Hey, Joe, tell Rover to Move Over

I am enjoying the change in temperature today. 

Fifteen degrees cooler than Sunday. 

I was able to set up my gear without one drop of sweat forming on my brow.

My PA sounded crisp as I played a tribute to the sky. Never in my recollection had it ever been so blue. I wanted to kiss it.

Four hours later, at the end of my set, a man stood from his chair, walked over to the jar and tipped me twenty dollars.. 

He said, “You sound like Jimi Hendrix on the keys.”

I said, “I didn’t know he played the piano.”

My new patron laughed, pointed one index finger at me, cocked his thumb, made a gun shot noise and said, “He didn’t.”

Then, he patted his pocket like it was a holster and walked back to his chair.

The sun was going down as I was packing up my gear. I felt a little bit of a chill coming from the wind blowing over the bay side water. I cursed myself for not thinking to bring a wind breaker. 

I rolled my equipment cart over to where a cook was tending to some ribs cooking on an open pit Bar-B-Q.

I said, “Excuse me, sir, but could you let me stand next to your fire?”

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Mi Nombre Es..

Joey’s 13 and it takes him a while to wake up in the morning. He doesn’t want to talk when he climbs into the back seat of my car. 

Well, it’s really my brother’s car. It’s black 2006 Mercury SUV. I forgot what the car company called it coz I gave it a more personal, appropriate model name. I call it a “Mescalade.” 

” Coz it looks like a poor man’s ‘Escalade,’ I said to Joey. “That’s why.”

” Oh,” Joey said. “I thought it was because you were trying to be like Dos Osos.”

Dos Osos is Joey’s grandfather. I started calling him that when his voice mail message said his name was now “Joey Two Bears in honor of my great grand father who was a fearsome Apache chief.”

20 years ago, Dos Osos had returned his surname, Gonzales, to its original spelling, Gonzalez, to honor his Mexican-American father and, coincidentally, secure a couple of lucrative federal contracts offered specifically to minority business owners. He also hung a minature Republic of Mexico flag from his rear view mirror and a decal on his rear bumper sporting the colors of said flag and the letters H M I C. 

That bumper sticker is now on Dos Osos’s 2017 Escalade and, one night, Joey said, “Those letters stand for Hea…” 

I said, ” I know what they mean. I don’t want to hear it.”

Joey said it anyway and said, “And Dos Osos told me that BMW’s were made in Mexico and those letters stand for…”

“What is wrong with your grandfather?”

“I don’t know. He was sayin a bunch of racist stuff, about people from Mexico, and, when I told him he was racist, he said, ‘I am. I admit it. So what.'”

“Did you laugh?”

“No. When I was a kid, I thought he was funny. The mean things he’d say. Now, I know it’s dumb. He’s dumb. He doesn’t even know what Dos Osos means. And it’s his name.”

Posted in 12 Step Meetings, Blues, Co-Dependency, Love, Memoir, Parenting, Poetry, Recovery, Relationships | 2 Comments

But You Deserve Better 

I’ve been writing songs and posting stories on Facebook. One of my friends on that site wrote, “I’m enjoying your blog.”

I thought, “You like this, you ought to checkout my ‘real’ blog.” That’s when I realized I have not been posting on WordPress.

Sorry. I’m apologising to myself coz I’ve met, through correspondence, sharing blogs and feedback, so many wonderful writers in WordPress. I’m missing out and I’ve no one to blame but myself.

And, double sorry. I’m apologising to you, anyone who has liked a post or follows my blog. I haven’t been there for you. But I’m about to change that.

Thank you for your patience.

Posted in Blues, Co-Dependency, Love, Memoir, Poetry, Relationships, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

He lives across the street from his grandson. Yet, I’m the guy who picks the boy up and takes him to school. I take him to 

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How Could I Forget

In another life it was a massage table. It was over seven feet long, made to fold in half so it could fit into a cloth case and be carried by the suitcase handle attached to one end of the frame.

Granny found it at a thrift store and thought it the perfect bed for Joey. She called me and asked if I would pick it up and deliver it to him. 

I was glad my brother and I switched cars because his is some kind of Mercury SUV and, even with my drummer’s entire kit in the vehicle, the suitcase table along with the four bags of blankets, sheets, socks, underwear, pants and shirts Granny decided, at the last moment, to also send along for Joey fit comfortably in that car. 

Joey loved the idea of a massage table being a bed. He said, “This is great. I can sleep on it at night and then, during the day, I can put it out under that tree over there with a sign sayin, ‘Massages 5 bucks,’ and I can make enough money to get that computer I want.”

He grabbed the sleeper suitcase and took it to his room. I hauled the other stuff for him from car to living room. 

Just as I dropped the last bag onto the floor, I heard a thud then Joey shout, “Uh, oh, I broke it.”

I walked into his room and the table was flat on the floor. I picked it up and its wooden legs were under it. Joey said, “I guess I sat on it too hard.”

I put the table back on the floor. I said, “Maybe I can fix it tomorrow.”

“It’s okay,” Joey said as he stretched on the cushioned frame. “I can sleep on it like this. It will be fine. Besides, tomorrow we have to get school books and supplies. Remember?”

Posted in Blues, Love, Memoir, Parenting, Poetry, Recovery, Relationships | 1 Comment

Building Character

Joey has been playing for a traveling basketball team all summer. He’s been making progress. Coach has been farming him out to “nationally ranked teams” and, once, he brought back a trophy that came up to his chin.

Joey is 6 feet 2 inches tall.

He’s 12 years old, almost 13.

His mother has her mind on his potential future earnings.

Already, she is mismanaging his career. Looking for dirt on his current coach and being swayed by another who promises air fare, swank hotels, inside track on the best colleges, on a lucrative pro career.

Already, she, being swayed, is swaying Joey to sway her way.
He says, “This coach has the third ranked team in the country. But, he creeps me out when he calls her, ‘Mama.'”

Posted in Blues, Co-Dependency, Denial, Love, Memoir, Parenting, Poetry, Recovery, Relationships | 2 Comments

I’m Gettin’ There

It’s nice to have a room again. 

A room that stays relatively comfortable during unbearably hot days. 

A room I can walk into middle of the day and stretch out on the bed. 

Two electric fans: one from the ceiling and another standing alone by the television are all I need to keep me cool and dry enough to nap…

For almost an hour.

Couldn’t do that the 7 months I was homeless.

Couldn’t do that a year and a half ago when I was renting a hot box room from Chester of the Golden Mask. 

15 electric fans, a window unit and 7 blocks of ice wouldn’t have cooled that furnace.

This afternoon, I woke and stretched and marveled at my progress.

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