This Being How We Roll (a 30:30 report)

07/27/2020 2 By BuddyCushman

Sir Rick Fluming, my long-time associate and running buddy, arrived at the Oakland airport later yesterday afternoon. Katie Symonds drove me down the 880 to pick him up, which was all joyous reunioning and new intros and he said he’d seen humongous-sized bunnies hopping on the runway while landing and maybe we could go out and chase some around which garnered an interesting conversation between Katie and Sir Rick and a promise to take this up as an adventure maybe sometime the middle of next week, this being a Thursday, and Sir Rick and I had come to the understanding over repeated long-distance phone calls earlier in the month – this being a June – that he was out in the west here for a minimum of two weeks, and as you may know that for Sir Rick it’s about going with the flow and staying away from plan-ful tie-downs….

Which is of course why his ticket from Rhode Island to Oakland was one-way and he said to me one night that if he liked it well enough out here in the west he was having an open mind, not that he would give up the auto shop or all the work into it but he did have trainees and some highly responsible possible temporary bosses, and beyond that my old employee Keith from the pizza place I’d managed in Venice Beach had migrated from the studio in Boston down to Buzzards Bay, which is next to our hometown – Sir Rick’s and mine – and I’d taken a pledge that not only was Keith good people but also highly intelligent and that even remained the case when he was, as he’d say, whacked out of his brain on the Maryjane, and I had a lot of pizza stories to prove that,

But now it is Thursday night and we’ve had pancakes at a place down on Telegraph up from the main plaza where most of the demonstrations start or end up and I have sent away a young girl named Jersey who’s been crashing with us (LoLo and me), Jersey took bus money and is maybe still right now rolling down to the Anaheim station where an old classmate is picking her up and then it’s back to San Pedro where they grew up, my point is with Jersey hitting the road the spare room has become available and I have brought in clean sheets and pillow cases and swept the floor and windex-ed the two big windows which look out toward but not all the way to the lake and this is a two-family duplex arrangement on one of the hills and both sides have cellars and Sir Rick and I have returned from our breakfast supper and we are in my-side cellar creating all kinds of signs which will be used in tomorrow’s rally and march and of course kept on hand for all the rallies and demonstrations and possibly sit-ins and middle-of-the-street sit-downs which will be necessary coming up, some we already know why some we already know will be coming even if we don’t know what they are now because that’s the way it goes, the government fucks most everything up and a bunch of us hit the streets because that’s how we are made.

Sometimes you want to get judgmental and say the other side are a bunch of dumb assholes, which is usually accurate, but one of the great things about Sir Rick is he has always been for as long as my brain can remember not that kind of person, not that kind of human being, he’s pretty much a take it as it comes fellow and that means he’s open to giving everyone a chance as in he will at least for a small while listen to what most everyone has to say and then decide how it plays and he and I have had a lot of times where he has advised me to take a breath and check things out and vice versa where I have suggested we take it to the streets and party heavily and get out into one of the long line of great cars he’s had over all these years for a long or even short road trip, and when I say a road trip I don’t mean anything like Cape Cod to Virginia or anything like that, I’m talking Swifts Beach to Sandwich which if you know that particular geographic terrain you know that’s not much more than 12 or 14 miles, you could measure it, and I would even say that Katie took me on a small road trip down to the airport and back yesterday and on the way back we stayed off the 880 and took back roads through various Oakland neighborhoods….

And right here I can say in true honesty that I have been lucky to live around different places and nearly all of them have been sweet and giving and so filled up with wonder and imagination and possibility that it’s easy, it’s been easy, to go behind some trees or a warehouse and get on our knees or my own if I was by myself and shout out big gratitudes to any of the powers in the sky, which I also include the one I hear on the breeze, and I could offer as geographic residence examples Cape Cod and especially West Falmouth and our hometown, that goes without saying, and Venice Beach and further south down to San Clemente and these are all places of sweetness and diversity….

And now I remind I was talking about the various Oakland neighborhoods and there are lots of days, including today, where it is Oakland which is my favorite place of all and I’ve raved on Oaktown while high and also unfortunately straight to Sir Rick so many times on late night calls, and they were later for him in the east than me in the west but I have dialed a few at midnight my time and Rick always picks up and jumps right into my energy level, and here we are making signs in the cellar and I had a few different colors of acrylic paint in jars and a big bucket for water and brush cleansing and we have made a whole bunch already – some of them say “Fuck You” and “Fuck You Twice” and “Our Government Eats It” and that one is in a wild cursive with red paint and both of us have drawn with charcoal pencils cartoon characters around the edges, oh, another is “College Sucks” because you never know when that one will come in handy, and there’s a bunch more, I broke out laughing after we’d smoked a fatty down to burning our fingertips when I held one up to Sir Rick which I’d just finished in magenta-colored paint which said “Ban the Bomb” which is what some would call a golden oldie and you never hear that anymore but that was a saying around a lot back when Sir Rick and I were pretty good students at the Pilgrim elementary school, like second and third and fourth grades, and it flashed into my mind which I’m happy to say, and with no arrogance intended, is almost always wide open for any idea….

And that’s like how I was describing Sir Rick’s having helped me with listening to everyone all through our lives and now we have gone to the Whole Foods on Harrison and each bought a dark coffee in a to-go cup and dumped some out so it wouldn’t splash all over us because we were going to do a timed walk around the lake, not too fast, but non-stop and I was going to bring him up to speed on how things are out here including demonstrations and he was going to tell me what a lot of the people we’d had cool adventures with back in Massachusetts were up to these days.