2018 no edit Mirror Image Edutainment, Alan John Mayer
WRITER’S CAVEAT: This post has not been edited since it was posted. I offer no apologies for misplaced or missing commas, excessive use of the words have, had, that, and excessive exclamation points.
Wednesday at around 6:00 I took Pokey into Hollywood to his old stomping grounds, DeLongpre Park. Three blocks before we even got there, he was already whimpering on the verge of a howl. He knew where he was. By the time I had parked, he was having a difficult time containing himself. I got out of the car first and Pokey tried so hard to heel until we had crossed the street. Once inside the gates of the park, I let him off his leash and he shot off in the direction of a pack of four or five dogs frolicking on the grass.
Pokey likes to play with all colors, sizes and breeds of dogs though he does seem urged on by smaller dogs which he teases then runs away from. Nonetheless, he went right into having a good time mode.
As I entered the park, the air was heavy with cigar smoke. I find cigar smoke highly offensive as it reminds me of my life at fifteen when I found myself in a foster home of drunk cigar smokers in the God forsaken city of Essen, Germany. Essen is directly in the heart of Europe’s coal mining country – the Ruhr Valley, sounds romantic. It’s not. That Christmas I flew to Berlin to visit my step-grandmother and never returned, showing up instead at my favorite aunt’s house in Bad Honnef. It is those memories that I cling to with yearning reflection.
I walked over to a bench and leaned on the back of it to relax. My first instinct is always to follow Pokey as I never know when he is going to leave a treat for me. Suddenly a big cloud of cigar smoke hit me. I looked for the source and saw a man about 6’4’’ tall, wearing sunglasses and a cap, white t-shirt, and blue jeans. Oh wait, he was standing on one of the rocks, so I guess he was just over five and a half feet and short — of thirty.
“Your cigar stinks” I yelled from fifty feet away. Though three other voyagers turned and looked at me, he did not. I repeated myself, “your cigar stinks” I said. He turned, stepped off the rock, and began walking toward me. I thought he was coming closer and expected him to say, “beg your pardon?” but he didn’t.
“Yeah? And you stink too, asshole” he said from about thirty feet.
Oh shit, I thought, just what I need another angry overtly hostile Hollywood personality with a manner disorder.
“It’s posted at the gate smoking is prohibited in the park” I said, “I just thought I would prevent you from getting a ticket.”
“Mother fucker” he said into my face, “don’t you go telling me what to do.” Immediately I felt aware of the situation. I pinpointed my fear and voice spoke, “don’t speak”. Which one if any of these dozen or so people in the park are going to come to my rescue if this guy gets really violent? Not one, I thought. I heard a voice say, “breathe.”
I took a deep breath, pulled my shoulders back, and hoisted myself up to my full six-foot stature (with my hair up) then I held my hand up to him and said, “It’s a mirror.” The idea did enter my mind to tell him I know karate (and six other Japanese words) but I already sensed his fear when I calmly walked away.
I don’t like to fight for any reason. I will do anything to avoid conflict. I’ll be honest, I’ve been chicken ever since I was beat up in fifth grade and didn’t get over the big fear until I had to defend myself myself as an adult and had attacker on the ground begging me to stop twisting his balls. If my Dad taught me anything, it was that the pen is mightier than the sword.
“You have an attitude problem,” I said walking away.
“And you do too mother fucker” he said taking a step toward me. “Walk away,” I heard a voice say.
“Come Pokey, it’s time to go” I called, as I walked away. We had just arrived. I didn’t have the heart to pull Pokey away from his friends. It wasn’t long before he had the pact running in circles after him with another dog’s ball in his mouth before getting them in line for the conga dance, aka the Hokey Pokey. I was pleased to see that the man who never took off his sunglasses had walked away. I watched to see which dog was held captive by the malcontent, when he suddenly began to leave taking with him the un-neutered hound dog with the swinging balls and the slobbering mouth. I kept an eye on the man as he left the gate to see if he was going to damage my car. He walked around toward me outside the eight foot fence, still muttering.
“I’m glad you stood up to him. His smoking was bothering me too, “ a woman told me. “He’s just displaying his own deficiencies. Any person who doesn’t neuter his dog in this day and age is a nut case“ she said.
“Unless you’re a breeder and in that case, we don’t need you because there are plenty enough dogs in the world to go around,“ I said. I had to ask myself again, why is it that some people just don’t get it? This man was such a different experience than the god who was walking down Erwin naked last month. I was pleased with myself at how I had handled the situation and pleased as well that I stood up for what I believe in. We have got to stand for something or we are libel to fall for anything. Now my prayer,
Dear Lord of my being,
I know there is one life.
This life is God.
This life is perfect.
This life is my life now.
I am learning the importance of living my life in devotion to you, working, and feeding my body out of devotion to you, serving you though others. I read in all religions, the key to my life is to find my way back to Godhead. Please help me Lord to be a divine instrument of your love.
I accept this.
I release my prayer knowing it returns to me in good faith.
And so it is.