To the Great Buffalo in the Sky,
A couple of nights ago you received the great Choctaw spirit of Asa Tom, who I'm sure came snorting and storming through the gates of your Great Plains talkin' shit and wondering where the hell the beer was and the all you can eat buffet as he was probably very hungry and thirsty after his great trek as he most likely had to slay many beasts and demons along the way that tried to keep him from reaching your great glowing presence - there wasn't anything in this world, or the next, that would keep him from reaching the Great Plains in the sky that you roam. Great Buffalo you know what was in his heart as he spoke to you often, and you know that he was good - if only somewhat misguided, like we all are who wish for great and adventurous things in this world and often times have to suffer under the grim reality of simply providing for ourselves - a great and wondrous horizon reduced to slave labor for small minds with small ambitions. So, Great Buffalo, welcome him back into your tribe after his wild stint here on earth where he cut through the bullshit that is all too often our tedious existence with an acerbic wit, laser like ability to speak the truth, profound philosophy, ball biting humor and a distrust and disrespect for power and authority that was fucking wonderful to be around! Great Buffalo, give him a post worthy of his soul and let him roam. I'm sorry that you found it necessary to take him back, but I'm sure you had your reasons. He was really, plain and simply, too much for this fuckin' world. I'm just glad that you brought him into my life while he was here as he often helped me to laugh at the absurdity of this existence and the bleakness that we all sometimes feel. He helped me to laugh and smile and find some sort of joy in the face of often painful, overwhelming, and seemingly unfair life obstacles, like helping me to make it through endless hours of back breaking work under a tortuous sun in 110 degree heat for thankless mule driving employers - invariably in the midst of one of these endurathons, about to snap and kill myself or somebody nearby, he would get me laughing so fucking deliriously that I would somehow forget the pain that racked my body and we would make it through the day or night back to the safety and comfort of our motel room or home where we would trade feel good pills and rub each other down with Tiger Balm - because that's what friends do: they help each other out, even if that means rubbing each others bodies with ancient Chinese ointment - FUCK YOU! And as hard as some of that fuckin' work that we did together was, we had some pretty fuckin' good times. And as anyone who ever worked with Asa Tom can attest to, you ALWAYS had a good time when he was around, always, undeniably. Fuck, it got to the point towards the end there to where I wouldn't even want to work unless Asa was on the job, especially if it was a road trip. Basically, Asa made the pain that life can be bearable for me. I'm really gonna miss him. It was like having my own life Shaman or Buddha around when I was with him, a madman Shaman, but a Shaman nonetheless. He could make light of ANY situation. It was an amazing ability that I'm gonna miss. I just wish I could do the same for him on this one, but I'm stumped, and when it comes right down to it, I'm just hurt and I'm sad. I'm really gonna miss havin' him around. I'm gonna miss him talkin' shit about my ex-wives, my lack of direction in life, my often questionable decision making skills, my lack of money and/or work, my hopeless romanticism, and my writing a memoir at 35 (as you put it so poignantly buddy: "You got nothin' to write about!" and then, "I'm not gonna write somethin' until I lose an arm. Then I'll have something to write about.") Well, the last laughs on me partner, cuz now I'm gonna write YOUR story - that's right, and I can write whatever the fuck I want to, and in my version of things you will most likely be a cross dressing beastialist with a fondness for boas and poetry - maybe with one arm (howyalikethat?). Well, you got a front row seat for the show now buddy, and I'm not gonna let ya down. I'm gonna run the Iditirod for ya. And I'll see every port in the world, just like we talked about, takin' a shot of liquor for ya at each stop. And if Marie and I have a child you're still gonna be the Godfather just like you wanted, just like I promised ya. And you can see the kid anytime you want to. And if I ever get this book published that I've been working on I'm gonna dedicate it to ya. Thanks for helpin' me to not take myself so seriously buddy. I'm gonna miss ya. I love ya... Buffalo ride...