These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

an old man has gone out to sea...not to return

my grandfather, octavio garcia, died this morning about 1 t0 2 this morning. he was in a nursing home for the past few months due to his declining health.

i last saw my grandfather a few weeks back while i was in texas for my aunt's funeral. we stopped by after the bereavement luncheon. he was in bed, body frail, but eyes still sharp. he still had a wit about him, too.

his mind was a steel trap. as i sat there, he started talking about death in a roundabout way. a few siblings left, his younger brother and sister and himself. he told me how old they were. he went on to talk about the cost of luggage while flying. it surprised me because that's not a topic one simply talks about for fun. he must've heard it somewhere, filed it away, and brought it up since i was flying back the next day.

i left him as he sipped on a dr. pepper. i told him not to curse at the nurses, even though he said they were a pain. it was a good visit. i'm glad i had that hour with him. most of it was spent alone, since mom went out several times to get him something. at least i have that to remember him and not some vague memory from half a year or more ago (it would have been christmas when i saw him previously at his house. and he was fine, then.)

i remembert him as a smart man. he was a self-taught mechanic. he knew the ins and outs of a car engine like no one else. people would come to his home to ask him about cars. he knew his shit.

he was the kind of person that could have gone on to college and gotten a degree in something if he was in a different place and time. he didn't finish high school only because of a teacher. so he left in the twelth grade.

he was a voracious reader. i think that's where i get my love of reading. he passed it on to his daughter, my mom, and that got passed on to me. it's a wonderful gift to pass on. thanks, buelito.

growing up, what i remember most of him is him smelling like gasoline from working on cars. he always has grease under fingernails from his work.

i love you, buelo.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"It" ain't the same

i picked up (or checked out on cassette) stephen king's "it." i've read the lengthy novel a handful of times. every once in awhile i pick it up again. so i decided to do it again some weeks. back.

i found as i made my way through it this time that i didn't really enjoy it. if i remember correctly, the previous time i read it, i also lost interest in it.

this time, it happened. i stopped reading it. hell, i was about 80 percent done with it. i stopped adn thought, this isn't working for me. so i put it up and began another book (hemingway's "death in the afternoon" about bullfighting).

i found the book very unbelievable. yes, i know, it's horror fiction, it ain't gonna happen. it ain't real. but the fiction lost its realness. there were things in there i didn't buy. the kids cussed quite a bit. i didn't buy it. it seemed unnatural to me. unnecessary (what am i saying, i love to cuss!). too many coincidences occurred. didn't buy it. there was simply too much perversity that i wasn't digging.

i asked dawn. she said she never really liked the novel, either. it took me longer to admit it. after all, it's one of king's most well-known novels. but i am done reading it. i doubt if i'll ever pick it up again.