After my early morning torture session of five 1 minute planks, 200 rope throws and rowing 500 meters besides the usual weight lifting sets, my body is spent. I took a quick hose off knowing I needed to be in Oakland at 11am as do I every Tuesday. The traffic was quite light due to Spring Break or for the fact there were no highway patrol officers giving out carpool violation citations. With time to spare, I had my morning breaking of the fast at what I call, “The Ghetto Whole Foods” in Oakland.
Alright, it’s curried chicken salad again and peach black iced tea. I’m a man of habits and this is one of mine. The Oakland Whole Foods Store isn’t your North Bay Whole Foods Store for a team of security guards watch the parking lots and doors constantly. The homeless park themselves outside the doors with signs reading, “I’m being honest. I need drug money” and “My dog needs food!”
Shortly I’ll be lying down on the break room couch until the clock strikes 1pm. At exactly one, I’ll fire up the IPad and go out and fix people’s internet line. I rarely fix phone lines anymore. Then at 9pm, I’ll head back North. I’ve lost track when my last day off was…. Then one day I won’t do what I’m doing anymore… Sounds simple huh? This too will pass.
I’ve never considered myself a religious man yet I believe in a Higher Power, God or Cosmic Consciousness more than any Pope, Dali Llama or Swami. No, I don’t wear any gowns or robes, I wear Carhartts and Red Wings. Does that make me any more or any less of an authority on The Cosmic Consciousness? Hardly. You believe whatever you want to believe and I’ll believe what I want to believe.
I was driving by The University of California at Berkeley Campus yesterday and two old men were holding massive sign boards stating, “God Hates Gays and God Hates Muslims!” The Cosmic Consciousness told these two guys to make sign boards and walk in front of The Cal Campus and tell people this; and now you see why I am not religious? This too will pass.
I was hearing National Public Radio this afternoon and what did I hear? A blogger in Bangladesh was dragged out of his house and murdered by an angry mob. The problem was he was an atheist, that alone didn’t go over well with the religious zealots in the area. The crowd was told he had written bad things about Mohammad. His blogging friends say he was respectful of Islam and all other religions. What do you want to bet those who killed him had never read a blog let alone used a computer.
Remind me not to blog in Bangaldesh. I believe in The Cosmic Consciousness, I mean Allah. This too will pass.
My buddy Ken had been drinking for most of his fifty-two years, then one day tired of his everyday personal misery, he had what the recovered call a moment of clarity. In that single moment he realized that he needed to change his ways or he would die a miserable death. Today he’s a therapist who devotes his life to helping others break free from the cycle of abuse. I asked him the question, “Is it true that alcoholics are narcissists?” He replied, “I was the worse narcissist and I didn’t know it until I sobered up. It took a lot of hard work to break free of my downward spiral and yes I was indeed a narcissist. I laughed it off and I’d tell them, ‘How dare you call me a narcissist!”
A few years ago, I repaired Ken’s internet line at his place in Crockett California. Our meeting wasn’t by chance, I rarely work up in that area but somehow there I was fixing his line… I noticed a book by Eckhardt Tolle on his desk and since then we have been phone friends. He checks up on me from time to time and I do the same to him. We talk about The Cosmic Consciousness, dependency and recovery. I spoke to him about my efforts in Atlanta and he said this, “Some people are ready and then some never are ready. You did what you could.” I told him that she wasn’t the same person I knew 17 years ago. Maybe I held on to what I thought she was and I would have felt bad had I not tried help her.” He replied, “Hopefully, she saw that and will have some clarity.” I know what I did and what I didn’t… I wanted nothing of her and in fact I said that the day I showed up at that miserable motel.. “I’m here to help you and I want nothing from you.” Sad days… This too will pass. (I found this draft from February)
This morning I looked thru my phone’s directory and removed the names of people I once knew but now they have slipped into the ether of existence. It’s not that they are no longer with us, it’s that they are no longer involved with my tiny sphere of life. Gone was the bend over backwards real estate woman and her “bearer of bad news” sidekick. Gone was that pesky car dealer who wanted me to buy his “like new” blue Altima with leather seats or was it the red Juke? I was a signature away from buying his car and I could see his eyes ringing,”SALE SALE” but then when he wouldn’t bring the price down, I walked. He smelled blood in the water and circled around for a while but then moved on, gone went his number.
I know it sounds rather harsh to do such a thing but once a year I do the official act of clearing my names and numbers. I’m sure others have done the same thing to me and I’m okay with it. I understand the simple fact that people come into my life and then they go away. There have been many a time when I have needed to remind myself who and why that soul even had entered my life, “Oh that’s right, He was the guy who bought the house and promised to keep in contact with me….” This morning was the morning, I make room for more people to come into my life. This too will pass.
Here I am having a Vietnamese Sandwich at my favorite ghetto Chinese Vietnamese restaurant. The old joint has new tables since the last time I was here, the old ones are piled in the corner of the gravel parking lot. The guy with the big meat clever is going about his business chopping something. A new character in now in the mix, a man standing three feet tall is helping box a whole roasted something. He must be the boss because everyone is taking orders from him.
I’ve never seen this man before in all the years I have been coming here. He must own the place because he came around the counter and took charge. He might also be the restaurant’s party planner, if they have one. He and his posse walked out with three roast pigs and other items. Meanwhile the man with the yellow safety glasses and meat clever is back at it, chopping meat of some sort. Now it’s off to work for me on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.. This too will pass.
Lately Toonce has been spending his days and nights out on the town or should I say on the campgrounds. How could I blame him? The weather has been so nice both during the warm days and mild nights. The place is filling up with visitors as the weather gets warmer. During the winter a small group of campers were present but know almost every space is full.
I’m actually blessed to be here even if a peacock decides to call out to his fellow peacocks at 4:30am. That “me -ow -me -ow” sound is interesting, it almost sounds like a 500 pound cat is asking for cat yums. Toonce has a good life here too. There are plenty of laps Mr. Friendly Cat can sit on when I’m not around. Being he’s a very sociable cat, a warm lap is always just next door. He meows out his report of the days events at The KOA; who moved in and what pet they brought with them. This too will pass.
It isn’t spelled Chick-filet and I refuse to butcher the English language because a right-wing corporation CEO thinks it’s cute.
I don’t even know why I’m spending my money here. Their lemonade is good, it almost tastes real. The french fries are waffle cut and their chicken burger are just that, nothing to write home about. When I visited The South recently I was told to pronounce their name, Chick- filet and it’s not spelled that way and I won’t do it. This too will pass.
With no work in our usual area, we were sent out to Concord. Ahhh the land of warm clean living. I thought it was going to be a holiday until I came upon this rats nest of wire. It was protected by an assorted group of Black Widow Spiders and what I thought looked like a Brown Recluse. They were dispatched to their next incarnation..
This too will pass.