“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?
“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…
I’ll post the other half of Too Bad later this week.
I have these things running around the machine, worms and wires. The animal is restless and anxious. Like a hunted thing. Tigers at the door Bukowski used to call it. The feeling that if I move too quickly, if I breathe too deeply, if I make a sound I’ll startle them and they’ll attack. And I have made that mistake before. My god how they can make pain. These things I hide from. The bleeding is just for effect. It’s the scars. The stitching of devoured skin and tissue. The screaming does nothing to ease it. It only makes them seem more satisfied. Like they’ve made you cry out and in that suffering they’ve won.
I thought about this fear, anxiety and the animal/machine much lately. It’s an old thing. Ancient. It was there when I was a child. I know that. I can remember standing with my ear pressed to doors. Listening for the sound, a warning, a growl or the ticking of a bomb. Something to tell me what might come. Because reading the smell wrong, misjudging a grimace for a smile meant bad things. Always aware. The tigers they were there. A little boy staring down the war beasts.
How the hell I made it this far sometimes amazes me. The numbing elixirs and potions. They weren’t excesses. They were survival techniques, a sort of spiritual and emotional triage.
The flying fists and the swinging and flailing limbs were not acts of violence. They were contact. Any contact. A savage expression of humanity. Of rage and hate. I didn’t know how to speak. So I made you do it for me. In moans and cries. In statements of disgust and spite.
These dark corners. I like them. I do in fact love them. Leave me alone for a bit and I’ll nest in them. I came out of them for some reason I’ve since forgotten. But on days such as this. I want so much to find my place in the blackness.
Here’s what I know. Most of you are cowards and light-weights. You talk a noisy game and pose real well. But when it’s time for battle you hide. Because it’s ugly, it’s hideous. It scars and takes parts you’re to selfish too lose. You are fascinated with the filth. But refuse to get any of it on you.
A few of you, a rare few are bold and brave. You’re just as fucking shell-shocked and crazy as I am.
I adore you but I cannot stand your company. We animal/machines do not run well in shared space.
Me, I’ll still tell you tales, bring back wounds and mementos and offer you ancient secrets. You’ll watch and lust and long for more.
But you’ll never see.
And tonight when you go to bed, get down on your knees and thank whatever thing you call God for that. Thank that God for not having the thoughts I do or the experiences. Thank that God that you can be ignorant.
It’s better that way.
“I’ll bring you precious contraband
And ancient tales from distant lands
Of conquerors and concubines and
Conjurers from darker times
Betrayal and conspiracy
Sacrilege and heresy
I got every thing you wont or need
Your darkest fear, your fondest dream
I ask you questions, tell you lies
Criticize and sympathize
Be careful what you wish for friend
Because I’ve been to hell and now I’m back again”
– Steve Earle –
Well ol’ hoss. This’ll be one of them stream of consciousness entries. I got no plan but a general idea for what I want to say.
First off. Goddamn the whole idea of faith, religion and dogma. I have come to see if I am to find my way to God it won’t be in any church. And it won’t be talking to some of the most intolerant people I have ever met. Let me qualify that by saying I have met some incredibly good and decent folk. But see here folks. I have never been wired to blind faith. And it seems to me religion and church is not open to questions. They say they do, they entertain the give and take. But in the end either you buy the boat they’re selling or you drown. Accept it or you are lacking (hey do me a favor and don’t email me or message me saying it’s just me. It ain’t. That’s a cop out).
My old man was one smart motherfucker, tough and hard. He broke me down hard but he built me up too. And he taught me, you never ever just accept what you are told at face value. And if a glad handing and big smiling man tries to sell you anything, then question it.
I questioned and have been told I am wrong for just not accepting. I have been told the holy version of “Because I said so”.
So I’m stepping away. It’s well enough. I’m better on my own two feet.
See when I sat in a hotel room with a crazy son of a bitch who had been doing intravenous cocaine for 12 days straight and he chambered a shell in the sawed off shotgun across his lap. It wasn’t God that played it right and got me out of there.It was me and the shit I learned on the street. It was my father’s good words and a swift right hand.
And when I can’t fucking go on, the weight of the bullshit and the politics of loneliness and loss are pushing me to try to figure out a reason to live. It ain’t Jesus or an angel (man I hate It’s a Wonderful Life) that is talking me from jumping. And man I have literally stood on a bridge rail. It was my own decision to step back and fucking hurt more and to go another long night.
When I have struggled and fought for every breath and step and I had some bad juju comn’ down on me. There was no God there. I’d like to shove a copy of Footprints up a few asses…Violently. I wasn’t carried man, I didn’t make it thanks to a miracle. I crawled through the fire on burned bloody knees.
But I will get told this again and again or I will get told again and again of some divine wisdom that I can’t comprehend.
Well it ain’t good enough for me.
I fuck, fight then turn out the light on my own call. I live like I please or die trying.It’s me paying the price or reaping the reward. So I think I should have a say in how the play goes down.
I want to love like a madman, push back when I hit the wall and I want to fight to keep from falling. To hell with this waiting on some big ol’ Boss in the sky.
If I am wrong, oh well. It’s my gig. You don’t need to worry on nothing I do.
But if you want to come along. Then have at.
It’s a crazy ride.
“I told the priest, don’t count on any second coming.
God got his ass kicked the first time he came down here slumming.
He had the balls to come, the gall to die and then forgive us.
No, I don’t wonder why, I wonder what he thought it would get us.
Hey, hey, good bye.”
– Andy Prieboy –
Lately I’ve been looking at truths. Turning them over in my hands, breaking them apart by throwing them against the wall and listening when they speak. I’ve fed them into the broken machine and heard whirring whine of the gears as they’re either taken in or spewed out in red-hot sparks and shards of another stripped gear.
And I have come to some sort of conclusion and compromise with myself, the world and that Old Man in the sky. It’s a sort of comfort I suppose. A way to ease my hurt and cool my hate. I can breathe a little better and I have stopped feeling the heavy iron press on my chest. The death dance I was doing so desperately is slowing and the taste of gun oil in my mouth as I chewed the barrel of suicide is softened.
The world for you, for your lives is just that. Yours. And that’s okay man. It’s alright, copacetic and cool. You all can breathe in this atmosphere, you can work in the existence of living organic things. But I have begun to accept that I am the animal/machine. No not begun, because mister it’s been a long walk to get here. I have come to accept is more like it. I am not like most of you. In fact there a re few like me. Nah man this ain’t a case of fatal uniqueness. It’s truth. I’ve been born too aware, lived too hard and seen too much to call myself among the living. I am not special or some mysterious stranger. The enigma that is only solved in the final scene. In fact if you were to call what I am seeing myself as, as special I’d call you a bonehead. Then inform you that this is not a badge or some banner. It’s a bitch, a real ugly thing and I’d not wish it on anyone.
Me I’m just me. I am that which I am. And what that means is that I have no more desire to search out closeness. I meet people and sure do like some of ’em. I am fond of others and fascinated by even more. But I have resolved I just don’t need or fit into a close relationship with anyone. I am no good at driving the train of friendship and connection. And maybe the world is better off for me knowing this. I fuck up an awful lot. I try real hard to be like you, like them. But I say the wrong thing or look the wrong way or my scars and bones just are too ugly. Then it’s all just bad feelings and disappointment all around. I find myself full of self-loathing and a feeling of rejection and failure. See because I do want to know you, I want to connect. But I just can’t. Not anymore. There was a time I could. But that was another lifetime. That was when the animal/machine was a posture and not a real thing.
Now there leaves me another truth. I am not going to ever love another human being again. Platonic, intimately or even in some strange charitable faith like way. Except of course my daughter and I’ll explain that later. Aside from the occasional pang of lust and attraction to a physical thing. I have come to understand that I cannot ever attempt a relationship of any romantic kind again. I cannot foist unto some poor unsuspecting woman the years of hurt, mistrust and wounds. And I can’t see myself separating myself from all that I have been and all I have seen and moving into to some happy picture of a silhouette on a beach at dusk. So it’s just fair that I call it done. I don’t think I want to share me anymore either, not like that. I cannot escape this underlying sense that it will all just explode again and I’ll be lost all over once more. Even a slow-witted fighter learns after enough beatings that the ring ain’t no place to be if you don’t know how to fight.
Now don’t read this as feeling sorry for myself. I am not, I am relieved actually. And to be honest if you think I am feeling sorry for myself you are probably not understanding or I ain’t telling it right. Like I said, these are my truths. I am just writing them down.
Faith is another thing that has shaken down for me. God is there, I believe this. Jesus was all the things they say. But I sort of veer off from that point. My beliefs here are my business really, I owe no explanation or apology. And I really don’t need a lecture in scripture, dogma and rhetoric. But here’s my deal with God. I made it on Christmas night as I watched my little girl sleeping. I knelt on the floor beside the bed and cried and then prayed “God you got your ways, I got mine and somehow I don’t see them meeting at any time soon. So let’s make a deal okay. I’ll walk your line, I won’t hurt no one, won’t take no one and I won’t do anything that might turn someone’s toe. I’ll work a shitty job, live in a little apartment and ask nothing more from this life than what I can get myself. You just do me one little bit, you promise me, you make it so that my baby is never too far away. Don’t you take her from me. Don’t let her hurt or be hurt. Don’t make her lose her place in my life and I’ll carry off her part on my shoulders. I won’t do anything to make my life go away if you just make it so I can always be there for her. Amen.” And with that I think maybe I’m done with prayer for the most part. See that big Old Man up there, I think he shook on it with me. So we are square.
And so I guess what this all means is I will end up being that grumpy old man sitting on his porch with a grumpy old dog. Watching you go by and not taking too much count for you. It’s your world now, I had my cut and I liked it. But I’ve grown old and need nothing more. Just to have my daughter grow up well and strong and wise. Maybe she’ll come by once in a while with some pinhead boyfriend who couldn’t find his ass with a map and a compass. And she’ll fuss over me and be the only open window I keep. I’ll be proud and love her completely. She’ll still call me Daddy and tell me I should get out more and meet more people. I’ll agree because it makes her happy. And then she’ll go and I’ll hang between then and the next time she comes around, pinhead in tow and maybe a book she read she wants to share. To me that’ll be just fine. It’s enough now.
Your world is just that. And I’ll leave you to it. I just don’t fit and I can’t. No more than a 5’2″ 87 year old Asian woman can play in the NBA or a 320 lbs middle-aged man can be a prima ballerina. This isn’t being cruel or subjective man. It’s just truth. I can’t be one of you because I am not built that way. Occasional loneliness aside…It’s just truth.
You got to watch the video…Then read…
Did you watch the video? Are you sure?
Okay. So that’s my favorite song by Ryan Adams set to an interesting collection of pictures. I got the song playing on repeat as I type this. It makes me cry. But that’s okay right?
It’s like finding a fossil. Something gone and extinct. A song about something that once lived but now is nothing but an imprint in mud and bone. Love like a fierce storm. And a warm sunrise just the same.
When I picture love, real love. The kind that doesn’t waiver or depend on the weather, the entertainment value or the myth of coffeehouses and girl-talk. I get a picture of a farmer standing on the edge of his homestead, his face cracked and leathery. Beautiful but worn. Like an ancient mountain. Something that has stood in this place, his place for eons and no one has ever lived without knowing that mountain is there. And he’s looking out over a field of slowly withering and failing crop. His eyes deep and worried. Silent but so expressive he says more in this stoic expression than most men say in ten years of talking. At his sides his hands hang at his hips. Calloused and strong, but empty, so empty he could hold a world in them. And it’s going to be a long hard winter. There are kids to feed, there’s livestock to set a store by and a mortgage on the land that once was his free and clear. And he knows all this and isn’t really sure how it will work.
And here’s the love. See here comes his wife. She moves with grace, steadfast and somehow still girlish. She too carries her years in the first creases around he mouth and her eyes. Still young but yet ancient and wise. Her hips swelled by the life she has carried. A few children and the nature in all that. Her bosom is that of a mothers. But she hints at the wild and pretty girl she was when she first met her man. How they’d dance and run off to the woods. Where her cheeks would flush red and she’d breathe softly and ragged as he pulled her close and touched her in ways she never wanted to end. Those summer days are memories now, but she never forgets. And he’s still that handsome and determined young man in her eyes.
And she knows too what lays ahead. The hardship. The worries. But being a woman she is built for making well anything that ails. And she does a stock of what money they got hidden in a coffee can in the kitchen and set away in a cellar in jars. And she knows she can stretch out what they got. It’ll be no luxury and there’ll be no ease. But it will be alright, the good Lord will provide. He always has, through illness, birth and death. So she steps up to her husband. The man she took a vow before man and God to love till time eternal. She slips her hand into his empty hand and suddenly it’s full. Filled with love, strength, promise and reassurance that no matter how hard the wind may blow they’ll stand it down together. There is nothing on this whole world will turn her from him. And she knows he too is firm in this vow. Nothing need be said. Not a word. In silence they stand in a holy way, like the prayer of a child. Earnest and truthful. It’s just how it is to be.
Yeah that is what love is to me. I just never met anyone else who is the same. Sure they’ve all promised and made vows and swore they’d be there. That they’d never want to be anywhere else. But then life gets in, I get in there and then other voices speak and it seems a promise is only as good as the moment and a vow is just what they say in the movies. The grass gets greener on the other side.And I am left to watch them go off. To move on. Lord knows I gave them reason enough. I do admit that and I know it’s never easy loving me, I creak and burn. I go silent and I get loud. I am not beautiful and I am always just a step from the dying. But I guess I figure if you meant forever you said forever.
Just lonesome I guess. Feeling like I am the only one of my kind out here amongst the things that move and bump in the dark. Wishing for someone to be what they say, just once.
Be well, be love.