I'm wrapped up in this kind of gut-clench anger and I can't shake it off - shit's like glue. It's killing me (and killing you) - I can feel it inside, twisting. I close my eyes and I take deep breaths and I end up staring, blinky-star-blind, wondering why the hell that happens to me. Must have stood up too fast. Not that I care to find out. There are many things that terrify me which I do not want to know about. I'll get up slower. Or stay on the mat.
I want to run outside and scream as loud as I can. I want the heavens to shudder and people all over town to look skyward, eyes open wide for the first time in a long time. What the fuck was that? Don't get me wrong. There are enough twists coming, don't get yourself wrapped up in this one. The scream won't be angry. It will be the scream of an eight year old boy chasing fireflies, tired, sun-baked and ready to sleep, unaware that the world harbors secrets he will someday have to acknowledge. I got me a time machine.
You want to know what it's like, cuz? You'll have to ask someone else. The good things I see when I close my mind block out the darkness. Briefly. I know enough about this shit - I've written enough about pain. They said if I didn't there'd be no gain. They lied. I can't afford Rogaine. Not that I want it. I'd rather buy ice cream for my kids. It just rhymed nice. Sometimes it's like that. Sometimes it's all a sham and sometimes it's balls out down the flat track, wind screaming, mind afire - God, I hope it lasts.
My cat sits beside me and I try not to look when he walks to his food bowl, his litter box, a patch of sunlight that, daily, blossoms from the dirty carpet my children play on. He's got this hitch now, see - in his hip. He walks like a cat that spent his kitten years with the kind of psychopaths who feel big when they hurt something small. He's always been with me, though. And I've always loved him, never hurt him - he's getting old and I can't think about it or my chest gets tight.
There are birds singing outside my window. There are half-assed-style-chase fuckers coming out of the woodwork. You think I'm not gonna recognize something I've spent twenty years carving? You gotta be some kind of stupid. You're lucky, though. I don't like the anger and I refuse to let it live in my house. I'm exorcising the demons. Have at it.
Sadness smells like dry wood rot and horehound candy.
Happiness doesn't have a smell. Not one smell. It smells like a thousand things. Spring flowers. My wife. The cookies my girls share without being asked. It smells like a two-stroke motor. It smells like freshly-baked bread and sunshine. I smell the love. Feel it? Sometimes. When I'm not picking on myself to make myself feel bigger.
I'm done with this Lancelot shit. I've read the legend - I know how it turns out. Martyrdom has lost it's appeal - it disgusts me. I want no part in it. I just want wildflowers, birdsong, and quiet moments with my family and friends. What else is there to want that's really worth wanting? No fear and feelings of inadequacy? Yeah, maybe someday.
So, I take it back. You take what you want. Fuck it. Bob Dylan could buy everyone I know. Woody Guthrie died at fifty-five, dust in his lungs and booze in his belly. Poor. Sad. Poor, sad Woody. Not that I hate Bob Dylan. Not a bit. That's the point. The anger is unfounded, still ...
I once met a girl who said she was going to own the world. She was full of fight and passion. She directed it in the wrong direction - now, I think back to those green-apple days and smile. We were both so fucking stupid. It's almost funny.
I want everyone on deck, it's time for a gut check. There are so many feelings I want to resurrect.
You don't like it, I know. I don't quite know what to do about that. I don't have what you need, it's inside you - I can't even bring myself to deride you and lord knows you deserve it. You know you do. It comes on you in the quiet, dark hours. You find yourself getting cold, paranoid. What if they find out? Don't worry, they probably won't - you give good snowjobs.
You may be reading this and thinking it don't make a lick of sense. That's what I'm thinking, but things haven't made sense to me for a long, long time. I've stopped trying to force it. It never works, it's like that long cast that you could have pulled back, but didn't, hoping it was a magic cast - now, your favorite spinnerbait lives in a tree. This ain't about you. This ain't about me.
So, why the fuck did I read all this? Hell if I know. Why do you watch American Idol? Why is your TV bigger than my couch? Why does IKEA make couches that are so damn small?
We need to wrap this up and feel good about it. Here goes - a stretch even for a fiction writer, but stretching is good for you. Ready? Everything is going to be fine. The lovers will end up happy, scampering through fields of marigolds. The old woman survives her brush with death. The underdog ends up hitting it big and he gives back bigger. People care for each other - they even make eye contact and say 'hi' - downright neighborly.
Everything is going to be alright, champ. Those big mean countries will leave our big mean country alone. The homeless will lose their powers of invisibility. There will be enough food for everyone - loaves and fishes. Jesus will come back and pass that shit out door to door. There will be no more "poor" - everything is going to be happy, slap-jack side-grins. You'll find a time machine and never take mini-thins.
Indeed - the world is a wondrous place when you just close your eyes and pretend that the lies you swallow won't come back some day, coated in bile, burning your throat. Go get 'em, Ace. The world is yours.
You can fucking have it.