Monday, April 30, 2012

LAST TRIP? (cliff?/joe, 1972)

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Pilot to copilot     
I can't hear you very well
Still that is normal      
For those in happy hell
The champagne wasn't God       
Though David was baptized
            And the shower was so cold              
            I nearly lost my eyes

Navigator speaking
It seems I've lost the map
But, still my name is Arthur
Though I'm no longer fat
I'11 help you fix the stew
But, please, no meat in mine
            I too climbed the mountain
            and smiled through sand and wine

I am the bombardier
Although I drop no bombs
I shoot you with a camera
But do not join your songs
I am riding with you
As we drive through the hours
            Although I join your jabber
            Mine does not rhyme with yours

Copilot to you all
What did you just say?
Soon, I will be married
A new and different way
One stranger still to me
Than the way that joins us
            I liked the off-keyed kid
            Who joined us from a bus.

RIDING IN THE RAIN (cliff?/joe, 1971)

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Riding in the rain
trying to make things, the same
forever, as they once were
And almost succeeding,
then maybe we did

Four brothers on the road
Talking, nonsense to each other
understanding, maybe, a little
of the storm that surrounds us
then, and forever

The storm clouds in the sky
and, the tempest, of our lives
forgotten for the moment
of laughter and pretzels
Kids, and our music

Long straight barren roads
On islands, with nothing but sand
and seagulls and a lighthouse

Offering Diamonds to the Sea

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So, another journey, another adventure, a repeat performance from over 40 years ago with one new character as one went missing. The four brothers were on the road again.
As aging characters with life experiences, this trip would be different from the last trip that was made before leaving the shelter of school and wandering into what would become their world.
The night before this adventure begins for me. I have an epiphany. But we’ll get to that when the time comes.
So pack the necessaries for traveling and grab some entertainment and at the designated time and the designated place we are off. Every wandering over five miles is an adventure and this was going to be a BIG adventure.
Rather calm and peaceful we spoke in soft terms to find common ground. When one isn’t around one another one has to feel their way though the minds minefield, but we have some experiences that transcend that.
Upon arrival, an order from the captain comes. “Go, do your thing.” (Little did he know what my “thing” was going to be.)
Up the long path and over the dunes that I didn’t remember, there she was. Just like she was the last time I saw her. Just like she always is. Welcoming the inner beast.
A certain feeling comes over your body when you stand in front of such majesty. A reverence for the size and scope of what you are seeing. A wonder of how long it has been since you have been apart. Without a word I stand in awe absorbing the sound and basking in the warmth. Her breath splashes on my face like a kiss.
One-by-one we all assemble to our new temporary homes, finding our way around a vast labyrinth of wonder to the endurance for reward. No possible concierge could provide such elegance at a place that I associate with basic pleasurable discomfort.
Drinks are chilled, food is prepared and conversation lowers walls of strangers becoming friends again after their long voyage. Cracks and potshots remind us of older times and new experiences emerge. We follow the sun for warmth and chatter finding conversation easy. As we constantly count the flying bombers the tense road trip fades away to laughter. These are comfortable people in a truly loving environment of old friends back together for what maybe the last trip.
Adult beverages test the waters and wash away the trail dust the chief prepares the stew of potatoes and parsley.
Being out of season is in season for us. The sentry’s are now bikers providing us with black crow escorts. A few around us peer out to notice the addition then hide back into their own world.
The plan is set, but not today. Tomorrow.
After a quick nap the cook, er chef provides a feast for the weary travelers who are become family around the table. Once bread is broken together there is a bond, a bond of a period of time thrust together by choice of remembrance and fellowship.
Even the banjo tune livens up the lot, but no one dances.
One by one we retire to our beds with full tummies and warm thoughts for the next day together. The surroundings are too plush and soft, but sleep overcomes the anxiety of being in an unknown place.
 
The call of duty offers a peek into the darkness. Perhaps another hour of two of rest before venturing into another unknown, but that is not an option this morning.
For the sun will rise as it does everyday but you do not see it. Arising to hear the roar and wait for the vision.
Wandering around in a new environment in the dark and only the silence broken by the roar. The constant roar is beckoning to be rewarded as I finger the offering to mother earth.
Water to wash away the fairly early breakup and I peer into the darkness. The clouds obscure the sparkles so I write a remembrance of the day before it fades into light.
One by one the others shake the cobwebs and gather round the table.
And then there it is. The orange tint against the clouds awakens the dawn. After an awe and wonder as if this did not happen everyday, but it is here in this holy place, the paparazzi tries to capture the moment.
But he was hiding. The big orange globe had only reflected its brightness before peaking up over the horizon. The wonders continue.
Strong coffee, soft conversation and laugher of the previous night start to fill the air only interrupted by the counting of the bombers in even and odd numbers.
The sun is up; the companions are up, the time is right.

Placing another layer to avoid the wind since the morning has brought a stronger movement from the north.  With the wind at my back and dark clouds cross the sky, I venture out into the unsteady ground, sinking a little and then finding a surface to maintain my pace. Wandering aimlessly among the remainders of other lives gone by I find a spot. There is no sense of civilization around only wild natural setting like it has been for millions of years. This was the spot.
Reaching deep in my pocket I pull out the bangles that symbolize ancient rituals of companionship and commitment to another. One-by-one they fly out into the wind and will a tiny splash disappear.
Perhaps they will be drawn out to the depths to rest forever with the pirate’s loot that scatters this coast? Perhaps they will wander separately across the vastness only to show up on some foreign shore? Perhaps they will just be buried as they lay and gone forever in mystery? Perhaps they will come back to be found by some tourist or eaten by some feathered friend searching for sustenance.
Whatever the reason or whatever the cause, I had performed my duty.

As I slowly stepped back to the party, the sun broke the clouds and a stream of light lit a spot of still dark water like a spotlight. Was it a sign? A sign of what is more the question.

Now the planning the day for these travelers had started. What do we eat? What do we drink? What do we do to entertain ourselves for the hours to come without tearing into each other more than verbal paring?
At 9:00 it is time for a beer after being up for six hours.
We pair up into foragers and preparers. The foragers travel back in time and in a different direction to the site of a previous adventure. Roughage, protein, and alcohol fill the requirements. But the foragers get a treat the others will miss.
Another unexpected welcome and smiling face greeted these geezers to a conversation fantasy as the “Gag” girl from so long ago. “What do they do to make them so pleasant down here?” I wondered. Maybe I’m just partial to going back to Caroline.

With the food stuffy stored and ready for a later preparation, the four travels and our cottage mom relaxed into electronics. All sorts of pads and pods and tops and buttons to control all that technology has available were pulled out of various black bags quietly as she slept. The jargon bantered about would have only been onlh understood in an IT convention a few years ago. Problems solved, files shared, research and utilities followed by games and constant checks to the surrounding world to see if there was any extremely important life-changing messages. Then another bomber count questions the pattern or algorithm of their approach and departure.
Occasion sidebars of sandy steps, windy one-on-one unchallenging conversations reveling no secrets, strange noises strummed from past themes of former lives yet the main goal of our weekend entertainment seems to need a plug.

Have times changed so much from the last trip or do we have more diversions?

A teacher, two government executives, a techie and an old retired artist can only lose themselves in their electronics to communicate or is it they cannot communicate and never could?

The experience, like any experience with people whom you see only occasionally, has certain formalities but these people have been together, for the most part, for over 40 years. Each had chosen their path and created experiences with others that can only be described to others and associated with their own similar experiences. For after such a long time, this will be the first gathering of a partial tribe with only the excuse of consumption and conversation.
 
So with hugs and sighs a perhaps last good-byes, the travelers part their ways to go back to their worlds and lives and friends and children and problems and needs and wants and joys and failures and day-to-day comings and goings with another blip in time shared by all of them. No one changed their lives, no one saw God (I don’t think), and no one found the ultimate wisdom by being in the company of the others.
For something good is to be said about people whose names you recognize and brings smiles to one another’s face and can comfortably co-exist for a short period of time.

As for me, I accomplished my goal of removing trinket reminders of daze gone by without remorse or regret, for the memories will go on and the history remains the same.
As for the others; one will move his daughters college furniture before returning home, one will travel for many hours before grocery shopping and cuddling with familiar screens, pups and toys, while another one settles back into finding a new way of life.

Me? Well upon arrival without any accidents or rumbles, I unpack to the calls from the hungry yard occupants. My sandy goods are just left in a pile as I journey to the local consumption provider that is still in working order even without me for a couple of days to stoke up on the necessities of life.


Once the yard boss comes up to me informing me, along with a munching of newly arrived seed, that everything is back to normal now I am back, she slowly and quietly hops down the path welcoming me home.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Forget your password?

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Sounds easy, but what happens when you really forget?

When the memory of numbers and letters jumbled together in some archaic format that opens up your world is gone?

When the only communication with another person requires access to the Internet?

And that access requires a password.

Or perhaps you’ve forgotten what purple looks like?

Or why you get out of bed in the morning?

Or what you ate for breakfast or if you have eaten today?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Mystery of the Missing Masterpiece

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When you get to my age and beyond (hopefully) our hustle all day at useless meeting and regulations self imposed on associates who couldn’t care less.

The present and future does not offer a good solution so reflection changes perceptions and awareness.

Lining out a timeline of the past creates a path for the future.

Why did this happen? Or how did that happen? And was that my real reaction to a situation or a program reaction?

It’s called “life” with all the decisions and commitments and observations that led to knowledge whether realized or not, that created you to be what you are.

Some of it might be ugly and some of it might be revealing and some of it might be ugly or some of it might bring great pleasure in the reflection and see it wasn’t too bad, at least so far.

No major disasters were caused; maybe a few broken hearts but there were plenty to go around.

Taking hold of who you are and what time it is, a good or bad reevaluation may present itself to you.

Bad stuff is usually buried but comes out to haunt the dreams.

And if dreams fill the distant pass only to haunt us in the eternal future then is death a victory to heaven?

If your time on this planet were not fully utilized or accomplished or realized or activated or hoped for or succeeded or failed or passed by or floundered or excused to outside sources or created by self image or directed and not passed, what will the dreams repeat over and over in different configurations and complexities yet still disturbing?

So when the mystery of how to unscrew the top of a bottle or the realization that it takes so much longer to finish a task then the goal is set for finding out the mystery.

Press 1 for further information, press 2 for further instructions, press 3 for……….

Entertaining

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Just back from what was a circus yesterday and drying off. With the morning spent with raindrops and radio, I made a run for the grocery store because I was out of food and was getting hungry and it was time to reload. 

The mobs that were filling the place yesterday using their carts as walkers, blocking the doorway getting their glasses for the wine and beer tasting have thinned. It was “Customer Appreciation Day”. 

Free samples and special deals offered to gain forgiveness for months of dust and disruption created a location that was a magnet for old grazers. Even at one o’clock there were already white hair women staggering around the store from one wine sample booth to another wine sample booth. Wonder what the insurance risk on giving alcohol to old folks that you don’t have a history of how that will affect them and their meds? Maybe that week-old cheese they feed their faces everyday creates a protective coating to their stomach.

Burning my frozen pizza I try to get back to the thought of the day. 

Entertaining!

We entertain others who we invite to invade our personal space. It is not like they are robbing you (at least you hope not) but you have to make certain adjustments to your privacy to accommodate guest.

You got to pick up all those dirty clothes scattered on all the chairs and doorknobs, hide your porn tapes in the linen closet, sweep up the popcorn kernels from the late night horror movie, dust all the spider webs and pick up the dead June bugs in the window sills, cover the bed for the first time in months and put the pair of clean towels in the bathroom. 

And that is just the start of it. 

Speaking of the bathroom, it has to be cleaned up because no one can stay out of the bathroom. Put away the toothbrush, wipe up all the leftover spit toothpaste, sweep up all the hair and crude on the floor and put away the plunger and toilet brush. If you are really spiffy, put some flowers in and defiantly spray with air freshener. 

Ok, not the bathroom is done; the rest of the house needs straighten because we all know “guest” will wander around. They distract you with children or the spouse has a plan to anchor you in the kitchen while the rest of the family searches the house for future conversations.  So every little thing that is put within viewing will be judged and your personality will be evaluated on the results. 

Then your personal hygiene must be adjusted. A good scrubbing with soap and water might help and getting out of the comfort wear you drag around in everyday might at least you give the impression that you spruced up for the strangers.

Oh yeah, you have to prepare treats for the people who come into your space. Food and drink, either purchased or prepared must be offered as a way to fill the time between awkward conversations. To prepare the perfect setting you need to view those PBS shows giving tip on how to make leftovers the perfect snack or how to make a table setting out of trash. If you familiar with your guest you want to present their favorite food and if they are over 21, provide beverages that will blur the unease of the time together. 

If a dinner party is the entertaining platform then it is time to bring out the good china and the silver. Candles, though a fire hazard, are brought out of drawers and lit at the proper time to create the correct ambiance. 

A musical background can be assembled and party games within reach in case the chitchat goes south. 

At a certain predesignated time, the fashionable host will offer a yawn and hand back the wraps at the door to end the invasion and get back to the preferred lifestyle. 

The reason for all this adjustment is to impress the visitors who will leave and talk about what a pleasant stay they had and then invite you to come visit their abode. 

Now you can get back to scratching, putting you feet up on the furniture, belching, and falling asleep in a chair. 

This entertaining is a lot of work.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Money

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The root of all evil some say. You never have enough of it and what you got you throw away. Then you want more.

The reason this crossed my mind after a couple of years of settling into my new budget is the other day I was at a local watering establish with a friend and he was talking about how much this cost and that cost and his wife was worried they would not have enough money when they retired so I started thinking.

And you know what that can lead to.

So I started thinking what this “life” that we come into unconsciously and fade away into the unknown. What is the purpose for us being here?

To change the world? Well, we are doing that by removing all the resources and choking the skies while making a mess of the place.

To follow the spiritual leader? Our species can seem to agree on who this God or Gods are so we just fight over it.

To make money? Yikes-a-rama!! I think I’ve struck a chord!!

From birth we consume money. Well, we don’t for awhile, but we eat and poop and need to be bathed and bedded and entertained and all of that cost money. Then we go through years of being edubacated in an attempt to train us in a skill or talent or some kind of knowledge that will help us procure an occupation.

And why do we need to have a career or trade? To be gamefully employed we can earn money!

People or groups of people or corporations or even the government will asses our personal value and abilities and tell us where and when and what to do with the rest of our lives for a pre-determined amount of cash.

Is that what “life” is all about?

Also, I’ve been watching and listening to all this stuff about politicians or want-to-be leaders who spend all their time at fundraisers. They get up in front of people and tell them whatever that particular group wants to hear and then ask them to break out the checkbook and giveaway some cash.

They get BIG BUCKS with the plea for funds.

Then there are all the charities, foundations, organizations for good stuff who also go around pulling at our heartstrings begging for money.

And even if you want a raise, you should be using the same techniques to present yourself in the most positive light showing your boss what a worthy employee he or she has and that without offering you more money you might decide to work for the competition.

I guess your “life” is valued on your worth.

So why don’t schools skip this reading, writing, and arithmetic stuff and get down to the basics. “How to make Money” should be the goal from the pre-kindergarten on up.

Sure soften the impact of greed by calling it “Fundraising 101”, but it is the same thing.

Say you want to start a company, what do you do? You know you don’t have the cash so you go to the bank and see if they will lend you any cash. Of course they want to see if you can pay it back. RATS! Then you go to rich people and show them a business plan and a cheesy smile because that is all you got.  A dream and personality might just get one to cut you a check. Shoot if your idea falls, they just write it off on their taxes. If it succeeds they are in on the ground floor.

So why don’t we reform the educational system and teach kids what is really important – How to make money?

When we are young and energetic we work hard making a penance and when we get old we need a lot of money to cover the cost of the special test and care facilities our family will demand us to pay for to prolong our lives. 

But what of those unfortunates who cannot find jobs or lack the skills or ability to perform the most basic requirement in exchange for money?

Taking “Fundraising 101” you will be introduced on the basic begging formulas such as looking pathetic, writing on a cardboard sign, presenting phases like “I haven’t had a meal in six months” or “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”

The rising chief executives will master the art of “Fundraising” showing graphs and confusing numbers promising expectations that will never be realized.

Might have to write the book “Fundraising is Fun” and when everyone purchases it, I’ll have lots of money.


Friday, April 20, 2012

The Yard Boss





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I took the picture from some distance and it was a little shaky so pardon my technique, but this little brown fur ball is the Yard Boss. If you look close you can she her tucked away in the tall grass. That is her spot.

Every morning as I venture out into “Puppywoods” to great the day I quietly walk down the path and when I reach the spot say in a soft voice” Good morning Bun Bun”. Her eyes are wide open and she sits still fully knowing I was coming from the first step I took into her yard. I walk past then pause to observe the yard listening to the sounds of the morning.

Grabbing a bike I prepare for the morning ride in slow motion. As I walk out toward the gate I request Bun-Bun to keep an eye of the yard that I may never see again.

Upon return all hot and sweaty I slow the pace and make a familiar clicking sound that I make everyday to alert the yard that it is only me and don’t be upset by the motion.

So what does this have to do with anything?

Well the yard as I accepted it when I purchased this ground was the usual green-carpet that required that I use my weekends to water and mow and rack and trim to be like every other neighbor. 

Then I met this woman who introduced me to nature. I wasn’t so concerned by the nature but I followed her instructions and became Manuel Labor digging holes and placing pots of sticks in predestinated spots with no idea of what was happening. All the nurseries and Lowes profited by the constant journeys and aching travels back bundled with leaves and pots and all sorts of green things. And when that was too much, the delivery trucks started arriving.

Of course I had a job and left this mischief during the workday and arrived back in the dark not fully understanding what was going on, but it made her happy so I was more than willing to provide the means.

Slowly but Shirley, the yard was transformed. The few trees that were present at purchase were removed and more planted. The grass was removed and the dirt covered in black plastic pinned down to hold in place. Craters were dug then filled with mulch and trees and shrubs and flowers. Raised beds were constructed and a pond filled the ditch. Even a garden area was tilled that routinely moved.
Now my attention was on work that was growing increasingly more complex and time consuming but all this was going on in the background.

So today, I took the day off, and stayed in the forest with the yard boss. 

With all the hustle and bustle going on around, people driving talking on phones, the mad pace is only slowed when one takes time to walk in the park. If you are lucky there are woods near by to visit or perhaps a beach to vacation for a few days the day-to-day stress can be relieved for a short period of time. 

If the yard boss allows it, you can reside in the splendor of what nature is all about and if you provide water and sustenance they will come. All those guys that were here before the bull dowser moved the dirt to build this subdivision in the late 40’s for the returning WWII vets will come back if you provide the right environment. 

So the forest of “Puppywoods” was formed and maintained. It is my responsibility now to provide for the creatures who have found refuge in this tiny spot of rest in the busily city. 

So as the Yard Boss settles into her spot to spread out in the sun and nap I go to the store every day and buy seed and peanuts. Like clockwork the yard awakens when I spread the buffet to the hungry faces. Then the entertainment begins. 

For a cost less than cable the scooters and the yard monkeys frolic in the Yard Bosses court. Performing their acrobatics and warning of danger, the ground is alive with life as it was before I got here and hopefully after I’m gone. 

Taking time to notice the inchworms that everyone is complaining about, it is just a cycle of life. The dried leaves which will blow off the trees and provide mulch and the constant movement of light giving direction to the feathered friends who come and go. 



A pair of black-capped chickadees has made a home in the old cherry tree that is on its last leg. 

Don’t know where the hole came from but they are busy going back and forth carrying little pieces of leaves and grain and whatever they pickup. I tried to get a photo of them but they are too fast. And if you are a squirrel and get to close to their home be prepared to get a peck on the head.

So for the past three years I have been the grounds keeper and decided to let what was planned grow. I’ve even sat through a hurricane watching the branches sway in awe. 

I’ve learned to appreciate what should be constant to everyone. So as the lawnmowers roar in the background and the sirens brings the howls of the dogs here the critters are sheltered from civilization. 

And so am I thanks to the Yard Boss.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Loner

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The word “Loner” is a noun for someone who likes being alone. I say I’m not lonely, but I’m living alone so I must be a loner.

After reflecting on past history and how I relate with the world, I do better when I’m alone.

Introvert? An introvert is a reserved person focusing on own self? No, I’m not really that but I am selfish.

Bryers-Miggs personality test with the I-N-P-J or some such letters to spell out what you are defined to a formula finds me as an extravert with an intuitive personality, thinking and perceiving. I had, from the test, which as all test can be cheated, high musical, naturalist and logical intelligences.

So what does that mean?

I can be an extravert around people. It is the jester in me. I clown around and make a lot of noise either to attract attention or push people away by my obnoxious behavior.

Is this action just a facade?

Looking back I see myself alone in my room not feeling part of a family. Going to school and not being a good student or a participant in sports due to bad eyesight and lack of confidence made me a loner. I didn’t know how to join in and was never chosen.

Junior high or middle school that I believe is the time when the shell of your life is formed wasn’t much better. School exposed me to choices. I was interested for the first time in woodworking and using power tools but the teacher was a dike and never reinforced at home. Physical education was a disaster since all us boys had to take showers together, which was so weird at school, but perfectly normal with my friends at the beach. The winter months were full of going to dull classes, walking home, and staying in my room except for meals. The summer months were enlightening to a freedom of self-exploration and adventure that wasn’t formatted.

My parents tried to involve me into a life they wanted me to follow. Country club participation of golf and swimming, cotillion dances, summer camp, and other activities that would force me into settings with people who I didn’t fit in with due to lack of money or prestige but could look and act like them for the ruse of the parents. Actually it would have been easy to accept this way of being, but it did not feel right. I knew there had to be something more.

The beach gave me time to understand myself without being validated by those around me. At the same time I started playing music that helped fill my alone time. I could entertain myself with art and music and didn’t need others to fulfill my time.

Different? Sure after a while, I became a different personality from those in school. I wasn’t part of the club or the team. I didn’t go to pep rallies or the prom. Some would say I was just being an artsy-fartsy bohemian but I just wanted to be alone.

I enjoyed the company of a few in high school due to the weekend parties and even wrote some musical background to a friend’s poetry but much of the time was spent alone in my room absorbing myself in the English invasion soundtrack and artwork.

The only team I ever joined was bands, but they came and went and rotated and traveled from place to place with different faces and different sounds. It wasn’t the band(s) I was interested in at the time it was the music. I’d escape whatever was going on around me with music and art.

Not to say that any young American lad full of testosterone wasn’t interested in the finer sex, but I didn’t have the confidence to follow through with so much of the attraction. The telephone and letters full of drawings filled the gaps between brief spurts of aggressive behavior, but it never filled what was a relationship.

The family and friends seemed distant only due to the lack of knowledge of how to relate unless it was a phony statement or an act to seek approval.

Then it was time to seek employment. I didn’t really want to work, but I enjoyed buying records and guitars and eating out, so I had to do more than steal a few bucks from my parents or mooch off friends, which meant I had to work.

To work means you have to join the team. The team at this point controlled your requirements to achieve monetary rewards for staying and complying with demands at a certain location at a certain time. Everything against personal freedom, but you does what you do to take their money.

So the hair gets cut, the beard gets shaved, the button down collar shirts come out of the closet, and I suck up to whatever needs to be done to fit in.

Weekends offer a release from a structured society to the freedom within my room or apartment or coffee shop or wherever the pressure is off.

And how does that relate to me now?

I think I learned to be myself in my room. The same is true today.

Relationships, while briefly pleasurable become too complicated with extended families of strangers and unrecognizable personalities and disparaging agreements to preferred art and music.

And yes, I can be a companion. Shoot, I’ve been married most of my life so I seem to be able to get along with another for better or worst in sickness and in health and all that, but I must maintain my own personal space.

Listen to the Beach Boy’s “In My Room” and try to understand, being a “loner” isn’t a bad or even an unusual way of life.

It just means one may get along better with one’s self due to whatever reasons than to be around others all the time.

"In My Room"
There's a world where I can go and tell my secrets to
In my room, in my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears
In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing
Laugh at yesterday

Now it's dark and I'm alone
But I won't be afraid
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room
In my room, in my room

Who’s banging your box?

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 That may sound crude but this story is about “jealousy”.

That feeling when all the air has left your body and you don’t know why. It is a crippling emotion that happens to everyone when they don’t get their way.

Maybe it is the person who you have been watching from afar and writing their name over and over again and imaging the two of you together; walking with another.

Of course jealousy can also be of material goods but there is a commandment against coveting other’s stuff.

No this is the human reaction to events that are out of control and how we cope.

So what brought this on?

Well recently I was talking to an old “girlfriend” or at least I’ll call her that. We had a quick passing fancy in my youth and I never thought we were that close but as we walked around our old neighborhood she pointed out an apartment she had occupied. It was just another window that I’d passed by so many times. Then she startled me with a comment.

“I had a lot of sex there.”

It was almost an aside but it stuck me like a jackhammer in the stomach. I didn’t think about it before but sure, she had a life after our paths crossed and she was cute and….

My mind scrambled the thoughts. I gave a sly quiet smile and kept walking trying to analysis what I had just heard.

Just what an old “boyfriend” wants to hear is how much physical enjoyment this young lady of previous affection had with another fella. Or fellas.

Then I realized I WAS JEALOUS!

Jealous of what?

My mind raced trying to rationalize my reaction. “You don’t even know this girl.” I thought and then calmed down and started to understand my reaction and the history behind it.

Attraction to another person may have many reasons and many consequences. And sometimes it doesn’t work out.

Sometimes another person is more aggressive for attention or perhaps another has a flashy wardrobe or shiny car or perhaps what the other person is seeking is not in your personality portfolio.

Maybe we just settle for what we can get.

No, I don’t mean that in a nasty way, but perhaps we can adjust our expectations of a person who will respond to our admiration.

But way back then, boys and girls were supposed to exchange rings and sweaters and go to dances and be known as a couple. And then you got “married”.

That was the way it was suppose to work, but there are all those emotions and experiences that came before you were a “couple” and new people who will cross your path and may change your status from “dedicated in love to one another” to “thinking about a change”.

So when you meet someone and strike up a conversation and it starts to drift to previous engagements, one must remember that life goes on and it is not all about YOU.

Sure people come in and out of our lives and some we dwell upon while others merely pass through but there are situations that happen which will change your personality and future interplay with others.

Besides so much has happened that you had no influence on because you were not there and you can nothing to do about history. What was happened without your approval.

Another look at these previous experiences might mean better sex. If you can outperform the guys who came before (sorry, no pun intended) your esteem will rise to a point where you are now ready to climb Mount Everest. And you never want to say, “How was that?” because you might get an answer that will pop your bubble.

That was a sign to society that each person committed their emotions to each other and no other. And then we vow, “’Til death do us part”.

That is a promise that we really don’t contemplate or understand, but we say the words in a public ceremony binding us together.

Logically one can psychologically determine that the other person’s promiscuous past or insatiable sexual appetite may have just been sowing their wild oats, which I even replied, or may be an introduction to a night of wild passion between the sheets. 

To deflate that theory, maybe the statement was intended to hurt or maybe it was just getting the history, whether true or false, out of her system. (Note: One must remember not to reply with comparison of your sexual prowess.)

If the personal history continues to bother you, then you probably have inter-personal-conflicts and should probably leave immediately.

So don’t be jealous of previous histories because everyone has one. Much like breathing air or walking, we all live by the minute-to-minute life and react to what is exposed to us.

I personally remember tales that would make your shutter, not knowing if they were true or not, but had to wash them away because the immediate time with that person was more important than a shaded past or possible constructed future.

So game up and stop worry about your own inadequacies or self worth doubts and get along with life.

If you can?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

You are the only one

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When we were young and got those celeb magazines and thought “If only I could be one of those” because there were so few of them and they were so special and lived an opulent life and were covered in jewels and adulation and we all want to be just like them, but then reality crashed down on us.

Look in the mirror and you are just a simple goober from a backwater town where the biggest event is the State Fair or the Tobacco Parade, so you strike out to follow your dream.

Just say you decide to become a rock and roll musician like the ones coming over from England who sell you all their records that you listen to for hours and hours trying to mimic their reproduction of southern blues that was always available to you if you only listened on a crummy arch-top guitar with ancient strings bought from some old 40’s band member of your fathers.

So after bleeding fingers and annoyed parents and neighbors complaining about the racket, you decide to form a band of brothers who also don’t know how to play but have the proper variety of instruments and can create a horrible noise. You give yourselves a name that fits the times, walk around in Italian pointed toed boots and tight pants emulating the images on large cardboard and black and white small screen fuzzy television and decide you guys are the answer to the new sound.

You start to gather together reproducing the sound from the vinyl until you decide to write your own poetry. With copies of chords and notes and even words you scribble mockingbird tunes thinking it is great.

Then you meet the neighbors kids who also have more expensive instruments and a manager who got them business cards and they wear those pointed toed boots and tight jeans and have gigs set up at high school dances and go-go clubs.

The realization continues to find out that on every block on ever street throughout the small backwater town there are hundreds of kids, just like you, who are playing loudly copying the identical vinyl you have cherished as your own sound and all are wearing pointed toed boots from Italy and tight jeans and all the girls scream to their lyrics just like you wanted them to do to yours.

To crush the dream, there are thousands of towns and cities in the state and out that are having the same tsunami of reaction to the sound waves and only a few, a minimal few, who will have certain connections or money or famous parents or outstanding looks or the luck of the draw will make the pages of the teen magazines. And of those few, a handful will last more than a week.

But you still like your soundtrack of a personal life and think it is unique even though it isn’t a chart buster and you are not delivered to stadiums in limousines to the accolades of panting princess hoping to spend a few minutes in your company.

 The strumming guitar and writing out thoughts that only you feel and in today’s world of magic can be easily recorded with techniques only known by a few before then eternally played back for self entertainment.

It is a simple pleasure but what really makes you happy? You are the only one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OUCH!

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More like a rude awaking. A leg cramp woke me up this morning. I was right in the middle of this weird dream when my leg cramped up and told me to wake up and move around.

Perhaps it was cooler than normal, perhaps I had pulled it too hard during the day ride, perhaps I had not shaken it off, or perhaps it was a blood clot but the pain was real and got me jumping out of bed and walking around tenderly trying to loosen it up.

Maybe it was a real injury that would require going to a doc-in-the-box but I’d rather walk it off and rub some dirt on it. Man up and bite the bullet.

And what was that dream all about anyway?

My first wife with an over stuffed car pulling a packed trailer and I was complaining there was too much weight on one side making it lean over. Walking around in the Mitt Romney house noticing large sloshes of red on the walls and rugs then asking his wife if people fall down a lot in this house to which she replied, “No we are spill often.” Leaving me wonder why doesn’t she clean them up. In the meantime and in the background strangers and people I used to work with are doing all sorts of bazaar rushing around and dancing and making strange sounds. Before that, I my fuzzy mind remember was a friend who looked like he did some 30+ years ago asking questions about knives and cooking.

I don’t seem to dream about present day experiences or taxes or food or what I would think would have to be reviewed in dreams, but the consistency of old buildings, vacant houses, and solving problems seem to be the modish operandi.

So I walked around and then rode around to loosen up my leg and though it is still tender I figured it was sitting at the computer recording music into the night and probably had my leg in a strange position. Why not, that is probably what a doctor would say and then charge you an arm for that diagnosis.

Maybe I need to drink more water as in sport injuries?

That’s it I need to drink more.