Thursday, June 4, 2009

Breaking The Rules

I've always been a big fan of breaking the rules.
At some point I chose to say, "Drain the break fluid and drive 100!" instead of "Have fun storming the castle," or "Be careful and call me if you're going to be late."
I've participated in illegal activities since I was able to walk (it was all in the training...years and years of practice)
Today I remembered that my grandfather taught me how to make "Jailhouse Gin" (he spent most of his life, and therefore certainly most of MY life incarcerated in a federal penitentiary) when I was way too young to even know what gin was. That was the same weekend that he taught me how to play poker and run a line across the Missouri river to catch fish so I wouldn't starve to death.
Y'know, priorities were just different back then. We didn't EVER wear helmets or elbow pads when we rode our bikes. My parents smoked Kent cigarettes like fiends in the car while we rode on the back dash all the way up to Topeka every other weekend. They never rolled down the windows.
Ever. NOT once.
My mom told me that the Flint Hills were all just a huge cemetery for giants, buried long before we were born, and that's why the grass was so green and the hills so attractive.

Blood and scabs and ropes and splinters were just a small fraction of the stuff that went into building our character. Almost nobody got busted for anything - from child abuse to tax evasion and felonious contraband.
We all had an errant uncle living with us. Good Catholics went to confession on Saturdays, received communion on Sundays and nobody was gay.
All the phones were rotary dials, the internet was far from even being a twinkle in somebody's eyes and we could go to the drive-in on Saturdays if mom never had to say the words, "Don't make me tell your father about this."
I still refuse to buckle up. I wear cut-offs and go barefoot at work. I smoke this and that (much more of This than That) - and I'm serious: Do you honestly think that Monet could have done what he did...and Kerouac, and Picasso, and Rembrandt, Emerson and William Burroughs ... without breaking the rules? I'm thinking not so much.
It's all a gamble. You never know what's going to happen. In that Dustin Hoffman movie ("Little Big Man") that old Indian said over and over, "It's a good day to die," meaning that he had lived well THAT day and it was all good by him. I think that may well be the way we are supposed to take this: One falling star at a time.


KansasCraig said...

....and asprin by the bottleful, your Dr. Seuss books and baby crib had lead in them, as did the gas in your parents car while you were trucking down the Turnpike at 80 mph climbing over the seats while they were smoking there Kents with the windows up....and you could actually use that rotary phone as a weapon if you needed too...try throwing one of those things...and now we know a good portion of those that were feeding us the bread on sunday were gay...and well...Thanks for making me laugh out loud!.

dpoe said...

i love this! thanks for being you and for sharing you with us!!