With all of the personal concerns this week a terrible anniversary passed without comment. I was three years old on the day he was killed.
If he had lived, if others had lived...
Well. That's just wishing out loud.
Here's how I remember it:
Dr. King rode a bullet right up to Heaven.
God said, all innocent and all-knowing:
"What are you doing here, man?"
"Damned if I know. I was getting ready for a rally."
So God said:
"Well, hell, then you've come to the right place."
That night King killed at The Downtown Heavenly Hall.
Best speech they'd heard up there in years.
Next morning God comes by the boarding house in downtown heaven King insisted on staying at.
All of the angels and the archangels and the thrones and the dominions and all of the rest of the hangers-on in their glory and their choir were saying, come on, man, there's a penthouse waiting, we got a mini-bar, we got chicks, what are you doing?
King just frowned and said:
"If I'm riding this far, I'm riding all the way. Take me back downtown."
That morning, in the watery half-sunlight of Heaven, God looked around the crummy little room and, kind of half-assed, asked:
"You all right this morning?"
" Yeah, sure, I'm all right, but you got some problems up here."
Three hours later, God was still taking notes and wishing hard that he had cut a different deal.