Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In the Jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight

The challenge was offered over eggs as the two lions shared stories of past victories and accomplishments, the young lion spun tales of victories from the previous week and the old lion wove a tale or two of mountains conquered from decades past. 

The challenge: 14 year old son versus 43 year old dad at one on one, first to 21.

The battle was set - the young lion in his Nike aerodynamic apparel and $95 basketball shoes fresh with memory of watching Michael Jordan videos on YouTube...
The old lion with his sensible khaki cargo shorts and t-shirt from Target with faded memory of watching Michael Jordan live in Miami Beach back in the day when America had outdoor toilets for drunks aka phone booths...

The two lions faced off ready for battle the young lion nostrils flaring, athletic body coursing with testosterone, ready for war stared down the old lion without care. The old lion careful and reserved kept the use of his testosterone on hold for the knowledge and history of battles won and lost was on his side (and also not knowing how much testosterone he had left.) Game on.

Within a matter of minutes the young lion was ahead, quickly passing the old lion with ease as he smirked and beamed of confidence at his pending victory. The old lion shook off the early attack and evened the score now it was 8-8 and the young lion quickly realized that the old lion still had some fight, time to up the game.

With a flash of khaki and cargo the young lion witnessed the strength and the guile of the old lion as he grabbed the lead 16-14. The young lion ripped off his shirt in a display of petulance and flung it to the ground, the old lion continued to wear his sensible pocket t-shirt from Target but chastised the young lion.
"Hey knucklehead that shirt was $40, pick it up and fold it and put it in the truck." 

The score was now 20-20 as the old lions pace had withered the young lion easily caught up. The old lion felt the pain in every step as past wounds flared and knowledge of tomorrow's aches flooded his mind he glanced at the you lion who had yet to break a sweat. The overwhelming desire for a cold beer left the old lion in need of a quick ending, the old lion had the ball and called the young lion to face him. "I have one last move to use on you, are you ready?" The young lion answers sans care "Bring it." The old lion dribbled the ball towards the young offender knowing he would charge full force, as predicted he did and as he closed in on the old lion he simply bounced the ball between the legs of the charging youngling. As the young lion is dismayed and temporarily frozen with shock the old lion takes the rock to the house and ends the battle. 21-20. 
Game over.
The old lion had learned that trick many moons ago in a place far far away.... 

As the old lion consoles the young lion he offers him
the tale that on old friend told him many years ago...
Two lions stood on the hill and overlooked a valley of zebras, the young lion said "Let's run down there fast and eat one of them." The old lion smiled and turned to the young lion and said, "No, let's walk down there and eat them all."

In the jungle, the mighty jungle the old and broken lion sleeps well tonight
with a belly full of wine and a few painkillers...  
Son, help me to the truck.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Humidor of Ramon Carbajal

Enter the premises and the immediate waft of Cuba wraps a warm blanket around your cold stiff shoulders, the Cuba of another generation when the taste of sweet spiced rum dripped from your lips and the uplifting sounds of merengue music slithered around colorful casas directly into your soul.

The scent of aged cedar ramparting through the nostrils sends signals to the brain to slow down and relax, as my rigid body softens and becomes one with the third generation leather sofa I forget about the outside world and its constant electronic demands, I can no longer hear the parade of vehicles or the drumbeat of stamping feet. I have peace with a side of quiet.

Ramon Carbajal has survived 2 wars and has the scars to prove it, his features are as aged as the leather in his cigar store, his visage is at the same time both cold and warm, it is this humidor that keeps him breathing, this humidor is his heart and his soul. No words were spoken or even necessary when I entered the humidor, Ramon lifted his head from behind the counter and nodded.

I am presented with a ceramic serving tray adorned with the flags of America and Cuba, on the ceramic tray is an velvet lined cigar box with a selection of cigars that would make the most cold hearted dictator smile from ear to ear like a boy on his birthday. Still no words have been uttered between Ramon and myself, just an automatic obligatory head nod and the wheels of communication between two men of different cultures are linked.

Ramon's humidor is a time portal back to yesteryear when men made decisions on politics and war and women brought trays sticky with clear glasses of golden liquid merrily to their aid. Children dodged large metal cars on cobbled steamy streets with open air markets and rich tourists wasted their money on straw hats and cheap jewelry. The aroma of Ropa Vieja cooking on an open grill surrounded by lush gardens and the merengue music constantly in the background to remind even the most downtrodden that music and dance were still free and belonged to the masses. I wish I knew Ramon back then.

My cigar is finished and my time on the leather has come to an end. I peel myself from the sofa like a patient from a therapists office and make my way to the door, I try to absorb every emotion as I open the door to the outside world - the cedar and the leather, the music and Ramon at his counter. I nod, he nods.

Sunlight, noise, voices, vehicles.....fuck. I contemplate going back inside for more therapy but decide that would dilute the grandeur of the next experience.
I walk away.

Ramon Carbajal 1930 - 2012
Rest In Peace Mi Amigo...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Next In Line Please...

To answer the question of where I have been and why I have not been blogging lately,
please read the following post. This is real.
Cheers, Sausage...

Another day with Polyendocrine deficiency type 2 aka Schmidt's Syndrome also known as a lovely combination of hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency. Another day of ups and downs, highs and lows and the recurring roller coaster of emotions that accompany me through my diseased journey.  It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed since I was diagnosed with this bullshit, 20 years since Uncle Sam told me to get off his battleship and don't come back, 20 long years of pills and pharmacy lines behind old people, sick people and me telling myself I am not like them. I am not diseased just misdiagnosed by under qualified lab coat wearing clowns pimping for the pharmaceutical whores who line their lab coats with lies and dollars.

The last five years have been the most difficult with altered dosages and mood swings, the type of mood swings that can take a man from the pinnacle of happiness to the wearing of a hockey mask along with the desire to machete the limbs off of complete strangers. Now when I think of Jason Vorhees or Michael Meyers touting their talents on the good people of the world I stop and ask myself...I wonder what dosage they take...

The wary quest continues to find a cure but none will ever be found, the closest we came was when Oprah Winfrey was diagnosed with a thyroid disease and the national media groveled at her feet weeping over her symptoms and we were spotlighted for about a month.  Soon after that the lights flickered and went out and moved on to some freak who's uterus fast tracked 8 babies and now has a reality show.

It could always be worse, my disease is not life threatening not even a disease just a lowly syndrome but one that pushes and bullies the emotions mafia style - take the pills and shut up....Next in line please.....

Gentlemen, no need to fight I have plenty of refills