|A photo I took of my heart at rest.|
You're walking meadows in my mind
Making waves across my time
Oh no, oh no.
I get a strange magic
Oh, what a strange magic
Oh, it's a strange magic
- From 'Strange Magic' by Electric Light Orchestra
I lived through my own death during my tragic youthful romanticism. Plying my love wherever it would go wearing a corduroy jacket with a smiling notebook in one large outside pocket and a pint bottle of whiskey in an inside pocket and daring dreams of literal insanity in my pants pockets. I was you once, wow.
This all derived from the battered childhood mind of loose cannon existence being torn between athletic fields and psychedelic experiments and a flailing family and baseball cards of silly desperation while playing hearts in the back room and trying to read Bertrand Russell. But come through I did with kisses from Linda and then broken heart oh what a feeling to see the love you had for someone being turned into the soft pain of the love unrequited the rending of your soul. Linda the first to devastate me with that ugly all encompassing pain.
Sometimes never and always occasionally I looked forlornly for an answer but finding it forgot the question. Tattered remains of happy parties an angel perched on my tongue but lost among the cocaine’s saliva and the persistent battering of too much but never enough liquor twisting my brain into forgetting.
Those were the days of curiosity and wonder. That is when — early twenties — I was invincible in my belief in the inevitability of everything I did and anything I could or would try. The appeal of my cutseyness and the perfect orgasms of handsome bodies thrashing desperately for totality.
I was a reporter. A writer. A god to myself and you could never imagine the assuredness with which I bum rushed life. Sublimating the titanic insecurity that lurked always beneath. Because Chico. Because Richard. Because talent. Because pain and love and intoxication and long tanned female legs and glory and reward and recognition. There I was and that was me and I flew soaring with clouds. Not the metaphorical kind. I did indeed reach the stratosphere. Imitable me.
Flirting. Rejected. Accepted.
See me now. Scribbling notes. In a class. Interviewing. At home. In a bar. Lascivious. Too much tequila one night. The next just right. Too much gin then. Never say when.
Chico was a party down town and I was made for it. I played some soccer, took some classes, chased some girls, drank some booze and then some more. I wrote and wrote and reported for the school paper and then helped found the News & Review, an independent local paper and I wrote some more and met women and drugs and made friends and got angry and got happy and swam in the creek when it was hot.
I cheated and lied but only when I talked and then only to gain an advantage or get laid or score drugs or money for drugs or booze or rent. But people liked my cute little blonde head.
So what I did, see, was leave it all behind. Took off. Gone. To another city. Another job. Then another city and many other jobs. Then back to Chico. Then back home and many more jobs always missing what I had done what I had become and who I was and not bothering to think why I left all that happy perfection and why was working in a bank or a gift shop or department store or a sandwich counter or an accounting firm or a law firm or a textbook store and this failure to wonder anymore made me and was caused by drink. Drank. Drunk.
Oh and then panic. Terrifying horrific soul shattering mortifying crippling panic and its wee little brother anxiety that wrenched my nerves and made me realize that hell existed but not in the bowels of the earth but in the bowels of my brain. Only more drink protected me.
Then hey, why not, let’s try teaching. I decided that in a bar my wrist weary from hoisting frosty mugs of hops to my orifice. Glazed eyes and numbed brain and obnoxious laugh and a life altering decision. Three years later I was a teacher. Holy cats. I was also married and soon to be a father. Holy cow. And then I stopped the drinking and using forever — so far. Holy porcupine. Here I am, been teaching for 30 years, almost. Is this what I was supposed to do? How did I get here? How am I near retirement? How am I not the famous and fabulous and fantastic writer I was headed to be? Why am I?
The numbness of so many years of anti depressants and soft jazz and vapid television and insulating my psyche with trite trivia while passing on the gaseous sense of domesticity.
We go not where we intend unless by extraordinary design or luck or pluck or wisdom. I was a vessel for my own tears and hyper depression and screaming panic. I let it revolve around and down and up until I couldn’t do anything but those simple tasks in front of me while my creativity vacationed. Lazy bastards. Listen to the soft wind caress your inner ear and miss the expositions without.
I go on and force the love and desire and mental drive to be and think and ponder and bury the anger in deep sands of time so that the focus can be on the rich possibility of poetry prose and colliding music. Singing and being and providing and all the pain has got to be channeled now.
My premature death is over now. I carry on with the vision of word warrior. Beautiful symphonic friendships and the wife of eternal bliss and why wait at the door. Knocking it down. Pushing in. Blasting. This stops on the evermore and I rush to the pacing rhythm of life’s soul. Who am I to be me anyway? I am just the pocket of resistance that limits the bloating of resentment. The prepositions of variance. The key to oneness and everything to everyone. Who could I ever be to me other than the self created from the miasma of yesterdays. Pleasing to the eyes.
I limped sorrowfully where today I dance naked with the angelic visions of what I’ll really be: the me I always was meant for. Not the carbon copy. The original. The authentic. The true self. Beloved. I kiss for the future. Mmmmm.