Shocking the Monkey since 1966

Johnny asked if I could put my hands on one of his stories. He’s sent me stories since 1980, so I have quite a collection. The two I found right away were from 1991 but weren’t the one thing he was looking for. I promised to look in storage. He said never mind. I believe I have the most complete collection of Johnny’s artwork, letters, photographs and songs – but only if his brothers aren’t pack rats. It’s a library, really. I possess a library.

That tale went nowhere.

Altrok.com is taking off. I’m tickled. Suddenly, everywhere I look, there we are.

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A Mob of One and a Pop Gun

The song in my head this morning: Joan Osbourne’s St. Teresa.

Blogger’s upgrade looks pretty cool. I have Paragraph Joy! Joy! Even I know what I wrote, which is unusual.

Mamie’s helping me figure out what kind of car I should buy. My needs are so modest, most of the time, but style is all. I wish I could find a small Italian car in my Christmas stocking.

St. Paul and a hot plate

It’s bothered me for a few decades that the body of testimony re: the life of Jesus came from people who never laid eyes on him. Before you object, the Gospels were penned by four someones between approximately 40 and 100 years after the crucifixion, and nobody can prove who those someones were. That brings us to St. Paul, who’s always struck me as a nasty piece of work. I can understand the business of the secondhand biographies – if that’s the best you can do, I can see that, write down what you remember, we’ll see what sense we can make of it. Paul’s corpus of work, on the other hand, has always felt to me like a dark cloud settled over Jesus, and no flashlight would help you through it. Currently, I’m working my way through a pile of books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and I find I’m not alone in my antipathy. The residents of Qumran felt a murderous rage toward someone from within their midst who betrayed them, the community at large, and the Teacher of Righteousness, who was probably James, brother of Jesus. I suppose I should feel vindicated, but mostly I feel curious about the terrible things done in the name of spreading Paul’s word, and the sorrow created by it. Then again, some people devote their whole lives to learning what they can about these things, and I can’t decide what to make for dinner.

High tide on the west coast

Nana appeared from nowhere and charms me now with the wildest ideas and stories that sound remarkably like Johnny’s. She says, “I was just out on the balcony. There’s a fat moon hanging in the sky illuminating the bay…the crickets are going crazy, cars zoom softly by in the distance. For some reason this makes me think of springtime in Tulsa, with the frogs so loud down in the creek. I remember them spilling out onto the road, the sounds of them, all squishy crunchy ribbetting popping under the truck tires, hundreds of them frozen in the headlights and cottonwoods and the fireflies, bright little splashes of cyalume on the windshield, driving south into Texas late at night. Somehow I ended up buying a harley davidson shirt from Oklahoma City, tho I dont recall being in OK City, I vaguely remember headlights illuminating a dirty shack we stopped in the middle of the night, so maybe that was it. I have no idea whatever happened to that shirt. Did I give it to someone? A.? I haven’t the foggiest. The night is so lovely out. Smoochie has been out in the back, I can tell where she’s been by her paw and chest smells, lavendar, eucalyptus in back or the smelly yellow flowers by the stairs, or the fresh earth from the gopher holes…It must be just fucking aces to be a young cat on a night like this.”