10 April 2009

Old Man, Look at My Life, I Pick My Nose Like You Do

(What we have here is a nice ending to an accidental triad. A triad of stories that, by sheer kismet, or quantam flabbergastery or some other Supernatural skullduggery, ended up with a commone theme: the ages of man. The young(ish) man, the middle ager and now a delightful meditation on the Old Man and the Young Man. All brought to you by the magician, the coyote, the 'Kokopelli from Kentucky', my friend cIII from The Goat And Tater. Boy's got thunder in his head, he does...and pay no mind to his Shift Key Palsy. He still writes purdy - Irish Gumbo)

I have a Friend that asked me once if''n I was an "Old Person" type person or a "Child" person.

To be honest, the question took me aback for a second or two. I reckon I thought that if I answered on way I'd never get to involve myself with the Other ever again. But that is silly and a little bit foolish to think that a way. Anyway, I told her that I was a Child person. I reckon everyone likes to hear that. That you like Children and such. They're cute and squishy and they make funny noises and pick their nose allot. Kids do.

I recon those Old Timers, some of 'em, the ones which I like to associate myself, make funny noises and they sometimes pick their nose(s). But, more often than not, the Old Salts will let you in on some of the Secrets we've long forgot. If you'll listen for a spell. The will.

When I was a boy we had no access to "city water". The lines just didn't reach out that far.

Our water came from a Cistern that was filled by one of the Old Timers by the name of John. John would come every couple weeks and top off our Cistern and he and I would talk about this or that and he'd laugh about my Parachute pants and my Tony Hawk haircut. I'd laugh at his Shit Kicker boots and his bib overalls. And even though I would ask him every time "John. Can I have one of them Camels?" He'd grin and say, "What the hell do you want one of these goddamned things for?" To which I'd respond, "I dunno..." And then, every time, he'd say.."You sure as shit don't. Do you?"

John was a tobacco farmer more than a Waterman. And one Summer, and on through the Season, he worked me like a Dog in those fields. I'd come home blistered and sunburned. Tired in every inch of my body. Tired like you'd never get enough rest again in your Whole life. Tired you could drink from. Like a whole well of it. But at the end of every week, on Friday, he'd bring me up to the House and we'd have lunch and he'd give me some money. No checks. Cash type foldin' money. And he'd say, "honest pay for honest Work." And I'd say, "Yessir."

I don't reckon I know what the point of all that was. Just a boy and an Old Man sitting and talking.

John moved real slow. I think that's what I liked about him the most. He had a good piece of land, many Acres, and his income depended on the Stewardship of that land. But he wasn't pushy about it. Time weren't money to John. He never fought that ground when he turned it over ever Spring. I don't reckon he whispered Longfellow or Whitman, or Keats, or Thomas to it either. He just showed it the Respect that it deserved. And in turn, the Land reciprocated.

I don't live in some major Metropolitan area now. Even though John would call me "citied up". If your house was within yellin distance to another house John thought that was "citied up". No. The city I live in is big. It aint Los Angles or Chicago or hell, even Dover, Delaware big. But it's big enough to give me the Fear sometimes.

All that racin' around from place to place. Every goddamned face I see in the oncoming cars has a cell phone, maybe permanently, strapped to their faces. I think about John in those instances. I wonder what he would have made of all this. High speed this and lightning quick that.......I reckon he'd say, "Shit. The only thing that needs to be lightning quick is the goddamned Lightning." I'd bet my house that he'd a said that. And that makes me full-on belly laugh.

I still don't know what any of this means. There aint any philosophical Revelation I'm trying to make. And I damn sure am not trying to write a Manifesto of some sort. I don't want to go to the Bush in Alaska and live on what I shoot or catch with a hook. It sounds pretty enough, but if'n you've ever hunted for breakfast, well, it aint as pretty as it sounds. I figure I like the conveniences of the Modern world. Although, some of the bullshit that accompanies it, I could do without.

And I still don't know what any of this means.

I reckon I'm tryin to calm my Nerves a bit and I'm taking up your time going on about it trying to make myself relax, and for that I apologize.

Maybe, I'm trying to say that it's even alright to fall Behind. and for that I apologize as well. I never said I was a great Roll Model for impressionable folks. I really shouldn't be allowed around descent folk anyway.

Fuck. I don't know at all. And if'n John were still about he'd probly say, "You sure as shit dont. Do you?"

No I don't, John. But I figure I'm gettin close. So thanks for that.-



  1. You write like a god.

    Wait...you're not a god are you Irish? You been messin' with us???


  2. LMAO.......the lightning being the only thing that needs to be that quick. Thanks for the early morning laugh. You started my day out with a bang....wait, I mean.......not a BANG kind of bang!! We don't know each other that well. Okay, that's got me bothered now. Let me go "wake up" Prince........

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  3. The line about 'Dover, Delaware big' made me laugh. I lived in Delaware for four years. Dover's big? you must live in a really small place then.
    If I gathered any point from the story, and I did, it was this; slow down, don't rush. Take a look around every once and awhile before everything that's there now just disappears.

  4. If I took anything away from this, it's "Don't work in a tobacco field."

    I don't want to be that tired.

  5. That's some fancy writing from non-city folk. Good stuff. Thanks!

  6. Did you work for my grandfather? He sounds oddly familiar. I spent several summers working on the farm after my father died and my mother needed someone to keep my sister and I entertained. You could say it was entertaining.

  7. That was one of the best, well-said, stories I have ever read. ..and I love stories.

    I miss slow, too.

  8. Jeezuss cIII, you just spoke the exact feelings of my heart, mind and soul lately...feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the 'accompanying bullshit' myself.

    My hubby hates the 'rat race', and 'thinks' he would love to move up to Alaska and hunt for breakfast...I know, however, that he too would miss some of the convenience...but sometimes the bullshit is so tiring.


  9. For the record, I've never actually seen and old person pick their nose. I only strap my phone to my face to save on pocket space...

  10. I've met many old timers like John. Watermen and those who live off the land are a different breed. I like this story.

  11. Wonderful post, makes me want to slow down, maybe move to the country.

  12. If'n I'd known you was gonna write something like this I would have worked a little harder on mine, cIII. Hell, yours would still be better.

  13. In my heart of hearts I'm certain we're heading down the wrong path with all the fast hurry rushrush quick stuff, but for the life of me I can't stop. I'd be sitting with John, thinking about checking me email just worried I might miss something. That's it dammit. It's my rock bottom. I'm going to hike the Appailaichan Trail this summer.

  14. That was a wonderful story! Actually I enjoyed all of them this week!

  15. It's good to be reminded of Old Men. Time to post!

  16. Hi Gumbo
    You set my spine atinglin' boy. Loved this one.
    I reckon 'what it's all about' might just be that it's worth taking the time to talk to someone who's a might older than you are. They've lived life and learned by it (if they're at all intelligent and outward-focussed).
    Chat to an oldie and enjoy I say.
    June in Oz

  17. Why am I singing Neal Young…

    I do find it interesting that I consider myself to have an ancient spirit— yet I view the world with childish wonder.

    I reckon I just gotta write one of those newfangled things called a post about this someday.

  18. In my mind the Old Timers lived in black and white- like Leave it to Beaver.

  19. 's been a while, and yer still kickin' butt 's far 's da eye kin see! good story, I.G. :-)


  20. I loved the pacing of this piece.

  21. I love this post, it just makes me giggle for the oldies that I grew up around. Just that exact way, slow and deliberate.

  22. stopping by to say Happy Happy Easter...

  23. Kissmet...*sigh* one of my favorite and rarely used words.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...