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The summer soon and the times we’ll have I hope and so do them but I have the difference oh yes I know what it is that makes things tick in this working fantastical wondrous time the buzzing cicadas and lightning bugs cool flowing water washing dancing mystical and heavenly helping the worries, willing and not, wash over my body and light so pure and blinding, warming me and making me whole again. Tears come and witness the lasting joy of my wont. The demons must be driven from their perch, watching and waiting from above for their next entry.
That deep, dark sadness once again is creeping into my thoughts and conversations. I again feel alone in a room full of people. Now, Dub is not there anymore to call and help me straighten this shit out. My friends are all slipping away, washing through the parking lot and into the grate in the corner, crashing in like the roar of water from the torrential rains of life and death that seem inescapable of late. The skin on my forehead splits and cracks, falling like winter snow with every straining thought, with every lost ideal, with every… with every…
The chores pile up, undone. The projects getting the best of me, as I slip further and further into a depression for reasons unknown to me. This past weekend, seeing old acquaintances, left me feeling behind and lost, with no ambition or goals save making it to the next payday and a thirteen year old car. My dreams are empty at night, and my wherewithal to make things happen has floundered. At work, I’m the invisible man where I used to help run shop, and I don’t know the reasons why. How can I get back on track? What now?
I can’t seem to stop them. I hear them all the time in my head. While walking down the street, driving my car, working, watching television, they plague me. Syncopated beats, soloed bongo parts, tribal and driving, hard slaps and tight pops, off-centered rhythmic phrases that go on for a few measures and then ride the pattern back into place… they are there all the time. Trading solos, keeping groove, that pulse, and feeling it run its course. I want nothing more than to sit and play all the time. I need a place to practice more often, and soon…
This project has me flustered. I can’t figure out how to set myself a schedule and plan and begin to carry it out on a regular basis. I have to start making myself sit and focus, and try to sufficiently make ideas that are flowing out of my head at a busy rate more understandable to others. That’s the main problem, slowing down the brain processes enough to get them out of my fingers. I can type faster now than I ever could in the past, but it’s still not enough. I can’t wait to just talk into my computer
I know what he would have said…
“You’re gonna be a groomsman, man that’s cool, I guess, but I never liked that motherfucker, you know.”
Not a question.
Dub didn’t like T at all. Some bullshit going back too many years to make it relevant, but he could keep a grudge.
“I know, man, but T and I get along, and he’s cool now, you just don’t know him.”
“Whatever, man, I never did like that weaselly motherfucker.”
“So how’s everything else, man… what are the doctors saying?”
“Everything else is cool, man, everything’s going well.”
The pace quickens, the speed going faster and faster. Better hope you can keep up. What do I have to do to stay current, in the hip, in the know, fashionable? These questions and more tonight at six. You guys aren’t really from the gas company, are you? Feel that movement? Can You? No? Well, your loss then. Seven and ticking, but you wouldn’t know unless present… the labors that are taking place right here in front of your eyes. Crazy you say, yes, but what of it?
That’s the way the rhythm goes, bang goes your eardrum…
I hear my thoughts in stereo, major scales rushing intertwined with the rhythm shifting minor the buzz and carry the distant thoughts suddenly becoming clear and ting rings the bell purity and clarity and all things at once. Gentle, but totally unyielding. The barking of the dog carries its purpose. Yeah? Cranky insects and soggy ground underfoot pave the way. Remember that way, off in the distance now, that’s difficult yet rewarding? I think I do. I see it on the horizon, but is it my eyes, hazy and clouded? The work of my family’s lifetime achievement? Is that me?
I wandered around the aisles… fascinated, in awe at the amount of forgotten things collected in the place. Odds and ends, Scrabble (all rights reserved) from the 1960s, ceramic pigs, polyester overalls. Goodwill is the greatest place on earth. I have had so many great finds there, it’s not funny. Saturday was a prime example. Found a matching lamp for one that I have. Six bucks out the freaking’ door. What people throw away baffles me sometimes. How much of this stuff ends up dumped down at the landfill and not back in the hands of people? Cast away life…
A letter sent, it travels many miles, distance covered with news thoughts impressions, how are you and how have you been? What‘s the weather like there this time of year? It’s been a long time and you seem to be getting along alright. The truck rounds the corner, steady in its mission to bring the message to its recipient. Horns sound, interrupted and your life surrounded by the tolled existence of routine. Half in jest, suggestions come from all the angles, but never the proper one. Thanks for all the lip service, but the account balance is less than five.
Its bullshit, it shouldn’t have to be like this. They say if you haven’t sold out by the time your 30, you’re just stupid. Fuck that. When are people gonna realize we have nothing left to hold dear these days. Religion is on a downturn, most people have no faith in the government, and families have become splintered and less close. They need something tangible to make them feel better. Great, so they go buy shit. Stupid. We need a spiritual awakening of some kind. This rotting culture… these sad, lost, poor souls with nothing worthwhile to make life beautiful…
Sometimes I dodge calls on my cell. I think it irritates my friends and family, but I’ve got news for them. Prior to cell phones, nobody was available to speak all the time. Granted, with a pager, you knew they called, but you could always say you weren’t near a phone or something. With a cell, they feel that anytime they wish, they should be able to speak with you. Sorry, folks, it doesn’t work that way. And don’t get mad at me when I call you back later, because that’s just stupid. I have a life too, you know?
I feel the dangerous essence of the coming, treasonous yet necessary come-uppance. Can you also tell, by the way in which public discussions go and the way politics is covered. It almost makes you want to believe that we are indeed in the last times. These fucking nimrods, in our names (read representation) make us the most hated, feared and dangerous laughing stocks of the planet. Thanks. We are being invaded by golden parachutes. Are you still living, do you have a goddamn pulse? As the world weeps in silent sorrow, we parasites digest the whole of what we find…
Crack, pop, fizz or maybe the reason you came out tonight do you know the game I’m talking about…
“I can’t remember, but then again, I don’t remember much these days.”
Jesus, long, I can’t believe you don’t remember that, we were all hanging out and drinking and everyone was there.
“Yeah, I guess I kinda remember that.”
Man, that shit was a great night, do you remember saying that shit to so-and-so and them getting really pissed?
“Man, I don’t remember, I was fucked up.”
Dude, that shit was hilarious, man, we were laughing our fucking asses off.
This may very well be the first time I have tried to extend, drag out, and basically be extraneous for the sake of more words. Lately, I’m in a writing slump. I got back into it fast, but since have floundered and been getting more and more pissed off at myself. I need to find a way to concentrate on writing every single night and take control. Things are vacant, scant of necessary information to make decent observations. I shall fill the rest, my thoughts lumbering and my will savaged onward by this torment. See how words carry great weight?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Men at Work, remember them? When I was young, in the early 80’s, I recall really loving their music. I never knew what was being said, but something about the guy’s voice made me dig it. Recently, I picked up their greatest hits and really listened to those songs again. Colin Hay is a great songwriter. His lyrics are poetic and excellent. Math told me, “He’s one of us.” He’s right; “Overkill”, “Who Can It Be Now” and “It’s A Mistake” are all really great songs. I’m glad I found them again…
Greg maybe leaving, the bands changing, the world in flux, but at least I have my memory and the past logged certain yet not at times, remembrances fleeting and scattered this friend that, this night or another and the morning that followed. Jesus, had that time passed and I never even noticed it had occurred? I’m sure I was there for it all. Different towns, drinking and hanging out, playing music and bouncing bouncing bouncing attention deficit disorder 3 secs 3secs 3secs. The search of this lifetime, the results of the way you went. There is no other you here?
Late at night and no sleep is available so what to do what to do? The tracks rattle in the distance, and I am reminded that yet again I live close to the soothing sounds of the rails. I love that sound, and I’m not sure why, but I find it comforting. Big business trucking down both sides of me, but the sense of peace and calm are all I feel. Lights reflected in the night sky, I know why and your reasons for your haste. My own pulse slows and breathing becomes steady. Could thunder break up this peace?
“Well, Bobby, what do you think?”
“I don’t know, I guess that’s about the best idea I’ve heard so far, but don’t you think that sounds a little dangerous?”
“You pussy, shut the fuck up and follow then plan and we’ll all be rich and sitting on a beach somewhere, listening to the Beach Boys and counting our interest.”
“Okay, Dex, but you better take it easy and lay off the glass, okay?”
“Shut up, pantywaist, I’ll let you know when to start worrying.”
“I’m just saying, okay, you might want to slow down just a bit, for the job.”
I took up running recently, even though I grew up in a polluted Texas oil town that pumps so much refinery crap into the air, I had asthma as a kid and couldn’t run two blocks. I am really enjoying the solitude of it all. It’s almost like meditation. So far, the furthest I’ve gone is about two and a half miles, but prior to my first day, I’d never even run a complete mile. It is rather satisfying, actually. Bonuses include sweating out toxins like alcohol and cigarettes, energy, and mental well being. “Jumbo jack, two tacos, biggie fries……..
Once again I lament the inability to play my drums. I have to have that in my life. They help me vent aggression, meditate and stay sane. I don’t want my chops to slip, my hands to soften, my will to weaken and my thoughts to meander. I was breaking through to some new shit right when my last band broke up. I seem too lost about all that stuff to throw myself back into the game. People, music and good times. I can’t seem to get these ideas to go away.
“Can I help you find something today, sir?”
We rode horses from their family’s home, saddling them in the yard and then the girl, 16, gave those who didn’t know horses a lesson or two on how to handle one. Shit, I’m from Texas and been on plenty of horses, no need to explain. We rode down winding dirt roads in the bouncing shade, and Maria rode alongside me telling me of the terrain. We stopped and hiked down a steep, rain-forested slope. At the bottom, a giant waterfall (300+ ft.) cascaded into a crystal clear river. The roar was inescapable. I stared in wonder at this place…
I got a plant as gift when I first moved to the Austin area back in 1997. I think they call it closet plant, but anyway, it is about the only thing I’ve been able to keep alive except myself since then. It spent time in all the dives and houses that I’ve called home. It suffered from neglect and abuse, has bloomed at times and withered like a cut rose occasionally. The constant, nurtured at my mom’s house when I could not have it around, for fear of it being completely destroyed. It is me. Thank you Christine, really…
The year and the daze, the ability to pick yourself up again and keep that train rolling towards the west. Manifest destiny or whatever bullshit you think it should be called. The clouds change back and forth in the directions they travel, just as we travel in different directions over and over in our lives, shaping our views, opinions and brain-cell structure. The processes take place from a global to molecular process, with each one of us an intricate part. The folds and contours of the earth your grey matter, just on a different scale. Can’t it all be quantified?
Maybe the calming of my mind through the exercise, meditation and calm have ruined my ability to write. I have no rotten life experience to make the things I write anymore interesting. Has everything become to soft-shoe and vanilla? What do I have to do to get that back, get drunk and wake up the next day guilty, at a complete loss as to what happened the night before, and feeling like total shit? Is the whole living the pain of life the truth? I want to hide my head and pretend that’s not gone, but it is I guess…
So, I’ve seen this kid for months now, outside our apartment, skating his ass off. Jumping the speed bumps, grinding the curbs, doing bad ass flip tricks…
I used to skate, back in my younger days, and I can tell this kid is good. So I have this old Consolidated board in the garage, and I figure it’s doing me no good, so why not give him a classic.
When I walked up, he took me weird. Older, unshaven white dude, approaching this brother. I said, “Hey, man, I’ve seen you and you’re good, want another board?” “Sure.” Thanks, kid…
Mr. Goode’s dog name was Beaver and he was a big sonofabitch. Kids riding their bikes down the street would cross over to the other side when they saw Beaver. My brother and I grew up with him, so we had no problem. We played baseball at the vacant lot one house down from mine, by Mr. Goode’s. Balls got fouled into his yard, and only my brother and I would go get them, but Jeff got cocky one day and decided to get it himself. Beaver took a chunk outta his leg. My brother calmly retrieved the ball. Hahahahahaha….
We were at a Jim Nabors concert, of all things. My cousin Amanda and I were in Rapid City, South Dakota for the Airstream rally with Mimi and Ernest, summer in the early 1980s. We had traveled many miles with them from Texas, seeing the Midwest and living like nomads. Amanda and I went exploring the Rapid City Civic Center while the concert went on. I slipped going down the stairs and broke my thumb.
My Dad called last night and said Amanda's pregnant and seven weeks along. I’m happy to hear that. Jesus, have we gotten that old?
Paul and I were hiking and exploring the hills behind my house. All the kids played, rode bikes, hid playboys and generally ran that place. We walked down into a glorified ditch they called the LNVA canal to the water, looking to cross on a bridge made of shopping carts laid on their side end to end. As usual, we had sticks, or some other “weapon” we’d found or made, with us. I was leading, and Paul shouted out and made me jump, right as he stuck his walking stick into the head of a cottonmouth about to strike me
We went to see my great grandmother in the hospital before she died. My Dad, my brother and I came in and talked with her and all that. On the way down, my pops farted something awful in the elevator right as we got inside. The next floor, a nurse got on, and we all tried to hide our faces in the corners as she realized how awful the smell was. She pushed the button for the very next floor and fled the scene. As soon as she was clear, we all laughed our asses off. What a great memory…
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