Age

They say I’m old. But they don’t know what old is. They break it down into a simple math equation. They take my birthdate as the starting point, then they take the current date and add up the years between the two dates They’ll say that number is my age, they’ll say that’s how old I am. But they don’t understand that I’m not the sum of the years I’ve lived, but rather, I’m all my ages——-all the time.  

Who I am, is all the things I’ve ever been. I’m the little girl playing with dolls and having a tea party. I’m the young girl learning how to dance. I’m the teen in the party dress nervously hoping some boy will ask me to dance. I’m the one discovering that indescribable passion of a first love. In me, is the youthful college graduate filled with tenacity and anxious to chase down her dreams. I’m the beautiful woman in that old photo dressed in a white wedding dress. I’m the first time mother gently cradling her baby. I’m the strong willed and determined career woman earning her respect in a man’s world. I’m the proud grandparent braiding her granddaughters hair. I’m the retired woman meeting her long time friends for lunch. I’m the matriarch giving my time and counsel to the young ones who are on their journey. Can’t you see, I’m all these things at once. So for god sake, please don’t call me old——call me experienced.  I’m like a pair of broken in hiking boots, a little worn but comfortable and a good fit for all seasons. 

Sure, I have those aches and pains that come with age. I move a little slower. I might forget a thing or two. My hair is graying and my hearing isn’t what it use to be. But inside, I swear, I feel much younger than I appear (Well, at least that’s true most days). Sometimes I sit in my chair and run all my favorite memories back like old movies being screened in a darkened theater. Yes, those were the days of my life and no one can take them from me. Life is bitter sweet, but mostly sweet. I enjoy the small things now. I enjoy sitting outside and listening to the birds, visiting with my family, slipping into a warm bed——-and of course——-having a good ole bowel movement. 

If I could be young for one day I’d do some wild crazy things. I’d ride my bicycle down to the beach, peal off my clothes and go skinny dipping in that Pacific ocean. I’d have myself a slice of triple layer chocolate cake and wash it down with champagne. I’d challenge all those loudmouthed bullies to an arm wrestle. I’d beat their asses then tell them to fuck off. I’d go through the karma-sutra and try all the positions once, and the ones I liked, I’d do twice. I’d turn my speakers up to ten, then sing and dance to all my favorite songs. I’d make a point of calling everyone I love and tell them how they made my life joyful, memorable and worth living. 

I’d hold your hand and look you in the eye as if I’d never have to let go or say goodbye. But life is like juggling, catching and then letting go—-catching then letting go. But there are parts of me you’re stuck with—— you’ve involuntarily inherited my funny quirks and crazy idiosyncrasy, my good parts and my not so good parts, my headstrong ways, my strong will, my soft heart, my love of a good laugh, my desire for deep late night conversations and my lust for travel and adventure. Ah, this life is such a beautiful gift——thanks for being such an important part of it.

And you see my love, through all these things I shall live on. 

Tradition

Between routine and randomness there is tradition. Tradition is what pulls the scattered pieces of our lives together and provides us with a sense of belonging and togetherness. We find ourselves in the simple moments that we share with those we love. It’s in the aroma of mom’s pot roast dinners on a cold wintery night, it’s in grandpa’s instructions on the right way of tying a fly, it’s watching the kids on summer days playing at the same beach I once played at as a kid. It’s in the stories the old ones tell about what it was like in the olden days. It’s baked into grandma’s secret peach pie recipe. It’s in keeping memories alive while pairing yesterday with today for the young ones——these are the things that we hand down—-it’s in the reverence of those who’ve passed on and the gift of those tomorrows yet to come.

We’re lured back to the sea, to the beginnings, where it all started. Standing at the edge of this vast American continent, thousands  of lonely miles traveled beyond the stifling east coast, across Great Plains, over the mighty Rockies, beyond the Great Divide, down the Mississippi River, across the Grand Canyon, riding the Colombia River, leading us here——It’s here, the end of everything and the beginning of all new things——what a beautiful journey this life has been.

Salty air on the tip of my tongue, the smell of Eucalyptus trees, the fog rolls in, recedes, then once again comes and goes. Time is a circle, love a straight line fading into infinity. The Pacific Ocean crashes foamy waves in front of me, leaving seaweed, driftwood and seashells scattered at the high tide mark. Like people and the remnants they leave behind. This sea is the womb of mother nature, the place where life was unexpectantly given birth. If eternity had a scent it would be found in the pungent smell of the ocean . We carry the rhythm of her waves in our pulse. 

My family has been coming to this seaside village for generations. I would love to stay here forever, but traditions aren’t meant to be kept, they are intended to be passed on to those still unfolding and finding their own way. It’s at these yearly seaside get-togethers that the young ones learn from where they’re come and what they’re a part of. I’ve been looking for god, but I’ve discovered she has always been here in my friends and family. 

We take our early morning walks out on the old wooden wharf. Somewhere on the planks below, Harbor Seals bark as seagulls circle and fight over scraps . The fog brings us in closer to one another. We have our favorite restaurant with its buttered sourdough bread that’s dipped in a bowl of steaming clam chowder. We scour the nick-knack shops for the perfect keep-sakes. At night we go to the boardwalk with its Big Dipper roller coaster. The young ones raise their arms high in the air as their car careens down the steep winding track. Everything is a blur of bright lights, screams, clammer and electrifying commotion. The old ones go into the confection shop where taffy can be seen stretching like a long string of rubber. Behind the glass a woman is creating gooey homemade chocolate clusters. If one is lucky or skilled enough to knock down lead milk bottles with a baseball, for a moment you can be someones hero—-for five dollars that’s a bargain. We are all kids here once again. Even the oldest and the youngest can ride the Carousel. The Calliope blares out old time songs as we stretch out from our pumping horses to grab the brass rings that we toss at the Clown’s mouth. It’s all bright lights, dizzying motion, loud laughter and the smell of caramel corn—— all incased in the dampness of the ocean’s night air.

We’re always coming back to where we’ve always been, simply sharing time together——-and such is tradition. 

Things I Wish I’d Said

There are words I wish I’d said. But I always told myself there’d be time for words, 26 letters assembled into some future confession of love.  But tomorrow is never guaranteed——-the future is a theory, an algebra problem where x doesn’t always equal y——a law of physics that can’t explain the speed of loneliness. But it takes courage to say what’s often left out because it’s so much easier to comment on the weather. Why is “I love you” a secret tattoo hidden beneath your long sleeved heart. I tell myself, “Oh it’s obvious, they already know how I feel.” But that’s bullshit I feed myself. Do you ever check to see if your emotional Fitbit has reached your quota of kind words required in a day? Why is it that anger and petty complaints come so much easier than kindness and compassion? These emotions are stuck on mute in a movie with no subtitles. It’s easy to mistake a deep kiss for a vampires siphon, like that feeling you get from someone who’s always taking, but never giving back. But then, without warning, there are those who’s humanity walks me back from the edge. Things I wished I’d said, “Jackie Gleason was right, baby you’re the greatest.” “I’m so fortunate to have you in my life”. “You make me laugh, cause you’re the only other person I know who’s favorite movie is ‘Herold and Maude’”. “Thanks for ‘getting me’.”  “You make ‘goodbye’ the saddest of all words.” “Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you.”

Don’t let anyone tell you that poetry is ‘nice’, because it’s not, it’s a clumsy coping mechanism to escape the chains of depression. It storms the tower and breaches the walls of isolation. It doesn’t make everything okay, but it makes the darkest hours of the soul tolerable. Tolerable?—–Thinking too hard, feeling too deeply, is a road leading to a cliff just beyond the horizon. I put my thumb over your wrist until I feel your pulse match mine, we gradually fall into a comfortable rhythm. The heart is a muscle because it takes so much strength to reach out to another.  Things I wish I’d said, “I choose you.” “If I had to be quarantined for the rest of my life, I’d want to spend it with you.”  “You make me wish I were a piano, cause your touch makes me feel like music.” “You make me believe everything is gonna be okay, one moment at a time”. “You’ve always been there for me and I’ll always be there for you.”  “You stood up for me when the ones who I thought would give a shit just couldn’t be bothered.” “My heart will always be your 7-11, a bit shabby but open day or night for you.”

Love isn’t like a pair of flip flops that claims one size fits all. I’ve tried on the wrong size only to be left with painful blisters. Sometimes love is something you struggle to squeeze into because it no longer fits comfortably.  Sometimes it’s all false bravado and make believe——it takes trust to be allowed inside another’s world——-Be careful who you share you world with, it may leave you with painful blisters and a bad case of athletes foot—-one size doesn’t fit all. I know this because, I have small feet and a big heart. In all this chaos that makes up a life, finding a true friend is a rare and beautiful thing. Things I wish I’d said,“ ”You and I are a good fit”. “I desire you”. “In this world of 7 billion people, I’d always choose you to be my partner”. ”After all the meanness this world can dish out, you somehow make it worthwhile.”.  “When my day has been shitty, you have a way of making me feel better”.  You taste like spicy chili on a snowy January night, you’re my comfort food.” “You smell like a July afternoon at the beach, a blend of Sea and Ski suntan lotion and a salty sea breeze—-you’re the sun on my face”. “I won’t let anyone hurt you.” “You make me laugh in a world constructed of bullshit and lost promises”. 

There are those who will tell you that you have all the time in the world, but that’s a lie. Time is a Salvador Dali clock slowly sliding off the shelf of your life. But we pretend we are immortals, that we can transcend life and death with a foreverness, but forever is like trying to comprehend a blackhole where at its center time stands still. If I could, I’d pull you in beyond the event horizon and give you a forever kiss. And who say’s “Theoretical Physics” can’t be romantic? When I think of these impossible thoughts for too long, I scare myself. My emotions are like the lone hitchhiker on a dark stretch of a deserted highway.  Should I stop and pick this stranger up or just keep moving on? You can never be sure who or what you’re letting in.  It might be a stranded depression, a deserted memory, or an abandoned truth.  Or, perhaps emotions are more like Jenga?  You just never know what will happen by pulling out a single block from the tower of teetering blocks. And, if it all comes down, do I have the time to put it all back together? It takes a lot longer to build something than it is to tear it down. Time is a rogue wave, you never see it coming until its crashed on you and swept you out to sea. Things I wish I’d said, “If you were drowning, I’d dive in and save you.” “I feel better just knowing you are out there”. “Thanks for listening.” “Thanks for making me feel like I belong.”  “Lets you and I take a walk in the woods.” “When I was ready to take the ten count——When everyone was screaming for me to just stay down, you gave me the strength to get back up, you are my second wind.”

One Sided Prayers

We must have a long talk on all these things, even though there is no answer at the end of the stammering and good intentioned pledges.  We’ll just walk and talk never knowing where it’s all leading. We’ll open up, share a laugh and resurrect our forlorn secrets about first loves, ——-lost loves—— and those forbidden loves that don’t stand a chance——-these loves are always the deepest of the deep. I put up with the day to day bullshit, with all its tedium and pain, if only to have another teaspoon of her. The kiss intended for her is now covered in dust. But, if that kiss were ever reclaimed from the janitors lost and found closet, it would be tainted with the taste of Lysol and Bleach. And perhaps that explains why the smell of cleansers make me horny.

I measure my worth by the longevity of my friendships, and you are unmistakably one of the remaining few. I scare most off with my “unconventional ways”——-which is a nice way of saying I’m “weird”—— too intense, awkward, strange, vulnerable, unpredictable, complex, infuriating, difficult, opinionated and hard to get close too. And my list of bad qualities is the flip side of societies constrained definition of normality. I’d rather be a freak—–instead of another sheep.

Let’s take a “trust walk” back to that street where we grew up, back to those hard learned lessons. Where we first discovered we were different from the rest. We told the bullies to fuck off, cause we’re proud motha-fuckas, not needing anyones approval or acceptance. Lonely people sacrifice their true identity to find companionship—-but I’ve never been lonely. In fact, being around people usually leaves me feeling fatigued and ironically alone. Hung across the door of my soul is a sign that reads “No Soliciting”. I observe, I wonder and then I write shit down. Fiction, non fiction, they’re just stories we tell ourselves. Fuck it! Smile for the camera. Perhaps, today will someday be our “good ole days?” Our “Camelot”. But for now, meaning is slippery, truth malleable and love overrated except for movies, songs and wet dreams. Forbidden fantasies is all that holds my evaporating life together.  

It’s another late afternoon, filled with a Sunday sadness, those long summer shadows overtaking my half written poems and one sided prayers. This time of day inspires nothing, but rather leaves me feeling all but forgotten, like a silent scream underwater. I want to light my words on fire, but my words like you, are out of reach——-as distant as dry lightening, like the space between what is, what use to be or what could have been?——- I’v grown weary of trying to bridge these ever expanding gaps. This life has become a Rubik’s cube in the hands of a blind man.

When does hope trade places with apathy and love become a panhandling beggar? I’m not sorry, if the things I say no longer reach you. My words like a dull blade run across your jugular, scarlet ribbons running down my hands….

Words, words, words——they twist and turn in the wind—-they can be so vague and misleading, but when used with skill and art-fullness, they can sing with such eloquence that they cut straight to the heart bypassing our clever minds. Some think in words, some feel in words——but words are flawed representations, sometimes it’s all cold left overs and truth scraps.

My love is like a mime, it requires no words.

Victor S. Uriz II

Stale Piss

Unknown

The breath of early June is in the air, so sweet, so warm——-laced with the scent of lilacs.  The evening breeze ruffled through my hair, for me, this is the fairest time of day.  Thinking back, her face resembled someone with a hybrid pedigree, part French, part gypsy——-a precocious child of the Greek God Hedone.  She hid unspoken promises and dirty secrets behind her waning smile.  She must of thought I was a pervert because when she noticed me staring at her, she gave me the stink eye. 

I liked the way she stroked a pool cue and the way her cleavage was exposed when bending over the perfectly lit pool table.  She took her shot with blue cigarette smoke hallowed around her. She spoke softly with an exotic accent from an unknown foreign land. It didn’t even matter what she had to say, I just liked listening to her hypnotic voice.  Then she screeched, “What are you looking at weird-o?” I knew right then and there, this was not going to have a 1940’s happily-ever after movie ending.  But I was already in way too deep to back down now. The shot of tequila burned the back of my throat. I knew I wasn’t going home until either I made her, or she made a fool out of me.

She was like an old fashion vinyl record, something that needed to be treated with reverence and handled with sensitively——-to hurry and fumble with her would only leave an indelible scare on something of such perfection. She’s a song I’d never grow tired of.  Pretty girls grow old, but good songs never do.  She had me humming “Girl From The North Country”. 

Her rose colored lipstick clung to an empty shot glass. She wasn’t one of those chardonnay sipping bores easily impressed with stock-market babel, she craved the excitement that came with jazz musicians, black magic dealers and men who knew what they wanted and how to get it. My palms were sweaty, my heart pounding as my libido pushed me forward.  I prowled about in a circle at the edges of her perimeter.  I threw back another shot and walked on over to her and with a pandering voice asked her to dance. She shook her head no.  Shaken and perplexed I blurted out, “Okay, how bout an an arm wrestle?”  She didn’t answer, she just spit on her palms, rubbed her hands together and then stretched out her small manicured fingers——-at least I was touching her flesh, even if it were in a contest of strength and courage. She dipped her head down and then locked her eyes on mine in an intimate manner. Neither one of us allowed ourselves to blink.

Her hand felt soft and warm.  I applied pressure and she responded with a quiver in her grip.  I felt the momentum moving in my favor as her forearm began to falter. From under the cocktail table she allowed her soft warm inner thigh to rub up against my knee. That poor cotton summer dress didn’t stand a chance, inching up closer and closer, slowly giving way.  She looked up at me with those fucking eyes——she wasn’t playing fair, she played dirty——Goddamn, losing never felt so good. From the jukebox the song “Bitter Sweet Surrender” blared—–her leg began to mercilessly move in rhythm with the song. For God’s sake, she was taking advantage of me, breaking me down.

My forehead glistened with sweat, my bicep began to tremble——my trousers grew even tighter. She had me, she knew it——-She teased me——moving in a little——moving out a little—there was a wave of tension leading to a singe point of no return.  She was unexpectedly much stronger than she first appeared to be—–isn’t that the way of all woman.

They tore down that old bar where we use to hangout. It was a place where we spent many a night laughing and getting drunk.  I have a memory of us dancing beneath a streetlamp at two in the morning. She had the power to turn a dark dank alley into a place where broken glass, dumpsters and the sound of screeching car tires became a stage for danger and romance.—— Yes, I said romance, minus the stench of stale piss.  

Magic

832ecdb8cce0d0a35ad64a8ed188b184

Soundtrack “Comatose” by Sierra Eagleson.

I have my fathers temper, stirring just below my skin

And then there’s my mothers compassion, lingering in the marrow of my creaking bones

I’ve made my camp in this flag tattered crossfire 

It’s always been a battle of attrition

I’m forever at war with myself

It’s trench warfare, two steps forward

Two steps backwards

Where’s god in this circular calculus

Beware, history is written by the winners

For the rest of us, it’s white flags, white crosses and unmarked graves

On guard!—-Touche! 

I may offer you an olive branch with a hug 

Or perhaps a sucker punch to the nose

I’m a danger to myself and others

A classic case of 51-50, 

I’m the static clinging to the radio station, while you’re straining to hear your favorite song

We don’t get to decide if we are born

Who’s to say when it will all come to an end

That’s fate, destiny, god’s propagative 

But in between birth and death 

There’s much to lose, much to gain

Refusing to choose, is choosing

There in lies the hazards of freewill 

Anything is possible

Nothing is promised 

Surrender to the openness

Do what inspires you

Love’s an imperfect science 

It’s the art of misdirection

Sometimes you pull the rabbit out of the hat

Other times a rat……

Regardless, don’t give up on the magic…….

Abracadabra 

Alone In My Darkness

alone

 

Soundtrack “Coming In The Air Tonight” By Sierra Eagelson

She’s like me, she loses herself in the dark things, the sad things, the unexplainable things

Like the thoughts that arise in her, when staring up at the canopy of wish-less stars

She beholds it all with awe and wonder, wanting to feel connected to someone or something, or maybe to all things

She has reverence for the fragile things, only to watch them shatter and fall through her heart

All people will let you down, thank god for the loyalty of a dog

She’s fearless, she digs deeper into the places where others choose detours

All seekers are loners, except for the company of their cats

People are vicious, unpredictable and for no apparent reason will suddenly turn on you

She and I hold hands with each others shadow, we’ve fumbled about, finding ourselves alas within one another

She’s like me, she hates liars, mean people, hypocrites

And all those zealots who nail others to their faux pious crosses

She’ll confront the mean spirited, but then become sick of it all, throwing up both her hands

Silence becomes her amor, but she whispers beautiful things in my ear

Her words are warm and damp, tickling a place deep down in my belly

Like me, she becomes sick of the fight, there’s just too many comatose people

It’s been too long, to feel this empty, this lonely                                                                                                         how it had always been before her

She’s my last chance, suspending reality with her magic, my final faith in humanity                                             I don’t want to ever let her down,

If I should ever lose her, it’d once again be just me, alone in my darkness

Amazing Grace In Reverse (exploding popcorn)

3

Soundtrack “Son Of A Highway Daughter” by Ruston Kelly.

I messed up again, got drunk and pissed everyone off, let myself down with a thousand discarded and broken pledges, I’m wanting morning light at this 3:03 am, its the darkest of corners to turn in the middle of the night, the sheets have become untucked and tangled, the room is stuffy and hot, I’m mad at the likes of me for being a poor version of what I might have been, I’m pleading with the dark shadows and demons to stop coming round and convicting me with a movie reel on repeat, revealing me and all the stupid shit I’ve ever done, my sanity meter is starved for another quarter, for a shard of clarity——the walls are closing in=====Oh my god, where are you now, my holy ghost has gone MIA

I’m nervous all the time, my breath stale beer and bitter nicotine, people can see through me, I never learned how to be coy or clever, my bravado has caved in, I’m teetering on being too far gone to come back again, I no longer belong anywhere or to anyone, everywhere I go I feel out of place, people stare at me like I’m a two headed monster in a nickel and dime freak show——can’t you see, that under all this ugliness it’s still me

I’d call you, but at this hour it would be a selfish thing for me to do——-I wish I’d never worn you out with my rants and ramblings, I’m afraid I’m gonna drag you down with me—— a drowning man with arms flailing, we played hide and seek one too many times with our emotions, and what was once found is now lost. it’s Amazing Grace in reverse——-I’m sorry I painted you into my landscape, you’re far too pretty to be sketched within the same canvas with the likes of someone like me

Holy shit,

People want to choose relationships the same way that they pick out corn on the cob. They secretly peel back a small portion of the husk and take a quick peek to see what’s on the inside. They take a hurried look around to see if anyone is watching and then hastily decide if it’s a keeper or a throw back.

I wonder what becomes of the cobs that have been discarded and left behind, their husk pulled down exposing all their flaws, for all the world to see. Maybe some are fed to the pigs while others are sent to the popcorn factory.

And now you know why popcorn explodes—–

Wasting My Life

big-question-mark

Soundtrack “Mercury” by Ruston Kelly.

When sitting at a extra long red light, do you ever wonder if perhaps you’re wasting your life
When standing in the chips isle, struggling to choose between Doritos and Barbecue Chips, have you ever found youself questioning if maybe you’re wasting your life
When lying in bed with the snooze alarm going off for the third time do you ever conceive of the notion that you’re probably wasting your life
Have you ever sat in a crowded bar watching everyone laugh, flirt and drink and come to the conclusion that you’re possibley wasting your life
When sitting in front of your big screen watching the same commercial for the third time, have you ever pondered why you’re wasting your life
Sitting silently in a cluttered break room, have you ever decided that you’re definitely not doing what you’d like with your life
Have you ever sat on a couch in the middle of some big party filled with laughter and loud music and despise the idea of wasting your life
Have you ever traded three hours of inebriation for a tomorrow that guarantee’s a headache, sour stomach, a worn outness and once again it leaves you questioning why you’re wasting your life
Has your life ever felt like a grainy B movie with no plot, or a corny country song about a broken hearted cowboy and you find yourself humming along to the soundtrack of his wasted life
Standing in a long line at DMV waiting to renew your vehicle registration, have you ever viewed yourself from above and watched as you wasted away
Sitting on a squeaky pew in an empty church, crumpled up and praying for faith only to find that my guarding angel is refusing to circle, Jesus is busy choosing the next big lottery winner and the fucking silence of it all grows ever more deafening

Have you ever found yourself watching the news, different day, different names, but the same old bullshit and ask yourself why does everyone seems to be wasting their life away

While waiting in a huge line at Starbucks to pay an exorbitant amount of money for a fancy coffee, I suddenly become shocked by the insanity of it all
Does anyone else suffer a similar craziness to it all?????
I pump gas, pay bills, feed the cat, do laundry, shop, cook and clean, only to find myself tearing another month off my calendar

Have you ever walked into another room and forgotten what you came there for, and this is what wasting my life feels like

Amongst all the nothingness of me, I see us flying kites on a windy day and the green field smells of freshly cut grass, the blue sky stretches out to the Sierra Nevada foothills—–and your dress blows up in the wind and it makes us laugh. We let our kites go and I kiss you and it feels like I’m cutting all my strings. And for that small moment, all the nothingness of you and me no longer matters to anyone or anything……

286cf81f5f08d338e7c6ae2f916eb49a