Sharing thoughts, sharing feelings, sharing ideas is such a fine thing. These connections are what friendships are built on, and if you can’t find friendship in another, then you’ll never find love there either. People can let you down in a million different ways, but indifference, or disinterest in what makes you feel alive is the most painful. Connection and trust is the tearing down of walls with a sledge hammer made of vulnerability
We are all so alone in this thing called life. We need someone to hear us, to feel us, to hold us. We need something deeper than skin and bone, we need someone so close that we share a common breath. We carry around so much fear and dread. But please don’t let past faux pas keep you from reaching out. I got my own funny ways, things that might scare another away. But, I’ll put it out there all the same. There’s an art to everything, even the broken find refuge just outside the corners of loneliness. Thanks for seeing through my bravado. Maybe you’re pretending too?
Make no mistake, life isn’t hard, nor is it easy——-it just is. It’s what you mold it into or what you allow it to mold you into. Spin your heart and see if it lands on love.
It’s my devils, demons and the holy ghost that fuel my powers.
I’m an old rusting train in a world now made for jet planes and freeways. Trains have a soul of their own as they rock and rumble along. I might be old fashioned and slow, but don’t doubt my veracity, cause I’ve got my sword, my shield, and my rebel wear.
I climb into my faithful old Tacoma pickup and head west. You can tell a lot about a man by the truck he drives. The cab smells of rag weed, muddy boots and fresh orange peels. I drive past the fields, the farms and the redundant strip malls. I eye pretty small town girls with odd names like Galenda or Karla. Their perfume scented skin I won’t stick around to touch. These places and girls belonged to other boys with their Friday night hot spots and their Sunday morning houses of worship,——— a community of suburban anchored hearts. I’ve tried to fit into such places, but never could.
I drive til I come to the ocean. I check into a cheap motel that wears the odors of mold and a thousand forgotten summer vacations. I wonder how many have made love on this tolerant mattress, or how many have cried themselves to sleep within the walls of this soul suffocating room. The walls are knotty pine with a bathroom sink that drip, drip, drips. Outside my gray skied window the pavement smells of early morning rain, the sun rises with a memory of how small her hands looked when she touched me. Once again I find myself at the edge of this sad stained continent. There’s a damp coldness blowing off the water that chills me to the bone. January is my favorite month to revisit this rundown seaside town. The boardwalk is empty and quiet except for the rusty Farris Wheel squeaking and moaning under the strain of a gusting wind. I pull my knit cap tightly over my numb ears.
All my once hip friends are now vengeful Republicans, need I say more? Out of nowhere I find myself singing “Into the Mystic”——I take a shot of Jameson with a beer back. “And when that fog horn blows you know I’ll be coming home——-I wanna hear it, I don’t have to fear it”.
The bed-stand clock glows with its red digital numbers, the sound from the dripping faucet warns me of time passing by. How do I carry on? Where do I go from here? Am I too old to start over again? Have I squandered too many chances. I’ve moved to new cites, I’ve found new jobs and I’ve broken promises to the few who might of cared for me. I’ve never been one to reinvent myself or attempt to tame my faults or bad habits——I’m all that’s left of my best mistakes.
I sit on a carved up and pigeon stained bench at the end of the pier. A wrinkled asian man is standing as still as a statue as he waits for a fish to bite his line——I suppose we’re all waiting at the other end of one kind of fishing line or another. A young kid with chin stubble and unkempt hair takes a seat next to me. He asks if I have a light. He helps me cup a flickering flame from my Bic lighter. He squints as he stares intensely out at the foggy horizon. I know that look, I know this kid. He speaks “You got a wife?” “Yeah, I’ve had a couple of them.” He continues his interrogation “You got a job?” “Yeah, I’ve had a few those too.” “Did you get everything you wanted?” “Like most, I suppose I got what I deserved and a few things I didn’t expect. Sometimes it isn’t what you get, but more importantly, it’s being happy with what you’ve been given——-gratitude is the scale on which to weigh a balanced life.”
An older me talking to a younger me, what a gift. “Take good care of yourself dude.” I grab his cigarette, then take a hit off it before stomping it out. “Look after your health kid, you’ll wish you did when you get older——-and yes, we all do get older, that is, if you’re lucky.” He pushes his shaggy hair back “Do you ever think about your parents?” “Everyday I do. You won’t understand the sacrifices your parents made for you until you become one yourself. You’ll look at your children and be amazed at how parts of you became their flesh and blood. The best of times will be the time spent with your kids. Remember to give your weary parents the love and respect they deserve. The kids grow up too fast and our parents grow old and frail too soon. Once they’ve passed on, they’re gone for good. Time moves in one direction, forward. Regret is the child of missed opportunities.”
“Many acquaintances will come and go, but few will be elevated to the position of trusted friend. Choose your friends carefully, because they’re the only ones who’ll enjoy your ridiculous humor, tolerate your irritating idiosyncrasies and stand up for you when this world leaves you feeling insignificant, irrelevant and unworthy of love. They’ll embark on crazy adventures with you and provide you with the sweetest of memories. Your friends and family are your tribe and their unconditional love is the only thing that will sustain you through the good times as well as the bad.”
“I know that at your age you won’t believe me, but this life is tragically short. Don’t squander the time you’ve been given being bored or angry. Monies a fleeting vapor, a job that doesn’t suite you is a snare, pleasure without sacrifice is quickly forgotten. Look for true love and nothing less. You’ll know it’s true love because she’ll bring out the best in you. She’ll make you feel things you never felt and it will cause you to do things like hold her hand when she’s frightened. She’ll bear your children and cook you your favorite meals. For her, you’ll fix the things that break, mow the lawn on hot July afternoons and snowplow the driveway on cold January mornings. All these seemingly insignificant small things will comprise a full life. Keep your priorities straight and you’ll enjoy each day as it unfolds.”
The kid offers up a grin. “When I grow up, I wanna be like you.” “Take your time kid, being an adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to being.” I climb in my truck and head back home as I give a glance in my rear view mirror.
He said he’s now a Christian Another poor excuse for me to scale He sent me a letter with biblical quotes Two thousand year old words laden with emotional quicksand Everything neatly arranged into his boxes of good and evil I wonder where I’d fit in—–these days
I miss that old friend, this new one no longer laughs at life’s foibles His company makes our past feel irrelevant, like noticing dings on my car door I’m reminded that time can be ruthless Isn’t that just like me, turning the past over and over in my hands Another shelf-life expired, I’m learning to throwout what’s soured And this relationship has devolved, leaving a bad taste in my mouth
It took me a long time to get to this place Sometimes it feels as though no “there” follows this “here” Old friend, more shadow than substance Everyone peddling their rendition of love As if such things came with instructions and warranties
I went back to my fathers house
With him no longer living
That house is just dust and empty rooms
Like leaving a voice message on a dead mans answering machine
Pick up, please pick up, only the mumblings of a disembodied voice
I had to lose my soul, my mind, my self,
I had to lose my everything
To find a voice
The price of loving someone
Is equal to the pain that comes with losing them
After a million miles It’s still running through you A blinding light deafening a sky of jealous stars We knew a round love in this world of flat earth-ers
Backyard tire swing, like a pendulum of gone by days
Pool chlorine mixed with honey suckles, the smell of summer
July laid out before us like a thousand unused Saturdays
Your cities are lonely A careless milky-way evicted from time and space Other people’s suns drenched in nothingness Other worlds out of reach Physics, another flawed human endeavor Didn’t you know that the numbers never added up
Where’s the revolutionaries
Where’s our freedom fighters
An entire population of fools staring at smartphones
A generation of selfies, ego sponges
Angry, ignorant tweets, dissonant wind chimes Where’s this generation’s John Lennon and George Carlin Who’ll shame these fuckers Hypocrisy is the breaking news Truth has become negotiable Climate change compromising happy endings
I’m the soundtrack of pissed off
Is everyone else drunk or high on recreational weed
Democracy a chess piece for the rich
Check mate, ponds against kings
Living in virtual bubbles No longer “We hold these truths to be self-evident” No more “We the people” Wall street thieves and politicians Who can tell the difference Divisiveness is the cost of doing business with the greedy
Your birth was not an accident Don’t let this one precious life play out like a sitcom laugh track Be angry, fight complacency, believe in your power To be about it, is the way