Thursday, January 20, 2011

Never go to a funeral early

Fast Eddie told me 3:00 pm. I think I showed up around 10 to 3, but wasn't looking at the clock. I was the first cab driver. Only the intimate family had arrived earlier. Funerals are for the living. I shook Doug's sister's hand and told her I was a cab driver. As I write this, I wonder if she'll remember me of the cab drivers. I didn't see any of the others say hello to her . Only Christine asked about the family, and actually she only asked among the drivers if anyone knew which person was Doug's girlfriend. Perhaps Doug's sister will associate me with the drivers. Doesn't matter. I don't care.

Doug was a night driver. It's an odd brotherhood. You'd have to be one to understand.

They had a bunch of photo's, Doug looked like his mom, and his sister looked like his father. Doug in general looked like he came from Rockford. Rockford? Yes, he really did come from Rockford. Back in the '90's I did quite a bit of business in Rockford, and more than a few people in Rockford look a bit like Doug, or should I say Doug looked like them. I'm betting his mom comes from an old, old family. I always thought Doug was a good looking man. His mom was probably a looker when she was young.

It was hard to be alone at the funeral parlor. I got up and walked around a couple of times. When Fast Eddie arrived, it got much easier. I'm thinking a dozen to 15 drivers showed up, and all 4 cab companies were represented.

When Eddie and I sat back down, there was a guy about 4 chairs to my right that I didn't recognize at all. He was one of the day dispatchers from my first weeks driving, and he still dispatches. He's a daytime only person, so I hadn't run into him at work in years and years. When he said something, that voice rang clear as a bell, I knew who it was. He's never gained a pound. He was well dressed, could have passed for a business man. It's odd that a little of his hair is really dark, and the rest is gray. It's still curly, he still has it all, still wears it the same way, but neither he nor his hair look right. That hair was and should be very red in my mind. His comment was that he's glad he still has it. I know exactly what he means.

It took me until about the middle of the service to figure out that the little wooden box up at the front of the room was Doug. His guitar was next to it. In the presentation, they showed photo's of his dog, and said he and his dog were reunited. Hmmm. Dogless............. The depression when you lose a dog you're really close to is bad. Have I ever recovered from the loss of my first dog? Probably not.

They showed photo's of places he loved. Doug and I had the same taste. Perhaps that's why I got along with him. I haven't visited Devil's Lake in years, but when I lived in Baraboo , I went there all the time. I started to say I took my dog there too, but I don't know about that. It's a state park, and I remember climbing those rocks. Would Petie have climbed those rocks with me? Probably not. I do remember the artesian well at the dog park in Baraboo. We went doggin there a lot. It was really had to look at the photo of Doug's dog. Harder than it was to look at his photo. I don't like to think about losing the dog I have now to old age.

Which brings me back to depression. It was the dead of winter, and the middle of the first real serious cold snap. The winter money for a night driver is good, but sometimes you don't see much of the light of day. They say he went home from work, and died. He was only 52. Nobody found him for 3 days. Nobody had any reason to think it was anything other than, he just died. A blood clot in his brain perhaps. A friend who used to be an EMT said he'd picked up a 3 day dead body once or twice. The kind of body you'd just about have to burn. Well, it doesn't matter now. But I wonder.

When the service was over, I stood and walked away from the cab drivers section. Went straight up to the front of the room, where the little box was, next to his guitar. I placed my hand on the box, about like you'd put your hand on the shoulder of an old friend, and said, "Good bye Doug." Then straight outside. I said good bye to no one. When I was a kid, my grandmother had to spend 45 minutes socializing after church, every time. That was quality time, when I could have been fishing. That's why it's something I never do.

Good bye Doug. You now know, or for an instant knew, the answer to the eternal question. I wish I'd gotten to know you better when the opportunity was available. I will miss that smile.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Good bye Doug

This afternoon I will see my estranged family. The occasion? Unfortunately a funeral.

Douglas Robert Blomquist, was a night driver. I'm thinking he'd been around for about 15 years, but I don't really recall when he started driving. He was experienced, he knew what he was doing when he started here. I have no idea where he drove before Madison, Wisconsin.

Fast Eddie called yesterday and told me of the funeral. I don't know what I'd do without him.

I found yet another login to a site for writers. I'd given up trying to remember the site. When my previous laptop died, my access to it died. The password was no problem.

What I'm thinking is that there are a hell of a lot of people who want to be writers. That's nice. What do they want to write? Lit class exercises? I accepted being unable to write when I was 10 years old. I accepted it for a lifetime. Obviously, all these would be writers never had that obstacle.

What 'lit exercises' should I write? Perhaps some based on the Xanaduvians. I wonder what ever happened to that fellow from South Africa. Kind of funny story, but I can tell it because the only name in it didn't do anything she'd be able to sue me over. Her name was Andrea, and she probably disliked me more than any other house member. If memory serves, she was lady natural, one of the whole grain mamma's in the house. She had a brother in the house too, Jack. Anyway, Andrea really had it in for me. Then the fellow from South Africa cruised into the house one evening. He was looking for something. He found what he was looking for.

I asked him how he ended up in Ann Arbor, he told me he was a draft dodger. Ran to England rather than shoot people out of a helicopter in SA. He got a real good job as a computer programmer. His company transferred him from Leeds, England to Ann Arbor. He was real young too. As in, 21-ish. He must have been a REALLY smart kid.

15 minutes after he left on his first visit, Andrea was at my door, and she was real friendly. Would I introduce her to my new friend. Yeah, right. He was cute, she wasn't, at least in my estimation. I don't recall making the introduction. Why would I want to do something like her to my new friend? She didn't think of it in those terms..... Raging hormones. Even the biggest politically correct jerks have that going on when they're young it would seem.

Another funny story is the house member who wrote Lesbo Cult. That's a funny story too, I'll bet he got a whole $100 for it. He'd always claimed he was a writer. He had the right prerequisites, he drank too much, didn't fit in in a Hemingway-esque sort of way. Does he rate being remembered by anybody? Nah, he doesn't rate being remembered. Worth remembering is the fact that he was free to live there. Equal treatment for people, in a cooperative setting. The way cooperatives should work. Reflections of The Principles of Rochdale.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Another great blog, I should read this one daily

And daily is the way to read it, because it doesn't come with links to all the back posts.

I was really interested in these publishing blogs and people a while back. Not so much anymore. Anymore, I see a small point of light at the end of the tunnel. Today's task is to finish chapter 2. I've got to integrate the retired Army Major, and retired school teacher who were the first 2 people to rip me off as a cab driver.

That's really great isn't it? A retired military officer, who has a great pension, and a retired school teacher, who also had a great pension. Both of whom, lived in a luxury old folks community. Based on their behavior they're no different from the first guy I ever got the cops to take to jail for skipping out on a fare. Common thieves. And, if you'd like to discuss it Major, I'd be happy to call you a thief to your face.

That first guy? If memory serves, his name was Larry Ford. The whole ride he spit on the floor of the cab and repeated that he didn't 'pay for no god damned cab rides'. Then there was the woman he lived with who came out of that welfare shack and offered me about 1/3 of the fare in nickles and penny's. God, she had the worst rotten teeth I've ever seen. It's amazing what a black guy will latch on to just so he can say she's white............. But I digress.

Anyhow, you're in fine company aren't you ladies? Especially you Major.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Went cybervisiting today

Visited a place I haven't been in almost a year.

That guy has 1,000's of followers. I used to be interested in him because he was an agent, and I thought I'd find an agent before I had a book to sell. He's still pretty interesting, but he's given up being an agent and become an author. Looks like he writes kids books.

I logged in as an alter ego of mine, that I haven't used in almost a year. I can only imagine what I'll find in the deepest alter ego, never log into blog...........

Now that I'm writing, I'm less interested in agents. When I get more written, I'll be more interested, I guess. It's moving on pretty good too.


Junk is something
You always keep
You keep it all
Heap by heap

You pile it up
Beneath your bed
Or maybe outside
in the shed

Now and then
You'll search it out
And find the things
You could do without

You'll throw it in
A boat that's sunk
And next day you'll say
You needed that junk

I had this poem transcribed on a sheet of paper and needed inspiration to toss stuff out. Well, I need to toss that poem out too. Wish I could say my kid wrote it. Oh, well, now I can toss the hard copy.