I Should Have Known

The Margaritaville Moon.
This is the moon which rose hours before Jimmy Buffet died. I hope he was able to see it.

I’m on a list for a knee replacement. The old knee, after a lifetime of abuse is mush. I know that. With old age comes memory loss and I keep forgetting that I am not nineteen any more.

Navi For Sale.
Only driven by a geezer.
Geezer alien.

I’ve been blipping around on a tiny motor-scooter, often feeling like a pig on a roller skate and it is time to find a bigger ride. My bowed legs are stubby little numbers and finding a proper motorcycle with a low enough seat which I can still load into my own into a trailer, and afford, it’s an exhaustive search. There’s a voice on my shoulder telling me I’m too old to be messing around on motor bikes. It can go to hell.

So, I’m visiting a local motorcycle dealer and finding myself interested in a Royal Enfield Himalayan. I want simple, reliable and affordable. This particular bike is more than one hundred pounds over my weight stipulation but it is well-balanced and smooth-riding. It also reminds me of the British bikes of my youth. Royal Enfield is built in India and as I joked to the dealer “Who else has been to the moon lately?” The dealer tossed me some keys and said, “that’s the one, take it for a ride!” And so I did. It was short. The seat height is perfect, but there were cargo racks in the way and swinging my stiff wee legs over was a challenge. I retracted the kick stand, put it in gear, let out the clutch, stalled the engine, and promptly dropped the bike on top of myself. My old knee had folded up. End of ride. Fortunately, no-one was watching but my ego was crushed. I knew to not be so stupid as to try to ride away. Home I came on my little red scooter. I’m humiliated and angry, to say the least. There are plenty of old farts motorcycling around, I just need to buy a can of good attitude.

Early one morning, still in bed, I awakened to the sound of sirens, going, I thought, along the highway. The sirens stopped. Awake then, I discovered the WOO WOO in front of my window. A neighbour’s clothes dryer was billowing smoke. All’s well that ends.

Libby, the wee dog who sleeps beside me, woke up with a tiny growl to a wonderful music. Rain was hammering on the bedroom skylight. In my dreamy state, it sounded like thick bunches of sweet grapes. It was a brief reprieve and certainly heartening. We have a few days of sprinkles, which seem to always come when the days of summer become cooler and then more autumnal. Now we’re used to the heat, it’s fading away, a short Mexico primer.

Down on the back 40
Ubiquitous mystery. How do bricks end up on so many beaches? They don’t float.
The graveyard vulture.
The Din Sisters.
They can bark in harmony.
The house on the hill. A Cowichan landmark.
A new joy at the old altar.
I love irreverence. Especially when an overbearing institution imposes itself on an entire culture and after many decades of tyranny,  is exposed and loses. Bastards!
The building is wonderfully built. It needs a new roof and window. I’d love to see the white man graffiti painted over with traditional first nations rich art.
Find the trout.
High Noon. Wildfire smoke from the province’s interior continues to keep we island folk on edge.
Loved to death. Libby’s favourite toy which she nuzzles for hours on end.
Remember this?
A poster from the early 70’s promotes “Women’s Lib.” I’ve lifted this image right off my computer screen, I don’t know who holds the copywrite but after fifty years it may be pretty thin. I wonder what the non-binary x-y chromosome gang think of this.

September 2nd… The day the world learned that Jimmy Buffet has died. His music and spirit will never pass. We just have to live on in a world without him. I was never a “Parrot Head” but truly admired his songwriting acumen and ability to impress other folks with his joy for life. Well played.

Last night a dragonfly trapped itself in the living room skylight. It made a helluva racket, clattering its wings up in that soundbox. I taped a broom handle onto a mop and stood on a ladder to reach the big beauty. It climbed aboard. I gently transported that big insect outside and shook it free. Once I was a small farm boy who would take his .22 rifle out looking for things to kill, anything at all. Little song birds, furry harmless little animal, every creature that has more right to life on this planet than I did. Now I take extra effort to help things live. There are different ways of growing up. I’m glad I’ve discovered that. Then this morning I learned Jimmy was gone. End of blog. Jimmy’s passing reminds us that we are all moving closer to the head of the line. Let’s make the most of it while we can can.

To the musicians, poets, pilots, sailors and dreamers. In this world or the next, sail on, sail on.

Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons.”

Denzel Washington

(Of course, maybe it is your demons that are irritating their spirit.)

Author: Fred Bailey

Fred is a slightly-past middle age sailor / writer / photographer with plenty of eclectic hands-on skills and experiences. Some would describe him as the old hippy who doesn't know the war is over. He is certainly reluctant to grow up and readily admits to being the eternal dreamer. He has written several books including two novels, 'The Keeper' and 'Storm Ecstasy,' as well as 'The Water Rushing By', 'Sins Of The Fathers', 'The Magic Stick', as well as an extensive inventory of poetry, essays, short stories, anecdotes and photographs. His first passion is the ocean, sailboats, voyaging and all those people who are similarly drawn to the sea. He lives aboard 'Seafire' the boat he is refitting to go voyaging, exploring new horizons both inner and outer. This blog is about that voyage and the preparations for it. In spite of the odds against it, the plan is to sail away this fall and lay a course southward. If you follow this blog your interest may provide some of the energy that helps fuel the journey. Namaste Contact him at svpaxboat@gmail.com

2 thoughts on “I Should Have Known”

  1. The Royal Enfield is an admiral choice. I remember riding one of those through the Indian Himalayas and thinking when I get back to Canada I’ll buy one but never did – the PNW is not my idea of a great area to motorbike – wonderful scenery but unpredictable weather.

    As for JB – I remember going to see him in Calgary in ’77 but we were really there to see David Bromberg. Well, I was in the minority and I hadn’t even heard of JB and everyone else had never heard of Bromberg. I guess I’ll always out of synch!!

    1. Tony, The Royal Enfield is a beauty of old tech/retro. It’s a bit crude which suits me. They don’t have a bench seat but rather a saddle which puts my bones all in the wrong place. All that weight on a boney ass!

      It’ll all work out. PS and this bog trotter has never heard of Bromberg. Hmmmm. F

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