The guy is easily six foot six, 325 pounds, intimidating, hairy, ex-college football player- not someone people want to fuck around with. That's why he was a bouncer. When you're that fucking big there are not that many professions that suit you better than just waiting for some undoubtedly smaller, weaker person to step out of line and then pummel them into the cheap, cigarette-burn pock-marked carpet. Everybody in town knows him and he tried to use that to his advantage in painting an ugly picture of me. Getting his friends to talk shit about the way I conduct myself in the bar. Complaining to the manager and telling her that I wasn't doing my job. Shmoozing with the bartenders and starting convincing rumors about me. But I swear I never slept with that woman.

I don't really know what I ever did to cause all that, but I just kept my head down and followed the golden rule, no ex-paratrooper bravado or macho confrontation in front of a bar full of patrons. I just shut up and waited for him to wear himself out.

Don't get me wrong, I don't claim to be a saint or anything close, I wanted badly to follow him outside and break his kneecaps with the 18 inch flash-light I keep at the DJ booth, kick his fucking teeth out of his head, mutilate his corpse, dance on his dead body and show everyone that I was the bigger bad-ass. It's still all there, the hatred that has been a part of this old-looking young man for going on 15 years, the contempt for anyone with power over me, and the fantasies of revolt against the laws of normal human restraint. Teenage angst and all that shit, but I kept my feelings to myself, thinking it better to grin and bear it.

I wasn't surprised when I got a call from the manager last night asking me to come in an hour early and to not allow him inside, that he was no longer an employee. I was not elated or dancing the wobbly legged touch-down strut, I just accepted what I knew was going to happen anyway. He apparantly offered her an ultimatum between my being fired, or his quitting. She told him to hit the fucking road.

I don't know what I ever did to offend the guy, maybe he had mustache envy of my foo-man-chu or maybe he was racist against Irish boys.

I don't know and am far from understanding and even farther from caring. I am just glad to have more hours on the schedule and be making a quarter more per hour.

Today is going to be a good day.

Tonight will be even better.

May you live in interesting times is often misattributed to the Chinese in terms of origin, but as Chinese scholars are perplexed (having first heard the phrase from Americans), its actual root probably comes from a 1950 science fiction story called "U-Turn" by Duncan H. Munro, a pseudonym for Eric Frank Russell. Science fiction indeed has some interesting times.

Last night, after spending the bulk of the day retching my guts out through all natural routes of expulsion, it dawned on me that Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was out in theaters. I had originally conceptualized myself seeing it at 12:01AM on Thursday morning, the soonest possible chance to see the last piece of this epic story.

But, then, I rationalized that my relationship with George Lucas has ever been one of an abusive relationship ("He beats me because he loves me,") and I didn't think I could glorify this final chapter with the last ounce of my strength on a night that immediately preceded a long work day. I decided I'd see it once the throngs of nerds passed by, and weren't hanging outside the theater in long lines, tweekers looking for the last pinch of coke.

But having spent the whole day in the pits of digestive despair, I lent myself a certain level of freedom from my own emotions. And I hopped on and picked up a pair of tickets for myself and my best friend cum neighbor. And off we dashed to see the final episode, dread in our hearts, excitement in our veins, and desperately interested in not being disappointed. Again.

What followed was two and a half hours of nearly uninterrupted bliss. Lucas apparently remembered what made his first trilogy so very unique and cherished: People on a screen who seem real dealing with what seem like real problems in what could be a real universe. The first prequels had us questioning his sanity, as he ripped through "our" universe with reckless abandon, spending 90% on glitz, and 10% on story. In this movie, however a special effects extravaganza unrivaled by any movie to this point it was, Lucas told a story. A story in which you could very nearly feel bad for the bad guy.

Maybe it's just me, but I almost saw myself in Darth Vader's fall; Misled by an Evil Emperor into doing wicked things that end up hurting the people we love. And even if I didn't see myself in that dark character, I was totally wrapped up in every single scene.

Except those scenes with Natalie Portman. She fell asleep at the wheel. Even Hayden out shined her in displayed acting talent. But, c'est la vie.

May you live in interesting times, compadres.

Racers like to talk. We call our discussions bench racing. Usually the subject is a pleasant one, how a certain BMW ended up in the gravel pit, what makes a 944 go fast, who made a great pass. But we’d gathered to put Glenn in the ground, so much of the conversation centered on the accident that took his life.

What caused it? Was he doing something wrong as first reports suggested? Talking to eyewitnesses suggested the opposite: Glenn’ has always been a safe worker. Witnesses said his actions were normal and responsible. Did race control screw up? Nope. The call was made quickly from the station. Control called an immediate red flag and got ambulance on track within 30 seconds, even before the cars had all stopped. Certainly it wasn’t the fault of the student driver. One simply does not crucify a driver for spinning a car at 120 MPH. We criticize him for not trying. Glenn’s death seems more like a cascade of low-probability events, the opposite of a lottery win. If I had been standing there you would probably be reading of my end.

I don’t believe in fate. That would required a determinant universe, and what worthy God would will something like the holocaust, Rwanda or the death of husband and father who loved racing more than anything? It wasn’t God or the fate that put Glenn at that corner, or led a rookie driver to make a rookie mistake. God didn’t will Glenn to die.

But trying to find a reason for everything can lead you to "what if’ yourself to death. What if Glenn had stood somewhere else? What if the driver hadn’t jerked his wheel at the wrong time? Where do the questions end?

All events have some cause. NASA has been pilloried by the loss of the Columbia and Challenger shuttles. Memos were found showing that some engineer correctly anticipated the problem that led to each disaster. What the investigations never showed were the ten thousand other memos suggesting terrible dangers that never happened. Was it hubris that led to these tragedies, or simply humanity? We are not perfect. We are not prescient. We can only do our best.

So even if Glenn’s death wasn’t something God wanted, it was His Will. Its what happened. It’s a lot more useful to remember his goofy laugh and joy in racing than to nit-pick his end. God's shoulders are broad enough to bear this weight.

So goodbye Glenn Miller. We argued, but I'm going to miss those arguments. I"m going to miss giving you a nice dark beer so you don't have to keep drinking cheap, lite beer. I'm gonna miss your jokes. And I'm going to miss working with you, like the time we teamed up to get that Formula Vee out of the tire wall. I'm really sorry that you won't see your son Doug race the Improved Touring C Rabbit you bought for him. But I promise you Doug will take that car out. We the racers have decided. And I promise to through him a big, mean blue flag. Just like you would have.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.