Saturday, January 16, 2016

Don't be old, on a given night






Now, I sit here unable to sleep on what is often the good side of an evening. It must be the rain. Last year, the drought was noticeable. It was talked about and agreed upon. This year, the rains have been persistent without opposition; the ground receives, the skies give. Precipitation is written within the stone commandment of gravity. The sound of it outside my window is comforting only in that it is familiar, but it is suggestive, reminiscent of some pre-lapsarian life that I had wished to live. 

Thinking of people from the past is a pastime of aging. Blame it on Bowie, I suppose, at least this week. I have been revisiting his uncertain musical decisions with new ears and perhaps an unfairly weighted trunkful of ghosts.


Lately, I have been more saddened than I have divulged here. I have tried to keep my posts perfunctory, concerning things other than myself, have tried to have them be only bullet points of my day, updates on my diversions, nothing, or very little.

I am at a polite impasse, or so it would seem. My life requires something new, though I don't know how to generate it internally, so I am shopping amongst the clothes hanging in my own closets, wondering what identity wears, and why. 

I became excited about a new Korg keyboard tonight, while I have unused keyboards stacked up in places that guests can not see. I desire a new camera, yet hardly use creatively the on that I do possess. I envisioned myself setting up a studio around my grand piano tomorrow; all this, while trying to spiral into sleep tonight. Xanax is the name of the mermaid myth to which I have subscribed.  There are littler mermaids than Disney will ever know. 


My son's memory of me might be something like this: a fattened apparition wielding device (sic):


("...nice blouse, Dad.")


He'll wonder one day what my eyes looked like. 


He accepts that I am going to take pictures of him, though through his responses I have learned much about what it means to wish to capture a moment from an innocent. It is all personal knowledge, but what else is there. 

Some are spiders, some are flies, others butterflies. 

Others not.


So, let's not knock the love of a thing, ol' chap. It chaps much too much, and in that muching there is great muchlessness.


Aging is the awfullest thing there is, if you survive youth. It is death with very poor room service, and an expected tip already added as a service courtesy for you ever having existed. Aging and death seems well deserved when looking backwards, and sensible when having lunch, it is only when one stops to consider its market share and final closing price valuation when one starts to shiver. Any one of us could have sold, at any time, but the market promised to rise. And then it did.  

A house does not resemble its owner as much as it does the ground into which it will sink. A single glance at almost any one-hundred-year-old picture tells a portion of the entire story of mankind, at  a single glance. The wisdom of Solomon at the bat of a lash. 


Perhaps I waited too long to have a child. My son's energy towards life only reminds me how much of mine has already been given accidentally to the winds, or taken by them. Once you start throwing sheets there is precious little time around to count grains gone.


To wit, the boy and I were taking a bath tonight, in his joviality he kept placing both of his hands downwards on my knees, only to lean forward to relay some newly discovered joie de vivre hidden among the same rubber bath toys with which we have been bathing for many months now. There was some new transactional situation his mind had leapt towards. I had to keep telling him that he couldn't use my knees to make his points. I could not be his bath lectern.

All that I can do is grab him and hug him and hold him in the air to let him giggle his way through the rest of what is important, his love for me, and mine for him. I wish that I could bottle and keep all of it. That is the curse of parenthood, to find within a dream a granule of sand that is somehow unique to the beach. 

The kid is pretty big for a newly turned four year old, and weighty. All of his excited heft pushing down on what amounts to the bent wheels of a used and dodgy rickshaw, well beyond its warrantee,  can't take it anymore. It doesn't help much that I'm losing my hearing, so his natural instinct is to animate and amplify his stories as close to my ears and eyes as possible, whenever I'm not trying to take pictures of him. The shrieks of happiness that he seems to derive from having my attention are fantastic, yet I am privately wondering why bathrooms must be made of tile. 

Tile is a constant, uniformed, and well-regulated reminder of hospitals, death, a cleanliness that pierces past blood. Nobody without knowledge wants them in their home. They are not the victory of science as much as they are the result of disease. It is the curse of education which draws us to the comfort of the morgues. We eat and cook and bathe in a similar place to where dead bodies rot. 

In my sultanhood my many bathrooms are made entirely of fine multi-colored shag carpets - the sinks, the walls, the floors, even the baths. My toilet paper is long-haired Kashmir carpet; all colors known to the desert nomad and infused with ketamine. We, each of us, would swim alone with the furry fingers of the sea, yet not for a very long or dangerously. My tub would be 20' by 20', at best, to keep my subjects living and wondering about their new surroundings. My bondsmen and bondswomen would dutifully wash and rinse my carpet bath walls each and every moonrise, and then again throughout the heat of the day as needed, because it pleases me to see them be happy in their work, and it pleases them to take pride in their modest duties.


Ok, sorry about that… back to the bathtub story (I watch too many children's animated films. They are ripe with suggestions as to how to cruelly subject a pre-defined group to your needs. It is why all mothers approve of them).



Who knew that life would be on a faulty dimmer switch. 

I suppose if anybody should have known then it might as well have been me. I hinted that I had my suspicions, all along. I've been fighting life through living it from an early age, with intermittent successes and popular failures. If it is all just a series of little victories and defeats, then consider yourself lucky against the stars if you have enough time away from work to even notice, or can afford a camera to centralize your version of it. Some quick squeaking among a million shutters.


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A local acquaintance at the pub the other night convinced the bartender while I was away that I had offered to buy him a beer. When I came back, already prepared to leave to go to a sushi dinner, after already having paid my tab, he excitedly persuaded me to get on board with what he had partly convinced the bartender of. While not entirely happy about it, I agreed and even had another beer myself, thinking that we would have a quick chat, though I was more ready for dinner than chatting this way.

He took his beer and went and sat out under the concrete umbrella outside. 

Then, later on that evening and into today, I grew angry about it. I couldn't let it go, the feeling that I had been duped. It wasn't something that a younger version of myself would have allowed. The thing that started niggling at me was the conversation I had in my own head that convinced me to just buy him the beer and stay for one more.

I didn't used to talk to myself this way. Or, at least, when I did, I listened. 

That is what memory speaks, that somehow one is finally learning how to live as the knees go grey.

Part of me wants to tell him to fuck off, and very soon. Another part of me recognizes that it doesn't matter, that he had me buy him a beer and it means very little. The last part of me wonders why I am angrily disagreeing with my blog posts as if I were an old man merely watching the evening news.

Screaming at some thing that has arrived here in the darkness, arriving in pieces, flown in from above upon the back of rain droplets, whispering some truth that neither requires nor demands acceptance.


The rain does not hear you.






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