INVICTUS MASTER OF HIS FATE CAPTAIN OF HIS SOUL
Seamus Muldoon, Himself
There is an apocryphal story in which one considering the prospect of a retrieved retribution seeks the opinion of another whom he respects. The potential penitent asks, "When I arrive in paradise, having forsworn the pleasures of the flesh and otherwise of this world, in hope of greater reward in the world to come, what will that reward be?" His friend says, "Why, a bale of hay, you jackass!!!"
The pleasures of this world are here for the purpose of being enjoyed , in moderation I have finally learned. Discussing why it is so that the wicked prosper, while the ignorant and innocent are constantly being ripped off, my dear and cynical friend Jeff says that "If God did not intend for there to be shearing, she would not have created sheep." Actually, being Catholic, he referred to God as "He". Sorry about that, Jeff - little dig there, OK? We all know it is an indispensable article of faith that God be masculine, that only men may be priests and that women may not bestow sacraments, but must remain "silent in church", right? After all, if women were intended to study for the priesthood, the schools would not be called semenaries.
All of my old biker buddies are dead! I am the last. There are a few peripheral members, not the core group, who linger here on earth, but those I treasured have not survived. For the most part, they died after I became emeritus, else I might be among them still, languishing somewhere in heaven or hell. One died in prison. I sang "Amazing Grace" at his funeral at the Walls Unit Prison in Huntsville, Texas. Three months later his mother died, and his daughter told me it was among her last requests that I sing at her service. I did. Cal was the guy we were giving a last drunk to before he surrendered to start serving his time for killing a Mexican one night while far from sober. his last party was where I met Belinda. That meeting probably is why Iím still here and they are not.
Now if someone had said to me that thereís a gal out there someplace whose company Iíd prefer to getting on the motorcycle and raising hell all over creation, Iíd have said they were nuts. Hell, Iíd never met anybody like that in all my life. I suppose thereís a few of them out there, itís just that for the most part they wouldnít come near somebody like me with a stick. Imagine deciding not to go on the "Corrida Por Frijoles Y Cerveza" the "Run For Beans and Beer", a motorcycle trip with the baddest sumbitches in the world across the wildest parts of Mexico (Mexico being what it is these days), from Houston, Texas, over a round about route to Puerta Vallarta on Mexicoís west coast, over the "Espina del Diablo" the "Devilís Backbone Road" out of Durango, Mexico, an event of the Road Vermin Iron Ass Motorcycle Club. Do you know any gal worth giving that up for?
And it wasnít just that kind of riding either. While most bikers are either day riders or go-to-the -store or around the loop guys, old dead Mike and I thought nothing of riding three thousand miles round trip for one cold beer in one of our favorite joints. Of course we never had to prove that weíd do it for only one cold beer. Beer being what it is, why weíd have several. And maybe a damn sight more than that. We rode so fast that the police were so excited about catching us for speeding that they never noticed we were drunk. Back in those days we set every kind of hell raising record known to human kind. We used to hang out at the Cadillac Bar in Houston where I taught the staff to make a Muldoon Margherita - Muffy can tell you about them - sheís tasted one. A Muldoon margherita was made in a pitcher with a whole bottle of Cuervo Gold and damn little else - cost about $ 50 a drink plus tip. People used to watch the barman making one of them things in utter amazement. End of the evening the Houston Police used to trickle in and gather at the far end of the bar, buy the back door, and bet on whether weíd make it out of the parking lot alive. That was back in the good old days, when cops didnít fuck with you just because you had been drinking. Mothers Against Drunk Driving ought to all be taken out and summarily shot. Drunk drivers never killed enough people to make a difference in anything. Besides, everybody here knows that drunk drivers cause lower unemployment. Think about that.
That day at Spectators, with Old Cal about to go to his last round-up jail term, and all of his buddies giving him hell about the difference in the dimensions of his asshole then versus what they would be by the time he got out, was one of those high watermark experiences on many levels. None of us could have known that that was the last weíd see of Old Cal, or of Charlie Daniels who died in a bad wreck soon after, or that Mike was living out his last two years. On that plain it was apocryphal.
But on another plain it turned out to be the big opening in the rainclouds of my life through which a perpetual sunlight would shine at least from then to now, in 1999.
I have always thought that what lawyers lacked most was the ability to discern, and translate that discernment into an observable attitude, that we certainly are no better than anyone else. We drink too much of our own bathwater. We dress up, coat and tie, use a discrete vocabulary of bullshit words that others donít understand when we could talk plainly and do just as well, and we cop an attitude of condescension that should be unforgivable. And every month the bar journal comes out with a whiny lament that folks donít like us. Women often like us because they think that nabbing a lawyer is some assurance of financial and social stability. Sometimes it is and sometimes it aint, and sometimes it is but it aint worth what you have to live with. Lots of guys who aint lawyers, who are probably very fine people, but have an ordinary job or are maybe what people call "blue collar", sometimes will tell girls theyíre a lawyer or insurance agent or some other story that they think will make them perceived to be something special and maybe get some action from it. Itís got so in Houston that the gals donít hardly believe you anyway if you tell em youíre a lawyer. Theyíre on to the bullshit. If you say youíre a lawyer, you start out with a big credibility gap. So good sense ought to tell you never to say to a good looking gal that you just met that you are a lawyer. With some imagination you can come up with something that will really turn her on, that has nothing to do with lawyerisms. If you do it credibly, youíll never tell a gal again that youíre an attorney.
Thereís a story about a long haul trucker, pulls up in a small town motel at dayís end and tells the desk clerk to send him up a whore. Soon, knock on his door, nice looking local girl comes into the room, small talk eventually getting to "What do you do?", and the fool tells her heís a long haul trucker. She says she donít need any of them diseases that truckers carry around everywhere and leaves. Trucker calls down and tells the clerk to send him up another whore. Clerk asks what happened. Trucker tells him. Clerk says "Donít tell these local girls youíre a trucker. None of em will do it with a trucker. Make something up. Hell, tell em youíre a damn lawyer or something." Next gal comes a knockin at the door, comes into the room, small talk, "What do you do?", "Why Iím an attorney at law." That works and they get in bed and start to get it on. A moment later heís laughing so hard that he canít do it, rolls off the bed on the floor laughing so hard he can hardly catch his breath. Sheís upset and asks whatís so damn funny, thinking itís something about her. He says "Lady, it just occurred to me that here I am a lawyer for only about ten minutes, and Iím already puttin a fuckin on somebody."
Other than Old Cal having to go inside, it was a very happy part of my life. I was well into my fifties, everything works all the time and on little notice, I can still raise hell with the best of em, and I aint doin bad as a lawyer either. I was living on airplanes, trying cases every which way and in every which place, coast to coast and border to border. Life is good. And my love/lust life, as of that day, was booked solidly for at least the next two months.
Around six oíclock or so, I turn around on my barstool, and there before me is a very lovely green eyed blonde lady with a look and a smile that is simply unbelievable. So I slurp "Hello" at her, and she, ignoring for the moment that I might be somewhat unprepared for such an encounter, says "Hello" back. Truth to tell, she was mad as hell, having been stood up for an after office hours date for cocktails and dinner. But you couldnít tell, cause she aint the kind thatíll let on whatís going on inside her head. Well, we had a little small talk that finally got around to "What do you do?" To which I said that I was looking for work, having just got out of prison on work release. I did see a look of surprise. I have to be the only guy ever told her something like that. She looked a little shocked, but never to be flustered, she calmly asked how long Iíd been away and in which prison. I told her that I had been in Huntsville prison for four and a half years and that this was the first time in a very long time that I had been close to a really good lookin woman, and that I was really gettin turned on. Well, she got the hell out of there real fast. She went over to be with some folks she obviously knew and, I later heard, asked if anyone knew that bastard over there at the bar that says he just got outa jail. Somebody said, oh, him? Heís a lawyer from downtown. Well, it didnít take to long before she was back asking me all about what it was really like in prison and all, and I was telling her all about prison life based upon my extensive experience seeing prison movies, and her pretending to believe it because she had seen a lot of prison movies too. As always happens, I end up inviting her over to my place for dinner soon. One of her other friends tells her that I aint a predator and that itís safe to come over for dinner, and that the food and wine will be very good. I tell her that Iím gonna have to make a few phone calls and clear a deck or two. Like I said, it took about two months to clear the decks of my ship of love/lust, and she was getting pissed at being neglected. But, in the end, she did come to dinner, and we have been together for eight years. Belinda is by far the smartest person, the most logical person, the best people person I have ever met in my life. She loves good humor, doing whatever, is my best friend, and the person I trust most in the world. I love her dearly, and Iíd really rather just have breakfast with her than go on any big deal motorcycle trip. Iíve had a lot of motorcycle trips. They were all good. Now Iíve moved on. As you might imagine, when you meet the right person and settle down, you may also come to an amendment of life of watershed proportions. Thatís what happened to me. Morso than any other adjustment I ever made. I never met anyone who wasnít truly impressed by what a marvelous person she really is. Unlike me, you can take her anywhere with a perfect feeling of security that she wonít embarrass you.
Belinda always liked the Mike and Seamus stories, at least through the first two tellings. She especially liked the story about Mikeís big motorcycle accident. One night Mike was doing his tenured stint on a barstool at the Paradise Club out on highway 290, then a mostly Vietnamese titty bar that he liked because it reminded him of those wonderful years in Vietnam during the war. Thatís where he learned all about foreplay - either an exchange of cash or the sound of a 12 gauge round being racked into the chamber. His girls used to complain that he never bothered with any cuddling or anything like that when they were gonna do it. He just did it. Wonderful humanist that he was, when I discussed their lament with him he said "I donít do it for them. I do it for me."
Mike, being a true Scot in many ways, was very frugal. His habituating an expensive titty bar was totally out of character. Anyway, one night around closing time, he staggered out of the Paradise Club, jumped on his bike and tried to do an Evel Knievel over a highway median barrier. He didnít make it. They had to call his old lady to come get him, and his bike was a real mess. Next month she noticed that their Visa Card bill was over five thousand dollars. That and the proximity of his wreck to the Paradise Club and that the thousands of dollars on the Visa Card were all from the Paradise Club, caused her to get a bit suspicious. She even called me up and asked if I had gone with Mike to Ray OíMalleyís funeral in Washington. Now OíMalley aint dead. But that apparently was Mikeís alibi for a week with one of them titty dancers from the Paradise Club, a very young (much too young in fact) anglo teenager from east Texas, dancin her way through life at the Paradise Club. From then on, her code name became "The Widow O"Malley". As you can imagine, his old lady pulled the plug on the marriage. That condemned Mike to a few years of riding his motorcycle wherever and whenever he wanted and screwing his brains out in between cold beers and bacon cheeseburgers.
One night, about 3 am, we got a call from his then "roommate" saying that he had died of a heart attack. Belinda and I drove up to Dripping Springs, Texas, where Mike had his place by the Perdinales River, to help with the funeral arrangements, having called his daughter and his other wives to give them the sad news. Upon our arrival at the funeral parlor, Mikeís "live-in" called me aside to inform me that she and Mike were common law husband and wife and that she would be expecting to be treated accordingly out of his estate. WOW!!! I told her she would need to get a lawyer other than me to advise her. I know less than nothing about estates law and had a conflict anyway due to my relationship with the ex wives and children.
There ensued a three year battle over his estate. It was a mess, complete with a holographic will which (unbeknownst to me) Mike must have written while really drunk on a Friday night before going off to Bike Week in Daytona. It purported to leave a lot to the current enamorata. You have to know Mike to appreciate the deviousness of the situation. Truth was, Mike was "out of trust" on the trust fund he was administering for his kids that his mother had left upon her death. He had used that money, improperly, to build the house by the Perdinales. It turned out that he had used so much from the trust that it would take his entire estate to make restitution to his kidsí trust. So the cohabitess, no matter what the so-called "will" or the laws of Texas, said about her getting anything, was simply out of luck. I always believed that Mike was totally aware of how that would play out when he wrote that "will" and that it was his big joke on a gal who would try to get as much as she could upon his demise. I know he never intended to marry her, because he and I had many a talk about her wanting to get married and his swearing never to do that again.
Mike was the guy who took the pictures of me buying drinks for and hugging the ugliest old whore in Mexico. All the guys always wanted to go to "boys town" in every Mexican border town we ever visited - after we were all drunk. Mike and I would never actually do nuthin with em except buy em a beer and bullshit with em (for which time we always paid em just like they expected). In Ciudad Acuna, our favorite cantina town, where all the Aggie freshmen go for their first sexual experience other than with farm animals, thereís this snaggle toothed old whore who was my favorite. She was very old and hadnít aged well, even for a bordertown Mexican whore. Mike has/had a whole album of pictures of her and me sitting next to each other drinking cerveza and mescal, lookin dreamy eyed at each other, that heíd whip out whenever the opportunity arose. If you ever want to meet the entire Texas Aggie football team, go to Boys Town in Acuna right after they win a game. The boosters take em there and buy em Mexican pussy all night long.
Americans are funny, in that they have no concept that Mexico aint the USA. They think they have rights, that the police have certain boundaries of behavior not to be crossed. Wrong!!! In Mexico the police are as much a crime threat as any bandito out in the wilds. Whenever we showed up anywhere in Mexico and pulled up in front of a cantina, the local cops would be there before we had ourselves shook out and were ready to go inside and whoop it up. Theyíd walk around, say "Buenos Dias", comment on how nice the motorcycles were, which was not to compliment you at all, but to call to your attention that when you came out of the cantina the bikes wouldnít be there unless you hired a couple of cops to watch em. I remember going down a rather quiet street in Piedras Negras, approaching an intersection. Cop leaning against the side of a building saw me coming, stepped into the intersection and held up his hand for us to stop. We stopped and he just stood there not allowing us to go on until we took up a collection for him, at which he smiled and waived us on our way. They can and will drag your ass off and you may be found out in the bush a few months later. Meanwhile they would have raped your date till she was comatose, and she would be found wandering around the streets, bloody and in tatters. Mexico aint no place to mess with.
An old girl friend of mine named her pussy Peaches. It so happens thereís, or there was, a Peaches whorehouse in Key West with its own parking lot and a sign saying Parking For Peaches Customers Only. Mike took my picture in front of the sign and we sent it to my girlfriend. She was embarrassed and wanted to know if I had told Mike the story about her naming her pussy Peaches. I said "What do you think?"
One night in New Orleans, Mike awoke around 10 pm from the post luncheon nap. Lunch in New Orleans always meant visiting one bar, an oyster bar (probably Felixís) and a restaurant for the main course. This was always followed by a long nap, then up to go raise hell. Dinner never happened. Hell,, you didnít need no dinner. On this particular evening I didnít awake till midnight. Mike was gone, but I knew the route, so I just followed it. I caught up to him near routeís end when I walked by what looked like a deserted alley, in the back of which was a sleazy (even for New Orleans), knife fight saloon from which emanated Mikeís bellowed greeting "Hey, Shit-For-Brains!" We was wondering when youíd show up." Such a greeting simply canít go unaccepted, so I ventured in. There was Old Mike with two fat, sweaty, smelly whores, one of whose mother was also a "dancer" there at the My-Oh-My Club. Big Jill and Little Jill got up on stage and did their anchovy pizza dance, while Baby Needle Tracks kept old Mike occupied with a cold beer and a hand job. Mike had been there for about an hour before I got there, was buyin drinks for the ladies, which were mostly water or "champagne" (yeah, right). He proudly announced that these two massive blobs of flesh were going with us to Florida in the morning (with a wink of the eye) and that he had saved Little Jill for me (as well as Little Jillís bar tab). Little Jill and Baby Needle Tracks were ecstatic at the prospect of a full weekís employment whoring around with Mike and me. About an hour later I managed to get us thrown out of there by insisting on singing the Ave Maria in a very loud voice. The bill was over $ 300.
We always seemed to attract big, smelly whores. Like the time in Perry Florida when we ordered a large platter of nachos so we could look like we were eating as well as drinking and wait out the local deputy sheriff who was at the other end of the bar just waiting for us to leave so he could arrest and fleece two drunk Texas bikers. The nachos were just too greasy and soggy to eat, so we just left them on the counter. A few minutes later these two maneaters yelled "Anybody gonna eat dem fuckin nachos?" They barely waited till Mike told them to help themselves. They went down on that nacho platter, making slurping and grunting sounds like a hog in heat. They adopted us and the high deputy sheriff gave up and left.
Thereís a McDonalds on I-95, just north of Jaxonville, Florida where I stopped for coffee and to give my butt a rest one morning. As I was standing by my bike, sipping my coffee, an Oldsmobile with two elderly New York Jewish couples pulled into an adjacent parking space. The first little old lady out of the car was eying me and came over and inquired "So tell me, youíre a policeman?" I said no. She asked what I did. I told her I was a lawyer. She yelled "Moishe, come over here. You wanna see a lawyer on a motorcycle?" And turning to me said "Oh, I get it. Youíre a criminal lawyer."
I almost got ejected from a reception at the new offices of a Chicago law firm, some of the partners at which are friends of mine. I was a speaker at an American Bar Association meeting on the subject of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and had ridden up to Chicago on the bike. We were standing around the bar getting a refill when one of the younger partners, a quintessential Jewish American Princess, was told by someone else that I had come to Chicago from Houston, Texas on a motorcycle. She was aghast. Then he told her that the motorcycle would accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. She exclaimed "Why would you risk your earning power on a motorcycle?" Now what else did I expect her to say. Thatís her slant on life, right? But, being me, I asked " Whenís the last time you had something that hot between your legs, maam?"
Those were years and experiences I would never want to have missed. Now, restaurant adventure also behind me, crazy Europeans killing each other off all over again - they never learn a fucking thing - with our military commander in chief a lying, yellow belly draft dodging doper and sexual predator who sold our atomic secrets to the Chinese, I can contemplate a new life of contentment with Belinda. Soon my daughter will be a Doctor. I still have my own hair and teeth, and everything works - yes, everything. Thank you Jesus. When I look at who is running the world, I feel truly superior.
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