Heart, disease

“Everybody wants to be somebody’s somethin’
Ain’t nobody wants to be blue
Ain’t nobody anywhere ever loved nothin’
Half as much as I love you
Somebody somewhere said “love is a prison”
But no one really wants to be free
I’d have to be crazy to ever think someone
Could love a nobody like me”

– Steve Earle –

I heard it said that true love is when you love someone despite of their faults. But brother that just sounds kind of snooty and condescending. I think maybe true love is when you love someone for their faults. For the flaws and defects. Because it’s that what makes them human, makes them unique and makes them yours. Ever stood close enough to a face to see the creases and pores, the texture of the skin. It’s in these tiny places that secrets are best told, when you reach up a hand and gently touch their cheek and draw them to you. And in that kiss, there’s a secret place.

Man there’s so many fools out there. And not the good kind. Yeah there’s a good kind of fool. One that will do whatever it takes to give love back. And one that knows that pushing the dark is the only way to find the light. But the bad kind is the ones out there with their plastic thin eyes, looking for the window dressing and tinkling lights. Who don’t see beauty, they only see shape. They look for the perfect number, the perfect ride, the perfect badge. Brother they spend so much time searching for the trophy. And goddamn if their might be a person attached.

It’s been my experience that there’s a lot of men out there who view women as nothing more than a life support system for tits and ass. Women are an unfortunate attachment to the orifices that best satisfy their frictional needs to reach orgasm. Harsh isn’t it. But it’s true. And believe ol’ hoss I have traveled in rarefied circles and it’s the same in factories as in circles of the “enlightened and educated”. They just call the game a different name.

And women, well if I had a dollar for every time I heard “I am not a material type” or “I just want a guy who cares and  can make me laugh” I’d be a rich motherfucker. And if I had two dollars for every one of them girls that turned out to be full of shit. Well Bill Gates would have nothing on me…Except maybe a real fine haircut. Women seem to be caught up in the accoutrement, the accessory and pret-a-porte of the man they want around. They want to parade the man out and show him off and have him win a blue ribbon like some prize pony in a 4H show. And as for not being material…Uh huh…And I see women cruising the library and soup line all the time. It’s just the hottest meeting place ever.Women are petty and filled with a weird sense of entitlement. It’s kind of sad.

Now I know right about now you’re saying “Hey asshole that ain’t me! Or my friends, family and business associates” And to that I say BULLSHIT! It just is the truth, it is as it ever has been. Like the cavemen, the man needed to drag home the biggest bounty to mount the hottest cavewoman. I read Clan of the Cave Bear….I know man! I say this sort of as a joke but maybe it is the truth, maybe the wiring is done that way and it’s set in the circuits and veins. It’s how the animal is built.

But ain’t we suppose to be enlightened? Ain’t we suppose to be evolved?

I know there are exceptions. But really the fact is that these are few and far between. And they ain’t found hanging around coffee shops and martini bars trying to get the television poses just right and act like the perfect ensemble cast. The group that is just so refreshing and witty. Without having a clue you’re just sheep. Nah man, the real exceptions the true and fine hearts are lonely and lonesome. They spend too much time alone and too much time healing broken hearts because they’ve tried so god-damned hard to find that other one, the one that sees them, the one that values them and doesn’t have a grocery list or flag to wave. And they’re so sore that sometimes they are fooled by the kindness and soft words of wolves in sheep’s designer clothing. They believe in “Maybe this time…”

And they hurt for it, but they plug on. And in the rare case they find another of their kind. You don’t hear from them or even know them. You know why? Because they don’t need you, they don’t need me or anyone. They got each other and the world is just big enough for them. And at night when they curl up into each other and sleep, it’s the sleep of them that have traveled a long, long mile and finally found home.

Me? I don’t know what I am or where I fit. I do know that I have known girls who when they smiled at me I felt like I won something and I didn’t know what or how. And so whatever it was I did to make ’em smile like that I swore to remember because I always wanted to see it again. I’ve known women who are not typical anything. Different physically and different intellectually and emotionally. And I have loved them like mad. Like the last of the hardcore troubadours. But it has gone bad, either by my hand and my stupid lost little man trip. Or they turned out to be just like the rest. Just another off the rack and predictable life form. But mostly not. In fact I am fucking grateful. I have known and do know some incredible women. And I have had some incredible loves. They just seem to fall away. And it makes me sad. But I guess it’s just like any old cowboy…They sing a sad, sad song. And every rose…

Holy fuck! I am quoting Poison lyrics. It’s time to close this down. That’s a sign of brain damage you know. Quoting hair metal power-ballads. Maybe I am having an aneurysm?

Alright then, get my bandanna…I’m done.

Be well.

10 things, pieces if you may

“Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free.”
– Leonard Cohen –

I figure by now if you have been reading my blog you know some of me. But there are other parts worth knowing about. So here’s a list of stuff worth knowing about me.

1. When I was 19 I tried to form a good old-fashioned Blue Eyed Soul band. Don’t know what Blue Eyed Soul is…Think The Rascals, Righteous Brothers, The Box Tops, The Faces or very early Rod Stewart. White boys with gritty voices singing black boys music. I would have sung, I have a great Blue Eyed Soul voice. I couldn’t find enough enthusiastic musicians who really knew the music. So it never got off the ground.

2. I’ve got a great voice for honky-tonk music too.

3. When I was a kid I’d sit up till the small hours of the night after everyone had passed out and listen to music and to my dad telling me all about his life and who he was. While he was too drunk and too high. Sure it was a crazy thing but it was a father son thing. And I can say I know my dad better than anyone else on this planet.

4. I saw my first dead body at about 10 years old and it never gets easier. And in the case of my father it was one of the hardest things ever. It made a mess of me.

5. I was once a pallbearer for a little baby who was stillborn. That was the hardest.

6.On a lighter note at various times in my life I have been a strict follower of Coronation Street. As a matter of fact it was through Corrie that I met my daughter’s mother.

7. That reminds me. I am a serial monogamist. I have been in long-term monogamous relationships since I was about 16. I just find that security and knowing someone far more interesting and attractive than chasing a new skirt every week.

8. I have been engaged three times, married once and divorced.

9. In my own way I love every one of my exes still. And I never really understood killing that love because it’s no longer right there in front of me. Love when it’s true and real lives forever.

10. I am kind of shy and grumpy in person. Until I am comfortable with you and then I can talk your ears sore. Sometimes I think my stream of consciousness babbling makes people think I am weird or burnt out. But the truth is that I have an anxiety disorder (PTSD) and I am trying to connect my  wires and rhythms to what you are. If this is strange I am sorry, I am socially awkward and probably a little intense and I can only imagine that you are sort of fascinated or afraid of me. I just want to make a connection. I am curmudgeonly and wounded. So I tend to be hard to understand. But mostly I like you. I’m harmless. I just don’t operate with people well.

Hey this was an exercise in self-aggrandizement if ever there was…My little light, gonna let it shine.

Be well, be love

The machine is pain

I can’t really say why I feel the need to write things down, to share them and be honest. Especially when what I say can be so misunderstood. Or in hindsight it is enough to cringe about. Or like tonight it’s just so damned messy.

I am staring into the cold hateful eyes of truth and the damage I’ve done. The loss and loneliness. I hate my existence right now. My whole fucking being aches. The slow bleed is not enough. The leaking of time and erosion isn’t fast enough. Waiting for tectonic plates to move. It’s all so slow and dreadful.

Sitting here tonight I have a picture in my mind. Kneeling on the floor, leaning my face forward and kissing the barrel. Stretching to thumb the trigger. One loud pop and the spraying blood and grey matter. Then all gone, all gone. Relief. Goodbye.

How much pain, how much of this do I have to live through. How many more nights of not being able to sleep without the television on. Because when the lights go out and it gets quiet, my thoughts start to go feral and attack. How many more days where I have to brace myself just to step out of my room. The fear and anxiety that becomes vicious . How many days will I have to wrestle with this darkness. The urge to erase my life. To step off the ledge and into the void. It’s a nasty truth and I am sure maybe some of you are worried or frightened. And maybe for the sake of common decency one shouldn’t speak of such things in polite company.

A broken machine man crawls across the floor picking up scraps of metal and paper looking for the pieces that meant something. The whole time mumbling something that sounds like a strange melody. A prayer or a curse its hard to tell. The machine man is frayed wires and smoking motors. Beyond repair but too unconscious to turn off. Redundant and unimportant it spends it’s days wandering the factory floor trying hard to remember what it was built for. Remember what it did long ago before the humans left. Sadly it has no purpose. It just whirrs on and on. Tuneless and alone. An empty life.


My hairshirt and the hope for forgiveness.

“Yet this is the watch by night. Let us all accept new strength, and real tenderness. And at dawn, armed with glowing patience, we will enter the cities of glory.”
– Arthur Rimbaud –

Some days are better than others. Sometimes I feel like I have turned from the light to run right back into the dark. And the smell of death and goodbye becomes so strong that I cannot be aware of anything else. Like the taste of gun oil. I know this fight is mine. But sometimes I want to cast it off, like clichéd poetic chains, a well-worn literary device. The pain and sadness of my days just are too much. I start to feel like any joy or any peace I experience is just a brief reprieve from the truth of my life. I am meant to hurt. Like a boxer between rounds. I collapse into the corner and hear the noise of voices telling me how to go into the next round. But when the bell rings it is me alone standing against the battering and blows. No prayer or distraction will change the truth that each hook, upper cut and combination hurts and leaves me rocking back on my heels.

Boy I can really let loose with some high fallutin’ words when I want. I guess what I am trying to say is I am hurting. I am broken. I seem to feel these things so damned acutely like riding in a car with bad shocks, the slightest bump throws me into these bouncing and careening fits. It ain’t manly and I sometimes feel like a loser. Ha! Sometimes. Man I never feel much else. Ugly, useless and rejected. I think my big change has simply been that I don’t feel sorry for myself so much anymore. I just have no feeling of value. You know these feelings are so deep that I sometimes think about just throwing myself away, writing myself off. But then I consider the sorry bastard who would find me or the one who had to clean up the mess. And I figure that I can’t really impose that on anyone.

Can you believe I do actually feel better about life though. A year ago all I thought about was dying. Getting out. Two years ago this time I was actually hospitalized because people were scared I really was going to commit suicide. My father’s death hit me that hard. And to be honest I had to make a real and stern effort not to kill myself. I wanted to follow him out. I got so bad I had written notes just in case the impulse was too much just once and I did do something. Fuck I am pathetic. But you know even the bravest soldier in the throes of a terrible wound will turn to his buddy in the foxhole and in a moment of delirious agony say “Come on Joe just fucking shoot me, I can’t take it!”

Today I don’t feel that all the time. But I still do on a regular basis. And you know if you can judge me by that than that may be your problem more than mine. I am just honest enough to say so. I am not going to hide who I am or what I feel. This isn’t some angsty teenager bullshit. It’s real. And I get strength from pulling these cursed skeletons from the closet and throwing their bones into the yard. Let the world know. I am not the best person there is. But I am honest and I am brave enough to do that.

Yesterday I gave my daughter back to her mother. And it’s not getting any easier to say goodbye. In fact as she gets older and becomes more her own little person it gets harder. Though in the first few weeks after I left the house when I’d give her back I would literally sit on the curb and watch her mother drive away with her and sob. But now it hurts in a deeper place. Full of regret and guilt. I feel like I fucked up. I made a mess of something I swore I would do right. I swore just this one thing in my life I would get it right. And my stupid ass couldn’t even do it right for a year. You see now why I feel so rotten? I blew it before the game even started. Like a quarterback who falls down before the first huddle.

I feel like if I were a better man and kinder and more determined I could have made it work with Ruby’s mom. I could have held the family together. But like everything else I try it seems to have gotten away from me. I couldn’t do it.

Ruby is so much like me and so much the real live proof that if I had been given the chance, the love and the brave support I would have been something so much more. I tell her I love her and she tightly hugs me and whispers “I love you too daddy, ever and ever.” and I kiss her and she giggles. I dance with her and she smiles. I let her be free in her heart and she glows. People see it too. Strangers are always watching or commenting. People see this beautiful light move through the world and are drawn to it and want to share in it. Even people I know or people in places we go, I hear people say “Oh here is Ruby, I heard about her”. She is my miracle and my star. And when she comes over to me just to hug my arm or hold my hand I feel so honoured. So blessed. And when she says “Love you my daddy” I feel humbled and gifted.

What an amazing human being she is. And what an amazing woman she will become.

But because I failed, I have to say goodbye to her. I have to guess at what she is doing. I can’t see her each day as she grows. Because I am this broken animal/machine I cannot truly share in everything. And the worst part is I have to watch her leave. Something I thought in the beginning I’d have at least twenty years to prepare myself for. But instead I have to do it on a weekly basis. It’s my fault, it’s my stupid self and my mistakes that cause this. And my guilt over the emotional hurt and confusion it must cause her is almost unbearable sometimes.

I am sorry. This post is so dreary. But this is my truth today. And I won’t hide it. There are enough people who smile instead of scream or who show nothing in the name of some ridiculous code of modesty or manliness. Fuck that. I am me and I am here.

Send me love today. I need it I think. This is the watch by night after all.

Be well.