By reading my blog you give me the opportunity to do the work I love to do, that is talk about life and its various aspects.
I know, wandering around is one of the things I do best, so I thank you for respecting my voice while I do it.
I’m a seeker, and I figure that you, being here, must be one too.
They say we didn’t come into this life with a manual on how to live it, but what if in our wanderings, we find one.
Joe Kumaskie is The
Metal Cowboy, and author of the following article:
into the van at the Eastside Fred Meyer's before I visit my ailing Mom, I
notice a young man in a sports car having trouble getting it started. He's
parked engine to engine and one slot over. I see jumper cables on the hood. We
make eye contact and his face is part shame, part determination and part
defiance. I set down a bag and mimic jumper cables and point at my car. He gets
out smiling. I pop my hood.
"You hook em
up, while I finish loading," I say. He's wearing a shirt that reads,
McAwesome. The M is the McDonald's logo. I can see now that the car is a rehab
with a Macco paint job and a baby seat in the back. His accent puts him
somewhere in Northern Africa... Ethiopia maybe?
thanks," He says.
you have cables because I lent my sister mine."
He nods. "The
battery, it's bad but I don't have the funds right now to replace it so I carry
the cables instead."
We jump it, starts
right up. Looking at his battery with the corrosion jogs my memory. I dig
around in my glove box, and hand McAwesome a Les Schwab envelope.
transferable certificate for a new battery. I got it when we had another car
but we only have the van now. It's good at any Les Schwab forever so..."
He keeps bowing and
smiling and shaking his head. "Many blessings on you... so many
I wave him off. The
whole thing took like two minutes and the coupon would have gotten lost,
forgotten or tossed. He drives away.
I go to roll the
cart back and notice a guy in the truck beside me shaking his head.
have just helped a terrorist, know that?!"
I stop the cart.
It's my turn to shake my head.
"I told him to
fuck off back to Africa," he says.
Puzzle pieces drop
into place. McAwesome had asked for help, gotten grief, explains the cables on
the hood and looking at me with shame and defiance.
I had so many
things I wanted to say to this guy, about the nature of fear, the world we
manifest with our choices, how kindness is not weakness and why we'll never
kill our way to peace. I open my door, turn back.
light a candle for you, my man."
I think about the
joy on my son's face the night before at the Weird Al concert, my Mom's brave
smile staring down the cancer.
it means is... if you're broken down in this parking lot I'll give you a jump
This article came
to me from a reader after I wrote about the little girl at my grandson’s school
who wears a scarf to cover her hair and clothing to cover her body.
Besides this article, Kumanski wrote The Metal Cowboy, a complication of stories about his bike touring trips and the people he meets. His only stipulation regarding my posting his
article was that I link to his his website, about IRON OVERLOAD.(Iron It Out). Never heard of it. Until now.
It is a genetic disease called hemochromatosis, where the body stores too much iron. The symptoms are often fatigue and depression. Hemochromatosis can eventually damage the liver, cause cancer, heart attacks, or Alzheimer’s. It can be deadly.
Kumanski has it. IT IS TREATABLE! When caught early.
Joe is paying it forward, trying to include a test for it in routine blood screening. His site is: