Sunday, October 22, 2017

Do I look worried?

If my entire life hadn't been weird, then maybe the last few years would have done me in, or maybe wrecked my head. You can't break broke though so things are okay. Weird is is just business as usual then, right?

It's like in the old cowboy movies. You don't worry until the drums stop. So I'll worry when shit goes quiet.

I'm used to this.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Patience...

You see, I had to work to the point where the the outside was a reflection of the inside, and not decorate the outside in the hope that the interior would reflect the design.

Or as The Crocodile said, "best make sure the foundation is solid before you hang drapes."

It took a while.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

DDATHTL Friday Night

I've a pocket full of cash because it's payday. I have a twat art student haircut and I'm looking for something to drown out the voices. Warbling sopranos inside the Pentecostal church on the corner. The faithful old women.

Choir practice not unlike the choir between my ears, except they're petitioning their god and mine is petitioning... who?

Whom?

Fear.

Anxiety falsetto.

Temptation Siren soprano.

Liars, contralto, alto and tenor.

Doom bass.

It's Friday night. It's getting dark earlier, and the air is tropical and wet, but that's a lie too. I will wake up one morning soon to dry, skeletal cold. I will only see daylight on Saturday and Sunday. The others it's leave in darkness and come home in darkness and read or meditate by artificial light and wait for spring.  I will try to find reasons to laugh and maybe this time around I'll look for the right reasons to laugh and find them. There are right reasons to laugh and there are maybe not wrong but definitely not so right reasons. It can be a gift to be able to laugh at things that aren't really funny, but maybe it's because the punchline is that it's not going to last. The worst that can happen is that it will kill me and everyone dies anyway, don't they?

The ladies in the church believe or are at least trying to believe that if they sing loud and true enough that they will never die and be happy for eternity in some sunshiney place with no bad weather and no pain. Good luck, ladies. I really do hope that comes true for you.

For you.

I've some work to do before I can even begin to believe that I deserve that, or even want it.

It's Friday night and there are places to go and they are nowhere really. Just distraction. It's Friday night and maybe I will dance with a pretty woman or just stand by myself and listen to music and be nostalgic and dignified for a bit before I get distracted by thoughts of what is dignity anyway and do I have it or do I know someone who does and how can I be like them. Maybe the music will drown out the choir just long enough to get tired and maybe tired enough that it will be a deep sleep with no dreams that will last long enough that I don't wake up alone in the dark.

It's Friday night.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe...

Who am I?

I'm the boy in the photos below, the one that you can still see traces of, or so people tell me. People have said that they can still see him though they may have varying ideas of who that boy ever was.  I can tell them but they might not really understand.

It's simple enough though.

I'm the boy that figured out at a very early age that when people played Eenie Meenie Miney Moe, the outcome was already decided at Eenie, depending on where they started.  One, two, three, four or more kids didn't matter.  It all begins with Eenie, so by Meenie this boy knew already what the outcome would be. It was already decided, by mathematics or by chance if it could be believed that they didn't choose where to start and who would would thereby be excluded round upon round, so by Meenie, this boy shut down.

And eventually, though not soon enough, stopped caring and then stopped playing altogether. 

I'm the boy that didn't stop caring or playing soon enough, but I am the boy that eventually stopped. Do people see that now? Is that what they mean when they say they can still see the boy I used to be? Or do they just mean that there's a youthful look still lurking there? I'm not sure which I would prefer. Sometimes it makes things easier if people look and say...

Okay, this one isn't playing.  


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Recovery


There are days like this. Most of the time no, but why lie? 

There are days like this.  

Sunday, August 27, 2017

You might also enjoy...

56

So another one down... Why does 56 sound so much older than 55? Is it just where my head is at this year? Humor usually does the trick but there didn't seem to be any 'funny yet inspirational' messages to riff off of this year.  It's been an odd stretch in my continuing saga.

My tear ducts have been blocked for several months. They work for the standard biological functions, be it allergies or smoke or whatnot. They've managed to elude the emotional things though,, for hte most part.  The dam almost burst yesterday, triggered by a photo on a friend's Facebook page.  Said friend had a picture embracing a friend who's been battling breast cancer. That resonated, certainly, having lost two close friends in recent years to this particularly malevolent disease. Several other people in my circles have dropped to other cancers as well, but the breast cancer...

Troublesome, but that's got a lot to do with my relationships to the afflicted as well.

The dam nearly burst though but not quite.  The lump in the throat came up and tears fell, but it wasn't the cathartic fit that might have relieved the pressure.

56...

Dinner with my sons was nice. Seeing them doing well, or at least okay, allowed me to exhale and to relax into a semblance of gratitude. Gratitude has been in short supply, and that's not quite fair as things have been relatively okay, a few missteps and heartaches notwithstanding.

I'm tired though. It's mostly my fault as often all that's required is that gratitude, and a level of acceptance. Still looking for that balance and perspective on where things are as opposed to where they were. Patience with myself isn't exactly my thing.

And that's it for now.  I will, at some point, record something of an inventory that might explain this wistful, winsome missive.

But not now.

Union Square 8-26-17

A Matthew Silver Fart Awakening... people underestimate the importance and impact of street theatre like this.  Of joy and spectacle for the sake of it.  It's bigger than that though, isn't it?  It seems a kind of celebration of everything that isn't the horror that we're barraged with by the media... and the lies and mythology that we're expected to just live with.  Matthew is a warrior.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

One cup of coffee

By myself, and if you look closely it's giving me a grim smile... but then there's a light at the end of the tunnel... of sorts.  Nothing but corny shit today.  Nothing.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

RIP Glenn Campbell


Sitting in the back seat of the white Impala, probably headed off to Haverstraw to see David in the hospital, or something.  Maybe off to Beacon for a weekend, or a summer... or whatever.  It was at least another 30 years before I understood the love and the longing from this Jimmy Webb classic.

Awww Glenn... sorry, man.  I guess you had a good run, no?  Thanks for sharing.

Don't bet on it.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Goin' ta Nawlins.

He was there at York Street, at the top of the stairs and slumped behind a big, cardboard sign that said something about bad luck and homeless in NYC and a bus ticket back home to family in New Orleans. They all have signs these days that say this or that but the bottom line on every one is just a few dollars more will do the trick.

I'm not usually compelled to donate to the Greyhound cause, and that's not about judgment by the way, but he seemed older and maybe he needed it? Older is relative anyway because how much older than me could he possibly be and still mobile? Or still have people in New Orleans or any other fucking place? Not that I'm ancient by any stretch, but now I'm rambling.  I dug out a couple worn out Washingtons and offered them up and moved on and didn't think much more about him.  I did think about family somewhere else because most of mine is somewhere else, and what the fuck... it's all about me anyway isn't it?  I thought about having no place to go.  I thought about how close we all are to having no place to go home to. If you think you're not that close at all then it's time to get a clue.  They've pushed out folks with not a lot less than you, sister.  Wake up.

Sunday morning and not a goddamn place to go.  I've said before that sometimes these Sunday walkabouts feel like spiritual exploration.  They're meditative and contemplative.  They're cathartic.  Then there are the others.  Days of exile and wandering.  No goddamn place to go and no welcome mats and open arms. Nobody to talk to.

No goddamn place to go.

Days of exile like Cain.  I didn't kill my brother, at least not that I can remember but still I'm out here, marked for some sin I don't recall.  Too much drama?  Fuck off.  That's just how it feels some days.  I'm just trying to give it to you straight.

If you skirt the busy shop streets, and the cafe streets and the stroller and flea market streets... if you stick to the wharf streets and factory streets, you can get some quiet time without the constant chatter of people with people to go home to.  The voices in the head are bad enough.  Add a few more and things get unbearable.  I looped around down by Con Ed and came up behind Commodore Barry Park and the Navy Yard. 

Quiet.

Mostly.

Hey! My brother!  Someone called from across the way.

It was Nawlins, from the train station, coming out of the Walt Whitman House, taking long strides in my direction.  I stopped and waited.  He seemed harmless enough but that's not the point. It didn't seem to matter if he wasn't.  He was grinning, not that smiling means shit. Dogs bare their teeth before they take a chunk put of your ass.  It didn't matter though.  I didn't really care what mood or intent he was bringing. 

I just want to thank you for the help.  He extended an awkward right but remembered he had something in his hand and paused to change it to the left.  Glass pipe and a lighter.

Sorry.  Just going to smoke.

No worries.

Yes, I just want to thank you for the help.

My pleasure.  An exaggeration but whatever.  Happy to help and it doesn't make shit difference to me how he spends the money if it gets him through the day. Food or rock.  Whatever it takes.  Glad to be of service.

What you out for a stroll? 

He was trying to sort me out.  Like okay, motherfucker looks like a cop but he doesn't walk like a cop and he doesn't smell like a cop.

Just out taking pictures and clearing my head.

What the pictures for?  No New Orleans accent by the way.

Things change fast.  I just want to remember that I was here. 

Any double meaning was lost on him and I didn't care.  The "depth" was to feed my own ego. So I could write later that I'd said something deep.

You want a picture of me?  He smiled.

Nah bro.  Not really.  No offense.

And he wasn't offended.  He extended his hand for another shake.  I accepted and he pulled me in close for a hug. 

Thanks again, Brother.  You enjoy yourself out here and be safe.

I hugged him back and we broke it off and at the same time my heart broke open again.  Maybe it will stay that way this time.

Maybe.

I'm going to try. 

Hey!  I called back to him and he stopped and looked back.

It's raining hard in New Orleans.  Stay dry.

I can't be sure but he smiled big and I think i might have seen his heart break open too.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Yay I wandered lonely as a clod.

Clod included.

This walking thing.

Some days it's therapy.  Other days it's exile.

Self exile?

It never feels that way when those days happen. It's as if God Himself or all the powers in The Universe have conspired to send me out into The Land of Nod, Cain-Like. The temptation is always there to just keep walking.

Just keep walking.

Of course a person can't do that, can they?

Can they?

A short time ago it was all about backstroking in the illusion pool of romance, but the illusion fails and then comes the inevitable drop to the bottom of what certainly doesn't feel like an imaginary concrete basin.  A sick thud.

Pain.

Oh, back here again, are we?  

Can something that's already broken be broken again?  Smaller pieces with more sharp edges to jab and stab and...

Nah.  

Today I was Cain.  Maybe tomorrow I'll be a roving photographer, or an explorer, or an artist, or a writer or just a big guy with flat feet.  It can be beautiful out here in The Land of Nod.  There are a lot of other people out here.  Perhaps too many.  I prefer the quieter, less traveled expanses.  

Pretty much

Friday, August 04, 2017

Third time

Third time's a charm, she said to me.

What?

Three times lucky.  You never heard that? She looked annoyed.

Nope.

I decided to play dumb.  What she didn't know and would never take seriously nor understand, is the dream.  I have died in dreams again and again and then woke up.  That's supposed to kill you, right?  Guess who's still here.

It's always the third bullet though, in the dream.  The third time the knife sticks in.  Third car to strike me.  Third heart attack.  I try to avoid three.  Three is not my lucky number and I know for certain that what happens in my dreams is a dream, but when I die with my eyes open, that's for real.

She started to explain but she knew I'd already drifted.  She waved me off, disgusted.  Then she turned and opened her mouth but shut up again, picked up her mobile and pretended to look at facebook or some shit.

Whatever.


You'll know when I'm really reaching for any kind of inspiration when I reach for some tired intertoobzspirational meme for comfort.  Love this one in theory but it doesn't really truthfully describe my humor today.  Thunder and rain have rolled across my sprawling 40,000 acre ranch in Brooklyn and that's kind of nice.  It's been a while since I've just sat and listened.  I should be in the shower preparing for work, but again, really reaching for inspiration today.  Maybe I can blame the rain on lateness.  It would take a lot of it though to halt the underground process.  

It's nice though.  I've always loved thunderstorms, even the big, crashing violent ones, though this isn't one of them.  It's loud enough and there is flash lightning, but it's more soothing than exhilarating.  

Thinking about health an awful lot.  More tests lined up to find out why my guts are all stop and go traffic like a shit subway line, no pun intended.  I do buy into the theories that digestion and depression are related.  Everything is connected.  I'm fairly well convinced that even my skin is related to it, these scorching red blotches on my torso, front and back.  Tired of thinking about it all though.  It was so much easier at 26 or even 36 when even a pretty serious injury was just a "fuck it."  Everything heals when you're young.  Most things.  Some things.  The physical things more so than the others.  

Trust your wings, MacMotherfucker.  Trust your wings.  Even the left one that cracks and screams when you flap it.  

Trust your wings.  

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Just Once ~ Anne Sexton

Just once I knew what life was for.
In Boston, quite suddenly, I understood; 
walked there along the Charles River,
watched the lights copying themselves, 
all neoned and strobe-hearted, opening
their mouths as wide as opera singers;
counted the stars, my little campaigners, 
my scar daisies, and knew that I walked my love
on the night green side of it and cried
my heart to the eastbound cars and cried
my heart to the westbound cars and took
my truth across a small humped bridge 
and hurried my truth, the charm of it, home
and hoarded these constants into morning
only to find them gone.

Every damn thing

Life in Dreams 3

The sick sweats came in hard and fast this morning, behind a shit ton brick wall of cramps and nausea.  It's not hot enough yet to sweat, but it's coming anyway.  That's how it goes sometimes.  The antibiireotics don't seem to hold any sway in the world of what ails me.

What exactly ails me?

That remains to be seen.

The jury is out.

It would be easy enough to send the note saying I'm not going in to work.  It's quite another task to sit home in my own sick thoughts though so a dose of Zantac and it's off to the train.

Dreams.

More dreams, again most of which fade like a morning fog as wakefulness staggers in.  There was one in particular though.  A wad of folded bills on the curb at the side of 3rd Avenue and I was close enough to see they were of large denominations.  Could they be real?  It's the subject of daydreams now for my entire life, but could this be my day? Then just as my fingers began to close around them a wind comes and scatters them into traffic, and I follow trying to save them, or as many as possible.  I don't remember car horns or the screeches of tires on cars braking and careening around me.  I do, however, remember angry faces.  Alarmed faces.  And desperate faces of others who have just realized there is a fortune blowing across the street and into the trees.  And my desperation as I rushed to get the bills before anyone else had the chance.

And I remember the feeling of loss and defeat as I managed to salvage not a one.  It was the feeling I woke with and carried into my slick, sweaty sauna morning.  Loss and defeat feel the same grimy filth of a malarial fever sweat.  They feel the same in the stomach and lower bowels.  It is a feeling green and rotten with despair.  It is the stabbing pain of a boot slamming into the abdomen, or really slamming outwards from the inside.  The body must have only a handful of feelings in its repertoire, so they have to be shared by different experiences.  It's fucking confusing really.  Like am I sick or merely depressed.  It almost doesn't matter because I know in my head that either will pass.  It doesn't feel like it today but it will.

And don't confuse that statement with hope.  I am neither with nor without hope this morning.  I'm in a weird purgatorial state that I'd prefer to write off to an infection.  Some intrusion from the outside world.  An invading microbe.

That's what I would prefer.   The truth is what the truth is though and I'm not sure what exactly that is at the moment.  Blood was drawn and the answer will come.

What it feels like is my body and my brain betraying me.  When there is nobody left near enough to betray me my body will betray itself  Is that truth, or am I merely riding through the dark place borne by a microbe?  The dreams disturbed me though.  I'm unsettled.

If I've ever had happy dreams they have never stuck around long enough to record them in any journal or by any media.  People must have happy dreams though, right?  Even my sex dreams are mostly horrible, and those of course aren't really sex dreams, if the shrinks and philosophers are to be believed. Do people have happy dreams though that give them happy feelings that they wake up with and carry into the day?  I don't recall anyone ever telling me about one.  Maybe people have them but are superstitious about sharing them, less revealing them might mean they'll not come true?

Enough though, man.

Enough.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Life in Dreams 2

Is this how it is to be then?
Not a sudden impact but a beginning?
The end, that is.
An end must have a beginning, no?

No word from the outside world.
I am finally alone.
And the only thing I really wanted.
Became the last thing I really wanted.

A dark humor there
Not haha funny
But the chilly shadows I shares
With friends no longer here.

One body you get one body
And you get one body
And in the beginning
It is already ending.

Until it stays open


Still chewing on this one.

What does it mean?

Does it apply to my life experience and how does it?

I'm going to be cryptic here and name no names because... well it just wouldn't be fair.

I walked out of the wedding feeling that some things might just in fact be right with the world.  There was someone for everyone, you know?  She wasn't for me, and that's certain, despite any attractions or anything we held in common.  She just wasn't for me.  And to be sure I wasn't for her.  We were two rare birds (and still are) but not a matching set, as some would-be matchmakers might have made that call.  All felt right with the world.  There is someone for everyone, and it looked to me like everyone there was feeling the same thing.  The joy overflowed from the newlyweds and out across the room and we all danced lightly atop the proverbial pink cloud.  

It didn't last.

Then again, nothing lasts.  We don't last.  We live and love and laugh and all that cornball shit, and then we die.  Or the joy runs out before we die and I'm not quite sure which is worse. Sometimes when the joy runs out you just want to die.  I've felt that plenty of times.  Then of course you find it again, provided you're still on this side of the dirt, or you can find it again if you're open to that.

But then someone dies.  It's just the way things are.  

But I'm rambling.  The wedding, or rather the feelings that I left the wedding with have been on my mind.  I don't know if I've ever achieved that level of joy, and could I have survived the end of it anyway?  I'm not that strong.  

And I'm still processing losses that I never fully and properly addressed.  If there are five stages of grief, and I've always suspected that there are more than five, then I am stuck on anger. (I actually suspect that grief is a hamster wheel that you get thrown off of if you're lucky.  I've been through all the stages involved in specific incidents and ended up back at the beginning.)  I'm angry at the idea of a god that would make good people suffer.  One that would take people away when people still loved and needed them.  Talk of a kind and loving god makes me anxious, and often irritated.

Yet I keep coming back to faith and lack of faith so I'll take that as a sign that I want to believe.

I'm still stuck on anger.  It's obvious that my heart hasn't been broken enough times then because nobody would accuse me of possessing an open heart.  And if it hasn't been broken enough times then there is more to come, and quite frankly, I'm fucking done with the lot of it.  More to come?  Fuck that and fuck you.  

Still angry.

Still processing.  

Still on this side of it all but kicking.  

More later.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Life in Dreams

Yesterday mostly spent in bed, sleeping off, or maybe the better words are "sitting off" a night of acid reflux and then violent cramping, nausea and diarrhea.  There were periods of broken sleep, and in the sleep there were dreams.  More dreams than usual, or more that stayed around upon waking, perhaps because consciousness never truly happened.

Many of the dreams were of my elder brother, David.  Of having lost him, or him disappearing, and then the ensuing desperate search.  He was just here after all so how could he have just vanished.  There was a pervasive confusion.  How could he simply disappear? 

Yet the image in my head or in my head in my dream wasn't David.  The face was changing every ten minutes.  What's ten minutes in a dream anyway?  A second?  Is time even relevant?  Are the changing faces, none of which were recognizable, even relevant? 

My only guess is that it wasn't even David that was missing, but someone else entirely.  My suspicion is that the missing party was none other than myself, and that could be the source of the confusion. How could a person be right there one moment and gone the next.  It leads directly to the belief that he was never even there to begin with.  A mirage maybe, or a cleverly constructed hologram that ego and subconscience created.  A ruse or a survival mechanism or even both. 

It was in a dream/memory only a couple years ago that my misplaced resentments toward my brother resurfaced.  It was one of those dreams after which you awaken and the emotions are all still right there. It was a low-grade fire though the details of what exactly lit the fire are unclear.  It was always something to do with having to be ever mindful of how lucky I was that I wasn't afflicted, like him, with cerebral palsy.  That I could walk.  That I could do everything any young boy could do, and he could certainly not.  It was about having to be apologetic for my ability vis a vis his disability.  As if my life was absolutely wonderful and if there were any complaints at all I should just be glad that I wasn't crippled.  Those were the choices:  miserable, or crippled and miserable.  I should just feel lucky.  These are, of course, not burdens he put upon me, so as I already stated.  

Misplaced.  

And easy enough to let go of despite that the truth further fueled other resentments.

Sometimes truth comes in dreams.

Last night doesn't appear to be any exception.

Natalie was there in my dream and it was Natalie, no misrepresentation with another face.  

"Tell your story, Bigga."

Then she was gone and it was back to this other thing.  The search.  She was scolding me though, in her soft way.  And she was right again, in her soft way.  My story remains untold, and perhaps that's what the earlier dream portended, that time is slipping by and my story is... incomplete.  

Life in dreams.

But now waking, tap, tap, tapping away while in a waiting room at my doctor.  My body is betraying me, no longer so strong and resilient and I'm not quite 56.  The plumbing is all awry and my skin covering inflamed.  My head conspires with my guts and everything falls apart, as bodies are wont to fall apart with age, especially when they have never had proper maintenance.  I wonder sometimes what a monster I would have been with proper care.

But not now.  Now time to find out what's going on.  

Damage control.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Everybody talkin' 'bout that ol' weather

And it's diabolical heat coming off a night of dreams where I saw myself die.  Now there's talk about those dreams and what they mean and what's supposed to happen.

I'm still upright now, for all that talk.

For now.

I'm upright for now.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Prospect Park - DDATHTL

Fathers Day meditation.  Successes and failures sometimes a morning fog. They are of the same fabric.  The same image. I see that now, and having only ever focused on and felt regret about the one, I can now see the accurate inventory. There was bad certainly, and there was good. I can change the balance with effort and continue to improve. They still need me.