I had a birthday not long ago, my sixty-fourth. I sat on the patio of my sister’s home pondering. My sister, Elaine, came out and asked me why I was so depressed. “Depressed?” I responded, “I am not depressed, just melancholy.”
She sat down and asked me to explain. All my life I’ve lived on the edge. I’ve swum with sharks off of the black rocks, jumped out of perfectly working airplanes, been held-up at gunpoint three times, mugged twice, and stabbed once. I’ve wrested alligators and been shot at twice (friendly fire). I’ve engaged in what some would say is life’s risky behavior. I have been on telephone poles when lightning struck, and almost rolled my truck off a 7,000 ft mountain (thank goodness for the U.S. Forest Service). I had a case of cat scratch fever (courtesy of my ex-wife’s pet) that almost took my life had it not be for a relative seeing the blue line running up my arm. I’ve been hunted by the F.B.I, for damage to a Federal building. I’ve broken nearly bone in my body, some more than once. As the song goes:
I like wine, I like beer, and I like dangerous drugs.
I like to stay out night and hang around with thugs.
I like to live dangerously, that’s what I like to do.
I like playing with matches darling; I’d like to play with you. *
She looked at me, rolled her eyes and said, “So why so melancholy?”
Well now I sit at home all day watching reruns of 20 years of ‘Law and Order,” and the biggest excitement I get is when the phone rings. She looked me and got up and said, “I’m going to get another cup of tea.” She reached the patio door and turned and to me and said, “Dennis. I’ve known you all your life and I think this is not the end.”
sinneD, March 2015
* Lyrics by George Hawke from Los Lasers at the Country Club Lounge many years ago