Soundtrack, “Don’t Mess Around With Karma” by Brett Dennen.
Do you ever ask yourself, “Am I okay?” “Is everything okay?” “Is this the way things suppose to be?” I do, but I’m neurotic, I’m insecure and I live in a state of free floating anxiety. I get this feeling that I’m waiting on something or someone. For what? I don’t know. Could it be love, understanding, a second chance—lord knows I could use one of those. I wake up on a sunday and I feel lost. I hate Sundays’ anyway, they signal the end of another ephemeral week. Endings depress me, they remind me of funerals, break ups and another “day in the life” diminishing in my rearview mirror—- I’m lugubrious that way, and I’m sorry for my word choice, but there is no better word than that to describe my mood—-lugubrious….
I check my email, no messages. I check Facebook, no funny comments directed to me. I check my iPhone, no messages, no tweets, snapshots, no text, no voice message. I check my website, no hits, zip, nothing——nada. WTF is going on?——Oh no, I’m now one of those annoying people who communicate in acronyms. What’s next, a personalized license plate that cryptically declares “I ♥ mi Kat”.
People have way to much unproductive time on their hands. People don’t know how to make shit anymore. My mom use to have a Singer sewing machine and she made us clothes. Yeah clothes, pants, dresses, shirts—— the works. I can’t even sew a button on a dress shirt. It took her a long time to make a shirt, but every stitch, every button and every cut was done with her hands, tailored with love. Now, if that sounds corny, then go fuck yourself. This was back in the day, before you could go to your nearest Walmart and buy a shirt for $8.00. A shirt stitched together with the angst of an eight year old Kid in some suffocating sweat shop in a piss poor third world country. Mom grew her own garden and knew how to can fruits and vegetables. She had cast iron pots and pans and cooked bread, stews and soups from scratch. My dad had a tool kit and a tiny workshop. He could fix his car, fix the hot water heater, build a fence and do masonry. He could’ve build a fucking house if really wanted to. I have a hard time hanging a picture on the wall straight. My folks were living off the grid before it became some kind of trendy California “life style”.
They didn’t fill their days with mindless channel surfing, buying crap off QVC, web surfing; ears plugged into an iPod, eyes glued to an iPad or a computer screen. They did practical and valuable things with their time. When my mom was a young girl, she taught herself to play the piano. It’s amazing the stuff you can learn if you dedicate the time to it. They call them smart phones, but I say piss on that, the smarter the phone, the dumber the person.
I don’t get it. I walk the streets of my neighborhood these days and I don’t see a single kid outside playing. It’s a freaking beautiful day outside and I ask myself “Where’s all the kids?” They must be in their air-conditioned bedrooms playing video games, skyping or hacking into some top-secret government site. When I was a kid, our parents had to force us to come in for dinner. They’d have to holler for us to come in when it started to get dark. We didn’t need or want adults organizing our ballgames or telling us the fucking rules. We made up our own rules. We made up our own games and boundaries. We didn’t require uniforms or fancy gear or anything outside ourselves, we created our world from the inside out, we possessed magic——imagination.
These days I’m not so innocent and the world is no longer so simple. Beautiful girls parade by me covered in tattoos and piercings, gangs exploit the naïvety of the young seeking to belong, guns are carried to school like Twinky’s in lunch boxes, mass shootings are back page news, drugs are a refuge for the lost and on every street corner there’s a sad eyed homeless person with their tattered cardboard pleas. We’re bombarded with twenty-four-hour, seven days a week news, feeding us a steady diet of war, chaos and mayhem. Violence and death have become a form of amusement and entertainment. It’s no wonder that our Kids grow up so fast and so angry. I appreciate what Mark Twain said about the weather “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it”. What Twain said about the weather, is how I feel about watching the news—-the world is going to hell and no one is doing anything about it—-but those Nelson ratings just keep on going up!
There’s a certain time in late morning when the light falls through my southern window and I can see all these tiny particles of dust floating in the air. I sit still on my old couch and watch them in amazement. Could these be miniature worlds and solar systems spinning about in my little house. Is my world just another speck of dust floating in some giants living-room. Maybe all my silly woes and worries don’t add up to nothing more than what exists on a fleck of dust. What’s reality?—What’s illusion? Who can say?
I showed up for the love, and I’m not waiting on it anymore….Ya got to give it, to get it—–Karma baby…..