The muse has not revisited since "Culo Mas Piedroso". The muse is no fool.
At the end of Mas Piedroso, Muldoon had discovered fundamental, immutable truths, relieving enormous angst, focusing emotional, and other limited resources upon staying loose. Now he is quite loose, accepting even a suggestion of artistic efficacy when an Italian tenor sings Aztec religious music under the baton of a middle European conductor - an insult to Moctezuma for which we may never atone. Fuck Moctezuma! How many battalions does he have anyway?
Some of this is based on partially recalled conversations with the Slavo-Asiatic guru of the My-Oh-My Club (location unrecalled - possibly metaphysical), one Namdip Krakadzak. For those unfamiliar with the Asiatic name system, Namdip is the family name and Krakadzak is what we call the first name. In this case the first name represents the attempt of a Serbo Croation to spell phonetically the American word crackerjack, as he heard it pronounced by a Vietnamese with a cleft palate. Namdip has vast talent at clear, concise expression, "Birds Fly - Men Drink."
Five years and one hundred thousand miles of motorcycling prompt me to record these thoughts and recollections lest they be forever lost to a world jaded by Mozart, Rembrandt and Joseph Heller.
In that state of grace known as Face Full Of Sunshine Belly Full Of Chicken, there is an indescribable sense of well being, apotheotic in intensity and magnitude. I suppose that lily could be somewhat gilded by a cold beer, but other than that, what can I say?
Cross country motorcycling never gets boring like other experiences in life do. This yearís trip to Key West was as great as my first trip. A friend who read this opined that I am still euphoric simply because it is so easy to entertain a moron. Friends are important to give one balance.
Were I to stop here, one might feel that motorcycling fails to stimulate intellectual growth. Face it, no matter where I stop, you might feel that way. But there is one event in motorcycling that focuses attention on rethinking motorcycling as something one should do - the very bad accident. Such was to befall me in the fall of 1988. I lost it at high speed coming home from Mike Tullochís all day birthday party at a titty bar, drunk, in a heavy rain. I hit the brakes right on top of a grease spot or oil leak pool. The bike landed on the inside of my left leg, grinding the outside of the leg along the pavement, then skittering off to the right. I bounced and skidded along for half a block (wearing shorts, tank top shirt, sneakers/no sox) removing mucho skin at every bounce. That nothing broke testifies, obviously to my superior conditioning and strength. My ex-wife says Iím still here because neither God nor Satan want me.
When I regained consciousness, a policeman was getting the telephone number off my organ donor medallion. As the accident happened in Texas, several cars stopped to help. Someone had folded a very nice coat and placed it in the wet, dirty street under my head. Someone else picked up my motorcycle and moved it out of the way of further harm. No one stole my money or credit cards. Someone called EMS, maybe the cop, who knows? Henny Youngman used to tell a joke about similar circumstances, in which a kind person asked the injured man "are you comfortable?", to which he responded, "I make a living."
Nothing was broken; the motorcycle was still operable, albeit busted up like me, so I got back on it, rode home and passed out in the driveway. For a few weeks I had trouble staying awake for more than 15 minutes - slight concussion. I had enough soft tissue injury to enthuse a medium sized firm of personal injury lawyers. My arms and leg oozed for a few weeks, and healed up in about a month or so. When I had to go to the office or to court, I bandaged up like a mummy so I wouldnít ooze through my trousers and shirt. Today, months later, I am as normal as I ever was, but there was a profound impact upon my attitudes about many things.
Paranoia is not a form of protection against real threats - it only makes you expect them. Not everyone is out to get you. Maybe it is you who is out to get you. People will stop in the rain to help a stranger where the prevailing values in the community are essentially humane. If you are going to ride at high speed in the rain without a helmet, it helps to be drunk. There is no pain in the fatal accident. Pain occurs only when you survive the accident, just like being married. Everything can end in a split second, ready or not. You canít afford to waste a moment being pissed off at anything or anyone.
Helmets can sometimes keep your head from being smashed, but not your neck from being snapped. Iíll take death over quadriplegia any time. Actually, brain death can be practiced or rehearsed, so you donít necessarily have to come up on it all sudden like. The claim that helmetless bikers cost the public millions, so everybody ought to have to wear a helmet is a damn lie in the first place. You wanna stop public funds from being wasted as the result of dangerous and stupid stuff, outlaw smoking. What you will save on not having to treat all those additional cases of lung cancer and emphysema will put some real money back into circulation. Or, why not just tell folks to ride with or without a helmet like they want, but immunize doctors and hospitals from liability for refusing to treat bikers without insurance. Doctors will keep a brain dead biker alive forever or until the money runs out, whichever comes first. With adequate funding, life becomes truly sacred. And thatís our attitude anyway - donít tell us how to live and we donít need you to pick up the bill when shit happens. Pass the no insurance-no treatment law and shut the fuck up. Oh, and by the fucking way - if you want to cut down on welfare, quit the damn protectionism and financial support to the automobile and petroleum businesses and to the large corporate farms and to the tobacco folks. Then maybe we can bomb the shit out of everybody without having to raise taxes.
But donít get me wrong - I donít get angry any more. Iím loose, remember. About the only thing I get pissed off about these days is the destruction of natural beauty, the fucking up of the environment, and out of touch young folks who have that enormous environmental protection issue just begging for positive action and wonít get off their whiny asses and get on the job. Iíve also had to deal with a girlfriendís new puppy, but whatís one more dog in a life like this?
I really donít envy the next generation. Their world is turning to shit at lightening speed. The preservation of natural beauty is the lowest priority on the worldís agenda. Destruction is wanton and opportunistic. What I see today in real life, the next folks will see only in pictures. A Houston bastard who canít operate his business efficiently or well enough to pay his damn debts out of operating profit can clear cut California Redwoods to raise cash to repay junk bond debt. Whether itís that son of a bitch D.K. Ludwig bulldozing the Amazon rain forests, the destruction of the rain forests in New Guinea, or the development of rock star vulgarity on the Island of Lanai, natural beauty gets raped in the name of progress. BULLSHIT!!! The stupid damn indolent youngsters will inherit ugliness, unbalanced and dangerously dysfunctional ecosystems, deadly deposits in the necessities of life. I really donít need or want to stick around for their world.
The Hudson River Valley, just a hundred years ago was a place of idyllic beauty. The paintings of the Hudson River School show exquisite and dramatic natural grandeur, supernatural by todayís standards. To get a dramatic face slap comparison of the kind of change I am talking about, you can go to the Smith College Museum of Art and see Northampton as it was in 1865, in Thomas Farrarís Pre Raphaelite painting of the view of Northampton from the dome of the hospital. It aint like that no more. Opportunism paved and condoized it and put in strip shopping centers and fast food places galore and signage totally lacking in subtlety. Like I said, aint nobody gives a shit. There wonít be much to see in 50 years anyway. Escalation of the rate of change will make the 125 year changes in Northampton occur from now on in only 15 years. We have billions for fucked up Texas banks, for planes that donít fly or meet their design performance specifications, for missiles that donít hit their targets, for the protection of disloyal "allies" who take our money and laugh at us behind our backs and work to undermine us in the UN and elsewhere. The condition of the world is an orphan issue. Well, the next century will be a just reward.
But that crap isnít going to stop me from getting all the sunshine and fried chicken I can find. Give me a sunny day, a country road, a beer joint full of morons like me and a girl who tastes like chicken. A friend told me that if I would pull my head outa my ass, grow up, dress better and get rid of the motorcycles, people would think better of me and Iíd get more business. Then the po bastard had a stroke and died and was buried in a two thousand dollar suit and a pair of Gucci loafers. You can have every client and case that I miss out on by being the way I am, with my blessings and best wishes. Besides, I still have this damn dog to cope with. But I can handle that. Even though I swore Iíd never again have anything I had to feed except a woman. Christmas of 1988, Muffy ganged up on me along the help of a girlfriend to get them a dog. Sheís no fool. She knows sheís here only for visits and that no one expects her to take care of the dog "Doo Doo". "I want a dog and you can keep it for me, Daddy."
Did you know that in depressed Houston you can go down to the Galleria and buy a puppy for just under $ 900.00 a pound? For another $ 350 or so you can get it food, toys, accessories, a health checkup and shots. Now aint that a real intelligent way to use your money. They aint going to no SPCA for no little mutt without a pedigree. The fact that her dadís an undocumented mongrel is bad enough. The dog has to come from a good family. I never saw a dog with a more appropriate genealogy - Doo Doo is a Shitzu. No shit.
And this is one smart dog. She aint going out in the rain to take a crap. No sir. If we shit indoors, sheís gonna shit indoors. Itís an equal protection issue. A human being going to the bathroom during the night has to thread his way through a minefield. After a few weeks she got tired of being confronted over toilet habits, and when called to task over a pile of dogshit, would simply deny that it was hers. Then she went on the counterattack, coming over to me and barking accusingly at my feet wherever a new load was discovered. Do you know the feeling of worrying that others in the room could be having second thoughts about accusing the dog without even a cursory investigation? What do you mean, Iím paranoid? She aint stupid about architecture either. She has shown me that my house has many more bathrooms than I thought it had. I thought it had three, and that those other rooms were called living room, dining room, family room et cetera. Man, was I wrong.
She thinks Iím her father, and I canít wait to marry her off to the dog of some wealthy surgeon. She hunts out in the backyard like it was a jungle, seeking out enemy kittens and chasing them back across no-manís land. She discovered a vast array of peripatetic protein that in many ways reflects human preferences for taste and texture. The yard abounds with snails, which she calls escargots, and she catches and eats other things that could be versions of crab or shrimp, crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. Officially sheís on a scientifically engineered diet thatís supposed to keep her healthy and to keep her stool to a few pieces a day of a consistency which facilitates cleanup. She went with girlfriend when we broke up.
1989 is a Watershed year for me. I am beginning to believe that an amendment of life may be in order. This came as no theophanic manifestation, like a burning bush or the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. It crept in in small glimpses on irregular and unexpected occasions and in varying contexts. Once I found the ability not to be upset at so much, the absence of nihilistic thought left room for hope. And so it eventually occurred to me that there might be some more beneficent purpose for my life than going AWOL. The messages emblazoned across my tee shirts are more conciliatory. I donít always announce on them that I am a member of the Road Vermin Motorcycle Club. I still love country music and cold beer, but Iím listening to more Mozart, Hayden and Verdi and sipping some pretty good wine. My friends are dying. They try to live at the same pace as I do. Why arenít I dying, or might I be closer than I think?
I had to bite a big caliber bullet this year. I should have bit it earlier. My biggest client seems to be going nuts, and I waited longer than I should have to tell them to go get another lawyer. The wait didnít hurt them. They would have to pay another lawyer to learn what I know anyway. But it hurt me.
The stress associated with watching something like this develop, knowing that you just donít seem able to turn it around, having to face up to irretrievability can be overwhelming. It can affect your performance for your other clients. Had I cut the cord earlier I would have had to make the same economic adjustment, but the stress would have been less. Bad news canít wait. You have to realize when the plug must be pulled and be man enough to pull it. I am not a large firm with a phalanx of other lawyers who might have been able to step in and save the relationship.
Oh well. Now I have more time to ride and to work out the stress. Soon another client with more cases will walk in the door and life will return to its normal hectic pace. I ought to promote my practice more aggressively. Maybe I ought to put Doo Dooís picture on my letterhead instead of the motorcycle gang with a caption saying "Iíll bite whoever is bothering you." Would the clientele I get using the dog as a spokesperson fit in with the clients I already have? Has there ever been a law firm that failed because a dog was the firmís big attraction? I donít know of any. Would having the dog in the firm qualify me for some affirmative action recognition or minority set aside business? Do I get benefits because the dog is female? Why not bring in a horse too so that they can go to court and put on dog and pony shows? Advertise, "Got A Bitch of a Problem? Bring It Here for Some Good Horse Sense." Iím sure Doo Doo would have no trouble being admitted to the Texas Bar, especially when I think of some of the people who have already done so. If this is to be a real Irish law firm, though, weíre also going to need a Pig. Just think. We could put out one of those slick firm brochures that all the big firms use, which proclaim our credentials, connections, describe the many complex and monumental tasks which we handle by the dozen every day. We could entitle our brochure "The Barnyard Manifesto - The Worldís First Interspecie Professional Organization". Weíd have to change the firm name, of course. Something like "Doo Doo & Muldoon, Attorneys at Law", with a sublisting of partners: Muldoon, Dog, Horse and Pig. It has worked marvelously for others. Two of the most prominent attorneys in Texas are Known as Racehorse Haynes and Red Dog Jones.
The Pig could do most of the discovery work, rooting the truth out of opponentsí files. The Dog could sniff around and find anything smelly. The Horse could provide an aura of greatness. The more I think of this, the more I like it. I can just see an article about the firm in all the big newspapers "Local Law Firm A Bunch Of Aminals".
1989 will soon be gone. I wonder how my decision to moderate the wild side of my life will change things. Will anyone believe it? Can I really carry it through? Am I being realistic about my abilities? What will happen to my sense of humor? Will my vasectomy spontaneously reconnect? Will old girlfriends and wives want me back? Should my friends start selling distillery stock short? Will there be enough mineral water for those tense afternoons? If I die clean and sober, will Jesus recognize me?. If temperance is a libido intensifier, will the women of the world be safe? All will become known, but thatís enough for the moment.
By Seamus Muldoon, Himself
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