Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Special Handling-a short short story


Several years ago, I was returning to San Francisco from Edmonton, Canada. I was travelling, as usual, with my 1964, 0018 Martin guitar which I had had in my possession for 18 years. I had arranged for what they termed, "Special Handling", confident that that meant I could rest assured that it would show up at the airport when I did. When my Delta flight arrived in SF, I went to the "Special Handling" baggage claim to get my guitar. I waited the better part of an hour, having been assured by the woman at the desk that it took extra time to get "Special Handling" baggage from the planes to this section of the terminal. That made sense and I waited...and waited, eventually being informed that there was no guitar anywhere and they had no record of one expected. I had the "Special Handling" baggage claim clutched in my fist! How could this be! Becoming increasingly anxious, I asked to speak to someone in charge. A new person was brought to the desk, "Well, we'll send someone out to look again." he says. Send someone out? Where? Out where? What the hell!

I waited for another eternity, anxiety rapidly changing to outright anger. By now it had been close to three hours since my flight had arrived. I started to really lose it. I became apoplectic, shouting, demanding to speak to the Airport Manager NOW! This outburst resulted in some big shot in a suit (not a uniform) showing up. Attempting to placate me, he implied that I would be reimbursed for the guitar, after I filled out a sheaf of forms and mailed them to the Delta Airline headquarters in Dallas. I was freaking. There's no way they could replace my priceless little Martin. I snatched the forms and left the office, realization of my loss beginning to set in.

I figured it was probably time to go home. I went down to the entrance of the terminal where the big doors slide open to rows of taxi cabs and bustling travellers. I sat down in one of those horrid molded plastic chairs, riveted in ugly rows under the nasty bright fluorescents. I was devastated. There seemed only one direction for my head to go and that was to total acceptance. I sat there for no more than 20 minutes, telling myself that after all, it was only a chunk of wood and steel. Was not a person, I could get another guitar, I had to let this go. I actually did. I let it go. I really let it completely go.

I gathered my suitcase and my handbag, stood up to exit the airport and there, about 15 feet directly in front of me, leaning up against the side of the exit doors, was my guitar. All by itself, no one near it, just the doors opening and closing, people coming and going. There it was. I was sure I had lost my mind. Couldn't be. My perception slowed down to absolute slo-mo. In that slow motion dream I went to the guitar and when I clasped my hand around the handle I knew it was actually real. I took it back to my chair and just sat there with my arms wrapped around the case, so stunned in disbelief that I could not move.

I will never know how this came to be. Maybe someone tried to steal it and changed their mind at the last minute and left it by the door. That's the only explanation I've ever been able to come up with.

I never took that guitar on a commercial flight again. Everything else has come and gone, lovers, husbands, children & friends, houses, furniture, cars and pets but that sweet little Martin which always stays in tune, is right here beside me as I write this story, 45 years after I bought it.

Special Handling indeed!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

god myth

Come on people, wise up. Just because millions of people on this planet choose to believe in a supreme being, a god as it were, doesn't mean it is so.
There was a time when the majority believed that the earth was flat. Science eventually disproved that nonsense. The same will eventually be shown regarding the concept of god. It's time to take personal responsibility. There is no great all knowing being who is going to "forgive" your fuck ups. You have to forgive yourself and move on. You have to be moral because that's the intelligent way to live, not because you think some future punishment will befall you. Be good for goodness sake! Get it?
We are born, we live for a time and then we die. You want to know why? 
You tell me! That's the mystery. Work on it. 

Friday, March 13, 2009


Is it apparent to anyone but me that the people who invested with Madoff were wealthy to begin with and their greed for even more got them into this deep water. I'm not in any way excusing his swindle, but isn't $3,000,000 enough for you to live? Must you make it become more? Why? GREED GREED GREED. Greed has broken our general economy and greed broke these people. Oops. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Quote for the Day

"A positive attitude may not solve all of your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."

--Herb Albright (1876-1944)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quote for the Day

"As anyone who has tried to quite smoking knows, dependence is hardest to overcome during difficult or stressful times. That must be why, when the government helps drug abusers quit, they arrest them and take away their job, possessions and children."

--Pete Guither--

Friday, February 6, 2009


I can't figure out why people want to connect with dozens of people they barely know when they barely connect with people they already know. I may have stumbled upon a major flaw in modern society. This super highway all access everybody is everybody's friend has become a substitute for deep friendships developed over years requiring real shared experiences.
By internet standards, I may be considered anti-social. But in my experience being alone is preferable to crowds of babble.
I dabbled in Facebook for the voyeurist aspect of it. I liked to glance at you and him and her but don't particularly want anyone glancing at me.
I don't know. Gonna go surfing now. I'll let you know if I find anything relevant to my existence today. I'm sure I will but not on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Back

Well friends, sorry I've been away so long. I've been focusing my concentration on my sweet friend Michelle. She faced the devil and he backed off! 
Having survived a horrendous surgery, Michelle is home and recovering well.  She still has a hard row to hoe. Michelle is going to have to endure radiation AND chemo-therapy. Those are the big obvious things. There are niggling everyday things involved with the recovery from cancer that the rest of us barely consider. Michelle lost her nose; the surgery required to save her life, removed the middle of her face! Think about that!!!
It is so difficult for me to write about it. Imagine how difficult it is to have it happening to you.
To be continued...