By Dr. Bud E. Bryan
People say I'm crazy, doing what I'm doing
Well, they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm okay, well, they look at me kinda strange
"Surely, you're not happy now, you no longer play the game"
Life, its own self, keeps on churning down here. And it got me to thinkin', which admittedly isn't always a good thing as followers of this column know. I was driving down to San Antonio the other day when "Watching the Wheels" by John Lennon came on "The Bridge" on SiriusXM. Sometimes we forget, even as car people, that it's good to get out and just drive - with no particular place to go. And it's even better to do it while getting lost in some music that moves you along the way, something that takes you back to a place and time that's indelibly etched into your soul.
Unfortunately, as much as I believe in being of the moment, and I strive to take everything in as it happens - without getting caught up in what came before or what's about to be - it's hard not to think back. And driving down the road is the best time to do that. That's why I still like to just meander around the radio dial and not be so dependent on what's on the iWhatever. Because when you're on the road the music comes to you in a powerful way. It places you in the moment, most likely a previously experienced moment, transporting you to a place in time that will always be with you. Where you were, who you were with, what you were doing and where you were in your life.
We've all seen movies and read fantasy stories about time traveling and how alluring it sounds, but for me driving down a lonely road and getting lost in a different time and place through a particularly powerful piece of music is every bit as good. Because it brings you to a place that you've been before live and in color, and then you can go back and live it again, even if it's just for a brief, fleeting moment.
That's one of the things that's lost on the anti-car hordes. They can't imagine why anyone would just wander off to no place in particular, because to them it seems so inconsequential and so damn irresponsible. Somewhere along the way they not only lost the plot, they went out of their way to disassociate themselves from the human condition. Purging all thoughts of skipping out, goofing off or just plain being missing in action for a while, they've arrived at a dismal place in their lives. No wonder they're so damn miserable.
I can't speak for Lennon, but it sounds to me that he was commenting on his disaffection with his life before, his life with the biggest band in the world. He had walked away, dropped out, moved on. And even if we weren't ready for it back then, it's what he wanted to do and he went ahead and did it, basically saying, "this is who I am now, get over it," or something like that.
I kind of did that for a while here. No, not the biggest band in the world part, but I certainly walked away from my life here, on this website. That's why we gathered together at least Part I of my book, A Bud's Life, because the likelihood of me being that forthright and raw in these pages again is pretty damn unlikely. I have no regrets doing it at all, but will I do it again? I doubt it, but then again the more you know about me, the more you just never know.
I recently wanted to write about something - or someone - but I decided not to. Someone who came alive in these pages with her "chiseled form" and her blonde tresses and her little black dresses. I wanted to relive our relentless bouts of desire and the cadence of our unconventional life, when time didn't travel at all, but stood starkly still in the quiet darkness of those most memorable nights.
But in the end it was just too painful, too much "blood on the tracks" as Peter reminded me. I did manage to say something about her, sort of a final farewell, through a minute change in Lennon's lyrics.*
Ahhh, people ask me questions, lost in confusion
Well, I tell them there's no problem, only solutions
Well, they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind
I tell them there's no hurry, I'm just sitting here doing time
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go
I just had to let it go
I just had to let her go...
Adios until the next time.
*Publishers: ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
A Bud's Life
Part social commentary, part car-culture love letter, part romantic page-turner, and part lusty, dramatic, and at times uproariously comical guy-lit, A Bud’s Life is a wildly entertaining, surprisingly thought-provoking and at times emotionally gut-wrenching read about a decade in the life of a truly singular character, Dr. Bud E. Bryan.
"Me? I have been accused of being immature, narcissistic, stupid, a rake, a womanizer, a bad guy, childish. You name it, I've been called it. But you know what? I'm adopting the Popeye Defense because I am what I am. And Jolene fell in love with me for who I am. People have given me reams of shit over my "immaturity" and lecture me that I should just be happy being home and to shut up, but fuck 'em all. They don't know me; they only think they know me. Some of this stuff just falls on my head and I can't control it. But I get called out for it just the same. Other stuff, well, what can I say? I love tequila and fast cars and racing. I love music. I love football. And I love women. Especially fiery women. Always have. Always will too. I love the way they look, the way they move, the way they talk, the way they smell. I love their minds, I love their tantrums, I love the fact that they're different from men and I want it to stay that way. And I love getting lost in them, too, every damn inch of them. It makes the whole damn world go around. I have past entanglements, I admit. And Nadine is a recurring issue. But Jolene knew all of that before she hooked up with me. Hell, she nursed me back to health after Nadine shot me. But I still go home to her and I'm still with her, goddamnit. But am I going to stop loving everything about women or noticing hot women? Not likely. Just as I'm never going to tire of watching Jolene walking around our house only with a towel wrapped around her knowing we're about to get it on. It is what it is, and I'm not about to change. And my contention is that Jolene doesn't really want me to change either, because then I would be a guy she doesn't know and won't want to be with. Oh, and one more thing. I think the whole idea of counseling is crap. This whole country has gone to hell in a handbasket because of the psycho-babble bullshit that's infected every facet of society. No accountability? No one's fault? I say bullshit to that. As for me, I take full responsibility for who I am. And I'm not apologizing for nothin'." - Dr. Bud E. Bryan
Well, it has finally happened! We are pleased to announce the publication of A Bud's Life: One Man's Journey Through Life Unbridled. Dr. Bud's Kindle eBook is available now on Amazon. -WG