Thursday, April 17, 2014

Annie And Me

Annie Sheekley, aka Mother FUF, ca. 1967. Annie looked quite like this when I met her in January of 1972.

In January of 1972 I was kicked out of my previous life in a very serious way. I hunkered down at the Hotel Ste. Claire, in San Jose, California, where I briefly found a graveyard shift job that included a room. Soon I met a girl who worked the front desk on day shift. Things happened and I shortly lost that job but got the girl. I wasn't in the hotel workers' union and it was a union house. The boss thought that as a college student doing part time I was exempt but the boys thought otherwise. I needed somewhere. She took me home.

I got another graveyard job and started a new life. When she found out that Portland State University accepted her in the Social Work graduate program, I decided the right thing for me was to back her play as best I could. That's how the rest of my life started. This was scary for us both. That was 1973. Two years later, I had started my life's career in engineering design, she was an MSW social worker working for the state, and we had my mother who was a bonified minister marry us seven days after my birthday, Nov. 21, 1975.

Eventually we did all the things that families do except we both agreed that we would not have children. Annie was in child welfare work and she raised kids for a living, involved in the lives of several from very early until college and in a couple cases beyond that.

The nineties were a horror for us. I took a bad hit in my career and she broke apart after struggling with health issues from the mid eighties. We divorced in the mid 90s trying to save lives. She became so ill that when the century turned and then 9-11 happened in 2001, she died. We did not save her life. We did save mine.

Annie Sheekley, I miss you and keep a piece of you near me still. This is your birthday. You would have been 67. I too love you all the way to Dougie Peeple's house and back.

Death On My Shoulder

I'm waiting for death.
It seems like that though maybe
not exactly that.

Carlos found his guy,
a brujo, or desert mage.
Don Juan told Carlos,
"Carry death, your friend
on your shoulder to whisper"
and I heard Caesar
wanted trusted men
to tap him, "You are mortal!"
I sometimes still growl
defiance and grin.
But I have been practicing
for decades now.
This is my merry way.

‎April ‎17, ‎2014 1:36 PM

My thanks and undying gratitude to her younger sister Betsy, ever my friend whom I love with a big love.

Written as part of a collaboration with Irene, see her orange is a fruit

Death is not my enemy, though pain, misery, and inconvenience still frost my corn flakes.

1 comment:

The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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