” Shoot for the Moon because even if you miss you will still be among the Stars. “
By Pogue Mahone
The bastard grandson of famed San Francisco attorney Elmer P Delany. Young David was raised by his mother, a Big Top Carnival employee who studied law by correspondence after cleaning animal cages and cooking the books for the Circus.
She excelled in accounting and criminal law. Her speed & prowess on an IBM electric typewriter was blazing and legendary. The hum of its motor was as hypnotic as the moon, the rhythmic ratatat of its keys like birdsong, the lap of the carriage was the backbeat you could never lose. For many years young David thought the exclamation SHIT! to be the burst of bestial passion that meant to make a mistake on the typewriter.
This orchestral maneuver was the soothing soundscape symphony of his dream time. Believing the machine was inhabited by little musical men tucked away under the hood and behind the keys, the boy pleaded with them to show themselves while his mother was away busy cleaning cages. Angered by their cold insistence on remaining silent he squeezed mustard between the keys in a vain attempt to reach them. He knew he had acted out of frustration and done wrong.
Upon her return his mother found him in a corner facing the wall. She did not scold him. Instead, she took him with her to the repair shop where all the magical musical men were revealed to be real men with glasses, sleeves rolled up, hands busy who worked with gears, parts, and pieces like the keys he believed they were hiding behind.
This evidence of magical thinking being in fact cold hard steel, wires, and electricity could have been the end of his fantastical bent and the beginning of a career in engineering or even law. But the opposite proved to be the case. Art & Magic now inhabited everything organic and inorganic and his mother was sorceress if not the source of its power. How does one learn its ways and possess its power?
David’s first works of art produced under the Big Top with whitewash and grease paint were brilliant portraits and fantastic landscapes. They were all soon destroyed by the monkeys who were also his closest companions.
Beware of monkeys! They are as strong, quick, and malicious as they are charming and entertaining. Gullible, naive, and easily distracted they ruled him and he was their plaything for many years. In time he learned to dodge them and conserve his passions if not protect his creations…but I am getting ahead of the story of David’s childhood under the Big Top, his delicious discovery of Nature’s Beauty, his first Love, his crushes, and defeats, all the sensual pleasure & mystery that became the bedrock of his Passion, Life & Art!
Oh, what the hell. We can return to that magical, potent, stem cell of every human life at any time. No?
By the age of 30, young David had graduated from his position as personal assistant to the Fat lady and speech therapist to the Mute Dwarf.
It was time to go.
His magical mother, now graduated from law school Phi Beta Kappa began writing legal opinions for various Supreme Court justices.
Decades later his mother died in his arms at a home for circus performers with dementia. Her last words to dDelany, spoken as clearly as a morning brief to the Chief Justice were…
” A whole lot of worry for nothing.”
With a heavy heart and a small inheritance, dDelany sailed west under the Golden Gate before turning south toward that exotic land of dark-eyed maidens and Mariachis, Mexico.
At his cousin’s Cabo Cantina he traded in his PFD for a backpack, traveled to Nayarit, painted a mural, enjoyed the nightlife and music before a pandemic sent him scurrying in search of a place to ride out the evil wind.
dDelany sought refuge with the famed artist, cowboy evangelist, and, sometime, Las Vegas’s Dune Casino Santa Claus, Georgie Boy Berg.
Settled into Georgie’s humble mansion by the breaking waves of Matanchén Bay and surrounded by jackfruit orchards with the company of his faithful friend Quincho and his playful puppies Rubí & Scooby dDelany painted his Pandemic Paintings infused with the vibrant colors of Mexico at a prodigious rate.
Frankly, there was little else to do.
Fast forward 18 months, fully vaccinated by the generous mexican people dDelany was riding pretty high.
Man proposes and God disposes.
While visiting the USA informed that his pal George is dying, dDelany races his friend’s bedside, alas, the day George left this earthly paradise, he had only reached Mazatlan. It was 2AM when Quincho informed him It was too late for another encounter. It was early that stormy morning a light rain fell. Jesus accompanied him to his car.
Jesus asked, ” Porque sale tan temprano?” Why? you leave so early?
dDelany says “…mi amigo Jorge se murió / my friend George died”
… just then the sky boommed with thunder.
Without missing a beat the guard replies:
“Esta Bienvenido. He is well received. “
And so it is….Así es.
After George’s death dDelany renewed his creative spirit in the magical Mexico of City, CDMX, the home of the Chilangos.