Last winter I wrote my post, Rigorous Honesty, after watching Bubbles struggle and stumble his way through an NA meeting and then after talking for a long time about the episode over lunch with another fellow Wire addict and former drug addict, the charming Ms. Hiromi. Like most of my half-decent writing, the idea was not even half-formed when I first sat down to write it and then it just barfed itself all over the page in one long non-stop blast. I posted it, then packed up my computer and headed to the Austin airport to come home to New Orleans.
I’m at the airport, and H. calls me up and says, “Dude, you are not going to believe the comment you just got on that post”. We were ten minutes from boarding but I went and paid the $9.95 for wifi to read the very humbling praise that David Simon left me, and I was admittedly kind of giddy. And the first person I called was Ashley. Ashley who, like me, had loved the show from the very beginning. But Ashley who, unlike me, had helped drive the “Save The Wire” movement when it looked like it might be cancelled by HBO; who had read and watched and rewatched Homicide and The Corner; who could quote off the top of his head more trivia and quotes and little known Wire facts in five minutes than I could dig up in an hour of Googling.
I immediately called Ashley, and he answered the phone, not with “Hello”, or “Hey Ray”, or “Ashley Morris”. No, he picked up the phone and yelled “Motherfucker! You piece of shit! Goddammit, you lucky fucking asshole!” All in good fun, of course. (We were close, this is like whispering sweet nothings between us.) “I guess you read it then, huh?”, I said. “Yes! I read it. Fuck you.”
And for most of the history of this blog, my post was the most read post, and one of I think only two posts that got some DS love in the comments. I didn’t gloat, but yeah, I check my stats.
Well, no longer. The most read post on this blog, ever since four weeks ago, has been Open Thread for Ashley, and the most DS love I’ve ever seen doled out for anybody not actually on the show is there in the comments.
I tell you, that fat fucking loveable bastard was committed, man. You do not FUCK with Ashley on his turf and expect to stay on top.
Motherfucker will do ANYTHING. “My name is my NAME!”
The last time I saw him, at the Maple Leaf Bar, I was giving him my brain-dump on single malts (one of my former weaknesses), and I pointed at the Highland Park on the top shelf and told him about the Orkney Island distillery, the northernmost distillery in Scotland, almost at the Arctic Circle, and I said “Highland Park 18 year old. When I relapse, it’s gonna be a pint of Guinness and then a bottle of that,” and he said “Like hell.”
“Like hell what?”
“Over my dead body. I’ll kill your dumb ass before I let you relapse.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. I need another cranberry and soda, you want another Abita or you switching to Jameson?”
Tomorrow it will have been a month, y’all. I think Ashley would want us to start writing about what comes next, ya know?