The Good Old Days Are Right Now

There are so many reasons today to rejoice.

We are living in wonderful, vibrant times.

Ponder this: you can communicate with anyone in the world with just a mouse click or a keyboard strike.

Could anyone have imagined this just a decade or so ago?

The opportunities we have today!

It blows my mind (what little is left of it).

But there is enough of it left to fully appreciate how fortunate we are.

As Carly once sang: “These are the Good Old Days.”

And we are living them. Right Now

Trust me on this one folks.

Appreciate what we have here.

Do not squander these opportunities to be ‘social.’

This is what it means to be ‘human.’ To be social. It is genetic within us.

If it weren’t, we would never have evolved into what we are.

And hence, we would not be here today to watch cute cat videos.

(And ever’ once in a while, have some meaningful conversation on the Inter-Webs)

Be Kind: Rewind. And recall the bad old dark days and appreciate what we have now:

This age of COMMUNICATION.

Think about what we have going on here.

So, do not waste any opportunity to reach out if something is important and moves you.

But save the cute cat videos for later: we have seen them all—just kidding.

End of rant

Thank You. Drive Through.

–Lance

Added Value:

“You Got an EBP?”

“EBP?”

This means “Eye-Ball Problem.”

Generally a statement hurled from a black woman at someone who is staring at her.

I love strong black women (Hell! I don’t think I have ever met a weak black woman–they just do not exist.)

Anyway… Here is my “EBP” story.

It is very ‘light,’ so don’t get excited.

****

OK.

I just had something stuck in my eye (who has NOT experienced this at least a thousand times?)

Well, it is always unpleasant.

I grabbed the Visine and tried to flush it out.

No Dice.

Kept flushing.

No dice.

Finally, maybe some relief, but…

Wanted to rub my eyeball.

Voice inside my head:

“Don’t do it Lance! Don’t do it! Put your head down. Let gravity do that gravity thing and let it come out on its own. Just keep your head down and keep blinking. This will all turn out fine. Trust me, I’m with the Government”

“Fuck off, Voice inside my head,”

But Finally, that worked.

“Thank you, voice inside my head for saving me from me.”

Voice inside my head said, “You’re fucking welcome. Don’t call me again any time soon, mmmm kay?”

“Okay. We still on for lunch tomorrow?”

Indigo Girl 2: Callen

 

If Jenna was the ‘air-brushed’ perfection, professional beautiful angel, then it follows… yin and yang:

Callen was the unkempt, unsteady, unreliable, super lazy blonde stoner / juicer who did not give a fuck.

Half the times she showed up for work she was slightly stoned, or drunk, or a combination of the two.

And Of Course I fell madly in Love with HER. I really had No Choice.

Laws of Physics.

And she had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. To see her smile was something I cannot begin to describe, but of course, I tried not to notice, because I was a “Professional Security Guard”—and not supposed to be prone to emotion, nor feelings. She had long blonde hair (have I ever mentioned that I have never had any luck with blondes? Pretty certain I have, but I seem to be drawn to them. Moth to flame, as it were.)

She was about five foot eight and just a little ‘chunky’ but a good kind of ‘chunky’. She really was a beautiful, kinda country-looking woman. She had a ‘soft’ look. This is hard to explain and probably does not look good in print, but she had a soft look. What I am desperately try to explain is that she just looked ‘comfortable’ and potentially ‘comforting.’ (I could fall safely asleep in her embrace) Unlike a lot of the women I have ‘experienced’ in my life; most of them were ‘uncomfortable.’ And NOT safe.

Oh fuck it. Let’s move on, shall we?

Yet trust me on this one folks, I have seen women from all over the world. I know women. I love them and I appreciate them. All manner of shapes and sizes of them. This one, this Callen, was ‘Top Shelf.” But moving on from my ‘sexist’ commentary over her looks:

Callen, being ever lazy would ask me to do things that were not in my wheelhouse nor in my mind to do. I was a Fucking Security Guard.

That was MY Job!

My ONLY JOB!

She would ask me (ever so nicely) to deliver towels or shit paper or coffee to some guest’s room. First few times she asked me to do these things I just invited her to fuck off (I did not verbalize it that way, but she caught the drift).

Now please allow me to explain something:

Hotel Indigo had a ‘gym’ of sorts. There were weights and a weight machine. I had eight hours to kill every night and I was big ‘Into’ lifting weights back then, so I took about an hour out of my shift every night to lift weights in their gym.

While sitting in my car one night, after finishing my workout, I had a ‘sudden’ epiphany.

How could I refuse Callen’s simple requests of me to break MY Rules, when she did not call me out for breaking the Hotel Indigo’s Rules?

(I was not supposed to be using their ‘Fitness’ Center.)

I got off my ass, walked into to Lobby and had this statement for her:

“Callen, do you know what an epiphany is?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Well, I just had one. I owe you an apology. You don’t say shit about me spending an hour a night working out in your fitness center. I enjoy doing that, and you never say shit about it. You would never ‘drop a dime’ on me FOR Doing it. This much I know about you. Certainly, if you need me to do something for you that is not strictly in my ‘Security Guard’ purview, from now on, I will do it. I owe you this. I am very fond of you. More than you know. You are good people.”

I extended my hand. She took it. We shook.

“We good?” I asked.

“Yep. We good,” she replied.

And I was more in love with her at that point than was prudent.

“It’s pleasure to try ’em; it’s trouble to keep ’em.”

–Joni

Oh, in case anyone is wondering, Callen was probably twenty-eight and change, years-wise.

These kinds of details are not important to me.

But they may be important to the casual reader.

So there ya go.

******

Very sad footnote:

I discovered after we had known each other for some time that she had had some real tragedy in her young life:

She woke up one morning next to her dead boyfriend.

He had just died during the night.

She could not explain why nor how, but I am quite certain it fucked her up.

As it would anyone.

Her story made me almost cry.

Actually it did make me cry, but I waited until I got back to my car.

Then I tried to think up ways I could win this woman.

Came up empty.

Probably for the best:  hers and mine.

****

To be continued…

 

 

Indigo Girls Chapter One: Jenna

First “Indigo Girl”: JENNA

My First night working at Hotel Indigo.

Jenna, (Night ‘Auditor’—manager) asked me:

“Do you like music?”

“Of course. I love music,” I replied.

“Look at this video,” she said as she came over to me with her cell phone locked and loaded.

“OK”

I watched some dude singing and playing guitar (pretty well actually) some obscure C/W song. Then I recognized said dude. He was a rather familiar face—I had already made a couple of ‘patrols’ and had noticed this guy unloading some shit from his truck in the parking garage. He looked a little (very little) like Garth Brooks, but still…

“Uh, isn’t that one of the construction workers, working here on the renovation of the Hotel?”

“Good eye,” Jenna said. “Yes.”

“Your boyfriend?” I asked.

“Kinda,” she said.

Well damn, I thought, there goes MY plan and hopes Dashed (Jenna was VERY attractive, long slightly blonde / brunette hair, sleepy eyes—and probably too young for me—but what the hell. I am an optimist.)

“He’s not from Memphis is he?”

“No,” she said. “Texas.”

“So, he’s just living here in the hotel as the renovation work is going on?”

“Yes.” And then she added quickly, “He’s also a rodeo cowboy.”

“I see.” I said. “And what’s your story?”

“I have a degree in classical music,” she said. “I can play several musical instruments: Violin, the viola, the cello and the double bass”

“Yet, you like country and western?”

“Yes. I love all music.”

“Me too. Got any more on that phone of yours?”

“Yep. Sure do. Gimme a sec.”

“Can you sing as well?” I asked while she was searching on her phone.

“Nope. Can’t sing a lick.”

Instant Karma

We became fast friends after that.

*******

Not Jenna, but close enuff:

Nikon D4s, Lifestyle, Copyright Dixie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down and Out in Memphis Tennessee–Indigo Girls

I realize this is brief, but I am still awaiting the return from Waco of  my muse, so, as I wait, I thought I would ‘tease’ this bit a mite.

(Ever try to ‘tease’ a mite?)

Almost an effort in futility

Nevermind…

OK, first ‘shift’ at Hotel Indigo (2200hrs to 0600hrs)

I arrived twenty minutes early (As The US Navy taught me—“If you’re on-time, you’re late.”)

I was in a foul mood, having recently given up a Great Gig at the LAST Job I had—actually I had managed to get myself fired, but more on that later.

So, not really understanding the ‘Gig,’ I just parked my ass on a bar stool in the lobby and waited to see what may transpire. I did not have to wait long.

Some drunken refugees from Beale Street came staggering in…

“Lance, Cowboy, Time to do some of that ‘Security Shit’ you were hired for”

*Heavy sigh*

At least I am working on it.

To be continued…

A page out of my notebook from my 18 Months As A Security Guard for Hotel Indigo, Downtown Memphis (Phelps Security)
(Don’t worry; I am going somewhere with this)
“Indigo Girls”–Co-Workers: (In order of their appearance)
1. Jenna
2. Callen
3. Lasheeka
4. Cathleen
5. Ja’Myla

 

 

Why would a nice guy like you want to kill a genius?

Perhaps I’ll edit this later.

Perhaps not.

This sums up how I am feeling right now.

**************

Saigon… shit; I’m still only in Saigon… Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said “yes” to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I’m here a week now… waiting for a mission… getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.

I was going to the worst place in the world and I didn’t even know it yet. Weeks away and hundreds of miles up a river that snaked through the war like a main circuit cable plugged straight into Kurtz. It was no accident that I got to be the caretaker of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz’s memory any more than being back in Saigon was an accident. There is no way to tell his story without telling my own. And if his story really is a confession, then so is mine.

It’s a way we had over here with living with ourselves. We cut ’em in half with a machine gun and give ’em a Band-Aid. It was a lie. And the more I saw them, the more I hated lies.

Oh man… the bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam, you needed wings to stay above it.

[reading a letter Kurtz has sent to his son]

Dear son,

“I’m afraid that both you and your mother will have been worried at not hearing from me during the past weeks, but my situation here has become a difficult one. I’ve been officially accused of murder by the Army. The alleged victims were four Vietnamese double agents. We spent months uncovering them and accumulating evidence. When absolute proof was completed, we acted. We acted like soldiers. The charges are unjustified. They are in fact, and in the circumstances of this conflict, quite completely insane. In a war, there are many moments for compassion and tender action. There are many moments for ruthless action — what is often called ruthless, what may in many circumstances be only clarity — seeing clearly what there is to be done and doing it directly, quickly, awake, looking at it. I will trust you to tell your mother what you choose about this letter. As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned. I am beyond their timid, lying morality, and so I am beyond caring.”

You have all my faith.

Your loving father.”

‘Never get out of the boat.’ Absolutely goddamn right! Unless you were goin’ all the way… Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program.

Part of me was afraid of what I would find and what I would do when I got there. I knew the risks, or imagined I knew. But the thing I felt the most, much stronger than fear, was the desire to confront him.

They were gonna make me a major for this, and I wasn’t even in their fuckin’ army anymore. Everybody wanted me to do it, him most of all. I felt like he was up there, waiting for me to take the pain away. He just wanted to go out like a soldier, standing up, not like some poor, wasted, rag-assed renegade. Even the jungle wanted him dead, and that’s who he really took his orders from anyway.

Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I never wanted another.

Fucking tiger!

[after being given a “tour” of Kurtz’s camp, which contained rows of human heads impaled on spikes and displayed around ancient temples, Chef is horrified]

“This Colonel guy? He’s wacko, man! He’s far worse than crazy – he’s evil! I mean that’s what the man’s got set up here. It’s fuckin’ pagan idolatry! Look around you. Shit! He’s loco… I ain’t afraid of all them fuckin’ skulls and altars and shit. I used to think if I died in an evil place, then my soul wouldn’t be able to make it to Heaven. But now? Fuck! I mean, I don’t care where it goes, as long as it ain’t here! So whaddya wanna do? I’ll kill the fuck…”

Photojournalist

This is dialectics. It’s very simple dialectics: one through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions. You can’t travel in space, you can’t go out into space, you know, without like, you know, with fractions! What are you going to land on: one quarter, three eighths? What are you going to do when you go from here to Venus or something? That’s dialectic physics, okay?

This is the way the world ends. Look at this shit we’re in man. Not with a bang, but with a whimper, and with a whimper, I’m splitting, Jack. [Note: This is a variation on T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men – “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper”.]

[talking to Willard about Kurtz] Why? Why would a nice guy like you want to kill a genius? Going down pretty good, huh? Why? Do you know that the man really likes you? He likes you. He really likes you. But he’s got something in mind for you. Aren’t you curious about that? I’m curious. I’m very curious. Are you curious? There’s something happening out here, man. You know something, man? I know something you that you don’t know. That’s right, Jack. The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad. Oh, yeah. He’s dying, I think. He hates all this. He hates it! But the man’s a… He reads poetry out loud, all right? And a voice… He likes you because you’re still alive. He’s got plans for you. No, I’m not gonna help you. You’re gonna help him, man. You’re gonna help him. I mean, what are they gonna say, man, when he’s gone? ‘Cause he dies when it dies, man! When it dies, he dies! What are they gonna say about him? What? Are they gonna say he was a kind man? He was a wise man? He had plans? He had wisdom? Bullshit, man! And am I gonna be the one that’s gonna set them straight? Look at me! Wrong! [points to Willard] You!

Added value for reference: Running In Soft Sand: Intro