Things I Never Needed

13 Things I Never NeededIMG_2065Sometimes I drive myself out into the black and white Nevada desert, not lost, but feelin my way through that big ole emptiness. The tire rutted road wraps its way around the hills, scrub-brush and sage like Bonnie Raitt’s voice twistin and breakin across the melody of a sad blues song. There ain’t nothin but a whole lot of nothin out here, just the way I like it. I take a long hard look at my face in the rear view mirror, and once again its just me runnin to be runnin. I’ve always been good at bein alone, just the sound of my tires over gravel, under those gray desert skies. I like what Robin Williams says about being alone, “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” He’s absolutely right, these days I pick my company wisely—–that’s why I don’t mind bein alone.

I can’t imagine how things could have gotten so goddamn barren, I scan the landscape to find pieces of myself in the nothingness of it all. Out here on the edges is where I find my freedom——not homelessness—-my inspired solitude—–not orphan-hood.

I can be your brother, your lover, your friend on this race to nowhere. I could belong to you, I could—–if you’d only let me, for just a moment, right here under these purdy twinklin western stars. I’d be your outlaw cowboy and you’d be the only one hell bent enough to ride with me. And, between our sins and trite apologies, we’d just keep on runnin wild and we’d say, “fuck this world” and “fuck all them city folk livin for all those things we never needed”. You’d bed down here right next to me by our dying fire, and out there we’d fall asleep to the sweet sound of coyotes singin to us—-

They say there are more stars in the heavens then there are grains of sand on all of this worlds beaches—–we’re so small and our time so deceitfully brief—— insignificant to everything and everyone except one another—-which reminds me, sense you’ve moved on, I’m not so good at bein alone.

Most people don’t come way out here, cause there ain’t nothin here but what you bring along with ya, and if all ya bring is yourself, well that could blister a soul, leavin it dried up and earth cracked like an Arroyo filled with white sun bleached bones. Cause between here and that fallin horizon——-all ya gonna find is all the things you’ve done or didn’t do—– could’ve or should’ve done—-intend to do or never will do.

Yeepee-ki-yey, I’ll send ya-all a picture postcard from the edge.

Revoking Gravity

Time, I’m obsessed with the concept of time.  I think of it as I strap my wristwatch to my wrist, it’s stares me down when I awake to its flashing red digital numbers on my alarm clock and it mocks me as I compulsively glance at my cellphone with its depleting, draining, ever-ending recession of virtual ticks.  Sometimes I feel as if I’m sitting at bottom of the sea holding my breath or base jumping without a parachute——–I’ve fallen asleep on a train that’s reached its end of the line.  Time flies, and I feel myself falling–tumbling—-being swept away against my will.

I’m just trying to do the right thing these days.  That’s all I really need to know or remember to do.   Newtons first law of physic’s states, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”  It’s those unbalanced forces acting upon me that keep knocking me sideways.  Doing the right thing should be so easy, but sadly it is often the last thing on my list of things to do. I get pissed off when I should be apologizing, I’m cheating and lying when I should be honest and telling the truth, I’m trying to be the life of the party when I should’ve just gone home and written it all down in the words that make sense to me.  Oh yes Mr. Newton, you can have your numbers and calculations, leave me to my words—-because when they’re put together correctly, oh how they become like ethereal wings, eloquent and transcending, taking me to places better than this dreary world—–so cleansing—–a final refuge from the landslide of unbalanced forces acting upon me these days.

They say the hardest thing to do is to admit you have a problem. No, I think that is the second hardest thing to do. The hardest thing to do is to quit doing the things that creates the problem.  For example, it’s difficult to admit that you have a drug or alcohol problem, but harder yet, is to remain resolute in the action of staying quitted following such a confession—-supporting words with action.  Confession are ephemeral, changing ones life is an unrelenting grind demanding ones blood, sweat and tears.  To continue moving forward, this is where the hand to heart combat takes place—-such a struggle to surrender ones will to that blessed nudge of grace that keeps us moving in the right direction, doing the right things.  All these unbalanced forces acting upon me are trying to push and shove me off course.  I have all this emotional baggage, mental atrophy and spiritual entropy working against me. Needless to say, I’ve committed the most heinous of sins, I’ve disappoint myself.

But I know the truth.  No one can save anyone but their own self.  Because at some level we are all equally messed up as well a resilient.  Sorry to indite you too, as I stumble through this nasty spiritual expedition.  But we’re all just little people in a big world with its dispassionate clock gnawing away the time allotted to make sense of all things beautiful and sad—and maybe find a way to stagger into the arms of love and happiness. Everyone is desperately missing someone, secretly sorry for something, afraid of the things lurking in their darkest closet, regretfully putting worn-out dreams to bed, hoping to be touched, needing to be understood, stretching out across time and space like an exploding supernova.

I once wanted to help everyone, in fact I set out to save the world.  I went so far as to become a Social Worker, an odd profession, its definition existing somewhere between a cop and a holy man—-writing emotional speeding tickets and then tearing them up, because we’re all trapped in our own tiny hells deserving someones forgiveness.  I was never that successful at helping people.  I’d usually end up telling them things they didn’t want to hear and instructing them to do things they didn’t want to do.  Things like, quit drinking and doing drugs and to attend their mental heath appointments.  Or, things like get a job, go to night school and pay their bills on time.  Telling them to be good role models for their children and upright citizens and all that kind of virtues crap. The only ones I could  ever help were the ones who were ready to help themselves.  In fact they didn’t really need me at all, I just helped them fill out the stacks of mandatory government paperwork required of all agency trying to justify their existence.

The most boring people in the world are the ones waiting for someone to save them.  They have nothing to offer to anyone but their own misery.  Like the panhandler with his pitifully scrawled cardboard sign standing on the corner in the rain, hiding beneath that solemn grimace of a grin. Two hundred and fifty thousand years ago he would have been eaten by a dinosaur.  Life isn’t cruel, but it has no patience for those who have nothing to offer or contribute to the greater whole.

I admire the doers, the crazy ones who think they’re going to change the world.  These are the ones I always bet on, the scrappers, the dark horses, the long shots.  I tag along with the ones who are incessantly scheming and tinkering, trying and failing, trying and failing——–but always moving forward—–cause no one is a loser in my book as long as they’re putting themselves out there, taking the risks—owning their failures and celebrating their success.

I’m going to learn to juggle.  The only thing that keeps us moving forward is the willingness to learn something new everyday.  Juggling is a lot like life, the art of playing with gravity and timing, catching and letting go, catching and letting go.  I bet Mr. Newton would have something to say about that—-gravity that is.