Mascots have feelings too; they hurt like the rest of us. But kids are so inconsiderate and cruel, disregarding the feelings of a mascot, hitting him in the gonads, as if he won’t even feel it. I need to spend a day as a mascot to experience an average “day in the life” as a mascot. And I will. And I will be a white bunny.
Some conservative Southern Christians act like every other word that comes out of your mouth should be about God. I can’t relate to that. If every other word out of my mouth was about Jesus, I am sure I would have difficulty relating to the very people He’d like me to be relating to.
I have people telling me things, things they say “God told them to tell me”, but I know it’s not Him. They assume I have my ears closed to His voice, and they even tell me I’m following the devil. They act like they’re the only ones with a direct line to God. But the messages they bring are as far off from His voice as a regular old American dude failing at an Irish accent; like my buddy Chris Dill when he used to try to sound like an Irishman, sounding more like Cheech Marin than Colin Farrell.
Today my grandpa told me that “people who say they hear from God are crazy”. He did the little crazy sign, with his finger twirling at the side of his head when he said it. I think he’s right to some extent and for a large majority of people who claim to be mouth pieces for God, but I do hear God every day. Maybe not in the audible form. Wouldn’t that be nice! But I hear God in more subtle ways; sometimes it’s actual sounds, sometimes it’s feelings that resonate in my soul in the way vibrations might fill the inside of a bell, and sometimes I even hear Him through sounds of sight…really, really loud actions. Like…
The other day I heard this kid laugh. It was a fairly “normal” kid laugh, but something hit me in a strange way. I stopped. Something jumped up and down in my spirit, and I knew it was God speaking. He was saying He was happy.
The other night in the Castro, on my last night in San Francisco, I saw this young homeless dude sitting on the street with a sign that said, “All I want is a hamburger,” the A’s, of the hand-written characters on the cardboard, replaced with anarchy signs. I heard God speak through that sign. He was saying He was hungry.
Before I could get out my thought of buying a burger for the dude my brother, a self-proclaimed atheist, said he wanted to buy the guy a burger. He walked into a burger joint and bought a burger, making sure to get the order exactly how the kid wanted it. I heard God speak through my brother. He was saying “Here. Have a burger dude.”
On the very same night my brother, pregnant sister-in-law, and I had this crazy a capella jam session with this random dude who was a cross between Michael Jackson and Dave Chappelle, who had been chilling with his stoner, self-proclaimed-Roseanne-Bar-look-alike girlfriend. “Dave”, fairly inebriated, flagged us down, for reasons I do not remember. Then the music started, because we made it. He pointed to me and said, “Oooooooooh oooooooh ooooooh (singing)! You sing that!” And I did, and Bill jumped in, and then Darcy, and then Dave sang over our ooooooh’s with the melody. We harmonized. It was beautiful, to us. Dave said the harmony hit him in a special way, a way that was better than 20 billion dollars (though he’d actually rather have the money), and a way that meant he did not need anything else for Christmas. We all agreed it was magic. Dave looked up at the sky and said, “Why you fucking with me Michael?!” obviously talking to the late great MJ. It was strange, but it also made sense at the time. He didn’t know where these random “harmonizing white boys” came from, nor did we know his origins, but that moment was meant to be, and it seemed so perfect. It truly was magic. And I heard God speak. He said He liked our music.
I liked it too. And so did Dave. And Bill. And quite a few passing people.
And now I’m sitting here, not really able to sleep, and my friend, who I haven’t seen in eleven years, is texting me and randomly inviting me to come with his family on a trip to Hawaii. I don’t know if I’ll go or not, but it sounds like fun. And I heard God speak. He said I need to learn to hope again. Yeah, you might not have recognized that one, and that is because God knows me in a special way and I know Him in an equally special fashion, and sometimes we communicate in secret code, like little kids who make up fake languages with their friends in elementary school.
You may think you’re giving me a “message from God”, when it’s only making as much sense to my soul as that Arabic song I heard the other day; I didn’t understand it at all. At the same time, you may not be trying to speak on God’s behalf, and He might be using you to send me a message loud and clear. But I trust that God knows what I need to hear when I need to hear it. And as long as I am open to hear it, I will hear his voice. And I trust that God will speak to you in the special way that you two have developed, and I will not be assumptious enough to think that it would be through me, though I also don’t mind.
Tomorrow morning, bright (or more likely dark) and early, I am off on an epic adventure of solitude, visiting old friends, seeing the small town where some of my distant relatives were massacred, eventually delivering some stuff to my brother and sister-in-law, and whatever else I get into in between. That’s right! ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAD TRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!! I’m driving this thing,
from Tennessee to California. The entire trip would be around 48 hours or so if I did it in a straight shot, but I’m breaking it up, for obvious reasons. Tomorrow I’ll drive to Columbia, Missouri to stop off and see my friend Brooke, who I met in South Africa WAAAAAAY back in 2001 or so. She’s from Missouri but met and married a cool Somalian dude named Mussa when she was in Cape Town. They moved back to the states, time went at the speed of light, and now they have four beautiful kids. I’ll stay with them until Tuesday.
Tuesday I’m headed through to Coffeyville, Kansas for a quick stop to see the place where the infamous Dalton Gang‘s (actual relatives of mine) successful crime spree was put to a dead (literally) halt by the kind folks of the small town. You can read about it here if you’re interested. I’ll probably stop and check out this museum, because it should give me all the information I’ve been longing for and, well, it’s probably the only thing in that town. Then I’ll roll out of town like the hombre I am and keep heading West, making sure to wipe the dust off of my feet before leaving the town who killed my gun slingin’ cousins.
I’ll keep driving Tuesday, and end up somewhere in Texas (preferably Amarillo, but I’m flexible), hoping not to run into George W. or the Hanson brothers. I’ll sleep in Amarillo, or where ever I find to lay my weary head, and then wake up on Wednesday and keep heading West. I’ll go through New Mexico and Arizona, and will probably stop somewhere in Arizona to sleep for the night. Flagstaff? That’s in Arizona right? Or maybe even further! Who knows?! Definitely not me because I have a terrible sense of direction, which could make for some interesting blog entries.
And then, when I wake up (where ever I may find myself) on Thursday, I will hit the last leg of the trip; possibly the most anticipated part: seeing my brother Bill, pregnant sister-in-law Darcy, my unborn niece Callie (inside Darcy’s belly), and my two dog nephews Rocket and Buster (Wow. I used every type of colon in that strange sentence). So Thursday afternoon I will end up somewhere in San Francisco, California, hopefully way before 8:00 PM (because we have to unload all the baby stuff my mom is sending with me) and get the rental car back by then. And then it’s on!
Yes, you may have heard of the First Annual Dalton Decathlon, or maybe even the Second Annual Dalton Decathlon. Buckle your safety belts and get ready for the THIRD Anual Dalton Decathlon, where anything can happen (and it usually does) and anything goes (and by anything I mean wearing some sort of clothes that are way too tight and going out in public to embarrass ourselves). This year Darcy is pregnant, and we are taking no prisoners. Here’s a little taste from the previous years:
First Annual Dalton Decathlon
Second Annual Dalton Decathlon
My road trip music selection includes: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West, Seeing Sounds by N.E.R.D, a CD of Gregorian Chanting, Sublime’s self titled album, The Grey Album by DJ Danger Mouse, and a Ray Charles greatest hits double disk. So yeah, that’s random. This should be fun!!!!!!!
Pretty much every day since I’ve been in the States I’ve really been wanting to call Auntie Margaret, just to say hi, and tell them I made it safe, and to check in on the kids. This whole time difference thing really throws a guy off. Every time I’ve thought to call she’s either been at work or it’s the middle of the night. But finally this morning I remembered at a decent time, plus it’s Saturday and she doesn’t work.
So I called. She said, “When are you coming back?” I told her I’m not sure yet. I asked how the kids are. She said, “They’re crying a lot.” I’m not sure if she is exaggerating about that. She asked again when I was coming back and I told her again that I don’t know. She said, “Well, you better come back before Christmas.” Well Auntie Margaret…Hmmm?
Just before I left South Africa I signed an option agreement with Made In Africa Films for The Artist, one of the scripts I’ve written. I’m pretty excited about this project. It was a bit surreal to wake up this morning and see this link, even if it is just the poster and synopsis. It’s still very early on in development and, just like any script, it also stands a chance of not getting made. But I am feeling positive about this project and would love to see it on the big screen. You could help it get there by being interested.