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The Dog Is Out

Excerpt from "Fearless Puppy on American Road"

by Doug "Ten" Rose


THE DOG IS OUT!!!

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD

is a true story so incredible that it reads like a fantasy. Within this book you’ll meet several saintly Tibetan Lamas. You will also meet a man who is his own uncle, specialists in smoke, mirrors, and invisibility, lurid sex, oxygen orgasms, Christian ethics, Jewish ritual, heavenly Hell’s Angels, phony preachers, domestic violence, domestic solutions, racist killers in America, Canadian race wars, Native American wise men, angelic witches, benevolent heroin addicts, magical birds, lesbian musicians playing a rock concert for the deaf, the musician raised by a multi-ethnic group of prostitutes, martial artists battling neo-Nazis, the modern-day Robin Hood, and many other strange and wonderful folk. This transfictional self-help book gives lasting psychospiritual assistance under cover of an adventurous thrill-ride. A wonderful gift!

Profits from this book (and the two to follow, making The Dog Soldier Trilogy) will be used to sponsor Tibetan Monks and Nuns and wisdom professionals of various traditions. Fearless Puppy on American Road’s 501c3 Public Benefit (tax-exempt) Corp. is currently being formed. ALL sales revenue will go there to serve the purpose of sponsoring the world’s wisdom professionals (and an increase in the number of them). When incorporation is complete 50% of your purchase price will be tax-deductible. For information on our project to sponsor Monks, Nuns, and other wisdom professionals, for some more sample chapters, author info, reviews, and ordering information please see our website at www.fearlesspuppy.org

We hope you enjoy the excerpts enough to order Fearless Puppy on American Road, for yourself and as gifts for friends and others. Give an amazing, unique, extremely entertaining, and somewhat enlightening read while helping a worthy effort.

 

There’s a lot of it on the website, for anyone interested in this stuff. Included are several newspaper articles reporting on past charitable projects done by the author. Among these are a famine relief effort that involved two senators, a governor, major rock and jazz bands (Neville Bros., etc.), and a project for an orphanage, homeless, etc. as well as citations and recommendations from Save the Children, Greenpeace, the Giraffe Society, etc.

EXCERPTS

Introduction to The Dog Soldier Trilogy

The Dog Soldier Trilogy is a collection of two books.The first one was written second. The second book was written first. There will be a third book written about what gets done with the money made from the sale of the first two books. That, of course, means that folks will have to buy the first two books in order for the third one to ever come about. The Dog Soldier Trilogy is about many things, but is presented as the story of a single human being. It would also be reasonable to say that it’s about all human beings. Most of us could easily relate to the main character. Many of the mistakes made by humanity as a species have been made, one at a time, by our individual hero.

He’s been busy. If blunders were feathers our boy would have wings. He seems to constantly bounce between extremes of disaster and bliss that rarely rest in stability. It is also true, to give credit where credit is due, that our protagonist occasionally embodies bits of what makes human beings worth the trouble it often is to deal with them.

These books read very much like novels. Many folks who have read them think that they are fiction or fantasy. They are not. Most of what you will read is entirely true. Folks who were my hosts on the road related some of the stories to me. I’m a pretty good judge of bullshit by now. If a person’s story appears at all within these pages, it means that I’d bet money on it being fact. Some of the facts within these books may be jumbled. Very few bits have been made up altogether. Many particular details have been recalled by a memory that is suspect. It will take only a few more pages of your reading to understand why the author’s memory is suspect. Most of what happens in real life doesn’t leave documented proof in its wake. These books are real life.

A few names have been changed to protect the privacy of my friends. Some more have been changed for my own protection, legal and otherwise. Very few names have been changed to protect the innocent. Very few people are actually innocent, especially in this first book. The second book will be a different story. It is also a factual account, but involves more folks who could truthfully be called innocent. Our protagonist, who wasn’t studying Buddhism (certainly not in any traditional sense), drafted most of Book 2 while residing in an Asian Temple.

The experiences described in The Dog Soldier Trilogy can be considered very creative nonfiction, but they are nonfiction nonetheless. I know this to be true because I am the main character.

Fearless Puppy on American Road is Book 1 of the trilogy. It is about a teenage drug dealer in Brooklyn, New York who runs away from home to hitchhike around America for 35 years or so. The reasons for my never learning to drive a car are well stated in the Foreword (I’ll Tell You Why). Whether never learning to drive was a brilliant life decision or illogical stupidity is debatable. That some very interesting things happened because of that decision is not. The second book is titled Temple Dog Soldier. It is about my rescue and adoption by a Temple full of Monks and Nuns in Thailand. I stayed there for almost half a year. This happened after suffering, let’s say, a near fatal incident. Most of the book relays the experience of living in a high level atmosphere where no verbal communication is possible. I couldn’t speak the Thai language and no one there spoke English. Some very interesting things happen in this book as well. The third book will be about what gets done with the money made from selling Books 1 and 2. That will be called Sharing the Bones or God/Dog/Kibble or something just as ridiculous.

Writing is fun for me. I hope this writing will also be fun for you to read—but The Dog Soldier Trilogy has a purpose to it besides recreation and entertainment. Here it is. There doesn’t seem to be any efficient political solution to the world’s problems. We can elect as many different Chief Bozos as we want to. We’ll still be living in a circus of suffering. As long as the thoughts, conversations, and media of humanity are focused on war, greed, drama, and problems instead of happiness, peace, and solutions, we will always be, as we say in Brooklyn, “in a world of shit.” The images of life on Earth presented to us by the media, which we unconsciously live by, keep most of us worried that we’re teetering on a planet that is dangerously out of control. Actual horrors notwithstanding, life on Earth is actually a lot friendlier than we have been led to believe, and can be made friendlier still. Many of us regular folks have realized this and chosen to do something about it. We have assigned ourselves to the presentation of positive, truthful information to refute the overdose of negative information we’ve been depressed by, and also to repair its result. The idea is that if people are presented with consistently constructive and positive options, ideas, and attitudes, we’ll all become more consistently constructive and positive people.

Most folks have some very positive (albeit warped at times by stress and misinformation) tendencies. These tendencies need to be exercised more by each and every member of the general population. We need as much reinforcement and support in doing this as we can get. We need more people who are professionals at this happy-and-helpful kind of thing—especially the ones who are so serious about it that they choose to completely dedicate their lives to making it happen.

In present day America we are blessed to have many such folks, and they are pretty blessed themselves. Many of our professionals-of-the-positive are doing well. Deepak Chopra’s sold a lot of books. Bernie Seigel, Iyanla van Zandt, Marianne Williamson, and many of our other brightest minds live in comfortable circumstances. Oprah seems to have a few bucks left over, even after the expense of all the wonderful activity that she performs. That’s great. These people deserve any prosperity that comes to them and more. My point is that many of their equals in America, and more pronouncedly in other parts of the world, are not doing so well. There are a great deal of Native American, African, Asian, Australian, European, and other assorted wisdoms that are endangered. Those who are preserving these wisdoms within their small local cultures often don’t even have the resources for decent survival, much less the wherewithal to make what they know available to us. I’ve met some of these folks. Some live in very average American towns. Some live on the other side of the world. A lot of what they know could prove essential to all of us.

Asia provides a clear example. Over there, much of the positive counterpart to greed, brutality, and ignorance arrives through the compassion and loving kindness of a school of thought (it doesn’t require a religious interpretation, folks) known as Buddhism. It is the route most folks over there (and there are a lot of them) use to get back to their more humane side. When life gets harsh, if people get lost and foul, the Monks and Nuns are well equipped to direct those people to the road that leads them back to a sane manner of living. They have the training, dedication, and patience to help everyday folks find their individual peace, and thereby help the society at large to stay manageable, friendly, and happy. The Monks and Nuns are the professionals who remind people of the human decency within and their obligation to exercise it. Many of these professionals of positive thought throughout Asia are lacking many of life’s basic necessities—including food, clothing, and shelter.

The resources and facilities do not exist for their numbers to expand in conjunction with modern humanity’s need for these people.

As a rule, Monks and Nuns don’t have paying jobs. Their survival is dependent upon the generosity and gratitude of a general population that isn’t much better off (if at all) than they are. The life of a Buddhist Monk or Nun is austere, even in the best of material circumstances. The training is very rigorous. They do without most of the things that you and I consider essential parts of daily life. They are involved in the singular most difficult effort on earth—deep meditation. This isn’t some la-la brained, half-assed, 1960s flashback type of effort. The type of meditation done by Monks and Nuns requires full time mental focus. Facilitating the elimination of suffering from all living creatures and developing the skillful means to do so is the goal of that focus. Starvation and frostbite can break anyone’s concentration. Although the spiritual rewards of their training are thought to be unparalleled, the trials can seem too overbearing to endure. For some prospective beginners, they may seem too overbearing to attempt. I’ve been lucky enough to see, first hand, the powerful effect that professionals-of-the-positive can have on individual lives. I’ve seen it in America, Asia, Mexico—actually, everywhere I’ve ever been.

Let’s crunch some numbers. (Again—Asia is just an example. The cost of preserving North/South American, African, Australian, European, and other assorted humans and wisdom may be slightly higher, but is certainly manageable.) It takes one dollar a day to sponsor a Nun or Monk (food/clothing/shelter) in northern India, Mongolia, Nepal, etc. For that dollar, on any given day a Monk or Nun—by virtue of their extensive training, compassion, and dedication—may have an influence on anywhere from one to several million people. They do go on TV and make videos sometimes. They might influence a child to do better in school. This could result in the benefit of that child, the child’s family, community, and possibly all of humanity as well. That child could grow up to invent the cure for cancer, or who knows what. Stranger things have certainly happened. A Monk or Nun could catch an adolescent girl at a crossroads in her life. They could influence her to become more like Mother Teresa and less like the crack whore down the street.

You may call investing a dollar a day to this process charitable. You may take (what is probably) a more realistic approach and call it functional or practical. Whatever angle you take, most of us would agree that this is a well invested dollar. These professionals-of-the-positive provide the general population an available daily dose of kindness and emotional intelligence. This dose counteracts the effects of whatever bullshit has pissed the members of that general population off that day, and often reaches further to assist with long-term problems. Irate people are reminded that they can be patient, compassionate, tolerant people. People on the edge remember that the world can be a friendly place, and that stepping on others in order to feel in control of their own circumstance may not be the best idea. If people in any part of the world feel more happy than hostile, then people in every part of the world are safer and more comfortable. This pumps up the odds for a decrease of hostility and an increase in the amount of peaceful co-existence by humanity as a whole.

It seems that the information offered by these teachers of sanity spurs us everyday folks on to a state of mind more conducive to (what could be called) spiritual growth. Everyone benefits from having another good teacher around, especially when the subject of study is how to be a happier, healthier, and less hostile human being. Again—this spiritual growth is not some surface level, bullshit do-gooder, bumper sticker type figure of speech. The type of individual spiritual growth referred to here may well be the deciding factor in facilitating our survival as a species.

So, Book 3 will be about how we’re setting up perpetual funding operations to help support those who sacrifice everything to their motivation to help the rest of us. The base funding for this effort will be the money you and your friends spend buying Books 1 and 2. (I’ve been homeless with disabling arthritis and living on food stamps for five years. A very small percentage of the proceeds will go toward my personal survival. By now I’ve learned to live on very little, and to drop some “needs.”) If you find Fearless Puppy on American Road enjoyable, please tell others about it. Maybe they’ll buy a book too. The funding from book sales will hopefully go a long way toward increasing the number of calming, helpful, enlightened, and sanity-oriented people professionals we have available to us.

I love and respect my fellow humans, but in at least one regard we’ve screwed up to an embarrassing proportion. We’re very late in providing support and sponsorship for emotional and spiritual intelligence. For whatever reasons, we have historically put faith in the need for destructive-type knowledge. This misplaced faith has backfired, and our destructive-type knowledge is running us over.

Priorities need adjusting.

If more of the folks who are willing to dedicate their lives to the increase of such things as functional, practical happiness and general sanity get the opportunity to do so, it may be our best chance to jack up the level of the circus before the bozos blow it up. It is, after all, our circus. For all we know, the Far Eastern theory of reincarnation notwithstanding, this may be the only circus we’ll ever get to attend. Doesn’t it make sense to support more competent ringmasters and management?

FROM THE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Last, and the exact opposite of least, my literally undying gratitude goes out to all people, of any occupation, whose main concern is the well being of all living creatures as a whole—especially those people who have mustered the strength and invested the energy to do something constructive with that concern.

Many come to mind. One of them passed on before this book could come to print. Lama Kunsang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche is someone you will meet toward the end of this book. While he was alive he taught a lot of people that they don’t have to be a slave to bullshit—not anyone else’s, or their own. The planet misses him. I miss him.

Without the training that I received from the Venerable Gape Lama, Lama Ontul Rinpoche and Tashi Dolma, and especially Lama Traga Rinpoche, all of whom are affiliated with the Garchen Institute in Arizona, I would not have finished this book. They taught me how to stay focused long enough to finish something. They also strongly reinforced and expanded my knowledge of what was worth the effort that such focusing requires, and have been incredible living examples of that goodness. I don’t think there’s any way to ever thank them enough. I hope they all have very long and happy lives.

Truth or Consequences 1

To a boy from the northeastern part of America, the Southwest looks like Mars-as-a-work-of-art. Breathtaking red clay buttes are spotted with green and brown vegetation. Most of this vegetation would be very confused if it lived in the Northeast. It seems to be neither tree nor bush, but something in between. Technicolor canyons and solitary rock formations look as if they’d been dropped onto the flat desert face from some far away galaxy.

Abandoned ghost towns are much eerier in person than their cardboard cut out backdrop-for-a-western-movie counterparts could ever hope to be. Wooden shutters slap back and forth against rotting clapboards on windless days, as if propelled by the breath of the actual ghosts of this former frontier. The spirits of those who failed to make a life in this desert a hundred years ago seem to be warning newcomers of the difficulties they can expect. They exhale their despair and inhale their attachment. They never get to move on. These spirits had hoped this place would be their Camelot. Instead it became a cemetery for their dreams, and in many cases, for their families.

A normal breeze doesn’t have the otherworldly smell that air movement in a ghost town does. It’s the fragrance of history. Hope, glory, and demise—gone by so long ago that no one remembers who they belonged to—reappear to scare the stagnant atmosphere into movement. Despite the emotional gravity of ghost towns, they are actually no more than a short misplayed note in the majestic symphony that is the Southwest’s desert. Vast expanses of scenery too beautiful for humans to have possibly built were here long before these now abandoned settlements were a twinkle in a wagon train’s eye. They will still be here long after the mini-malls are gone. Giant cacti are camels-as-vegetable-matter. They store a year’s supply of liquid life in their bodies while surrounded by rock, clay, and sand that have long ago died of thirst. An occasional lone ranch house amidst several thousand acres of nothing testifies to both the strength and sheer audacity of the human will; but for the most part, this land looks much as it did before humanity existed.

The Southwest is also one of the few areas in North America where the continent’s original human inhabitants are still readily available. These natives have suffered “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that even Shakespeare’s imagination would be hard pressed to fathom. In some places, they survive the harsh result of the human cruelty inflicted upon them by displaying the same fortitude and grace with which they survived the harsh natural environment before their holocaust. In other places, their survival is more reminiscent of the bone chilling decay of a ghost town’s clapboards, and the breeze of lost souls that moves the shutters of its former windows.

Nights are a bit colder than days, back in the northeastern states. It gets a lot colder at night in the southwestern desert. Moonlit cacti host the lizards, rodents, and snakes on their evening hunting trips. Coyotes in packs define clever and resourceful by cooperative survival efforts. The harsh majesty of the Southwest exacts a price, even from its survivors. It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Danger and beauty abide together under the powerful sun, and often under the same rock.

One must master the truths of this environment—or one will surely suffer the consequences.

Ejection Eddie

After 38 years of constant hitchhiking, there are certain rides that still shock me into intelligence—even as they deliver me to my physical destination. Ejection Eddie was one of these.

Welcome to my vehicle. I’m Ejection Eddie. Who are you?”

I felt a punch line coming on, but it didn’t seem smart to joke around with a guy who called himself Ejection until I knew why he did so. I got right to it. “Everyone calls me Ten. Your mom didn’t pick the name Ejection for you, did she? They don’t call you that because you have one of those James Bond car seats that ejects passengers, do they?” Ed answered with a pleasant smile and a friendly tone. “Indeed not, my friend. There has never yet been a need to eject anyone from this vehicle—and judging by your relatively pleasant demeanor my streak of uninterrupted hospitality won’t have to end here. However, my mom did have something to do with both parts of my name. Of course, she was directly responsible for the Eddie part. She was also indirectly responsible for the first of my no doubt record-breaking streak of ejections, from which the Ejection part of my name was born. She put me into a mental hospital at the tender age of 17 for the transgression of smoking too much pot. They threw me out. I have, in total, been ejected from two mental institutions, the U.S. Army draft board during the height of the Vietnam War, a jail, and several lesser venues that, shall we say, ordinarily pride themselves on maintaining a long term and possessive relationship with their clientele.”

If Ed was trying to impress me, he had succeeded. “How the hell does anyone get thrown out of a locked psycho ward or a jail, much less both—and the army too?” I asked. He winked and replied. “Not just the army, buddy. I got thrown out of the draft board itself. There is no more draft board, but you must remember when the army was sucking up all the 18 and 19 year olds they could find. Most guys in my neighborhood who were that age thought getting high and laid were better ideas than dying, or killing other kids they’d never met. Increasing the profits of a government run basically by corporations trying to feed their own insatiable greed was not, in the opinion of my peer group, a good enough reason to make the ultimate sacrifice. The government had to force these young people to join the military by way of the draft. They offered the option of going to jail. Some kids accepted that option. Others moved to Canada—or roamed America, taking their chances. It seemed to me that it might be more amusing to go down to the local draft board myself and discuss the situation with the recruiting officer. On the day of my eighteenth birthday, as required by law, I strolled down to the draft board to fill out the paperwork. About 20 minutes after handing in the completed forms and being asked to wait, they called me into an office for the primary discussion/pep talk with Recruiting Sergeant Satan. That wasn’t his real name. It was just one of the nicknames I gave him. He didn’t seem to like hearing any of them. This was the guy who got the young, naive kids who didn’t know any better to believe that they were going to fight for God Himself against heathen Commies who were so evil that they’d rape and maim their own grandmothers. ‘Imagine what they’d do to your mom or sister!’ He convinced impressionable teenagers that they were being invited to a blessed opportunity. They were being given the chance to kill and be killed to protect their way of life from the ravaging savages, as well as the opportunity to do the heavenly will of The Lord against godless Marxists. A lot of well intentioned teenagers died because they believed this bullshit. For better or worse, my mind was already outside the box enough to recognize this hoax.”

A closer look at Ed revealed traits of nearly every race on Earth. He had very black skin, very blue eyes that took an Asian angle, and the aquiline features of certain Native American tribes. As a physical specimen, he was unique. His mind and manner were unique too. Ed was sharp-witted and literate to the point of brilliance, but everything about him was down-home and friendly as well.

“When smiling Staff Sergeant Grim Reaper called me into his office for the sales talk, the die had been pre-cast for his failure. The niggah on the incoming side of his desk would not be buying. The experience was disappointing for me in certain ways, and disappointing for him in several more. My expectation was to find someone who at least believed his own bullshit. This guy sounded like he wouldn’t even know what his own bullshit was unless the Army tucked him in at night with an index card full of notes. He gave me a clammy handshake and the usual spiel, and then asked if there were any questions. I replied that there was one.

“‘Shoot,’ he said, without the slightest notion of the irony involved.

“I asked my question. ‘Well, all this is a little confusing, Sergeant Slaughter sir. Let me see if I’ve got this straight. You want me, a Black-Red man (part Apache), to go thousands of miles away from everything that’s known to and loved by me in order to crawl through malarial swamps killing Yellow people I’ve never met, so that I can possibly sacrifice my life in order to make some oppressive White bastards more money than they could ever possibly need. I may have surmised this incorrectly, sir, but if this case has been stated accurately, then there’s no doubt in my mind that I’d much rather just crawl over this desk and kill you right here and now, you fucking snake.’

“Recruiting Officer Peckerwood was a bit too shocked to reply. He mumbled ‘What?’ My compassionate side felt just a little bit sorry for him. He had that lost-in-the-woods look on his face. After a few seconds he came out of his shock enough to realize how angry he was. ‘Did I hear you right, boy? You didn’t say you’d rather kill me, did you?’ His angry look took on a percentage of fear as I silently stood up, whipped out my dick, and pissed on his desk.

“‘Get out! Get out!’ he yelled. It was my pleasure to follow the exit signs back to the street. Sergeant Bloodbath may or may not have made a few phone calls and found out that I’d been in a nuthouse a few months earlier (and so wasn’t Army material anyway). Maybe he just cleaned up my piss with my paperwork and swept me into an invisible file. Regardless, I never heard from the armed forces folks again—and so my military career ended before it had a chance to begin.”

“That’s freakin’ amazing, Ed!” It was a heartfelt exclamation and not said just as a matter of humoring him (although that might have been a good idea by itself). “OK, but how did you get thrown out of two mental hospitals—and did you say in one year?” He told me. “Not in a year. Actually, it all happened in a three month period. My mom was one of those ignorant alcoholics who found it convenient to believe the nonsense about her martinis being healthier than my marijuana. It’s funny how folks believe whatever suits them and their purposes, regardless of that pesky little objective reality thing. One lovely late spring day we got into the car together. The purpose of our trip was supposedly to buy summer clothes. But she’d been tweaking at me for a while. From the very beginning of our trip, something felt wrong. When she pulled the car over to the curb in front of our area’s only nuthouse, it became obvious that she had been lying about our clothes shopping adventure. Running away didn’t help. She screamed. ‘Sick boy. Help! He’s a sick boy. Please stop him. Hold him!’ Three well intentioned but underinformed construction workers did just that. Apparently, in the eyes of all concerned, a half ounce of ganja qualified me as a drug addict—although Mom’s not being able to hit the toilet sitting down after a half dozen martoonies wasn’t considered a problem.”

Ed shook his head with a smile that said he was happy this episode was in the past. “Needless to say, this did not please me. Unfortunately, as a 17 year old boy who weighed maybe 155 pounds soaking wet, the odds were against me. It seemed best to abandon the idea of trying to fight off my three rescuers. It would have been a fruitless effort if there had been only one of them. To make a long story short, surrender was the only option. The crazy-hospital’s wacky staff gave me a shot of Thorazine against my will, and then put me on a regimen of 18 tranquilizing pills per day—16, really. The other two were to prevent the convulsions historically caused by the side effects of such massive doses of chemical poison. The medical industry vampires filled my black ass with enough drugs to turn three individual niggahs into zombies. All this was supposedly designed to prevent a bit of relatively harmless herb smoking. I found the irony invigorating. The little bit of consciousness left to me was consistently focused on the exit possibilities. The degree of my being stewed on so-called properly prescribed prescription drugs was so severe that my mind thought my body to be invisible. It seemed to help. Well, not being crazy, I knew it was physically impossible to be invisible. But just having that attitude seemed to help me to act invisible, and you know what they say—if you go around barking all the time, sooner or later folks are going to treat you like a dog. As strange as it sounds, my mindset of invisibility somehow helped my ability to escape. Three times within six weeks I hit that locked heavy metal door at just the right moment to get behind just the right, unfamiliar staff people who were opening it. Armed with the attitude of invisibility and innocence, my nonchalant ass would walk out of the hospital and down to the bus stop. Each escape sponsored my immediate return to home turf to smoke a joint with my friends. Within a day or less, the men in either the blue or white coats would come to snag and drag me back to the zoo.”

Ed gave just part of a laugh and continued. “After the third such occasion, they hauled me into the Head Shrink’s office where my parents were wobbling and worrying in the comfy overstuffed leather guest chairs. It felt like school days all over again, like being brought up on the principal’s carpet—oh yeah, they threw me out of school several times too. That didn’t seem worth mentioning earlier because it’s not much of an accomplishment. A lot of kids get thrown out of school, and often the brightest and most creative ones. It is not just the ne’er-do-wells. Anyway, everyone decided (without consulting me, of course) that since they obviously couldn’t hold me in a lockup ward, they would transfer me to a nice place with lovely facilities. This new place didn’t lock the patients up during the day. The proposed facility was also known for using less toxic doses of medication. This transfer, I was told, would only happen upon my promise to not escape from this minimum-security type zoo. The doctor and my parents were directed by me to fuck off, and told that they were the ones who all belonged in a nuthouse—not me. At this point the Head Shrink asked my parents to please excuse us and leave the room so that he could have a private word with me. The doctor man was as big and black as two of my Dads taped together would have been. When we were alone he laid the situation on the line. ‘Look, you little shit. I’m throwing you out of here, anyway. Smarten the fuck up. If you do, you can get your parents off both our backs and yourself back on the street in a week or two.’

“Not what I expected. ‘I’m listening.’

“The good doctor stated his case. ‘You’re making us look bad. How the hell you got out of lockup three times, and especially under that kind of sedation, is unimaginable. Be assured it’s not going to happen again. Even if it means keeping a relatively harmless and sane person such as yourself in a straight jacket, you’re damn sure not going to have another escape from my supposedly secure institution. You won’t catch me saying this to your parents but to tell you the truth, from my observations, you make more damn sense than they do. Pay attention here. I’ve hooked you up with this country club of a hospital and convinced your parents that you’d like it there enough to stay and get helped. That is a real possibility, although judging by what I’ve seen of you so far it doesn’t seem likely. Doesn’t matter. You know you’re going to split from there and I know you’ll probably split from there. They don’t want to think you’ll split from there. They want to believe that you’ll stay and be cured, and so they do. Throw the dogs a bone. Get smart and get off your high horse. Go to the country club hospital. Relax, play some tennis and meet a nice rich girl. Have fun for a week or two. Then, if you’re not getting anything out of it, you can split and get back on the streets where your dumb ass seems to want to be. I’ll be rid of the embarrassing situation that you’ve been to this institution. Your parents will be one step closer to realizing that their son has to solve his own problems in a way that works for him, and that they’d be better off looking into their own personal set of problems. As you know, they have enough garbage of their own to work out.’

“That doctor man gave out a big ‘Hmmphhh!’ of a sigh. It let me know that he wished this party was over so he could go home. ‘By the way,’ he added. ‘Don’t even consider the possibility of telling anyone, ever or anywhere, that this proposition was put to you in this way. That would, of course, be denied. The word of a well respected psychiatrist is going to go a lot further than the pissed off ravings of a teenage drug addict.’

“The doctor man made sense to me. I told him so. ‘That was unnecessarily harsh, but understood. Let’s do it. Actually your whole plan is very well conceived and I’m ready to give this lovely new facility you mentioned my best effort, in the hope that it can help me to become a more productive member of society. Call the martini guzzlers in. I don’t need any rehearsal time for this one.’ “He shot me a small, cautious smile. ‘Don’t overplay it, wiseass.’”

Ed went on to tell about the transfer. “My stay at Hillberg Hospital for the minimally insane (The Hophead Hilton, as we residents called it) lasted for a week. It was tolerated for that long only because my fellow patients were so nice. They weren’t like the spooky, dangerous types of the lockup ward. There were several stories similar to mine. It seems that alcoholic parents locking up their kids for smoking herb had become popular. Some of my cellmates had more serious problems—hard drugs, suicide attempts, sexual or eating disorders. This was a high-class psych ward. Many of the kids had been coerced into the Hophead Hilton by threat of losing a trust fund. Several of my fellow loons knew that if they walked away from the country club zoo, or failed to finally be declared cured and competent, it could result in the loss of $1,000,000 or more when they turned 21.”

“You didn’t have a trust fund, did you, Ed?” I asked. “No, bubba. Not me,” he replied. “That wasn’t my family. My father was an electrician. He’d gotten me into the Hophead Hilton through a combination of his political, Mafia, and NAACP connections, as well as his Union’s kick-ass medical coverage plan. On the night before I was going to bolt from the place peaceably and of my own accord, there was an incident. This incident was responsible for my second psych hospital ejection.

In a confined and bizarre setting like a psych ward, there aren’t many people who are functional enough to relate to. On the other hand, for those who can (or will) allow it, getting close happens more quickly than it might under ordinary circumstances. My two best friends at Hillberg were a 19 year old guy named Dale and a 16 year old girl named Faith. On the evening in question, Faith had a crying, screaming type of toothache. The building’s doors were locked at night. The staff stayed quartered in the main office and was available by telephone. We informed them of the problem, but the zoo was short staffed that night. None of the whitecoats would bring Faith to a dentist. They wouldn’t call one to come up to the facility, either. The staff seemed more concerned with their own affairs. That was about to change. We liked Faith a lot. She meant a lot to Dale, myself, and the other patients who were sane enough to establish relationships. We decided to set off the building’s fire alarms. It worked. When the firemen rushed in, we rushed out. The event certainly had distracted the staff from their personal concerns. A dozen or so pissed off whitecoats were waiting for us on the lawn by the time we got there. A melee ensued. We were knocking over orderlies as best we could. They were gangtackling patients and securing us in restraining devices as best they could. Directly after the tussle, appropriate staff showed up to take Faith to the nearest medical facility’s emergency dentist. The mission was accomplished, but…”

Ed’s mind wandered for a few seconds as he relived the riot, but returned quickly to finish the story. “The next morning, me and Dale were expelled. I’m sure that the clever Head Shrink from that first lockup hospital was informed. He probably laughed as hard as I was laughing by the time I checked into my homeboy’s crib to find a phat joint of fine green weed waiting there for me to smoke it.”

Ed’s stories were too entertaining and incredible to interrupt. They were also true. I’d heard a lot of people’s lies during 100,000 miles of hitching and had become a good enough judge of such things to qualify as a human polygraph. Ed was for real. “Damn, Ed! OK, but how can anyone possibly get thrown out of a jail?”

“That wasn’t as much fun. Jail is hell.” It was a warm afternoon, but Ed displayed a frigid shiver when he said that. “Yeah, cops picked me up for hitchhiking in Florida. Those police said they found an outstanding warrant on me from another state. It was actually some kind of computer glitch in their system, but they wouldn’t believe that. They brought me in handcuffs to a big cell with room for about 20 guys. That cell had 30 guys in it. This was both a good and a bad thing. The living conditions sucked. The good part was that there had already been newspaper publicity about the overcrowded and inhumane conditions at this facility. Incarceration isn’t supposed to be a day at the beach, but dangerous overcrowding, withholding prisoner medication, pouring ice water on prisoners and then throwing them in the way-too-air-conditioned tank, beatings, rapes, and such are a bit much to tolerate in any venue. This gave me something to work with.”

Ed gave the smirk of a person who had just gotten a well-armed enemy to surrender to an unloaded gun as he resumed speaking. “Bobby Sands, the Irish activist, was in the newspapers at the time. His story inspired me to go on a hunger strike. I’ve always been puzzled by Blacks who had trouble getting along with the Irish, and by knowing so many Irish who had problems getting along with Black people. We Black and Irish people have certainly been put through a lot of the same torment! Anyway, I thought about Mr. Sands and didn’t eat anything for a week. We got to use the pay phones every few days, and you can bet all my friends were called and asked (loudly enough for everyone including the guards to hear) to contact the newspapers and politicians about the jail’s inhumane conditions. I finally wrote a list of grievances, then tore up a soda can and slashed my wrist with it. When they brought me to the hospital to get stitched up I passed the list to a nurse, and told her that I was neither crazy nor trying to kill myself. “‘Here’s a list of atrocities going on in the jail. It has to get to the attention of the right people and I damn sure can’t trust the guards to do that. Pleeeeease get this to a newspaper reporter. You’re my only hope.’ “The nurse said that she would. Whether she ever did is questionable. Armed guards brought me back to the jail. They deposited me in my own special little isolation cell. They may have defensively figured that my next move could be to incite a riot. Within a few hours of my return, the head of the whole county jail industry/system came to my private digs. At her request, the guards left us alone in the cell. “She got right to the point. ‘You’re making a lot of noise for just one guy. What’s going on?’

“She got the full Eddie account of the problems I had seen in her facility, including my little personal problem of being locked up for seven days without access to a lawyer. A lawyer seemed necessary to look into the mistake that was responsible for my being housed in this hellhole. She listened. “‘I’ll see what I can find out,’ she said as she left.

“Forty minutes later, guards came to my cell and escorted me to the front desk. They advised me that I was free to go. I asked if they were toying with me. ‘Hitchhiking is still my only way out of here. Are we going to have to go through all this again down the road?’ I asked. Hey, you never know what these guys could be setting you up for. The guard answered with such a seriously apologetic tone that he couldn’t have been lying. ‘All police personnel have been notified about your case, sir. You can, within reason, go wherever you want to go, by whatever means you want to use, and do whatever you want to do within this county. We’re not going to bother you again, sir.’ “I smiled. ‘Thanks, brother.’

“The guard looked up and smiled back at me. He seemed touched by the fact that, after all that had happened, his most difficult prisoner would still be calling him brother. He spoke to me. ‘I am going to think about some of the things you said while you were here. A lot of it was right, I think.’ He returned my shoelaces and belt as he offered his free hand for me to shake.

“I shook his hand. ‘Thank Bobby Sands, my friend. He’s the one who gave me the hunger strike idea.’

“‘Who’s Bobby Sands? We don’t have any Bobby Sands locked up in here. Where’s he from?’ asked the puzzled guard.

“As he opened the last set of doors between the jail and my freedom, the guard promised to read up on the man who is considered a saint by many Irish folks (although Mr. Sands was certainly not as popular with some others).

“About 100 yards after my release, a police car pulled over. From its open window, the officer asked, ‘Where you going, Ed?’

“‘Headed into town, officer. Same place as eight days ago.’

“The officer nodded. ‘Hop in. You’ve got a ride.’

“And that, my friend, is the story of how Ejection Eddie got thrown out of the military draft, two mental hospitals, a jail, and has earned his name.”

I was struck by his stories and told him so. “Ed, I’ve met a lot of unique people on the road, but you’ve got to win the prize! No one I’ve ever met has even gotten into that much trouble, much less been able to get out of it!”

Ejection Eddie’s simple response impressed me as much as his stories had. “It’s not magic, buddy. Of course, you have to keep your eyes open for life’s little snares. You can avoid most trouble just by doing that! But sometimes a situation can blind-side you, even when you have had your eyes open! Like a moth caught on the edge of a spider web, you have to keep flapping those wings until you escape. You can’t panic—and you definitely can’t get discouraged and give up. If you rationally, and energetically but patiently keep moving toward your freedom, then almost any trap can be broken out of. Creative confidence and perseverance can make you free. Lack of faith in your ability to get it done, surrender of will power, or panic replacing thought—will make you into a spider’s lunch.”
WELCOME TO THE OFFICE OF RIVERBEND HOT SPRINGS

You are the staff. You set the happy, festive tone that our guests keep returning to enjoy.

If you have any:

Psychoses, problems, hang-ups, weapons (psychological, metaphorical, or physical), depressions, regressions, transgressions, hard drugs (naturally occurring due to organic chemical imbalance or ingested), a past you can’t get rid of, a future you’re scared of, a present you can’t deal with, anger, frustration, ignorance, evil or just negative inclinations, hangovers, hangunders, unresolved conflicts (internal or external), attachments, syphilitic brain degeneration, bad genes, violent tendencies, withdrawal symptoms, substance abuse problems, substance shortage problems; if on Halloween you’re disguised as someone who is incapable of an interpersonal relationship and you aren’t wearing a costume, if you think you’re home with (or are) your mother, have a fear of daylight, garlic, other people or yourself, or if you generally have a fear instead of love based personality, psychic diarrhea or constipation, sexual frustrations or the inability to keep internal mechanisms positive in the face of minor difficulties—if you’re sick, just plain full of shit, are actually an asshole, or have anything else disagreeable that you want to spray all over the place—please advise the rest of us so that we can help heal you, or help you pack your car up, or give you a ride to the bus station.

It would be most preferable if you could just get with the fucking program and we could all live happily ever after.

If you can’t remember to treat each other as well as we treat the guests, then for the good of all and with a total absence of malice, my hounds will be instructed to enjoy your flesh as the tasty meal it will no doubt provide. You will not hear the aforementioned hellhounds bark. They’re too hungry to bother. Thanks for your time and attention. Have a nice day!

Love, Kali

Goddess of Destruction, Consort of the Dark Lord

Please see website for more sample chapters, information on our effort to sponsor wisdom professionals, the press and reviews, author info, and how to order the book.

Many thanks. Be well. Keep wagging!

Ten and the Fearless Puppy crew

www.fearlesspuppy.org


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