I’m just standing outside the periphery of another mountain range, thinking about what lies on the other side. I’m an explorer, a man bent on curiosity and wonderment. I’m driven by my insatiable thirst for knowledge but knowingly, I can never learn enough. Behind every door is yet another; it is an eternal quest and my life has been provided with limitations.

I hop in my car, turn on the accessories.

I’m listening to the song by my favorite band, Led Zeppelin, I think from the Presence Album, I’m not sure it’s on the radio. “Lay down your arms. . . oh yeah, lay down your arms.” I am singing along as I drive through the desert outside the perimeters of Nellis Air Force Base. “Lay down your arms. . . oh . . . Lay down your ar -ums . . . And then, an F-22 Raptor twists into the sky, another one quickly follows. “Lay down your arms. . . I am mesmerized, it is dusk, the shadowy mountains hug the horizon. Surreal, “Lay down your arms. . . three F-16’s in formation twist and turn and shake the earth and disappear beyond the periphery. I drive down the dusty path, destination unknown.

Las Vegas Sunset


Vagabonds of despair,
traveling and unraveling
mysteries in the lair

Of a journey’s daunted
and fools taunted
by the eyes
of a demonic stare

Visions blinded
by ancient fire
in the depth’s hollow
Lured by Satan’s desire
but for only fools to follow

By: R.J. Fico

Miles and miles later, with the sun hugging the horizon I insert a disc in the player. . . “Big Log.” My mind travels – years past, a half continent away. . .

Chicago. . .

Sitting in the bar, my new friend next to me. He hands me a couple of quarters and says, “Son, play something on the juke box.” I pull back my stool, get up.

“Ok, dad.” I then catch myself. . . Dad? Did I just call this new drinking buddy of mine, Dad? The last time I called him that I was 10 years old – probably right before he walked out the door on that Thanksgiving Day and not to be seen again for a few years. . . and by that time he was a changed man and I unfortunately, a changed boy. I looked at him as a complete stranger and he would remain just that. . .

Until now.

I walk over to the juke box and insert the quarters. I choose Robert Plant’s “Big Log” for me and Frank Sinatra’s “My Way for him.

I sit back down… “Ohhhhhhhh, and the freeway. . . and the coming of night time. My loooooooove.



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