Victor

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Soundtrack “If I Go, I’m Going” by Gregory Alan Isakov.

 

raindrops falling and disturbing still water
she smelled like fresh laundry and the newness of a morning sun
this ole heart is wearing worn and cracked work-boots
It’s the miles not the years

You fell in love with me

like a frozen statue

like a fallen hero
Mistaking love for things that never change

even our sun
will someday die
put on a sun dress
and I’ll wear flip flops
and we’ll get sunburns
while drinking beer at the beach

Internal wallpaper is how we decorate our lives
You were my star in this darkened theater

There is no poetry in Los Angeles, it’s got chicken scratch graffiti on concrete, where tattoos are mistaken for art, its train like cities that have no beginning or ending, just endless strip malls, fast-food joints—-with its smog hallowed sun. How can there be so much loneliness in these crowded places, we have become citizens of cloned hometowns, we’re generation X, or Y, or millennials,—–held together with Facebook velcro.

Nobody really knows what’s going on or what it’s all about. We’re all just running around trying to figure out what we should do, where we should go next, whom do we dare pretend to be. The clock is always ticking, all is uncertain. Before it’s all over we are desperate to discover our part in it all. Occasionally you’ll touch something and it will shock you, like the unforeseen bite of static electricity, or glimpsing a dead falling star. And for that instance your puny life takes on a speck of meaning—–one random piece of the puzzle falls into place.

Her love was like wisteria. At first it brought a subtle beauty to everything it attached itself to. But in time its clinging nature enveloped and entangled what had once been a free-swinging garden gate. Over time there was no way to gracefully enter or exist, the overgrown gate was forever intwined and frozen. It clawed over, across and on top of what once gave the garden its structure and form. In time its need to control and twist all it touched would cause the lattice to sag, to crack under the weight and finally give way. Such beauty strangles the life out all it once embellished. She was my weed strewn garden, she was everything I wanted, but the last thing I needed.

I’ve heard it said that writing is the loneliest of pursuits. It’s just you, a blank piece of paper and your thoughts. I don’t know how writers of pulp fiction feel about their craft, but I suspect that the poet is much more of a desperate soul. His ankle is tied to a huge rusty anchor and it is plunging him to the bottom of the sea. He’s headed to a place where there is no light, no sound, an inhospitable cold region. Poets aren’t depressed—-—no—they’re truth scavengers trapped in a world of forgers. If they were afflicted by depression they might find relief in a drug or in a support group. There is no clinical diagnoses or magic cure for being a poet. Please don’t be afraid, its not contagious.

My father and I share a common name—“Victor”. My dad was called Vic by his friends but I prefer Victor. As I’ve grown older I’ve seen parts of him rise to the surface in me. I was his only son and we tried to reach one another, but we were separate boats being pushed by opposing winds.

I went through a period when I was an adolescent where I’d have night terrors—-I was a sleepwalker pacing the floor in sheer terror, crying and screaming out at things no one could see but me. My dad would shake me, pat my cheek in an attempt to wake me, but I’d carry on in my neither world of monsters, demons and madness. This would go on for hours. He would ask me at breakfast if I remembered these fits. I never remembered these night events. But I’d have a faint memory of something that filled me with terror.

My dad use to say “You’ll find out someday”. And what he meant by that was, someday I’ll learn that life is cruel and bitter and hard and full of frustration and let downs. He would almost say it with a sense of glee. Like he couldn’t wait until this life beat every ounce of idealism and romanticism out of me. He’d just look at me after making this repetitive proclamation, shaking his head and giving me a snide little snicker.

I don’t know how, why or where, but somewhere along the way he surrendered his personal power. It’s always easier to give in, give up and throw your hands up and concede, but that just isn’t me. I take my name seriously, I’m a Victor, I’m born to take on all comers—bring it on—–I’ll go down swinging.

Don’t fear the inevitable, such as death. But rather, fear not taking action on the things you have the power to change, such is your life.

Be a Victor———–Do something!

Throwing Blind Bricks At Jealous Gods

December 9th, 2009 @ 10:58:28

Soundtrack “A Different Corner” by George Michael.

I’d take raw emotion over a calm and collective indifference. Indifference is a wall built of blind bricks———nobody see’s their own loneliness from the outside in.  The opposite of love isn’t hate, but rather indifference. It’s that mute emotion of not giving a damn———-Nobody hears the screams of their own loneliness from the inside out. Love is the tiny kindnesses we toss like pennies into a beggars heart shaped cup. Why do we deny one another passage into each others world?

I knew a girl who was childlike; she protected her stained-glass heart. Like all things of beauty, it was fragile and transcendental. She walked on rainbows, she called to the thunder, ——-and she smiled with the eyes of a child, wide open with wonder. She was impetuous, headstrong, soul-strong. She was shy, mystical, complicated, sensual and not yet broken by the restraints of womanhood.

She found the door to my world carelessly unlocked. She strolled through all of my dusty rooms flooding her light on my dark empty spaces. Her eyes fractured the morning sunlight casting tiny prisms on the walls, ceiling and floor. Her breath billowed through my sheer drapes. She smelled of citrus, her skin was salty and savory like the sea. She let me move through her, we moved in unison, we swelled, we crested and then violently crashed in on ourselves.

Outside, their cites burned, their temples crumbled and the laws of the righteous went unheeded. We trespassed into the forbidden garden———and we defied the rule of jealous gods……………as we found eternal love in a mortal’s world.

Forgive

Soundtrack, “Old and Wise” by the Alan Parsons Project.

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I hate unsolicited advice. Most men know that it is not wise to give another man unsolicited advice. The most important thing to a man is respect and his pride. These things are earned and not idly parceled out like cans of beer—–although oftentimes such libations are swilled to make up for the lack of such noble qualities. On a rare occasion a man may give a fellow golfer advice about how to grip a club, how to adjust their swing or stance, but guys like that seldom get asked back for a future game. Guys have gotta figure shit out for themselves, it’s just he way it is.

Men like to give women advice. It makes them feel superior. It inflates their anemic ego’s. Most women will politely listen even though they know that men spend eighty percent of their time thinking about how to get pussy and what to eat next. The remaining twenty percent of their time is spent picking their nose at red lights or making fart jokes. Under the three piece suits, the impressive job titles and fancy cars, men are basic creatures bumbling their way through life. Women don’t give advice, they make sly suggestions. “Honey, maybe it would be better to use dental floss rather than a pocket knife to clean your teeth.” “Please don’t use gas to light the barbecue dear. Let me fry the burgers on the stove.” KABOOM!!!

But, in spite of my prior warnings regarding unsolicited advice, I have decided to dispense some brotherly advice. So please, “Forgive Me”.

Our time here is so short—–it doesn’t pay to deny ourselves and others forgiveness. Anger only cuts off circulation to the heart and puts a strangle hold on our ability to convey empathy. Forgive, because in the big scheme of things your petty grudges will emotionally bankrupt you. It’s like paying interest on a debt but never reaching the principle—-ya see, you can’t loan love or forgiveness, their value is only realized when given for free.

I wonder if we wear clothes out of shame, or is it a means to hide our insecurities. It’s tough to take another person seriously when they’re parading around bare ass naked. Nakedness is God’s way of showing us that in spite of Madison Avenue fashions and photoshopped vanities—–we’re all allot more alike than we are different.  Under skin and bone our fragil humanness flickers…..

Forgive——-because like a fart, the longer you hold it in, the more pressure it builds, hurting only you, and in time growing louder and smellier—- Forgive because sometimes you have to pull the bandaid off along with the scab in order for the wound to heal, Forgive because there is a child with a bald head dying in a hospital rather than playing on a jungle gym. Forgive because nothing seems that bad until it happens to you. Forgive because there but for fortune go you or I. Forgive because there is already enough darkness in this world—-enough sadness to superglue the softest of hearts eternally shut. Forgive because the shits already out of the pony. Forgive because with age the nights grow longer and peace more elusive. Forgive because winter need not be your favorite season. Forgive in spite of God and his promised heaven. Forgive because the shortest distance between point A and point B is love. Forgive because there’s a supernova a thousand times bigger than our puny sun imploding in on itself. Let go, let go, let go—–because as the old Zen proverb tells us “Let go or be dragged”.

Forgive, because one day you’ll realize that all the stuff you once thought so important were just things made up in your head. This clarity only comes after a major life event like getting fired, losing someone you love, going through a divorce, having a major health scare, facing your mortality or watching reruns of “Friends” (they all look so young). You’ll flop around like a trout out of water, realizing you’ve mistaken the barbed hook for the golden ring.

It all seems so absurd——all the girls you tried to impress with false bravado, the fake laughs given for free to please your dim witted boss, the loud arguments availing only hurt feelings——its all comes back to you like a strange dream, like staring up at the shimmering surface of the water while holding your breath at the bottom of the sea. Down there, there’s only shipwrecks, rusty anchors, the eight armed Kraken and the tiny fart bubbles you release as pieces of your forgiveness. Farting is God’s way of telling you to not take yourself to seriously.

We stubbornly withhold our forgiveness, we’d rather offer up snide remarks and sarcastic smiles. We expect others to rain apologies down upon us, but the sad truth is, some people don’t know how to be sorry. They only learn forgiveness by being forgiven—-and the bible along with all the other holy books speak of this irony. The currency of unspoken forgivenesses pays out in wasted time, it lengthens the bridge we’ve all come here to cross.

Get over your self——–Forgive

Little Wing

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Soundtrack “Little Wing” by Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Some people know your secrets before you let them slip, before ya allow them to spill out during one of those beer riddled drunken nights. They can see through you, as if they’ve known you before this brief life stint. There’s no pretending, they draw out the best in you, like a spike struck to the heart, or the rude awakening that accompanies a stiff slap across the face——Boy, she sure shook me up, she took me back to a life I’d forgotten. I knew from that first glance, she belonged to me…..She’s a part of me, always had been, and always would be—-there are few who can make one feel less alone in such an indifferent world, maybe that’s the definition of love? She was partial to me, like the sound of a familiar melody, she could play me by heart…..

I’m gonna take off every piece of your clothing till all that lies between us is freckled skin, damp breath and sloppy wet kisses, we’ll go around and around, then back round again, peeling off our tawdry disguises one layer at a time, till we’re naked, till we’re almost perfect, except for fresh blue bruises and old stubborn scares. Here, take my wallet, my car keys, my cigarettes, along with all the other bad habits I’ve used to hide myself—cause I belong to you like a bad habit. All I need right now is to be wrapped up in your arms, let me tear down those walls that protect your secret garden—now come over here—-yeah, just like that. Let us for now be silent and we’ll speak to one another with our eyes closed. I don’t need to know your name, your age or the name of your hometown, all that stuff is ordinary, frivolous and unimportant to me. You my love, are anything but ordinary——I cut my dreams on the teeth of her diamond shaped heart——

We’d been more than friends but less than lovers, we offered one another awkward goodbyes with tenuous hugs——only our eyes kissed farewell. She’s my little wing, “When I’m sad she comes to me with a thousand smiles she give to me free.”

I’m In A Walmart State Of Mind–Doors

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Soundtrack by Pat Metheny “Last Train Home”.

I’m in a Walmart state of mind. The fluorescent lighting gives the vast yet cluttered place a harsh two dimensional appearance. It’s a landscape crowded with cartoonish characters wearing thousand yard stares.   I’m staggering my way through this cathedral of capitalism, a place where everything has its price, but negligible value. It required the consumption of two tall boys and a shot of Jameson in order for me to enter these doors——I’ve come here to hopefully find an old friend of mine.

I do my best daydreaming while wandering through these isles of meaningless shit. There’s something about the endless isles of blurred colors and the monochromatic shopping muzak that puts me in a walking meditation. I peruse my way through the shameless drooping bra display, past the old ladies laid out in the pedicure highchairs, the in-house McDonalds with ketchup smeared tables, the strange optometrist alcove next to the restrooms and then past the immaculately arranged shiny fruit and vegetables, through the wall of HD TV’s, housewares, hardware, sporting goods and the disheveled toy department. I feel myself being swept away into a Fellini plot with its array of bizarre looking zombies.  It’s a nightmarish funhouse of warped mirrors, insane laughing clowns and Andy Warhol’s stacks of Campbell soup cans. The deeper I’m pulled into the bowels of the store, the more surreal my thoughts become——— Maybe I’ll find her in the shoe department.——

Why is there no three quarter life crises? It’s a misunderstood age ignored by a world consumed by youth culture and the next “big thing”. At this stage of my life, it’s no longer what I’m becoming, or who “I’m supposed to be” I know these things. Today, it’s more about “What have I done”. Or, “What haven’t I done?”  If you’ve aged well, you no longer give a damn what other people think, you are——–(good, bad or indifferent) uncompromisingly “you”.  Time strips away vanities, insecurities and pretentiousness. There’s comes a forced introspection knowing there are more days behind me than in front of me——-

The mirror has become a contemptuous tool of fucking deceit. My internal mirror has me forever young.  When I smile at pretty young girls they offer up blank stares,—–Just for kicks, I give a sly wink====”Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back.” Adam Smith

From the corner of my eye I catch the blur of something flittering amongst the exposed heating ducts, light fixtures and skylights. I scan the upper regions of the massive ceiling. I hear a sound reminiscent of a bird chirping. I follow the sound into the infant department. Could she be here?

My children are now grown and on their own. I carry their old memories frozen in time, but as I’ve grown older they’ve begun to thaw and slowly drip into my consciousness. Out of nowhere an old memory will surface and I will suddenly be consumed by a sense of nostalgia—- I’m taken back in time to cartoon gibberish, ski trips on snowy days, nervously letting go of the handlebars as she wobbles off without me, contentious teenage arguments with my son, teaching them how to swim, drawing the line “because I said so”, sleepless nights listening for the sound of the car returning in the driveway, holidays, family get togethers, loud parties——-tears and laughter——-I wonder, did I do it right? Did I do the right things for the right reasons? Did I tell them how much I love them? Did I say it enough? Did I show it enough? The past is malleable, I wonder about the memories they now carry of me???? Those were the best of times…….irreplaceable, irretrievable, irreparable, pressed like rose pedals within the pages of my heart——-

Perhaps she is by the water fountain near the layaway counter. Haughty shoppers offer up smirks as they jockey past me. They’re in a hurry to fill a hole left on their shopping list. The hunter gatherer gene lingering in their DNA causes them to stalk the shelves with a competitive killer instinct. For some, enough is never enough——hoarders of
“things” forget that everything they purchase comes with an expiration date…….

Have I failed god? Is he mute or am I deaf? Why are we born, why does everyone we love have to die? When I was young I was reckless, such things didn’t matter, back then I was unbreakable, irreverent—— There was always more time, time to say the things I needed to say, time to make up for the things I did wrong, time to apologize to those I’d wronged. I never looked at my watch or a calendar as a fuel gauge, or as an alarm to go off as time grows shorter.

I use to think I had control over my destiny, but not so much anymore. My grand designs flip flopped so many times that I’ve forgotten where my ego ends and my destiny begins.  Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, two way mirrors, dead ends, trap doors and enigmatic mysteries. I use to take credit for my successes and make excuses for my failures, but time has humbled me. Someone must have been looking out for me, a higher power, God, grace———Thank goodness that the divine takes pity on little children and fools….

Such a beautiful disaster, filled with prophetic accidents and comical mistakes, the art of life, falling apart and coming back together, riding the wave of brief eternal moments……recollecting all the people I’ve found and lost along the way. There’s always been more room for love. I should’ve hugged more, forgave quicker and been slower to anger——-

I follow the sound through the doors leading to the Yard and Garden Center. I know that she likes it out here where there is sun and fresh air. It’s an atrium of sorts, here I’m surrounded by chain linked fencing and a netted ceiling. I whistle hoping to coax a response from my shy friend.

Did I make them proud. After all their sacrifices and compromises had I come up short? Did I become a better part of their dream. It makes me wonder how others perceive me and what are the blind spots I fail to perceive in myself. Unconditional love, like the air I breathe, has always been there, taken for granted, worse yet——-expected.

Youthful enthusiasm kept me running in scribbled circles, impatient, forgetful———memories of sitting on my folks couch, with the evening news in the background, they leaned into me, listening as I explained my scrambled schemes and how I was going to have things my way.  It must have taken monumental patience on their part to allow me my fanciful indulgences.  In spite of all my false starts and wrong turns, they were behind me, no matter how cocksure I must have appeared. I hadn’t counted on all the fractured relationship, career stumbles, strange lonely towns, sucker punched failures, bad days, night terrors, faltering steps and stumbles——-but I always carried with me the knowledge that there was a place I could still call home, someone who would answer their phone no matter what hour of the day or night, they’d see me through—what a beautiful complete love——

In the corner of the atrium there’s a nest behind a flood light fixture. And there she is, sitting above the rows of patio chairs, barbecues and artificial plants. Her nest is constructed of candy wrappers, recipes and colorful strings gathered from the clothing departments. I’m reminded that to adapt doesn’t always mean to evolve……

I’d first noticed her several months ago perched upon an exposed vent. She must have accidentally flown in the store when the electric doors were open. I’ve continued to make occasional visits to see if she was still making this place home.  I’m not sure if she is trapped, or if she has found this way of life to be more predictable then what lies beyond these walls—-Life without surprises leads to complacency, and complacency compromises ones soul.

She must subside on the fruits and vegetables and other tidbits tossed into the trash cans.  The water dispenser has become her birdbath and drinking fountain.

This Walmart will be her chicks only world, all that they will ever know. It seems cruel and unfair that this sterile box-store will be the extent of their universe. But, if this is all they’ll ever know, then I suppose it makes no difference.  They don’t know—-that they don’t know——-that they’re captive birds.

To know that you don’t know, is where wonder collides with wisdom. I reach in my pocket and pull out a handful of birdseed and place it in the plastic rubber plant.

Leaving the store I’m filled with a sense of freedom. I inhale a deep breath and look up at the sky above me and wonder what doors may be hidden up there. I suppose we are all captive in one way or another ——-insnared by gravity, stiched to space and time, enslaved by our beliefs, stalked by our memories—-and ultimately, entrapped by the limited time we are here and alive………..

No Room For Love

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Soundtrack “Oh My Sweet Carolina” by Ryan Adams

It’s the kind of love reminiscent of a house that’s been neglected and is now ghost infested. . Like a room no longer dusted, every surface has lost it’s shine and luster. No one has paid attention to the accumulation of times tiny cruelties. Things have gone messy, unsightly, rundown and tired——entropy, a law of physic’s leading me to loneliness.

The floor is stamped by a stampede of scuff marks across its hardwood planks. It’s as if the inhabitants had walked in endless circles never reaching a place of compromise. The windows now clouded by years of harsh weather . There’s no longer a way to see out, nor peer in, it’s as if the house has lost its vision—a dark place of shadows and gloom. And, if the eyes are a mirror to the soul, then this room should be bloodshot and stained blue.

She left her finger prints on my door knobs, her dirty dishes fill my sink, her wrinkled clothes on the floor, yet the passenger side of the bed is always neatly made up, not so much as an indentation leaning to my side. No matter how hard you clean a tomb, it’s still a place that reeks of death.

I once read that before a big battle, civil war solders would sew their name onto the back of their shirt collars—-along with the regiment to which they belonged. I’ve tattooed the same on my heart, cause with its last beat, I want someone to know it once belonged to someone——somewhere.

The wind whistles through the cracks in our walls. The fireplace has only fine ash from a fire that’s long ago gone cold.

Bad things have befallen this room. “To be perfectly honest, I can’t live like this.” Such mean things we screamed at one another. Honesty is overrated, please tell me nice things even if they’re a stone-cold lie. A temporary lie is better than an irrevocable truth.

5150

Soundtrack “Wish You Were Here” Pink Floyd.

“Hey man, are you okay?” His voice draws me back to the surface where imagination and reality collide. “No man, I’m not okay, not at all.” He’s dressed in a blue sales associates vest with a name tag bearing the name Cameron. I think to myself, what a distinguished name for a punk kid with unkempt hair, nose piercing and tattoo sleeved arms. It’s Saturday evening and the huge box store is still a thrashed mess from the ravages of yesterdays “Black Friday Sale”. The wall of big screen televisions with their pristine HD pictures compete for my attention. I feel myself slipping back into their hypnotic grasp. “Hey man, do you need something?” I turn to him and speak “To love life, to love others, is how we show our love to god.” Cameron stares at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language: and I suppose I am. He laughs “Brah, your watch must be set to 420. Are ya sure everything’s cool by ya?  Ya need me to call someone?” “No, I’m just changing buses at your station.

“Sometimes at moments like this, I think in poetry and talk in prose. Everything hits me all at once, and things become clearer and more confusing all at the same time.” He takes a couple of steps backwards, “Tell ya what mister, let me go change the channel on those TVs. They’ve got ya all messed up.” He disappears into the maze of florissant lite isles while speaking into his radio piece.  I can hear him whispering the word “security”. I turn back towards the halo like glare of the T.V.s and lose myself in haiku thoughts.

Standing there at Walmart, in the electronic’s section, I feel myself being absorbed into the wall of flat screen TV’s. The sheer spectacle of all the pictures repetitively tuned to the nightly news is mind sucking. The female newscaster’s voice has the rehearsed sex-appeal and charm of a beauty queen. There’s not a hair out of place, her blouse is low cut, you might even say a bit provocative.  Her eyes conceal any sign of distress or outrage as she glibly reports the days menagerie of mayhem and tragety.  There are film clips of dead bodies in the streets. Another mass shooting at a school, a church, a mall. There’s a drive by shooting that’s killed an innocent three year old caught in the crossfire, a suicide bomber has murders 26 people in a marketplace, a minor traffic altercation leads to a road rage incident, a cop shoots an unarmed kid, there’s another hate crime— someone shoots somebody because they’re a different color, religion or sexual orientation, terrorist chop the head off of someone who worships a different god, disease and famine take the lives of thousands in a third world country, the bell rings ushering in another profitable day on Wall Street, gun control is defeated in the house of representatives——My bus pulls in and I climb aboard.

There’s no map, no compass, no destination, just me thinking in circles—-a meditation of sorts. My mental landscape begins to change.  I’m listening to voices as the birds eat my bread crumbs——there’s no backtracking, no going back.  I hear the bus’s air breaks release and I’m on my way.  God only knows where my thoughts are leading me—-

We tuck our guns away in our bedside drawers with a bottle of Viagra, cocked and loaded, god lays sleeping under the pillow, we shoot blank prayers into oblivion, bowing our heads to phones and tablets with the reverence once afforded holy books—-QVC is now the temple of worship, all our sins exposed on Facebook, true love is calculated with algorithms designed by a technician at E-harmony, although the earth is dying we remain distracted by soap operas, porn and gameshows, we drive SUV’s with bumper stickers damning climate change, politicians and lobbyist share sly winks, credit cards and umbrella drinks—–I find no rest, I can hardly breathe. Infomercials and pharmaceutical ads blanket the space between the nightly news stories.  Disasters, wars and mass shootings are reported alongside weather forecasts.   There’s an acceptance and tolerance to it all, as if we have no control over any of these events.  

So much hate, so much unbridled violence. I wish guns shot Hershey kisses, and religions taught grace (loving others, even when they don’t deserve it) I wish they’d turn all the mega churches into waterslide parks, and that all soldiers were ordered to wear lederhosen (its hard to kill a man wearing shorts with suspenders) and political speeches were judged by how well they expressed humor and espoused love, and that the Pope would turn the Vatican into a homeless shelter, and he’d trade his big pope hat for a chef’s hat as he cooked free spaghetti suppers for the hungry, and Joel Osteen installed dancing poles for his audience, and at the end of each sermon he’d make it rain dollars from the ceiling (now that’s prosperity preaching), teachers would be paid like pro athletes and pro athletes were paid like teachers,  and Muslims stopped falling to their knees five times a day to pray, but instead opened their arms to hug five strangers a day, and the leaders of countries resolved disputes by mud wrestling one another, and cannons shot confetti and AK 47’s sprayed gumdrops——and of course, our national bird would be a unicorn, our flag emblem a rainbow and “Imagine”would be our national anthem——

Is this the season of celestial checks and balances—of universal reciprocity? Has the Law of Attraction delivered what we’ve choose to manifested? Are we reaping what we’ve sowed. All the money wasted on wars could have sent tens of thousands of kids to college for free, could have created education and training programs for the poor and those incarcerated. We could have built hundreds of hospitals, built community centers, senior centers, child care centers. We could have fed the starving and provided free medical care to the sick.  I feel the door to my bus opening at a strange destination.

A security guard approaches me with his “I’m a badass” swagger. I noticed that the leather holster holding his pepper spray is unsnapped and his hand is resting on his belt next to the canister.

“Boy, ya been drinkin, maybe takin some medications?” His fingers idly strumming on his service belt. As he moves from foot to foot there is the sound of leather stretching and squeaking. “No, I haven’t been drinking, but I could use a pull off something strong right about now.”

“I hear ya all been makin some crazy talk, bout god and love and what not. Sounds like ya feelin a tad bit out of sorts. Now, they’ve got folks down at the County booby hatch that’ll give ya a lil sompin to calm ya all down.” I couldn’t tell if this was his attempt at being empathetic or if he’s trying to intimidate me. “Ya got some I.D. boy? And what ya all got in that there nap sack?”

I turn to make my exit but realize there’s a second security guard who’s snuck up behind me and is now blocking my way out. “Son, let’s go on back to my office so we can figure out what’s going on here. We gonna see that ya get proper help and such.”

The security guard leans back in his office chair as he speaks into the phone. He talks about me as if I were a child or as if I wasn’t even there. He keeps using the term “5150”. “I think he might be a good candidate for a 5150. Oh yeah, he could be of danger to himself and others, definably 5150.”

A sheriff shows up and he drives me down to the County facility. I’m ushered into a room where I’m introduced to a guy who identify’s himself as a psychologist. He asks me questions and prods me about my thoughts and beliefs. He wants me to explained my earlier comments regarding loving life, loving others and how this is a way to show god ones love. I tell him that I ‘m a storyteller and that I’m a voice for sad people. He looks up from he notes he’s been taking and asks “Why do you want to be a voice for sad people?”, I said “Well sir, cause the happy people don’t need a voice.”

He says that it would be best for me to remain at the faculty for a couple of days so that we can get to know each other better. I reply “It takes a long time to get to know someone, and even longer to say that you understand them—–And, cause everybody is always changing, we must be vigilant in our quest to earn someones trust and understanding. Some people think that if they get naked with someone, that they know them. Or, that if they make love to someone, it means they understand them. Some folks believe that because they live with someone or get married, that this means they belong to one another.  But that’s not the case.  Love isn’t belonging, love is letting go.

If ya want to know someone, ask them what breaks their heart, what makes them laugh, what was their childhood like, who they admire, what songs, books and movies touched them. Watch how they treat animals, strangers and children. These little things matter. You can’t say ya read a book until you’ve been through every chapter, every page, paragraph, every sentence and word. Like I said, it takes time, patience and communication to understand someone.——— People don’t read books anymore, they speak in acronyms, send out tweets, write 26 character text’s, they post selfies and collect friends on Facebook.

Ya see, I want to feel another’s thoughts, I want to think another’s feelings—-I know that doesn’t make much sense to most, maybe it’s even a bit crazy. I don’t know, but I”m reaching out to you, to life, to god—–with all my might.  I reach out to hug the therapist and he freezes up.  His eyes reveal a sense of fear or panic as he gently pushes me away. “That’ll be enough for today.”  He presses a button under hidden under his desk and a large orderly dressed in white appears.  He looks more like a bodyguard rather than a nurse.

The orderly leads me to my room and gives some Ambien to swallow. He leaves, I spit it out. I lay awake for a long time. I wonder when my next bus will arrive……..