Sunday…November 15th…Miles Davis……isn’t from West Texas……

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“Don’t need no Steam Heat” 2009

“Make yourself necessary to somebody” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It never rains in Southern California”…was playing on the radio….I was wondering where to hide the dope…and she was only 15…Arizona wasn’t good to people like me… and we had apples….”NO PLANTS ALLOWED”….

crisp is the other word…..not sharp or fresh…he always said “Crisp” in a way that sounded like it would snap right there in front of you…but he was a gimp…lame…crippled…wore those Polio braces with the dark brown straps….his dad owned the Lucky Boy hambugers…..pale white German blood…not a Nazi…more a liberal….politician…and young like his father…he fell from the car onto the freeway….we harmonized….Mrs Kinney…David fell out of the car”….she screamed with her see through red scarf on her hair…in curlers….he sat there….waiting…wondering if we’d left him for good….

he never wanted anything other than the really sour red lifesavers…wouldn’t eat the green ones or the yellow…never the creamy white…never…but he was wired differently…sort wired not to work…like a real bulb or one of those yellow bug light bulbs with all of them swarming around like a tornado….to do what is always what I wondered…collect them…didn’t kill them…just drew them in…sort of like a trap with no end….but he would end it…all by himself…no more lifesavers for the life taker…can’t suck a candy to a razor sliver….when it all doesn’t work…now can you….

it landed first on the horn of the saddle…then it landed on my neck…stung me….I crushed its yellow and black striped body between my fingers…had to look to make certain…felt the sharp pinch….her head was low…we were walking away from the rental corral….her name was “Candy”…a big sorrel….resigned to be a carnival horse of sorts….for the big kids…like me….I was 12….standing in the back…Jesus was on the cross behind me in glass….my hair covered part of my forehead….with my sky blue shirt and navy pants….no sweaters because it was May…..it erupted on my chin….the beginning…of the long teens….no more Mr. Nice Guy….I was headed for manhood…no matter if G.I. Joe wanted me to or not….

her boyfriend was going to Vietnam…Republic of…she wanted to give herself to him…in that young girl way….she was 15…I was 14….she asked me to help her…I thought she meant groceries or homework…or maybe mow the lawn…for her….with the electric mower on Saturday….he died a few weeks after getting there…..and it became a dusty west Texas summer that year…wind blew from May to May….hot water sounds moving through the pipes…all day long….and it never stopped….

we hid the dirty magazines in the desert….in a mesquite skeleton…under the dirt in a box…I had a pack of Camels…and a Zippo lighter…I kept there too….somedays we’d have Rutpit buy us beers…and look at the pictures…wondering what all of that was going to feel like…..we’d laugh nervously…sometimes ache that young boy ache….try not to think to far ahead…everything was still very unclear….you known…sediment clouded it all…the dirt from beneath somehow made its way through the gravel…..and mixed that water chocolate milk brown….not enough to dive in head first….for fear of breaking your neck and ending up like MIke J……more like staring in and seeing that murky reflection…the one you weren’t sure if it was you or not…and you’d been warned….more than once….maybe more than 10 times….but the warning was like a new barbed wire fence….just had to touch it…see if it really was sharp….like the edge of those “Cutco” knives…he sold….my mother…..with their hard plastic….wooden looking swirly handles….I think it was 1972……..

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