Friday, August 26, 2016

55


It'll make sense when you see it.

Pete Townshend said, "sickness will surely take the mind, where minds can't usually go."  There are some days when life on life's terms makes life itself an affliction, or sickness.  Sleep didn't come easily last night, between over-exhaustion, or over-exertion, kidney stones and cluster headaches.  It's hard to tell now, with an hour awake and upright, what were thoughts and what were dreams, or how much sleeping actually happened.  There was some and that's something to be grateful for.

Thank you, amorphous, undefined entity that I kneel and give thanks to in the morning, even on the mornings where it's more out of superstitious fear than gratitude.

The dog mirrored my mood and demeanor this morning while we were out walking.  Sullen and dumb.  Sometimes she seems so intuitive and kind.  Others she is thick as a plank.  Her company wasn't the quiet comfort it can often be.

The lights at the convenience store at the gas station were especially harsh.  The guys at the counter, who are generally cheerful and kind, seemed rather edgy this morning too.  There were no jokes or smiles, save for maybe a grimace turned up at the edges.  It was more just a "god please get me through this so I can go home and get a few hours sleep before I have to come back and do this shit again."  Who can blame them? They're not kids.  Nobody dreams of working the counter at somebody else's convenience store in a shitty gas station in Brooklyn.  If you look out the front window at an angle you can see the Greenwood Cemetery. That doesn't seem like much of a comfort.  It's more a reminder of the long dirt nap waiting at the end of the shift.

Or who knows?  Maybe I take it all too hard.  Maybe they're happy.  Who the fuck am I to say?  Maybe they're perfectly content standing there for 10 or 12 hours at a time, smiling polite smiles at assholes like me and making change.  Maybe they like 10 or 12 straight hours of classic rock.  This was playing when I walked in at 5:45 this morning.  Not to make too much of a coincidence but it seemed fitting.


I won't lie.  I used to sing along to this 40 years ago.  It seemed like the shit!  Man, I could do the whole album, driving nowhere and pounding on the dashboard.  

Whatever.

I'm just rambling now.  Fifty-five?  I'm feeling every goddamn day of it and throw on ten thousand more days of feeling to boot.  I feel old.  I feel sore.  

I feel profoundly sad for reasons I haven't really found the words for yet.  

It's been a strange week.  Someone asked me for the one thing that is the farthest from my ability to give them, and was disappointed when I couldn't deliver.  That's all pretty obtuse but more on that later.

 I saw photos of the house I grew up in and that brought a flood of memories, and thoughts of more unfinished business.  There are things I thought I had let go of long ago, but then a trigger is pulled and the truth bullet follows.  What could be unfinished after 40 years?  I was certain at the time I lived there that the mountainside surrounding the cabin was haunted, and looking back, that doesn't seem so far-fetched.  The ghosts may have been all my own but sometimes the things inside one's head become so large and unruly that they take on lives of their own.  It's funny, looking at these photos.  My uncle and aunt lived there for 15 years or so and the grass never grew like that.  I suppose I could find a metaphor in that.  I don't want to get too much into it though.  My family has canonized them now, after the fact.  Family mythology is weird.  Some incidents are entirely forgotten and miracles materialize from vapor.  Whatever it takes to get people through their own past.  It seems a luxury but who am I to dispel the myths.




I awoke to the realization that I am surrounded by anxiety, sometimes screaming and shouting and sometimes quiet and simmering, everywhere I go.  Cue Thoreau's line about quiet desperation.  Quiet desperation is absolutely the worst kind.  If someone goes hysterical you can always slap them, but walking on eggshells is exhausting.  The anxiety isn't all my own either, for the record.  There is no respite, but for brief windows or moments out in the park, or walking across the Manhattan Bridge lost in the roar of traffic.

Natalie called last night.  It is the first time we've spoken since I dropped her at the airport.

"How you holding up, Bigga?  You sound tired."

"Headache."

"Head the size of yours is a problem."

"You got jokes."

It was an early birthday phone call.  She figured maybe to get in a few moments before I headed into hiding for the weekend.  She knows.  She is one of maybe three people who understand my abhorrence of these celebrations and never questioned it.  She never questioned anything.  There were strange, silent comforts within the lack of expectations there.  The call didn't last long.  She told me I sounded horrible and to get some rest.  No cheery advice or pollyanna bullshit.  That would be beneath her.  

Strange, silent comforts.

It's too bright today.  It feels like my eyelids have been slit and peeled back.  What has been seen will not be unseen.

Coffee.

Excedrin.

Movement.

Live through this.  

I'm just rambling now.

Live through this.  

No comments: