This is the continuation of a transcribed letter/email I sent to my Girlfriend while stuck in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
“Here’s Your Sign(s)”
30 July 0426hrs: Rally Point
Waiting on the bus and the Gomer to take us to the Badging Office. This time of day Afghanistan is pleasant—not hot—cool in fact. I tossed and turned all night and did not sleep well at all. I kept thinking about Dubai, well specifically about us in Dubai.
There was no Rockets’ Red Glare last night. So that cannot be used as excuse today for red eyes and sleepy Lance, not that I will be required to provide any, as no one gives two shits about anyone else here.
Waitin’ On The Bus
The Briefing was Brief:
“This here’s the van gonna take you. Leaves at zero five hunnert, an’ it’ll leave without ch’all, so doan wander off.”
0523hrs: CAC Badging Office
We’re told to expect to be here all day. Perfect! (At Dwyer last time I had to get a new CAC, I was in and out in thirty minutes max. Shit! But THEY closed that Badging office. Why??)
0630hrs: CAC Badging Office
No sooner than four hours from now…grrrr. Didn’t bring my sunglasses; didn’t bring any snack, “No phone, no pool, no pets; I ain’t got no cigarettes…” This day is gonna suck.
0758hrs: Boardwalk, KAF
Yes, you read that right:
I’m sitting at a table drinking a Mocha Frappe purchased from Green Beans Coffee (Think Starbucks) Come to find out, the world famous KAF Boardwalk lies less than one hundred meters from the CAC Badging Office.
Praise The Great White Cat of the River Nile! (Again)
Under The Boardwalk
The boardwalk embraces a soccer field but and there appears to also be a hockey court of some kind as well.(No Ice. Duh!)
On the Boardwalk itself are myriad food joints: KFC, Fridays (no booze), Pizza, Juice Bar, Kebab Joint, Convenience Store (called Downtime–If they’re sellin’ ‘downtime‘, I’m buyin’), Trinket Shops, ATT Phone Center, Souvenir Joint, Afghan Bank, Nathan’s Frankfurters, and God knows what else.
I’d heard of this place, but didn’t know it was of this magnitude.
Having a lot of time to kill, I think this will be the place to murder it.
Damn! That mocha thingy was good. I now have a brain freeze.
This is only the third time I have ever had a Frappe. Me! The World Traveler! Ha! Now I’m spoiled. ‘Ruint’ as we say in Texas.
To top that off (my discovery of Le Boardwalk), I ran into my old Filipino Electrician from Iraq days on my way over here. File that in ‘it’s a small world after all’ department.
His name is Hernani and he was, without doubt, my best employee and also a very good friend. I have missed him and it was wonderful to see him again after almost three and a half years.
He has been here at KAF for three years now he tells me. Poor guy has been working all over the Middle East for at least twelve years, sending all his money back to the Philippines to support his wife and family.
Now here is an honorable man. I truly admire and respect him.
Hernani aka “Nani”
One of the Most Honorable Men I have ever been privileged to know
0907hrs: Boardwalk, KAF
I snuck a couple of photos—not sure on KAF about photography—best to be cautious. I suppose I could just ask, but where would be the fun in that?
Since I was starving to death, I purchased a toasted bagel with cream cheese from a joint called YO Time. The ‘O’ is a clock. Clever.
The bagel was mediocre, the cream cheese probably made from powder, but it hit my spot and I feel much better. The airfield lies in the direction I’m facing and I’ve been observing various aircraft come and go. So far about half a dozen helos, a couple of Predator Drones, couple of cargo planes, and I swear, I think I saw Air France landing.
There is a large white blimp suspended overhead. We had these in Iraq. They serve as the Eye in the Sky. ‘Gomer, watch yer ass.’
I forgot to mention that the soccer/hockey field has a jogging track circling it. I may have to try it out for a walk-about, but it is already getting hot and I really don’t want to look like I just ran in front of a fire hose… (I tend to perspire…uh, no… Sweat. A lot, when I’m working out. But that’s OK. People who don’t sweat in the desert die of heat stroke) before I get my ID photo taken.
0959hrs: CAC Badging Office
Decided better return here to see how far I’ve moved up the list: Twelve in front of me now. Looks like they have been knocking out about four per hour. “Warp Speed Mister Zulu!”
Needed more caffeine—wanted another one of those orgasmic frappes, but my self-discipline kicked in—Diet Coke—Ah! Tasty.
Before I left the badging office, I inquired to the Soldierette behind the counter, “If I have ten in front of me do I have at least an hour?” She laughed. “Yes Sir. At Least.”
The Boardwalk has really come to life in the past hour. Quite a cosmopolitan crowd here: U.S. Mil, civilians of every stripe, NATO forces, Afghani shop keepers, TCN’s and… Lance. (I deserve my own category—I have worked hard to be certifiable.) It’s disappointing that there are no hockey or football (See, I didn’t say ‘soccer’ this time in deference to my audience) matches going on. Probably that sort of activity happens only at night.
In The Rain.
When it’s cool.
I discovered this gem which was filmed during the same time I was in Afghanistan.
“I Find TGI Fridays In Afghanistan – Kandahar Boardwalk Tour” – Mike Swick
Mega Thanks to You Tuber OfficialSwick for the share
Anyway folks are walkin’ around the B’Walk stopping here, stoppin’ there, buyin’ food, eatin’ same, shootin’ the shit, cokin’ an’ smokin’ and if I didn’t know better, I’d think I was in Atlantic City.
But I know better…
GOD BLESS THE USO AND THEIR SHOWS!
We do have lots of beach here, just no water. And they do sell beer. Non-alcoholic beer. Why even bother? Might as well drink camel piss. Probably could get that too (for medicinal purposes) now that I think on it.
1112hrs: CAC Badging Office
Only three in front of me. I can see the light. Read an article in Stars & Stripes about the casualties of contractors during the rebuilding efforts in Iraq. Finally someone is giving credit to those who died doing this work!
Personally, I lost two friends there in 2007. Not best friends, but friends—killed by a roadside bomb. We were in Anbar Province at the time.
The story cited 719 killed, but the number is probably over one thousand: the USG folks estimate… according to the story. I know the number is much higher even than that.
1151hrs: CAC Badging Office: NEXT
Once saw a buxom brunette wearing a T-Shirt which read, “You can’t be the First, but you can be Next.” (Okay. I stole that line from Larry McMurtry… Please don’t tell him.)
Well, I’m next in line for the CAC’ing Experience. Feels like Christmas Eve.
1242hrs: TGI Fridays
Yep. I’m sitting in a Fridays in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Believe this shit?
Iraq was never like this!
This is almost the Real Deal.
Just need a frosty pint of my favorite Irish Stout to make it so much more Real…
Needless to say I am now the proud owner of a brand new Common Access Card, or CAC. This one is good until 31 July 2013. I am sure you are dying to know what I ordered at Fridays.
I must be boring. Well, I am, after all, in training and must treat my body as a temple. I was staring around at the décor here and I must have looked like an idiot because a Gomer wait-person came over and asked if I needed any help.
“No thank you,” I said. “Just never been to the Big City before.” He left, probably certain now that I am an idiot.
After I eat, I must try to find my way back to South Park. This should prove interesting.
Author’s Note July 11, 2021: This was a stream of consciousness from 2014, and being such, I will not edit it (overmuch). Here it is, in all of its naked, unpolished bullshit rawness.
“Uh, Mister God… Could you slow the world down just for a moment? I wanna get off. Thanks.”
Now there is a good term from the Cold War, i.e., ‘Le Space Race.’ However, it still rings true today; rings true as something, almost… unattainable, yet so very much coveted. “Escape Velocity”
Cal Gone! Take me away! (sic) Yeah: sick.
Point is, I have spent the better part of my life ‘playing’ computer games. Some might be tempted to label them ‘video’ games. (“They are NOT video games Love: they are the ways I increase my mental, mental…”)
Old Story warning here:
That guy. That guy, who used to write about distance running, what was his name? Oh Yeah! Joe Henderson; I read all of his books… Oh yeah! He died of a heart-attack… Just details… He wrote a bit. His bit went something like this:
He was ‘runnin’ down a road. Some kid says, “Hey, Hi! Mister Jogger!” He replied, “Hey Kid! I am not a jogger; I am a runner! A ‘Runner!’ Get it right!” The kid replied, “Well then, why are you jogging?”
I had to laugh; been there, et etcetera…
This is the part where I get pissed. (And when I get pissed… well, you won’t like me) The worst thing one (amongst the uninitiated) can say, proclaim: “Are you still playin’ that damn stupid video game?!!” Perfect retort: “Yes Madame. I am.” “Oh. Well, be a good boy and don’t go downtown, protesting’ and such…” “Yessum. I won’t” “Good boy there then…” “Yes, Ma’am.” (“Now Fuck Off” This is what I did truly think)
But, SHE did have a point, but MY ‘point’ swerved into something else, which I really do not wanna talk about.
But I will. My point it thus: Kids that played computer games in the Eighties are now in charge of our world. And to loosely quote Forrest Gump: “That is all I am gonna say about that.”
And P.S., Yes! I have, recently, been spending some quality time with some of my computer games. They know me there, and I don’t have to get too creative (actually, I do, but most…) Well, I don’t have to watch my language at least.
My blogging experience is failing me of late. Not to say that I do not appreciate The Community. Just to say… that I am between gigs and this is beginning to weigh upon me.
Certainly, I will be about, but please do not chastise me for not visiting your respective blogs on a respective basis. (My intent is to intentionally do so, albeit, tomorrow), yet… I am real tired.
And my health is no good.
I will catch up…
“For Love or Money”
And yeah! In case you missed my ‘subliminal’ bullshit: (The Joni song) I still miss
Tuesday Ed. Note: This Post Makes Absolutely NO SENSE
Yet another bit gleaned from my longer post of 29 Jan 2014.
“‘The Time Has Come,’ The Walrus Said, ‘To Talk of Many Things:
Of Murdered Birds, Of Turtles Green, and Hippies Sellin’ Rings.’”
My mother was probably
“The Original Hippy Chick.”
When Haight-Ashbury was in full bloom, she would not shut up about it until we ventured there.
(Just the two of us. By Ourselves. Mother and Child–You could do that in ’67–No Worries. Don’t try it today. Please Don’t try it today.)
I knew a little of the ‘Hippy Culture’ back then, yet had no desire to experience it ‘up close an’ personal.’
So one bright sunny Saturday morning we packed up the Ol’ Rusty Rambler and headed off to ‘Frisco and Haight-Ashbury.
Okay. Not Really Our ACTUAL Car
But close.Damn close.
To say that trip opened my eyes would be an understatement bordering on felonious. I was shocked, awed, amazed, bothered, bewildered, enlightened, enchanted, enthralled, and all at the same time.
The whole day was a ‘Whirling Dervish’ of attacks on my senses and emotions. I remember clearly all the people with their long hair, colorful clothing, love beads, head bands, peace signs, guitars, laughter, and smoke coming from everywhere and not smelling at all like the smoke from the cigarettes my mother used to light up.
But most of all, I remember
Music was ubiquitous and oh how I did love the music.
We walked up and down those streets for hours and I do believe my mother stopped and purchased some trinket from every single hippy-trinket-seller she visited, which by my estimation, would have been all of two hundred of them.
Not really being a trinkets-man myself, I purchased a pair of small green turtles that I wanted to rescue from a hippy life I was certain they were not well suited for.
I actually remember telling the turtles during the ride home not to worry; that they were safe now, and also apologizing to them if I had left any of their family members behind due to the fact that my meager allowance did not afford me the luxury of benevolence to purchase freedom for the whole lot of them–Even though I did beg mom for an advance to do just that.
The turtles ended up having a fine long Turtle – Life and were probably the only two green turtles to ever migrate from
Texas suited them and me, better. Much better.
Author’s Note: I am a NATIVE Texan. Born in Ladonia, 1957
(Wasn’t MY fault I was forced to live in California for too many years.)
As Always, Thank you for visiting and reading. All comments are welcomed.
This is (sort of) a continuation of my “Shonnie Series.”
And since I like things to be linear,
We shall rejoin our “Hero” just after his ‘Denouement.’
Or perhaps just after his ‘Epiphany’.
Or perhaps just after… Oh! Who the hell knows?
SHE led me to a car and we all piled in. I say ‘we all’ simply because suddenly there were three of us. Me, HER, and a miniscule blonde. I’d seen this movie before, but this time it came with a plot twist, I guess.
I have to guess.
The rest of the evening (early morning?) lies deeply submerged somewhere in the nether regions of my addled murky-muddled-memory.
After about twenty minutes… I am once again, ‘guesstimating’ here.
Could’ve been an hour or more.
After about ‘twenty’ minutes we arrived at a ‘house’.
Could have been an apartment. Could have been a barn. Could have been The Ritz-Carlton. Could have been a flying fucking saucer.
Hell! I do not remember; is what I’m saying.
My torturously painful thoughts of losing Shonnie combined with copious quantities of consumed alcohol had done a seriously ‘detrimental-mental’ on my ability to exhibit fully functional, lucid behavior.
The wheel was turning, but the hamster was dead. My alligator did not go all the way to the top. There was a spammer in my works. Elvis had left the building with my mind.
In other words, I was a mess.
SHE took me inside and led me straight-away to a bed, in a room… A bedroom. Best guess. If memory serves, a rather liberal and generous assumption, we had sex. Violent sex. (Not ‘violent’ violent. Let’s just call it ‘intense.’)
SHE was no less than six foot and change and as I did report earlier, ‘Big-Boned.” I swear, I saw my life’s movie flash in front of me as she covered me and had her way. (And of course, me mine)
As we lay there ‘after’ in someone else’s bed, she remarked, “Well, that should keep your self-winding watch going for a few days.”
I had to laugh, right before I drifted off. Passed out.
Completely whacked out and totally done in.
It was an immensely satisfying sweet sense of surrender.
The next morning I awoke with the sun singeing my eyes through a casually, carelessly placed shadeless window (What’s wrong with these people?)
I could smell bacon. I rolled over and looked at my watch: 0630. I had a sudden start. Then realized it was Sunday, not a work day, and I did not have ‘duty’ on my ship. I could go back to sleep, un-worried.
But oh no! SHE was up and about. So who was cooking bacon?
(I’d forgotten about Tiny Blondie.)
“Oh. You’re awake?” She said.
“Uh, yeah. Kinda,” was all I could muster. “Where am I? Who are you?”
Not an intelligent question, probably a dangerous, stupid, perilous one, but then, I was hung over and still groggy, and surely she wouldn’t take advantage of a mentally incapacitated, defenseless sailor.
“I am the woman to be named later,” she laughed while poking me in the ribs. (Which hurt for some reason)
I rolled over to face her. She was indeed, Beautiful. Very Beautiful. Stunningly Beautiful. Makes one’s eyes water Beautiful.
She was right out of a fantasy, with gloriously long, luscious, dark brown hair.Hair so long, so ‘deep’ so thick that a hapless sailor could go missing in it for days on end.
Long, bronze-tanned perfectly symmetrical legs that seemed to go on for days, shapely firm breasts that simply defy description, sultry dark, dark eyes channeling mystery–too much mystery.
Raw, unfiltered sexuality poured from every fiber of her.
It was unnerving.
Not necessarily in a bad way,
But I was all ‘myster-ied’ out and the only fantasy I was holding was ‘getting back that girl I had before.’ That little short, pale, half-ginger one with the electric blue eyes and the volatile attitude.
I was spent.
Running on empty.
I was exhausted, emotionally, mentally, physically.
Send my saddle home.
I needed comfort. I needed soft. I needed tender. I needed sweet. I needed to beheld and caressed.
Not fucked to within an inch of my life.
I needed Gidget. I needed Gilligan’s Island Mary Ann, I needed Samantha Stevens, I needed Amy Adams, or even Mary Poppins.
As lucky and grateful as I was to have found myself sharing, if only briefly, a bed with this goddess of a woman, I was not certain nor confident I was capable of surviving yet another encounter with such an intimidating representative of the ‘fairer’ sex.
Not yet, anyhow.
Not just yet.
My world seemed to be teeming with ‘Snakes and Ladders’.
“It Breaks Your Heart Just Looking At Her.”
–Joni: Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm 1988
“You don’t remember my name?” She asked after lighting a cigarette.
“To be stupidly and painfully honest, no I don’t.”
“No matter. I am called ‘Layla’. Ring any bells?” (I wish I were making this up)
See this below if you’re puzzled by my ‘Layla PTSD.’
Thinking I had just fallen ass-over-tit into Dante’s Inferno it occurred to me that I needed to change my Sailor–Ways.
First Contrition, then Absolution, then Redemption, then…
Oh! Screw that! What I really needed was a Bloody Mary. A Super-Sized BloodyMary. And soon! As in five minutes soon, if not sooner.
My mind had wandered off somewhere.
Layla repeated her question,
“Ring any bells?”
“Uh. No. Should bells be ringing? I don’t like bells. Every time I hear bells ringing, something bad happens.”
Rolling her eyes, à la ‘Shonnie’, she said, “So… You’re a Sailor? Yes?”
“Yes. And what are you? And are you from around here?”
“Not from around here. I’m just visiting my cousin. She is the one cooking breakfast.”
“Yeah. I can smell bacon.”
“Good nose. I like that in a man. Have you an appetite?”
“From some memory of last night, I’d have to say ‘affirmative’.”
“Hahahahah! Yep. You do, Sailor Man. Yep, you sure do.”
“So, if you’re not from here. Where are you ‘from’, and what do you do?”
“I’m from Wisconsin. I work as a bartender. I’m also a bouncer, when the need is needed. Oh, and I love to ride Harleys.”
“Perfection, I thought. Now what Cowboy? Shit. Here I am again…”
I had ‘some leave-days-on-the-books’ and seriously considered at that moment that I should take them and head home to Texas to get a re-start on my psyche saki… get a ‘refresh’ on my Texan Accent, recharge my Ni-Cad batteries, take a break.
Well, spelling and lucid, rational thinking ain’t never been my thing, but you know what I mean here.
Sooner or later, it will all make perfect, logical sense.
I mean, I was still ‘re-bounding’ for glory and quite honestly, still heart-sick over my loss of Shonnie. But I did have some time, eh? Didn’t I? Meaning I was still relatively young and deep at heart, a perpetual cock-eyed-optimist.
And I was a good and decent man.
Most of the time.
But Shonnie had set me back.
Set me back and set me down.
Something must be done.
Something had to give.
My mind was in a very bad place.
“Hey Sailor! You want breakfast and some blood mary, or what?” came her voice from some foggy-in-my-head place below.
Apparently, while lost in thought, I hadn’t noticed She’d left me all alone.
“Uh… Yeah! I mean yes! I’ll be right down!”
“The pitfalls of the city are extremely real.”
Credit: AustinCityLimitsTV—October, 1974
“The Biker-Bartender-Bouncer Chick, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Part Two”
Commentary Below From Original Version of this Post
Please Read From Bottom Up for Continuity
18 THOUGHTS ON “THE BIKER, BOUNCER, BARTENDER, BIG-BONED GAL FROM MILWAUKEE”
johncoyote March 7, 2021 at 05:42 Edit
I enjoyed this story. I was station in Texas for almost seven years. I loved the Texas gals. They asked you to dance and they were fast and fearless. I liked the girl that cooked a meal in the morning. And we talk some after. Thank you for sharing the entertaining tale.
LAMarcom August 13, 2015 at 01:45 Edit
Reblogged this on Texan Tales & Hieroglyphics and commented:
How can one go wrong with Willie?
LAMarcom July 28, 2014 at 18:34 Edit
LVital7019 July 28, 2014 at 18:27 Edit
Well, don’t go changin’! I like your stories!
LAMarcom July 28, 2014 at 17:33 Edit
It has been said before!
LVital7019 July 28, 2014 at 14:14 Edit
Dare I say – You TRAMP, you! LOL 😉
LAMarcom July 25, 2014 at 22:28 Edit
You are too kind my friend.
I do thank you though.
markbialczak July 25, 2014 at 21:26 Edit
With Shonnie, your adventures were better than Tom Sawyer’s. With Layla, now you’re going after the legend of Huck Finn. You were something else, my friend Lance.
LAMarcom July 23, 2014 at 23:31 Edit
~ Sadie ~ July 23, 2014 at 23:02 Edit
You know I will!! 😉
LAMarcom July 23, 2014 at 22:55 Edit
Thank you Sadie.
My mood(s) currently won’t let me continue this one for the next few days.
But… Never Fear!
The words will come, by an’ by…
And I hope you will read.
~ Sadie ~ July 23, 2014 at 22:32 Edit
Can’t wait to read more, Lance!! 🙂 You know I love your stories!!
LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:29 Edit
It only hurt when I laughed.
Thanks for stopping by T. ‘Preciate it.
Teela Hart July 22, 2014 at 16:38 Edit
I’m with Nancytex.
You definitely need a Samantha.
Can’t wait to read the next installment.
LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 10:36 Edit
If you could have seen Layla, you’d understand. I quickly recovered. (I was young and bulletproof back then ya know?)
Thanks for reading. There will be more to this story….
NancyTex July 22, 2014 at 10:33 Edit
My mind is bouncing all around trying to figure out why your ribs would be hurting. That’s some aggressive sexy, my friend.
LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 08:10 Edit
I read Willie’s autobiography many, many years ago. I suspect if he knew how long he was to live (and may he outlive me), he would have waited some more decades before he penned that ‘biopic.’
At any rate, I do concur: Willie is a fascinating character and a fascinating character study and also a Texas Treasure.
As for me… well, to me marriage was never much more binding than a handshake. This is why after four, I have now sworn off marriages. Just call me Hamlet: “There will be no more marriages!” Get this boy to a nunnery!
Thanks Pain for reading and commenting. Always thought provoking and a pleasure to read.
Cheers My Friend,
Exile on Pain Street July 22, 2014 at 06:29 Edit
I was never able to pull of instantaneous, anonymous sex with a stranger when I was younger. I wish I could have because you sure make it sound fun. But I was so wracked with a crippling case of low self-esteem that I never tried. And now that I’m married, it’s too late. THERE’S a lesson for you.
I’ve been listening to Willie Nelson be interviewed on Howard Stern all morning. What an amazing life that guy had! Willie, that is. Not Stern.
Alternate Title: “Fairy-Tales can come true; it can happen to you if you’re young at heart… and stupid and credulous and careless and think you’re bulletproof.”
But be forewarned: They are fleeting, ephemeral, transitory.
“You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams, if you’re young at heart.”
I’m callin’ ‘Bullshit’ on that statement.
Frank Sinatra – Young At Heart – 1953
Video Credit: kopbyt123
Or, if you prefer: “Big-Boned Rescue Gal”
(Or All of The Above: Virtual Ink is Cheap Enough)
Nothing to do now but drive away and discover what happens next. No point in trying to flee at a high rate of speed. Most Harleys (when they are not broken down) will outrun a heavy-ass Toranado. Which brings to mind a t-shirt one of MY biker friends often wore.
Yes, I had some biker friends. They were also sailors, but I don’t think that disqualifies them.
The T-shirt read: “I’d rather push my Harley than ride your Honda.”
So off I drove into the predawn. Never having what could be remotely considered decent navigation skills, I just headed in the general direction of what I thought to be south, hoping to hit I-Five, which would lead me to 32nd Street Naval Base and my ship. And of course I kept frequently glancing in my rear-view.
Billy, or whomever, did in fact follow me, yet at a respectful distance. At one point I contemplated stopping and asking him for directions, but in the end thought better of that.
Eventually, either he got bored, lost his nerve, or ran out of gas. Anyway, he disappeared from my radar. I made it back to the USS Callaghan with just enough time to change into my dungarees and make morning muster.
When the 1MC announced “Knock off Ship’s Work” at 1600hrs, I quickly changed into my civvies and ‘hit the beach’.
I grabbed a pay phone on the pier and called Shonnie up at work.
“You were expecting maybe… Madonna?”
Ignoring her classic wit, I said “Are you okay?”
“Yes of course, why wouldn’t I be?”
Uh oh. Her tone did not bode well. “Perhaps you caught amnesia. Did Billy come calling?”
“Uh, yeah. He did.”
“Come on Shonnie, what happened?”
“He begged me to open the door, so finally I let him in.”
She didn’t seem to want to talk about this, but damn it! I was in ‘need-to-know’ status. ‘Hey! I’m needin’ to know here!’ (Sorry Dustin)
“Well? Do I have to drag this out of you?”
“Listen Lance, he broke down and cried All Right! He promised to be a better husband and father. He begged me to take him back. He is the Father of my Son, Goddamn it! What-the-fuck-do-you-expect-me-to-do?”
(Kids always trump lovers. I suppose this is as it should be, but… this asshole was abusive. At least that was her early story.)
“So, you’re getting back together then?” I felt as if I had been kicked in the solar plexus.
Hard and more than once.
It was becoming difficult to breathe.
“You sure about this?”
“Yes. I am.”
“Goddamn it Shonnie! You can’t do this to ME! To US!”
“It has to be this way Lance.”
“Well, I guess that’s it then.”
I quickly scoured my brain for something else to add but could not continue the conversation.
“Yeah. I guess it is. Goodbye Lance.” She hung up.
“That’s IT??!!” I screamed into the dead receiver.
All clawing at my mind, tearing apart my heart, climbing over each other in their effort to get to the top of my emotional hit parade.
I never saw this coming!
I slammed the receiver into the phone and watched it bounce out and fall toward the ground, stopped short by the silver metal tether. I stood there vacantly staring at it for a moment as it aimlessly swayed back and forth, pendulum-like.
Suppose at some point I walked toward my car, because that is where I ended up. As soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat I realized I was crying.
There seemed to be a pattern developing here:
Talk to Shonnie. Then grown men cry.
Note to self: ‘research this.’
Fuck! This Hurts! Hurts Real Bad.
I sat there and watched my heart breaking.
Bits and pieces of it fell to the floorboard.
Linda Ronstadt – Heart Like A Wheel (1976) Offenbach, Germany
A couple of weeks later I was kidnapped by some buddies from my ship.
“Marcom, you done been moping around for too long. We’re goin’ out tonight to a great joint. No arguments. Just grab yer shit and come on.”
I had to acquiesce.
Mark and Tommy mounted their Harleys. Frank, Lenny, and I climbed into Lenny’s ’68 orange Chevelle, which he referred to as his “She-Vail” Accent on the ‘Vail.’
Of ‘course’ it was ‘hot-rodded’ up, racing stripes, loud pipes, loud stereo, the whole bit. He loved that damn car. Talked about it more than booze or women.
“Where we goin’?” I asked after about five minutes of ear-splitting Guns N’ Roses (Lenny waxed and waned between ‘Pure Country’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ depending on his mood and blood alcohol level.)
“Goin’ to IB,” he shouted over Welcome to the Jungle. (‘Imperial Beach’ for those who may not have had the opportunity to visit some of the classier environs south of San Diego.) One can actually ‘smell’ Tijuana from IB, not an entirely unpleasant smell if the wind is right and it ain’t summertime.
Welcome to Imperial Beach
HAZMAT Gear On Tap for Rental at Cook’s Corner Boutique & Bar
(Subject to Availability)
We were just a couple of car lengths behind Mark and Tommy straddling their Harleys, puking blue smoke, and producing one hundred decibels above what OSHA would consider workplace violence.
They had effortlessly and instantly metamorphosed from ‘A-Jay-Squared-Away Sailors’ into ‘So-Cal Bikers’…
Replete with all the garb: leather jackets, black jack-boots, Brando Hats, ‘too dark to see through’ sunglasses.
The whole bit.
We passed through National City, (‘Nasty City’) then Chula Vista, (Chew, Ya-Wanna?’).
I couldn’t help but think of Shonnie and how much she would have loved this ‘adventure.’ And I with her, experiencing it together. Damn! Damn her! I missed her still!
“Almost there!” Lenny shouted as we pulled off of I-5 and tacked somewhat west toward the Pacific.
“Almost where?!” I shouted back, but Lenny said nothing. After navigating through some of Imperial Beach’s “Nicer Hoods” our little caravanserai pulled into a gravel parking lot, which presumably belonged to the ramshackle ‘Joint’ I now found me staring at. Lots of Harleys in the lot. I cannot recall the name of the establishment, but it was something along the lines of “The Salty Frog.” or “IB Bar N’ Grill” or “Busted Spoke.”
Oh wait! Now I remember!
No matter, I was only interested in drink, not ambience. Mark and Tommy dismounted as Frank, Lenny, and I ‘de-She-Vailed’ and headed into the ‘Dew Drop Inn’ or, what-you-will.
Inside, the joint wasn’t too bad. Good A/C, low lighting, a couple of pool tables and lots of… Yep: bikers. Well, why not? I was sick to death of the memory of the squeaky-clean C/W Joint where I had first met Shonnie and this place was as far removed from that type of joint as I could ever hope to get.
We found a table against a back wall and proceeded headlong into the arms of intoxication. As I was not expected to drive (this was sort of a ‘coming back out of the shadow of death’ party for me after all), I planned to “Drink that woman offa my mind.”
“Drinkin’ My Baby (Off My Mind)”–Eddie Rabbitt
The drinks flowed and the bullshit rolled (mostly downhill into my lap, as it was well known that I was in ‘lost love recovery’ mode.) I won’t go into detail about how piercingly eloquent we all became during the course of the evening. Mainly because I cannot remember all the pearls of wisdom which were cast back and forth amongst us swine.
What I do recall was my exit:
Roughly fifteen minutes after Last Call, and as all the patrons began to shuffle (or in my case, stagger) toward the exit, I ran headlong into an immovable object: probably because I was trying to guide my feet one step at a time with my eyes cast downward and not really paying attention to the ‘bigger picture’ part of navigation.
‘Situational Awareness’ is overrated and for cowards anyway.
Looking up I realized I had run into a woman. A very tall, very large woman. Not a fat woman, mind you, but a tall and large Jumbotron of a woman. I mean a ‘Big-Boned Gal.’ A fuckin’-beautiful-brunette-dark-eyed Big Bone Woman, who, praise Neptune, did not appear angered by my clumsiness.
I found my voice and said, “Hi… Uh… I’m Lance. Will you take me home? With you?”
BBG smiled down at me, “Yes. I sure will,” she said as she took me by the hand.
I wanted to tell her that I was a refugee from a disconcerted affair, mourning over the one that got away, but even thinking about Tom Waits, let alone quoting him, would have hurled me into an emotional tailspin and probably also into a drunken crying jag for added melodramatic value.
I dared not risk it, so I shut up and silently allowed her to lead me to her vehicle.
Well I’ve lost my equilibrium and my car keys and my pride, The tattoo parlor’s warm, and so I hustle there inside And the grinding of the buzz-saw, “What you want that thing to say?” I says,
“Just don’t misspell her name buddy, she’s the one that got away”
But as they say (Always ‘They’. Who ARE ‘They?’ The ‘They’ who always say?)
“Nothing gets you over the last one like the next one.”
My recovery was officially underway.
Thank You Big-Boned Gal!
Street Cred for Vid: barefootkd’s channel
This Concludes Our ‘All Things Shonnie’ Broad Cast (no pun). We now return you to our regularly scheduled insanity.
Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I was ‘enjoined’ to write it.
However, BOLO for some ‘Final Thoughts Part Duh’ coming real soon.
I’d provide them today, but they are gonna be Real ‘Heavy,’ Real ‘Philosophical,’ Real ‘Tedious,’ and Real ‘Sad.’
And I am not up to the task of laying them down just yet.
Peace and Beer to all Y’all!
Oh! I almost forgot.
“Coming Soon: More Big Boned Gal“
If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below
And then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” i.e., The Lancelot Links:
Comments from the original version of this post may be discovered below.
Please read from the bottom up for continuity.
18 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE: DENOUEMENT”
LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:42 Edit
Youth is a magic healing bullet.
Thank you very much for reading this long series. Your time spent here is greatly appreciated. I know how busy all of us are and there are TONs of blogs out there to read.
I am very grateful you took the time to read mine.
Tony Single July 22, 2014 at 19:09 Edit
Fantastic read. Truth be told, I was actually a little gutted at the end. I’m not sure I could go through a break up like that.
LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 18:19 Edit
So glad you are enjoying the tale.
Yeah, lost loves can be painful, especially when one is young and doesn’t yet possess the thick skin for protection.
Thanks very much for reading and commenting.
Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 11:13 Edit
Great story Lance.
I enjoyed every minute.
I know how it is with lost loves.
I’m not sure I could write about mine, but I have to say once again that you have skills dude.
Can’t wait for the next adventure.
LAMarcom July 17, 2014 at 20:22 Edit
Thanks my good friend.
Truth be told, I’m glad that one is done. I’m rather emotionally exhausted.
Time to move on to other Tales O’ Texas (and other places)
Have a wonderful eve,
markbialczak July 17, 2014 at 20:19 Edit
You got, you gave. Good story, Lance. A little better than good. Great, possibly. Told well, sir, told well.
lauramacky July 17, 2014 at 12:29 Edit
LAMarcom July 17, 2014 at 11:38 Edit
Hahaha! Well, ya know… I was just a simple sailor.
David Scott Moyer July 17, 2014 at 09:37 Edit
I enjoyed it. Seems like you did too, for the most part.
lauramacky July 17, 2014 at 09:28 Edit
Well that didn’t take long. Out with the old, in with the new I guess! LOL. Another lol was one of Imperial Beaches “Nicer Hoods”…reminds me of Oakland hahaha
LAMarcom July 17, 2014 at 08:19 Edit
Worse woman tango! Hahaha! Love it!
happierheathen July 17, 2014 at 01:43 Edit
The only cure for the bad woman blues is the worse woman tango. 😀
Thanks for filling in the blanks, hombre. (That’s pronounced as Daffy Duck pronounces it: Homber.)
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 22:09 Edit
In truth, Sadie, I am happy to put Shonnie to bed.
And also in truth, I would like to ‘bed’ her just one-more-time.
For old time’s sake.
~ Sadie ~ July 16, 2014 at 22:04 Edit
I hope it was as cathartic for you to write it as it was enjoyable for me to read it 🙂 There’s some good memories there . . .
Peace out, Lance ☮
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 21:13 Edit
Time for me to move on, and truthfully, aside from a couple of ‘relapses’, that was the end of me and Shonnie.
You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.
And thanks so much for reading the series; means much to me.
Always love your comments.
David Scott Moyer July 16, 2014 at 21:09 Edit
I’ll believe it’s over when I believe it’s over.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 21:05 Edit
Thanks for readin’ Annie.
Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann July 16, 2014 at 21:04 Edit