Friday, April 7, 2017


Journal entry: Woke up at 6:00 am with Cheeky squatting on my chest, his stiff little legs pile driving into my breast bone, staring down at me with his beady black eyes. He's usually so cuddly in the morning. What the fuck? Then he jumped off the bed and rocketed down the loft ladder, accidentally turning on the radio. Between pledge drive nonsense on my local NPR station I learned that Trump had bombed Syria. Could this be what had Cheeky so riled up? When I mentioned this, he headed for the litter box and squatted. I told him to relax, maybe it won't lead to nuclear war. "It'll all be OK Cheeky. We've been through worse." By the smell emitting from the box I gather he's not buying it. In either case, it's barely light out and way too early for disarmament policy discussion.
    I make coffee and open up the lap top. First I check Uncensored Sullivan County for hate mail. Thankfully things had calmed down. After proposing a name change for Sullivan County on this right wing hater site, I received the predictable discouragement. "Go jerk-off and kill yourself, asswipe." was a popular response. A lot of likes. The only way to deal with these knuckle headed Republicans is to dismiss or condescend, and neither is much fun for long. So I let that rest. Next step is to read over what ever I wrote last night and see if any of it holds up. Some does, some doesn't. It's been a tough couple of weeks for people being sick and dying. My good friend Eyse Steinman, who had been fighting a sickness succumbed and yesterday I got word of Sal Sigia going into hospice. Both of these people are beautiful, funny, dear members of the CLGM family. It sucks. Hollie Witchey called from a cab yesterday on the way to visit Sal, and needed a pep talk as she was a little reticent to see him laid out with tubes. As I was encouraging her, telling her how it was kind of a beautiful experience to watch my mom.....and as I say "mom" I complete choked up and began blubbering like a baby. So much for me giving somebody else the strength to carry on. I'm not much of a pastor.
   All of this is leading up to the knock on the door I had about two hours ago. A man I didn't recognize introduced himself. He said he was a neighbor down the road and he had a problem. A family who were too upset to come out of his car and too bashful to ask me needed a favor. I had no idea where he was going with this. "Their rabbit died and they needed a place to bury it. I didn't know where else to go," I thought the guy was pulling my leg. But he looked like he was going to cry too. My first reaction was to laugh. "I don't want a dead rabbit in my yard." He just frowned. Then as he was turning to go I said, "Wait. I have a spot down the road." I remembered I actually have a cemetery with only one resident, Jerry Williams. I don't know how Willie felt about rabbits, but he loved cats. Close enough. I gave the man instructions and told him they could bury their rabbit in the CLGM cemetery.
    A hour later I received a phone call. It was the mother of the little girl who buried her rabbit. She said her daughter would've called me, but she was too upset. She told me the rabbit "La Bella Luna" turned out to be a boy rabbit and had traveled all over the world. They were from Germany and she said Osterhout means "Easter skin" in German. "Luna" was a member of the family and was the smartest, most loving creature any of them had known. Then she started to cry, which once again got me choked up. I told her that her family could go visit Luna's grave any time they wished. In between sobs, she thanked me repeatedly and said her daughter was going to place flowers on the hollow log where they laid Luna to rest. I guess I'm not too bad of a pastor after all. Like the sign says- all are welcome.  


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