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Day After

We had a good Thanksgiving day with Noreen’s children, it was a lot of fun. We went to Fayetteville, home of those pesky Hogs. It is always beautiful to go up into the Ozarks and see the scenery. We missed my children but the space was limited, the older children welcomed them to come but I was afraid there would be limited space and since Brandon, (Noreen’s oldest son) lives in an apartment there is not a yard only a balcony to go out on, I just didn’t think that they would have too much fun there. But they were missed very much.

The kids have a glow and an innocence about them that I hope never goes away. They know about my addiction, I was advised that I should not keep it from them even though I wanted too. It was explained to me that if they get into drugs struggle and feel like I would not understand, then found out that I kept it from them what would they think? Would they feel like they were betrayed by their own father? I felt that way sometimes while I was growing up, I found out later the things that I was doing and struggling with at times I now know my dad could have helped me with or guided me away from with his knowledge. I think with the kids knowing the hell that I am experiencing, the tough road that it is to get away from it, how messed up my childhood and most of my adult life was they would want to stay away from it. If they don’t then we will get through that together. I would rather that happen then them hide anything from me, feeling like I would be disappointed in them if they stray. I don’t want them to hide anything from me, and I don’t want to be hypocritical in that area. If I act like I have never done anything wrong, then they will act like they never do anything wrong, then we will all never truly know each other. I want them to feel like they could ask or talk to me about anything. They love me and I never romanticized drug use, never will. Nothing romantic or fun about it.

Thanksgiving and Christmas brings up good memories, but it also reminds me of holidays spent in old houses with a cut straw, or rolled up dollar bill and a broken piece of glass or magazine with speed laid out on it. Some of my holidays were spent opening up an old screen that slammed behind me, with a musty smell welcoming me in. Something about that smell reminded me of a mausoleum, it might as well have been. Dusty wood floors decorated with dusty furniture. Cob webs hanging from the corners of the walls. Heat was provided by either a wood burning stove or a gas heater. I am not describing one house in particular it just seemed that whatever house I would light in had these things in common.

I was always greeted by at least one, sometimes two at the most, other lonely people on the holidays. “Happy Thanksgiving.” “Merry Christmas.” said in a dead pan voice. Whether we meant it or not was a moot point, we weren’t there for the holidays, just company, and a high. Mostly a high. Let’s face it I can remember the places better then I can remember the names. We were just some other motorheads getting stoned and trying to numb ourselves. We never talked about what brought us there, and to that part of our lives, we had enough of our own troubles to deal with on our own. We would make small talk, and proceed to do lines and smoke a little. Then we would just sit there in silence mostly, when the speed wasn’t kicking in, then we would talk about a lot of crap. Enjoying our little high. However, looking back what was there to enjoy? Just to get inside yourself a little more, inside the darkness a little bit further.

If we were zoning out on weed when someone would speak it would be startling, and it would last a couple of sentences, then go back to silence. We would inevitably do a couple of more lines, buy a line or two to take with me, take one as a Christmas present and leave into the night. Sometimes I would end up at a Gentleman’s Club which is not a good name for that kind of place because there were never any real gentleman there. Here’s the rub, eventually I would have to go home, alone again. Even though I was basically alone anyway, even in company. What a waste of my life. Get high, zone out, thinking that you were on top of the world doing everything better then you have ever done it before. Just to realize that you were not a functioning part of society. Talking about anything and everything, when all the factual stuff was gone we would just make up stuff just to talk. We did that when we went out to town or parties and think that everyone thought we were it. We were anything but what we thought.

That was a lonely life. A dirty life, doing anything for a high. And I do mean anything. Degrading lifestyle that should not be envied by anyone. Sometimes I am afraid that it is romanticized too much by movies, and TV. There is nothing great about that lifestyle and the suffering it brings. The speed hangovers, the irritation, the sleep deprivation, the depression rather you are on it or trying to get off of it. No matter how hard they try they can never portray the emptiness inside, or the pain that goes with detoxing, the physical and the mental. The fancy camera work that they do to show the confusion is mild at best.

I have the best memories of holidays when I was growing up, that was one time that I knew we would all have fun together. My mom died and we had a different time to meet for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I separated myself from the ones that my dad had for a little while because of where I was at the time. Even when mom was alive I would sneak out early leave a house full of people to just escape again, don’t ask why, I couldn’t tell you the reason. Sometimes I would come over loaded, they would think that I was high when I wasn’t and straight when I was high. So I thought that I would seem normal, that was my defense anyway.

I am thankful for having holidays with family again, and want to make up for lost time with my family. It seems that the only time my siblings and I see each other are during the holidays, and I want to make the most out of it. I want to spend as much time with my dad as I can, make up lost time with him. We might not always see eye to eye but when we do I can see a little bit of myself in those eyes. I think that my dad did the best he could under the circumstances, I just want to be careful with my kids and let them know that I am fallible, I don’t want them to put me in a cape and call me a superhero, because I am not. I want them to learn from my mistakes and not guard them, fool or force them into thinking I am perfect. Well, I pray that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had plenty of leftovers, we did and do.

 D.

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I was tagged by my Sis. and if I remember anything from my youth with her that it is she tags too hard. Lets see what to reveal.

1. I know that it sounds like I am copying from Jan, but I can play several instruments. I used to love to listen to my sisters play piano, so I just figured I could do whatever they could do, probably better. So who needs lessons when you are a prodigy? Eventually Mom got tired of my compositions and sent me to take lessons. I also play a twelve string guitar, and bass guitar. In school I played Tuba, and sit in to play Trombone, and French Horn.

2. I am an artist. I work in different medias which are: pen and ink; scratch board; graphite; and water colors, my favorite is paint-by-numbers.

3. My first time to watch wrestling was at my Grandfathers house, which was Mid South wrestling at the time. My Mom wouldn’t let us at home, probably because my older Brother and I couldn’t wait to try some of the moves on each other. I remember that my Granddad and I would watch it every Saturday morning, I miss that.

4. I rode my first horse at a young age. My Gramps, my Mom’s dad, lived in Oklahoma and when I would get on my cousins and Brothers nerves they would have Gramps throw me on a horse for a while.

5. There is a ten and eleven year difference in my age and my sisters, when they were in their late teens they would invite me into their room and let me listen to their records while I swept the floor. I felt so grown-up!

There you go, that was almost painless. I think that Jan could have dug a little deeper and told who initiated some of the pranks my siblings pulled on their innocent little brother. One more for me. 6. I am the youngest in our family.

Okay now it is time for me to tag someone, but who?

1. It isn’t nice to tag someone you haven’t been formally introduced to, so I hope that John Dobbs doesn’t mind.

2. My favorite college guy Seth.

3. Daddys girl Brittany Shaye.

4. Thomas can play. Olley Olley Oxen Free!

5. And like Jan said feel free to join in..

D.

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Deano to Devo and beyond

The end of the year and I just can’t seem to stop reminiscing about the past. So here goes again.

My father has a cylinder player. At least that is what I call it. It was before record players, and it played cylinders that you would put on a spindle and wind it up by using a crank that was on the player, then placing a needle down on it like you would a record player and voila music. Okay you might be having a hard time imagining such a machine, especially with  the way that I am describing it, but hopefully you get the gist of it.

It was my Grandfathers and I think that it is so cool. The cylinders came in a brown hard cardboard sleeve, with a decoration of some kind and the artist and title. I grew up as I assume most of you did with albums, or as those crazy kids call them now, ‘vinyl’. My first 45 was Roberta Flack’s ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song.’ My sisters picked it up for me when I was 7 or 8(?) because I wanted something with real music, I had some 78s of books and probably a Disney soundtrack, but I wanted something like they had. I don’t know if they put any thought into it or not, or if it was just a joke, but I loved that 45, I wore it out! I think that I still have it somewhere.

I have probably close to 300 albums I have collected, mostly from when I was growing up. At that time though I did not realize I was collecting them per say as much as enjoying them. The covers were so inviting, so colorful. Some albums would open up to reveal the words or more pictures. They might have posters in them, and since they were bigger say then the CDs we have now, the posters could really be poster size.

The advantages with albums were that they could switch them up a little. I have an Alice Cooper album ‘From The Inside’ that when you open it up it would look like the inside of an asylum, and there was a little door you could open that said Quiet Room and inside was a picture of Alice. On the back you could open the doors to the ‘asylum’ which revealed a picture of everyone with their release papers running outside! So cool. I had a Sweet, (a band in the seventies), album called ‘Give Us A Wink’ that had eyes on the cover and when you pulled the sleeve out it would wink! A Steve Miller album that had the ‘Book Of Dreams’ cover painted on the disk itself. A blue Beatles album, a red Beatles album, a blue Elvis album. The list could go on and on.

Sure albums had skips, but sometimes the hisses and pops make it for me. I used to tape a penny on the head of the needle to help stop the smaller skips, try to fix your cd player by using a little southern ingenuity. And you could pile up records in ‘queue’ and let them drop down. If you chose to ‘shuffle’ your music, just lift the arm up, move the needle to the song you wanted and before you know it you’re shuffling. For ‘continuous play’ you could just leave the arm up and it would play the album again, the first side anyway. And you could ‘skip’ to different songs if you wanted, (see note on shuffle). Much like modern cds.

But say you wanted something to listen to in your car, well how about eight tracks? Bulky, if you wanted to hear a song again you had to wait until it came back around to it or go to track 1, 2, 3, or 4 and wait but not as long.  Or the song that you really wanted to hear would be between tracks, causing it to fade out and change track and fade back in. Then of course came cassettes.

CDs bring back some of the fun of albums and are more compact, hence the name compact disc. And some of the packaging is fun, and the art is wonderful. I see how our kids, all of them, will look at the linear notes in their cds, search the words, and an overall excitement with the music. Now mp3s are becoming more popular with downloadable graphics and videos, which is all well and good but to me it just doesn’t seem like it is something that you own. Like it isn’t a part of that artist, not like the feel an album had.

 I like cds, I have almost 200. Some are ones I transfered over from album and a mix of old and new, country to gospel to hard rock. I like all kinds. But I miss the magic of an album.

D.

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New Year, Old Thoughts

Part of me is looking forward to Aught 7 and part of me is not. I know that we can grow for the better any part of the year, but it makes me reflect on some of the things that I have stopped growing on, and one part of me that continues growing, me belly.

I used to body build, not professionally, just for myself. It helped me a lot, especially with battling a depression I was going through at the time. A few years ago, around the end of 2002 beginning of 2003, I quit. I was getting busy with my job and it was manual labor so I felt that I was getting enough exercise, but apparently not because I started gaining my weight back, from 180 to 230 by the end of 2003 and when I hurt my back..well, let’s just say it went down hill from there, or up hill? I don’t know, whichever the bad side of the hill is I went there.

I have been doing this off and on since I was a teen, which got me in a ‘retrospective mood’. When I was in my early twenties my buddy, a consistent lifter, was going to be my trainer for the Mr. Arkansas competition, we had just gone to see someone we know win the comp. and we were all pumped up. My buddy’s gym was a homemade gym which I thought was the coolest thing. It looked like a scene right out of Rocky! Cinder blocks on barbells, and roofing tar bundles for the heavier weights. Old concrete weights on the dumbbells, which is actually lighter then the iron ones we use today, but again to increase the weight we would just use a single cinder block in each hand. Afterwards we would run about two – three miles, actually he would run that or more I would give out about a mile. I never did see any sense in running anyway. 😛 And then we would drink powdered milk and eat tuna sandwiches for protein. Then just sit outside and talk sometimes for hours.

We built up, but the dreams of competing took a back seat to other things. We are still friends today, best friends and we get together and play and sing a little Rockabilly. As I said I worked out off and on after and before then, but the memories of those years have got me hankering to take it up again. I know that I would feel better and live longer for my kids whether they want me to at times or not.

One last thing about this is that I always get my protein from tuna, the sea chicken. Much to Nee-Nee’s chagrin I put a clove or two of garlic, (a bottle of Listerine afterwards won’t hurt) extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a splash of Miracle Whip for after I worked out, if you don’t like tuna for breakfast try hard broiled eggs same amount of protein as in a raw egg and a little tastier.

Now that I am in a reflective mood I started thinking about music and the different medias it has gone through. Maybe next post.

D.

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