“Farewell, fair cruelty. ”
There’s very little to say, I haven’t felt very inspired to write anything of substance.
In fact I am beginning to feel as though this blog has served it’s purpose. And perhaps should be discontinued. It’s nothing more than an inventory of my misery as of late and I feel myself going silent more and more.
So in that spirit. I will say goodbye.
“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.
“There is a woman who spent her life loving that evil creature: she died. I’m sure she’s a saint in heaven right now. You are going to kill me the way he killed that woman.That is what’s in store for all of us who have unselfish hearts.”
– Arthur Rimbaud –
Seems lately these entries have been like an emotional spatter. And I get such odd responses. And I seem to have repercussions. Ah well. I don’t apologize or make excuses for one fucking thing I say, feel or do. I am this thing and nothing is worth apologizing for. I spent years trying to form myself into shapes and curves that may fit in a world that I don’t have a use for anyway. And to be honest I am completely and entirely sure the feeling is mutual. I know that sounds bitter. I don’t mean it to. But it’s true. I am just not fooling myself. No one would think much of my absence after a short period. Be it electronic or in the flesh. And if I were to cease to exist today the only person that would notice the empty space I leave is one little girl and I would owe her the only apology and explanation. And mister that ain’t none of your business anyhow.
People and their hands and fingers, their words and noises, it’s all so scary and so hard to understand. You all act in ways so mysterious to me. It’s gotten to a point I scour text books and writings on disorders and diseases trying to find what the hell it is I am. Because I just don’t understand you. I don’t know how to be near you. It seems every time I come too close I walk away nursing a new wound and making educated guesses at how much that one will scar. And here’s the great mystery, you all seem to find your way so easily. You all speak in tongues and know the secret handshakes. “How ya doin’ Bob?” and “Say man how’s it hangin’?” or the endless chatter of television discussions and complaints about the system you feed. The rulers you venerate but refuse to unseat. And you do it all with joy and pride “Why I’ve worked here nearly 20 years! And I have so much respect here.” This matters to you. This is important and if it isn’t to me then it’s me that is incorrect. It’s me that is broken. But I tried…I did man, I fucking tried as hard as I could. But see you can’t look at me, I won’t focus into the sights of you narrow view and linear thought. So I fail, I fail, fail, fail.
And I know all this, I do. That is why I feel so sad, so often. I want to know you. I do, I want to be close to you. I want to see you in your own light. Just the way I wish you could see me. Nobody is really meant to be so alone. And sometimes late at night as I pace from one window to the next and I try to chase the dark thoughts away. I would give my hands to be able to just say “Hey man, it’s just nothing after all.” but for me, I was built wrong. And then I was used wrong, if you use the wrong tool for the job it’ll tear up the tool for the job and that’s a good way to describe me. I was dropped into a world I wasn’t really meant for, I got the job done but at a cost. A crazy mangled cost.
But there are things, there are these secrets that matter, that I never really get to share. Except maybe here. And the truth is most of it comes out wrong. Here’s what matters to me…
– A little girl…That’s enough and you have no place in discussion about her. She is magic and most people just foul up magic.
– When I see past a wall, a drape, a curtain or blind and I see the inside of one of you, the vulnerable. When the plastic wrapper slips away. I see your sadness or softness. When I see the child you were and that got buried deep in the layers of concrete and steel you are made to wear.
– Love letters left on the doorstep. Secret little notes and lover’s codes. They matter. They are yours and cannot ever be used again or made to mean the same thing to anyone else. A glance and whisper…Like a soft whisper. That matters.
– The way the light dapples on the ground between the leaves and trees in the woods. The echo of forests.
– Being not afraid to grieve. Man there are times I have to hide because I have nowhere to go and grieve.
– The way you feel at night when you lay in bed and feel the weight of some little critter beside you. A cat or dog. A lemur…Something about a pet makes things tolerable. I miss having one. It’s been a bit now.
– A song that hits you right in the gut, the heart or the mind. Like Bob Marley sang “When it hit’s you ya feel no pain.”
– Beauty, that’s truly where the spirit lives.
– The few minutes of silence I sometimes find. Rare but they happen.
– Art made because they the artists knows how to do nothing else. Art made to express some desperate cry or joy. Art because there is no other voice left to speak in.
– The life of every human being. No one is without merit…But most of you have no clue what that is or what it means to value life. And for that reason I think we all fail each other.
And so yeah. There I am. And you may look at this and say “But hey stupid! I like all those things too, I think all those things too!” then I got to wonder. Why don’t you say so. Why do we hide so? Why do I want out so often?
“Well I just came up on the midnight special how about that?
My car broke down in Texas she stopped dead in her tracks.
Just called to tell you that I need you,
Just called to tell you how I feel.
I feel like some old engine lost my drivin’ wheel,
Feel like some old engine lost my drivin’ wheel.”
– Roger McGuinn –
Sometimes I figure it got made out so I just can’t find the right way up. There is never a solid spot to stand for too long. Like standing in the middle of a rushing river, you may be in one place but all that goes around you changes and moves. No matter what you do. I mean this not to be too melodramatic. Just saying that these old ghosts and the new ones that tie themselves to them never stay quiet too long.
Okay man, I’ll stay back from the metaphor truck. Homespun wisdom is pretty easy to do when it’s done at arms length…Shit! That one slipped out.
So I got a punch or two in the gut the past couple weeks. Maybe it’s just life letting me know I ain’t made to win. Just made to be out there in the ring for the fight. I’m going to be out there for all the rounds and when it comes down to win or lose, well it will up to the judges to decide. I feel tired, I feel used up and I feel skinned raw. Goodbyes are far more common than hellos and betrayal, hurt and the politics of love and distance are just a way of living.
You know yesterday was the 30th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death. I know this because I got a massive influx of visits to this blog, I have written about him before and for some reason Google indexes my blog by Ian Curtis’s name. And I spent some time meditating on his choice, his decision to leave. And I just can’t fault him. You know I can’t fault anyone for making that big step. I once read some thinker write about suicide as the only one true liberty anyone can take. I guess he had his reasons. I have mine too….I just sort of linger. Maybe someday I won’t. In fact if I were a betting man I’d say I won’t. It’s just a door. And opening it makes sense sometimes. Like laying down when it’s time to sleep. Running on empty can only go on so long. Then it’s time to rest.
Fuck ain’t that a dark thing. Well it’s honest and you know what man? I am sick of people who ain’t honest. I am sick of niceties and being polite. It seems a man can’t talk to no one no more in life. Lest you offend their sensibilities and beliefs. Or you say the wrong thing and hurt their feelings. That making it all better ain’t about some fucked up poem printed on a picture of a beach. And there is always someone trying to tell you they know just how you feel. When it is quite clear from the empty looks and tainted smells they haven’t a clue. You want to know who knows how I feel? Hank Williams knows, when he laid down in the back of that Cadillac and never got up. He knew just what I feel. Henry Rollins knows what I feel. When he writes about the agony of trying to reach out only to break the wrist that reaches back and the bug spray smelling rooms. He knows. Charles Bukowski knew, when he wrote about the losers, the bums and the dying beauty. He knew. And the guy you cast your sideways glance at as you roll by in your hermetically sealed, air-conditioned rolling iron. He knows…He’s me. I ain’t even the kind you’d think twice about as you pass by onto something more important.
I’ve seen enough of the world. More than most. I’ve seen things could make you sore with grief and things that could take your breath away. I have known secrets that mean more than anything you’ll ever find in your little world. I am the animal/machine, the last of the hardcore troubadours. And maybe I just don’t want to know any more…Maybe I am at the point in the trip where I can say that there is no port in the storm and the storm never really calms, it just rolls back a little and gives you time to bail the boat.
What the fuck am I trying to say??? Maybe I am just sad, maybe I am lonely, maybe I am tired of playing this game.
Here’s a story, it’ll maybe make you see…
When I was 10 my family drove across Canada to visit my Grandparents out on the west coast from our home in Toronto. We had a camper van and were making a real road trip of it. My dad spent weeks planning and was just as excited as my brother and I. We were going to stop at all kinds of places along the way and he planned time to take little break and picnic or sight-see. Well we reached the shores of Lake Superior. And there was this pretty park with rivers going through it and waterfalls too. It was a hot day and so my brother and I set into the river above a waterfalls that was about 25 feet high and then off the water rushed into the great lake. We soon found that there were rocks worn smooth and the rushing waters would sweep you down these little chutes, it was like an ancient old water slide.
Being the kid who never knew how to be careful or scared I kept searching for a longer and faster ride. Until I finally found one that gor hold of me and blew me through like a wave. I went down it once and then got to the shore and made my way over to some stones above it and went down again. Only this time I missed my jump off point. And suddenly I saw I was headed for the falls. And there was no handhold or place to pull out of. I was so quickly filled with dread I couldn’t react. And it was then I heard from about 100 feet away “Jeffery, relax! stay upright!” it was my father and in some act of bravery and strength I have never seen before or since he was walking into the river against the current toward me as I rushed to the edge. “Take it easy boy, I’ll get you. It’s okay.” he said in a clear and calm voice. And I believed it like it was the voice of God himself. And almost like walking on a downtown sidewalk he was there behind me. He reached down and wrapped an arm under my arms and across my chest and in my ear he said “C’mon boy, get to your feet, I’ll lead you out of here.”
And he held me up and then braced me until I walked to the river’s edge. When we got there I turned to him in shock and he looked at me and said “Geez kid, I thought we were going to lose you. Are you okay?” all I could muster was a nod and just like nothing ever happened he said “Okay get up the river and get your towel, we got to go.”
Years later he told me he shook like a leaf for hours afterward, but I have no memory of that. Not at all. I just remember that my dad was there in time and strong enough to pull me to safety.
And I think maybe I feel like that kid again and I am in this river and I have lost my footing, the current is pulling me and the edge gets closer all the time. And all I want is to feel my dad’s arm slip beneath mine and hear that voice “C’mon boy…I’ll lead you out of here.”
But just like everything else, he’s gone. And I am here on my own…Barely keeping my head above the water. Almost at the falls.
“For a man to attain to an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences. “
– Miguel de Cervantes –
As much as it feels awkward to admit. Next month I turn….Well I get older. Older than many of you who may be reading this. Older than I feel and most certainly older than I look (thanks Dad for the genetic gift) and older than I want to be.
And I am feeling more isolated. I have found that I solely enjoy the company of one or two people in my life and the rest I can do without. And I can attribute it to wisdom. Or lack of wisdom to be more exact. There are so many people out there that exist as nothing more than flesh-bags. There is no benefit of experience. No well-worn denim skin. Nothing in them to show that the time they have lived has imparted in them a depth or even a gratitude. Entitlement and selfishness seem to motivate them. And so I find myself disgusted and feeling isolated.
I try, I really try to connect. I try to understand and be tolerant. But those things feel close to respect and I really don’t respect them. I don’t think simply having a heartbeat that is occurring in a more or less rhythmic state for an extended period is not a quality that makes me feel respect is warranted. Now that probably makes me sound arrogant and elitist but I am not either. In fact I am the opposite. I am too fucking sensitive for my own good. I am anxious and emotional. I feel so damn much sometimes that I cannot bear to be close to these people. They’re all elbows, knees, edges and corners, stabbing at me and making me feel foolish and even weak. I see so much that makes me sad, so much that makes me ache and often my own meditations and thought are enough to make me cry. How he hell am I suppose to be what I am and exist in your boastful and petty world? Even now as I type this I feel far too exposed, far too vulnerable.
But what cools me most. What makes me turn away. Is the fact that they EXPERIENCE NOTHING! It seems the just put the time in to events and occurrences and then include it on their resume. No process or depth. They just don’t absorb. They don’t cure and age and gain a flavour and taste. They bear through just to say they did.
Come on! Live man! It’s so simple…Live, open your window and let that shit in. Good, bad and fucking unbearably painful and beautiful. It’s a hard life. It is…It’s not easy…And it isn’t glamorous. But it’s a worthy experience. If you just fucking let it happen. It is not suppose top be convenient, rosy or as they would have you believe from feminine hygiene commercials romantic and lovely even when you bleed. You are not supposed to run from the dark. The dark is there to give you light. It’s not karmic wisdom, it’s truth. You can’t shine till you step to the black. You ain’t a candle till you burn a little.
Then you can be. Be something fucking amazing. Something strong and something to behold. An old warrior and a traveler. I’ll buy you a beer and we’ll look into each other’s old and ancient eyes and say nothing. What will there be left to say? Two soldiers back from war. And if you need to weep and hurt I’ll give you an arm and a shoulder. I wouldn’t ever forsake the incredible honor of shared grief. Because in that moment we a chrome solid strength. We can stand like statues against the ages. We’ve bled together.
Youth, it’s just that youth. If you are young and reading this. I appreciate you. I do, I fucking envy you too. I miss my youth, fuck, fight and out goes the light. But let me give you a tip. Live it now. Earn your scars, let them mark you, hang your rank on your sleeve with pride. But for fuck sake! Quit trying to be deep. Quit trying to be wounded. Quit trying to be wise. You are not…You are not suppose to be. You are supposed to be hungry, horny and willing to experience. Nothing else. Time will make whatever it wants. Like erosion against a rocky shore, ain’t nothing you can do to speed it up or to stop it. I see so many of you trying to sound so old, so clever and so mythical. You big dummies! Have fun., have heartache, have a big fucking meal. Live. Live now. That’s all. As the old adage goes “Youth is wasted on the young”, guess it’s true.
So here I am. Contemplating another year. And finding my scar tissue and wisdom have started to become an earned treasure. My tired eyes that look so far away some days…I earned them man. I did! My hands that hurt all the time and can’t move too good because of old wounds and busted bones. I earned that ache. I deserve it. When I can look at someone and know that they are a void and not worth too much sweat or time. I earned that discernment. If you love me, if you want to be close, if I seem to have some depth or some substance that matters. It is only because I earned it.
And not once did I stare out into a sunset, quaint body of water or at the floor. Never once did I sit in big comfy chairs in a coffee shop or some martini bar in a major urban center. And I can’t recall if I ever resolved any of my major issues, faults or failures in 30 minutes including breaks for advertising and station identification.
Don’t buy the Hollywood life. Don’t do it…Honest. And listening to some indie band and reading some obscure (often shite) author and pretending that there are not a million just like you is not being unique…It’s just being another one of the desperate.
Want to know how to be? To be real? Go out and roll in the dirt, smell the shit, love like a madman, give that other person your whole heart, to hell with caution! Let yourself fall into the madness and the risk. You may end up being that epic love song, but not after three weeks…Listen just go, go like you can’t stop. When you get there, you’ll find two things.
One: You are brilliant beautiful and burned chrome. You may not be pretty when you get there. But it won’t matter anyway. Them that can see will adore you.
Two: You’ll be more lonely than you ever have known. Because them that see….Well they’re few and far between. Experience may temper you. But it will isolate you. Life will make you wise, but it will leave you knowing things that you will not share. It is inevitable.
Oh and hey…For my birthday…I gladly accept gift cards!
“Ladies and gentlemen, attention please
Come in close so everyone can see
I got a tale to tell
A listenin’ don’t cost a dime
And if you believe that we’re gonna get along just fine”
-Steve Earle, Snake Oil –
Listen, this here is where the old curmudgeon comes out. I’m in a ranting mood and brother I got both guns cocked and loaded!
Speaking of guns…Okay listen motherfuckers. Anyone what knows me knows that I am a history buff. And in particular I am interested in World War II and what we did there. Now let me qualify this, see I ain’t one of them retards who is in love with guns, bombs and killing. In fact I detest all that shit and the Guns and Ammo crowd can kiss my pacifist ass. I instead see the nobility of boys sent to do a job and doing it no matter how high and terrible the cost. And I see the amazing heights of human endeavour that war brings, the incredible things we can accomplish when we band together. These kids and don’t fucking kid yourself, they were kids. Did a job that no one wanted to do but they knew had to be done. This includes my Grandfather who lied and went to war at the age of 16. Now here’s where you ask “Okay big mouth, what’s your beef?”…Well here’s how it goes. I am watching the Canadian History Channel and there is a show on about the sacrifice these boys made. About the actions of Canadian units in Holland and France. And before each segment after the commercials there is a warning. Viewer Discretion advised, contains images and language that may be disturbing for younger viewers…WHAT THE FUCK? It should say “Listen Chachi, go get your snot nosed little brat with an inflated sense of entitlement and turn off their whiny i Pod music and their fucking weak limp wristed vampire romances and make them watch this. They need to know this stuff or we are all fucked.” How the hell did we get so worried about offending someone even at the cost of a lesson in reality? I want my child to know, I want her to see, this is the terrible and disgusting shit we do when we are set loose. When we let democracy get over-run and when we demand our babies die in fields far from home. Because of stupid and ignorant idealism. Fuck man I cannot in good conscience call myself a good parent unless I present the world in all it’s faults and wonders to my little girl. I want her to be amazed at the goodness of the heart and the beauty of love. But I want her to know the truth. We are capable of horrors.
That brings me to another thing. The fact that most of the kids I have been encountering lately are wimps. What is the prevalent theme of “I am smiling on the outside, but crying on the inside.” in their music and their internet crap. Honestly I read this and hear it lately on an almost daily basis. What the hell? Is your suburbanite home and over-fed ass unhappy? Too fucking bad! Life ain’t suppose to fill you with a constant joy and flourish. It’s gonna bust your ass and make you hurt. But it will reward you. And you know what else, you are not going to like it. That’s the way it works. It’s surviving and growing through the shit that makes you strong. It’s the resistance that builds muscles. Here’s another surprise, you ain’t special. No honestly. Neither am I. We are raising a mess of kids telling them they are special, unique, one of a kind. And we are failing. We give these little assholes the world view that everything is about them rather than telling them that we live in a great big organism and we are all just legs that carry it on. We are part of a society and a community. No matter how dainty and sweet you may think you are. You are entitles to nothing until you earn it. Gifts are just that, gifts and gratitude is necessary. Now one other thing too and it brings me back to the point. Smiling on the outside while you’re “dying” on the inside is not strength or a sign of unspoken suffering. It just means you’re a big fucking dummy. If you’re hurting, then hurt. If you are crying then cry. Who fucking cares if anyone sees. It is inconsequential if it is acknowledged. Just be honest man, live close to the bone. Be real. We have enough plastic bullshit and artifice to go round. It’s okay to be who you are and it’ll make you stronger in the long run. It will not be easy and the bloodsuckers will eat you alive. But you’ll learn to be proud of what you are and you won’t ever need to apologize or go backward. You will truly be tough. But one more thing…Pull your god-damned pants up! You look like a retard!
One last thing…And this is more an observation. Is it just me but doesn’t Taylor Swift look like a pure bred dog that’s been over-bred and is slightly retarded? Kind of cute but not too bright? You want to pet it and give it a treat, but you know the little dummy is going to pee on your rug if you ain’t careful.
Okay so I feel better. Though I can go on for hours. But I am sure many of you do not care to hear the idiot curmudgeon dance and sing for that long…so I say to you…