Yesterday I went to visit a new friend (and now that I have rented a house here, I can also call her a neighbor) — Cynthia Hood, the yoga teacher who lives a mile down the road. (She and her husband are building a beautiful new yoga studio, which I hope they don’t finish too soon as I will miss her classes in the church!)
When I turned right onto Highway 170, in the bright morning light, I saw something I hadn’t seen before – a pirate’s dwelling with a huge sign declaring its crude-but-kind-of-funny name: Passing Wind.
How could I have missed seeing this garish display before? It couldn’t be more obvious – or more out of place. I shame myself for Passing Judgment. I mean, hey, this is desert life in Far West Texas — a place where you are free to express your true self, where neighbors will either tolerate you or simply look the other way, even if you’re living out your Captain Hook fantasy.
The faux pirate ship reminded me of an old friend from college, Pirate Jim, who is living out his own pirate dream in Seattle, Washington.
(LEFT: Jim then, speaking at our college graduation)
Jim can frequently be found dressed up like a pirate – he’s got the whole outfit: eye patch, bandana, poofy shirt and knickers, sword – which he dons in the name of scaring children at Sea-Fair, riding on a pirate-ship float in the annual parade, tossing pirate’s booty (plastic beads and foil-wrapped chocolate coins) to the cheering crowds, and yelling out “Ahoy, mateys! Argh, argh, argh!” in his bass-tone pirate accent and making people laugh. (Are they laughing at him or with him?) Pirate Jim is such a celebrity he has his own baseball cards. He has even run – representing the Pirate Party, naturally – for mayor of Seattle. It’s all in the name of good fun and bringing smiles to people’s faces, sometimes to people in hospitals or nursing homes.
In the same way I, as Pie Girl, try to use pie to spread happiness, Pirate Jim has found his vehicle for giving of himself to others. As for the guy with the lost ship in the Texas desert? I’ll have to knock on his porthole one day and find out what makes him tick. Until then…ho, ho, ho, suddenly I’m getting an urge to drink some rum.
(ABOVE LEFT: Jim now, in his new identity.)