Killo Pest Control
The sign was on a low-slung, nondescript building.
I don't want to know anything more about it. There is no way the truth can be as entertaining as what I imagine about it.
Posted by Mark at 11:59 PM
I was sixteen, alone in my piece-of-shit 1964 Mercury Meteor on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg, driving in the fading light of day. The day before, the first girl I had ever truly, deeply loved had dumped me because I had, in her words, loved her too intensely. I'd driven a great deal since she'd said goodbye, but of course I hadn't gotten anywhere at all. I drove to keep moving, and because alone in my car, with WLCY playing rock and roll on my barely functional car stereo, I was safe from anything the world could do to me. As long as gas remained in the car, I could move on, and nothing could touch me.
In the way one does at sixteen, I knew with an unshakable certainty that my heartbreak was as powerful and as damaging and as any feeling a human heart could contain.
At the peak of a particularly bad bout of melancholy, as I reached what was then an outer edge of St. Petersburg and prepared to turn around so I didn't end up in Tampa, as darkness set about wiping away the last bits of light as if they were stains on the sky, this song came on the radio.
It's not, in my opinion, a particularly good song, nor do I hate it. I had no opinions about it at the time.
In an instant, though, my brain bound it forever to that dark moment on that darkening day. Each and every time since then that I have heard that song, including earlier today, for a fraction of a second I have returned to the Mercury Meteor's driver's seat, to Fourth Street, to sixteen, to the warm Florida air rushing through the open windows, and to the sadness. In the next fraction of a second, the rest of my brain takes control, the present floods back in, and the heartache fades quickly back into the emotional abyss where it belongs.
I love that songs can do this.
Posted by Mark at 7:02 PM
Over at Baen's Web site, Publisher Toni and the fine folks at Baen are running a contest you might find interesting. To enter, all you have to do is write a short essay (no more than 500 words) on what you would do if you had Lobo for a day. (For details, go here.)
I didn't know about the contest in advance, but it sure sounds like fun. Lobo is so powerful and so capable and so very, very intelligent that the range of things you could do with him is vast.
The prize for winning is definitely nice: a free signed first-edition hardcover of No Going Back, plus five free Jon and Lobo ebooks.
I have no idea if I'll get to see any of these entries, but I hope I do. I'm very curious as to what folks would do with one of my favorite characters.
If you're wondering what I would do, well, you'll have to wait to read an upcoming interview in which I answer that very question. More on that interview later.
Enough people have asked about how my injured foot is doing that I thought I'd show you.
Yeah, the power of the InterWebs is that I can share my nasty foot injury with the world.
Let's start with the view of the inside of my foot, as it looked last night at about 2:15 in the morning.
Posted by Mark at 4:26 PM
Today is Mom's birthday. Of course, I won't be celebrating it with her, because she died on February 11. I will, though, think about her throughout the day and miss her.
Though she lived in Florida and I am in North Carolina, she was at least virtually present, as one's parents often are, in all the usual days of celebration. This year, I'm having the first of each of those days without her, and I am finding them odd and sad.
On my birthday, for the first time in decades I did not receive a silly, sappy card telling me how glad she was that I was her son. She'd spend hours shopping for each of those cards, and I frequently mocked them, but I also knew deep down that she meant what they said.
In less than two weeks, we'll have a made-up holiday, Mother's Day, but I won't be able to call her.
The annual family beach holiday will roll by without her.
And so on.
It's been a long time since I had a father, but being without a mother is a relatively new experience.
I'm going to keep her in my head and in my heart on all of these of these dates. I'll probably whisper aloud a few words to her, not because she can hear them, but because I can. Words, perhaps, like these.
Happy birthday, Mom. I miss you. I love you.
This band, one of my favorites, has been working for a while on its new album, Handwritten. Recently, they announced that they had finished recording the songs and that the album would go on sale on July 24. I can't wait to listen to it.
Fortunately, we can hear "45," the first song from it, right now. To do that, all you have to do is go to this Rolling Stone exclusive (in the U.S.) page.
Today, we bopped over to Durham for a food truck rodeo and a stroll around downtown's Durham Art Walk. It was a lovely day, and I had a fine time looking at bits of art and generally just taking the air.
On the way back to the car, lost in thought about a piece of art I'd seen a few shops back, I stepped off a curb, failed to note a second, smaller bump in the road, twisted my left ankle, and went down hard. I've hurt that ankle many times before, so as I twisted it the bone popped briefly out of the joint and then back into it. Each of those pops sent a jolt of sheer agony from my foot straight to my brain.
So, I screamed in pain several times and ended up stretched out on the road for a few minutes while my friends stood over me to make sure any approaching car would notice me. (None came, fortunately.) After wiggling the foot a bit and testing it, I put a little weight on it, crawled to the curb, sat, and rested for another couple of minutes. I then got up and slowly and with a bit of limping finished the walk.
My friends were wise enough not to touch me throughout this process. The last thing I want is unsolicited help. I'm of the "crawl into the cave and pull the rock in after me" school of healing.
As I fell and for some time afterward, including now, only one thought has dominated my thinking:
You stupid fucking idiot!Here I am referring, of course, to myself.
Posted by Mark at 6:58 PM