Tuesday, November 5, 2013

His Life Passed Him By Like A Warm Summer Day

  • Still can't decide who I want to cover this classic- Korn? Would probably weird it up too much. Deftones? Would probably make it to depressing. Lenny K? Yeah- rock on baby.
  • Suddenly it's 1975 again.
  • When I was a boy there was a cop in my hometown of Decatur TX that when he'd being working a traffic stop or talking to whatever group of thugs I happened to be with at the time would and I'm not kidding even a little bit- hold his hand over his pistol and rub his fingertips together like he was waiting for someone to make a move so he could get the drop on them with his iron.
  • Also in the misspent days of my youth in that same town there was a boy who due to radiation poisoning? had to have his leg amputated. When he would have enough of me and my fellow miscreants picking on him he could have his artificial leg off faster than you could blink and using the strap as a handle could beat you smooth to death with it if someone didn't intervene.
  • I heard in prison they took that leg away from him and made him hop around on one leg without even crutches as he would use them as weapons themselves- only difference was there were two of them.
  • And they were longer.
  • His brother was my best friend.
  • The last four of their home phone was 3210. When we met that was all you had to dial before the phone company thought of the ridiculously inconvenient addition of the number 7 as a prefix.
  • He died in a single vehicle accident after an argument with his wife in their country house. He took off in his truck- she chased him in her car. He wadded that truck up around a tree after reportedly running off the road to keep her from wrecking on a one lane bridge they were approaching side by side killing him instantly. Since they lived in the middle of nowhere it took the ambulance crew over 2 hours to find them and she had to stay there with his body until they did.
  • Guys that loved him hated her for that- I felt for her over the ordeal and still do. Interestingly, the only other person whom I know I could also say with confidence was his best friend feels the same way.
  • He played the trumpet like an angel plays the harp and was always first chair in band. So smart- he helped me with school work and my trombone.
  • How smart and devious was he? Over a period of a few days when we were in 6 or 7th grade he wouldn't speak to me or when he did he was nasty and looked at me down his nose like I was a bug. If we met in a hall he would act like he didn't see me and keep walking. When I'd finally had enough I went up to him saying something like,"What's the matter with you lately man?" With an unbelievable flash of anger in his eyes he shouted,"This is what's the matter with me!" and stabbed me in the ribs- with a rubber bladed plastic handled knife he pulled out of his coat pocket. He nearly fell over laughing and literally had to lean against the lockers for support. I nearly fell over from a heart attack.
  • Brilliant.
  • His dad was a rough dude who had two nice .22 caliber rifles he'd owned since he was a boy. They hung over their television in a gun rack in the living room. For a long time I puzzled over why each one had a hole through the butt stock.
  • When he was a kid he thought it would be cool to shoot each one with the other so he propped each one against a fence and shot the other in turn.
  • The trailer park they lived in had an empty field facing the row of trailers they were in which was there for proposed future development. We used it for a WWI style no mans land battlefield and the drainage ditches for trenches. Groups of boys would assault across no mans land (what we literally called it) and in the face of withering rock and dirt clod fire attack the other boys with sticks in the place of rifles since few of us could afford toy ones (although oddly- I assure you most of us could produce a real one if we found bullets to shoot).
  • Once we made it through that hail of fire and dropped into the opposing trench?
  • Well, they'd better throw their hands up and look real scared real quick screaming I surrender! or the understood rule was we weren't responsible for our actions.
  • I miss those dirty faced, violent, stinky and wonderfully feral boys- the one that became me included.

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