea how it works, but no matter how hot it is, there's always this little bit of a breezy cool spot out there, and it's amazing to ride through it on the bike. I miss feeling that cold spot out on 412 with my entire body, I do not miss wondering who's gonna try to run us over.

Both of my brothers and a few of my friends ride; I try not to be one of those people who worry all the time. I am not one of those people who hassles others about wearing a helmet 'cause I know I didn't always want to wear mine; I pray God's Grace over all of 'em 'cause I know He saved me from harm many more times than even I know about.

A few weeks ago, one of my friends got hit by a car on her way to work. There's a FaceBook post that'll make ya feel all sick inside: "T-boned on the bike." I cried when her sister posted that; I cried even harder when she logged on to tell the story herself. She saw it coming and did all she could do; after the hit at highway speed, she kept it together long enough to get it to the shoulder and get stopped, then put the stand down and fall off. The guy driving the car "didn't see" the bike. I cried when I handed the computer to My Mom so she could read it, I cried when she read it out loud to my brother.

Tonight when I got home, there were a couple FaceBook posts about a wreck involving a car that had pulled out in front of a motorcycle out toward the edge of Owasso -- one post was was a basic "avoid the area, fatality, traffic tie-up," the other was more emotional, "this looked really bad, call your people and check on 'em." Oh, FaceBook, making the world smaller and smaller, showing us stories we might not ever hear from strangers... In the FaceBook comments, there was a post from someone who stopped his car to try to help, he told of how he'd held this man and talked to him and tried to keep him from slipping away. He didn't know a name, he didn't recognize a face, he just saw someone in need of help, so he stayed to help; he said the man died right there in his hands fifteen or twenty minutes after the crash.

Tonight, thanks to FaceBook, I've shed tears for someone I don't even know... Or, well, I hope it's not someone I know...

I guess dying in the hands of a stranger who's offering kindness is better than dying alone -- I just hope nobody I Love has to spend their last fifteen or twenty Earthly minutes hurt and looking into the eyes of a stranger just because somebody "didn't see" 'em.

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