I lose you
amidst the traffic
and commerce Continue reading
I ran into The Vulture as he was coming out of Mrs. Cooley’s market. He was carrying a paper bag with an assortment of healthy looking greens sticking out of the top.
“Good stuff.” I remarked, gesturing toward the bag.
His eyes darted right, then left two or three times before he backpedaled. Then he realized he had nowhere to go but out through me.
“How’s Skinny’s ankle?” I asked, hoping to disarm some of his mistrust.
The Vulture wanted no part of it. He sidled further away.
“He been bothering you any?” I asked.
The Vulture stepped toward me and feigned like he was going to scuttle out past me, but I didn’t budge.
“Those for your mother?” I asked, pointing to the greens.
He mustered a slight nod of his head.
“Good lady. Tell her Sugar says hi and wishes her a happy birthday.”
The Vulture dropped his guard slightly and a wry smile twitched his lips.
I turned to the side and let him scuttle past. He rocketed up the street like a worried crab.
I had already decided that I needed to pay Skinny a visit and my encounter with The Vulture reminded me I had better confront the matter directly. I needed him. He was one of the cornerstones for Ned’s and my endeavor though I hadn’t confessed this point to Ned.
Skinny was fairly smart and in the scheme of things I knew that could be his downfall. I needed to find out if his intelligence could be redirected toward a greater good and that would have a lot to do with how he perceived weakness and strength in himself and in others. I was hopeful after what had transpired in the alley by Gordo’s Liquor Store that I had a running chance.
I found him down at Tin Man’s Doughnuts. It was a popular hangout for many reasons. Mostly it was cheap but the doughnuts were actually pretty good and the coffee was rich and flavorful. The place was also lively. There were always chess games and people playing cards. It was populated by a mixed bag of gamers, gangsters, bookies and cops. It seemed that everyone got along while indulging in gambling and sweets at the Tin Man’s.
I hadn’t been there for a few months, but nothing had changed. it smelled of sugar and stale grease. The Tin Man was parked behind the counter lording over the cash register. He was very large, probably six foot five and 280 pounds. I think that is why everyone seemingly got along.
He cordially nodded at me and I nodded back.
Skinny was at the counter with a pair of crutches leaning against the wall a few feet to his right. His ankle was in a cast. I’d heard rumors that he’d invented a story about how he had been the victim of a nasty skateboard fall.
“I hear you fell off your board,” I said standing directly behind him.
“Yah, took a good one over on Petrero.” He said without turning around to see who I was. “I really busted up my ankle.”
“Tough hill to skate,” I said.
“Not so much,” he replied, “I just don’t give a shit.”
“Me either,” I said, “your version is as good as gold to me.”
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
I hike everyday. It is energizing and allows my spirit to open up to my surroundings. I am able to observe with the spirit’s eye and see universes beyond the physical reality of things. I am delighted to take photographs and collect artifacts like feathers and wood for use in recreating what I have seen in my imagination.
On my many wanderings I have come to find hidden and secluded places where almost no human ever ventures anymore. I am not talking about the wilderness, I am talking about within the city limits of San Francisco. Most of The City is a massive tangle of abutted structures, but not all. There are forsaken copses of trees and open spaces in this bustling cityscape. Some appear forgotten as the now condemned Berlinski’s Hardware that sits forlorn with its boarded-up windows next to a twenty-first century Home Depot. I used to frequent that old Hardware Store and it was way more interesting than Home Depot could ever dream of being.
My name is The Surest Sugar Maple. The Elders christened me with the namesake as a young child because of my propensity to take calculated risks that none of the other kids could wrap their wits around. I was the one that climbed the railroad trestle and tied the rope so we could fly out over the cliff and fall into the river. I hunted and snared the rattlesnakes that were fodder for our moccasins.
If I wasn’t sure about a dare or a challenge, I wouldn’t take it on until I had it figured out to where the odds were in my favor. I couldn’t be swayed but I could be bought. It served me well in Hollywood where I spent many years working with the likes of John Wayne, Fess Parker, and Jimmy Stewart. I was one of the Indians falling off horses, cliffs and bar stools. I have an abundance of physical wounds to show for it, but I am alive and a very rich man because of it.
I am also old, but I am not as decrepit as the cocky little teenagers think. They have begun to follow me at times and are over-confident, foolish and blind. Their bodies are full of fast food and drugs. They lack the power of observation. They only see an old man, they do not see beneath the surface where I am fleet as a gazelle when and if I need and want to be.
The Skinny One and The Vulture had been waiting to ambush me when I came out of the Wells Fargo on Biscayne Street. The Skinny One sidled up to me on my left while The Vulture nervously poked something implying a gun into my ribs.
“Gotcha old man,” The Skinny One hissed. He was their teenage lips, their fear and their bravado all mixed up into one. Of all the little gangsters that I had noticed he seemed like the one that was dangerous. “Just do as I say,” he said, “And maybe you’ll live to tell your chess playing Bros about shitting your pants down at the Wells Fargo.”
What he didn’t have was the gun. It was The Vulture that had the weapon in my ribs and I had since surmised that he had no business as a hoodlum. He was too sensitive, weak minded and a coward. Besides that, I had purposely bumped him with my elbow and there had been no weight behind the supposed weapon. It was either his finger or maybe a plastic water pistol.
They ushered me down Biscayne. An old man and a couple of teenagers out for a stroll. As they did so, I quickly concluded that I was probably in no real danger. That’s the luxury of having made a calculated risk, the odds are in your favor. When I added it up, one way or another they were destined to lose. They were high on adrenalin and probably cocaine. They were having visions of how they had already won.
To be continued.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
What’s Up With all the Litter?
“The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit…” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
I recently spent a considerable amount of time traveling in the States of Michigan and Wisconsin. To say the least the scenery is beautiful, with a bountiful supply of fresh water rivers, streams and lakes, a verdant green lushness that is so missed in many parts of our vast Country. The air in Northern Michigan is rich in oxygen and the aromas of the Great Lakes, fertile loam soils and creek bottom plants and wildflowers. Aside from these affronts to the senses, it struck me almost immediately that there was something I wasn’t putting my finger on that was quite different. Something was glaringly missing from my surroundings. Hmm… Trash! Graffiti! There weren’t mounds or drifts of litter piling up everywhere. There weren’t any vulgar depictions of someone’s genitals or gang symbols spray painted all over the freeway overpasses. In Michigan litter is refreshingly absent from the roadsides, nonexistent in people’s yards and was not at all visible in any of the places we visited. Everything was green and clean. People in rural America just do not seem to have a penchant to litter. In California’s East Bay Cities there are piles of litter everywhere. Not only do people litter the streets and freeways, they dump there trash in City and State Parks or other people’s yards. Just this last week someone dumped medical waste into my recycling bin. City dwellers litter theaters, public transportation, anything that moves or doesn’t move is a target for the litter bugs. Nowhere is sacrosanct. If some location doesn’t have its fair share of garbage attached to it, it apparently irritates the California City Dweller to no end. They have an obsessive-compulsive urge to throw a MacDonald’s french fry box into any space that does not have one. http://www.litteringiswrongtoo.org/faq
Not only do they litter, they have a warped love affair with graffiti. There are those that lurk about in the night staking claim to such things as stop signs, railroad cars, freeway walls, fences, buildings, buses, billboards, etc. It seems to me that a guy with the tag “f##k” has laid claim to a huge chunk of the city where I reside. He’s been everywhere. With all of the publicity he has been able to generate he ought to have run for Mayor. Or maybe even the Senate. Whoops. I forgot, we already have “f##k” for a senator. http://www.popcenter.org/problems/graffiti
Graffiti in rural Michigan or Wisconsin? Nope. First off, everyone I met in the Mid-West has an arsenal of guns and that’s a pretty good deterrent when it comes to trespassing. People there take ample pride in their property. They apparently understand the actuality that they are part owners of the streets, the rivers, the buses, etc. This is because they have paid for these things in part and parcel with their taxes, not because it was magically granted to them by a welfare government. People with Common Sense have never agreed to the illusion that the government owns all or anything. They don’t. You litter or deface the people’s property in rural America and you get fined for vandalism (or shot, depending on who gets there first) you don’t get glorified as a street artist or community activist. In the eyes of those in the Socialist Republic of California, everyone is apparently deemed to have equal rights, even if they are criminal and it is their life’s ambition to pitch a tent, litter, defecate and camp on the people’s property of which they have never paid a lick for. Fellow Californians then raise a peace sign, hail these free-loaders as heroes and heroines of free speech and then happily put signatures on more and more liberal petitions in an “open-minded” trashing of The Constitution.
I have been a resident of California since 1976. The political and social ideas that were generated out of the drug induced fog of the sixties have taken solid root here and have been parasitically disseminated across the nation in the guise of liberalism. In reality they aren’t that at all, they are anti-American, anti-Constitution and anti-Spiritualistic. The higher virtues of the 60’s movement were high-jacked long ago by the socialists, the pornographers, the gay rights movement and the radical psychology departments associated with Universities like UC Berkeley. Government has become a degraded quagmire and a free-for-all where a lot of special interest groups have become politically active by lobbying for their individual causes rather than any higher purposes for the good of all Americans.
Now it is 2014 and Common Sense is screaming out that it is time to trash these ill-conceived social and political debacles. It should be apparent and deducible that the streets and culture are a reflection of our own minds and that it is clear that our minds have been seriously trashed with bad ideas. We have been lackadaisical about a shit load of drug induced radicalism. All you have to do is look out the window in any major city in the United States. Our streets and culture are littered with rubbish both physically and intellectually. In the future it is my intention to put together a book of Common Sense solutions in an effort to solve many of our social and political problems. We deserve better and more workable answers for a modern social infrastructure. We do not deserve drug induced liberalism. Our universities need a good house cleaning as does our government. Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer ought to be in the Institution and not the keepers of it. You can quote me on that.
Many things may happen here in California first, but when it comes to modern politics it should also end here. Most of what is being exported doesn’t and never will work. It is big government at its worst. It continues to grow even bigger as it trashes our Constitution at an alarming rate.
Common Sense would dispense a little advice to the youth of this nation: “YOUR INNATE COMMON SENSE, INTEGRITY AND CONSCIENCE ARE FAR SUPERIOR AND MORE VALUABLE THAN POLITICAL OR SOCIAL CORRECTNESS. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH. KEEP YOUR MORAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES INTACT, THEY ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE BUILDING BLOCKS TO ALL THAT REMAINS PRODUCTIVE AND CREATIVE IN THIS NATION OF OURS. COMMON SENSE AND VALUES HAVE BEEN LOST TO THOSE PROMOTING LIBERALISM, SOCIALISM, MARXISM, EXISTENTIALISM, RADICALISM, ANARCHISM, ATHEISM, COMMUNISM OR MOST ANY OTHER ISM BEING DREAMED UP FOR THE PURPOSE OF SOCIAL GOVERNING. THEY ARE NOT NEW IDEAS. THESE ISMS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR A VERY LONG TIME AND THEY HAVE ONE SAD THING IN COMMON; THEY DON’T WORK. THEY EVENTUALLY LEAD TO REVOLUTION AND CHAOS NOT EVOLUTION. THEY ARE PROMOTING AND CREATING THE DEGRADATION OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT.”
Common Sense 2014 Richard Rensberry Copyright QuickTurtle Books™ LLC
It’s Black and White/A Turtle Quest for the Ages/Navigating the ADHD Controversy by Mary and Richard Rensberry