Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Truth As We Know it

 You Can't Get There From Here

Comes now the Trailer Park Cyclist to once again spread good cheer and hopeful hopings unto his scarce, if not altogether gone readers.  But be that as it may, I will spread it anyway.  Lo and unto the many there is at these gloomy times a clear call for hope, and good cheer.  We outvoted The Orange Rascal, but now, a year later, he's still there!

Like the monsters under the bed, he just won't go away.  

So, while I promise to get bicycles in here somewhere, it might be a bit sticky.  Why, you ask?  Well, for one thing my ever-increasing girth might require two bicycles to haul my fat ass around.  And I haven't been astride a bike since that incident last July when I found myself stopped on the little bridge, gasping for breath and wondering simultaneously if the bridge tender knew CPR and if it was wise, after all, to choose to take my single speed out today.  Man, I can joke around, but I couldn't catch my breath.

But what of that?


We have been worried about the covid.  I have, at least.  Two weeks after getting my second Moderna shot, I came down with a serious case of the puking my guts out.  Luckily, my old friend Coyote was in town and he was able to hose me off.  Come to think of it, I might have caught that odd bug by the serious drinking that accompanied Coyotes' visit.  He lives in a little town on the Mexican border.  He makes his way here about once a year and I fear he won't be back, anymore.  Just a hunch I have.  So that's another drinking buddy I have alienated and really, there aren't any left.  Uncle Bill just deserted me and Dirty Phil the biker (Outlaws) ain't coming round here no more.  What the hell?

It's Age, Of Course

It's age, of course, that does us all in, ultimately.  Just plain old age.  That and this damnable plague that won't end, much like the Ex-Presidency of Donald Trump.  Jesus Christ!  Here in Florida we are again breaking records in the Emergency Rooms and where it all ends, I don't know.  But I promised to bring glad tidings, and so I will.  By asking...Where were the guns?

Where Were The Guns?

I just recently was able to watch the tapes of the Capitol attack, the ones they didn't show us at first.  You remember the first photos we saw...the QAnon dude with a spear and a cool costume like he might have been Davy Crockett's sidekick.  Or the shots of peaceful guys wandering around the Halls of Congress, with the Speaker's stand or even a few files from an office they didn't even know the name of...they were like fuzzy little harmless Wookies out for an adventure.

Not so the attackers from the videotapes I saw courtesy of CNN just the other day.  Claiming they had to sue somebody to get these films, this three-hour piece of evidence reveals the absolute madness of that day.  

These were Berserkers.  Madmen determined to gain access to the inner sanctum at all cost.  Out for blood.

But where were the guns?  Not one of three thousand or so attackers pulled as much as a slingshot out.  And trust me, this is the most concealed-weapons-carrying-permit-gang alive.  Where were the guns?  Even Ashlee Babbit was unarmed.  What the hell?  The Capitol Police were, apparently, ordered not to use deadly force.  Why?  If I was stuck in that tunnel for three hours, forced to fight for my life, I don't think I would have given a good goddamn for orders.  But not one of those crazy assholes pulled a gun out and started spraying lead around.  This is disturbing, to say the least.


Miss Daisy the Yellow Dog has left the stage, so to speak.  My almost constant companion for thirteen years, she was deaf for the last two, suffering some kind of crippling malady in her hind legs, and just, she just...we made the decision after about a month of debate and decided to let her go.  She didn't complain.  We took her up to the vets one last time.  She died in my arms.

Hang In There     

Look, I know I ain't doing so hot in the Glad Tidings department, but bear with me.  Don't I always  manage to slip the noose at the last minute?  At least I think I did...nothing is certain except death and taxes and let me tell ya, I've pulled a fast one on both in the past, and I don't see any reason to think things have changed.  But I understand your concern, whoever you are.

Back To The Bicycles      

I am old now.  I know it.  I am reminded of that every time I glance over in the corner at Little Miss Dangerous, my 1981 Schwinn Super LeTour.  She speaks to me, somehow;  I know that any ride I take might be the last.  But Goddamn!  What a blast these past ten years have been, what a thrill to have been the Trailer Park Cyclist, King of Beers, Friend of Man (and Women), Rex Fatali, et al. 

And Finally

There aren't any monsters under the bed, kids. That's just an old myth.  Old Presidents are just a lot of noise.  He won't be back.  The next threat will be Florida Man.  Not as scary as the Big Cheeto, in fact he can at least speak in comprehensible sentences.  Business as usual.

I will catch my breath sooner or later. My Doc keeps warning me if I don't quit drinking I will die.  Well of course I will!  But I'm going to die anyway, so why not know what caused it?

But where were the guns? 

Trailer Park Cyclist 

New Years Day, 2022


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Friday the 13th: Urine Never Lies

I'm not publishing as the The Paleo Cyclist these days.  I'm saving it all for the ebook. Instead, I will just throw out samples like this one once in awhile.

Meanwhile, I HAVE been doing a bunch of reading about the Paleolithic (the actual epoch, not the diet) and I gotta say, maybe we should have quit while we were ahead.  

More meanwhile, if you find your eyes glazing over when it comes to the statistics stuff, don't worry.  I don't read them either.  Much.  

FRI September 13, 2019 
Miles: 18   Time 1:40   Average Seed:12.9    Weight: 228lbs

I did the same ride with the same mileage and time as yesterday...actually, I was a bit slower this morning, owing to a headwind and I took my time getting from the trail to the trailer.  I plan to ride the same 17.5 mile route for ten days then step it up to 20 miles.  I think I overdid it last month by trying for too many miles too soon.  Also, my average time is inaccurate because my time and speed on the trail is adulterated by my time on the 3 miles out and back from home to trailhead.

I am thinking about pedaling the NoName bike to the shop/trailhead and starting my time/distance/average speed just based on trail time only.  A bit clunky but if I am going to keep records they might as well be accurate.  I could drive to the shop, also...

Another concern based on recent experience is that I am having trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and when I do get up I have zero energy.  I slept through the alarm this morning and that is VERY odd.  Diet?  Old age?  I don’t know.  But it seems highly unlikely that I will be doing any morning riding once the work-a-day starts back up...but if I drove to the trailhead I could do a brisk one hour on the trail, clean up and change at the shop and go straight to work. 

Hmmm...well, it’s worth a try.

10 almonds 60
2 bananas       200
Big Salad        475
4 beers        400
TOTAL       1135

On another note, I have been somewhat troubled by a very dark brown, low volume urine situation.  Normally I pee all the time and a  lot of it but the last two days I haven’t filled a teacup, and what I did produce looked like...well, tea. Based on internet research it seems to be dehydration accompanied by too-strenuous exercise. That seems to fit in with my other symptoms of the last couple days (fatigue, mild confusion, stumbling around on weak legs)...disconcerting, to be sure...thus the beer and I am chugging as much water as I can stand.  If things don’t clear up (sorry, I can't help myself sometimes) I will be seeing the VA Doc.  I have high hopes though.  I HAVE intuited that I have maybe been pushing a little too hard.

UPDATE 620 pm  After sitting on the porch for the last few hours, chugging water and three (soon to be four) 16oz beers I just urinated in an empty water bottle with the top cut off (plenty empties lying around here) and my urine was a glorious bright yellow.  Not clear, but a definite improvement over the root beer I was pissing earlier today.  Still low volume, but overall, a vast and welcome improvement.  So there ya go: dehydration and strenuous exercise.

SAT September 14, 2019
Miles: 14.40    Time: 55   Average Speed: 15.1    Weight:  230

Not much to say.  I am weighing myself daily now because that’s how I did it last time.  How did I gain two pounds since yesterday?  The four beers last night?  I hope not because I’m sorta planning on doing it again tonight.  Hey, it’s Saturday night.  Today I rode NoName to the trailhead (my shop, by some special grace bestowed on me, is RIGHT THERE.  I changed into my bibs and jersey at the shop, laced up my shoes and headed out.  The trail is the only way to go; I have one busy road to cross but all four directions have “yield to cyclists” signs so it isn’t too much of a deal to cross, except that it is also a main road to the local high school so ya got that to consider...but once clear of that road (Mission Road)  you are mission clear for as far as you can go;  the trail, this miraculous rail trail that starts RIGHT AT MY SHOP goes over fifty miles with ZERO crossings of any significance. 

I remember five years ago saying “Man too bad I won’t be around when they finally get the trail up and running...but guess what?  I’M STILL HERE!  AND IT”S DONE!  It really is too good to be true.  And today I did a solid 55 minutes at an average speed of 15 mph.  My decision to limit my record keeping to just trail time is a definite payoff.  While blasting along on flat, almost windless (trees) tarmac (or whatever it is) I would glance down at my speedo, see 14.9 mph and then get down in the drops and pour it on. 

I think this is the stuff.  I think so...

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Once and Future Roadie

I just found a really small animal bone on my writing table..  Most likely it is a stray cast-off from one of my alcohol-induced chicken feasts where I take a half a Winn Dixie roast chicken and hack away at it with one of my sheath knives that seem to be reproducing here in my room faster than I can give them away...everyone I know has a Buck knife that I gave them; Smyrna Jan has the big one (I originally bought it for myself but that knife, a Buck 139, for some reason gave me the willies so I gave it to Jan because he IS the willies and ain’t afraid of nothin’,  not because he is brave (he is) but because he is crazy as hell and capable of anything).  I kept a very nice little rubber-handled unit that cuts just right slicing ribs or apples or anything else and I also use it to cut up half a chicken when necessary and that, most likely is where this little bone came from...and yet, I don’t know.

Be that as it may, I am here to report somewhat shame-facedly that I never made it to Mexico Beach to save the day.  In fact, looking at the reports from the Panhandle, nobody else made it up there either.  As near as I can tell, they got things cleaned up pretty good but rebuilding has not progressed much at all.  I was headed there to rebuild a string of Macburgers that I can guarantee you are up and running by now, with or without my help.  The rest of it is predictable;  what was once a sleepy little seaside village with an alluringly charming name will soon enough be a solid wall of high rise oceanfront condominiums.  It is the Florida Way and anybody who don’t like it, well, I feel the same way while at the same time making my living building those very same atrocities and so what can I say?  I am, after all, a Trailer Park inhabitant and a Florida Man…

Meanwhile, the rascally bastards that owned the Whispering Pines finally found a buyer and things are kinda-sorta topsy-turvy. The new owner is an Orlando lawyer and since taking over a month or so ago he has evicted four trailer’s worth of miscreants and deadbeats.  Those newly empty trailers are scheduled to be thoroughly cleaned and painted and rehabbed with new doors and windows and then sold to worthy customers, over age 55 and preferably having pension checks or social security benefits that can be routed through a kindly benevolent Orlando lawyer’s office.

Me, I have always been something of an outlier here at Riverside Palms Mobile Home Village. (Yeah, that’s the new name.  But last week they cut down all the palm trees and the pines too.  They ain’t whispering any more.)  Not my pines, though.  Because of my unique position in a far corner, next to a large lot owned by the city, the pines and palms are just fine.  They are off the trailer park property and it seems to me my squirrel population has increased in both quantity and nervousness; squirrels and chainsaws are far from simpatico but some sympathetic handouts of extra peanuts has done a great deal towards smoothing things over with not only the squirrels but also with a group  of jays and redbirds that were passing through but now seem happy to stick around.

And yet...and yet;  ya don’t make it to 64 years old without learning to sniff the wind and keep an eye on the sky and there’s something coming.  I don’t know what, but there’s a lawyer in it and when has that ever turned out any good for anyone involved, except the lawyer?

But listen to this:  I have been unemployed for over two weeks now.  I have been riding my bicycle every day, and I don’t mean beach cruising.  I am slamming out daily twenty mile rides and bragging about it on a new blog I started called The Paleo Cyclist.

What happened was I came in from the Road and found decent local work and got into a groove.  It was a groove that involved slow but steady beer drinking all day (yeah I drank at work get over it I live in a trailer) and also involved the Blonde’s considerable skill at preparing her native West Virginia fare, fried chicken and dumplin’s and all manner of crockpot wonderfulness that, along with a case of beer and a half-quart of Capn’ Morgans a day resulted in what might at best be described as an amorphous blob occupying the airspace of what had previously been a cyclist.


Well, I am pretty happy to be typing here on the TPC again.  I am going to do more of it.  What is over there at the Paleo Cyclist isn’t really writing, or entertainment.  It’s just a journal of my struggle to find my way back to something a little more better than where I am now.  But as I was typing it up every day after my ride I started to think, well, maybe someone else might get this, someone else might want to see this…


Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Rat God

Carved into the post at the corner of my porch where I sit and drink and pontificate is the arcane symbol 02/17/18.  For those of you not well versed in arcanery, I will share with you the secret meaning of this profound image: It is a date, Gregorian, representing the day that I once and for all left my forlorn life on the road, remodeling restaurants and rebuilding burger joints.

Since that fateful day I have slept each night in my own much-loved room in my even more loved bunk.  Motels have beds of a very haunted nature and often are far too soft for my old carpenter’s back and many times my roommate of the moment has been stunned and disturbed to wake up in the morning to find me asleep on the floor.

Actually that never happened...I mean, yeah, in motels I usually sleep on the floor but so far in my life I have yet to encounter a roommate that wakes up before I do...ever since Air Force basic training my eyes open at five o’clock a.m. without fail.  I am awake and ready at five a.m. because, really, that’s the time when it all starts. The birds know this as do the nocturnal animals that stalk the night and also the delivery guys who have to get ice and honey buns and Budweiser to the various markets that I am known to haunt in the early hours.  Today the Budweiser guy, pushing a heavy cart and grateful for my holding open of the beer store door where I was getting my work-day ice and several packages of various flavors of salted peanuts said to me “Thank You, Sir!”

He was pumped.  He was up and rockin’ and so was I and I said to him, “No, my friend.  Thank You! You are doing very important work! Keep it up!”

It occurs to me just now that I am well paid these days and that they probably had trail mix in that store…

So, because I am a purist of sorts and because I fell, at an early age, for some claptrap from BooBoo Rum Dass about how a yogi must sleep on a hard surface and suffer or some such but maybe just because those yogis were always penniless (the real ones) and so was I, I went ahead and eschewed mattresses for most of my life and just slept on a pile of blankets.  These days my bunk is a 6x8 piece of plywood cushioned with a double thickness of sleeping pads courtesy of REI and a three-ply stack of heavy blankets from the Goodwill. It works for me and the only thing more haunted than a motel bed is a motel floor and so, ever since February I have been very happy and grateful to crash, every night, in my own room and in my own bed.

(Note:  What the hell is a claptrap and why would anybody want to catch some?)

Also, after a devastating rat invasion two years ago (or was it three years ago?) I was forced to research everything I could find on the Web about rats and how to get rid of them.  The little bastards would wait each night until I was passed out (nocturnal) (the rats, not me) and then come out and gambol about and look for beer drippings or a stray piece of the popcorn or frozen pizza I would invariably have had for dinner. Failing this, they would return to their maze of rat paths in my ceiling and stomp around up there, trying to wake me up so maybe I would pop some more Redenbacher’s.  The Blonde, my long-suffering female companion, had retreated once again to her daughter’s condo.

But I, empowered by Wiki, was not daunted and after a few night’s research, with little whiskered rodents looking over my shoulder, got it sorted out.  Habitat, food and water were all they were after and I was not their enemy, they figured that if I was going to put out a banquet of raw peanuts for the squirrels every day (diurnal) then there must be, by pure rat logic, some kind of feast waiting for the night crew. Plus, if I didn't like them, why would I provide them with a warm and cozy rat home in the ceiling?

Then, one evil morning, blanketed in the desperate gloom of a professional-level hangover and needing some serious bathroom time, I was saddened to find a teenage suicide in the toilet, some poor little rat cut off too early in life while trying to get a simple drink of water.

That led to the fairly gruesome task of ripping out all the old and deteriorating ceiling and moldy  insulation in my thirty year old mobile home. In the process, I was dazzled by their network in the ceiling.  In each corner was a nest (hey! There’s my missing sock!) with straight tunnels through the insulation on diagonals that intersected in the middle of my room, right over the ceiling light.  There were obvious ingress and egress points, perfectly round, leading to the outside world. I guess that is where they all went when I fired up the sawzall.

A day later all the debris was in the trailer park dumpster.  I paid eleven dollars for some lightweight roof flashing and got out my trusty rivet gun and tin snips.  All those holes got covered and riveted down and then, at the insistence of Blondie, her half of the trailer got new insulation and a new plywood ceiling.  I left my half open to the bare tin roof. The cheap-ass trailer trusses, exposed now, give my room and my bunk and my writing table a very Captain’s-cabin feel and at night, when I rouse momentarily from some wanton dream, I look around and I thank the Rat God for forcing me to create a special place that I might not have achieved left to my own devices.

Having destroyed their habitat, by putting lids on the dog food bowls and closing the toilet seat religously, my rat problem was solved. My home was once again my own and the Blonde, looking warily about, moved back into our little trailer.

And yet, now, hear my lament: for once in my life home all the time and happy and doing lucrative work that I enjoy, The Call has come again. Remarkably coinciding with a financial downturn at the condo project where I have been toiling and daydreaming since March and maybe due to a little avarice on my part, Corporate is cutting off my cash flow and at the same time, just today, one of the gazillionaire contractors from my piratical past called and wanted to know if I wanted to lend a hand at a place called Mexico Beach.  

Hear the laughter of the vengeful Rat God!

Whispering Pines Trailer Park
October 13 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Danglin' Is As Danglin' Does

Listen: I am trying to write like I did in the old days, before Tim Joe Comstock, before the Trailer Park Cyclist, before all the fame and the millions of dollars that were showered upon me...

Wait: The millions of dollars...

Dangit! I knew I left those Bitcoins somewhere...maybe behind the refrigerator...

Great. Now I have to start over.

Here's what I'm thinking. Gravel bikes. I only own three bicycles and (apparently) zero bitcoins, but I know a cool bicycle when I see one and now I am (kinda) drooling over this Salsa Journeyman:

(non-existent photo)

In the old days I was pretty poetical and got all manner of accolades for writing moody and soulful stuff about dead relatives and awesome bicycle rides and how cool I am...was...dangit! Is that a dangling participle? Why do we have to worry about participles, dangling or otherwise? In fact, I am reasonably certain that almost NOBODY uses the word “participle” in daily speech. I sure don't.

(Incomplete sentence/contraction/possible dangling participle.)

So, here's whats groovy: the same guy who wrote the definitive book (along with some guy named Strunk) that tells us the Elements of Style was also the guy who wrote Charlotte's Web.

But let's face it. The old days are gone. Bicycles have disc brakes now. Fat tires are the norm. Old Tim Joe can't even come close to remembering how he wrote way back when he had an element of style. But all the same, here we are. (there's another one. It's like flies in here.)

Here's another thing: Once I started to get some readership I got all excited and looked up stuff on the web about how to get and keep a following. Mostly it involved pictures and short entries that could be read at work. You know, ways to screw your employer out of office time. It seems that 1500 word posts fit in perfectly between a restroom break and a stop by the break room. It's sad, really.

The thing is, when I write honestly (as hard as it is) it takes me awhile to get it all figured out.

I have to wander around. I have to type and type until things coalesce, I have to think about today and I have to think about yesterday and I have to think about what it is I am thinking about. That is what I did back when I only wrote for myself, before other people saw what I was up to and what was happening in my world. Each day is so full of surprise and dangling that I cannot see how anyone can comprehend it all without taking notes.

So the truth is, it ain't easy.  All of you know what I mean.  Moments of distressed clarity, a glimpse of what should be, what should have been...but what of that?  Here we are.  Here are we.

Speaking of notes, I have my Pandora station set on Joni Mitchell. So while I type this we are getting Joni and James and Carly and Carol and Stephen and Neil.

So OK. There ya go. I am still Old Tim Joe, I still live in a trailer park. This is pretty much what ya get from here on out.  Maybe something about gravel bikes, if I remember.

Yer friend, Danglin' Tim
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Mermaid Cafe
Sept 15 2018

Monday, May 15, 2017

Come Monday

Who Knows? Soylent Green Might Be the Answer
Here we go now. Once again, a couple weeks ago I quit my job and dragged my ass back home. Even though I live in the crappiest trailer park in Florida, it is MY trailer park and the squirrels really missed me. Not due to my charming personality, but because of the raw peanuts in the shell that I get from the Winn Dixie. Even as I type here at a sublime sundown, they gather outside the door screaming out their demand for more peanuts, but I ran out of peanuts at the noon feeding and I really don't feel good about this. I'm too drunk to drive and that means I am WAY too drunk to ride my bicycle. But these are some scary squirrels. M. Night Shyamalan (an obviously made up name) could really do something with this scene.

But on a groovier, more better Audubon note, there are two birds who have joined the fray. I think they are Steller's Jays but one looks like what we would call a red cardinal and the other one is the same thing but blue. Just beautiful birds but also pretty pissed about the lack of sundown peanuts. Birds are, after all, the last living relatives of the dinosaurs. I honestly don't know how I get into these jams.

Gathering of the Gloom
Listen: I spend a whole lot of time on the road, chewing on rolaids and and battling motel maids, as some poet once said. Plus there are prostitutes (the friendliest appellation I can apply to what they really are) and I have a disturbing habit of, when in my cups, as we say, engaging them and getting into grandfatherly conversations. Thirty years ago I wasn't a Grandpa but now I am and so I often find myself giving them money just to go away. I got a better deal thirty years ago.

And Yet...
All of my bicycles are done. Built and ready. And the money I give those lost girls ain't peanuts, but, having known the freedom and pain of having nothing, I like to hand out a little surprise once in awhile. The other day, just before I realized I was losing my mind and it was time to head out fast for the home fires, I went to the ATM and got out five twenty dollar bills. I roamed the neighborhood of the motel I was at in Sarasota, handing them out. You would think I had cured cancer, or brought back a dead relative when you saw the expressions that rewarded my gift of a lousy twenty dollar bill. I can't recommend it enough. I know my readers and I know that every one of you can afford to take out a hundred dollars every other month and hand out five random twenty dollar bills.

I don't make a ceremony of it. I just hand them the twenty and get away as fast as possible. But I almost always hear “God Bless You Sir!” as I pedal or stride or drive away. I hope that Fucker is listening. He better be, if he wants to get a twenty when we finally bump into each other.

It Helps If You Are Crazy
Feel the darkness dwelling in my soul? I am sorry for that. I have been home almost three weeks and the treasury is seriously depleted. I gotta go back out there. All three bicycles are built and I have not, in three weeks, pedaled a dozen miles. OK, maybe fifty. This bodes not well for the Trailer Park Cyclist.

But what of that? All three bicycles are built and ready. Little Miss Dangerous is ready to go. So whatever else happens, I at least have my righteous steed, hand built by me my ownself and with that knowledge I know it will all work out.

Plus, there is still enough daylight to pedal to the Winn Dixie for another pound of peanuts, and maybe a little rum. Hell Yeah.

Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Animal House
Mid May 2017

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Good Idea

Finding myself inexplicably awake at sunrise, vaguely hungover and wondering what to do about it, I reached for my bicycle and rolled it out onto the porch.  I wasn’t going to ride, necessarily, but I thought I would put her out on the porch for old time’s sake, just to watch the golden-red glow wash over her as the sun got up and began to do its thing.  But it was quite overcast this morning and misty and foggy and looking like some kind of Precursor-of-Winter Sunrise, even though it was, after all, still August.

As I pushed her out the door I realized the front tire was flat.  

“What the hell?” I thought.  “That’s odd.”  It WAS odd.  This is the New Bike.  I have had her for a year now (she may be a him) and never came close to a flat.  Then again, I have yet to put any significant miles on the New Bike.  

“Well, there goes my morning ride,”  I thought.  “Dang flat.”  I started to shuffle towards the fridge.

“Yeah, you can’t ride a bike with a flat tire.  Too bad we don’t know what to do about flat bicycle tires.”

I spun around.  Nobody there.  Toby the Trouble Puppy was sitting there, startled by my sudden spinning about, wagging his tail warily.

“Toby?  Did you hear anything?”  He wagged his tail and stuck out his tongue and yawned a cautious  yawn.  I wasn’t cussing, so he started to relax, meanwhile keeping  his eye on me at the same time. But I HAD heard a voice, clear as a bell.  I looked at the bike on the porch.  I turned and looked at my work bench three feet away.  There was my bicycle tool box, stuffed with all manner of esoteric bicycle tools and also not one but TWO inner tube patch kits, both the glueless and the glue type.  

There was, I could see in the morning light, considerable dust on the toolbox.

“Hey!”  I said to Toby.  “I  know how to fix a flat bicycle tire. “  Daisy the Yellow Dog (getting on in years) stuck her head out from under my bunk to see what was going on.  Seeing me standing in my boxer shorts in the middle of the room talking to myself she stretched and crept back into  her personal  spot in front of the dog fan.  She heaved her best “here we go again” sigh and went back to sleep. Daisy sleeps a lot these days.

“We’ll see about this,”  I said, sounding confident.  I strode over to the refrigerator and reached for the handle.

“Wrong box.”  I whipped around again, going into my best imitation Elvis karate stance.

“Who’s there, dammit!?  Show yourself!”  Toby jumped up from his bed, (the backseat pulled from my Chevy van) and ran under the bunk to hide behind Miss Daisy.  I went to the front door and stuck my head out, looking back and forth with what I hoped was a fierce expression on my face.  “I ain’t playin!”  I shouted, stepping out to where I had parked the bike.

Christy, the redheaded widow from  across the way, was doing a little early morning work in her tiny trailer-park garden.  She turned to see what this sunrise hollering was about.  Seeing me standing there in my underwear, she stood up and came over to my gate.

“Going for a bike ride this morning?  I never see you out on your bike anymore.  You used to live on that thing.  What happened?”

“I have a flat tire.”  She looked down at the big trash can sitting next to the gate. The birds were starting up with their morning racket.  There are a lot of birds around the Park.

“Well, if you recycle all those cans, you should be able to afford a new tire.  Maybe even a whole new bike.”  

“I gotta go inside and put my pants on,” I said.

“Good idea,”  She said.

“Good idea,”  the Voice said.  This time I didn’t even flinch.  I went inside the trailer.  I looked at the pile of empty bottles in a box behind the trailer door.  

“No wonder I’m hearing voices,”  I said to no one in particular.  I reached up into the cupboard over the refrigerator and grabbed a dust rag and a can of WD-40.

I headed over to the work bench.

Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Halfway House
August 14, 2016