OCTOBER

by John Wester



This is a rhyme about a friend I met in a commune nearly 40 years ago-- that would be the 60s. She was beautiful then, she's beautiful now, going on 67. I didn't know she was "Miss Firecracker" for Scottsdale in 1957 until she showed me the thumbnail of the poster when I visited her last week. Her folks were well off, sent her to college to study art. She was and is a good artist. But she dropped out of school, said she felt better without it. Tried Hollywood. Got a few parts in some "B" movies. Got a part on "Gun Smoke". For another "B" movie, when they made her stuff her bra and swing from a vine, she dropped out of the movie business--felt better without it. Got married and lived in the city. Got divorced and moved to the country, felt better without the city. Now she lives in a trailer park by herself--she's given up on men--feels better without them--and one of her two bedrooms is devoted to a legal stand of medical marijuana, meaning, among other things, I slept on the floor.

I have an old friend who was a dispatcher at a factory that made large turbines. His job was to see that the machinists got the tools they needed as well as the raw materials to mill--very hard and expensive metals. The machinists would program in the dimensions for the cuts using essentially computers to do it. Very technical. If the machine was up and running, the supervisor couldn't tell if it was cutting air or not. Cutting air was when the machine was actually doing nothing while it made the machinist look like he or she was hard at work, but actually getting their morning cup before programming the machines. For example, it's a half-hour before quitting time and I'm cutting air. But I have my thumb and forefinger ready to hit the Alt-Tab combo to take my screen to a nice Power Point I'm working on. Back to my Power Point.

Audrey was Hank Williams wife. He wrote and sang "Your Cheating Heart" in the early '50s. He died in the back seat of his Cadillac in 1953 as he was being driven to his next gig. He was mixing pain killers and alcohol. He had a back problem and a prescription for it. He drank heavily from the time he was 12. He was 29 when he died.

This is a sick rhyme. But battery powered drills are what the sectarians are using in Iraq to extract information. As long as there are wars, civil or otherwise, there is going to be torture. And dare I say it? As long as there are nations (and their ruling classes) competing for resources, there will be wars. I may be a dreamer, but I'm not delusional, as those who think the world is going to last much longer without socialism.

Apologies to Robby, he never called my rhymes a hobby, not to my face. But nothing much rhymes with hobby.