My parents used to tell me that someday I’d wish to be a child again. I thought they were a bit senile. Who would want to live a life with no TV, cell phone or Facebook again? Who wants to fish in clean water, breathe unpolluted air, or play in the middle of the street without harm? Who needs to sleep through a quiet night and wake up refreshed? Who needs simplicity, friends …family? Why would I want to hug my father and mother or tell my brothers and sisters I love them?
“Not me,” said the ignorance of youth.
Music’s always been part of my coping mechanism in life. My family could tell my mood by the songs I played. If I’d had a good day, you would hear Simon and Garfunkel, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull or The Beatles coming out from under the door. A more melancholy me would sit in the dark and listen to Pink Floyd, Jackson Browne, America or the Eagles.
One night my son wanted to borrow the car. I heard my wife tell him, “You better not go in there son, he’s playing Cat Stevens. My son called his friend for a ride.
Old people complain nowadays about how social media takes away a person’s privacy. They say that nothing is sacred or secret anymore. It’s too easy for anybody to voice their opinions by simply touching their finger to the glass screens of their artificial lives. As my mother would always tell us, “You don’t air your dirty laundry in public.”
But back in the day, if I farted on one side of town, she knew about it before the smell had faded away. And what is less secret than having your underwear flapping around in the wind for everybody to see.
There was a club across the river on old Hwy 224 outside Lexington. One of those picturesque country bars set back in the trees, neon Pabst Blue Ribbon sign in the window. A ‘good ole boy’ place where wives weren’t invited to go. I laughed every time I drove past it. The glow from the sign lit up the entire parking lot. Welcome to the ‘Peckerwood Club’. I told my dad once that I had never been there. He said, “Sure you have, you just never got out.” It was the first joke I heard him tell. I was 25.
Karen is from Illinois. She followed the American dream west to make her future. In Peoria, she was beautiful, young and tan and everybody knew she would be a star. But now her empty stomach reminds her that home was a lifetime ago.
Karen spends her days on casting couches and nights trying to stand out against the crowd of young and tan Midwestern girls.
Billy lives in a mansion on the hill. He has money and connections. Karen gives Billy everything he dreams of. Billy gives Karen enough cash for a burger and another day’s chance of being discovered.