November 17th, 2021
Life Is Like A Garbage Dump Where The Trash Is Always Treasured
The world is garbage. That’s what she said to me over the metallic tones of rage and syncopation ringing in my ears.
I leaned in over the bar.
“Is that what you really think?”
She nodded with certitude, her sentiments emphasized by the distortion emanating from the three-piece on stage that called themselves Cat Piss. A distinct and familiar odor of guitar, bass and drums. Banshees screaming into a microphone.
Who hurt you? That’s what I wanted to say in that moment. What did someone do to you to make you think that the world is garbage? But I didn’t.
“You’ve never experienced something beautiful?”
“Why? Is this supposed to be one of them?”
“It could be.”
“You’re setting the bar awfully low.”
She turned and walked to the other end of the bar before I could say another word.
I recognized that nihilistic mask, acting as protector from ever feeling something good so that she couldn’t get hurt by that which is exalted. Praised. Expectations laid to waste. I couldn’t blame her though.
Even heroes can be letdowns.
Why would I try to persuade her otherwise. It wasn’t my place. Nor the space. Some people struggle climbing out of a dumpster in order to get a clear view of the balancing act that attracts us to this circus. The hordes gathered round to witness and participate in this tragic comedy filled with tears and laughter. Sure, it’s a mess. But there’s beauty amidst the grotesque. I’m sure of it.
The following day the words still lingered. The world is garbage. I thought back to a few days prior when the first snowfall of the year lightly dusted the streets of Omaha. How I walked in it down 50th and felt the cold snowflakes lick my face, cover my sweater in their arabesque shapes.
I felt warm and glad for the cold climate creeping in as I sat in Lola’s and stared out at the cars passing along Dodge, the smell of coffee and sweet flour baking. The smell of prosciutto and eggs steaming with parmesan. I thought about Becky, the forty-two year old woman I met at PTL who changed the course of her life at the age of thirty-six by becoming a chef. I thought about the woman at the BFF Members Ball with her large breasts dancing on her chest as she laid with her back to the concrete floor, topless, working it with all she had, the magical creatures of the Pet Shop and their floral affiliates howling, hollering, cheering her on.
I thought of Garrett that night at the Sydney, working the floor to his own rhythm with a glass in hand as if he were Jerry Garcia in an endless groove.
His long dark curls swinging about his head. I thought of Guff and her gift of The Giver. That story of an insipid world full of false feelings, and how Jonas, the new Receiver, began to see and feel with clarity the world that once existed. Our world. And how he wanted to share his new discovery with everyone. His family. His friends. Only he couldn’t. It was forbidden. And how he fled into the unknown toward the Elsewhere, to return the memories of the past to his people so that they could feel again. The love. The pain. The pleasures. All that encompasses the human experience.
The world can be garbage at times. Sure. It can be hell. Suffering. Loneliness. Corruption. Murder. Rape. It can be a thing clawing at the inside of your skull for days. Months. Years. All that resides within trapped, wanting to break-out, to escape because the pain is too great and the ways in which we’ve pantomimed the past gives us little in how to navigate the madness we’ve caged while our lives get hurled towards that finality . . . DEATH.
Even now, as I sit here waiting for the words to arise within me visions of my past come to mind and I am saddened by my own actions in it. By the way I’ve treated my friends. Strangers. Loved ones. How I’ve lacked the capacity to hold space. To ask questions. Understand. Set boundaries. Let another feel something real, whether or not I agree with it. And as the days grow cold I continue to wrestle my own ineptitudes in order to get a grasp on the fact that I am a monster, a thing of rage and light.
I am a beast with impulses that are not to be suppressed within a frame, but to be harnessed.
Expressed. Channeled. Put forth with purpose. I am not my external circumstances, and I am not my inner conflict. I am the choices I make in spite of them. I am not an entity in a vacuum. This is happening, and will continue to happen so long as there is a heart pumping beautiful blood through my veins.
How can the world be garbage with goodwill and flowers and sunsets and the moon lit up in the vastness of space with all its stars and galaxies whirling to the music of their own creation. And MUSIC! What about music! Concierto de Aranjuez in low light. And what about inside-jokes and belly-aching laughter! What about that! What about silliness and children and farts and sneezes and dreams and green things and orange and blue and yellow too! What about them.
What about friendship and warm fires with good wine and what about jumping into a pile of dead leaves and what about light on wet concrete and what about our abilities to bargain with the future, to sacrifice in the present for something that may possibly come to be. What about touch. What about making love. What about books and sharing and inspiration. What about ideas!
And what about this, right here, and the way those four words were breathed past her lips and came to life, how they stirred something in me, how this energy between us has been moved, shifted, transferred, this thing between us that never dies, that never ends.
If that’s all just trash, consider me a dumpster diver.
December 8th, 2021
A Bibliophile With A Syncopated Footstep Walks Into A Midwest City
I take the needle in hand and push it through the pages. I grab the needle from the other side and pull the thread through, watching all the while as it sews the experiences of my life together…
December 1st, 2021
Christmas Time Is Here, There, And Everywhere
It’s December now and winter hasn’t quite crept in yet. But it’s on the way. I’m sure of it. As sure as the trees lay undressed in the midwest and little lights go up all over town, along rain gutters, around license plates…
November 24th, 2021
Seeing In Dreams Is The Only Color For Me
Before I woke I was in it. I had come out of delirium and into dream, going through the deep recesses of my unconscious…