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Figbuck Chronicles...


Figbuck

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  • 2 weeks later...

Amazing. It was stuck on 620 views for about a year before some wise ass decided to make this thread a Sticky. I thought that was pretty cosmic. I have a couple Ratsun friends and you know who you are. Mostly I post this stuff for you guys because with one exception I have never actually met you.

 

I probably shouldn't say this, but I don't really give a fuck what people think about me. I know some really talented, creative people and it keeps me humble. I'm not trying to impress anybody. Whenever I thought I could ride motorcycles fast, somebody came along and smoked me. Whenever I thought I could play the horn, somebody came along and blew me off the stage. Life is a learning experience. I must not be that smart because I have had to learn some of the same lessons over and over again.

 

Right now, I'm just trying to keep a low profile, stay out of trouble, not bother anyone, just focus and concentrate on working my shit out. I had a couple unfortunate accidents in the last few years where I could have easily died. I was simply lucky. It was a wake up call because I began to be extremely intolerant and unforgiving of other people and pissed a lot of them off whether I knew them or not. It seemed like nobody was cutting me any slack and I wasn't about to cut anybody else any either.

 

After a hundred people all told me the same thing: "Man you are an asshole, you need to get professional help!", it started to sink in. Once again, I have been dumb lucky to have been able to visit a therapist regularly for the last couple years. Not that he is telling me anything new or teaching me things I need to know. It is simply like having to look in the mirror. The work is my work. He did diagnose me with clinical depression however. I don't want to be on medication so I have to work on myself in order to survive in society.

 

One of the problems with not wanting to take drugs is that I don't sleep much. I ended up starting a journal and some of these stories have been pick out of that middle of the night writing. Just an editorial note...

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My Dad died a few weeks before I got discharged from the Army in the spring of 1975. When I got out and went home, my mother was freaking out. I had some money saved and got two thousand bucks for vacation pay, so I decided to pack the Datsun and hit the road for a while to try and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My Mom

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As we got out into the desert he started to tell me about himself. He had been living in the jungle in the Yucatan Peninsula for the last two years and he would probably still be there except that he got word that his father had died six months before. He Dad was a wealthy lawyer. He was the sole heir and needed to go back to the City to take care of the estate. We talked about growing up, our families and how screwed up it seemed that both our fathers were in their early sixties when they died.

 

He didn

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We said goodbye and never saw each other again. I still have the albums he gave me and from time to time play vinyl records. There are some real out of print gems I want to convert to MP3 files for my iTunes.

 

 

ever heard of John Cage?

 

 

:cool: always enjoy your stories man

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  • 3 weeks later...

just finished reading the four pages over the last 24 hours , thank you for putting in the effort and the intriguing writing.

I dont often read more than a paragraph before getting restless.I could read your stories for hours

: thanks john

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About an hour ago, the earth in it's trip around the sun began to tip back on it's axis. The days will start to get longer again. While we won't notice it for a few weeks because the days are so short, I know that it's happening and I feel better.

 

I don't like the fall and winter much. There is a period at the end of October where the days get noticeably shorter and the color of the sunsets get golden. I get this sinking feeling that time is passing. I think, if this is going to be a good year, I better get busy, finish my projects and have something to show for all my effort.

 

I'm not big into Christmas or even New Year's any more. The Winter Solstice seems more like a real thing to me. This last year was not great by any measure. I know nothing about astrology, but I think I can feel the cosmic vibration change around. It was not that long ago we were out here in this neck of the solar system and here we go again. I gave this last year my best shot and I'm going to try again once more. What is the alternative... quit?

 

There were a few episodes this year that were sublime. Very few. Very little comedy and lots of tragic stuff. Yes, I think I will have a slice of Swiss and some Pepper Jack with my whine.

 

Was it last year or the year before at this time? Jeez, it goes so fast I can't remember... but I do remember the feeling. I had finally finished painting my truck, putting it back together and driving it every day once more. I was dealing with an electrical gremlin that was draining my battery and it killed three of them before I figured out that the clock in the stereo was killing them. I guess, I think, anyway, because when I disconnected it, things got back to normal.

 

Before that happened, I was disconnecting the battery every night and had to get out, pop the hood and reconnect it in the morning. I thought about wiring a master kill switch on a relay, but I was burnt on wrenching. I had appointment and left in plenty of time to make it. I connected the battery and closed the hood. Four blocks up the street the engine got warm and I started to accelerate. BAM! The hood popped up and creamed my new windshield wipers, valance and bent the hood and its hinges. It was fucked. I couldn't close the hood and had to limp back to the house with my head out the window. O course I was late.

 

I felt so bad, I am at a loss for words to describe. The only thing I could think of was that at least my brand new windshield didn't get broken. Small consolation. I threw a tarp over the truck and it sat in the garage for a couple weeks because I just couldn't look at it.

 

Finally, I gathered all the energy I had, pulled the damaged parts off and assessed the mess. I had a complete spare hood and valance, so I went through the whole process all over again. Strip the hood, weld up a couple pin holes of rust, acid treat the metal, primer, surfacer, block sand, color coat and clear coat. It took me fifty or sixty hours and a couple hundred bucks in materials to get it back to new, like it was.

 

I don't know what the deal is, but I started having the same electrical gremlins again and have had to disconnect the battery every time I stop. A couple nights ago, I was leaving my shop but someone was blocking me in. I don't know what happened. I was sure I closed the hood and it clicked shut. But, I got side tracked trying to find who owned the truck blocking me in. Two blocks down the street, BAM, the hood flies up and creams my windshield wipers, valance and bends the hood and hinges.

 

Fortunately I had a little crescent wrench and philips screwdriver in the package tray, so I could take the hood off. The hinges bent so that I couldn't close it once again. I felt like crying. It was midnight, about twenty degrees out. I had worked twelve hours, was tired and hungry.

 

Last night I moved piles of stuff out of the way to get to my spare hoods. I decided to try and bend the hood I messed up that last time, before I started to prep my last good spare. I took a five pound single jack and beat the crap out of the hinges on a piece of railroad tie. I got them more or less back in shape and beat on the hood for while. I have some spare valances but they need paint prep and paint. I'm going to try to fix the one I just screwed up, but in the meant time, I got the old hood back on and working.

 

I would like to have just one thing in my life that is cherry. Is that to much to ask? I mean I worked so hard to fix up my truck up and make it clean and serviceable. I drove it looking rusty and ugly for years and I made me so happy to be able to have a new truck again.

 

In the time it took to write this or read it, things have changed. We are traveling at about 67,000 miles an hour orbiting around our sun. All I can say is onward.

 

Which brings me to the story of how I got my truck...

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This Datsun cartoon is going to take a while to illustrate. Hang with me...

 

My first awareness of true ugliness was when I was ten years old. I remember sitting in the waiting room at Angelo

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By the time we got down to Monterey County, the sun was setting over the Pacific and things got pretty quiet. You have all seen the movie of the long haired recruits getting off the bus and the Drill Instructors going crazy on them. It was just like the movie, except it was my movie. A DI in a Smokey the Bear hat came on the bus and gave us the same speech about contraband and said if we had any, to put it in the trash barrel by the door. If we were caught with contraband we would go to Federal Prison at Fort Leavenworth and then serve our whole enlistment after we got out.

 

We were ushered into a hall where we filled out paperwork for the next two hours and got the shit scared out of us by the Drill Sergeants. At midnight they marched us up the road to these old wooden World War II barracks. The DI told us, no smoking in the barracks, no talking, find a bunk and go to sleep. He warned us not to piss him off. He said if he had to come back to tell us again, we would start training right now. He said it would be in our best interest to get to sleep because he had big plans for us and would be back at zero six hundred.

 

Of course guys started talking and laughing. A minute later the DI, who knew it would happen, came storming back into the barracks, barking and kicking bunk beds. He said we pissed him off and because of that he wasn

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In May, my friend Paul wrote me to see how I was doing. I still had a couple weeks before I would leave to be stationed at the Presidio San Francisco. He took the train all the way to Virginia so we could drive back together. I picked him up on a Friday night, so it was easy to sneak him into the barracks building I was living in with 500 other Army, Navy and Marine band students. My seven other roommates thought it was funny as hell that a civilian was going to crash in our room for the weekend.

 

There was a guy in our squad from the midwest, that was really gung ho and straight as they come. He got his parents to sign a waiver for him to enlist when he was 17. He was

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Time is a curious thing. I wonder how this time thing works. I think about it all the time, ha, ha. Is it just a matter of perception? A couple thousand years ago, how did people view time? I mean, they didn’t have clocks on their dashboards or self-setting digital clocks on their cell phones.

 

Am I sensitive to time because it is constantly displayed in so many ways? The rent and bills are due, I need to keep to a schedule, so that I can avoid traffic, be efficient with my time and maximize my work or free time. I watch the clock so I don’t miss appointments or shows. I watch the calendar so I can plan long term to attend events or complete projects.

 

It was probably not that long ago that people’s perception of time was the seasons tied to food production, crop planting and harvest. They didn’t sweat the time of day other than, sun up, can see to work, sun down, time to sleep, hungry, time to eat. What time is it? Something like, either day time, or night time.

 

There was a point maybe in fifth grade, where I became aware that I was hooked on knowledge. I liked to know that I knew. Knowledge must be linked to time, because isn’t it a product of experience and understanding? I must be buying hard into this experience of time, in order to gain that good feeling that I have the knowledge.

 

I heard this story about Adam and Eve living in paradise at the garden of Eden. They were chillin’, eating from the tree of life. Eve met a serpent who told her that she would be wise if she ate an apple from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve and then Adam ate the forbidden fruit, and became aware of their nakedness. After this, in order to deny them access to the tree of life (and, hence, immortality), they were banished from the garden and forced to survive through agriculture "by the sweat of (their) brow".

 

I’m thinking that with knowledge, came the awareness of time also. I wasn’t there and so for me it’s just a narrative to illustrate a point. Here we are on this third stone from the sun. Our litte rock in space is tipping on it’s axis, so we are going to perceive the length of our days and weather changing. He we are again, half way between our longest and shortest days.

 

I feel better about the days getting longer than when the days are getting shorter. I’m not sure how I feel about getting older. It’s a trade off for the time/experience/knowledge thing to happen to me. If I thought about it differently, I would dread getting older, the passage of time, because of the inevitable end of life as we perceive it.

 

I’m going to choose to view death as the other half of life and not as something to be dreaded. I seems like most of the problems humans have are related to fear. To me, fear is lack of understanding, people are afraid of things they don’t understand. Death seems to be the big mystery and with that lack of knowledge, fear is present.

 

I just don’t have the “time” to explain here how I understand my perception of life and death, but I’m not afraid of it. It’s not all that simple, but a work in progress.

 

One night about fifteen years ago my girlfriend and I were driving through Walnut Creek, California, southbound on Interstate 680 from Davis to the South Bay Area. She was driving my old Datsun because I had a patch over one eye results of an injury. We were in the fast lane of five, going eighty miles per hour. It was after midnight on a Sunday night and there was no traffic except for three cars in front of us that we followed for many miles in convoy fashion.

 

A car traveling at a high rate of speed caught up to the pack and began to tailgate us. The GF remarked that some asshole was tailgating us. I said, this is California, you pass on the right on the freeway. Fuck him, we are going way over the speed limit and if you pull over, he still has to pass these cars, let him go around if he is in such a big hurry. The guy starts to flash his high beams and then leaves them on when she doesn’t budge.

 

I said, good thing you are driving, because I would have given him a brake check already. The guy starts to honk his horn and then just lays on it. I said, pull over and let him go by, then get along side and block him in. She said, no that’s the way you drive, this aint NASCAR, I’m staying right here.

 

Then the guy pulls up along side of us. Instead of just gassing it and blowing by us, he is flipping us off and ranting. I reached down into the trash bag and grab the first thing that came into my hand, an apple core. I rolled down my window, gave him a goofy smile, enough to make him furious and then just as he rolled his window down to give me some shit, I nailed him with the apple core. What a shot, one eye, left handed, at eighty miles and hour!

 

The guy freaked, nailed the brakes and swerved out of his lane. The GF was pissed at me and started giving me crap. I rolled the window back up and started to defend myself. A minute later the guy comes back up along side of us with his window rolled down and throws, what I think was a C size battery. It hit the window with a loud bang and scared the crap out of us.

 

He cuts across four lanes and heads for a long off ramp into downtown Walnut Creek. I’m going, catch him! Follow him off! Look, there is a red light at the end of the ramp, pull up on him, I’ll fuckin’ lay him to waste!!!

 

She said, no way, you are crazy, why bother. Why let some jerk suck your energy out of you? What would you do with him if you caught him. I said, I’d beat the pie out of him!! She said, wonderful, you would probably end up in jail. Think about it man, you are just as stupid as he is. I didn’t have a come back and sat there in silence, sulking the rest of the way home.

 

I thought about that incident for a long time. I was stupid and I knew better. I my defense, I have ridden close to three hundred and fifty thousand motorcycle miles. I have been run off the road more than once. I have been threatened with guns and had all kinds of bullshit happen to me. I have had to stand up on the pegs and kick doors in to keep from getting killed. For me it was a defensive reaction throwing the apple core, but it’s still a weak argument.

 

I grew up in an urban environment where kids were always fighting. I have had the crap kicked out of me and know what it is like to beat the hell out of somebody until I couldn’t lift an arm, then have them beat me senseless The junior high school I went to would have a fight in the school yard before school every morning, then a few at lunch time and some after school. The whole yard would crowd around and watch until some teachers or the principal would wade through the crowd and break it up.

 

So what if I caught the guy and beat him up. It would be like grade school all over again. He would go get his big brothers and hunt me down. Then I would get all my friends and find those guys and rumble. They would go get some chains and rubber hoses and maybe we would be carrying knives and rocks. They would bring baseball bats. There was some ugly shit that went on in the park across from the high school every Friday after school. I remember running home from school so fast as soon as the older kids saw me carrying my clarinet case. My lungs would be burning. My Dad got me a cheap clarinet from pawn shop for me to take to school so my good one wouldn’t get jacked.

 

I remember one day at lunch time there were three older kids that happened to be Mexicans. They were cruising around in beat old Chevy looking for a rival gang that happened to be black. Up from the school was the Tick Toc burger stand that had five burgers for a buck and kids would go up there instead of eating in the cafeteria. These kids had a 22 Cal. rifle and shot into the crowd hitting some poor white kid in the arm. That was front page news for three days in 1963. That was pretty outrageous stuff at that time and it was all anybody talked about for a long time. Now, unless somebody died, it would barely get mentioned on a back page. In the subsequent years, all kinds of crazy violence has made that seem insignificant by comparison.

 

So where does it stop. I throw an apple core, he throws a battery, I beat his ass, he get a gun and shoots at me, I get a shot gun and shoot at him, he gets a squad with automatic weapons and I get a platoon with RPGs, he gets tanks, I gets chopper support, he gets fighter jets, I get an armada with carriers armed with bunker busting bombers, he calls his nuclear subs and target him with my satellite guided ICBMs armed with nuclear warheads...

 

I’m constantly having to remind myself to pay attention to who I am and what I’m about. There is no shortage of ignorant, stupid or ignorant and stupid people doing crazy stuff.

 

I might not be in this world for that much longer. I have created the reality that I perceive and until I can figure out how to erase my own stupidity, ignorance, anger, hostility, intolerance, bigotry and hatred, etc., I know I will probably see it in others.

 

Let’s see... where was I? Oh Yeah, the white notes are A, B, C, D, E, F, G... the black notes are sharps going up and flats coming down. Counting time is like, 1, 2, 3, 4,... 1 and, 2 and, 3 and, 4 and... 1e and uh, 2e and uh, 3e and uh, 4 e and uh...

 

BMaj7 / D7 / GMaj7 / Bb7 / EbMaj7 / / / A-7 / D7 /

 

GMaj7 / Bb7 / EbMaj7 / F#7 / BMaj7 / / / F-7 / Bb7 /

 

EbMaj7 / / / A-7 / D7 / GMaj7 / / / C#7 / F#7 /

 

BMaj7 / / / F-7 / Bb7 / Eb Maj 7 / / / C#7 / F#7 /

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