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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Morphine, Kerouac and Russian Democracy

I probably shouldn't admit it, but I will.

Even if you have to pay the price of letting a doctor drill inside of your head, it might be worth it as long as you get to take morphine and read books for 5 days.

A week ago this very moment I was in surgery.

In some ways it seems like years ago.

Now that all those pain meds have been flushed through my system, in a weird way....I gotta tell ya.

Other than the rods inserted into my skull....last week left me with "some" fond memories.

Now before I get started, I'll hit you with the disclaimer which says.....respect drugs, blah-blah-blah.

But 4 or 5 days on presciption pain killers and Kerouac, I have to tell you, it makes for quite a vacation.

I've always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and if you've ever read the stories written about his terrier like exploits, you already know that when his case came to an end, often times he'd slink away into an opium den and drift off into bliss.

LOL-----I think I so get it.

The thing that I really enjoyed about the experiance was that the "M" put me in a state of mind where I wanted to be alone, but with out the side effect of feeling lonely.

I knew I didn't need to set an alarm clock.

I knew that I didn't have to pick up my cell phone if it rang.

I didn't pays bills, and I didn't mow the lawn.

Instead I just swallowed 2 little pills and sat on the couch.

It would be 4:30 in the morning,and it rained alot while I was convalescing.

Not just rain-rain, but rain with crashing - thunder rain....and Klecko just sat there, with rods in his head, a grin on his face, reading Jack Kerouac's "My Brother the Sea".

If you are not hip to this book, it was just recently released.

I think Kerouac's brother or cousin found the manuscript in a dresser, and experts say it was Jack's first book written.

I loved it.

Kerouac loved sailing, like I love baking, and as I flipped through the pages, it was nice to see somebody using words to explain their passion.

I don't care if a guy digs ditches or cuts hair, if they told are into what they do, I kinda like to hear them talk about it.

The story focuses on this guy named Wesley who leaves behind oppurtunites, family and love to just be in an element he adores.....the sea.

Theres a part in the book where one of the charactors describes how each person on the ship has to take turns standing on the front of the boat and keeping watch on the horizon for 2 hours at a time.

All the sailors whine about having to do this task, but it is noted that "Something must be wrong with Wesley, because he seems to enjoy it."

When I read that, I did stop for a second and think that never once in my life have I dreaded walking into a bakery. I've pretty much enjoyed every shop I've worked in.

Towards the end of the book we meet a charactor who is young, handsome and has a strong yearning to sail to Russia, was it fate, coincidence, or the morphine....but this kids name was Danny, and the only thing on this kids bucket list was to go to Russia and live amongst these people.

Then there is a solid chapter where Danny sits in the engine room and has a conversation with a mechanic, and the both of them share views on people, politics and religion.

For those of you who know me, you realize politics really are not my forte.....but I do have some opinions.

One of the words that got thrown around alot was "Demoocracy".

Danny and the mechanic wrestled over whether (not in its purist form, but its application) if democracy actually reaped positive results.

Now if you grow up in the United States like I have, and spent your youth standing in majectic wheat fields, gazing at bald eagles......you just know.....democracy is so red-white and blue. It is the answer to EVERYTHING.

But now I set the book down and just stared into the bulb of my monkey reading lamp and reflected on an experiance I once had that refuted this point.

in 2007 I traveled to the southwestern part of Russia, towards the Black Sea, to a board walk city called Gelendzhik.

On my only day off, the head of the plant that I worked at took me on a tour of his region.

I forget the guys name, and he was nice enough.....but the cat was pretty uptight by most peoples standards.

I say this because I remember how hard I laughed when we drove through the mountains how this dapper man beemed with delight while explaining to me how much fun he had on his last holiday when he chased somekind of horned wart hog things through the steep mountain brush with a long spear.

Next the guy took me to an area that had a series of short houses that were made of stone.

They only stood chest high, and their doorways consisted of small hobbit hole looking things.

Some people think they were constructed by pre caveman peeps, while others are under the impression that these structures were made by little green guys in UFO's.

I was told that scientists from across the planet had done carbon testing and they all pretty much agreed these houses were like a trillion years old......I don't know.

After that, the nice man took me to one more stop. We were quite a distance away from the boardwalk now, out in the middle of nowhere.

When the guys pulled over and told me and my interpreter to get out, I kinda wondered if it was going to be a mob hit or something because when I got out of the car......I was standing in the midst of thousands of acres of desolate ground.

There were no buildings, no trees, no water.......just crappy grown over weedy terrain.

Why would this guy bring me here I wondered.

My host could see I was puzzled and with a look of self satisfaction....he looked eager to tell the American the following.

"This area we stand on, it is worthless...no?"

I wasn't certain if this was one of those trick questions, like the kind Nuns throw at you, but I nodded in agreement anyway.

He continued.....

"This property used to be highly coveted across my country. You are standing amidst what was the finest wine vinard in Russia (but he did preface some Ukrainians would disagree)for several centuries. Year after year countless grapes were produced here, enough to not only service our country, but to be exported as well."

Then I could tell that the guy wasn't trying to be a nob or anything, cuz I could see a saddness come over his face.

"But all of that changed in the early 90's. After democracy was introduced to us, people became more concerned with expressing their opinions than actually doing any work. Within less than 5 years....this beautiful vineyard, and its traditions and history were wiped out. I just wanted to show you this, not to insult you or your lifestyle, but to know that nobody's system is perfect. A system needs to be developed around the people."

In the final chapter of Kerouac's tale....Wesley walks onto the deck and finds a man reading the Bible to all the sailors. Wesley is kinda intrigued by this, but doesn't want to get close enough where somebody will try to rope him in, but the reason I think the stories conclusion stuck with me was......

The guy reading the scriptures was the ships baker.

Polish Jesus......I give praise unto thee.....thank you for pain killers and good books.

1 comment:

  1. Morphine, and all pain killers, are a blessing when you really need them.

    ReplyDelete