Sunday, January 10, 2016

Eighty Six the Poet is Dead

RIP Eighty Six the Poet
October 5, 1974 to September 15, 2015


It happened fast and then it happened slow. So slow no one noticed, not even the artist himself. But he is no doubt gone.

It happened the day he became a car salesman. At first, it seemed to make sense. All his life he'd worked in customer service. Then he became a mercenary freelance writer on any topic. What really interested him was his work with green cars.

He bought his own electric car and loved it. Frustrated with the low income ceiling in the restaurant business, he chose to step into auto sales. He got a job with BMW, the best green car company in town. Like he'd done his whole life, he lowered his shoulder and got to work.

He knew it wouldn't be easy. The hours would be long, but doubles in the hospitality biz never bothered him. He even imagined his writing could help him gain clients. He started Where is My Electric Minivan?, aspiring to be a strong influence weaning people from gasoline.

But never did he have the time or the energy. He had to sell what the customers wanted. Getting up on his podium and banging his shoe about driving electric was a turn off.

And he never earned what he wanted in the car sales game. He never wrote. He never appeared at EV events or sounded off on EV forums. He faded away.

Poverty and failure will do that to a person. You don't want to be seen, you don't want to speak, you don't even want to be around people when you have nothing good to say.

Eventually, he ceased to be.

The 86 the Poet tattoo on his arm, rather than being an affirmation of purpose, became a mockery in the mirror every morning as he rose before dawn. He shaved, showered and put on a BMW polo before driving to work to put on an energetic facade.

Coming home after earning no money to a family that needs it is like being fired every day. Except you have to keep going back.

Now, analyzing all that has happened, he realizes his is nothing he used to be.

He doesn't write, perform on stage, go on field trips with his kids, make his wife smile, eat well, have fun or have cash in his pocket.

It can't go on. He ain't going out like that. So I'm taking the CHAdeMO charger for my Nissan Leaf, sticking it in his chest and defibrillating his corpse. People always like poets better once they're dead anyway.


Eighty Six the Poet is dead. Long live Eighty Six the Poet.

Pressure and friction.
The only way out
From between two millstones.