Friday, June 21, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

The taste is in the back of your throat, but you're used to it, and it doesn't alarm you. In fact, it is enticing. There is a fine line between sweetness and sickness. Sometimes straddling that line is easy, but most of the time it is like slack-lining. It requires impeccable balance and a locked inward gaze. 

There is terror in your eyes, but that look is always there. It is the look of an animal that has never known love. The eyes are quick and darting. You give off the energy of predator and prey. You are dual-sided. There are two wolves inside you...however you want to think about it, wrap your mind around the strange dichotomies. They keep life interesting. 

Climb to the top of the hill, grabbing bramble bushes for security. Stand at the top and let the wind wash you clean and carries your unclean bits away, to float over the city, adding to the cosmic pull. We are organic. You are organic. You are part of a bigger mess than you can ever comprehend. 

Throw the whole mess in the fire. Fire cleanses, too. Fire is the great equalizer. You learn to live with it, or you die. Being human is tricky business. Fire is just part of it. 

If you can't make it make sense, there are buildings downtown that no one could survive a fall from. You can go to one of those buildings. Or a bridge. There are many places you can say goodbye. You just need to pick one. 

Remember, it's permanent. 

Friday, June 7, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

The finish line is an illusion. They told you it was there to keep you running long after you were tired. Long after you should have up and quit. 

Once you know it's sleight of hand, it's obvious, but you have to look at it just the right way. Most people don't. Most people insist it's still there, sometimes gold and shimmering, waiting to give them what they worked for. It's a comforting deceit, but it will always prove false.

If you stop running, people look at you like you're crazy, and it doesn't matter how logical it is to you. I was tired. This is fair. I was thirsty, hungry. This is also fair. I wanted to look at the way the light played on the sunflowers...this is when people start using labels. 

You must be a commie liberal. You must be a redneck reactionary. You must be a fat cat capitalist. You must be a government charity case. Hippie! You must always be the one to suffer two dimensionally, because two dimensions are all you can take in with a two-second, surface-level glance. 

Who's got your six when all you have is two's. Even without your propaganda glasses on... 

They're going to move the finish line until they are done with you, and then they will tell you that the finish line was only an idea. An ideal. Or it was there, but you didn't work hard enough. You didn't sacrifice enough. You were a bad cog. Bad cogs don't get rewards. 

As a consolation, there is one finish line that never changes, but most people don't recognize it when they get there. And by the time they are past it, they have ceased to recognize anything at all. 

Friday, May 31, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

So, the president is a crook, and some of y'all are OK with that because he hates the same people you hate. He has the same paranoid delusions that you have. He has been brainwashed by the same echo chambers. Those ugly feelings you have about other people? He says those are OK. He encourages them. 

I had to get a DOJ/FBI background check to be a teacher. There are standards I must live up to if I want to maintain my credential. I can't act the fool, spew hate, or indoctrinate people. Maybe we should hold the most powerful person in the country to the same standards. 

If I did what Trump has done, I would be in jail. If Trump were black, he'd be dead. That's fucked, but look around you and tell yourself it ain't the truth. 

Ten years now. Ten years of gritted teeth and frustration, watching the ideals of the country get shoved into a Christian Nationalist blender. Ten years now thinking, "what the fuck will Trump say next?" Ten years fearing violence in our communities. Ten years hoping that people will wake up, and things will get better. 

Ten years from now, he'll be dead, and I'll be fifty years older than I was ten years ago. What can you say about Trump? He tried to be a star, but he'll end up in stripes. Sounds patriotic to me. 




Friday, May 24, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Bones splinter. That's a fact. The older you are, the more likely it is. You ever seen a chicken bone splinter? It's a lot like that but it's inside your body. You can hear the snap. You can feel the hot fire. You are overwhelmed by the body's warning system going haywire. 

Wounds heal, but they leave a mark. You can collect them. Myself, I am a patchwork of scars and badly mended bone. I am held together with duct tape. A strong breeze might scatter what remains of me. 

Inflicting wounds is a different story. I've done it. I've been there. I think I felt worse than the wounded. My words can be fierce, but, inside, there is a scared kid who never figured out how to stop being scared all the time. He just wants everyone to be happy and to stop yelling.

Some people can rationalize themselves the hero in every situation. I assign myself the villain role. Even when it is not my fault - even when I'm right. I was programmed to manage my emotions with guilt and shame. It has proven to be hard to shake off. 

I wound myself. That's the saddest part. So many of my wounds have been self-inflicted. I always feel like being punished. I have taken stupid chances. I have dared death to take me, and I have been to the precipice. Believe me. I've been one wrong step, one wrong swallow, and one scraped footpeg away from it. I'm not afraid of it. 

I have that going for me. 

It has gotten complicated though. I'm old now, and I don't like to be hurt. I don't like to wake up remembering all the dumb shit I did. All the times I treated my body like it was indestructible. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, always. Gotta be some cancer in there somewhere. Or some kind of internal damage that is waiting for an opportune moment. I'd go the doctor and find out, but I have medical insurance through my job, so I can't afford any tests that would reveal anything. The insurance is just for show.

Maybe that's the worst part. I don't like surprises, and I know a big one is waiting just around the corner. When it happens, I hope my family can move on with hope and love. I hope the medical insurance company burns to the ground, too. But mostly, I worry about my wife and kids.

I deserve to suffer for my sins. 

They don't.


Friday, May 17, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Some surprises suck. Some surprises snatch your wind, weaken your resolve, or fill you with a thick paranoia. There are also good surprises, but we tend to forget those. I can show you the scars from the bad surprises if you're interested. Some of them are on my skin; some of them are internal.

I've had a few surprises that almost killed me. Either because they were dangerous or because they knocked me so far off my footing that I almost fell all the way down. The scars from those are bright purple, and they throb when my heart beats. 

I can't stand duplicity. Don't kiss my ass while you give me bad news. That's just to make you feel better. Don't try to take the sting out for yourself. I want us both to feel it. That's only fair. 

Saying it's your job don't make it right. Just ask Luke. 

If this is my tragedy, let it be mine. Find your own. Or wait until someone surprises you with it. 

Friday, May 10, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

It starts with heat. The feeling is tight and hard. It has sharp edges. It doesn't feel good, but it tries to convince you that it does. I don't know if it's universal. I'm just me, and that's all I can be. I am speaking from my frame of reference. Maybe it makes you feel cold. Maybe you feel it all the time. If so, I pity you.

It's poisonous, and it can hurt you worse than you can imagine. 

You have to vent. You have to let it out in little pieces. Otherwise, it will grow. It expands so rapidly. It reproduces itself inside you. You are now a breeding ground. You are a host, and, eventually, it will kill you. It takes a long, long time. 

If you can avoid it altogether, then good for you. Good for you and Mr. Rogers, maybe. Most of us are all too human, with human weaknesses and emotions that poison us from the inside. Mr. Rogers wouldn't like my neighborhood. 

Once in a blue moon, the feeling is washed away completely, but it creeps back in eventually. For me, at least. 

That's how it works in my neighborhood. 

Friday, May 3, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

They said it would never happen to you, and you believed them. That’s a shame. Critical thinking skills matter. You gotta be able to do your own sniff test. That’s part of life. Problem is, some people don’t. Some people can’t. Some people need to be led to every thought they have. Some people just really need a daddy to tell them how to think, feel, react - or they think they do.

I’m not a perfect person, but I've never trusted what I was told without thinking about it. Still don’t. I live in a country where the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment happened. I live in a country where bison were exterminated. Because meat. Because hides. But also because it fucked with indigenous people and their ability to live autonomously. All those things can be true at the same time. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Think about it. It fits a pattern. Decide for yourself. 


I’m not looking for disciples. Never have been. I hate it when people kiss my ass or accept what I say at face value. That shows lack of engagement. That shows apathy. That shows a craving for simplicity, and I know that life is not simple - only simple people think it is. 


One of the reasons that punk rock meant so much to me as a young man was that it was a community full of people questioning everything, rebelling against any authority that was strictly for authority’s sake. That shit was church for me, finally surrounded by people who thought like me. 


So, maybe it’s hard sometimes, but it is the only thing that can save you. Unless you want to be spoon fed. If that’s the case, there are plenty of people out there with spoons and questionable intentions. 


Open your mouth as wide as you can. Try to ignore the taste.


Friday, April 26, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

I'll tell you about it. Seems like it was yesterday. Really, it was two days ago. Time flies. What can I say. Or drags? I don't know, that seems like math. Math is not my friend. It stresses me out, makes me feel boxed in and trapped. 

So, anyway. It was a few days ago. A week? Maybe it was a week. Or a few months ago. I'm pretty sure it happened to me, but it could also have been a book I read. A movie I saw. Maybe it was an anecdote I heard, but it happened to someone. At some time. I think.

It wasn't something you can really put into words. It was a feeling...almost like deja vu. It was something that lurked right below the surface of somebody's consciousness. It was a tease in the brain, but it brought feelings that soaked you to the bone. Or me. Somebody got soaked, that's for sure. Somebody is all wet.

You can tell this story if you want. Maybe it happened to me. Maybe you. Maybe no one. Maybe someone we know. You tell the story, and that makes it real. That's the magic. That's a gift that is given to you. And me. And everyone you know.

Tell the story. Make it true. Spread it. Maybe I'll hear it again some day.


Friday, April 19, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

How could you be so small minded as to prevent someone from speaking their truth, especially someone you claim to feel "love" or kinship for? You support people you love. You should support people you don't love, too. It's one of the things that makes us special as animals. We have our problems, but we also have empathy. Most of us. We all have things about us that others don't agree with, but that doesn't mean we don't deserve courtesy and respect. 

I absolutely cannot understand why anyone would want to destroy anyone else's methods of expression. You don't like the book? The song? The movie? Don't partake, and shut your fucking mouth about it. We all have the right to be ourselves, to speak our truth, and to feel safe while doing it. You disagree? Wait until the cultural tides shift against you and "your people," and I bet you have a whole different view. 

I pay a lot to live where I live, and part of the reason is that I like to see the writing on the walls, literally. I love to see the protests, even when I don't agree with them. It doesn't matter if I agree. That's not the point. I'm excited that my fellow citizens are advocating for themselves and the things that are of import to them.

You take down the art of a friend of mine...or an enemy, for that matter, and you have joined the ranks of the book-burners. The knowledge killers. The one-minded. Think for your fucking self. That includes deciding what you want to "subscribe" to and what you don't. Don't prescribe for other people - that's not your job.

I'm thinking about Leland, of course, but it's not just Leland I am thinking about. My students are doing a walk out today for racial equality. I support them every step of the way. I want to see the signs in the air. I love to hear dissent in young voices.

Women have checking accounts now. The queer community has safe spaces, and the ability to express their truth. Black people can eat in the same restaurants as white people. Farm workers' rights are not solid, but the idea of rights for migrant workers used to be a joke. These things changed because some people had the heart to stand up, and because people with hearts supported their right to advocacy. 

Go ahead and take all Leland's books down. I've taught them to my students. I have given them to people. I will loan them out forever. I don't give a sweet goddamn what anyone thinks about it. 

I can think for myself. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

The sickness lives inside of you, but we can all see it. It makes you twitchy, easily startled. It makes you paranoid and judgmental. It is growing day by day like cancer, but it is intangible. They can't lance it or fry it or cut it out of you. Sometimes, you are better at hiding it than other times. 

This is when you become dangerous. 

When you're full on raging, no one can miss it. It's all bells and flashing lights. It's when you almost have it under control...that's when you are the sharpest. That's when you make the cuts that can barely be felt. 

I prefer you flashing, but I know you no matter what. I see you. And I'll keep an eye out. 

Go ahead and keep hunting.

I will, too.

Friday, March 29, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Once you realize, it is already gone. Slap your pockets all you want. Retrace your steps. Try to convince yourself that your senses are deceiving you. It can't be. It couldn't be. But it is. Acceptance is freedom. Suicide is a choice. That choice is always available. 

Sometimes memories bubble up to torment you. They confuse the process. You question these memories now because they have proved that you are fallible. 

There is something to be said for minimalism. For not tying your happiness to objects or things or money. Money is potential things. All this can be a burden, but it feels like security. You have to determine for yourself what safety means for you. 

Maybe there is freedom in loss. Lose your things, lose yourself. See what you find. Isn't that what the hippies were yapping about before they became plastic-loving financial advisors? Before they bought their Beemers. 

I like water because it is a lost and found. Water is the life giver. Water is a playground. Water takes so much, but it always gives it back. Speaking of which, I didn't know that dropping out also meant filling your kids with micro-plastics. Choking out sea turtles.

Live and learn.




Friday, March 22, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Lay your head down, right there in the pine needles. Feel the mottling of the sun as it passes through the branches. Close your eyes and listen, smell. Sight is cheap and easy for most of us, but we are multi-sensory by design. 

There will be crawling things in the needles, but they are not your enemy. Imagine going about your day, doing your work, getting something to eat and then a giant comes and lays down on top of it all. The red ant's will bite, but everything will bite in the right situation. 

Life bites harder than anything.

You can trace the indignities down your body, feel the deep muscle bruises that don't rise to the skin. On the surface, your skin is pure, healthy. Inside of that skin is a collection of pain that never leaves. 

He knows how to hurt you so it won't show. 

Imagine that. Imagine having that kind of thought process about someone you supposedly love. How can I hurt you and get away with it? These sick fuckers are everywhere. I don't know how they rationalize their actions, but they do. 

I recently found out about "blanket training" - the idea is you put a baby or a toddler on a blanket on the floor. Then, you place a favorite toy off the blanket. If the kid tries to get off the blanket, you slap them. Pinch them. HURT them. Apparently, this is all the rage in some very conservative religious communities. 

What does this teach the baby? Babies are supposed to be immune to the ugliness around us. They are supposed to feel safe with the people who are responsible for them. I can't imagine hitting a grown kid, but a baby? That's so fucked up it makes me want to cry. 

Sometimes I wonder where school shooters come from. And, sometimes, there is no doubt in my mind .

Friday, March 15, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Let me tell you about the muffin man. Little Jack Horner. That bitch with the spiders. That motherfucker who jumped over a candle. They were all bullshit, and you swallowed it thick. Those stories were seeds to plant inside your mind to see what would grow. 

When they told you about the golden rule, they left out some important info. Gold is malleable. I would much rather have a steel rule. A titanium rule. Fuck gold...the bane of indigenous people. How many innocents had to be killed because folks were enamored with a shiny, soft garbage rock? Not suitable for work or defense. Valuable only because of rarity. And because we like shiny things, just like crows. 

We are a murder all our own. Don't even think about African diamond mines and they way they abuse, use, kill. (but...but...SHINY! RARE!)

Maybe you should just focus on wellness. That's the new panacea. That's the bandaid we're expected to wear to help us deal with the fact that we fucked the world up for momentary comfort and ego. Yoga will make it OK that migrants die in the desert hoping for a tiny portion of what you take for granted. Don't worry about the moral implications. Worry about Instagram. Worry about the drag queens.

Keep letting politicians grab power by pitting normal people against each other. Keep doing that Pavlovian shit when they ring the bell. Sit up straight. Look presentable. Bark when you are told to bark. Be shiny. The shinier you are outside, the less they will notice that there is rottenness inside, eating you slowly while you traffic in paranoid misery. 

Friday, March 8, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

The cool of the evening settles on the valley. Day animals burrow and nestle and scurry in for the evening, while the night animals sharpen their claws. The sky is clouded, and the night is made for deception. The shadow sounds move swiftly, and they do not follow the rules that light enforces. It is night. Night is death. Death is coming.

This is the cycle, and it is what you make of it. Depending on your resources, this is bounty or famine. You may test your mettle against the night. That is part of what the night is for. But, be careful.

If you are lucky enough to see the sun rise, put food in your belly. Hope that the sun comes out. Let your full belly sit in the sun and be alive. This is what the sun is for. This is what the full belly is for. 

This is why you come to the light.

Friday, March 1, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

It seems to me like there are some people who just shouldn't die. I don't count myself among those people. When my time comes, I'll still be lucky I made it as far as I did. The problem, for me, is not that I am alive or that I will be dead. My problem is that good people keep dying, and a bunch of shitty people keep living, and that's hard to come to terms with. 

There is a dread that lives inside me, but it is not about my death. I dread the death of people I care about. I dread that empty, hollow, unbelieving feeling. Yet, I know that it will happen to everyone eventually. Still, it's easy to push that to the back of your mind until someone you love dies. 

The pain from losing a friend starts with anger for me. Not anger at the person, but anger at the cruel path that nature walks us down. Gradually, it shifts to sadness and, finally, it settles to live in my gut. That empty feeling. That cheated feeling. 

It's a drinking feeling, but I don't drink anymore.

When you lose someone you love, it is hard to remember that you knew it was coming. I close my eyes and rub them hard and try to switch things up, but nothing happens. Just silence. Just void. Just that ache. 

I've accommodated the ache, but the random stabs of painful memory get to me. Sometimes, I feel panicked even though there is nothing to panic about. 

They say that it is better to have loved and lost than to never love at all. I believe that, but in practice...man, sometimes I just want to leave civilization behind. Be the hermit - not like Leland who loved everyone, but a real hermit with no ties to any place or any humans. The loneliness would kill me, but at least I would never feel that pain again.

Friday, February 16, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

The air smelled of ozone, and the animals were alert. Hidden beneath the boughs of an overgrown tree, the boy waited. He was good at waiting. He had had lots of practice. What he was waiting for, he didn't know, but he felt that if he waited quietly, patiently, it would be revealed to him. This knowledge was first and foremost a prayer. He had faith. Misguided maybe, but he had faith.

He was a jumpy boy, easily startled. He hated that about himself. Always flinching. Always averting his eyes. He wasn't much of a man, he figured. He wasn't tough or particularly strong. Fights scared him. They made him frantic. Because of this, he didn't hang around the kids his age. They were pugilists, all of them. He had sampled their wares and regretted it. 

He was busy mastering an itch. It started at the base on his spine and climbed up his spinal column to the back of his head. The itch could ruin everything, so he suppressed it. He was good at suppressing things. It was a talent that served him well. 

The gum he molded to his teeth was long devoid of flavor. He was thirsty. Hungry. The gum was wearing out his jaw, but it kept the awful dryness away. 

When the buck emerged from the edge of the clearing, his heart almost stopped. It was white. Pure white like it was God's very own deer. The boy knew it could happen, but he'd never seen one. A tear sprang from his eye as he realized something. 

You could be different. You could stick out like a sore thumb...and you could still be beautiful. The boy tucked that knowledge inside his heart. When the deer left the clearing, the boy got up to go home. He was feeling lighter. He wanted to put on the soft clothes that he kept hidden.

He was thinking about how beautiful that deer was. 

Friday, February 9, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Her eyes open, and the room changes temperature. You can feel it. A cold gust that whips through the apartment, changing nothing. You lie still. Pretend to be asleep. You are not great at pretending, but she is not perceptive. She is looking with wolf eyes, and they are easily misled. She has no pack to back her. Lone wolf, she.

When she rises, she will start her morning process. The same way she has started every morning for forty years. Same stretch, same tea, same mug. She is married to her habits; she finds safety in them. Safety from what, I do not know. I've been wondering about it for decades now. 

When I get up, it is all pantomime. Man wakes up. All playacting. I don't have a routine. I pretend to stumble, half asleep, into the kitchen. Pour myself the coffee she made. Wonder, as per usual, if it will be the last cup of coffee I ever drink. She watches me with such expectancy. 

But I live. I carry on. I keep sleepwalking.

I'll wake up when she closes her eyes again; that is my time.

Friday, February 2, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

The anger makes you shake. It makes your voice quake. Like you're about to start crying or spitting blood. It radiates off of you, and everyone can see it. It's like a rattlesnake tail, that shake, that rattle. It gets inside you and starts flipping switches. Old ones, made thousands of years ago when predators roamed the land, and we didn't have guns to punch holes in them. It's a natural response, and it is appropriate. 

Still, it's unsettling. It makes eye contact difficult. It makes you feel like danger is all around you. You turn into an antelope, anxious on the veldt, frozen in place while your comrades spring and jump and run away. Fight, flight, or freeze. If only you didn't always default to freezing. The veldt would pull your card quick. 

Anger and fear can get mixed up, and, combined, they are a potent cocktail. 

I call it the American dream. One part paranoia, two parts unwarranted pride. One part individualism. One part propaganda. 

Shaken, not stirred. No one has time to stir. 

Pour into a chilled glass and smash it into your face. It's good for you. It builds character. 


Friday, January 26, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

You didn't take a victory lap. You just packed that shit up and went home. It made me think. It made my heart pound a little bit. It impressed me, I guess you could say. I would have taken the lap. I would have signed the autographs. I would have listened to the women giggle. You didn't do any of that. 

There are times I can't even look at my own reflection in the mirror. So, any kind of adulation is terrifying, but delicious. I feast on it. I feel cheapened by it. 

I don't know if anyone else saw. Or noticed. I notice a lot of things. That's something I trained my brain to do. Most of the people were watching the lasers slice the fog machine. Most of them were lost. I wanted to be lost, but I have always been able to find myself, no matter how hard I try not to. 

The car was waiting. It didn't make any sense for me to dawdle, but I felt torn up and taped back together. I felt like someone had read my fortune and it had come true. I felt naked is the honest truth. Exposed, even if I was only exposed to myself. 

Maybe I will stay away for a while. Hole myself up. Get myself whole. Maybe all this has been a hallucination...it happens. Hell, it's happened to me. But I think it was real. 

Hallucinations don't hurt so bad. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

I've been thinking back ... years back. Triumphs and tribulations. Trauma. Victories. They rattle around inside my brain now. I had some of them packed away real neat, locked up in a box with a lock I did not know the combination for. Now, the combination doesn't matter. I popped the lid for a second, but it was long enough. 

It's weird that you can feel shame for things you didn't do. For things that were done to you. That's something I'm wrestling with. It's hard to look back with clarity and see anger. Or hurt. Or hurt that turned to anger. There are some things I rarely talk about. Weirdly, I had nothing to do with them. 

There is joy in there, for sure. I remember when life was much simpler. Not just because of my age, but because the world was just plain simpler. Moved slower. No one had constant news (legit or not) pumped into their brains. Journalism was still a lofty idea, a calling. There were ethical considerations regardless of politics. No social media.

Now, we're selling ad space first, telling the truth second. If we get to the truth. Truth isn't very popular these days if we're being honest. If it doesn't have the sheen of entertainment, we aren't interested.

I read the other day that deer are starting to feed and move at night, despite predators, because the days are too hot. Got me thinking how our relationship with nature will change with Global warming. Mountain lions at Costco. Coyotes at the supermarket. If they're still around. 

But I'm not going down that evolving rabbit hole. Not today. Today, I will try to focus on the things that are the same. Books are still magic. Guitar still soothes me...sometimes it even makes me feel talented. I can still write. Sometimes, the writing seems OK, too. I still have friends. Some of them from the old days, which is amazing.

Mostly, I'm just realizing that nothing ever makes sense. Not really. You grow up thinking that the pieces will fall into place and someday you will understand what everyone else understands. Then, you start realizing that most people don't even know how gravity works. Most people are going through the day shit scared that people will catch them out. Expose them as morons. 

And I'm one of those people. Honestly. I mean, I know how gravity works, but I can't explain it all that well. What can I do? I can open my heart wide, sliced like from a knife. Tell you how words make me feel. I can put my own words together. Sometimes, I can convince a kid that books and thoughts are wonderful, and I will 100% take that. 

Maybe I'm a moron. I've been called worse. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

The sound of birdsong complimented the sherbet sky. It was a cacophony of joy, a proclamation for the day. Inside, they were warm and safe. Outside, I had my thermos full of green tea and all day ahead of me. The only pressure was self-imposed. And the voice of imposition was stilled somewhat by the chill. 

It had been weeks since the old man had left. He didn't leave a note, but that was never his style. Folks said he was unreliable, but I knew he was as reliable as John Deere. He was just operating on his schedule. If you knew him, really knew him, his inclinations, then he was as dependable as a Casio.

And sure enough, I was just climbing into the truck when he pulled up. He was already dressed for fishing. As was I. I had been planning on this for months. 

We didn't talk much on the way to the stream. That wasn't our way. Talk was cheap was the way I felt about it, and I think he felt the same way. I listened to the rubber go from asphalt to rocks to mud. And then we were there. Drinking tea. Pretending we had come to fish.

The sun was high in the sky by the time we approached the water. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

2 Minutes. Go!

Oh, darling. I wish it wasn't so. I wish I could say that we could change things. That we could choose a path instead of having one chosen for us. Doesn't seem like that's the way it works, though. You just hitch yourself to the train and hold on. No one wants to know what you think about it. No one wants to hear your dreams. 

No one needs that kind of pressure. 

Everyone is doping their way through the day. Everyone's dope is different. Some people get into such high-minded dope that they lose touch. Some go low. Imagine the people that walk past you every day. Think about percentages. A good portion of those people are secret addicts. Some are cheating on their spouses. Some like to hurt people for fun. A few are probably child molesters. 

Statistics don't lie. 

You gotta be able to walk by all those people and still care. And that is the hard part because the burden you carry is heavy enough already. You're already carrying more than one person should have to carry. But you can take a little more. 

What's a little more baggage, really?

I swear, I wish I could tell you the things you want to hear. I wish I could smile and assure you that everything is going to be OK. But that would be fucking crazy, and I'm not that crazy. All I can say is that we'll meet what is coming together, and that has to be enough.