“When I was younger I could hold my own
My right hand was thunder and my left was stone
Now I ain’t as handsome as I was back then
So I’m takin’ my chances in the shadowland”
– Steve Earle –
There’s a part of me that cringes man. Cringes when I set to write. Because man I am not so keen on the mopey and sentimental crap that seems to float to the top most lately. I mean I know where it comes from and what draws it out. It’s this thing, a sort of talent I have for seeing goodbye before it’s time to go. I can smell a heartbreak coming and see a long-lost friend before we even say hello. And for me goodbye ain’t ever too far away. It’s not like some weepy whiny teenage girl thing, you know the game “Why don’t anybody ever stay?” you know the adolescent broken heart syndrome.
Nah man, for me it goes a lot harder and colder. And in that sadder and lonelier. It’s been a long, long time since I went out to the world on my own. And right now this is the longest I’ve spent in one place. Through bad choices and self-destruction I have burned most bridges and kept on moving. And now I haven’t got anywhere left to run and I can’t get very far. My heart is here with my little girl. It’s hard to run from that anchor. But believe me brother I want to. I want to go till there is nowhere left and the road has turned to dust.
Most days I get by. I set these goals and points of reference. I say to myself “Okay boy, you can’t go nowhere or make that jump till the second Sunday of next month because you can’t make a bad anniversary when it suppose to be a happy time for…” I make these deals with myself. Stay long enough to see this or do that. Or to hit that calendar point. When I go I want to be sure it’s understood I made my choice. I made my run and it was without any implication on anyone’s part. It was all me and at my time.
What going means…Well that’s my choice too. And I ain’t speaking it to no one. It’s just my thing. My last choice that you or anyone like you can take or compromise. Sometimes I just want to go see the mountains once again. There’s magic there. The Gods sleep at their feet. Other times I want to hit an ocean and let it all pass me by, forget it all. Sort of like Otis Redding sang. And sometimes. Maybe more often than not I just want to close my eyes and make the world go far, far away. It’s all a matter of degrees. Usually on how ostracized and lonely I feel. And on how badly I want to feel someone close to me.
Because for it all I would trade almost anything just for that one thing. To touch someone, to laugh and to fall crazy mad in love. To make a world that belongs to no one but us. To be the great secret. There is healing in the laughter and soft, gentle touch . But I just can’t seem to break out enough to let someone come close enough. I can’t find the kind and understanding hand. I am wired all wrong and life has left me burned and bent. But I can still love…But truth is that I won’t get a chance to again. And I think maybe I’d have to think long and hard about if that person should be burdened with my scars and broken pieces.
Just ghosts man…All ghosts. They’re here tonight. And I’ve got to stand them down alone. And pretty soon I figure I’ll lose the strength to run them off.