Friday, July 31, 2015

Everybody Talks

I wear a lot of shirts with the name of my company NoMessageHere!!! and I can see people's faces as they try and figure out what it says before I scurry by them. The other day my 9 year old niece finally figured it out and she told me: 

"Your shirt says No Message Here."

I said she was absolutely correct and then went right back to what I was doing. She sat there for a few moments and then she said what a lot of folks have thought but never mentioned in the 10 years or so that I have been wearing the shirts. She scrunched up her beautiful little face and she asked in a child's quiet squeaky voice:

"Isn't that a message?"

I told her that indeed it was and that next year I was going to run for the "King of Irony." She decided that it was best if she let it drop there and I got her a peanut butter cookie and milk. I don't know why but a peanut butter cookie and milk makes a lot of stuff right again, and that's enough message for me.

A picture

Pear Lake, Sequoia National Park, California

Photo Courtesy of Bing Wallpaper


During the 93 days I spent on Facebook, I saw a lot of stuff. Mostly, I enjoyed the videos of cats, and the messages of one old friend who was always optimistic. Those two things were nice.

Monday, July 27, 2015

93 Days on Facebook

Before my wife died in November of 2013, she made me promise her that I would be cheerful, try not to wallow in grief, and just be happy. She had cancer and after spending 23 years of my life with her, she died. I don't really know how to explain it, but part of me died when she went. But I had the extra guilt and grief that invades your mind late at night when you start wondering.......

What if?

What if I had her see another doctor, or maybe we should have used a holistic treatment, or medical marijuana, or whatever poison it is that they hand out when your own cells turn against you and start attacking your body instead of protecting it? I never wanted to be a doctor until my wife got cancer. I cursed the hours that I had wasted on Dickens, Shelley, and Keats, and instead started learning about large cell carcinomas and what you can do to kill them.

But none of that matters anymore because she is gone. 

So on March 3, 2015, I signed onto Facebook, and started showing my face again to the world, after many years away. A world that my late wife had shielded me from throughout our marriage. After I got out of the Army I was angry and hurt, and then I met my late wife and she cured me of all that hurt and anger. During the 23 years we were married we had no "social media," accounts because we had each other and that was all we needed. We laughed, joked, read, watched television, alone, by ourselves, and we loved it so much, we did not need Facebook and neither of us was on it.

Then she died

So here I am by myself and I thought that reaching out to old friends and relations would bring me some peace, some closure, some sense of being in the world. But it just did not work out. Like much of my life, it's just very difficult for me to process what others are doing and explain myself in a manner that makes sense to anyone but myself. You know me, I am the person who has made a life out of telling jokes only they get, and then laughing to themselves in the corner. Alone.

I don't know what I expected to find on Facebook, but what I found alternately horrified me and moved me to tears. But seeing everything that spewed out of that Facebook fire hose made me not want to get splashed. I want to get out of the stream and try and make sense of things, of others, of situations. On Facebook people just want to see who can get the biggest laugh or outrage. I don't want to live in a world that is only either one or the other.

I don't want to see people hurt or see people who think they have to hurt someone in order to make themselves feel better. I have never done this and I will not do it in the future. I must say it was wonderful seeing all those faces I had not seen for 35 or 40 years but it also made me miss my late wife. So much sometimes, that I could not even work on the pages I created, so I have quit.

I'm not quitting on life I am just quitting trying to convince people of anything. People are going to believe what they wish and they are going to discard everything that does not fit into their scheme. I just don't get that. I mean, I understand hatred, that's what they teach you in the army. It's what you do to survive, to get through the day. I just don't understand hatred for hatred's sake. Cruelty is not cool or fun.

When did that change? I admit that while my wife was a municipal government employee, I basically sat around and put bits of ink on paper thinking it could somehow change the world. She thought that too. She always told me to write, and then gave me all the tools I needed to be able to be free and write. And now she's dead, and I am here trying to live.

So I am driving on that highway where there are no lights, no signs, no nothing to remind you of who you are and what you might have been once upon a time. But when you are a writer and all your stories end in your own living room with you holding your wife's hand as she dies, well that pretty much kills off all your motivation and resolve.

But anyone who has ever known me, and few really have, have always known I go my own way, and my own way does not include Facebook or feedback. I know this road so well. My late wife had kept me from it but here I am again, and I know those faces, and places, but I still need to go my own way, wherever that might be. 

So I will see you all in my heart and dreams but I can't give anymore of myself because I feel like I just don't have much to give anymore without my late wife, and I know those who had me in their hearts for all those years can now put me back into the file of "he's alive and OK," and they can continue to love the memories of me, just like I love the memories of them.

And really, isn't that all what we all really want?
Ruth Decker-Tabarez, Wedding Day

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Great Rock and Roll Flea Market

Tommy Castro & R&B Revue
Chris Rock and Glyph
Santana, Promo Folder and Picture
Kid Rock Promo
Swamp Zombies, Comic Book Bio
Meredith Brooks, "Bitch" Spinner Promo
Reba, Tour Program
Green Day, "Nimrod" Ad Slick
LP Vinyl Record, Max's Kansas City, 1976
Pin, Hard Rock Cafe
Flaming Lips, Promotional Photo
Cheap Trick, Promotional Photo
Adam Ant, Promotional Photo
Kitchen Sink Pipeline, Grateful Dead Fanzine
Luscious Jackson, Menu Biography
"Burning For Buddy" Neal Peart of Rush, Buddy Rich Tribute
Iron Maiden, Christmas Card
Metallica, S&M Concert
The Residents, Promo Photo
Belt Buckle, Gilley's Nite Club
I am thinking of starting to divest my collection through the "Great Rock and Roll Flea Market."  It is on the first Sunday of every month and is held at the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles, California. In the past I have sold a number of rock and roll related items. This is a collection of some of those items.
Alison Krause, Grand Ole Opry Induction Program
Beat Farmers Almanac 1985