Archive for August, 2016

Hair Triggers And Hair Brained Cops; Ordering A Number 4.

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

So. I was over to the Firehouse Sub shop on Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe’s busiest local business street. Cerrillos Road is filled not with fancy jewelry stores, $200-a-plate eateries or cowgirl-centric boutiques like the downtown tourist areas. Nopers, our Cerrillos Road has your tire stores, Wendy’s and Kohls. Almost to a store, the big national retailers are there on Cerrillos Road, and my Subaru dealership as well. It was because I was headed to see if there were any add-ons for my little WRX hotrod that I could install without voiding my quite comprehensive warranty that I landed at Firehouse Subs. Sandwich shop is next to Olive Garden in a building it shares with one of the big cell phone stores.

There were not additional modifications under warranty, and when making my way back towards La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe, a hot sub samich spoke to me. I parked, entered the store, cringed to the shouted, “Welcome to Firehouse,” and grabbed a place in line.

I hate to be greeted that way by anyfuckingbody. Say to me, and politely at that, “Hey, man, how’s it hanging,“ or, “Come on in,” or, “What tha fuck you doing here?” But don’t have a counter full of seventeen-year-olds yelling “Welcome!” at my ass. If the sammies weren’t so good I’d go to Jimmy John’s place every time.

So I ordered my Number 4 medium combo on white—fully engulfed—and filled the drink cup and sat. Fully engulfed means with everything on it. While I waited, four—I think or maybe more—State of New Mexico Troopers entered to stand in line. Which brings up another point.

We Americans enlisted the English language from the Brits as our official tongue, then fought a war with them to solidify that usage. So why do we say, “In line,” when they say, “On line.” OK, and they say, “Queue,” which, when I spell-checked, showed to also be a crockadile, another point in the altogether.

One of the State trooper guys was in the street clothes I associate with an investigator, one was dressed like a Major, and two were in Patrolman outfits, one of whom looked like a giant flaming asshole. Big guy with a buzz cut, muscles showing, and his pistol in a quick-draw holster—you know, a hard case with no strap to hold it in, and way too fucking much handle showing. As I sat glowering at this guy I noticed two young men staring at his holster, but with a different look than mine. While I was pissed, they seemed interested, like, “Maybe I could pull that cannon from Shithead’s hip and shoot him before he could shoot me.”

I came quite close to saying something, remembered that I have yet to be arrested here to Santa Fe, and ate my Number #4. I finished, cleared my table and walked out. I drove around the building to enter Vegas Verdes Street, accelerated towards the light and was forced to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a shirtless man. Skinny white dude clutching baggy jeans with his left hand and holding what appeared to be a cell phone high in the air in his right, and running hell-bent-for-leather at what appeared to be his full clip.

My first thought was that he held the phone high as a counterbalance, keeping him from falling because he couldn’t let go of his pants. My second thought was, “Holy shit, there’s five cops and two kids from the phone store chasing that dude. Run dude, run!”

A giggle was forming inside my head when the big cop with the quick-draw holster whipped his gun from his hip right in front of my car. This man had a look-to-kill plastered on his angry face and was yelling something at the shirtless man, taking aim as he ran. My brain told me this quick-draw cop was going to shoot an unarmed man in the back.

“Don’t shoot,” I screamed at my windshield, and one of the other cops seemed to yell at the gunman to don’t shoot, because he lowered his weapon and didn’t shoot. Dude was caught maybe thirty yards past me, wrestled to the ground and manhandled into cuffs. I watched as knees were jammed into his back when he must have resisted. Right, he must have resisted? I was getting honked at so I needed to move along. I was a mile away when it dawned on me that I should go back. I did and it was all over.

I witnessed just how easy it is to be unarmed and shot in the back by a cop. I saw the heat on the faces of those officers as they lay chase to some dumb freak who wanted a free cell phone. Were they so pissed because the kid interrupted their Numbers 5, 8, 3, and a second number 5, or was it excitement at the possibility to get in a little target experience? Does one of them have stock in Sprint, looking to save a few dollars for the bottom line?

In reflections, I realize just how lucky I have been in my life. I’ve been in some pretty tense situations with cops and guns, but the worst injuries I ever had were bruises and tiny burn holes from Taser spikes. I’ve had cops who I knew without a doubt wanted to shoot me, yet they contained their egos, anger, emotional ties and personal maniacies, and did not shoot.

And like that dude yesterday, the running man, I’m mostly white. What if that kid was black or brown or wore a turban? How might things have gone? What if he had pointed the cell phone at the asshole cop?  What if I weren’t white? If my skin was ebony black, I’d likely be dead by now, shot or beaten by some bigoted Texas lawman.

I witnessed a man in a potential death scene, a situation one wrong move from death. Death comes too easy these days. Too many guns in the wrong hands. Bad cop hands. Too much anger fueled by too much hateful rhetoric. And all too often it’s the wrong people getting killed. Unarmed people in the wrong places with the wrong cops. But there was at least one good man in uniform that day, the man who called the gunman down, so you didn’t see this story on your evening news.

Now I know just how fast, and how easy, people get shot by cops. And even though it’s inappropriate for me to say at this point, let’s all Fuck Walmart!

Maybe, Baby; Resistance To Maturities

Monday, August 15th, 2016

So. On this fine Sunday morning Santa Fe has awakened to crisp 51-degree air with crystalline skies serving as a canvas for the flat clouds of grey moisture typical of this season. For our part, the puppies have shit-showered-shaved and eaten their first meal of the day, and I’ve been awake long enough to have consumed three cuppa Joes, played two quickie poker tournaments on the Inet, walked the perimeters of La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe in search of flies, killed three of said flies with my salt-filled air gun custom-made for fly killing, and still, and at that alas, and had no fucking Sunday newspaper.
My paper always arrives before five in the am, except, heretofore, on those rare occasions when the press breaks or it snows so much the delivery personages cannot get about. That consistency of delivery result results in certain expectations in me, said expectations counted upon within the confines of the obsessive/compulsive regimens woven together into the fabric that somewhat controls my fevered ADD-addled mental processings. It is the morning structures of event stringings that carry the most weight in my attempts to wrench control of my focus and concentrations from Mr. Evil, the madman who lurks deep within my psyche.
Said another way, I have specific routines, which when properly followed, assist me to spend less of the day that follows in the State of Fucked. Having said that, those of you who know me have a clear understanding of what my day does, and will continue to look like, now that I’m visiting the State of Fucked while under the controls of Mr. Evil. I hate visiting the State of Fucked, and as I have aged, Mr. Evil’s presence has become more aggravating than you can imagine.
“Hey Mooner. Yoo-hoo Mooner! Hey you, fuckbrain, stop writing and look over here at me…You know you can’t ignore me, your newspaper is late!…No, look over there…Did you turn the burner off with that last cup of coffee?…When was the last time you saw an actual nekid woman?…Did you hear what Trump said?…Ali McGraw on your left!”
There’s another reason for my consternations in spite of this beautiful morning. We put La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe on the market for sale—what I thought a solid yet unremarkable effort made by me to appear concerned about my family back to Texas—thinking there would be no sale at my price and I could say, “Sorry, Gram, sorry Sister, I tried but the real estate market is too soft here right now. I’ll try again in 2020.”
Two showings, two contract offers. The first was less than asking price and I rejected it summarily. The second, well the second was for full price, which forced its acceptance, and we’ve had two more showings wanting to know if the contract falls off. A Christian would look at these events and say, “That’s God’s hand, son. He works in mysterious ways.”
Me, for my part in all of this, I realize that my understanding of the housing market has surpassed my knowledge and I’m unlikely to have any reasonable excuse for not moving back to my family in Tejas, home of Guv’vy Abbott sans Costello. Nothing funny about that prick.
The Squirt and I were talking about this conundrum Saturday night as we sat with cold beers, smushed avocado-not guacamole with chips and handmade by us salsa, and pain pills. The pain pills were in response to Squirt’s reoccurring spinal condition wherein she loses operational benefits of one, or both back legs, and the beer was Stella Artois—both situational events out of my control. As a Carta Blanca drinker since birth, it aggravates the shit out of me to not find it, and as a father I’m sad to the bone I can’t help my puppy live forever.
I was mooning and fretting and whimpering on, and on, so Squirt told me, she says, “Stop fretting, dickwad, there’s good news in all of this. You’ll get fresh veggies from Gram’s garden, SAC Ellen still lives in that little place over on the Fifties, and you can spend more time with Mother.”
“Not comforting, sweetie pie. Santa Fe has a great farmers’ market, the last time I saw SAC Ellen she locked the door in my face, and as for Mother…”
“Jesus, but you’re a half-empty Bozo. OK, think of this. My back will be better in the warmer climate.”
Can’t argue her points, but I’m still not more happy than not happy. Then, again, maybe I can gain comfort in the fact that I’m making a major decision based upon the needs of others in my life and not on my own whims. Maybe this is the first ever time I’ve done so and therein lies my rubs. Maybe sacrifice for others is such an uncomfortable garment because I’ve never fitted it to my frame. Maybe I can’t find pleasure because I’m too conceited and center-self’ed to have joy in helping others.
Maybe I’ve never matured as a man, or grown to know the value of putting others first. And maybe I’m an ADD-addled fuckbrain who can’t get out of his own way. And maybe we should all:
FUCK WALMART!