Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Monk’s Week Off Blog Project: Day 4

Galahad… where do I start? If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you have probably heard his name. My sword swinging, show tunes singing, bondage model buddy who gets more than his fair share of teasing about being my “bitch”. I must admit that if I were to butter my toast on that side of the bread, he would make an excellent catch. Strong, loyal, tenacious and honest, he is a force to be reckoned with and an invaluable asset to have on your side.

Confessions of a Gnome / Galahad Interrupted

Several weeks ago I got a request from Monk…he wanted me to write a guest post for the blog while he took a week off. Now I know what you're all thinking…what a lazy bastard…taking the week after New Years off. What happened to starting the New Year with a bang? Fact is, it's long overdue. Monk has done nothing these past 6 months but bang (not that way…well, ok, that way too). From my point of view, I figure he needs at least a week to pull together his loose ends and regrow the brain cells he's fried from hemp dust, coffee, concussions and lack of sleep. So, while he's huddled up in his room listening to Enya albums and rocking back and forth, I figure he's in no condition to stop me from writing my story here. Tambo likes to say that Monk doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good story. So today, it's just the facts, I swear.

On a cold morning in early September of 2003, my partner, Kitten flew to Japan for 10 months. That pretty much accounts for her for the last year. Moving on…in the wake of that departure, I was left shivering and disoriented in Seattle. Enter Monk. I've been doing the sword thing for several years, and I very vividly remember meeting the crazy new student who shaved his head and ran around with a rubber skull on a stick. Every week I saw this guy at practice…and ever week I asked him "So…how was your weekend?" I would get a slightly raised eyebrow…"Do you really wanna know?" This was the basis of my friendship with Monk and Tambo. You must understand, that at this point, TwistedMonk was just starting up, and Monk as you know him didn't exist.

Despite what you may think, TwistedMonk is not a twenty-person operation in a shiny factory, or even a basement. Monk does not stand on a platform proudly overseeing his gnomes as they toil away on fresh strands of rope. Nope, TwistedMonk is a home-grown endeavor, and as the business has grown, Monk spends more and more of his time pouring over rope in the garage, consuming thousands of dinosaurs worth of natural gas and decimating the vast northern mink herds as he turns out coil after coil.

So as I got to know Monk, I got to see him less and less. He was always showing up with that slightly crazed glint in his eye…and he always had whacky stories. Remember…never let the truth get in the way of a good story. While he might be a bit obsessive, excessively horny and more than a bit fanatical at times, he has earned a great deal of trust. While one can't put their finger on it, it's not the charisma. I think it's the sincerity. Monk has the ability to put aside all the manic craziness and all the performance in a heartbeat and look at you deadpan and ask how things are going...and he really is ready to listen. Macho guys don't hug...but if we weren't both VERY macho...we'd probably even hug once in a while.

When the blogging started, and I remember wondering when I was going to get a role in the blog. I can't describe to you how strange it is hearing an event that you've participated in retold through a storyteller's mouth. If I had to sum up Monk quickly, I would say that he is foremost a storyteller and to go beyond that, I would say he is driven. In many ways, his drive for most things seems to stem from his love of the story. I once asked him what scared him the most, and he told me that among his greatest fears was that someday, with Tambo long gone, he would be alone, forgotten and diminished (I didn't think that it was the best time to remind him that women typically outlive men). The Greeks and Romans used to say that immortality could be yours if you lived on in myth, story and memory. Monk tells his stories because in their way, they throw a bit of himself out into the world, a bit that may never be forgotten. He pours himself into his business so that somewhere in Australia, someone knows his name. When he stands in front of a crowd he is not just another face…he's Monk…or The Mad Monk…or Sergeant Marcos…or any other flavor of the day. At that moment he is larger than life and he lives forever. And I think everyone loves the touch of immortality on their cheek.