30 June 2010

This is the Third in My Series of Reminiscences, At Least it's Supposed to Be, You Decide For Yourself

I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless emptiness. - From "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac.

I have a friend whose life has been a case of going from Point A to Point B to Point C and so on with nary a detour on the way. It has been a rich full life that today sees him with a lovely family and a very healthy bank account. The wind has always been at his back and the sun has kissed his face gently. A beneficiary of extraordinary luck and very hard work. Bully for him! He deserves all the blessings that life has bestowed upon him.

I went from Point A to Point LSD and stumbled about to point AA. My path was littered with rocks and roses. Holes in my socks and silly poses. The wind has howled, pushing me off the path and lifting me back up again. I've wailed at the wind and been sailed by it. All curses, nurses and stolen purses. Today I'm a respectable man about town and a silly clown. Wow, a husband and father. Good God I couldn't be happier today. Imagine.

I know not shame nor pride at this given moment. Just the busy business of being. But I do like to look back. Who was I at 17? That chap is unrecognizable. The fellow I was at 23 is in slightly better focus, well for a second and then it gets blurry. At 30? Dirty, flirty not always purty. And so it goes....

The deal as I see it is that we spend too much time trying to be something. In high school we want to be the guy in college. In college we want to be the guy who's working. Then we want to be the guy who's married. Then the guy with a house. Then the guy with kids. Might as well want to be the guy who's the center of attention at a memorial service. So I'm saying maybe we should want to be the person we are at the time we are because that's all we ever are. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Especially if we do the right thing (right, Spike?).

Some empty people go through life with two eyes focused on THE FUTURE. Hey buddy, how about sneaking a glance that way every so often and meanwhile groovin' on today.

Okay so I took an unconventional route to get...say, where am I, anyway?

Oh yeah, watching movies. I've always been watching movies while starring in my very own technicolor extravaganza. An epic tale of hedonism and depravity. Okay, maybe not that. It's an indy film! A rollicking comedy. A joyous romp. Whatever it is it is but it isn't on DVD. Yet.

You know we all THINK that we are the director, producer and writer of our own movie. Star too. But we don't get final edit. Studios!

So what happened was that in high school I was a total jock and total hippie, which DO NOT go together. I knew not what I was but ran off to college and that college was Chico State at a time when it was THE party school. Match made in heaven, my friends. Party on me. Then there was a career in journalism and I was good but not good enough to know it and so I was off to all kinds of nonsense which can only possibly lead to being a middle school teacher which was weird and run on sentences were verboten except this one right here hello exception that makes it a rule.

Focus on me in early college days and you get this kid who just wants to dance. Literally. Figuratively. And girls. Oh my God... Did I do all that I did? Yes, really. So much which may look like it amounts to so little but money -- not everything. (ever wonder then, what IS everything? I think everything is, but that's just me.)

Say hello to the nice man.

I mean it was cool but here's what I'd say as advice: have some sort of clue. You needn't be a driven go-getter but how about an awareness of consequences. Question mark.  I saw a lot of people not even considering consequences when I was teaching. They didn't consider sh*t. But do as I say not as I did.  Yeah see, this is the balancing act between living only for tomorrow and only for today.

Happy median. Oh joyous, elated median. 

I've seen the sunsets from the wrong end but not the money I did spend. I've seen walls move and people who just wanted to groove. I've seen people running and playing and kicking and laughing and I've even been one. One of everything. One of all of you as you've been one of me.

Sinatra did it his way. I did it way.  I did it anyway. Funny how many mistakes you can make, how royally you can screw up and still end up ambulatory. What a story. Glory. Hey man appreciate. I do. I'm thankful for it all. Yes, sorry for the people I bumped and bruised along the way, but I've been somebody. Not special. Not unique. Just a person on this planet. Better this than nothing. I'm hoping to keep it going for awhile.

Hey, have you seriously read this? It's supposed to be the third in a series of reminiscences (hate spelling that word). But I don't know man....What we have here is a failure to conjugate. Two, four, six , eight I just hate to conjugate.

Dude, I'm not even high!

I was lying in a burned out basement
With the full moon in my eyes.
I was hoping for replacement
When the sun burst thru the sky.
There was a band playing in my head
And I felt like getting high.
I was thinking about what a
Friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie.
Thinking about what a
Friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie. 

From the Song "After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young

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