Don Henley Is An Asshole; Music Mania For The Instable Mind


So. It’s New Year’s Eve and we’re back to home at La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe. We left Austin early yesterday to try to beat the expected snow, and did—not because we, as a group of three, made a concerted and conjoined attempt at a timely arrival—manage to arrive ahead of the snow. The only reason we beat the snow and slick driving conditions is because the snow didn’t start until after midnight instead of before noon as predicted.

The several times I’ve made that drive alone, it’s taken right at twelve hours—half-a-day at the wheel including breaks to pee, eat and gas-up. With the two asshole dogs I call my Santa Fe family, yesterday’s trip took fourteen hours and a few extra minutes.

“I’m not squating in a patch of goat burrs and tumbleweeds, shithead,” the Squirt informed me when I let her out in Littlefield, Texas to do her business. “You sit and roll your pecker around first and I’ll piss after.”

I bitched at her a few minutes as she listened with a look of undistilled intemperance plastered on her quite cute little face. I wrapped it up with a, “You are sooooo finicky!”

“And you, Bwana Mooner, are an asshole. Remember that time when you sat in a prickly pear cactus?”

She had a point. I’ll not bore you with her point other than to say that she made it and to ask you to think “cucumber-shaped pin cushion”. You can buy my silly fucking book and get the extended version of that story. And a lot more silly shit as well. The book would have made a great stocking stuffer if you’d fucking bought it. Amazon had one listed for sale for ninety-eight-cents. As for condition, the listing said, “New, except for I read the first two pages, has vomit stains.”

“You’ve got a point,” little lady, I told my adorable puppy. “I don’t want to be picking needles from your little tooter.”

I drove from the gas station back into a small, Littlefield, Texas neighborhood to seek an appropriate yard in which to pee. “There!” Squirt shouted, “the one with the big Santa and all his elves.”

The yard we chose was covered with winter-browned Bermuda grass cut at the suggested three inches tall and littered with dozens of those shitty blow-up Christmas characters. Those plastic balloons seem to demonstrate what Christmas is to me—trashy, cheap and stupid—so Squirt’s first choice became mine. Ours.

Squirt chose to pee next to one of the eight tiny reindeer, and the goat dog hiked his leg on an inflated plastic present. Yoda lost his balance and fell into the balloon box and was bounced back onto his ass. That made me start laughing and caused my pee stream to travel from the cedar bush and onto the string of lights running all over the yard.

I was glad the lights were off.

As for Austin, I had a great and terrible time. I got to see the whole family and loved that, and I spent two full days in psycho therapy with Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson and hate the results. I saw the good doctor to work on my issues with my mother, as directed by God. Not that I’m blaming God for my problems, mind you, but it was Her and His instructions that I “Find a way to love your mother” or words to that effect.

Since I could find no reason to obey God’s instructions much less a way to perfect them, I knew that psycho therapy was my only hope of fulfilling that prophesy. To summarize twenty hours of therapy sessions, please allow me to simply quote the bitch I call my ex-wife number one.

“You must forgive your mother, Mooner. You can never accept her terrible actions and words until you do so. Mother can’t help herself, my dear ex-hubby, it’s just how she is. Forgive her.”

I could have saved myself nineteen hours and fifty-nine minutes of aggravation if I’d have simply replied, “OK, I’ll do that.” Instead, I said, “Fuck that, fuck her and fuck you too!”

Look, I hate that “forgiveness” bullshit. Do you have any fucking idea how much work that takes? How much personal sacrifice it requires to let go of a lifetime’s hurt and pain and tears?

And anger? Ugh.

My sessions were last Wednesday and Thursday, and my last words to my therapist as I left her were, “I still love you, Sammie, have a great New Year, and fuck you—I won’t forgive her.”

I felt sanctimonious and satisfied both. “No fucking way!” I said to myself as I drove home to the ranch. Might have said it fifty times on the way. I stopped over to the Sprouts store to say “Howdy” to the store manager and grab some avocados for dinner. We roasted a goat and half a pig for Xmas and were having leftovers packed in tortillas. When I got home, Gram asked me, “Where’s tha avie-caddies, Mooner?”

“Shit,” I responded. “Shit, shit and shit some more.”

I returned from a second trip to Sprouts just as dinner was set on the table. “Supper cain’t wait on yer lack a tension onna details, sonnyboy. You need ta git ya some therapy, an’ quick!”

OK, stop. I’ve neglected a small detail of this story. You guys know that Don Henley song Heart of the Matter? Fucking ex-Eagle pussy asshole.

When I got into the GTO when I left Dr. Sammie’s place, I put the tranny in Drive and left a scratch of rubber char on the pavement in her lot. “No fucking way!” I shouted, as I looked over my shoulder at her office door. I drove a few blocks and punched the On button of the radio. “And now from 1989, here’s Don Henley.” That fucking song started, and before I paid enough attention, it got to the chorus.

“Forgiveness… Forgiveness… Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore.”

I slammed my hand at the radio to turn it off, missed the Off button and instead turned it up. “There’s a yearning undefined and people full of rage. We all need a little tenderness, how can love survive in such a graceless age?”

I was livid. I pulled the GTO to the curb and made a huge event of turning the radio off. “Mother… Fuck-er!”

I was screaming at the radio. I then drove to Sprouts in a semi rage where I promptly forgot my avocados and purchased three cases of Carta Blanca beer instead. My buddy Henry the manager was off, and likely a good thing. When I drove home, that fucking song was stuck inside my head, like a broken record.

I washed and peeled the avocados and mashed them with garlic, onion and salt and pepper. Everyone was already seated so there was but one chair open for me to park my ass. Since I no longer fully-reside there, my seat at the head of the table is now filled with the ass of the weathered old goat bladder I call Gram.

“Ain’t yer chair no longer, shithead. You done abmolated it when ya moved yer ass over to Santa Fe. Now sit down next ta yer Mother an shut yer yapper.”

“It’s abdicated, Gram, and can’t we trade just seats for tonight?”

All I got was the evil eye in response, so I sat in the chair next to Mother, with Aunt Hilda on the other side. I set the big bowl of green goodness on the table and said, “Let’s eat.”

My mother took the spoon first and put a tiny dollop on her plate. She then took the fork and poked its tines into the dollop, an action that deposited four insy bits of green. She wiped the four drops onto her tongue, made a face and washed her mouth with iced tea.

“I can’t eat that. It tastes like grass paste. Did you ruin all the avocados, Mooner, or might there be a few for some proper guacamole?”

Mother’s words bit into me like a swarm of piranha.

OK, stop. I, Butcher Einstein “Mooner” Johnson, have a date. That’s right, and actual New Years Eve fucking date! And I’m already late to get ready, so let’s stop here at 1,437 words for now.

Happy New One, Fuck Walmart, and manana, y’all.

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8 Responses to “Don Henley Is An Asshole; Music Mania For The Instable Mind”

  1. bj says:

    Welcome back, Brother man, welcome BACK! “Squatting In A Patch Of Goat Burrs And Tumbleweeds” when they opened for Moby Grape in ’68 …. and Cactus was on the same bill!
    Y’know … you got that Forgiveness thingy all distotalated and reversalized, namely …. the Forgiveness is for YOU. Lookit just how much energy (negative) and effort (self-defeating) you have invested in an emotion that belongs to …. fuckin’ …. somebody ELSE, namely … yer Momma. Your Forgiving her ain’t about HER receiving Redemption or Deliverance from SIN … it’s about YOU unloading a butt load of shit you cain’t do nothin’ about right back in the lap of yer deserving Loved One who actually …. fuckin’ … OWNS that shit. MAKE her own it! Can you hear Levon singin’ to ya’? “Take a load off Mooner … Take a load for Free”. Forgiveness ain’t about makin’ THEM feel better, Son … It’s about YOU gettin’ PAST some shit (if not OVER it) and feelin’ better ya’ Damn self .. and maybe not havin’ any more Walley Smalley dreams or talkin’ to God every other day and shit. The power she holds over you? YOU … fuckin’ …. GIVE her that power! TAKE IT BACK! Write her an essay and really let that shit GO … by forgiving her … for everything. That’ll be $250. I accept CASH … kuh-ASH … and Cha-CHING … American currency.
    Seriously, dood glad yer back ta’ home and a’ight
    Happy New Year to You and Sue

  2. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    Beej. You sound just like my therapist and you’re quite a bit cheaper. My mother’s shit has become something akin to a parallel universe’s second pecker. This one’s in the middle of your back and covered in fish scales and skunk juice. Won’t anyone else touch it, you can’t reach to grab it yourself yet it requires routine servicing.

    I appreciate you talking sense to me but I seem to be harboring considerable resentments–more to follow. You are one of the few people to whom I can look if I want to see how it’s done well.

    Love you, brotherman.

  3. Squatlo says:

    If you’ve ever been to a Don Henley concert you’re familiar with the preachy, droning monologues between his songs… which eventually become a relief from the non-stop sentimentality and sacharin-overdose of some of the lyrics. But the song you were upset with is actually one of his better solo efforts, and well worth a second listen.
    When the Hooey Gods fuck with the playlist in such a manner you HAVE to pay attention. It’s like running a yellow/red light only to hear “Radar Love” start on the FM. Makes you look around for the cop.
    You’re supposed to look around for the balls to do the right thing for yourself. Tell mom you love her, regardless, and kiss her on the forehead a time or two while you still can. You can bitch-kick a pig later if you feel the need, but make sure you put all of this momma drama in your rear-view if you EVER wanna get a clear view of where you’re headed.

    Anger and bitterness are like cancers, and they’ll eat your ass up if you dwell on ’em.

    Nothing feels as good as unloading all that baggage, too. Drop a few tons of it ASAP and you’ll probably hear “I Can See Clearly Now” when you turn on the radio.

    REgardless, hope you and yours have a Happy New Year.

    Go say something sympathetic to Reck, her Maize and Blue just lost a heartbreaker to South Carolina. (SEC, SEC…)

  4. Katy Anders says:

    That Don Henley song has kept me from murdering a couple exes.

    So it’s sort of the flip side of some of his other songs, which have inspired me to murder random strangers.

    “Boys of Summer” made me gay.

    Happy New year anyway.

  5. Cynthianne says:


    For purposes of this comment, please picture Lucy in her booth with the “Doctor is *IN*” sign.

    Forgiveness is a bad word to use in your type case- it implies absolution, and some assholes/bitches just don’t deserve that. What you need to do is let go of your anger and resentment. Ha, I know, I KNOW, that’s very hard.

    Case study- the year I was 15, an ex-soldier climbed a tower on a Texas campus and randomly shot people. Shocking- but is was more shocking to me at the time that I understood the kind of unfocused rage that would drive someone to lash out blindly at strangers. At 15, I was plagued by undirected rage and fighting suicidal thoughts. (Had good reasons, but they’re never good enough.)

    I was also having gruesome recurrent nightmares, in which I was hiding in an enormous, dark, abandoned courthouse, trying to elude a maniac who was stalking me. I kept running, trying to find a safe hiding spot, but was eventually cornered by the killer, who lunged and stabbed at me with a knife. It hurt like hell, and in a paroxysm of terror, I got the knife away and started stabbing madly at my assailant, which hurt even more… Then I saw the killer clearly at last- and it was MY face.

    My subconscious was hitting me upside the head- give up the rage, or die.

    Talk about motivation. I did manage it at last- hating, whether for good reason or not, is giving the ones that hurt you, intentionally or not, control of your life- adding insult to injury in effect.

    In your case, cussing and ranting and carrying on is a good way to let your feelings out so you can reclaim your life. You’ve made a good start putting some distance between you and your afflicters.

    Living well is the best revenge. It really is.

    Now you owe me 5 cents.

  6. Squatlo says:

    Cynthianne, I think we ALL owe you a nickel. It’s interesting that your nightmare took place in a “dark, abandoned courthouse”… Freud would have loved that one, or at least been intrigued. My own recurring nightmare of my youth found me naked, lying on my back in a giant glass funnel, surrounded by other terrified naked people. We were all trying to keep from moving or shaking the funnel, because whenever anyone moved the rest of us slid closer to the gaping hole at the bottom. Every now and then someone would slide off into the darkness, and their screams would just fade away with distance.

    I had that same dream a hundred times as a teen… and still don’t know the cause or why I stopped having that particular nightmare.

    Too bad we can’t make easy videos of our nightmares. Others might find them wildly entertaining…

  7. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    Squat. Henley and the Eagles both are over-liked in my eyes. One more pretty boy band. My problem with this entire forgiveness thing is simple:

    I DON’T WANT TO!!!

    It’s but one more of the love/hate dealios that infiltrate life.

    Katy. If Boys of Summer made you gay… Maybe your clay was already molded. I’ve been reading but not commenting over to your place for a couple weeks. Trying to determine how much chain jerking and how much reality.

    Cyn’anne. Baby. First, how about I mail you $20 for future sessions?

    On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman–an ex-Marine and Catholic choir boy–returned to civilian life to attend college and unmercifully beat his wife. He too over 700 bullets to the top of UT’s famous tower and rained death down on innocents.

    While I knew none of his victims, I do know that his actions were the harbinger for every fucking mass murder of its type. What I also know is that if he had had an assault rifle instead of a deer rifle, that bastard could have killed ten times as many people in the time it took to stop him.

    Whitman’s actions likely triggered a million nightmares. And you are a dear friend. Maybe we should try to meet in ABQ for lunch some day and I can give you the double sawbuck in person.

    Squat. I wish sometimes that I didn’t have such great recall of my dreams. More to follow.

  8. Squatlo says:

    If you and Cynthianne ever do meet up in person, there will be two of my favorite people in the same place at the same time. No need to thank me for introducing the two of you, it’s one of the many services I provide free of charge.

    Cynth? Take the money!

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