Perils of blogging

Blogging is risky business. My last post — about the possibility of an afterlifewas suddenly slapped with a ‘This post is bullshit’ tag. By what or by whom I don’t know. It’s disconcerting to say the least, you feel like you’re walking — or typing — on eggshells. 

There’s a lot worse than walking on eggshells, of course. Like walking barefoot on hot coals, which I think is practiced by certain religions. Or walking barefoot on broken glass. There was quite a bit of walking on broken glass in those old cowboy movie barroom brawls but they were never barefoot. I never saw one cowboy movie where a dude walked barefoot into a barroom brawl. Most of them even died with their boots on. That’s what I’d like to do — it’s more manly than dying in bedroom slippers, or what would be worse, those slip-proof socks they give you in hospital.

I saw a barefoot barroom fight in Florida. One of those coastal town bars where no shoes are required. I remember a Snowbird from Montreal who came down to Florida just to get his feet warm ended up with bloody feet. Nasty business.

That was Florida in the Miami Vice 1980s — great and grisly. My wife had a high paying job as a risk analyst for multi-national companies doing business in dangerous countries, and I was a lowly writer for the Miami Herald.

I was a pretty good reporter, but a classic example of Hunter S. Thompson’s definition of a journalist — a “fuckoff and a misfit.” That fit the Bill all right. It’s a miracle to me that my wife stayed with me for thirty years. Until she left the planet to be with the Silver Surfer.

Which explains why I now live alone on a meager fixed income in a hovel in the Lower Hudson Valley with a cat and half a dozen ghosts, not to mention half a dozen spirits contained in bottles labeled gin, rum, vodka, scotch, bourbon, cognac and a couple of others I can’t remember. All of which are getting more expensive every day.

But I manage to get by. I have enough money left over for French baguettes, Brie cheese and caviar. Brie spread on crunchy French bread topped with caviar and accompanied by a vodka martini with green olives. Delicious. And a Brandy Alexander for desert.

When I want a real meal I go to McDonalds and get a Big Mac and those skinny extra salty French fries — still the best fast food meal in the business.

But I digress, where was I? Oh, yes, the risks of blogging and — holy crap! There it is. See what I mean! Right out of the  blue like that. This is diabolical. I must get to the bottom of it. This evening I will convene a meeting of the six ghosts and seek their advice on this matter. Five o’clock sharp. A wide variety of beverages will be served. Proper attire required. No shoes, no service.

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Will busted water pump lead to God?

The water pump in the basement of my old house stopped working yesterday. I live in Upstate New York and get water from an outside well. The pump somehow gets the water from the well into my house.  So, the plumber comes out this morning (Sunday), tinkers with the pump and says he can’t fix it.

I have a deeper problem than the pump, he tells me. The problem lurks somewhere down in the 240-foot well in the backyard.

He told me to call Hudson Pump, which I did, but they couldn’t come out until the next morning. So I went out for more jugs of water to do my ablutions, brush teeth, etc. 

In the past, this sort of thing would have made me crazy, but I find myself dealing with the problem in an uncommonly calm manner. I almost welcome it as a sign to get the hell out of this house.

For the past nine months the house has been a solitary madhouse of grief and suicidal depression following the death of my wife last December.

I have thought about moving out every day since she died, but I didn’t have the will or the energy. Most days I didn’t even want to get out of bed. There’s no point in moving when all you want to do is curl up and die.

Then, two things happened: Nineteen days ago I got a phone call out of the blue from one of my wife’s friends when we all lived in Miami Beach in the 1980s.

Her name is Renata and she has the faith, as I like to put it, a deep faith and a firm belief in God. As I spoke of my despair about losing Susan, Renata tried, respectfully and unobtrusively, to convey to my pitiful pagan mind and empty heart that Susan is not gone forever and that, when the time comes, I will be with her again — all that stuff that I could never wrap my head around.

As we reminisced about old times, the three of us drinking and smoking in the ‘Miami Vice’ era of 1980s South Beach craziness, I suddenly had a surreal feeling — totally alien to my way of thinking — that Susan was in the room with me, sharing the memories and the laughter. It was the first time in nine months that this empty house had heard the sound of laughter and seen the glimmer of hope.

I wrote about that phone conversation in a previous post, Susan came back today and I realized then that I wanted — needed — Renata to continue to be my friend, my spiritual guide, so to speak.

Okay, that was the first thing. The second thing, of course, was the — I was going to say goddamned water pump, but now I say the blessed water pump. I’m beginning to believe it’s part of the Overall Plan, the ‘Mysterious Way’ that English poet William Cowper wrote about in ‘Light Shining out of Darkness’ and from which we get the popular phrase, ‘God moves in mysterious ways.’

So, let me end — or begin — with this: The next step would be to start packing up this house and get the hell out of here — dare I say, to a town near my spiritual guide.

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