“Base-ball BEEN BEERY BERRY GOOD To me”

sally

Sally.

Bochey and Sabaen pulled another one out of their asses last night. Three titles in five years. Unreal. My first Giants game was exactly the same as writer Anne Lamott’s. I mean, I almost blew chowder when I read her write about walking into the field for the first time at Candlestick Park and “seeing Willie Mays like Jesus in center field.”  The grass greener than is  possible; the air clearer. Sheer MAGIC.

Then the BUMS would show up in their pressed white and blues and send us down…dead. McCovery, Mays, Speier, Dirty Al…Henderson…Bonds (the original), Fuentes…down, down down..Effing Sutton.

Then there was the “The Penguin”…oh don’t even get me going on him….

God I hate the Dodgers.

The great sports journalist Roger Angell wrote about my first game at Candlestick. It was a night game. Chris Speier was the rookie shortstop and he homered in his first at-bat. Mays followed with his own. The ballpark was still just chain-linked. So they both just went deep into the night.

*****

When I was younger my Grandmother would take me to Padres games in San Diego. Ray Croc owned the team and McDonalds…so you could get in for a buck..if you were shrewd…Sally was way shrewd. We sat there for 9 hours and I scored the two games on a pad she bought me (that took a 2 hour walk). I do not have much of my father in me (I have his voice and come of his humor)…but my ability to walk long distances, live alone and endure hardship? I get that from Sally. Sally was my first Jedi Master.

******

I want to cry right  now. I will. We cry behind closed doors at $225 an hour IF we can get an appt. It is criminal. Two more baseball stories

ONE: The Giants had lost to the BUMS again and we had to go to SFO to welcome my Grandma. McCovey moved past me like a cargo ship in the terminal… They had no private charters at the time..they needed to catch a flight. They waited. I walked up with United Airlines passes to ask for autographs (which is why I will never do it again). They patiently signed…McCovey, Fuentes,  Barr, …30 in all…I had them all to myself…

TWO: You only get one shot. Maybe understanding why, given my story, I bet everything on one night to take my son Adam to a World Series game on HIS EXACT TENTH Birthday 10-22-2010. That was it. After that I was done. Cost me all I had left. Baseball. (oh..and they lost). Reggie Sanders lost it in right field….Bonds II was on steroids and they didn’t have the pitching. Now they win every other year with almost anything while the BUMS spend 200 gazillion to go down on flames every year. God I love baseball. I miss taking the bus to the games with my grandma for a double-header.

A Moment of Flaming Endulgence

I am a man in love withe a woman I cannot have.

We live in the same town and are both single.

There are no “others.”

It’s complicated.

I saw her on Pacific Avenue…radiant like the sun

And I said “hi”

After Seven months of silence

So utterly beautiful.

Bono got it right:

See the stone

Set in your eyes
See the thorn
Twist in your side
I wait for you

Sleight of hand
And twist of fate
On a bed of nails
She makes me wait
And I wait without you

I can’t live with or without you
I can’t live with or without you

Through the storm
We reach the shore
You give it all
But I want more
And I’m waiting for you

I can’t live with or without you
I can’t live with or without you
I can’t live…
I can’t live with or without you

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give…
And you give…
And you give yourself away

My hands are tied
My body bruised
She’s got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give…
And you give…
And you give yourself away

I can’t live with or without you
I can’t live with or without you
I can’t live…
I can’t live with or without you

**********

There is nothing more to be said. I’m done. I know it. She knows it. Neither of us will ever recover. We went too deep.

Squestered

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I read Solzhenitsyn as a young man..he and Kierkegaard and Pascal and you wonder at me?

I read him unabridged (the whole Gulag after I got a taste form Ivan Denisovich) and he taught me one thing “to love your lonely cell.”

He did…me? I wrestle like a wounded bear …but I know it’ true.

This was my cell for two months at 57. I’m blessed by nature because together men when pack in that way nightly are at danger. I fear no man.

When they roared at 4 a.m. I told them to “shut he fuck UP!” and they fucking did.”

You may judge me…but you have never lived that close to that many dangerous men…and you want them all safe.

*****

I am saddened today. Some men and womn get to be happy. They get vacations and holidays and I do not begrudge them this.

Scott Mictehll – my best friend of over 40s years remarked about me “the Sn of Man has no where to lay his head.” I fear he is right.

I’m not important..please..never think that. My phone won;t work…on one cres..hell..if I dioed tomorrow …eh…7 people would come.

I pay to Eternity. I love God.

and like any man i wanna get lost diversion, or a woman or great ideas…but there is only HIM.

I loved a woman once and there was nothing special about her at all except how God met us in the MIDDLE and then -In the MIDDLE – In that dynamic –  the world exploded.

That was a long time ago..and know I walk empty city streets. I sleep alone.

You want me to say that life out here is boring.

NO.

Life without God is boring.

Don’t you see the simple truth that you are holding up the meaning of your life by dead artifice?

Benevolence

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*They saved my computer

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Our Love Affair

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“Life can only be understood looking backwards but must be lived forwards.”

~Kierkegaard

Typical. Guy was all stooped over at the end. And alone, wretched and tortured.

He was the “knight of faith,” I’ll give him that and that is everything in light of eternity which is what Kierkegaard was always playing for. He was/is the most consistent man who ever lived in my book (which is considerable if you take into account that I ledger William Law, Pascal, Bernard, Aelred, St. Francis, The Desert Fathers, Augustine, the English Puritans, all the biblical writers and the heavyweight s of the 20th Century into ready account).

SK stands alone…poor bastard.

Me? I’m the opposite. 30-something guys who are cool can’t help but comment ”Man..I love that look”

The fedora, the long coat..hey…and the silver MacDonald kilt pin…classics for 30 years…Grl at Starbucks this a.m..”that is soooo kewl…”

Yeah.I am so “keeewl”

‘m no Kierkegaard. I cut corners.

I made ONE right choice. I decided NOT to indulge myself in self pity and blame God and blah blah blah two months ago. I went back to the faith of my youth and BELIEVED. And God did not disappoint me.

That is all. Other than that I just a big jerk.

In fact, as I looked after other people and loved on them He took care of my every need and I had no need to ever have any anxiety at all. And I didn’t. I never worried at all.

I have never been in more peril and never worried less.

And last night I came HOME.

There was a card waiting for me from Jim and Kelly quoting Isaiah 32:18 “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”

They have worked hard to prepare this place. I’m a mindful guy…so I see their care everywhere.

I do not deserve this place…but I am grateful to my Father for providing

*******

So it is inevitable right…I’m a single guy who is no longer homeless. I have a job..I have a place..I am tall, handsome and viable. Don’t think for s second that women do not pick up on this immediately.

I was “homefull” all of ten minutes and this gorgeous Hispanic doll WAITED in the parking lot to give me garlic for my clams.

I’m serious…For my clams.

You cannot make this scabula up.

We had been in line and she was noting my frozen stuffed clams as I as noting her utterly dangerous curves. YIKES!

“I really need garlic for these” I said half-hearted.

“And you need lemon,” she said.

I looked off to the side like Magnum cuz  there is nowhere fo me to go with this stuff….

I made a joke…

Ten minutes later she pulled up net to me in the parking lot and handed me garlic in a handkerchief. “For your clams. The name is Trisha.”

Then she drove off.

Geebus.

 I know…I know…

******

So you wanna know how it went when I left the Shelter. Don’t you?

I had seen Michael downtown (in  a wheelchair) and Big Mac told me he had his eye on a corn-cob pipe and I told him “no way” that I had one on order form eBay for him. He laughed and I am gonna deliver.

These are MY PEOPLE. And I am theirs

******

Two months…almost..I came begging for a bed and slept out in the trees that first night and poor Shawn was attacked by racoons…hahha. I had one pair of shorts (on me) and two pair of undies and two shirts. I was demoralized and and heart-sick and beaten from the desert and time with mad-men on the road who fed on rage.

I needed a day off and I was not given one if you remember. God said ..”Yer number is up and I need you on duty today.” Four a.m. A woman crying her eyes out over a lost son….

Two months later I have to say I have the richest life you can imagine. Sure, it lacks the woman I love…that chapter is not over …and groans…

I go home and hang up my coat and hat. Later today I am gonna ask Jim to help me move my stuff here…my books. I better get used to it.

I always had this fantasy about being a monk…having a place in the country alone with my few books and just time to meet with people.

Be careful what you wish for…

To which you are gonna say…with The Great Reynaldo (who has been POUNDING this theme…you cannot serve two masters!”.

And it does not matter a whit that he may serve 57 masters – makes no diff….he is as close to the real answer as I am. We are THAT close.

And it would be so much easier if God would just tap the Red-Head on the shoulder and say “it’s time”…but it is not time. No…not yet. Even I know that.

*******

Here is what I know people: Our love affair is with GOD.

If you think it is anything else you are severely deluded and in a cloud of unknowing.

All arguments whittle down to one argument. It’s what I call “the running argument.” You know it is because you have it – all the time – maybe daily. If not daily? Often. Always at crisis time. .

Simple as that. Ten out of ten times, 99 out of 99. Is what it it is.

*******

“What am I gonna do now?” The Great one asked as we packed my stuff into Shaun’s car.

Like me he has abandonment issues. He is my brother. Words are cheap. Actions and presence are real.

When I wake up in the morning I think of God first. I cannot explain this. I did not intend this or read a book about how to make this happen.

Next I showered. I thought of Reynaldo.

You cannot understand. Truly. You can’t. This is why God became flesh and dwelt among us…so we know that God understands EVERYTHING that we go through and still loves us.

I stood in my shower and all I could think about was how much I wanted Reynaldo to be able to take a 40 minute shower in my new bathroom…take all effing day dude…I don’t care.

That is what I care about.

As the Great One would say “EFF Y’all.”

********

I am limited. I have just a few people God has called me to walk alongside and love. I am gonna do that.

It’s 5:45 and I have not slept…gonna be a long day…

Entitlements

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$99 FRAMES

The Great Reynaldo told me about the free eyeglasses I could get at Lenscrafters via a program for the homeless. I signed up, just as he did, waited my three weeks, and went in with my prescription (they would have given me a free eye-exam but I already had received a really good one via Medi-Cal).

Why did I need glasses?

Two reasons. One…my prescription has changed dramatically (I have some real vision problems – like “stick-you-in the-eye” problems that need real adjustments) and my one back-up pair (and I am ROUGH on the primary pair) got swallowed whole by TGR’s car. Oh they are IN THERE…but will never be seen again.

They showed me the same horrible 1970s Roy Scheider frames that they displayed to The Great One, then the woman suddenly said “I’m making an executive decision…this is ridiculous..these frames are just not good enough.!” Then she took me over to the rack of $99 frames, then another area that had more of them and said I could choose any from these two areas.

That’s when I flashed on one of TGR nd my favorite Saturday Night Live routines with Eddie Murphy. It is the one where he becomes “white” – gets all made up like a whte man and goes out as one (after practicing walking with a tight butt and reading Hallmark cards).

One of the things that Murphy finds out in the sketch is that “white people give each other things,” and it is nowhere better illustrated than in te loan office when a black execuitve is about to turn down the now-whitened Murphy for a loan. He is suddenly interrupted by a white executive who takes over.

‘That was a close one wasn’t it?”

“Ha ha ha…yes…such a silly negro..” says Murphy.

Then the white executive slides the cash across to him and tells him he can pay it back whenever he wants “or not at all…we don’t care.”

We have laughed hard about that whole bit, but my trip into Lenscrafters (and some other recent events) underscore the reality that we live in a land where certain entitlements are invisible – to many of us who enjoy them.

*******

Another example:

TGR (I mean let’s face it it is like traveling around with a giant spotlight – I’m no different The two of us together- haha – lookout – I mean the day we went to Capitola I would not have been surprised if they had rolled in part of the National Guard “just in case”.)

We were in the Woodstock Pizza watching the playoFf game and one of the managers had come by when I was gone to inform the Great One that the table was “reserved” and would be needed at 7 p.m. I came back. It became a running joke as 7 p.m. came and went and the guy at the next table said to me “why don’t you put this “reserved sign” on your forehead?”

TGR said “Now see HE can do that and it’s okay…but if I do it…different reaction entirely. He’s entitled to do it.”

And he was right – and I had never thought of it till then.

I can do all manner of crap for the simple reason I am a tall, college-educated WHITE man in America.

My gut lets me know that this is nothing…silly stuff. TGR posted a thing on his Facebook the other day We Get Shot With Our Hands Up.” True that.

LONELINESS

208060_10150155142679080_413663_nI have avoided this topic all along for an obvious reason: it lends itself to self-pity and introspection and those are both unattractive and self-defeating. But today seems a good day to tackle it.

I’m not new to it. I grew up lonely and that explains my propensity for depth in relationship…and perhaps longevity. My friendships tend to be for life: Mitchell and Smith over 40 years; Mark Miller (just got reacquainted since 1978) Roe and Scott 35 years; others who show up often on Facebook like Jill and John Spritz have known me since the 80s. Paul Standing knew me in Jr. High (we used to play Strat-o-Matic in the summers at his house and watch Brooks Robinson suck-uo everything hit anywhere but out of the park in the World Series) – and then other amazing folk new and old like the Wademan, Mies Saunders and then friends I have never ever even met in person but who I have come to depend on as if I very much had (Dodge, Jenness, Higgs etc…)

Doesn’t sound very lonely does it? But one things they all hold in common – haha – they always move away (well all but Roe and Scott).

To say I had “abandonment issues” would have been an understatement.

Now I just walk alone. Always.

It is an odd thing for such a social guy. But people sort of understand inherently that I don’t fit in.

And I have been fired from more jobs not because of bad job performance but for just that reason.

“Yer letting me go why exactly?”

“Well, you have done a good job…but somehow…er…you just don’t fit in…”

At least five jobs I have lost that way.

Sometimes they have tried to make it hard on me first – which only makes me try harder and get better. This REALLY pisses them off. Finally they call me in and fire me ANYWAY.

Now I bring this up because I have started to try and date again.

And you already (if you have been reading) know the semi-humorous initial occurrence that happened a week ago Sunday.

Well I cannot really comment any further except to say that I am now seeing clearly that the  more women I date the more bright futures they will have with OTHER men that will not be me.

Do NOT feel sorry for me. I do not.

The same God I trust with all of the mess I have been in, I trust with my loneliness and my desire for a relationship of real depth and meaning. And it is not like I walk around FEELING lonely. It is more like I walk around feeling like I SHOULD feel lonely. It’s more that I am bored…I mean women are interesting…getting off work and walking around and then flirting online is boring. I’m much better in person. I have a lot more GAME.

In fact it is so odd. But because of the meds, lost weight and diet, I have never been clearer, faster, stronger and felt YOUNGER than I do right now – at the age of 57. It is uncanny. That is how hampered I was. I am literally in a re-birth… yet with all the accumulated wisdom and experience.

But God is not really letting me pitch. Or when He does he trots out the Red-Head just before I pitch in order to discombobulate me and remind me that the woman I am really in love with is not quite ready to re-engage and maybe won’t be for a good long while (or ever – it’s out of my jurisdiction).

It really throws off my curve-ball.

“So take that Mac.

“Meanwhile..why don’t you paint, or write a book on Ernest Becker…or get a dog and walk him on the beach and lose another 35 pounds. Look…here is a sanctuary up on a hill overlooking a floodplain like your old Cold Barn Studio…see? Take the peace I give and live with it. I’ll take care of the girl because your track record stinks dude.”

Do we ever really listen when God speaks?

Trying to.

And when I don’t…He just sends torpedoes into my various plans. It’s not mean. It’s almost entertaining to watch.

And I can tell you this…I am never lonely when it comes to God. Now explain that to me. Others wrestle with His existence and agonize and me? I am so far beyond that I cannot even relate. And I am beyond the anger about His “effing with me” too. No…this is new territory.

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