Saturday, December 29, 2007


I left Colorado one winter and went to Florida with some friends.
Colorado was all
I guess there were five of us.
No women went.
All of us pitched in to pay for gas and oil.
This particular truck really liked to drink the oil.
I think most of our money paid for its oil addiction.
Dan was the owner of the truck and he did the driving.
He was a good driver.
It was smooth-sailing to Florida.
I remember the wonderful smell of the tropical warmth as we got closer and closer to Florida.
It was better than any dream.
Florida was not the first time that I had seen an ocean.
(I lived in Boston the summer of '68 and visited Revere Beach.
I was not too impressed.
It was gray and polluted.)

All of us needed work.
We were all broke.
We stood on a street corner and a man in a big cadillac stopped and rolled down his window.
"You guys want to work?"
One harmonious yell of yes was given.
The man said,
"Get in."
He sped off.
It was a waterbed factory.
Blue waterbeds.
Blue and smelly plastic.
Our duties were two-fold:
Either pack waterbeds into boxes or pull apart waterbeds that had just come "out" of the waterbed machines.
Sometimes the plastic was still warm when you separated the waterbeds at their seams.
When I packed the beds into boxes, I sometimes would write little poetic messages on the boxes.
I don't know if the people who got the boxes liked this or not, but I enjoyed doing it.
Only Dan had a place to sleep.
He slept in his truck.
I slept wherever I could.
Hotel lawns.
The beach.
It seemed like I stayed up most of my days and nights when I wasn't working.
I enjoyed walking up and down the beach.
One night I met a woman who was wearing a long fur coat, and had on one of those huge hats with a lot of feathers that women used to wear.
She had long, red hair and dark, green eyes.
We started walking on the warm sand.
About what I really don't recall.
She offered me some tranquilizers.
I swallowed a couple.
The warm ocean breeze, the pounding waves, and walking with this beautiful woman that had red hair and green eyes, bathed my senses in pleasure, especially when we kissed.
We kissed a lot.
She looked at me and said,
"You look like Clint Eastwood."
I was going to disagree, but figured that I shouldn't spoil a good thing.
I even started to talk like Clint Eastwood.
What a cool dude.
It turned out that she had two children, and was separated from her husband.
The night that I visited her apartment she played George Harrison's song My Sweet Lord.
The song was appropriate for the mixed-up emotions I was having.
She and I didn't stay together and we went our separate ways.
But it was fun while it lasted.
Her name was Jackie.

One moonless night as I was sauntering down the beach, I squinted my eyes and saw a person out in the middle of the crashing waves, standing on a large rock.
I yelled,
"Hey, what are you doing?"
He replied,
"I'm going to kill myself."
I shouted back,
"Don't do that. Come here and I'll buy you a cup of coffee."
That did the trick.
He got off of the wave-battered rock and walked over to me.
"Thanks", he said. "If you hadn't showed up I would have jumped."
I bought him a cup of coffee.
We didn't talk that much.
Then he walked away.
I don't know if he tried to kill himself again.
Maybe he did this as a way to get people to buy him food and drinks.


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