Last of the Hardcore Troubadours
“…we call him happiness
Oh that happiness
Is a miserable son of a bitch”
– Matthew Ryan –
Mr. Ryan is brilliant and often more insightful than I could ever be. And he’s right too, happiness is miserable, willful and fickle. It comes as it wishes and leaves without excuse or explanation. It’s mean and unforgiving. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re happy, do something that makes you sad or miserable or grumpy…How fast does happiness come back? The answer? It doesn’t…It’s a fucking coward and when resisted upon or push up against something it doesn’t like it runs.
So I say FUCK HAPPINESS!If I’m going into battle I’d rather go with misery, grief and suffering…They have real staying power.
Anyhow. Now that I said that. I’ve been thinking on love. Because to be honest nothing else is worth thinking about. Ignorance could truly be bliss, so please hit me with a brick. Render me ignorant. Let the flashing numbers, lit boxes and flesh coloured flashes of lust make me content. Let me fuck, drool and stare at flickering stories that could never be and become an ideal nothing.
But love…I came to write about love.
I fucking love love! No really. I ain’t half as bitter, angry or confused as it may seem. I love love. I am a romantic, a hopeless romantic and the last of the hardcore troubadours. Brother you best believe me. I would walk a hundred miles to see a smile that says “Hey it’s you” and I’d sit all night with you just to say we beat the dawn. I’d crawl inside an embrace to find some secret neither have ever said. Not out loud at least. And love is the only gun I trust. It’s got a cold hard aim, true and clear eyes. And the real thing will take down anything else. There is no wall, fist or folly it can’t beat back.
And I will say this, most people have no clue. Not a single clue what love really is. They know they got a shopping list, a wants collection and they got a picture in their head and if you can fit someone into that cage then baby it’s true love. And if they keep dancing in time and keeping step with some lame and crazy music only you can hear then baby that’s love. If they got some flag, shield and shiny rocks and they let you hang onto whatever you want and disregard the rest. Then that must be love….Right?
Yeah sure…In the celluloid dream you live in maybe it is.
But I know there is more, there is something greater. Nah it ain’t God…That’s something else. But there’s a whole mess of folks out there in love with God because they can’t find the right person to fold into the cupboard they keep for love and well, God is pliable, the most pliable.
Love is the magic seconds…It’s like a light the flashes on for an instant to give you perspective as you feel through the dark.
You want to know what it feels like? It’s that feeling you get, when you hear their key in the door. Not because you are lonesome, not because you are worried and certainly not because you got an itch and a little bit of rubbing and huffing will scratch it. It’s the sound of the key that says to you “They’re here…Now I can breathe”. It’s needing them to be there because you just know they’re the only one that speaks your language, they’re the only one that can read the secret words in the gestures you make and the signs that go unnoticed by the rest of the busy and deaf world.
It feels like you’re going crazy, like you’re giving away your mind…Along with your heart. And you don’t care, because it is the most natural thing in the world.
It feels like nothing else will ever equal it. That you’ve reached a perfect place in your existence. The rest of your life was simply doing time till you found this place and time.
And there is fear, because you got to hang yourself over the edge and you’re letting another imperfect being push or pull you. Not with malice or ill intent. But with the flaws and weaknesses that are made into all people. And that is fucking scary man. That can gut you and leave you to bleed. Loving is dare. And it isn’t ever, ever guaranteed. And two things are certain if you know that. One, not many people ever truly dare. There are few fearless hearts out there. They want the thrills but with the safety nets. And real love don’t have those safety mechanisms built-in. And two, if you believe your love is certain then you are mistaken.
That is the great truth about love. It haunts you, it fills you, it touches you in ways you’ll never truly understand. But it will slip away. It has a wandering spirit and nothing you can do will make it stay when it decides it’s time to go. It will escape. You can’t stop it and the heartache that comes often comes slowly, like watching the train that will run you down from miles away as it approaches. The noise, light and smell of that big cold machine getting bigger and bigger and looming larger and larger. And all you can do is hope that when it hits you it might just knock you clear and leave you scarred but still alive.
Most people aren’t brave enough. To dare that ghost. And those of us who do are often beaten and torn up from it. We don’t group up or shine out. We carry this inextinguishable torch. But only a few can see. But the scars, they are bleeding and obvious and many folks just don’t understand what they see. They see ugly, they see broken. They don’t see that somewhere inside is something they should be privileged to experienced. But instead they disdain and shun.
And it’s a lonely place to be.
Goddamn it’s lonely.
If you’re one of them that see. Please know you are not alone. You are not insignificant and you are not expendable. You are the tissue and skin of the empty hollow bones of life. You matter more. Your life counts. Your heart is treasure. Care for it like it deserves. Don’t come apart, not now, not here. It will come to you…I swear this as truth. I am after all the last of the hardcore troubadours.