The Schwinn is in fighting trim and it's a DREAM! I can go anywhere in this town without cracking a sweat, this thing is so light and responsive! We all need to heap honors and lauds upon the technical know-how of the Biker for this sweet two-wheeled dream. The man nailed it DOWN!
I can't ride the thing and not come back feeling even more energized than when I left the house! No shoulder strain, no wrist strain, no knee fatigue...it's like riding a bike was when I was a kid! I am so ridiculously stoked about this thing it's just stupid. In fact it's even better than when I was a kid, because I'm well used to the big old ass and the mondo titties I suddenly sprouted when I was in fourth grade (making me about ten at the time.) I know how to shift all that meat around, and I am shifting my meat around all over this town.
These days, people don't have garage sales. It's a covid thing. They place whatever they want to get rid of by the road with a 'Free' sign on it. And this includes impromptu canned food caches too. The people of Sumas have really come through for their neighbors in this respect and it makes me proud of my little town.
The Biker put a basket on the front of my bike. "It's exactly the size of a six-pack," he beamed, and I had to laugh, because it is, really, actually, precisely the size of a six pack of beer. It's like he knows me or something. And off I go around the neighborhood, saying 'Hi!' to people out barbecuing, or smoking a bole in the evening, and it's all right. I'll need a bike lock before I go to the corner store to actually load up on premium craft beer, though, and I don't have one of those yet, so for now I just glide around saying 'hello' to people and having nice conversations.
I found a 'Free' pile next to the road a block down from where I live, and I stopped and went through the books. I found a lot of Louis L'Amour, which the Biker likes, and loaded up the basket. He's reading one of them right now, and I feel really proud of myself for being able to show how much I appreciate the bike and all the work he's done by giving the gift of Pulp Cowboy Fiction.
I am a rabid H. P. Lovecraft fan.
The first horror story that I ever read, or saw, that scared me HARD (and I don't mean the jump-cut screams of the old horror movies or novels like 'The Turn of the Screw' 'The Other' or 'Dracula', I mean scared so badly that I had tears running down my face and I wasn't crying, it just happened because I was so freaked out) was 'The Dunwich Horror'.
It was included in a collection called "Eleven Great Horror Stories" and I was able to get it through the Scholastic Book Program (this was an organization that sold books to grade school kids at a reduced rate. I always had one of the biggest orders, and bless my parents, they were more than happy to pay.) I got ahold of this book in 1971, when I was just turning 11. I had a whole big old order of books on my desk, and you couldn't open the package until you got home.
I sat up that night and read the first story, "The Judge's House' and it was by Bram Stoker, and it was readable, and OK, that was nice. Rats. Spectral judges. Fine.
Then I turned to the next story. It was "The Dunwich Horror."
Until that very moment I had been immune to all horror movies and stories. I'd read Dracula, I'd seen every monster movie and splatter flick they'd play on television, it was during the Vietnam War and the Burning of Portland and I was one jaded little sixth grader.
"The Dunwich Horror" literally held me transfixed and unable to stop reading. I was so scared by that thing I had to accept a whole new level of horror into my life, it was so fucked up.
I sat on my bed and read it by the light of a candle (that I was not supposed to have.) My parents were snoring like bulldogs one wall away. It was the dead of the night, and I was feeling the claws of this wholly unknown, new level of fear sink into the meat of my heart. My. Heart.
The tears ran down my face as I read, and like I said, it wasn't because I was sad; it was because I was so scared that the only thing my body could do, I guess, was to shed tears, because the rest of me was frozen in place.
Once I had finished the story, I swiftly shook off it's grip on my imagination. That's the funny thing - it didn't maintain a hold on me afterwards, but while I was reading, I would have fought off anyone who tried to stop me from turning the pages, as horror-stricken as each page made me, as that horror grew with each page. I had to read it to it's end.
I remember sitting there afterward. I looked around my room, and it was a typical kids room, Import One posters of Bosche, Buddha, the fangirl poster of Elton John, Frazetta's ' Ice Rider' and other crap like that all over the walls, and my bookcase full of volumes that I have until this day, and the terror just lifted away.
It's as close to magic, real magic, the compulsion of one overmastering will upon a lesser will, that I would ever experience.
When you need horror, you need the catharsis that you experience.. It's why I was drawn to the work of H. R. Giger, Metal Hurlant magazine, Diane Arbus, Heironymous Bosch, Jan Van Eyck and Andres Serrano. I embraced the Decadents, the hardcore psychedelic artists, and adopted the towering, cryptic genius of DaVinci as my patron saint and North Star.
In 1985 I took DaVinci as the heart and center of my self-instruction and set out to learn everything that he might have known, or heard of, or been part of; 1415 to 1519, as my educational guide.
Years before I'd read in one of the Whole Earth publications the sentence 'Take what you are interested in and follow it wherever it leads you' as my intellectual guide. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-mjl63e0ms). If I don't have something to be curious about, I die a little inside. Do I have a macabre turn of mind? After what I went through as a kid and a young adult, you better fucking believe I have more than a stripe of the black. I am who I am, and I love who I am, the proof of who I am written in the scars, man and woman in one body.
This journey has lead me to the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Septuagint, the Book of Mormon and more; I've got a copy of the Malleus Malificarum, the Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and a copy of "The Confessions of Aleister Crowley". I have the spurious copy of the Necronomicon. I have the Zondervan Parallel Bible, tabulated, filled with holy cards, and containing a segment ogf blessed ribbon worn by a flagellant nun of the Sacred Blood of Christ.
Yeah, no shit.
I am not fucking around with life.
Tell me I can't read something. That's the first thing I'll read. Tell me I can't do something. It's the first thing I'll do.
It's all about history, kats and kittens. Either you maintain such an open mind that your brain falls out, or you pause and reflect, compare and examine, and let those ruminations work in the deep places in your head until you find the key that opens the door between one philosophy and the next.
Now I'm not out here in Sumas holding Black Masses or conducting Grand Workings out in my garden, because ew. Even though I was born on Beltane. Even though I might or might not have a bit of a pagan altar in my garden shed. I just get down to it and assist the vegetation, the pure forms of life on this word, to flourish and become.
I was raised in the Catholic religion, which is particularly fortunate if you have any Pagan leanings, because the Catholicism of the common parishioner is the Paganism of their ancestors. There's been a lot of co-opting and special dispensations over time, a few apostate popes, one who was possibly female, and a grand schism or three that fucked everything up. What's left after all that is the way the living thing that animates your body is impelled to represent itself and give honor to its continuation in symbolic form, and don't thank me for that explanation, thank Jung. That's what Catholicism is today.
There are times out in the garden, out in the woods, on the beach or in the cyclopean old growth forests that surround me that I am reduced to wonder and gratitude. There is someone that I thank. God? I don't know. It's an ecstatic thing. I am filled with gratitude and humility (I know, me, right?) and I confess that to what, I don't know.
Satanic worship has never attracted me. You worship Satan, you live for sixty years, and then spend eternity up to your tits in fire and shit, getting poked by demons. Nope. Not my idea of a good eternity.
I've done my reading. Satanism always ends up the same as the splinter groups that follow a Godly 'prophet' and obey his mandates. (The inevitable 'him' in these scenarios always causes me to stop and think 'What the fuck.') Without exception, these settlements end up being a nice little isolated cult wherein the main man gets to fuck anyone he wants to. Time and again.
Here in what was known as Oregon Territory - before they decided that Oregon was kind of a weird name for a huge plot of land - there were tens of utopian, religious, prophet-lead communities that settled land claims and all ended up the same way - running around naked, screwing whoever came into view, and the leader selecting his 'special and most holy wives' from the hottest of the women in the neighborhood. I always wondered why their husbands never seemed to kick up a fuss about that. It was always some local branch of law enforcement, aided by a Methodist minister, that busted this shit and told everyone to quit acting weird and put on some damn clothes.
I don't think of myself as a Pagan. I'm an agnostic with what might be nothing more that dippy impulses. Because I was raised Catholic, I am able to support diametrically opposed realities without any mental issues about that shit whatsoever. God in three persons, blessed trinity? It's like Superman! Clark Kent is Clark Kent, but he's also Superman. His identity never changes. And there you go, kats and kittens: my explanation of the Trinitarian God. Clark Kent, Superman, and the reality of his extraterrestrial beingness and abilities.
I have no idea what lead me onto this fuckin' tangent about God and bicycles. But there ya go.