Deadhead Sticker On A Cadillac

I saw a lot of Deadhead stickers back in the day, but I came from a town full of deadheads.  I don’t think that I have ever seen an Eagles sticker on anything, some tee-shirts sure, but deadheads are more fanatical and they enjoyed marking their territory with stickers and symbols.  Unless you have been hiding in the sand for the last 49 years, then you have probably seen a few Grateful Dead logos featuring the infamous red and blue skull and lightning bolt, or the “Steal your Face” design that was made in 1969, as a collaborative work of Owsley Stanley and artist Bob Thomas.  The Grateful Dead used to put this sticker on their musical equipment as a way of marking it, in case they played with other groups and it was also featured on the live double album cover by the Grateful Dead, which they recorded in 1974, at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom.

The Grateful Dead are totally into skeletons, probably because they are associated with death, however most of the Dead skeletons are usually shown dancing, creating a paradox of life in death.  In 1973, the Grateful Dead released a live album called ‘Bear’s Choice’ that was produced by a man affectionately known as Bear, Augustus Owsley Stanley III.  He chose his favorite tracks and this album featured a lot of Pigpen songs. Owsley Stanley was an American audio engineer and clandestine chemist known for making the best LSD.  He was a key figure in the San Francisco Bay Area hippie movement during the 1960s and he played a pivotal role in the decade’s counterculture.  The Grateful Dead ‘Dancing Bears’ first appeared on the rear cover of this album, connected in a circle and this was also drawn by Bob Thomas.

Another lovable Grateful Dead symbol is the guitar playing and dancing turtles associated with the album Terrapin Station. The rose has always been a constant Grateful Dead symbol along with tie-dyed T-shirts.  The rose was the artistic work of Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley who also designed the Mars Hotel album, the big toothed rainbow haired kid smashing an ice cream cone into his forehead, the Foot through the Rainbow and the Skeleton and Roses album cover.

The artist Stanley “Mouse” Miller hung out with Janis Joplin, and somehow found himself in a snapshot of John and Yoko during the famous bed-in.  The late Alton Kelley collaborated with Miller and he also did iconic album covers for Steve Miller and Journey.  Both Kelley and Mouse were California transplants who met in Oakland, and they began working together producing posters for concerts that were promoted by Chet Helms at the Avalon Ballroom and events being promoted by Bill Graham at the Fillmore in the psychedelic community.

The Grateful Dead is a way of life, but Deadheads are actually very normal people, although they are usually very adamant about the way they feel about the Dead.  The Grateful Dead are well represented all over the world, so there should be nothing shocking about seeing a Grateful sticker on anything, yes even a Cadillac or possibly a vanity license plate.  Hippies are not dead, we are just old now and although I do not have any more tie-dye T-shirts, I would not have a problem wearing one.

Don Henley actually did see a Deadhead bumper sticker on a $21,000 Cadillac Seville while he was driving down the San Diego freeway and he wrote this condescending line (although songwriting is open to interpretation), because he felt that was the status symbol of the Right-wing upper-middle class and there was no reason for it to have a Grateful Dead ‘Deadhead’ sticker on it!  Music is a personal choice and you can’t make somebody like something just because you like something.  The Eagles were extremely different from the Dead, but many people like both groups as I do.  People change as they get older and of course some Baby Boomer hippies were bound to join in the mainstream establishment, but writing these lyrics just gave people another reason to despise the Grateful Dead, as if there weren’t enough reasons already.

‘The Boys of Summer’ is a song released in 1984 by Eagles vocalist and drummer Don Henley, with lyrics written by Henley and music composed by Mike Campbell, a guitarist that played with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  Campbell also played guitar on this song and he produced it.  The California coast is a great place to spend the summer, but it becomes a much quieter place as summer turns into fall and the weather gets cold.  This song is nostalgic, it is about glancing back on a past relationship and wanting your ex back, so things can go back to the way they were.  The guy gets left behind, while his ex has moved on so she could mess around with other guys, but he still has hope and he hangs onto that hope, figuring that she will return to him after the boys of summer have gone.  At one point he tells himself don’t look back, you can never look back, as those days are gone forever and he should just let ‘em go, realizing that he must let her go.  The tone of the song switches back again when he sees her with her brown skin shining in the sun, her hair slicked back wearing sunglasses and he tells himself again that his love for her will still be strong after the boys of summer have gone.

Laura M Bailey used the award winning Black and White video, so I am doing something different here.

Nobody on the road,
Nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
The summer’s out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone
I’m driving by your house
Don’t know you’re not home

But I can see you
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair combed back
And your sunglasses on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy
Remember how I made you scream
I don’t understand what happened to our love
But, baby, I’m gonna get you back
I’m gonna show you what I’m made of

I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun
I see you walking real slow
And you’re smiling at everyone
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice inside my head said
Don’t look back, you can never look back
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let ‘em go, but

I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got that top pulled down,
And that radio on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong,
After the boys of summer have gone

I can see you,
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got that hair slicked back,
And those Wayfarers on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

Written for Laura M Bailey All The Shoes I Wear Manic Mondays 3 way prompt – A picture of sunglasses showing the reflection of a beach scene, the word Departing and the Don Henley song The Boys of Summer.

Truck Driving Song

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry and they instituted hours of service (HOS) rules, which are supposed to eliminate driver drowsiness and prevent ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ crashes.  Although many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers feel that they know when they are getting drowsy, various laboratory tests have shown that persons are not good at estimating their own drowsiness.  Truck drivers are required to fill out an hours of service log to be in compliance with federal law, as well as meeting company policies.  This log book forms a connection between countless hours that the driver spends on the road and the love that he has for driving places.  Robert Plant wrote a song ‘Big Log’ on his first solo album ‘The Principle Of Moments’ that was released in 1983 after the breakup of Led Zeppelin.  The single ‘Big Log’ became his first Top 40 solo hit, peaking at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100.  The song also reached number six on the Billboard Top Tracks chart.

To me this song is clearly about a truck driver who loves his life on the road.  He never mentions making money in this song, but I think that a truck driver can always find steady work that allows them to make good money.  If you don’t have a wife that requires you to be home every night, then you can go on some long hauls, or cross country journeys, taking in the sights as you drive.  One good thing about being out on the road, is that you’re the boss when you are in your truck.  You have the freedom to take a break when you want, listen to your favorite music at full volume, or turn it off and tune in to the monotonous drone of the tires and the weary rocking of the freight that you are carrying.  It is a great life for someone who craves independence and is looking for variety.  Even though you’re driving every day, you will probably be going on some new roads, possibly seeing some new cities and you will most likely meet some new people every time that you stop.

This truck driver in this song loves being on the freeway and he enjoys driving at night, watching the taillights of other vehicles on the road.  His imagination is piqued by the myriad scenes passing by his windows and this allows him to question things that are going on in his life.  Some of the lyrics hint at him having a lover, which he might have, but his real love is for the coming of the night time, so he can be out on the road again.

There is something Biblical about this line, “My love is exceeding and women”, and to understand this, you need to know about the prophet Samuel.  Samuel entered the picture during a critical period of Israel’s history, where the turmoil of life under the judges was ending and a new stability of kings was beginning.  Much of the first book of Samuel follows David’s exploits as a young musician, shepherd, and warrior.  David achieved an underdog victory over Goliath, he had a deep friendship with Jonathan, and his growing military prowess grew with his victories in battle.  David said, “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: Very pleasant hast thou been unto me: Thy love to me was wonderful, Passing the love of women.”  I think that Robert Plant was trying to say that driving in a truck exceeded anything that he could get from any woman.

My love is in league with the freeway
It’s passion will rise as the cities fly by
And the tail lights dissolve in the coming of night
And the questions and thousands take flight

My love is miles in awaiting
The eyes that just stare and the glance at the clock
In the secret that burns and the pain that won’t stop
And it’s fueled with the years

Leading me on (leading me on)
Leading me down the road
Driving me on (driving me on)
Driving me down the road

My love is exceeding and women
Red eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles
Distance and longing and my thoughts do collide
Should I rest for a while and decide

Your love is cradled in knowing
Eyes in the mirror still expecting their prey
Sensing too well when the journey is done
There is no turning back
No
There is no turning back

On the run

My love is in league
With the freeway
Oh with the freeway
And the coming of the night time
My love
My love
Is in league with the freeway

Written for Laura M Bailey All The Shoes I Wear Manic Mondays 3 way prompt – A picture of a tree lined road, the word Jouney, but I am pretty sure that Laura meant Journey and the Robert Plant song Big Log.

Voices Carry

Deciding whether or not a band is “punk” is a debate in semantics, as punk music doesn’t have a clear definition.  It’s a moving target, rooted in principles rather than sound.  Punk rock has a variety of origins, but on the whole punk rock bands emerged as an active resistance to the perceived musical, economic, and social excesses of mainstream 1970s music.  Punk was essentially propagated by hippies with shorter hair and Garage rock was the first form of music called punk, and that style influenced much of punk rock.  It is hard to say when punk music actually started, as it seems to have been around before people even knew that what they were listening to was punk.  David Peel a subversive New York folk singer, street musician, counterculture icon arrived in the mid-60s as another manifestation of the punk attitude which had charged New York’s shape-shifting artistic movements and he was said to have directly influenced The Clash.  Since punk had to start someplace, a good case can be made for it starting with the notorious Fugs, who were labeled as being avant-rock (experimental rock which pushed the boundaries of the genre).  The Fugs appeared in the East Village in 1965 as New York’s founding fathers of agit-punk protest, playing music that was vulgar, repulsive and suggestive, noisily expounding about the joys of drugs and sex railing out against the Vietnam war.  They were also the first to use the word “punk” on record.

Punk Rock returned rock & roll to the basics, stripping the music down to its essentials, being three chords and a simple melody, but doing it louder and faster and more abrasively than any other rock & roll in the past.  New York had the Ramones and London had the Sex Pistols and these bands revolutionized music.  The British punk movement found a precedent in the ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude of the Skiffle craze that emerged amid the post-World War II austerity of 1950s Britain.  Soon punk evolved and split into subgenres with different ideologies splintering into post-punk (which was more experimental and artier than punk).

‘New Wave’ grew out of Punk rock and it became a new way to make punk music.  Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming its own distinct genre.  The music that followed punk could be divided, more or less, into two categories those being post-punk and new wave.  New wave was more pop-oriented, and hardcore, which simply made punk harder, faster, and more abrasive.  New Wave was usually used as a catch-all term for the music that directly followed punk rock, and often the term encompassed punk itself.  It retained the fresh vigor and irreverence of punk music, as well as a fascination with electronics, style, and art and by the early ’80s, and new wave described nearly every new pop/rock artist.  The basic principle behind new wave was the same as that of punk, where anyone can start a band, but new wave artists were more commercially viable than their abrasive counterparts.

In the midst of the new wave boom, Michael Jackson put out Thriller, which went on to become the second biggest selling album of all-time.  Thriller changed the game in pop music, and by the end of the year, hip-hop was growing by leaps and bounds and people stopped listening to new wave.  Grunge music hit the mainstream in the early 1990s and then in 1991, Rap changed pop music forever, killing everything that I enjoyed about music.  Today genre boundaries are evaporating and a cross-pollination of music exists, which makes it harder than ever to clarify one genre from another.

I am not sure that I actually explained anything about music and that is neither here nor there, as this post is a response to a word being ‘hush’, a picture shown above, and a song titled, ‘Voices Carry’.  My best guess is that this song is about a woman that is with a man and she wants more from him than he is willing to give, maybe because the guy is married and doesn’t want anyone to find out about her, or possibly he just wants to play around and not get deeply involved.  She is probably his mistress and he likes her and it seems like she may be acquainted with his wife or the other woman that he is involved with.  I read that this song was about the lead singer Aimee Mann and a relationship that she had with the drummer Al Jourgenson from Ministry.  This song came out on ‘Til Tuesday’s’ first album which is also called ‘Voices Carry’ and it became the greatest claim to fame for the group.  The lyrics were written by lead singer Aimee Mann, with music credited to the whole band.  The lyrics were originally written about a woman being in love with another woman and they were made to change the gender and remove the lesbian components. so this song could reach mainstream audiences.

Mann had a tumultuous music career, which began in Boston’s punk scene with her first band being ‘The Young Snakes’, which featured her college chum Al Jourgenson, with whom Mann briefly played in an early incarnation of Ministry.  Aimee dropped out of The Berklee College of Music, located in Boston, Massachusetts and formed the New Wave band ‘Til Tuesday’ in 1983 with her then boyfriend Michael Hausman.  The band struck gold two years later with ‘Voices Carry’, a wrenching account of an oppressive love affair.

‘Voices Carry’ got a massive boost in popularity from their video being on MTV.  The video shows Aimee Mann in her distinctive haircut and at the break, there’s a scene with her oaf of a boyfriend berating her for having a music career instead of being his hausfrau.  On the video, Mann is seen lashing out at her boyfriend during a concert at Carnegie Hall.  She stands up from her seat and removes her cap to reveal her spiky hair, stunning the audience.  Aimee Mann’s creepy boyfriend (played by Cully Holland), derides her music career and gets rough with her.  When they go to Carnegie Hall to watch the symphony, Mann can’t take it anymore and has an outburst in the middle of the theater, finally expressing her pent-up frustration.  This scene was inspired by the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much, where Doris Day screams during a symphony to thwart a murder.

The haunting, captivating tone of this song made it a hit in 1985, featuring intense bass playing under the husky vocal declaring each line like an entry in a diary.  Sometimes you never really know the person that you are with.  There are very dark undertones in the song, hinting at an abusive relationship, “I try so hard not to get upset, because I know all the trouble I’ll get.”  At first the guy is simply telling her to hush, but later in the song this becomes shut up!

I’m in the dark, I’d like to read his mind
but I’m frightened of the things I might find
Oh, there must be something he’s thinking of
to tear him away
when I tell him that I’m falling in love
why does he say
hush hush
keep it down now
voices carry
I try so hard not to get upset
because I know all the trouble I’ll get
oh, he tells me tears are something to hide
and something to fear
and I try so hard to keep it inside
so no one can hear
hush hush
keep it down now
voices carry
He wants me
but only part of the time
He wants me
if he can keep me in line
hush hush
keep it down now
voices carry
hush hush, darling, she might overhear
oh, no-voices carry
he said shut up he said shut up
oh God can’t you keep it down
voices carry
I wish he would let me talk.

Written for Laura M. Bailey All The Shoes I Wear Manic Mondays 3 way Prompt: a picture, the word hush and the song Voices Carry.

Oh How I Love You!

Nights in White Satin is the last song of a concept album, which follows the course of a day, each song being about a particular part of a complete day, jumping between people and places to capture the typical day.  The song is mesmerizing having this other-worldly quality about it with an amazing melody and incredible vocal, along with the haunting sound of a strange keyboard called a Mellotron.  It documents the heightened emotions and intimacy of dusk or early night-time from the Moody Blues album ‘Days of Future Passed’, which is a dawn-to-darkness narrative.  This song came out in November 1967, at the start of the psychedelic era of rock music, but unlike acid rock, it is more cerebral, and it features classical instruments and it became a masterpiece that bridged pop and symphony music.

Band member Justin Hayward wrote and composed the song at age 19 in Swindon a town in the UK, and titled the song after a girlfriend who gave him a gift of satin bed sheets.  Hayward was living in a two-room flat in Bayswater with Graeme Edge, the Moody Blues drummer and their girlfriends.  Hayward said that when he wrote ‘Nights In White Satin’ that he didn’t own many things in the world, but he did have this totally useless set of white satin sheets that an old girlfriend of his had given him.  He thought that they were impractical, but they looked quite nice, and they were quite romantic.  He had ended things with her and he had a new woman in his life.  The song is thought to be a tale of a yearning love from afar, telling a story of unrequited love endured by Hayward, as he was caught between ecstasy and despair, ruing the end of one love affair while embarking on another.  Hayward knew the group was expecting him to write something because he came to the group as a songwriter, so he started searching for some kind of metaphor for the emotional turmoil that he was going through, when he came across these sheets that just happened to be in his suitcase.

The London Festival Orchestra LFO was established in the 1950’s as the ‘house orchestra’ for Decca Records and the ‘Days of Future Passed’ album credits the London Festival Orchestra, but it was just a group of session musicians that Peter Knight an English musical arranger, conductor and composer quickly put together to add his rich lush orchestration.  Mostly all the orchestral sounds that are heard on the recordings come from a Mellotron.  The Mellotron was a forerunner of the synthesizer and it is like a tape cassette that makes a string sound or a trumpet sound when you hit one of the keys, thus giving the Mellotron an ability to simulate an orchestra.  The orchestral parts were performed separately and edited between and around the Moody Blues parts, so the orchestra did not actually accompany the group.  The original idea was for the group and orchestra to record a rock version of Dvorak’s ‘New World Symphony’, which their record company would use to demonstrate enhanced stereo sound technology.  New World Symphony aka Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, from the Bohemian composer Antonín Dvořák, was a major milestone in the validation of American or “New World” music and lore as source material for classical composition.  Written while Dvořák was living and working in New York City, the symphony purportedly incorporated the composer’s reflections on his American setting.  Decca Records wanted the band to do a rock ‘n’ roll version of this symphony to test stereo (as opposed to mono) recording, but the group pursued its own songs behind closed doors.

Nights in White Satin speaks of never reaching an end, because the guy singing this song is still thinking about one of his former loves, while he is laying awake in bed.  Unsent letters are a result of not being able to put his thoughts in order and express what he is actually feeling, although he keeps trying, he realizes that this past relationship is over.  While thinking about this woman he comes to grasp with this previously unseen beauty that somehow he missed when they were together.  His world is upside down and he does not know what the truth is anymore, because he still feels love for this girl.  He sees other couples, but they cannot understand what he is going through.  They try to tell him things, but he does not think that they are rational.  He thinks that if he wants to be something, that is what he will be in the end.  I think he is saying that his love which he knows is over still haunts him.

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’d always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you

Gazing at people, some hand in hand
Just what I’m going through they can’t understand
Some try to tell me, thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be, you will be in the end

And I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never…

Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send

Beauty I’ve always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more

‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you
‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you

“Late Lament” is a poem written by the Moody Blues’ drummer, Graeme Edge, and is often featured at the end of the song “Nights in White Satin”. It is pretty deep and I think that it is about how we perceive things being either good or bad.

Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament,
Another day’s useless energy spent.
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son,
Senior citizens wish they were young.
Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colors from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white.
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion?

Written for Laura M Bailey All The Shoes I Wear Manic Mondays 3 way prompt – A picture of the back of a woman, the word Forlorn and the Moody Blues song Nights in White Satin.

Water, Water Everywhere

The Manic Mondays 3 way prompt word, picture and song made me tell this tale.  The ancient Mariner sailed on a ship out of his native harbor into a sunny and cheerful sea, then the voyage darkened, as a giant storm rose up in the sea and drove the ship off course.  The ship came to a frigid land of mist and snow, where ice, mast-high, came floating by and the ship was hemmed inside this maze of ice.  The sailors encountered an Albatross, and as it flew around the ship, the ice cracked and split, and a wind propelled the ship out of the frigid regions, into a foggy stretch of water.  The Albatross followed behind it, which the sailors took as a symbol of good luck.  The Mariner shot and killed the Albatross with his crossbow, and this made the other sailors furious, but when the fog lifted soon afterward, the sailors decided that the bird had actually brought not the breezes but the fog, and they now congratulated the Mariner on his deed.  The wind pushed the ship into a silent sea where the winds died down so the sailors were haplessly stranded, as the ship was idle in the ocean.  The ship seems to be haunted by a bad spirit, and weird stuff starts appearing, like slimy creatures that walk on the ocean.  The ocean thickened, and the men had no water to drink, so the sailors blamed the Mariner again for their plight and they hung the corpse of the Albatross around his neck to remind him of his error.

As time passed, the sailors became weary and parched, their mouths were so dry that they were unable to speak.  They saw water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink.  Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.  But then the Mariner saw a tiny speck on the horizon which turned out to be a ship, moving toward them and he alerted the other sailors, who smiled, believing they were saved.  But as the ship came closer, they realized that it was a ghost ship and that its crew included two figures, Death and the Night-mare Life-in-Death, who were throwing dice.  When the game was over the Sun sank to the horizon, the stars emerged and the moon rose, then the sailors all dropped dead one by one, except the Mariner, whom each sailor cursed with his eye before dying.  The souls of the dead men leapt from their bodies and rushed by the Mariner.

Alone on the ship, surrounded by two hundred corpses, the Mariner tried to pray but he was deterred by a wicked whisper that made his heart as dry as dust.  He closed his eyes, unable to bear the sight of the dead men, each of who glared at him with the malice of their final curse.  For seven days and seven nights the Mariner endured the sight, and yet he was unable to die.  At last the moon rose, casting the great shadow of the ship across the waters, where the ship’s shadow touched the waters, they burned red.  The great water snakes moved through the silvery moonlight, glittering, blue, green, and black, the snakes coiled and swam and became beautiful in the Mariner’s eyes.  He blessed the beautiful creatures in his heart; at that moment, he found himself able to pray, and the corpse of the Albatross fell from his neck, sinking like lead into the sea.

The Mariner falls into a sweet sleep, and when he wakes up, it is raining, and an awesome thunderstorm begins.  He drank his fill, and the ship began to sail in lieu of wind, as the dead sailors suddenly rise like zombies to pilot the ship without speaking.  The sailors don’t actually come back to life, instead, angels fill their bodies, and another supernatural spirit under the ocean seems to push the boat.  They sang the heavenly music of Ailein Duinn, “How sorrowful I am.  Early in the morning rising I would go with thee.  Brown-haired Alan, I would go with thee, if it is thy pillow the sand, if it is they bed the seeweed, I would go with thee.  If it is the fish thy candles bright, if it is the seals thy watchmen, I would go with thee.”

The ship’s sails continued when they had stopped singing.  Once the ship reached the equator again, the ship jolted, causing the Ancient Mariner to fall unconscious.  In his swoon, he heard two voices discussing his fate.  They said he would continue to be punished for killing the Albatross, who was loved by a spirit.  Then they disappeared and when the Ancient Mariner awoke, the dead sailors were grouped together, all cursing him with their eyes once again, but suddenly they all disappeared as well.  The Ancient Mariner was not relieved, because he realized that he was doomed to be haunted by them forever.

After a speedy journey, the ship ends up back in port again.  The Mariner sees angels standing next to the bodies of all his crewmates.  Then a rescue boat shows up to take him back to shore.  The Mariner is happy, but just as the rescuers reached the ship, it sank suddenly and created a vortex in the water.  The rescuers were able to pull the Ancient Mariner from the water, but they thought he was dead.  When he abruptly came to and began to row the boat, the rescuers lost their minds.  They were spooked so they asked the Ancient Mariner what kind of man he was and that was when the Ancient Mariner learned of his curse, that he would be destined to tell his tale to others from beginning to end when an agonizing, physical urge struck him, or whenever the Manic Mondays 3 way prompt is ‘Wrecked’, so that people could become sadder and wiser.

Written for Laura M Bailey All The Shoes I Wear Manic Mondays 3 way prompt – Wrecked.

Denied a Proper Burial

The deceased preta kept wandering as he was a disturbed ghost who could not find rest, his spirit was destined to roam on dark and stormy nights, because others thought he was not fit to be buried.  The soul of this dead being shows gratitude to the person who as an act of charity, arranged for the burial of his dishonored corpse.  His soul could now return to the creator, and he would no longer have to stand on the edge of eternal darkness.  His grateful chant would fill the void in order that others may know that in the land of the night, the ship of the sun is drawn by the grateful dead.

The ancient Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope an Ionian colony on the Black Sea was extreme in a lot of ways, as he lived a very poor and ascetic life, and his residence consisted of a tub and his only possession was a wooden bowl that he used to drink water from.  He felt that people should not be embarrassed to do private things in public, and he was often seen defecating and masturbating in the open where others could watch.  Diogenes told his friends that when he died, he didn’t want to be buried.  He wanted his body thrown over the city wall, where it could be devoured by animals.  My grandmother has similar feelings about funerals and burials, as she thought they were too expensive and she always said that when she died, that all she wanted was for her body to be wrapped up in a burlap bag and then kicked down the sewer.

A dead body is nothing more than an empty container, it doesn’t need to be embalmed, or dressed up in fancy clothes, or be put on some mournful display, or have its remnants placed in an urn up on the mantle.  Caring for the dead is part of being human, as we learned that rotting bodies have a bad odor when they are decomposing thus making them unsanitary, so we put them underground.  Humans have decided that lives matter, and they should be remembered and holding a funeral is a way to help a dead person to pass into the next world.  The deceased are buried out of a need to keep them protected from any interference of scavengers or animals who might desire to eat our loved ones.  An old custom involved placing pennies of the eyes of a dead person to be used as the payment to Charon, the ferryman of the underworld, to ferry the deceased across the River Styx, to their destination in the underworld.

History is full of riches-to-rags stories about fallen stars and tragic historical figures who died dead broke or very close to it. Boxer Joe Louis made a staggering amount of money during his reign as one of the country’s top pugilists in the ‘30s and ‘40s, but money always passed through his fingers too quickly.  His third wife, Martha, was left broke when Joe died, she could no longer walk, and she couldn’t afford a wheelchair of her own.  She needed false teeth and new glasses, but there was no money for any of those things.  Joe Lewis was known for saying, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die”, and he also said, “I don’t like money actually, but it quiets my nerves.”

Life is full of ups and downs and everything doesn’t always go according to plan, as you might soar above others and think that you are sitting on top of the world up in an ivy tower and then the next minute you are completely impoverished lacking any resource or the means of subsistence, which is what happened to a man named Dicrotendipes Thanatogratus. He was a noticeably friendly guy who owned the Drunken Whale Tavern.  It was located in a meadow near the woods on the spot where a tidal wave washed up a shark.  A marsh was created from this tidal wave that swept over the shore and Dicrotendipes used this place behind his tavern to dump all of his garbage.

Suddenly everything started going wrong in his life, his wife got sick and the town sawbones was not able to heal her, so she died.  He had to sell his business so he could be around to raise his children.  He felt like he had lost his place in society, as all of his former friends had deserted him.  He became the caterpillar who envied the bird, because it was able to fly away, where he was destined to spend the rest of his life in the cellar and wither away.  He started to borrow money from anyone who would loan it to him even though he knew that he had no way of paying them back.  When his debts came due, he acted forgetful, it was like he had a convenient memory that allowed him to overlook any obligation to pay his creditors back.  Things even got worse because of the antics of an arsonist and his house was burned down. He began to cry when his children were taken away from him to pay off some of his debt.  Dicrotendipes died and the whole town refused to bury him because of his debts so his body was left in a pile of horse dung.

Destiny Lands walked into town with his horse Charmer beside him and he decided to amble over to the stable so the blacksmith could have a look at his horse and this is when he discovered Dicrotendipes corpse rotting awayDestiny inquired why the man was not given a proper burial and he was told that when he met his demise, that he owed half the people in town money and that his body lay unburied as a lesson to all swindlers that being a deadbeat in this town would not be tolerated.  Destiny started pondering the situation and he made a moral decision that the transformative effect on fate of this man after his death was cruel and that he was now a lost soul who would never be shown the way to heaven. Destiny was moved by this sad story and he made his mark paying off all of this man’s debt by giving up his last penny, so he was able to ransom the corpse and give it suitable burial.  The restless soul was removed from the pile of horse dung and laid to rest and then Destiny continued on his way.

As Destiny was leaving town, he found himself in peril when motor crumbled off this wall next to the marsh and injured his horse.  He dismounted his horse and started to crouch down to get a better look at how bad Charmer was injured, and he saw blood gushing from Charmer’s leg.  There he meets a strange man wearing latex gloves who is able to cauterize the wound and heal his horse.  Destiny felt so grateful that this stranger helped his horse and he was glad that it was not any worse, as he knew that fractures in a horse can be devastating, especially since their legs are so breakable.  The strange man welcomed Destiny with open arms and then disclosed that he is the ghost of the man whose corpse Destiny had befriended and he said that he was the one who was in debt for being allowed to get a proper burial.  He told Destiny about a story that he heard when he owned the tavern.  This man who he took as a drunk told him that money was buried in the land where the marsh was created from the tidal wave.  Now that Dicrotendipes was dead, he was able to see exactly where this money was buried, so he told Destiny the location of where he should dig and he said that there was probably enough money for him to buy a castle.

Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Convenient, for FOWC with Fandango – Memory, for July Writing Prompts – Antics of an arsonist, for Laura M. Bailey All The Shoes I Wear Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt – Castle, for Sheryl’s A New Daily Post Word Prompt – Noticeably, for Ragtag Community – Open, for RayNotBradbury Cool Writing Prompt – Famous couples from the past challenge, for Scotts Daily Prompt – Friendly, for the secret keeper Weekly Writing Prompt #150 (5) word prompt – Ghost Mark Woods Soar Meadow, for Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Three Things Challenge prompt – tower tidal wave shark, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Amble and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle 204 – Breakable Sawbones Marsh Cry Wither Mortar Crouch Latex Gloves Preta Cellar Mournful Cauterize.