And other strange stories.
Many years ago I found myself driving late one night from my home in the Santa Cruz mountains to Burbank in southern California.
My ex-wife's father was dying. (Of course she was not "ex" at the time, though that would not have made any difference)
He had been diagnosed with cancer a couple months before, had endured surgery and chemo to no avail and was sent home with about a week or so to live according to the doctors.
As you might imagine, the family was freaking out just a bit. My mother-in-law has spent her life as a house wife and was having a very hard time dealing with taking care of someone who was terminally ill while trying to deal with her grief at the same time. My sister-in-law was being overwhelmed by the idea of losing her father, my ex was made of pretty tough material but the round the clock care her father needed was becoming too much for her.
At the time I had been working in various hospitals for a few years, having found it a good way to support my education habit. I was a psychiatric technician at the time, which is basically a LVN, but with a specialty working on the psych ward. This meant that I could give meds and injections under a Doctor's orders, and that I had all manner of little skills that are useful in this sort of situation (like knowing how to change an IV bag or irrigate a catheter).
So I got a call from my wife asking me to get time off work and come down and help before they all imploded.
This is how I found myself driving down highway 101 in a little yellow VW bug that had only an AM radio to keep me company.
I had take 101 because in those days it took the same amount of time as I5 (the speed limit was 55 mph back then) and was a much nicer drive.
At one in the morning I was just about at Buellton and was desperately trying to find something other than country music on the radio to help me stay awake.
I managed to pick up an LA station on "skip" that was some sort of a radio drama.
I came in on it in the middle and had no idea what I was listening to, but it sounded interesting, there was North African trance music being played in the background. Then one of the characters told a Nasruddin story to illustrate a point.
The story was about a fellow named Jack Flanders, who was looking for an entrance to the invisible world. It was produced by ZBS Foundation (I came to find out later)
It was a marathon playing of the show, so for the next four hours or so I listened to one of the more surreal stories I had ever heard. It left me in a rather interesting head space over the next week as I midwifed my father-in-law on the last leg of his journey here.
It was the most Sufi like story I had heard in the West at that time.
For whatever reason, the story stuck with me all these years, though I have never heard it re-aired.
To make a long story short, I am arranging for Radio Ansari to air the entire nine hours of the show. I suspect it will be one chapter a week for eight weeks so that no one has to miss anything.
When the program is ready to go I will let everyone know.
Moon Over Morocco
Friday, August 04, 2006
And other strange stories.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 9:07 AM