Just Too Much Joy On All Fronts!

You know how some people can’t pass up coins on the ground? If they see a penny, they will pick it up, even if it’s face down? (Which is bad luck, people! I’m just saying.)

Well, I’m the type of person that cannot pass up pens on the ground!!

If I see a pen and it hasn’t been run over by a car or something, I will pick it up and see if it works. And if it works, it’s mine!! (Over the years, I have become the proud owner of a couple of mighty nice gold Cross pens because of this habit of mine.) (I’ve also become the not-so-happy owner of a few truly awful pens — the kind where you can immediately see why its previous owner didn’t even take the time to seek out a trash can and simply threw it, most likely in rage, to the ground.) (However, I keep even the lousiest of pens because you just never know when you’re going to need a pen that at least works or has ink in it.)

Anyway, yesterday, I found the most amazingly perfect pen. And it’s just one of those cheap ball-point pens, too, that’s advertising some business or other and isn’t very pleasing on the eye and yet, when I quickly scribbled with it on a piece of scrap paper — wow. I could not believe my good fortune. It is like the best pen ever. I am so serious.

First thing this morning, I used the pen to write in my Inner Being Journal thingy and it just — I don’t know; it was such a joy. I just love a great pen. I’m a writer — pens mean a lot to me!!

I’m reminded suddenly of the last (and I like to think final) time I attempted suicide. Things were of course dreadful in my life. I was 19. I’d already dropped out of college — I hated college, even though I was majoring in Theater Arts and thinking that maybe I would like to be a playwright. I simply hated the school. But because my adoptive mother felt I was mentally ill, she wouldn’t let me even consider any of the schools I really wanted to go to (to study Theater).  (And as an aside, I did have a psychotherapist at that time who didn’t think I was crazy — he actually thought my mom was crazy and he told me so. But, sadly, it was our little secret for a very long time.)

Anyway. I was really smart. I graduated close to the top of my class in high school — and had I not been constantly skipping school back then (and I mean constantly; I hated the arbitrary rules &  structure of school) I probably would have been right at the very top of my class.  Nevertheless, I was still Valedictorian on Graduation Day — and there were over 800 kids in my graduating class, so that says something about how crazy I may or may not have been (like a fox, I guess).  So I feel pretty sure that I would have been able to get into any school I applied to because they were all these sort of strange, hippy-ish boutique-type Arts colleges. Not Harvard, or anything.

However, my mother wouldn’t let me get too far from home because she thought I was out of my fucking mind.

So I wound up at this god awful, huge, antiseptic, mind-numbing  university that was about 25 or 30 miles from where my adoptive father lived. Like he was going to keep his eye on me, or something.

I hated the school. Drank bourbon almost every day instead of going to most of my classes. I lasted about 8 weeks. Quit. Then went to California to allegedly live with the girl I was in love with, but — as loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall — she was no longer in love with me by the time I managed to get there.

But back in Ohio, looking for any kind of a decent singing gig; really wishing I could figure out how to get to NYC instead but having no money and no real job; I was hanging out in this truly seedy Country & Western bar (called the Wagon Wheel) where they didn’t ID me and let me drink bourbon to my heart’s content all night and I was hanging out with all these criminals and much older ex-con truckers  — and my mom finally kicked me out of the house. Even though I was indeed paying her room & board to stay there, which I thought meant that I could do what I wanted, but she said: au contraire.

So. Out I went. Still 19. I got a waitressing job in a diner-truck stop type place off the Interstate. And I was living in a cheap motel that was one parking lot away from the diner. Sleeping with a much older, ex-con trucker at night in my cheap motel room bed — both of us drunk but still managing to fuck. Yes! I consider this one of those high points of my whole life!

Okay — I am going to cut to the chase of this dreadful story, and say that my best friend’s dad back then was a private detective. And after I had tried to kill myself in the motel room — in the throes of it, still, and vomiting everywhere — I left the motel room and managed to call my best friend on a phone. (We didn’t have cell phones yet — not even close.) I was in very bad straits. I did not want to die. I just wanted a life worth living, which is just so different. And my best friend’s dad managed to find me before it was too late. And afterward, they let me come live in their basement for awhile, until I could figure out something better — like, how to get to New York. And that Christmas, her dad bought me a really, really nice pen because he knew I was a writer. I still have the pen, 41 years later. (And I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve moved since then!)

Okay!!! Yes!!!! I digressed.

Well. Right after I fed the cats this morning, I took the trash out to the garbage bin and lo & behold! Robins everywhere!! Wow. It was so cool. They were in the trees. They were flying around. They were on the dead, brown lawns that will soon be super green. It was so cool to see it.

And then after the cats ate and the sun was really up — there were cats sitting at every window, watching the birds again. They get so tense and alert. I just love when they do that. It assures me that summer will soon be back around, too, and every one of those windows will be wide open onto the beautiful green and very lively world of Muskingum County.

I can’t wait.

So, yes! My upstairs toilet is working again. How cool is that? People are just wonderful.

And also yesterday, a friend of mine — a much younger guy that I’ve blogged about many times in the past. I feel certain we knew each other too well in another life and that we were seriously up to no good in it. Anyway. He’s something like 28 years old in this life. And he just moved to a new place. And I wanted to give him a gift but I didn’t want to just give him a plant or something like that, right? I wanted to give him something that would imply that life was awesome and stars are always exploding somewhere.

So I gave him something of mine that I really loved. It’s a very nice (and it was actually expensive) traveling martini kit. It is really the coolest thing. In a little locked leather case. But it’s meant for two. I didn’t buy it for myself — an old flame bought it for me. A man I had many, many vodka martinis with. Many Chesterfield cigarettes with.  And did a whole lot of the other stuff with him, too.  I took really good care of that little martini kit, though. I used to dream that one day, I would fall in love for real and we would travel first class on the Orient Express to Istanbul, maybe on our wedding night or something equally thrilling, and we’d make really  good use of the traveling martini kit.

Not that I think dreams ever really die, but it doesn’t seem super likely to happen. And I don’t really drink anymore, least of all vodka martinis. And I thought — man, this young guy has his whole incredible life ahead of him. Even if he doesn’t ever want to go to Istanbul on the Orient Express, well, a full moon over some amazing starlit field here in the wilds of the Hinterlands is more than good enough when love is involved. Plus, he drinks like a fish. So hopefully he’ll find some pretty girl to love who also drinks like a fish and, voila! He will already have the suave Martini Kit of Love to bring along with him.

Okay!! I gotta scoot. Booty Core awaits!!! Have a wonderful Monday, wherever you are in the world,gang! Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya.

“The Criminal Kind”

You got a criminal mind
You got criminal looks
Boy you better look out
You’re gonna get hooked

Don’t you ever feel guilty
When you come up short
Man you better be careful
You’re gonna get caught

‘Cause you’re the criminal kind
You’re the criminal kind
Man what you gonna do?
Where you gonna hide?
They’re callin’ you a sickness, disease of the mind
Man what you gonna do?
You’re the criminal kind

Don’t you ever get tired?
Don’t you ever want to quit?
Yeah it’s been a long time, and you still don’t fit
Dog tags on the mirror, hangin’ down from a chain
Give up little sister, this ain’t gonna change

Yeah, and that little girl you used to know
Just don’t come around no more
Now she ain’t there to watch the door
She don’t wanna die in no liquor store

I hope they all made money, I hope they all get rich
Yeah, I hope they give hell, to every son-of-a-bitch
That put a man on the carpet
Or stuck him out on the line
Whatever let him get a taste of the criminal life

‘Cause you’re the criminal kind
You’re the criminal kind
Man what you gonna do?
Where you gonna hide?
They’re callin’ you a sickness, disease of the mind
Man what you gonna do?
You’re the criminal kind

c – 1981 Tom Petty

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