This Post is a Continuation of a Promise I made to Me (And to Y’all, Gentle Readers) to write about Sinai Field Mission. For brevity’s sake (The Soul of Wit), I am breaking it down into snippets. To catch the back story, actually the forward story, please go here:
Me and Boeing’s 747 partners: Wheels Down at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv Israel late one afternoon, October 1977, just a couple of days before Halloween, found the Talmud. I mean tarmac.
My final destination, however was not Judea; it was The Sinai Desert, to live for eighteen months-plus on a mountain-top base camp, Dubbed ‘Caddo Mountain’, (In deference to the Texans who built it and ran it and to whom I would soon become a compadre) some shit-hole between the Gidi and Mitla Passes: Historically, the only two routes armies could pass from east to west or west to east across burning Sinai to thwack upon each other’s opponents’ heads.
I was 40 days leeward of twenty years and a little more than apprehensive. (These Two States, Egypt & Israel, were still technically, At War)
I knew some of the history, but I couldn’t be bothered that day about ‘Ancient’ History (Yom Kippur War, Six-Day War, ‘Suez War’ of ‘56, Holocaust. Nope: I was here for ‘New History’, ‘My History’, ‘My Adventure’: A Dangerous Desolate Gig (my first). I had never been out of CONUS (Continental United States) before.
And I was stoked. A fresh-faced, bullet-proof Texan Kid newly escaped from Louisiana and cock-strong! Fuck did I care for Mid-East Politics? I am here! Step right up! Texas has arrived! “Step aside, Son!”
Gathering my luggage (my father’s old sea-bag left over from his USMC Korean War days) and a few other bags, laden with tennis shoes, workout gear, books and magazines… way too much superfluous shit, I scampered to find my liaison, struggling with all my kit.
Finding him, a tall, skinny, thin-haired, gaunt-faced, ‘Middle-East-Hardened’ Texan Veteran (four months here previous to me, I discovered later), man who spoke with an air of, ‘Oh, you’re the ‘New Kid’… Follow me’ he said laconically.
He looked an old thirty-five to me. (Later I found out he was twenty-nine, but we were all so young there. Back then.)
Ignoring his attitude, I tried very hard to ‘get into the groove.’ It was hellishly hot, even for an October—a Texas October. I had jet lag and fatigue like a pup that had been crated too long. Even though I was ‘stoked’, all I really wanted was a gallon of really cold orange juice, an air-conditioned hotel room, and a bed. The ‘plane ride’ from Dallas to Tel Aviv had robbed me of some (I thought) important part of my young life and my health. I was severely dehydrated, completely spent, and pretty much left wondering if I had made some horrible mistake.
But, I sucked it up.
After a hot and hotter and even hotter bizarre drive (The Road signs looked so foreign to me, some form of hieroglyphic—never having seen Hebrew before—had not at that point read the Old Testament) from Ben Gurion Airport, through the busy streets of Tel Aviv (me resisting the urge to ask, “Hey! are we there yet?”) we arrived at the Mediterranean Sea and the Sheraton Hotel.
My ‘liaison’ deposited me at the front desk of the ‘New’ Sheraton Hotel on HaYarkon Street Tel Aviv, telling me in parting,
“The R&R Vehicle leaves at 0800hrs; meet here in the lobby. Don’t be late. Goodbye.”
I checked in, and got me that room, such as it was. It was more a closet than a room, but it was cool and clean, and there was that bed tucked away in the corner…
I grew into manhood in the Sinai Desert: 1977-1980. Missed out on Disco, but it was damn well worth it.
Who needed Disco anyway? I served a ‘higher’–figuratively and literally–‘calling’.
What you may choose to read below is the first installment of a personal history I am determined to write about the men and women I had the honor to know, to love, to work and walk among, and to call ‘Friend’, as we all tried in our way, to bring peace between the Egyptians and the Israelis after the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
Yom Kippur War / 3 Minute History
(Your Humble Author Highly Recommends You Invest Three Minutes Watching This)
Content Credit: Jabzy
The conditions were harsh, the boredom at times mind-numbing. Seventy-five percent of us were under thirty. Almost all of us were Texans. Roughly eighty-five percent of us were male, fourteen percent female, and one percent ‘other.’
We were not actually building anything discernible, tangible, touchable. We were in fact, merely acting as civilian ‘Paid Political Hostages,’ not construction contractors, not U.S. Military Special Forces, not United Nations Representatives.
I suppose a more euphemisticterm for us would have been “Observers.” Which, as I recall, was how the U.S. Foreign Service ‘Officially’ referred to us and our mission.
Yet we still preferred ‘Paid Political Hostages’, as itseemed to more accurately and honestly describe how we saw our role there.
But however you referred to us, we ended up ‘constructing’ something immensely more important than bricks and mortar:
The Camp David Accords
Peace! Peace between two enemies who had not known peace since before Moses was a pup, if ever…
This ‘Peace’ would never have come to fruition if not for men and women (and ‘other’) of The Sinai Field Mission.
This paralyzed fact can never be disputed, nor ignored.
A faint laughing snort escaped as I shook my head upon seeing that sign duct-taped to the door of the hooch belonging to some of my fellow drivers:
‘Rocket Tom’, ‘J.R. Mog’, ‘Jet’, and ‘Big Mo’. Big Mo wasn’t a driver per se; I mean he didn’t drive trucks or R&R passenger vehicles: He drove dozers, road graders, front-end loaders, and the occasional fork lift, although he considered fork-lifts “Too wussy for a Texan named Big Mo” to drive.
I gave the door a hearty knock.
Opening the door, I was enveloped in a cloud of smoke shoved out by the cold air conditioning.
The contrast from the hot Sinai air shocked my senses, but felt oh, so… inviting. I stepped inside the doorway and paused, giving my eyes a moment to adjust to the subdued lighting in the hooch.
(The sun in Sinai is blindingly bright, and extremely so.)
My ears were loudly and violently assaulted by ZZ Top’s ‘TUSH,’
Blasting from Mog’s Boom Box.
Video Credit: wiieje
Seated around an empty cable spool (about three feet in diameter), were three fourths of the usual suspects: Mog, Jet, and Rocket Tom.
“You just gonna stand there, or ya gonna have a seat?” Mog demanded. Then added, “Hey Rocket! Crank down th’ volume on that shit. We dun got us here a ‘special’ guest!”
“ZZ Top ain’t “Shit”, Mog. An’ I ain’t seein’ no ‘special’ guest. I jes’ seein’ Lancer.” Rocket yelled back overZZ, as he got up, walked over to the box and ‘Turned that “Shit” down’.
Laughter all around. And at my expense. It was just our ‘way,’ our good-natured way–
Crates full of great, and sincere, camaraderie.
None of us took life (nor one another) too seriously.
J.R. Mog, was a corpulent, charismatic, boisterous, ‘talks too loud’ Texan who generally had the first (and last) word in any conversation.
His full, Proper, Official Title was “J. R. Mog, Half-Man, Half-Alligator, Part-Time Hog; Tamer of Wild Women and Other Assorted Interests.”
Or… simply just ‘Mog’ for short (Thank God).
“How y’all?” I said, taking a seat on one of the camel saddles which served as chairs.
Scattered about the tabletop were a couple of small pipes, a chunk of hashish the size of a pregnant golf ball, an overflowing ashtray, three or four empty beer bottles (Amstel), a couple of magazines, a crumpled pack of Marlboros, a Moët & Chandon bottle with a burnt up candle stuck in it, wax coating it all around and down to the top of the table thus cementing it there, and something that looked like it might have been an orange in a former life.
Mog answered, “We just finer ‘n frog hair. Wanna beer? You know where the fridge is.”
“Matter of fact, I do,” I said, getting up and tacking back and forth through the piles of dirty clothes, homemade furniture, shards of beer bottles, and stacked-up cases of Amstel, Heineken, and Tuborg Squash—a heavily carbonated orange soda from Denmark—the best thing on Earth for the morning cotton-mouth most of us suffered more mornings than not.
(May have had something to do with smoking hash and drinking late into the night, but that’s just my theory.)
I returned with a Heineken and sat back down, taking a swig as I did so.
Jet said, “Well, Lancer, now that you’re all settled, we can fire us up a bowl.”
(I had not done anything noteworthy enough up until this point at Sinai Field Mission to warrant a moniker other than my given Christian name).
Using a Buck Knife, Jet proceeded to carve some hash off the golf ball, then mixing the slivers with some tobacco, stuffed one of the pipes and lit it with a Zippo.
We passed the ‘bowl’ around, refilling it a few times here and there, then settled back with our beers.
Jet, the oldest at the table–about thirty—wore a goatee, long brown hair on top of a head that looked a little too big for the rest of his frame. He had a laconic manner, but was not what one could ever call ‘brusque’. He just didn’t say much. He seemed to save his words like cash money is what I’m saying.
Presently, he asked, “Mog, when’s your next run to TA?” (‘TA’ = Tel Aviv).
Mog (who spent words with reckless abandon) replied, “I got the fuckin’ R&R run tomorrow. Shit! Hey Lance, what you got? Wanna trade?”
Mog hated the R&R runs mainly because R&R runs involved taking passengers. He loved driving the trucks into ‘Town’. Two reasons: He loved trucks and he loved to drive trucks very, very fast. Mog was a great driver, but riding with him scared the shit out of me.
“Sure Mog; I’ll trade with ya.”
“Which run you got?” he asked, now slightly wary at my all-too-quick agreement.
See THIS Recent Post:
“Aw Shit No! Forget it,” Mog said loudly.
SFM Basecamp lies roughly thirty ‘klicks’ from the Suez Canal. Every day an R&R vehicle left SFM to rendezvous with the one coming from Cairo. Passengers and mail were exchanged via a small boat. Then continue on to Cairo or back to SFM.
Having ‘The Canal Run’ meant getting off-base only for an hour or two or three, dependent upon how the ‘Sand Storm Gods’ were disposed on any given day.
Going to Tel Aviv meant driving only four hours, checking into the Sheraton and having the rest of the day and night to paint the town red with Per Diem and whatever else one wanted to contribute or muster out of his own purse.
Mog had an Israeli girlfriend in Tel Aviv, actually she was his fiancée, and he took all the Tel Aviv runs he could get, so he could go see ‘The Little Mama’.
In fact, all the drivers had Israeli girlfriends except Big Mo. His ‘Honey-Co’ was a Big-Boned, Brunette ‘Tall Drank O’ Water,’ Texan Gal, working for SFM, just like the rest of us.
Her moniker was ‘Big Mammu’ and if those two didn’t eventually get united in hellish matrimony, then I say ‘Fuck it.’ There is no hope for the rest of the world. Perfect for each other they were, is all I’m saying.
Rocket Tom was a wiry, slightly nervous-energy type about five-foot ten, with long dark brown hair and a full beard. Even though he was Pure Texan, his accent spoke ‘Tennessee’ to me: Probably genetic since most Texans have Tennessee bones buried somewhere in their family closets.
“Y’all just gettin’ back from the TA?” Rocket drawled in my direction.
“Yeah. Had the Reefer Run. The KP’s unloading her now.”
“Well,” he went on, “I hope y’all brought back some ah that Israeli choc’late milk this time.”
“Sorry Bro; they still fresh out at the market.”
“Well shit-fire!” he yelled, suddenly jumping up to his feet. “How they spec’ us to keep our mo’ral here in the Middle-of-the-Fuckin’-East, Sinai fuckin’ field mission, hot-ass desert without no Goddamn choc’late milk?”
(He did love his chocolate milk, especially after a smoked bowl or two of the hubbly-bubbly, which for us was another word for hashish, although technically, it means the water pipe we sometimes used to smoke it in, often mixed with a sticky sweet Egyptian honey tobacco—very pleasant aroma, that.)
Mog chimed in, “Hell an’ God-awmighty Rocket! Calm the fuck on down Son! Y’all need to lay off that shit anyhow. I believe you done put on a pound or two just this week, ‘specially round yer middle section there.”
(Rocket Tom weighed about 140 pounds, soaking wet. With-his-boots-on).
Mog continued on the roll he was working himself up to, “Lancers, that reefer truck still got both its mirrors attached?”
Laughter all around. (Rocket, now sated and satisfied by his outburst, had sat, and ‘calmed-the-fuck-down’…)
I had become notorious with the drivers (and somewhat despised & infamously regarded by the mechanics) for losing the driver’s side swing-out mirrors off four trucks in the past two weeks.
The roads through the desert were quite narrow with no shoulders at all. And in fact, there was usually a sharp drop off which if hit, would cause a fast moving, top heavy, loaded-down truck to flip over. I was cognizant of this and would never give up my half of the road.
No Matter What.
Too often I would encounter an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) truck with some pimple-faced kid, fresh off the Kibbutz at the wheel barreling down upon me from the opposite direction, taking his half of the road from the middle.
Inevitably our mirrors would collide. And violently so. Since SFM’s trucks all had air conditioning, my windows were always rolled up, saving me from being smacked by the mirror as it smashed against the side of the truck.
The IDF guys, well probably not, as their trucks, to my knowledge, did not come with factory air.
“Yeah Mog. She still got both her mirrors.”
“Well, did ya leave any crippled jackasses in yer wake this time?” Mog laughed.
On my very first R&R run to Tel Aviv I was driving our Chevy Van loaded full with twelve passengers, two of whom were high-ranking State Department pukes. I was a bit nervous, and was trying to drive oh so carefully and safely, as I felt my future as a driver depended upon it.
Somewhere just south of Al Arish, we came upon a couple of donkeys in the road.
I started slowing down, but not wanting to hit the brakes too suddenly or too hard, thereby throwing my passengers forward, I misjudged and hit one of the jackasses square in the ass. His hind legs flew out from underneath him and his butt hit the road.
He managed to get back up on his legs, then turned and glared at me as he stumbled off. I drove on down the road as if nothing had happened and saw a Bedouin in my rear view mirror shaking his fist and spewing what I theorized were some choice words at me in Arabic.
“Naw. Overall it was a borin’ trip,” I said. Then added, “Mog, you sure you don’t wanna take my Canal Run tomorrow?”
“Son, you know Goddamn well I don’t. Last time I had that run…”
(Here it comes, another ‘Mog Story’)
“I got stuck for two hours behind a broke-dick-of-a’-Egyptian-lame-ass-broke-down-convoy. They had the whole damn road covered up with their doubya-doubya-two wrecks-on-wheels. Musta been twenny of ‘em. I’m tryin’ to figure out how to get around, but they had the unmitter-grated gall to break down ‘tween two fuckin’ sand dunes…“
“Nothin’ I could do but set an’ wait ‘em out. I’ll be Goddamn-go-to-Hell if their tow truck finally shows, and she pro-ceeds to break down her own damn self! Jesus, Mary and Yosef!“
“My passengers goin’ all stupid worryin’ an’ frettin’ they ain’t gonna get to Cairo in time to catch their planes for R&R back to The Land of the Big PX and the All-Night Restaurant.”
“I tells ’em the other vehicle gonna wait there at the crossin’, ‘So why don’t Y’all just shut the fuck up!’”
“Uh… Mog,” Rocket interjected, “There weren’t no USG types in your vehicle, were they?”
“Ah Hell No! Rocket. You know I am always po-lite as pie when those State Department assholes are on-board. Anyways, as I was sayin’, we settin’ there wonderin’ when the next tow truck gonna show, so I call ahead to Mohammad to see if he at the canal yet. Finally managed to get him on the radio and tole him to set tight. I’d get there when I got there.“
A word here about the convoys that travelled through the ‘Buffer Zone’. The Egyptians had nothing but World War Two era Russian trucks and every time they attempted a convoy, they broke down.
Sure as God made Texas, they were gonna break down.
The Israelis, on the other hand, had all-new trucks and tanks, and planes, most of which they got from the U.S. when Nixon bailed them out during the first half of the two-week-long Yom Kippur War when the Egyptians were actually kicking the ever’-lovin’ shit outta their Israeli asses.
There was a massive air-lift of new military hardware to the Israelis so they would not get pushed into the Mediterranean.
Now, I’m not saying the Israelis didn’t deserve credit for ‘winning’ that war in the end, (and some would still call it a ‘draw’), but without the infusion of new equipment from Tricky-Dick and Hank Kissinger, well…
Mog continued, “Well, with nothin’ to do now but wait her out, I went to see if I could find some ‘Gyptian could give me an idee of just how much longer they gonna be blockin’ my road.
After wading through some wearing they jammies and wantin’ baksheesh, I found an officer who spoke some English.
He tole me, ‘No worries. No worries.’ Well, d’rectly here come another ‘gyptian tow truck. Took ‘em another hour to clear the damn road. We got to the canal just ‘bout an hour ‘fore sundown. I swear, I ain’t takin’ no more canal runs. Oh-Fuck-No!”
There was a lot of bullshit talked at SFM, but for the most part, it was what you’d call pretty damn good bullshit (for the most part.) I enjoyed it terribly.
If you have come with me thus far, then you may be happy to know that there will be is more to this story.
Just a footnote here, as this part actually happened much later in the timeline from the stories reported above.
And Lifted from this post:
The Orphan Benjamin.
One night, I think it was in late ’78, I was staggering back to my hooch from our little bar. My walk took me through our game room: Two pool tables, a jukebox, shuffle board, ping pong… et cetera. Anyway, just by the exit door there was a table. On this table was a carton of Marlboro’s, a case of Heineken, a ‘doggie bag’ from the galley, and a one hundred dollar bill.
Thinking nothing of it, I just kept tacking on toward my hooch, some fifty meters down the way…
I woke up the next morning and instantly thought of all that unclaimed booty and for just an instant hoped that no one had stolen it.
But then I remembered where I was and knew that would never happen.
We had a brother/sisterhood there in Sinai.
I managed to drag my hung-over ass out of my rack and head in to breakfast in our galley. My trip took me past the table in question. Everything was just as it was the night before; waiting for the rightful owner to sober up and claim.
If I had not already been in love with my ‘Co-SFM’ers till then, I certainly was now. Two hundred folks at SFM, and nary a thief amongst us. I will never forget that minor little memory. It touched me deep.
And then I just went into breakfast. You see? This was not… ‘different’ for us back then!
For you see?
We had love.
We respected one another.
Ponderin’ Just a Little BitThough,
I’d Venture A Theory:
Our Mutual Respect Partly At Least,
Came From The Fact That
We were Living & Working So Closely Together,
Isolated, For The Most Part, From The Rest Of The World In Such An Isolated And Desolate Place.
However, I Believe The Main Reason Was Because
The Vast Majority of Us Were Texans.
(But of Course, It Is Within The Realm Of Possibility That I may Be Just A Tad Bit Biased)
To Clean Up My Act (and to save some bandwidth)I decided to cast this net out just one more time (before I deleted it)As I liked it.
Anyhow… here ya go. (Personally, I thought the historical significance was, well historical, especially for Texans and for Louisianians, but that was just me)
Today’s Daily Lenny is about Uncle Earl, Guv’na of the Great State of Louisiana
Now…Uncle Earl was nuts; that is why we lovedUncle Earl.Especially us Texans loved Uncle Earl, because he was just like our Governors: Whacked Out. Only wors’er.
Mollyspoke about him:“If Louisiana eventually elects Duke (David) governor, don’t expect any sympathy from Texas. They sent us one of their barmy governors once before—Earl Long, who was Huey’s crazy brother. Earl finally got so bad his own family shipped him off to a nuthouse in Galveston. We kept him for six weeks and then let him go; he looked like a perfectly normal governor to us.”From: Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?
Arrived Tel Aviv one afternoon Late ‘78. Soon to be Stoned, Dazed and Confused and Somewhat Abused. One of my fellow SFM drivers, Perry, a good bud of mine, had convoyed with me through the Sinai Desert and into TA. Each of us driving deuce and a’halfs and at dangerous, reckless speeds.
We checked into the Pal Hotel which SFM had migrated to after the New Sheraton had made it plain they no longer desired nor needed the patronage of Sinai Field Mission Types, specifically the Texan ones–Which made up about 88 Percent of Sinai Field Mission Personnel.
I/We, preferred the Pal Hotel anyway. (They loved us and our fun-loving ways and how we were always, without fail, Big Tippers to The Hotel Staff)
“Fuck You Uptight Sheraton New Hotel!”
(This sentiment was unanimous amongst all-of-us-Texan Expats)
Of course for both of you Lenny Fans out there in ‘Radio Land’ I just had to drop this audio bit in. It really is not germane (nor certainly not German) to the point, but it do expand on the title somewhat.
It occurred to me that when using the term ‘Tits an’ Ass” some would not know the etymology. Lenny first coined the phrase. (Bless his heart). He did some jail time too… for his transgressions.
After settling in, Perry called me from his room, “Hey Lance. Got anything goin’ tonight?”
“Nope,” I replied. “Not a damn thing. You know Gladys done dumped me for that Venzu-walon dude.”
(Some Histoire on Gladys — Or as Bart Armstrong Called her: “Happy Butt”):
First Israeli Love. Her name was Gladys Lehani and she spoke French, English, Hebrew, and Lies. I was instantly enamored. She worked nights at the Tel Aviv Sheraton in the ‘Kum Kum’ Lounge, a bar. During the afternoons she was a cashier in the little lobby area of the hotel. A place where one could look out the huge windows at the Mediterranean, have a cocktail, read a book, and flirt with her. I spent many hours there doing all four.
“Come on up to my room.” Perry said, “We’ll smoke a bowl.”
“On my way,” I said and hung up. We smoked a few bowls of hashish,
(All we could get in The Middle of The Fucking East–Which we would have Killed For In Texas, But after a few Years of NOTHING But Hashish, We Missed Good Old, Old-Fashion Pot)
drank some Amstels, and decided to head over to Dizengoff Street to check out the action. And sate some munchies. Just yet another night in TA.
We stepped out onto Hayarkon Street just after sundown and proceeded to float on toward Dizengoff, a few short blocks away. We were stoned beyond repair. As we tried to navigate across the busy Hayarkon four lane, we noticed more than the average number of folk on foot. As soon as we had arrived on the leeward shore of Hayarkon, a teenage girl came running up to us and smacked us both on the top of our heads with a little plastic mallet. Then said something unintelligible in Hebrew and ran giggling away.
“What the fuck was that?!” I asked Perry.
“Dude, I gots no idea, but look yonder!” he said pointing up the street. Sure as shit, there were people everywhere; all armed with similar plastic mallets, just wailing the shit outta each other’s heads.
“Dude! We gotta sort this out. This is just too weird. Must be some kinda religious ritual.” This is what my hashish soaked brain was telling me anyway. We made our way to Dizengoff, after having our heads bonked repeatedly by overzealous religious fanatics. I spied a street vendor displaying the plastic mallets with aplomb.
“Perry, we gots to git one ah them for self-defense.” We purchased one each and went to whackin’ pretty Sabras about the head. (Great way to meet women, I must confess—Kinda Neanderthal—but what the hell?) Later I was told we had experienced some joyful Israeli Halloween-Like festival. Mardi Gras, it weren’t but dammit! I had fun. (But I didn’t get any beads)
Nor Did I get laid that night, In spite of me whacking the heads of so many Pretty Sabras.
To this day, I do not know the holiday, or festival. Are there any out there who would care to enlighten me? Tis one-of-those-unknown-things that still haunt me today. Perhaps if I had not been stoned…
My Jewish Friends: Was it Purim I had experienced? My enquirin’ mind really do wanna know.
The three Harleys were gaining on me as I sped southbound down Interstate Five. It was still dark and the traffic was light. I floored the pedal on the Toranado but I knew they would eventually catch up to me.
My speedometer redlined at one hundred and I took another hurried glance at the rearview: still gaining fast. Where the hell were the famous CHiPs? For the absolute first time in my life, I wanted to get busted.
One biker managed to pull up alongside me on the passenger side. I swerved to the right just a bit to try to spook him. No dice! He easily dodged my quarter panel and I caught a brief glimpse of his grinning face, mocking me. (bikers never wore helmets)
The two remaining bikes pulled up behind him. I was running out of options. Should I just continue on until I ran out of freeway or gas? Hope a highway patrol finally spotted us? Surrender?
I stole another glance in my side mirror and could just barely make out the third biker taking aim at my car with a handgun, rather unsteadily given our speed, but I braced for the worst, then BAM!
I awoke with a start and sat bolt upright in bed. The alarm was wailing away. Shonnie stirred and moaned, “What time…? uuugghhhhh.”
Ireached over Shonnie to kill the alarm and knocked it off the nightstand. “Shit!” Had to crawl over her to grab the damn thing and turn it off. “It’s five-thirty,” I said.
“Ohhh too early,” she moaned again, pulling the covers over her head.
“Go back to sleep.”
She sat up, stretching her arms upward and yawning. “No. I’ll make you some coffee,”
“Got no time for that. I gotta get back to my ship. Muster’s at zero-seven.”
“It’ll just take a minute,” she said as she extracted her naked body from the covers.
“Okay, but a minute is about all I have.”
I got out of bed and put on my jeans. Shonnie threw on her robe and disappeared downstairs. I went into the head and splashed some cold water on my face, trying to shock the dream out of my mind.
Just as I finished struggling to get into my too-tight boots, I heard the kettle whistling downstairs. Making sure I had my wallet and military ID, I descended to the kitchen to join Shonnie. She handed me a cup and I took a quick sip.
“Good coffee,” I said.
“You’re welcome Cowboy.”
“You sleep alright? I asked.
“Yeah, sorta, but you were snoring and moaning ‘till all hours.”
“Sorry ‘bout that. Look, I gotta split. I wanna beat the traffic. My Master Chief don’t have a sense of humor about being late for muster.” I handed her the still mostly full cup of coffee.
She set it on the counter, threw her arms around my neck clinging tight, pulling me down and kissing me passionately. She withdrew her lips but kept my neck locked tight. “Oh Rhett! When will Ah evah see you again?”
I reached up and gently pulled her hands free and said, “Very funny Scarlett. I’ll call you this evening, but now I gotta go.”
“Okay, Darlin’, lemme walk you out.”
We walked over to the front door holding hands. I opened it. Shonnie let out a gasp. “Oh no,” she said.
“What is it?”
“Look there,” she said pointing down at the deck.
There was a white sack about a yard from the front door. It had the unmistakable mark of McDonald’s on it. I took a step outside, picked it up, turned to Shonnie and said, “What the fuc…”
“Come back inside. Hurry up,” she said in a ‘loud’ whisper.
I went back in and she shut the door, locking it with a loud click. “It’s Billy.”
“My husband, you idiot.”
“Sorry. You never did tell me his name.”
“You never asked.”
Still clutching the sack in my hand, I opened it up and discovered two large coffees and two pastries.
“Give me that!” she said, almost shouting as she grabbed the sack out of my hand. “Look! This fuckin’ coffee’s still hot. He must’ve just been here.” She was visibly shaking.
“Quite the gentleman to deliver breakfast, doncha think?”
“Goddamn it Lance! This shit ain’t funny!”
“Well, what the hell do you expect from a smartass?”
“You can’t leave now,” she said as she walked over and slumped down into an overstuffed chair. She dropped the bag on the floor. The coffee almost tipped over onto the carpet.
“Seriously? Will he try to hurt you if I go?”
“No… not right away anyhow. It’s you… You! He’ll be after you! Dammit to Fuck!”
“Baby, I got no choice. I’d rather face ‘Billy’ than try to explain to Master Chief why I’m UA.”
She stared at me blankly for a moment as if I had just said something in Swahili. “Whaaat?”
“Uh ‘UA’. Unauthorized Absence. ‘Ay-Wall’. You know.”
“Fuck that! If you leave here now, you might be ‘A-WOLL’ permanent.”
“Well, I doubt it, but anyway I gotta go.” I turned and walked back toward the door. “I’ll call you this evening. Lock the door behind me.”
“Okay,” she sighed, getting up. As I was about to open the door she spun me around and hugged me, burying her face in my chest. “Be safe Lance.”
“You too Baby.”
I opened the door and walked out. Shonnie shut it behind me and I heard the click as she turned the deadbolt.
My car was parked almost a block away from the condo. It was still an hour before sunrise but the streetlights, though not bright, afforded enough light for me to make my way without any difficulty.
I slowly walked toward the Toranado. I was glancing left and right, trying to see into the shadows, hoping I would see no one. My shoulders were tight and I wondered if they would suddenly be pierced by a round from a hand gun.
I kept walking and looking. ‘Situational Awareness’. Almost there now. The Toranado was parked directly under a street light. Shit! I would have preferred a darker venue for getting into my car. Oh well. I fumbled around for my keys, unlocked the door and slid behind the wheel.
I twisted the key in the ignition and the engine turned over a few times more than normal, but finally caught hold. The cassette player was still cranked up and in the early morning quiet seemed extremely loud. I quickly reached over and shut down Rusty Wier in the middle of ‘The Devil Lives In Dallas.’
Proving once again that my life has a soundtrack…
Street Cred for Vid: Neil Wilkins
The car was facing the opposite direction I needed to go. I had to pull forward into an empty driveway, back up and get turned about. Back in the street and facing the right direction, I dropped the car into drive.
Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a Harley cranking up and the throttle revving.
This Is NOT The END
“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Denouement”
Update: Part XV is up.
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 below from the original version of this post.
Please read from the bottom up for continuity.
36 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE: THIS IS THE (NOT) THE END”
LAMarcom July 21, 2014 at 18:10 Edit
All’s well that ends well…
NancyTex July 21, 2014 at 08:49 Edit
Scary shit. Almost afraid to click on the final installment.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 16:13 Edit
artourway July 16, 2014 at 16:12 Edit
so glad to have you as my friend Lance
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 16:06 Edit
Toda rabah תודה רבה
That’s Hebrew for ‘Thank you!’
I did learn just enough to get me into trouble when I was working in that part of the world.
artourway July 16, 2014 at 15:57 Edit
I admire your writing Lance.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 15:23 Edit
I really need to work on my French.
Thank you my friend.
artourway July 16, 2014 at 14:39 Edit
Vous rêves sont parfois si réels, cool Lance
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 13:06 Edit
The ‘really end of the end’ should go up late this evening.
I do appreciate your taking time to read this story and comment.
LVital7019 July 16, 2014 at 12:59 Edit
THAT was a shameless TEASE! “The End” but not really the end!?? Grrr… LOL
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 11:54 Edit
Whew! You’re welcome 🙂
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:36 Edit
Denouement will be forthcoming.
This is why I love blogging: the feedback and great conversation.
Thanks so much Laura!
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:32 Edit
I must confess, I have never seen ‘Paris Texas.’ Although it has been on my ‘to watch’ list for some decades. After viewing the clip I have moved it way up that list and will watch it this weekend if not before. It definitely looks like a film I would love. So…thanks so much for provided the impetus to get me to it.
I took a peek at the USHypocrisy site and loved it. Now following. And I will show it to my English girlfriend. She will love it too, no doubt.
Win-Win all around!
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 10:30 Edit
Exactly! It needs that good end. We are left to wodner although not too much since you’re still alive ‘n kicking! lol
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:20 Edit
Pretty sure you didn’t miss anything. It is most likely my failing. Perhaps I do need to provide the denouement?
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 10:18 Edit
Well I for one would like to know what happened after the harley sound. 🙂
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 10:17 Edit
That’s the end? Did I miss something??
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:14 Edit
Breathe Laura, just breathe.
That is the end of the story….
(Please see comments below)
Of course if blowback comes, I will post an addendum or ‘post a postscript,’ if you will….)
Thanks so much for reading along on this one and also for your comments.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:10 Edit
Now that’s funny!
Perfect comment. Thanks for making me laugh out loud.
Cheers to you David!
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:08 Edit
Thanks so much Diana.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:07 Edit
Actually Heathen, I had not planned to continue the story. This was to be The End, but rest assured, no harm came to Shonnie. If I get pushback to post a postscript, I will do that. However… I think it’s time for me to move on to other tales.
Thanks for riding along on this series. I do appreciate your time and as I have said before, your comments enrich my efforts.
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 09:51 Edit
The suspense is killing me!
David Scott Moyer July 16, 2014 at 08:05 Edit
I wanted him to pull up along side you and say, “You forgot your hat, bro.”
Diana July 16, 2014 at 06:15 Edit
Great job Lance!
happierheathen July 16, 2014 at 05:35 Edit
I’m glad it came out in the comments that it was her decision that you’d never see her again, as otherwise I’d have to hire a guy to kick down your door and be only as nice as possible while extracting that bit of information. I hope the rest of the story doesn’t include her being harmed.
I’m just now thinking how lucky I am that the only woman I ever regretted losing eventually found her way back. Thanks for telling a story that catalyzed such a fine thought in this contraption I generously refer to as my brain, man.
Mélanie July 16, 2014 at 03:50 Edit
P.S. Lance, if you ever have some spare minutes, please take a look @ this interesting and realistic blog: http://ushypocrisy.com/
Mélanie July 16, 2014 at 03:26 Edit
I meant… amigo, Lance! 🙂 you must be proud and honored by your native American heritage/roots/origins…
@Paris, Texas and their fake and kitch Tour Eiffel: you have to see it, to believe it and I did! 😀 btw, have you watched this film-culte(here in “old Europe”!) with excellent actors:
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 00:40 Edit
Laughing my ass off.
(I invite you to know that I am part Comanche)
Just the best part…
P.S. I grew up twenty miles from Paris (Texas). I hated that town then; and still do.
Mélanie July 16, 2014 at 00:34 Edit
yesss! excellent job, Sir! last but not least: I love the Doors and I did see Jim Morrison’s tomb in “Père-Lachaise”, Paris, France(not Tejas!) – always with lots of flowers…
buenas noches, gringo! 🙂
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 23:31 Edit
We both may be slightly inebriated…
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 23:29 Edit
Tis okay. I got it.
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 23:28 Edit
To quote Joni at you Sadie:
“You are a woman of heart and mind.”
Thank you ever so much for all your wonderful comments.
Sincerely, they mean a lot to me.
Cheers, beers, and Tequila,
~ Sadie ~ July 15, 2014 at 23:26 Edit
Crap – that is not where that comment was supposed to go 🙂 It was in response to yours – I am tired. Obviously need to go to bed LOL!!
~ Sadie ~ July 15, 2014 at 23:25 Edit
Thanks for sharing – you wrote about your bittersweet memories in such a beautiful way – great writing, storytelling, dialogue & suspense-building! I love reading your true tales. Shit, I’d be too scared to write about some of mine . . . 😉
Tears and beers (though mine is always tears & tequila!!) – proof you are alive sometimes!!
Have a great evening, Lance!! ☮
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 22:40 Edit
My Good Friend,
I needed to end this. Yes there is more to the story, but it mostly involves tears and beers, and I do not think anyone would read that part.
I choose to end it here.
Obviously, I survived as did Shonnie and I never saw her again (her decision), but…hey! C’est La Vie, eh?
Thank you for reading this too long diatribe…er… history.
It is all truth, by the way.
~ Sadie ~ July 15, 2014 at 22:35 Edit
For some reason, I don’t get the impression that this was the end . . .
My best friend growing up was a Harley girl and as teenagers we hung out occasionally with a couple of Bandidos (well she did, I just tagged along) – bikers aint exactly of the ilk to be too kind about other men & their women – especially their wives.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it….” I wrote this story in less than a week–shotgun style. Okay, probably two weeks. Took me less time to write it than to live it.
In Nineteen-Eighty-Seven San Diego County there was only one Country & Western Bar/Dance Hall (that I knew of). I was sorely missing Texas and though I was never what one might call ‘A Hardcore Country Music Fan’, I was feeling nostalgic. So I bought me some Nocona’s (NO, I did not varnish them), a Stetson, Wrangler’s, some shirts with snaps, a string tie, and off I went, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, or in this case, ‘Place’. The name of which escapes me, but it was along the lines of Gilley’s in Pasadena Texas, albeit much lesser.
I mean Gilley’s had five bars in their bar and the largest dance floor in Texas. This joint had but one bar and one medium-sized dance floor. And it didn’t even have chicken wire in front of the stage to protect the band from errant long neck beer bottles.
What a gyp!
T’would serve my purposes, however, and sate my lower expectations at any rate. I mean, we are talking Southern California here folks, after all.
So I began to frequent this establishment in earnest. The thing that stuck me upon my first visit was that all the ‘Cowboys’ and ‘Cowgirls’ looked like Yuppies. Not Dallas Yuppies, mind you: ‘Southern California Yuppies’.
The walls were adorned with all manner of Rodeo Scenes, all of which looked like Norman Rockwell had dipped his brush on them. There were also some lariats, a few saddles strategically placed against some walls, a few ‘decorative’ spittoons (nothing more useless in the world than a spittoon ‘what never dun been used’), and many more things I cannot find the stomach to recount.
The lighting was, well, too light. Hopefully, this would be rectified later in the evening’s adventure as the ‘real’ cowfolks came sauntering in.
One sustains hope in situations such as these. There really is no other choice.
“Good Godawmighty! Lance! Son, you were more ‘at home’ in the Titty-Bars downtown San Dog than this abhorrent lame excuse for a ‘Honky Tonk’,” voice in head said.
There was, as I said, one bar. And Immediately to the right of this bar…
(a respectable looking bar, if I do grudgingly say so, replete with no less than four barkeeps and many, many serving wenches scurrying back and forth not unlike so many dutiful worker ants—all very pretty—in that Southern California Urban Cowgirl Beach Babe Style),
…was the stage with a Cowboy Band. Actually a damn good one. They even had a fiddle player (so at least they could play ‘Amardillo By Morning’a song which always reminded me of ‘Monsieur Le Peanut’, and always held a special place in my heart and in my ears.
Immediately in front of the Bar was that dance floor, (No sawdust, but that could be grudgingly forgiven).
The rest was mainly four-seater tables and chairs (And Candles! Fer Christ’s Sake! Candles!) For the life of me, I could not spy a single pool table nor a shuffle board or even an air hockey table. Certainly no mechanical bull. Honky-Tonk Travesty!
The bar itself drew me first (of course). I asked for a Lone Star and got a vacant look. “Ok, gimme a shot ah Beam and a… ah… a Heineken.” (‘Jerry Jeff, please forgive them; they know not what they do’.)
Now properly attired and bona-fide in my two-fisted drinker status, I went searching for a table close to the dance floor. As it was relatively early, I had no difficulty finding same.
I sat and drank and ‘Cowgirl Watched’ as the place began to fill up. Along ‘bout 1900hrs, the place was semi-jumping (For San Diego—I guess–by that time I suppose the surf was no longer ‘up’).
I studied the apparently single cowgirls and spied a rather lanky ‘tall drank ah water’, long-haired brunette with Sloe-Gin eyes and all that implies, just tearing things up with several different dance partners.
I made my move: Between songs, I sashayed over to her and asked for a ‘daince’, (actually tipping my hat! Yes! Yes! I know!) trying ever so hard to establish that I weren’t no ‘Coke-a-Cola Cowboy’, but a real ‘un. From Texas.
Lance As Cowboy (The one on the right don’t look much like the one what shot at me), But then, that is another story, ain’t it?)
We danced the dance and I could sense I was not her cup of… whatever it is that they actually drink here. She whispered in my ear, “Hey ‘Cowboy’ (rather mockingly, I perceived), “I have a friend you should meet. Her name’s ‘Shonnie’ and she is seated (seated?) just right there. C’mon! I’ll introduce ‘Y’all’” (Yet another perceived slight)
I glanced in the direction she was leading us and saw a rather diminutive dirty blond, absently stirring her drink as she casually watched the band as they began to belt out some Randy Travis monstrosity.
We waltzed up to the table and my escort announced quite cheerfully, “Hey Shonnie! I found you a ‘real’ Cowboy.” (She quickly whispered to me, “Hey Sugar Britches, what’s your name?”)
“Uh, Shonnie, Girlfriend, This here’s Lance. Say ‘Howdy’”
I shook the diminutive hand she offered and sat down,
“Uh, Howdy Shonnie, Little Lady; Nice to meet Y’all.” (Yes, I was really laying it on thick, but I was somewhere between buzzed and drunk and starting to figure, ‘What the hell I got to lose’?)
She smiled wily, if not demurely through semi-white teeth, Marlboro smoke, and Paul Newman Blue Eyes. I must admit: I was intrigued.
Thus began one of the most bizarre ‘flings’ I have ever had.