“In my dreams there’s a horse, he stands eighteen hands high
He’s as white as the snow and there’s fire in his eyes
And he’ll bear only me though others have tried
And together we’ll travel up across the divide.”
– Steve Earle –
Lately I’ve been thinking. About memories and what a child holds on to. My daughter is three years old. And I wonder what she’ll remember about this time. What will get through. I have these blurry eyed memories of moments of my childhood at her age. My mother very pregnant with my younger brother. Sitting on the floor of our dining room eating cereal as my parents get up in the morning. My father bringing me home surprise gifts after work. Eating oatmeal and watching cartoons on our first color television. But nothing cohesive. It’s more like samples and sounds.
I wonder what my girl will remember of me? Will she remember that tonight she laid her head in my lap and I stroked her hair till she fell asleep with a sigh? Or maybe it’ll just be a smell, an aroma or sound. The smell of my soap or the sound of the insects outside the open window. Will she suddenly be struck with a mysterious sense of peace and calm 20 years from now and she’ll not know exactly why. Maybe she’ll be sitting with a boy and just assume it’s love, affection and the man of her dreams. I won’t figure into it at all.
There’s so many questions I have. About life right now. And really no one to ask. No one to work it out with. And that’s maybe just how it is. I was never built to be a coffee shop buddy circle type. Where all of my life and conundrums fit into a couple of cups of overpriced shitty coffee. I don’t even think there is a therapist qualified to walk through the minefield in my head. There’s a spiraling sinking ringed journey through damnation in me that would make Dante Alighieri scratch his bearded Italian chin and throw his hands in the air and proclaim me lost.
So I seem to build this momentum, this escape velocity. Casting myself into the void. I’ve got nothing but perspective from this vantage point. Maybe I’ve got judgment too. And I simple find most people frightening in their capacity to harm one another. Their need to grind off the skin and flesh of each other and proclaim the writhing bones for their own. It seems many of you are just…Well..Fucked…You have no real concept. Of living and existing. You treat hurt, disappointment and injury as an invitation to strike out. To cut into others. It seems the philosophy that prevails is “You must bleed like I bleed.” And I don’t want to bleed. Not for you. Not for your broken heart, not for your disjointed thoughts and rancid libido. I don’t care to even be compassionate anymore. And it makes me a fucking hypocrite because I seem to seek compassion most in my exchanges with the animals in the jungle. But I maybe have the advantage of being aware of what a foul beast I truly am and making not the slightest effort to clothe myself in the finery you sell.
What’s left? The sense that everyday brings me closer to some goodbye. Some great leap. Into what? Into what…I’d be fucked if I knew.But the change, the tectonic movement is here. It’s in the moon and in the hollow sidewalk sound. In the vague shadows of windows that I pass, that suggest life inside, but you can never be sure. Mansion or mausoleum.
But I want to know that no matter what. My memory stays. That I am part of something…Something greater than this. I can’t just dismiss the burden and years have added up to nothing. Maybe that’s why men built pyramids and great stone heads. To be a memory that stays.