About Me

I feel the wanderlust and the call of the open highway. Which is good, because I drive cars for a living. But I'm a writer, and someday hope to once again make my living using my writing skills.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


A few days ago, I had to deliver a brand new car to a man in Wichita, Kansas. I had called ahead, and the man (a Mr. Bowling) had asked that I be there on Saturday instead of Friday. That was a bit of an inconvenience for me, but I do my best to meet the needs of my customers. So it was all arranged, and I had reserved a rental car to get to my next pickup in Kansas City.

As I was driving to the delivery, Mr. Bowling called and said that he was running late. He had to rush out and pick up a cake for his boys' birthday party, and he asked if I would wait until he got back. I told him that his wife could sign for it, but he preferred to see it himself before signing off on it.

I pulled into the driveway, and Mrs. Bowling came out to greet me. "You must be Bill, welcome. We are all in a frenzy here, I have 30 ten year olds in the backyard, and its utterly chaotic."

"I completely understand, don't you worry a bit. I'll be fine waiting right here."

Jim and Jack, identical twin boys, marched up together in lockstep with a sort of mechanical gait. I had never seen such solemn children in my life. They had a faraway look in their eyes, and it sort of reminded me of the children in the horror movie VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED.

Mrs. Bowling cooed, "Here's my lively little birthday boys. So full of life and mischief, I can hardly contain them. Boys, say hello to Mr. Bill."

"Hello--" said Jim.

"-- Mr. Bill," finished Jack. These two little blonde-headed boys even finished each other's sentences, which I'd normally find interesting and cute. But they both spoke in a monotone, with a touch of dread in their voices.

"Boys, you take care of Mr. Bill for me. I'm gonna go make him a plate. Don't get too crazy now."

"No, Mother," said Jack.

"We won't," said Jim.

Mrs. Bowling walked away. Both boys turned to focus on me, and their intense stares made me feel like they were trying with all their might to look into my brain.

"We love parties," said Jim.

"We really do," said Jack.

"What do you like?" asked Jim.

"Well, uh... I really do love movies."

"Movies are evil," said Jim.

"They repress the soul," stated Jack.

"We're all doomed," added Jim.

"The end is near," said Jack emphatically.

I smiled. "You mean the end of the party?"

"No goofball, the end of the world," said Jim with a scolding tone.

"I see..." I replied with some hesitancy.

Jack reared his head back. "We live in dark times."

Jim shook his head. "All hope is gone. All hope."

"Gee, I hope not," I said with a chuckle.

"It's true," said Jim.

"It's sad," said Jack.

"Very, very sad," added Jim.

"What is there to live for?" asked Jack.

Suddenly, a very fat hyperactive boy came running up. "Hey you guys!"

"Hello, Jeremy," said Jack.

"Go away, Jeremy," said Jim.

"Hey guys, when do we eat cake?"

"Are you serious?" asked Jim.

"There are millions of children starving across the world," Jack informed us.

"And you want cake?" queried Jim.

Jeremy giggled. "Yep, can I have an extra big slice?"

"Go away," said Jack.

"Far away," said Jim.

I leaned over to Jeremy. "Their Dad is out picking up the cake right now, he'll
be back with it real soon." So Jeremy shrugged and took off.

Jack and Jim began to study me as if I was a lab experiment. "You lied," Jim accused.

"You lied to Jeremy," Jack chimed in.

Jim was perplexed. "Why did you lie to Jeremy?"

"As far as I know, I didn't," I explained. "What was the lie?"

"The cake is already here," Jack sadly told me.

"Father is out drinking again, probably making time with some
woman of ill repute," said Jim.

Mrs. Bowling came back carrying a plate for me loaded with all kinds of goodies. "How are my sweet birthday boys doing?"

Jack let out a long sigh. "Fine, Mother."

Jim nodded. "Fine, I guess."

She beamed. "Did you tell Mr. Bill what you want for your birthday presents?"

"What's the point?" asked Jim.

"We're all going to die," said Jack with a hint of true sadness.

Mrs. Bowling didn't seem to notice the twins dour demeanor. "Did you tell Mr. Bill how old you are today?"

"Ten," said Jim.

"We'll never live to see twenty," Jack said as he glared at me.

"Aren't they adorable?" she gushed. "I have to go back to the party, my husband
should be here very soon. Boys, you want to come back and see your friends?"

"We'll stay here," said Jack.

"We'll stay with Mr. Bill," said Jim. Normally, I would have been flattered, but these kids were kind of creeping me out.

"We have a question," Jack told me.

"Have you ever seen a naked lady with no clothes on?" Jim asked.

A Lincoln Navigator came roaring into the driveway, and came so fast I didn't know if it would stop in time to avoid hitting us. Thank God it did, and Mr. Bowling stumbled out of the car. He was carrying a couple of cartons of ice cream, and the ice cream was melting and dripping all over the place.

Jim and Jack turned and faced me with serious determination. "There's a question on the table," Jim said.

"Answer quickly before Father interrupts, Mr. Bill."

"Hello there!" shouted Mr. Bowling.

I spoke softly to the kids. "That's really the sort of question you should save
for your Dad."

"He won't tell us." Jim looked down at his feet.

"Thanks for the help, loser." Jack led Jim away, and Mr. Bowling stepped up to me.

"Hey, you made it with my car." He was obviously drunk, but I don't make judgements. I just wanted him to sign the paperwork and be on my way. I noticed that he had lipstick all over his face and shirt collar. I debated whether to say something, but then realized that I am a driving fool and just need to keep on rolling. Don't get involved.

As he signed the papers, Mr. Bowling said, "Let me ask you something. When I was walking up, were the boys asking you about naked women?"

I managed to sincerely look genuinely puzzled. "I don't think so."

"Huh. That's what they usually ask all strangers about. I might as well just give in and get them both a subscription to Playboy. Hey sorry, I gotta get this cake inside, I think its melting."

So he carried the melting ice cream into the house. And I picked up my bag and started the long walk to the rental car agency. On to the next adventure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

HELLO 2011

On the final day of 2010, I found myself racing towards my friend Lisa’s home in North Carolina. She had called me just minutes after I had rented a car that I was going to use to drive from Atlanta to Savannah, where a car awaited pickup. But when I heard Lisa’s voice on the phone pleading with me to come there, all bets were off. If a friend needs me, really needs me, then I’m always going to be there.
I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew it had to be important. She said she couldn’t go into detail, but she was in some trouble and needed my help. So I called the man I was to pick up from in Savannah and delayed it until January 2. Frankly, I think he was relieved not to have to deal with me on a holiday.
I tried several times to call Lisa, but could not get back in touch. This concerned me greatly. I drove a bit faster than I normally would, wondering what I could be walking into. Didn’t matter much, because all I know is I love my friend Lisa. And after the lesson I learned for Christmas this year, I’ve been thinking how good friends are the most important thing that a guy can have.
I arrived at Lisa’s house just after 8pm. There were several unfamiliar cars parked outside, and I immediately hoped that no one had died. I walked to the front door, and Lisa opened it before I could knock. She did not look upset, but in fact was beaming with joy. I was baffled to say the least.
“It’s my Bill,” she said.
“Well yeah, you said you needed me and here I am.”
“I needed you because some people were looking for you.”
I stepped into the house. “Looking for me? Who? What people are you talking about?” And that is when I saw Karen walk up behind Lisa. “Karen?”
Karen grinned and giggled. “I came to say Happy New Year.” She hugged me and gave me a passionate kiss.
Then a group of folks began to walk in, and I was equally confused and amazed by who I saw. Steve and Justin, my two best friends from High School. Pastor Rex from Florida. Jenny from the ranch full of dogs down in Texas. Tim Harrigan, an old and very close friend from California.
I felt a pair of hands from behind grab hold of my butt and squeeze mightily. “Hey there sailor, looking for a good time?” I didn’t have to look to know that it was JC. She turned me around and gave me a big hug.
“What are you doing here?” I asked her.
“Hey, I was invited, I’m an official guest. Nobody’s throwing me out.”
“Steve, Justin, how did you guys get here?”
Justin smiled. “First, our mother’s gave birth to us, and then—“
“Ha ha, no seriously,” I said.
Steve put his arm around Justin’s shoulder. “We flew to North Carolina separately, then rented a car together.”
Justin stepped up to shake my hand. “Hadn’t seen you in a while.”
Steve butted in and gave me a bear hug. “I’ve seen you more recently, but I couldn’t resist the chance to see you again. There’s always fun buzzing around you.”
Tim jumped in front of me and recited loudly, “Only nerds and astronauts stop for yellow lights…”
I completed his thought. “… but only fools run red ones, and only they’re the dead ones.”
Justin laughed. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing,” I explained. “Just a silly little phrase I made up one night when I was in college, driving the pharmacy delivery car for Tim’s Dad’s drugstore.”
Pastor Rex bowed his head and said, "God bless you, my brother. Where's the egg nog?"
Jenny sauntered over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Hey there, Bill-doggie. I heard you needed some loving friendship for the holidays."
"Jenny, where is Tom?"
"Long story, I'll tell you later in private."
JC grabbed my stomach and squeezed the skin. “You’ve been putting on some pounds, boy. Time to come to JC’s Boot camp, I will whip you into shape fast. Long hikes, no fast food, no late night snack attacks. Oh, and sex, lots and lots of sex, can’t forget that.”
Karen came up and leaned close to me. “So at least you’re finally getting some.”
I shook my head sadly. “I only wish.”
The bathroom door opened, and I heard the sound of a toilet flushing. Out walked Frank from Birmingham. “Wow,” I said, “Is everyone I know here? Lisa, how did you contact all my friends?”
“There’s this wonderful new thing called Facebook, and I knew who among your friends you are closest to. You’ve seemed a little discouraged lately, and I thought you could use some love.”
“How did you know I was discouraged?”
“I read all your Blogs. We talk on the phone. Besides, I know everything about you, you’re my Bill.”
"So you tricked me to get me to come?"
Lisa grinned and nodded. "I sure did."
Frank stepped up and reached out to shake my hand. I looked at him skeptically and asked, “Did you wash your hands when you finished in the bathroom?”
“You can take my word on it.” Frank smiled and we shook, then embraced briefly in a manly way.
I felt sort of light-headed. “I can’t believe that so many of my closest friends all came here. I feel like I’m having a IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE moment. Will someone please pinch me so I know this isn’t a dream?”
JC promptly responded by goosing me, and I jumped with a start. “You awake now?” she asked.
“Yes, ma’am.” I grabbed a glass and lifted it to make a toast. “Here’s to the best friends that any guy ever had. You’ve all taken me into your home numerous times, and you’ve made me feel loved and special. May the coming year be a blessing to all of us. And God bless each and every one of you.”
The party went on until 4am, and it was wonderful. I had the chance to talk at great length to each one of my friends and catch up. At one point, I told Pastor Rex that I was going to have to write a Blog entry about this, and he asked me "Why? What's the point? Your Blogs are always funny, I don't see what's funny here." Well, I guess the point is that I want others to remember what I learned: no matter how down or discouraged you are, if you have friends who truly love you, everything will turn out OK. These people came from all over America to come and see me. That says a whole lot. I have a lot of very good friends.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I hope you had a very nice Christmas. I was feeling a bit discouraged myself, and on Christmas Eve I found myself in Shreveport trying to figure out where to go, what to do. Since my Mom and brother died, I always feel sort of alone during the holidays. I know that its supposed to be a time of good cheer, but the past few years I've been subject to the blues.

After I delivered a car, I walked a few blocks to the city bus and waited on a bench. I thought perhaps I'd go catch a train and head to Dallas. There was an elderly lady sitting next to me on the bench who appeared to be poor and homeless. She began to talk to me, and I immediately thought this was another one of Bill's people. But as I listened, I realized that she was something else altogether.

Her name was Mary, and my mind drifted to another Mary I had met not too long ago. Only that Mary was accusing her car of stealing from her. This woman had some heart-wrenching stories to tell that really touched my heart. She had been through hell, and now was abandoned by all those she used to know and love. The tales of her life painted a vivid picture of a woman who had faced huge obstacles bravely and courageously. I was mightily impressed, and wanted to hear more. And she was happy to oblige.

The more I listened, the more I considered how my own troubles were tiny and pathetic compared to her life. And I thought about people all over the world who go without, and who many never know the joys of Christmas. The mistletoe, the Christmas tree, singing carols, giving gifts to those you love, Santa Claus, the baby Jesus. All of the things that used to make me an excited little boy each and every Christmas of my childhood. I had been so caught up with my own trivial problems that I forgot just how good I have it.

I offered to buy Mary a Christmas dinner at a nearby Diner, but she declined. She was a proud woman and said she could not accept any kind of charity. Before I left her, I was able to distract her long enough to slip a 20 dollar bill into her coat pocket. I knew she would find it later when she stuck her hands into her pocket, and I sincerely hoped that it might help her out just a little bit. Giving to others is what its all about.