Category: Bill Dixon’s From the Edge

Bill Dixon/From the Edge

I took the High Street bus to a campus bar near my apartment, washed my hands thoroughly, and ordered a cold bottle of beer. I told the bartender, Harry, I’d just gotten out of prison. He asked me if they offered to let me keep the striped suit. A funny guy, Harry…. It took me about fifteen minutes to settle down, and start erasing the previous hour from my thoughts, a job that’s still not done.

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From the Edge/Bill Dixon

I liked cat houses as places to sip adult beverages, thereafter. Also, they were typically cleaner and had colder beer than the alternative beer joints, plus a “security officer” or two to look after the paying customers. They had a bathroom, too, instead of having customers go out the side door, and pee in the weeds. Lee offered all those services, as well. We immediately established a mutually acceptable relationship.

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From the Edge/Column

Things started to come apart: we blamed each other for things little and large: cracks opened. Staying in the same house got progressively harder for us. I have to take responsibility for doing nothing to change the direction things were going. It really was my fault, and I’d declined a wonderful opportunity and wrecked almost twenty years of our very excellent relationship. Being pig-headed is an expensive behavior form, but I fit the definition, nicely. By mutual decision, I “temporarily” moved into a small campus area rental property we owned. I strayed. I strayed a lot.

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Bill Dixon/From the Edge

Everyone develops a system of rationalizing their more aberrant behavioral issues, I suppose, and I have developed mine. I don’t watch much television. (Here comes the rationalization)….In Maine, I don’t have any means of doing so: no cable, no antenna, and absolutely no interest in turning on the tube even if I had the means to do so. Accordingly, for nearly six months out of the year, I don’t watch any TV at all − as in none!

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From the Edge

I had no schedule or set destination, so I just rolled along, headed west. Out in the open country areas, I took my time and took in the scenery. Farms and woods, rolling fields, late September at its best: it was glorious weather. I thought that perhaps I’d treat myself, and find a cheap motel and crash that night. Maybe have a beer or two in a bar within walking-distance of my motel. It was a good plan. The next day, I drove into Minnesota, which was beautiful in the first days of autumn, with the farmers harvesting their crops and bailing hay for winter feed.

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