Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our Rock Star

So yesterday I'm dickin' around at work and I get this email from my wife. I open it up and there's these pictures of our dog, Rocky. Just look at that face. Yeah, I'm a certified sucker for cutie pie animal pic's.

I've probably mentioned this story before; Rocky's an old dog nobody wanted anymore. We weren't even in the market for a fricken dog, but what could I do?

Add one dog to the Wilkerson litter.

It's month or so after we took in Rocky when one of our cats, Buddy J, passed. He was another animal nobody wanted but I couldn't see him go to a pound.

Now we're down to one cat- Kitty.

Kitty is a bitch. But, she's been with us since we were living in a thirty year old, fifth hand single-wide trailer, located in the middle of a pasture in Kansas. An old farmer stopped by, asked us if we wanted this little black kitty. I didn't want a cat. Growing up out in the country, I always had dogs and maybe some feral cats to keep mice and rats away. The farmer already had too many cats in his barn and he was gonna take this black cat down to the pond and drown her (just the way things are done back home). Again, what could I do?

Back to Rocky. The ladies man. The little guy follows my wife everywhere. Everywhere! When Tasha leaves the house, he stares at the door. When she walks out of the room, all you hear is the clicking of his paws on our terrazzo floor. He's so obsessive, I'm sure the little shit has dreams of them running through fields of wildflowers together, sans ol' Mike here. So what if he eats some cat poop from time to time? Any animal that loves my wife this much is coolie cool. And while I don't have a picture of the elusive Kitty, I thought I'd give you a picture of our Rock star.

Stay chill.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shine to Five Kilos

Let's go back a few weeks. I mentioned a short story I was working on called SHINE. I finished up said story a couple of weeks later and changed the name to FIVE KILOS- a more fitting title. I'm happy to say that it was picked up by one fierce online publication. I'll let you know when it hits.

Then there's the book. The motherfuckin' book. I say this will all the love in the world. Honest. And anybody who's ever taken on the task of writing a novel completely understands where I'm coming from. It's frustrating when it doesn't come along as fast as it should. It's euphoric when everything gels into a perfect flow of words. Comedy and tragedy. Sanity and insanity. Love and hate.

What I'm understanding, ultimately, is the fundamental importance of PATIENCE. I learned it with my short stories and the payoffs have been, for me, huge. I'm learning this all over again with the book and I dig the results.

On a side note, my wife and I just spent our ten year anniversary in Savannah, Georgia. We've been there a few times and it's always a trip for us. We dig on the old architecture. We eat too much. I drink too much. We had a blast. Fourteen years together and ten years of marriage to an angel. My flesh and blood savior. My everything. My Tasha Rae.

And with that, I'm done.

Stay chill, my friends.

Friday, July 2, 2010

To Hell And Back

Totalled up, I've probably spent days and most likely weeks, thinking about Audie Murphy. It started with a viewing of the movie about his days in WWII- To Hell And Back- some twenty years ago while still in my teens. Of course they said the little guy in the movie playing Audie Murphy was in fact Murphy himself. Seemed so hard to believe.

Murphy was small man- 5'5" and of a slight build. He grew up a poor, Texas farmboy one of twelve children. He became a crack shot because he had to in order to feed his family: One of his favorite hunting companions was neighbor Dial Henley. When he commented that Murphy never missed when he shot at squirrels, rabbits, and birds, Murphy replied, "Well, Dial, if I don't hit what I shoot at, my family won't eat today."

He was rejected by damn near every branch of the military, including the Marines and Navy, because of his size. The Army decided he was big enough for them. Still, he had to fight in order to get overseas and into the action.

His bravery in war is legend. His list of medals is too long to list. This we know. What I wonder about Murphy, is how he lived after the war. I do not mean the movie star aspect. Or his gambling and adultery. Rather, I'm talking about the war inside his own mind.

Murphy suffered from shell shock- PTSD as it's known today. With it came the nightmares and depression which would plague him for the rest of his life. At one time, he held his first wife at gunpoint. He became addicted to sleeping pills and realizing his addictions, locked himself in a motel room and fought through withdrawal. One tough amigo.

Audie Murphy was killed in a plane crash in the year of 1971 over Memorial Day weekend. He died nearly broke, squandering millions on gambling, bad investments and women. He was human. He was also one of this country's great, tragic heroes and a person who I will never know enough about.

His grave site in Arlington, is the second most visited after that of JFK.

For more information on Audie Murphy, check out the Audie Murphy Memorial Website