The world isn’t one size fits all. It’s seven billion sizes, each one possessing the remarkable ability to tell the world to fuck off,
There was a cinematic quality to the summer of Dame, the days brimming with melodies I’d long since forgotten and the nights a cascade of well spun fascinations. We felt a damn sight smarter than Bogey and Bacall, depending on the moment. It was far from perfect, which is how you expect it to be when you arrive at a certain age.
It would be almost two months from the night of our initial phone conversation until I would fly out to Chicago, and it passed like wildfire. I was busier than a paper shredder in a law firm. My ex was getting serious with her new guy, a fact that I toasted every chance I could. I wasn’t nearly as celebratory about moving back into the old house in the event she moved out, however.
The house had been a point of contention throughout my marriage. Truth be told, I never warmed to the place. It wasn’t her fault, seeing as how I was a royal pain in the ass when it came to particulars during our house search. We went through several agents and scores of homes before she took matters into her own hands and signed off on one. I would never have admitted it back then, but she was right to do so. I was never going to fall in love with a house. I was always more Shaolin monk than homeowner, and I’m not gonna blame David Carradine for my cosmic cow.
As fate would have it, Dame was moving too. So the time was a blur of constant motion on both ends of a telephone line in the lead up. Writing was the funk to our sweetly sewn strokes back into the shore and away from the mighty of a storm that was changing our lives in scoundrel form. The Dame filled in the gaps quite nicely, and before long she became the voice that tucked me in at night.
The only reason the blog didn’t become an afterthought is because it was crunching numbers the way a bar crunches tacos at happy hour. A local radio station started stealing our shit, so when I pitched a fit about it, they invited us on the show. I had Dan do the honors, seeing as how I didn’t want anything to do with talentless jerkoffs who did the puff pastry work of morning radio.
To my way of thinking, if all the world truly is a stage, then you have to play yourself. Because the minute you start playing a character other than yourself, you’re shish-kebab. Granted, I’m a scrum of oddities, but I will always stay true to the things I feel, even if they make no fucking sense to anybody else. Because in the end I realize that we are all grains of sand. Be true to the particulates is what I’m saying.
The blog was kicking thanks to my unsolved self. I wasn’t economical in my opinions, and I sure as hell wasn’t convenient in my dearth of membership cards. But I wrote the hell out of sunsets and sunrises and produced shit that churned an engine that was happening. I found writers, not because I gave a blessed fuck for community, but because they wrote good shit. And they brought friends. I had no agenda and no blessed desire to carry such a thing. And it worked, so fuck Sam Houston and his consternation.
Dame was simpatico. She strummed because it meant something to her, and for no reason beyond that. She’d worked for a newspaper and now she toiled in relative obscurity on a blog with a great sounding name. You could say she had a few million reasons to be that nonchalant but I knew better than that. She’d simply arrived at a point of hurt and hopelessness, after which nothing mattered as much as the writing. Which became the thing, the only thing, and nothing but the thing. She was the kind of smart that attracted more of the same. People loved her because of her bared boned truth telling. She was a Carly Simon song- whichever one she damn well pleased.
It was mid July when I called up Dame one afternoon. I was covering a news conference at Armstrong Headquarters, heralding their LEED Platinum certification. I was jittery on account of it being uncharted territory for me. But trade mags paid well and the spread was sweet. I’d written a few things for Sporting News, and hated it. Fact is, I wasn’t crazy about writing for any publication. I didn’t feel the thrill in seeing my name on a byline, which probably has something to do with that whole Shaolin monk malady I suffer from.
Dame told me to eat up, write up and to call her later and then she smooched me goodbye. After which I headed inside to meet my contact: a thirty something beauty who had tats that spoke to regret and a born again spirit. She was bored in her marriage and kept a love platter on the side. So what if I wasn’t launch code sharp as far as trade mags were concerned. I knew women just fine.
“Do you have a business card?” She asked sweetly.
“I don’t have a business card or a resume, but if you want me back again just read the piece I’m gonna write. That’ll work better,” I snorted whilst staring down the asshole seated next to me who had been reciting his resume to anyone who cared to listen during chow time.
Dale Carnegie was hating me from the ever after, and I was plenty fine with that.