Yesterday I decided to take a day off from yard work and tree house duties and go out to Wildomar to visit my cousin Dave. Dave’s dealing with a serious Parkinson’s like disability that has taken it’s toll on his health and well being and forced him into an early disability retirement. Except for a text now and then I haven’t talked to him for a couple of weeks and just wanted to see how he’s doing. I tried getting a hold of him to let him know I was coming out, but my texts went unanswered. It was possible that he was out at a doctors appointment or something but I thought it more likely that his phone was off or he was asleep, so I decided to go out there anyway. Besides it was a beautiful day for a drive.
Traffic was light as I headed out the 57 freeway towards Corona. I had taken along my Ipod and was trying to decide what I wanted to listen to. I wanted something that Dave and I both enjoyed but nothing obvious like the Beatles, Stones or Zeppelin. I thought about maybe some Donovan, ‘Sunshine Superman’ or ‘Season of the Witch’ or possibly Arthur Lee and Love. One of Dave’s all time favs was ‘Signed DC” it was one of the first songs we learned to play on guitar. then it hit me like a ton of bricks, suddenly I knew who I wanted to listen to. Yeah the artist I had in mind, tapped into the darker side of our psyche, he was a man renowned for his dark prose and outrageous stage presence, his rebellious yet playful nature and music could incite the masses. Jim Morrison.
Yep Jim Morrison and the Doors was the perfect group to listen to as I drove out to Dave’s. Morrison was a bad boy, a hero from the dark side who gave a new voice to rock music. The music he made with the Door’s broke on through to the other side and took us with it! It rocked our world! It was music with an attitude. It caused us to challenge and question authority, and believe me at that time Dave and I had an attitude. We were wanna be bad boys, the Lizard King was our guru, I mean this was the guy who told Ed Sullivan that he would change the words to ‘Light My Fire’ on national TV, then went out there and sang the song as written, basically telling old Ed to go screw himself! Jim didn’t care that he was banned from the popular TV show. Right or wrong, he did things his way.
For nearly an hour I listened to the Doors as I drove, The mega hits like ‘Break on Through,’ ‘Light My Fire,’ ‘Riders on the Storm,’ ‘L.A. Woman’ ‘Love Me Two Times” ‘Take It As It comes,’ ‘The WASP’, ‘The End,’ and so many more, lost in a collage of memories from the age of angst and recalling some incredible times that Dave and I shared. It’s funny how certain songs trigger memories in such vivid detail. Events, people and places all trapped there among the lyrics. Yeah the Doors were the perfect choice.
By the time I got to Dave’s house I half expected to see the Dave of old complete with long hair and Army field jacket. Instead the past caught up with us and I found Dave pouring over a ton of insurance documents. He was surprised to see me and looked okay, but certainly not the Dave of old or even just a few years ago. Sadly he is only a shadow of his former self. In spite of it he remains pretty upbeat about the whole thing. We spent some time catching up on his situation with the insurance companies and his recent approval for permanent disability status. We also talked about his upcoming appointment with a new local doctor and the procedure to re-position his DBS implants.
After a visit from a social worker he and I went out to Temecula for lunch. Yeah Dave has always been good at finding these little hole in the wall Mexican Restaurants in small strip malls that serve incredibly good food. He out did himself this time. We went to a little place called Lucy’s and the food was awesome! We had a delicious lunch and a great visit. After lunch I drove Dave home and told him I’d be coming out again next week. I suggested that we might go to Escondido next time and have lunch and a couple of beers at Stone Brewery. He said he looked forward to it.
As we got closer to his house we began talking about all the shit we’ve been through and how lucky we are to be here, in our 60’s! We laughed about it and came to the conclusion that everything we are currently going through, the lives we are living, are simply another piece in the puzzle called life and it’s just like we’ve always been fond of saying, “It just part of the trip.”
Funny, I didn’t listen to any music the entire way home. I had too much on my mind.