Dave: (n) a male given name.

 Realization: it is the goal of life.

To come to some sort of conclusion that fits both the circumstances and the purity of truth.

Sometimes a realization is a couple of steps away; sometimes so it sits on top of you.

But there are times that a realization seems so uncertain that it may take many years for the brain, the soul and the heart to have a decent meeting and come to common ground.

I knew a fellow named Dave.

Dave was four years older than me.

Dave loved music.

Dave loved gospel music.

He was one of those classically attractive men of bygone days—with long, dark, straight hair, which he wore in bangs coming down to his eyebrows, making him appear much younger than he actually was.

Even though Dave had graduated from high school, was married and had a baby, he wanted to sing so much that he lobbied to join our group of high school friends.

What helped us make the decision was that Dave had a van and went out and bought a bunch of sound equipment, causing his entrance into our organization to be much more likely.

I didn’t like Dave.

Dave didn’t like me.

I was a precocious young man, who my enemies would have called “arrogant.”

It was my group. It sure wasn’t Dave’s.

As I look back on it now, I realize that Dave was unpopular with people his own age. Dave felt trapped in a marriage and was completely uncertain of fatherhood.

Dave wanted to be a professional gospel singer, traveling around the country wearing fancy suits and new patent-leather shoes.

Well, that didn’t fit in with our group—but he was so desperate to stay in the cattle call that he just decided to be one of our steers.

I probably didn’t like him because he was good-looking.

But Dave was one of those guys who had enough insecurity that attractive women were a bit put off by his tentative nature.

So even though he didn’t want to hang around a bunch of high school punks, he needed us to have a band. We needed him to have a van and a sound system.

It was all very nasty.

But recently, as I’ve thought back on this arrangement, I’ve realized that Dave was the greater loser from interacting with us. Well, especially with me.

I had lots of friends, I talked a good game and I was fortunate enough to have plenty of musical talent.

I undercut Dave, I made him angry and was so unsure of myself that I nearly gave him a nervous breakdown.

And even after I graduated from high school and he still wanted to work with me, I treated him like my neighbor’s dog’s poop.

Eventually, at the end of a singing engagement one night, he went his way and I went mine.

I never saw Dave again.

I’ve tried to locate him but had little success.

Or maybe I know that if Dave wanted to get in contact with me, he probably would have done so by now.

Here’s the thing about realizations:

Be prepared.

Because they’re pretty damn real.


Baggage: (n) personal belongings packed in suitcases for traveling; luggage.Dictionary B

For about two years, I did a lot of flying.

Since my personal wings never came in to my satisfaction, I used the airlines. This was prior to the attacks on 9/11. Things were looser then.

Since I was a musical act, I decided to travel with all my instruments and sound equipment. This created a lot of baggage. And honestly, some of it was beyond the 70-pound limit that Southwest Airlines said they would tolerate.

There were two of us traveling, and at that time we were allowed six units. So it became obvious that we were going to have a problem each and every week on our journey if we didn’t find some way to get around the weight limit and the obvious accumulation of baggage that was necessary to take our show on the road.

So I did what I considered to be an intelligent action–I became friends with the skycaps. And the best way to become friends with skycaps is to tip very well, and be nice. (But mostly tip very well.)

I overdid it. But in the process of being excessive, when the skycaps saw me arrive at the airport, they practically wrestled one another to get the privilege of serving me and putting through my numerous bags, which were obviously beyond the realms of airline acceptability.

It worked beautifully.

And I remember on one particular flight, I was thinking about the success of this system–and how it might be applicable to my everyday life.

Since I know I have a lot of baggage and some of it is over the limit, it is a good idea to make sure that I’m always nice, and I leave behind enough blessing and remuneration… to make people glad to see me when I arrive.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acrylic: (adj.) referring to synthetic resins and textile fibers, made from polymers of acrylic acid or acrylates: e.g. a red acrylic sweater.

That’s not how I remember acrylics!

I don’t know when they happened on the scene, but they leave a nasty memory in my mind.

Up until time that acrylics came into full swing, I had two young women traveling with me who were helpful, energetic and quite functional in aiding me in setting up the sound equipment for our music group. I never heard a complaint. They never lamented that they were too weak, too feminine or too girly-girl. Even when a guy came up and tried to take something from their hands in an attempt to be gentlemanly, they would turn the guy down and continue to be efficient roadies.

That is–until acrylic nails came along. Those little boogers were sent to turn women into nervous ninnies.

First of all, they were not perfected. So when applied, being unnatural to the normal nail on a woman’s hand, they were very willing to separate and break off if you even PEERED at them. So since these dear ladies in my group had spent the money on this new nail treatment, and considering that it was a bit embarrassing to have nine intact but one busted and split like the side of a fiber-glass boat, the women became constantly worried–and refused to carry equipment.

So here I am, moving from a work force of three to just me, to tote that barge and lift that bale, because the girls must avoid laborious duty in order to protect their acrylics.

But the final insult was when they were in the process of dressing for the gig, and one would break anyway. So not only had I sweat in vain, but I had a comrade on stage who was frightened to extend her hand for fear that the audience would notice that she had been ingloriously de-clawed.

Now, I am sure these things have improved over the years, but the word “acrylic” still makes my skin crawl and reminds me of the night that I was wiggling around in the van, in the dark, feeling my way–to find a little piece of the crap that one of my friends insisted had just fallen off of her finger, and was therefore still retrievable.