So. Please allow me to say, in advance, that I was a little stoned. OK, and in the desire to properly elucidate realities to you, dear readers, allow me to say that I was considerably more than a little stoned. I was shitfaced.
Six-Carta-Blanca-beers-two-joints-and-a-full-dropper-of-Gram’s-mushroom-juice stoned. That kind of stoned. Still functioning, meaning I was awake, could walk and carry on a conversation, yet so mellowed-out that I could converse with Ted Cruz without turning him into fodder for the compost pile. This high was quite mellow.
The pot was a medicinal variety called “Rainbow Kush” or “Orange Sherbet Kush”, or maybe it was “Bush is a Kush”; the mushroom juice was from a tincture bottle just arrived from Austin that my tincturating grandmother had named, “Santi Fe ain’t got no air, Mooner, this here’s gonna Oxycontinate yer ass all over tha place.” As La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe sits at 7,292 feet above sea level, Gram’s desire to increase my oxygenations was admirable.
The beer was from Susan’s Liquor Store, the only dependable local source for my beloved CB.
We had just learned of Judge Scalia’s death and adjourned to the back yard for celebrations and reflections. Awash with the peace and joy that can only come from good news and a multi-dimensional high, the dogs and I were sitting out back in the early eve, wondering the outcome/replacement from Scalia’s death, and enjoying the end of a 63-degree day.
Sixty-three fucking degrees. Last week the highs were in the mid-twenties with winds that made the air so sharp it would cut your face, and three days later we’re thirty-degrees over normal.
OK, as that sounds like a bitch, allow me to say I love this weather and we three were basking like old dogs in a sunny patch on a parlor rug. That sixth beer was on the table between the two wrought iron chairs, the Squirt was in my lap, Yoda in the second chair, and all three of us were pointed at the back drive-through gate that looks out onto the alley behind the house.
There’s a three-inch gap between the bottom of the gate and the top of the concrete drive, and several evenings this week—about this time—the Squirt thinks she saw something stick its nose under the gate.
“Too dark to tell for sure, but I think it’s that wolf dog from over on Quapaw Street,” Squirt told me. “Dangerous looking sort.”
The goat dog did his slit-throat, “Phwouf-phwouf-pwhouf,” bit, and the Squirt turned to me to say, she tells me, “Dumbass over there says it a coyote, and he wants to rip its face off.”
As Yoda is the least fearsome animal on the entire planet, Squirt and I laughed about his fearlessness in the face of a fearsome force, and it dawned on me that Yoda has never actually growled.
“Tell him to growl, sweetie. Let’s see if he even knows how.”
She did, and Yoda screwed this cartoonish snarl onto his face and went, “Mmmrrrll.”
We asked that he repeat his snarling growl, which he did, and I realized he had growled before. “That’s the sound he makes when I move him out of my arm pit to turn over in bed. I always thought it was a lovie noise. That little shit is growling at me because my fucking arm is asleep and I need to recirculate it.” She and I laughed once more. Yoda growled at us, again.
Anyway, I drank and the puppies lapped—me from the bottle, they from the mayonnaise lid that makes a great portable beer trough for ten-pound doggies—and we settled in for the approaching dark. I kind of started snoozing when the Squirt nudged my chin with her cool nose. She whispered, “Wake up shithead. There’s something at the gate.”
I tried to wake, then focus. Sure enough, there was something at the back gate. “Everybody quiet. Let’s creep up on it.”
We crept. Stealthily; slowly; quietly.
There was a jangling of keys, the sound of the lock slipping out of chain and the chain slipping through its metal eyelets. A hand slipped between the gate halves and Lou Diamond Phillips stepped into the backyard.
“The three of you couldn’t sneak up on a dead man, Mooner. Fetch another beer and some of those sweet bean tamales from your fridge while I lock this gate. You’ve coyotes prowling your neighborhood.”
I fetched, and upon my return from the kitchen found my God sitting in Yoda’s chair with the goat dog settled in his lap, and the Squirt still sniffing at the gap beneath the gate. I set fresh beers and tamales on the table and sat.
“Nice to see you, Sir. Been awhile.” I paused for a response, got none, and asked Him, I asked God, “Uh, not that I’m ungrateful or anything, but I was hoping you’d visit as that actress Mary-Louise Parker. We watched the final episode of Season Four of Weeds, and that scene in her bathtub… I mean, I like Lou Diamond Phillips and all, but, well, you know…”
I never realized LDP was almost as big as I am. They film around here for the TV series Longmire and I’ve seen him about. He plays a Native American bar owner with certain instincts. He’s handsome and all that, but he’s no Mary-Louise Parker.
“Forget your pecker for once and focus on your reflections of Justice Scalia. Do you realize that your first thought was, ‘Thank God?’ Don’t you be thanking me for another man’s demise, shithead. You might not have liked him, but he wasn’t a bad man. He was misdirected and biased. But he was steadfast in his beliefs and practiced as he preached. And he was one of Justice Ginsberg’s best buddies. You can’t admire her without admiring her friends.”
“Is it OK if I say I’m glad he’s no longer on the bench?”
God pierced my eyes with Lou Diamond Phillips’ steeliest stare. “Don’t mince words, Mooner. You’ll get the SCOTUS you want. Don’t revel in another man’s death. Period.”
Before I could respond, He was gone, along with all the tamales and both fresh beers. I figured His next visit lacked both food and drink and I already had a serious case of sweet bean tamale farts. And I figured He was right. Mayhaps I should not feel elation at what I got at the cost of another’s loss. That demeans me, makes me akin to the kind of person I despise.
I already have enough despicable traits.
So, fuck Walmart!