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. 


  1. At first you chalk it up to the time-whiplash of being back in a once-familiar place that has become unfamiliar. A meal, a good night’s sleep should take care of that, you think. But then you wake. And it doesn’t. It’s as if the world has been magicked out of one of its dimensions. All looks flatter, stiffer, the colors not as bright as you remember. You feel like an animated figure walking through a sketch of a background. It takes a moment to recognize the people in the photographs, the knickknacks on the shelves, those standing in front of you with hopeful, too-wide smiles. You want to grab them by the shoulders and give them a shake. Don’t you understand, you want to scream. Don’t you understand what happened?

    They back away. Their smiles grow more timid, their approaches more tentative, the way they interacted with that messed-up cat they used to have. The cat understood. You know that now. You wish you could apologize to the cat, long dead. But you heap it onto the growing pile of things you can’t change.

    You stay in bed until you hear the last of them close the front door and drive away. Then you troll through what remains, trying to make sense of it all, but it’s too hard, and television is boring, and you know far too well the slippery slope of that first drink.

    You are lucid enough to know you need to make a change. But not enough to know what that change ought to be. All you feel is…nothing. You fall onto the couch, let your gaze melt into the change of patterns through the windows as the sun tiptoes across the sky. The moving squares of light. The metaphor hits you like a big stupid hit on the head from a cartoon mallet: time marches on, but you, my friend, it has left you behind.

    Two telephone numbers do battle in your head. Always, the way things battle: the one you want and the one you should. The digits swirl and dance and taunt. Your chest tightens with the ramifications of both. Finally you choose. You get a recording. Your message after the beep stumbles, preambles, then finds a scintilla of adulthood. “So what I’m saying is yes. I’ll sign the divorce papers. At least that way one of us will be free.” You end the call, drop the phone onto the carpet a few inches from one of the moving sunlit squares, watch time engulf it with light.

  2. Nice mix of hope & despair. I like it JD.


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