“Bang, bang, you’re dead!” Tommy yells from the thick woods bordering our back yard. “Bang, bang, you’re dead! Ha! I got you right between the eyes! You’re dead!”
Tommy’s laughter recedes.
“Bravo One, Bravo One, this is Delta, Over . . . Bravo One, this is Delta, over.” Again and again the same agitated voice. “Bravo one. Can you read me? Over.”
My pounding heartbeat all but silences the incessant static of the radio lying somewhere to my side. I’m trying to find the handset, trying to answer. My ears are ringing. My eyes struggle to focus . . .
‘Blood! Oh shit! What happened? Roll over. Crawl away. Move!’
Blurred, ghost-like images moving swiftly past speak singsong Vietnamese.
I struggle against the panic seeking to engulf me, close my eyes, attempt to merge with the mud I am lying in.
“Help me,” a voice moans to my left. I hear cursing to my front. The low cough of an AK47 shatters the stillness. Pleading screams followed by more shots, curses . . . more shots.
The shooting ends as quickly as it had started. A hushed silence falls over the scene as the men melt into the thick underbrush.
I try to roll over . . . to escape into the jungle before they return, but my legs have detached themselves from my brain. They are doing a strange mud dance of their own.
I think of my dad, years ago, laughing as Buster the old coon hound runs in his sleep by the fireplace, “He’s chasing rabbits,” dad says to me.
Tommy laughs at me lying beneath the old oak tree playing dead and pokes me with the butt of his BB gun. “Gotcha, Jimmy. Ha! You’re dead.”
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Hey! . . . Been gone awhile cause well, I just got tired of this blog. I had said all I wanted to about surviving the coming storm . . . and as to politics? There is enough political bullshit on the internet to sink an aircraft carrier already.
So . . . I finished building a guitar I started fifteen years ago and I absolutely love it!
It's so old it's already “almost vintage” (Picture coming) Thing is the instrument plays beautifully. Walnut back and sides with a cedar top. Mahogany neck set just right to accommodate the light strings in DADGAD tuning so I can learn some Celtic tunes.
I also cleaned out my tool shed, moved a bunch of the stuff to the basement and created me a really small 8x12 guitar building shop (this way I must keep it tidy unlike my previous cabinet shop) plus a larger outside area for the few noisy power tools I still possess.
I am going to build one at a time 'parlor style' finger picking guitars and, I don't know, I'm thinking of giving them away to some of the needy kids around here and maybe sell one once in a while after I get really good at it.
I Thought of having an internet write-in contest where a kid could send me a letter about his desires to play and lack of funds etc. then I would pick the one I thought was the best and send him/her a free, very playable guitar. We'll see. What do you think?
Anyhow I was thinking while I was working in my new building spot about the beauty of all this silence I find myself in. It is so quiet around here in the holler that I can hear the deer barking in the evening and turkeys gobbling on the hillsides early in the morning.
Christ, we live in a paradise . . . even if I did just the other day have to bury one of my dogs. Somehow it all fits, the yin and the yang of life.
The one thing I don't miss though is people and their constant chatter. Noise bothers me. And human beings are the nosiest animals on this planet bar none. Driving around in motorized monsters, running machinery, loud music, canned laughter, (that make believe stuff people do) talking just to hear themselves, (while having nothing much to say when they think they do) makes me crazy.
Sometimes I just sit and listen to them thinking, everybody, including myself, is so full of shit they ought to just shut up and listen to the birds singing. At least the birds have a sweet refrain.
Maybe I'm just getting old, but man, it sure feels good to run a sharp hand plane down a cedar top and hear the whoosh as it picks up a small amount of wood and curls it into a fragrant ball.
The one noise I do allow into my inner sanctum though is what I consider to be the perfect language . . . music. This language is far more easy for me to understand than the myriad shades of gray involved in that double speak and innuendo that we humans come up with.
I love a certain kind of music in my quiet time though, mostly instrumental, mostly finger picking guitar, some cello. I have an mp3 player full of the stuff. I go to sleep at night listening to good old Irish/Scottish music or some of that New Age stuff. Beautiful.
But as a product of the sixties I also have my Steppinwolf and Creedance Clearwater and (who can forget) Janis Joplin, but that's for when I feel the need to make some noise . . . cause well, sometimes all this quiet can get overpowering and a little bit of pot smoking and hell raising places a nice minor chord into the melody of this really peaceful existence my wife and I have created for ourselves.
The kids are trying hard to pervert and distort music these days with all the rap and badly played guitars accompanying screamers who should still be in practice mode, but if your quiet for a minute you can still hear Sinatra doing it My Way or Nat King Cole soothing through some Stardust.
The purity of this language may have been ghettoized, but it's still there in the Memories of our minds waiting . . . like the old cello in the closet for some nimble fingers to stroke it back to life.
It's nice to be old.