Don’t mind me. I’m just help. I’m not even The Help. I’m just lucky enough not to have to Lava platos twelve hours a day. I was never a mover or shaker or on the train to Wall Street. I was too old to Occupy, too. 

      I wobbled on a gyration managed by her, the big Mother Nature who spun me right out of relativity into quantum by Chauncey Gardener like dice rolls. I did not have much to cling to as I  exploded into space, except for love. If you could  only take one thing with you, what would you pack? 

      I say again I chose nothing ...except the quantity of the fresh picked mushrooms I had boiled and blended before take off from Houston, headed for LaGuardia on a rainy December afternoon in 1975.

      I was headed home to see Dr. Ma, who had cut me up and put me back together in 1974, to go back under for inspection. I woke up in Atlanta. 

       It took me another day to get home to a very displeased MIC community who had waited for the nonstop from Houston in NYC. I was their poster boy and near death survivor before I stopped breathing midflight. 

       I was still seeing trails two days later, after enduring the glares of elders and then hero’s welcome by my former peer group of winter breaked rich white boys. I was admitted to the same room that I had recovered from Dr. Ma’s valiant attempt at rebuilding  a disease scarred urinary system, work that I had nearly made pointless too many times to mention.

        I had packed little, but never forgot love, and made it back to a lower orbit but not as my former self, which was not on winter break, but on a week off from the MIC fifty hour a week job of turning a pristine Texas estuary into a chemical plant. 

        They had plans for their poster boy...but she reclaimed her prize. I was just eighteen, proud,  brave, and dumb as a post. They, the MIC were right and far right. I was born one of them, but I had made up my mind long before that I was not. She, she was never right, or, for that matter left. To all of them at home She  was invisible. She never left me, in space or on the table. I was help, and no baker...or chemist. I woke up twice in hospital beds during that  December week in 1975. I got a short hair cut, and special treatment on the return flight. I had no idea why. Houston, we have a problem.


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Comment by Tom Cordle on December 13, 2018 at 4:53pm

Okay, I've already equated you (somewhat) with Joyce and Pat Conroy – now I'm picking up a faint hint of Hunter Thompson gonzo journalism. Keep writing, but lay off the mushrooms.

Comment by J.P. Hart on December 13, 2018 at 5:04pm

Nothing to eat. Very little at that. Jim thought just after he mysteriously thumbed page 67 of Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun. 'The guys just looked at him and grunted. If any of them knew how to get work in a studio wouldn't they have done it long ago instead of sticking around the lousy bakery? No. Nobody knew how to get work for Jose in a studio.'

then pg. 78:
'Look here Jose said Rudy maybe you know something about those flowers on Jody's desk.'

Comment by Robert B. James on December 13, 2018 at 7:03pm

Thanks for reading and commenting  TC and JP. It’s that time of year. I could actually be related to Thompson. Trumbo, or at least the Trumbo made up in the movie is my hero. I love movies. The MIC loves movies too. Critical thinking skills allowed me to distinguish Don Carleone from Vito Genovese, who was boss before Phil Konvitz. Puzo’s saga was not even close. The MIC made films too, right up river. The MIC and Murder Inc...all on the streets where I lived...


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