REPORT A PROBLEM
Today it begins. The first day. The New Year. The commitment to push through the walls and chains and take the thoughts stuck inside and carefullyÖ artfully, put them down. The stark realization that ďyouíre not getting any youngerĒ is a vicious truth. That time is not your friend if you fight it tooth and nail. Today is the day to let the past go, to move on into life and live it. Today I am born again as I have been for a life time. Today will be different. Today I swear I am up to no good.
As she sleeps in the car, during the very long drive, I think about the past thirteen years. Her birth, her first steps, her schools. I think about what I have done to shape this child into the impressive only born of me. I realize I have little to do with it. I do poke and push in this direction or that, but I finally see that she is who she is and she will be who she will be. She will be as powerful and strong as she allows herself to be, with or without me. Iím proud.
Tonight my mind is blank. I dig down into the depths of thought and find nothing. I think about the conversations of the night. I walk each word back through my memory and think about how I felt and what I was experiencing. Still the memories donít spark an eloquent narrative or even a childish rant. I beg my brain to give me something. I tap out word after word reading them over and over again but still my page and promise remain blank. I am left to figure out how, not only to end this, but to begin.
I never sit in the same chair twice in a row. It makes my peers uncomfortable. I pretend I don't understand why they need to sit in the same place every time. I understand the need for familiarity. I understand the need for security. I understand compulsion. For me, if I can see things through their eyes, I can better understand their ďviewĒ. It makes me hear and understand things differently every time I sit in a new place. It forms and answers new questions every time. But the biggest benefit still is that it creeps them the hell out.
Fear is a miserable word. It has so many different levels and meanings. For some it that uncomfortable feeling deep in the pit of your guts that make you hesitate just slightly before you buck up and move forward. Sometimes that slight hesitation is all that is needed to drop that one blow necessary to end it all. Sometimes it is overpowering. You hide behind the first cover you can find. Both of these feeling break you. They convince you to miss out on opportunities. Courage is the word of the day from now on. Be brave. No more fear!
Itís sad. Sad and painful. To finally find time to sit and think. To finally roll back through the days, the hours, the minutes, of your life. To think about the past and realize that your best days are behind you and that for the most part you donít remember many of them. A few quick flash in the pan memories of laughter, tears, joy, sorrows..
I wrote that three years ago. It was the first page of a story that never grew. I still go back to it and try seeing if it has roots. None yet.
I reminisce about time past really more often then is healthy. I think about old time and lost love. I worry that I can never again be in that place. I muddle through the anxiety of being alone. The pain is still sometimes sharp and the wounds are as fresh as the day they were opened. But time has a way. You all know the way. The pain, although still sharp, stings less often. The anxiety, although still overwhelming and encompassing, doesn't breaks though as often. I feel new winds and adventures on the horizon. I know I have grown.
When I was young I thought I was a thespian. I performed in musical and stage productions though all my school years. I thought I was good enough to make it. I knew I couldn't be a lead but I dreamed of being the Barney Fife to an Andy Taylor. Once those dreams faded into the reality of the real world I felt lost. When I think about that time I realize everyday we start a new role. We perform in every part we take on. We act like an employee, parent, a teacher. I guess I did make it.
Itís funny getting to know someone new. All the expectations and first impressions are so different once you peel away the layers we all put up to protect ourselves. We open these doors slowly, one at a time, showing just a bit more of ourselves. Hoping that this wont be the one that breaks the deal. I think we get caught up in how we are seen and forget to look at ourselves. We don't appreciate the things that make us unique, our personal "beauty". We wont change, but relish opening the doors and where it could take you.
A perfect body with sweet lips.
Warm fresh breath on a neck and right at the curve of a jaw line.
Strong gentle hands that caress every fold.
Warm soft hands that that gently ride slowly down the curve of a back.
Experienced intentional hands not afraid to venture
So much more deliberate.
The sound of the two breathing excitement,
The smell of passion
The taste of anotherís lips
The tense hesitation.
The sigh of total surrender.
Eyes open looking around the dark room. Yup still alone.
The great misfortune of doubt. The great embarrassment of having billions of words trapped inside you fighting to get out. The tremendous fear that last yearís has-been has already written your words in a book or blog and finally you are just now starting to spill them on a page. It is a slow lingering death. To know how many things you have to say. To think how many way you could paint your thoughts into a minds picture. To realize that you must push forward and get it all done. The satisfaction of finally seeing it on paper complete.
I don't read well. So, therefore I write different. I cant confirm it but have been told I am dyslexic. I do know that when I hand write, I always seem to start in the middle of a word and finish by going back to the beginning. I never noticed it until a friend, who is a specialist brought it to my attention. I look back over my life and think about how this may have affected me. Have I lived my entire life from the middle and now I have to go back to start and fix the beginning?
I spent a long several months watching the rapid decline and eventual death of my mother. I witnessed it first hand, everyday. It was a short illness that was so quickly debilitating that I hardly had time to think. She was alert and lucid and well versed in the progression of this illness, so much to the point that she was accurately able to predict the day of her death. The thoughts of this time weigh heavy as grow older. I feel my cogs breaking and wonder if I too will have the distinct displeasure of knowing my last hour.
Eyes wide open in the still dark night. Thoughts rushing through your head at breakneck speed.
It wont slow down and let you hold any piece. A million thoughts all taking the path of least resistance though you. You know the drill. Grab the first one you can and work it through. You know you cant catch a single thought. Its almost funny the way you try to work through the block. Single words on a page. Every idea diagramed and examined. My god man it is just a hundred words why is it so difficult?
My friend and I sit Wednesday evenings at a restaurant or bar for an hour or two talking. We have been doing this for more years than I can remember. We talk about current affairs and happenings about town. We discuss our families and our kids. We still talk about old times and the things we did when we were young and stupid. We discuss the things we should do now that we are old and stupid. We discuss the people we meet and how we feel. I know a lot of people, but only a few are true friends.
I miss my old girl. She was never a get up in your face pup. She liked to sit right by me and was happy as long as I was touching her. She hated inside except when it rained, but always was so nosy. She was tall enough to stare through the window to see what we were doing. She loved to chase squirrels and presented every one of them to me that she caught. Her favorite games involved me grabbing her legs and her biting me hard enough to make me stop but never hard enough to hurt me.
The anger diminishes. The hurt dulls. The feeling of being lost becomes slight. The dreams persist. The hopes subside. The desire ebbs and flows. The wrong questions lead to wrong answers, leads to terrible decisions. The descent leads to depression which breeds resentment. The experience leads to the bottom of a very dark and deep hole. And alone you sit at the bottom of your hole, alone, afraid, tired and lost.
But then a smile warms. A look spurs a thought. A visit brings up a question. An encounter builds confidence. A corner is turned. A purpose is born.
I love to watch the cowbirds in fall. They fly in lines that seem to go on forever. No beginning. No end. Just miles and miles of dark specs in a grey gloomy sky, flying in never ending waves to destination unknown and unseen, with no pattern or purpose. I wonder where they are going. I wonder if they ever get there. No one leads them. No one tells them when to stop. I watch them and feel their pain and anguish. I feel them meandering aimlessly going everywhere and nowhere. Then I realize that maybe I just dont understand.
I dont mind seeing my daughter grow up. I love watching her progress, mature, become the person I know she will be. I remember the day she was born. C-section, mother in recovery. It was just she and I. I got to see her eyes open for the first time. I saw the start. I witnessed her first moment of awareness. It was amazing watching the intake of the first level of knowledge and beginning of understanding. I could literally see the information flooding in. That experience will always be humbling. I hope it is something I never forget.
The creases develop around the eyes and the doe brown is fading into grey green. The red brown hair has gone white and receded so far back it cant be seen without a second glass. The once rich olive tone has become a rusty white with spots beginning to show. The skin is thinning, and taking on that very distinctive scaly look. The tone is waning and the aches and pains are more often. Why does the brain refuse to process these clues? Why do we still desire the things we wanted and had in days gone? Because we can.
Hidden beneath layers of uncertainty and indecision. Wanting the time to pass gently and slowly like a perfect day. Waiting for answers to questions you never really want to ask. Feeling of chemically induced dread and anxiety. Looking at the many roads of the future. Will you let fear drag you down its bitter path? Will you allow lust and desire to entangle you? Would you allow doubt to crush your will to continue? Or will you let fate continue to pass you the opportunities life offers. Will you forever continue to grow into an ever evolving and beautiful being?
Nothing pisses me off more then having a problem that I know I caused and cant blame anyone else. I would love to push it off on someone else but I know it aint happening. I even have the nerve to be surprised when the issues crops up. I stare in a mirror and ask myself over and over, "how did you let this go on?". Well buddy, buck up and get over it. Its your fault and only you can fix it! It has stared you in the face your whole life. I am such an asshole to myself.
Should I be embarrassed? Should I be ashamed? I am not a sports guy. I don't wait for weekends so I can watch sports. I like my teams but I don't watch the games very often. I wait for the highlight reels. That way I can take in the entire game in less than five minutes. I will sit down and watch a game through but not really very often. I do watch my daughter play in her sports and I cheer but I don't offer my opinion on the calls. I wonder when they will take my guy card?
When I was a child I was afraid of the dark. I slept in a bed with two others. I was forced to sleep at the end close to an uncurtained window. I would stare out that window every night and imagine the things that were out there. I saw witches and werewolfs and monsters of all sorts. Over the years, I made friends with most of those monsters. I figured out how to stay clear of the bad ones and I often spend time with the some of the fun ones. But I am still afraid of the dark.
It wasn't long ago I laughed at my eighty five year old father when he was amazed at some "new" construction in his neighborhood that had been completed for over two years. He is homebound and doesn't get out much. I took a day trip to the big city today. I was amazed that they had finally finished a stretch of highway that had been working on for years. I saw new neighborhoods in old rice fields. Apparently our borders shrink proportionate to the time spent traveling divided by the time we have left. Sorry Dad, I am an ass.
At a young age I understood that I wasn't one of the beautiful people. I knew I would never be the jock, winning the big game. I would never escort cheerleaders down hallways or be the fantasy to young high school girls. I figured out that if I was going to experience life, love, or at least meaningless physical encounters, I would have to learn how to get there. I did figure it out. It took a while. Meaningless encounters were nonexistent but now as I think about it all I have really decided youth is wasted on the young.
Waiting is one of the hardest parts of life. I donít know if it is the anticipation or uncertainty of what or when ďitĒ will happen. The older you get the faster the rocket of time seems to fly. Holding on is the only option. But it is still waiting. I have grown overly accepting of the concept of waiting. I am not a master of time. I wait for mine to come to me. I bide my time. But I am afraid that if I have wait too long, it will all fade away. Waiting can be painful.
Iím not a young man, but I dont feel old. Pushing the limits may have finally caught up with me. In a day or so I will have my first heart cath. I have always had an issue with skipping beats, and I knew that one day I would end up with a pacemaker. My mother had it, Her mother should have, and God know how many before them needed it. My first instinct was to be fearful and anxious. Now curiosity has taken hold. I want to know what it is that potentially wrong. I dont feel old.
Tomorrow I meet my fate. I will truly know what it is all about. I am apprehensive, but ready. Ready to know. I wish for the best, knowing that I do win but I loose too. The outcome has and will direct the next phase of my life. Still I am ready. I have to find out what I have done and how I can fix it. I sit in the midst of fear flashing back and forth to all I have done and all I need to finish. Iím ready to know. The waiting is the worst part.
Now I know. I finally know. As a child when you were afraid you always had moms lap or you could lay down next to dad. They were comfortable, warm, safe places. At 50 you have to be your own lap. I am not proud of being fearful or anxious, but I am comforted feeling the compassion and caring of special, close friends, and family. I always wanted to be the one someone would reach out to in times of need but until now I never thought about who would be that for me. Now I know. I finally know.
With very mixed emotions, I missed an important day today. Today ended an era and started a new time. Once again a friend and co-worker cut the rope and walked away. I have been in the process of filling this place. I have carefully calculated the risks. I have moved things into place and delayed the things I could. I have been waiting for the day but I was not looking forward to it. I wasn't able to be there to say a final goodbye. I understand it. I agreed with it. I encouraged it. Now I regret it.
The Tip Jar