March 12, 2002
"Thunder only happens when it's raining..." -Fleetwood Mac

From my dreams this morning came the rumble of thunder. Semi-conscious, I smiled somewhere inside. There are few things more viscerally stimulating to me than when the sky opens up its jaws in fury, flashes its fangs, and lets loose its wrath upon the Earth with unfettered, violent grace. Thunder alone will do me, but a tornado.. mmmmm! That would be nice.

I'm mad, I know. Can't help it. Wouldn't want to. And if they took my madness from me in some cuckoo's nest lobotomy, I would wither and die. I would welcome the big Indian with his humane pillow favor.

I met the man who wrote that story. Ken Kesey, now old, his words of praise for Duke scrawled on the back of a postcard in an old man's palsied hand. I loved him for it. Ken Kesey, Sixties acid icon and author of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."

Thunder. To my mind, thunder is one of the hallmarks of romance between humankind and nature, every crash an aesthetic orgasm. Is that silly? Wordy? Heady? I guess so. So what.

This morning's thunder raised the dead from my bed. Me, that is. I have been enduring some bronchial crud since the first day of Lent. "What did you give up for Lent, Rick?" says Suzie Catechism. "Oh, nothing much. Just my FUCKING HEALTH!" One whole month now of a hacking cough, sniffles and every day the dawn of the dead. Anyone got any spare penicillin lying around the house? I no longer have insurance, and this is America after all. Every sick man for himself.

Took Scott to meet Tweak and Co. last night. What a scene. The guests included Katrina, Heather from San Franciso with her little dog Taffy, and Bob, the artist formerly known as.. um, Bob. Then of course Tweak, Lord of the Manor, and his estranged girlfriend Robin who is apparently seeing someone else but still living in the Manor, just not sleeping with Tweak, except on the occasional cold New Orleans night when Tweak allows because she has, and I quote, "a Bunsen Burner ass." Writers love metaphors like that. Bravo, Tweak.

But that's as far as I'll go in complementing Tweak. He was, in fact, quite a jackass last night. A blatant insecurity lurked behind his porcupine quills and insults as he accused me of competing with him for all women present and accounted for. I denied this and assured him that I was only trying to enjoy the evening and forget for a moment my beloved Matilda dying of kidney failure in some veterinarian hospital in Metarie. No matter. His house. He held to his fantasy, continuing to berate me whenever possible.

I won't deny the women were beautiful. But two factors kept me from even thinking about them as potential bed buddies. One, given the ambiguity of Tweak' relationship with Robin, God only knows what he had going with either or both of the girls, and I know better than to hunt in another man's field. And two, quite honestly, I have about as much sex drive lately as a neutered tomcat drugged up on Thorazine. Zilch. Zippo.

At the end of an evening out recently, my lovely young "date" kissed me with all the passion of an invitation upstairs. I thanked her for the evening, got in Duke, drove home, and dove beneath my goose feather duvet quite content to sleep alone, alone, alone. Yes, thank you. There is a God. And there shall be NO MORE "Instant Girlfriends! just add sex" until it's time. No, cancel that. There shall never be another such girlfriend. I must learn to do something I've never done before: sleep around. BE the Sheepking. BE Scott Shuey, the divine Buddhist master of juggling several sex partners at once. Sleep around and not fall in love SO GODDAMN EASILY! It is a Scorpio's curse, I fear. But I shall beat it. I shall become the kind of man whom women claim to despise. YES!

Anyway, to sum up the story of last night..
The girls, Katrina and Heather, were headed for a night out on the Vieux Carre, the French Quarter. Now I don't play chess and have no talent for head games, but I suspect that Tweak was setting me up when he said, "You gonna take the girls?" I said no, but upon realizing that they were in need of a ride and that perhaps that's what Tweak meant, I said yes, I would take them.

But what about Scott? "You can leave Scott here," Tweak said. "After all, you will be right back, won't you?" Yes. But no. No, I want to take Scott, I decided. Take Scott and go home. Like a child, I would take my toys and go home, stomping all the way. I had taken enough abuse for one evening.

Katrina and Heather freaked over Duke. They loved it. Heather, in particular, who said she had an obsession with Alice in Wonderland, read aloud the words to "White Rabbit" that run the parameter of Duke's trunk sculpture and, once inside the car, said being in Duke made her feel like she was falling down the rabbit hole. That hit the nail on the head. It will be awhile before anyone tops that one. As supreme compliments to my creation go, that's among the best.

And that's about it, really. We dropped the girls off at a bar called Molly's on Market, invited them to join us another day when I could take the top off and they could ride in style up top for a slow cruise down Bourbon, then we drove home.

When home, I called Tweak to thank him for inviting us over, setting aside my indignation at having been treated like a shit. "What?" he shouted. "You're home already? You mean you let those girls go?" He was clearly disappointed.

I hung up the phone and shook my head. The sound of the marbles rolling and shifting around in my skull felt reassuring somehow. Peaceful, like the rhythm of pebbles tossed ashore with every newly broken wave.


March 12, 2002, [10 p.m., a mere 6 hours later..!]
"All my X's live in Texas, that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee." -some country music genius

Dear God,

Please make little Matilda's kidney(s) start working again so she can come home and hop about and nip and play and we'll be happy again.

Lord, please reassure my father that though I have yet to find my way back from the path of sin and debaucherous, nasty behavior, I someday will. I will find a good church and go there and be there and sing and hug and play guitar and stuff.

In other news, Heavenly Father, please help me take myself less seriously. Nine out of ten good, clean Americans think I am too heady.. um, whatever that means. So, God, just strike me dumb or something.

Oh, and by the way Big Guy in the Sky, WHAT'S THE FUCKING BIG IDEA making a nice, old-fashioned girl like you-know-who suddenly toss her internet-phobia out the winda' and log into my GODDAMN WEBSITE on the very same damn day that I mention her in my daily scribbles in an apparently unflattering light? JESUS H. CHRIST ON TOAST! I nearly fell outa my chair when she called tonight and asked me if it was she I'd written about today. TODAY! Nobody's supposed to be reading this shit, God, and nobody IS, huh? Cuz I wanted to get a week's worth written before announcing it to my Jiggle readership. So that's it. You're busted, Yahwaeeay! Hell, it was total freakout flashback twilight zone stuff with my X, Jill, QUOTING ME VERBATIM off the internet saying stuff I don't even remember writing! The girl was miffed!


Oh, and please, fill out our questionnaire! Do you feel you were cast in a flattering light? Did you like the character I wrote for you? Or did I make assumptions, misjudgments, miscalculations, misogynous and erroneous erections? Did I THINK too much? AM I TOO HEADY FOR YOU??

..I pray the Lord my soul to keep, etceteras, etceteras, etceteras. Amen.


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