So much for old fables! Let me share that dirty little secret with you. Sleeping beauty wasn’t dead after all. She was just faking it till she was sure that Prince Charming was on the hook. At that point all her cares and woes were behind her. She took the evil witch costume back to the shop the very next morning. From that point on the romance was over. Today’s iteration of women really don’t care about men when the final straw is counted. They just want to feel the security that her special he can provide her. The older they get the less the pretense involved. They always save the last best choice that has the biggest income for ‘the man’ of their dreams. Of course, Hollywood wants to keep the opposite narrative alive. It is better for business that way.
You don’t realize when you are young that you are both equal parts of your mother and your father. Now on the other end of the slope heading downward I realize how very true that is. Yet how does one pass this on when it is too late in terms of an ability to do so. The current era wants to push me into an early grave. They use all their resources to tell me my time is over. But I am not ready to go. In fact I am just getting started. There are two worlds within me. The world my father knew and used as a yardstick that I have not come near to fulfilling. And may never even get close. Yet that gives me a future even though the proposed of world of womanhood does not. It is a cold dead hive of useless vainglorious creatures that have abandoned their best feature in procreation. They think that their appearance is more important than your opinion of them. And yet they have the audacity to ask me to sacrifice to buy them a drink? True love is too long under the bus and I am no longer ready to should the unwarranted responsibility for having driven a stake into its heart. No longer ready to lay down my coat in the puddle’s midst to have to fit in with all the other muddy headed males who seem incapable of any sort of courage beyond that of memorizing the latest sports statistics. And then to be told to wash the dirt off my coat by myself. How sad to watch my own culture die because it was betrayed from within? And all for so many useless piles of paper that you are no longer supposed to carry around in large numbers within your wallet!
The world and the keys to navigating it are in your head. You can let others convince you that only they can turn on the ignition or you can tell them to buzz of and get their own car. Opportunity by way of induced starvation is simply genocide deferred till tomorrow. If you find yourself in that position it means that they really don’t want you on their team. And you are a fool if you want or accept them on your own. It’s not about hate or envy. It is simply about discovering that long absented real you. If you don’t look good to anyone when you are poor and old beyond what you can buy them then forget it! Pass on by! There is always a younger more gullible model down the road, it that is your thing I mean. But why would one want to sleep with snakes? Is the animal sensation that good? Really? Or are you just collecting scalps and STD’s for your lodge polls? Moral equivalency and Socialist Justices only want to hang you cause you’re smart enough to know that number one always counts as first and all else is a distant twenty-six. Mumble that next time you have an intimate interaction. Demand that the secretary new a decent cup of coffee rather than just go down to Starbuck’s! The Federal Government is too busy plotting a coup to care! This land is lost because it let itself be taken over by those who have always dreamed of reinstalling slavery. Those pretenders that cajole others to do their dirty work while wagging their forked tongues. It is time to take the world back! “Do you want to live forever?”
The experience of omniscience in floating a few inches off the ground. Being able to appear from scene to scene in the turn of a single instant. These are things that belong to an other worldly consciousness. To hovering entities that silently mark time in glance that remains frozen upon the collation plate glass of memory. Once that is reused and too often overwritten. Words on a printed page might be more lasting? The solidness of a domicile that was once inhabited but now has been claimed by strangers in the empty struggle for a better more secure life continued according to the popular notion of conventional. Every symptom of life as a page turned then barely recalled. It would seem to be easy to address it with a random set of names for that nuclear family that no one knows each of which trading in material objects of transfer long ago distributed to the trash heap. This royal kingdom that seems whole and a solid as a fully rational glance is unsubstantial, even though it has been visited from moment to moment, day to day. Small details interceding to aid the failing mind like mentally handy Scotch tape patching over missing elements. What an active prison this thing called consciousness?
I can still recall with repeatable precision the Lionel train set that evolved piece by piece upon the family living room floor at holidays. It origins dim as to the first time it appeared under the tree at one of the first December 25th’s that I had consciousness to attend. If memory can be trusted this ritual being performed in actuality for no more than ten Christmas’s at the most. Yet now cemented in immediate easy recall. Each part and element examined so many times is exquisite detail that I could accurately re-establish a facsimile of each today. Yet the material manifestation of same gone now for four decades or more. One would ask themselves who has built this hall of mirrors called human consciousness? How is it that a random wayward glance of almost any random assembly of objects can claim such perpetuity in the twin Camera Obscura of the jelly-like mechanisms of incarnation. The obsession of self cured handily by countless numbers of rivals each with a limited shelf life aware only of their own for most of the circular journey in place. Each a potential example of the other. Yet over the span of countless era’s barely able to claim identifiable membership much less and individual name in the perceived ‘grand scheme of things’.
The enigma of mental contradictions of size and time and identity demanding tacit acceptance yet not serving up a ready solution for that intangible thing asking questions. This sea of silent minnow’s struggling mid-ocean within a vast and uncaring net ever serving to take them from their home into the chaos of the process of being canned to sit upon a shelf with a date laser stamped on the side for final burial. Salt as a precious rare commodity dissolved in an ocean too vast to contemplate save but in rows of zeros uselessly summed up. That animal satisfaction of the abstract sensation known as love alternately termed affection in its more temporal form. Merchandised in categories based upon its persistence in our lives. Treated like a commodity in uneventful times but like the rarest most precious substance available when absent from our immediate vicinity. Contradiction in supply and demand and thus a disappointingly facile mechanism. Yet one that once defined by the dominant culture of the time more potent than any perceivable engine of destruction.
The impossible experience of inner and outer perceptions with one being a shadow play of the other. And the one given primary credence even more unattributable to anything but persistence by consensus. A new equation, perhaps a recitation of the old with a few numbers substituted or characters changed. One new line of same appearing on a screen right after that other crocheting thought in inferred continuities of singular identity of a complex being. The description of Godhood in the unrealizable realization of a single secret unpronounceable name that comes at random and then disappears in the next successive moment. The ability to ponder endlessly its own fatal maniacal engine of mutually assured self-destruction. How can animal fear expect to tremble long in such a maze? That ultimate surrender to constant daily annihilation of unused past the garbage man that comes to collect. For everything created another is destroyed. That is just how this existence phrases it, like an infinitive number of waves lapping to and fro on an eternally long endless beach.
The sun had painted the landscape below upon its Western face. The rest of everything rapidly filling with shadows of mauve. All earthly attention pointed upon it imminent escape. It was going to be a cold and blustery Summer this year. Uncustomarily so. The day had been spent indoors with all the blinds closed and little illumination save for some old reruns on the DVD machine that recounted a vague facsimile of what life had supposedly been several decades back. Everything seemed equally at a loss now as what little could be resurrected from that now indefinable place of ‘back then‘. Or that is what his answer to the abject stillness before him inferred. The day was at an end. Soon to have night slide over it like a cover. It was the same vista of rectangles overlapping each other. Some brilliant and reflective some with yellow and red brick hues all fading away before his eyes. That certainty of another day not unlike the last as it had been for so long was quickly waning as well. The original occupants were barely a memory now. Just empty quiet place holders that one left space for occasionally in the daily patter. Whatever discourse that went on was conducted in the confidentiality of dreams that were reliably expunged without he first light of a new day. That orange-ish glow had descended upon all in sight up to the edge marked by the horizon. In less than an hour or two this all would be blackness delineated only by pinpoints of random street lamps. This failing illumination revealing a hint of that sadness that plodded about keeping a clear distance of daily activities. Tonight it was anxious to come out back into these few rooms to inhabit them without apology or regret.
Age had descended upon all. The rooms were little more than sections of a museum housing artifacts whose only definable purpose now was to contain some anecdote or long lost memory of an experience. A talisman functioning as tiny time machines taking one back to the immediacy of a single instant int he past. But not having the presence or persuasive power to maintain the effect for more than the next successive instant. All possibilities in this sense had been terminally exhausted. There was no going forward with any of it. It was a trap. Flypaper for the emotions. Too many hopes for things that remained in progress but could not find their roots or a possibility of fruition. The light about the room failing blending all the items into jagged caverns of inhospitable coral. The enigmas of happenstance as left by its previous occupants insoluble. Each assemblage a shrine to some former meaning lost to the ages. How quickly human flesh decays when bereft of the animating spirit that powered its engine? Was this what was meant by the notion of being haunted. Rumors spreading about an empty space only slightly fragrant enough to suggest but never again to embody? A grand silence that only a random wooden beams squeak or distant tailpipe cough dared to intervene against. The streams of light receding to the West as if all firmament had been unknowingly tilted in the wake of the racing Sun. Life was now a soft hush of unseen humanity dutifully passing back and forth respectfully unseen at the end of another day’s labors.
The landscape extended below was now simply a quilt. The final embers sinking to ash and smoke in dissolving sky chariots relieved of gorse and rider. Their drift slow and inevitable in procession back towards the East. Whatever eulogies that had long ago been offered now floated about as if perpetually contemplated yet never said. The audience of friends and relatives now strangers. Perhaps stranger still than the rest of humanity unmet. One could consider the vast fortune in knickknacks now lost to anonymous shelves somewhere in small resale shops. Those rewards awarded for the special moments dispersed and unrecognized now for the meaning that they had once represented within a single casual glance. Gifts no longer wanted or treasured. Death could not be defined as pain but forgetfulness. Certainly not an individual thing! But of entire worlds and societies whose ways of life could not longer be fathomed. The accomplishments and complexities of entire lifetimes returned to the invisibility of simple elemental molecules inhabiting the endless oceans of water and air and dust. Undignified and unsympathetic to the conscious longing of a broken heart wrecked upon the shoals like the broken back of a long forsaken schooner. Abandonment in the fact that whole worlds of thousands of years of communal experience were singly no longer there. The only repository left signifying the meaning of an entire life’s struggle themselves waning. Falling into the hollows of stillness and silence garnering no companionship or interest of others with which to pass on this saga. The absence of chaos, and of sound or echoes. Forms melting into the absence of illumination. Slow incremental motion of static whirlpools deteriorating within endless undefined regions in the emptiness of space sinking towards a deep unreachable place. Unknowable. Untouchable. Gone.
Children form bonds that though broken quickly by family circumstance remain fixed in the mind for a lifetime. The result of a misaligned friendship gone awry and left unsatisfied leaving an inner longing seeking completion throughout the rest of a lifetime. This is the metaphorical boulder before the tomb of waking consciousness that for most is the major impediment of one’s continued existence to the soul traveling forth. To be diminished early at the start of one’s earthly by one’s peers is to be cast in an unfamiliar metal far and apart from the consensus of humanity. Remaining ever mindful of how a trap is always waiting to ensnare one making one align one’s self with the mentality of the predator and not the prey. Castles are built and moats around them dug with the mentality of an extended lifelong siege. Those rare times when a foray into the world of one’s fellows is mounted fewer and fewer as the years wear on. One finds at the end of life a paucity of mortal experience come of diet of dry bread and unrealized dreams. The accumulation of years finding a building sense of unrelieved animal hunger building in one’s metaphorical guts. The wolf within grows into a world wise monster seeking other victims to despoil. Though of course the conscious mind interprets this impulse as sharing the light of hard won experience.
Such a dour description becomes anathema to most others as the average person has been encouraged to continue in the spirit of popular myths that were never intended to be realized. The illusion of community coming together for a common good. The notion of a unique special person that remains untarnished in the regard of one’s heart above all others. The larger contingent lives in the fishbowl of the trends of the most current era. Subject to the penalty of abandonment or exile if they indulge in the transgressions of too enthusiastic a sense of individuality. No one is allowed to wander away from the herd at the penalty of becoming a stranger. Someone to be watched with grave suspicion as a potential social irritant or spy with undisclosed hostile intent. Perhaps those cast away into this wilderness of self are most validly potentially dangerous in the sense of their simple presence alone fostering doubt in others. Worse yet if they confound the strict rules of the game! So many re-congealed ancient myths of Gilgamesh are explained anew with the same old cause of the affront of hubris. Taking the imaginary Gods and goddesses as fanciful tales and daring to suggest that they in truth do not exist. This becomes the unforgivable heresy!
The most major mistake is for an outcast such as this to imagine a path back into the fold. This being the grandest illusion of any one harbors in the foolishness of the back of their mind’s intent. Heroes are singular beggars that only by the accident of circumstance are cast back as exemplary personages to be admired by the crowd. But only in principle in the waking dreamworld of expectation and not in the possibility of an actual promise fulfilled. Thus their example serves the collective of humanity like wheels and gibbets outside the city gates. Or cages strung high over stone saints on tall cathedral steeples. These miscreants only fit to be seen from afar in their despair and not be accorded empathy. Marble tombs and monument being the fittest habitation for the most exceptional among them. Ignominy serving as perpetual shelter for the woeful tale remaining untold for the rest. The unspoken fate of those who go astray a warning to all others not to entertain any possibility that might see them equally transgress. This is not considered victimhood. There is no sense of noble martyrdom. Just an emptiness that one wears like a badge upon the breast. A mark upon one’s arm.
So. Society demands that one wear a mask. Something uniform and easily recognizable as ‘friend’. And like a pair of boots that are too small to begin with we must stuff our feet within them each day and not hobble about but act as if we do not feel the pain. And hope each day anew for another pair perhaps of sandals mentally imagining the freedom that they would afford. Yet realize that such things are not for us. The frustration of continued repression directed at the most easily available ‘other’ as scapegoat. Those of a divergent path actively demonstrating their deviance subject to attack. The raging animal of the mentality of the dangerous vindictive animal known as the crowd showing no mercy only glee at the inflicting of penalties based upon supposition that another transgressor needing to fall beneath the hammer of universal justice. The worst of all fallacies! That a collective code can administer a useful uniform pattern to cookie cut humanity without exception. The unspecified irony being that the only fit administrators of such extreme forms of dries are themselves outcasts. An elite class apart that pretends the special status of omniscience and congress with the mythical powers of the known universe. These are those others invisible to the common folk that scatter about the wheels and gears of society feasting on the grease like scrambling cockroaches ever in fear of full illumination.
Before this the cynic sits between the folly of the species and the chaos of nature knowing from raw experiences of an unsatisfied life that it will not get any better. Aware that no salvation exists beyond one’s own will to endure despite at any cost. A long Winter of the soul and heart before one’s favorite salt lick. How utterly unbearable a proposition for all the rest who much take their daily dosage of state implemented fantasy to renew their unrealizable dreams as fact and not fiction lest they lose their way and join these outcasts in the Hell of empty reality. If one should see a statue in a city park one will find that it is the most solitary of objects. It’s presence never bringing the public any sense of awe or regard but derision or scorn. It is shadow over society to advise that the penalty for actually being exceptional among one’s own kind will inevitably lead to this sort of fate. It is always better to walk past all such beings as if they do not exist at all!
It seemed harder to want to say anything of substance anymore. He was sick of making other people feel good about their lives! Others that may be so full of distress that they need to seek out strangers like him to find escape. Humans when they form into groups are troublesome creatures that must evolve enough over the course of their own lifetime of experience. Crack their way out of their own egg shell of that pretense that society benevolently shelters them. These other souls always failing to cooperate in a positive way on their own behalf unless they are magically coerced into it. It is always the goal of personal self interest lurking in the background that powers these ‘good impulses’. No wonder clever tyrants rule? One only get as good as one is willing to give. These ‘nabobs’ realize that most people are their own worst enemies. “If your life is shit then it is only your own shortcomings that have made it so!“, is ever their knee-jerk response. “If you can’t refrain from making the same old missteps in life then learn to love them!“, he said. They rest of what was penned in his mind was merely a collection of his own solipsistic fantasies from an equally demented unconscious mind as any he could imagine. “I really don’t feel like being clever for its own sake!“, had become the most usable motto.
The light from outside hit him like a shower of glass blinding him at every turn. Stopping short his inertia come of busting open the old oak door that had despite all his previous efforts splintered the old wooden jamb at last. His final physical effort sufficient enough to break free of entombment in that anonymous basement of the long abandoned roadhouse. It was stupid really! Really Stupid! Spelunking in a decrepit property empty of human habitation for a decade or more. A mighty close call at that. One that easily could have cut short his less than steady existence by a week of starvation and theist in a pitch black rat infested hollow. He we in the land that time forgot. When the staircase collapsed under him and he was knocked out cold after falling forward astray down onto the treads. He had awakened dark and dusty spitting blood to a realization that life was at a possible divisive juncture. One where a stupid careless acts of erratic curiosity was providing a real danger of terminating his lifelong complacency in a way that he could never have ever imagined. This seemed kind of odd as he considered his otherwise mundane boring existence invulnerable to such an extreme change.
When he was a young man he could recall doing many stupid and crazy things. Self-destructive dangerous things. Going to the middle of a city to a major construction site and removing all his clothing to contemplate sleeping naked in a ready hole in the ground that might easily be bulldozed shut the very next morning. Feeling like a wild animal that civilization was ever at odds with. He would recover his senses before it was too late and sneak away before he was discovered whole or crushed. Where in his mind he had hoped to wander to from this hollow caught amidst the density of vertical human habitation remained insoluble. It was a perpetually unfillable hole in his heart that he could not find salvation for. Some dumb longstanding mythic childhood tale gone amiss in an adult life. It left him in a situation of standing room only in the waiting room of human existence waiting for a result that never was obtainable. The world of his fellow bipeds was merely the same old game of promises.
The young woman had to show him how the grooved sliding double door panels separating the bathroom from the hall worked. Her impromptu demonstration left him feeling old and useless to the present era offering the excuse of being an expert on architecture passe. He had never figured himself to be a charity case but the circumstance of having others foot the bill here and there was becoming tedious for both him and those few others that provided special consideration to him upon the curb of a street. What was expected of him was a unfathomable mystery. He wondered if it was within his powers to simply will his own demise? And if so many around him were silently waiting impatiently for him to make the association and to take that step? He had become useless to anybody else’s scheme. There should have been anger on his part he guessed. But instead there was a tinge of melancholy for those times when his presence had seemed to mean something to others and of course, himself. Yet this was but a dream all in his mind. Something that he had awakened to when night had begun to surrender to day and the dim glow of morning had provided a guide to a way out of his prison.
Each day was now inexplicable in an environment where those few like himself placed their hopes and dreams in this waking world like a sucker bet in a Monte Carlo casino. The culture like a tight glove of no consequence for it seemed that the intangible human spirit yearned to continue proceed despite the stereotyped genetic furniture that cast it in place. If this was madness then each night of fitful sleep were the fetters to restrain one from the completion of the madness. It became clear to him that this emptiness he was seeking to avoid by entering same was but a unique product of his own species of man who preferred to encumber themselves with abstracts than live in the wild amidst the natural chaos. This unquenchable need for complete dominance of their surrounding poisoning the possibility of recalling their own Eden. Hemmed in by unending collections of cleverly concocted material objects that served to divert them from their basic nature into the folly of an industrial fabrication of Utopian perfection that could never find completion until it has consumed all that it could reach. A pyramid of trash in empty tin cans and bottle caps rising upward from earth toward the sun. The ultimate monument to the planned obsolesce of everything. This was what he both feared and was drawn to. This ultimate fate of mankind.
The last thing that I can do is to say that I am a failure. I can acknowledge my mistakes and misdeeds. But I cannot allow myself to not believe that tomorrow I can turn it all around. If I do I am dead. I am my families final chapter. They live within me. I am their history. Their entire lifetime all within me. Does it matter to the world? It matters not. They meant something, their lives and the dreams they instilled within me. I am their future as well as their past and I have gone fallow, Deep down within under the rubble of a life collapsed is the same little boy that would run to the comfort of his daddy’s arms to feel the love that was too quickly extinguished by the rueful circumstances of unstable life. In the end, I found much to our mutual regret that I had not cared as much for him as he did for me. At least not till he was past caring taken away by the inevitable natural cycle of birth and finally death. To late, my heart poured forth once again what it dare not admit while he was alive. Such was the great degree of my latent fear within. A fear that my sense of being in love would no longer be welcomed as an adult. A fear that I would have to surrender to the crushing mark of being a failed son. The one and only that could not outgrow his father long and ever widening shadow. In that I felt that I had truly failed. How could I not? He was a much greater man than ever I could have imagined. Than I found that I ever could be. Great because despite all the bad hands that he was dealt in life, he continued to persevere despite insurmountable odds. Angry sometimes? Sure! But never despairing always heading forward despite sheltering both my mother and I despite his own meandering inner flaws. No monument in my estimation could ever be built high enough to match his humble stature. A man who lived in the shadow of that larger than life personality that he himself created. Someone that despite how brash and brusque his unrefined manner appeared to me at the time would much later elicit posthumous comments of how that same demeanor would be sorely missed. Someone that many from all walks of life felt that they could call friend. This was the pattern that defines the direction of the weave of the cloth from which I am cut. My father. Someone that I so often regret the loss of and harbor that desire to be beside as I once was before. Just to reach up and find his warm hand holding my own yet again.
The small truck came to a halt three streets over just within the field of vision allowed by the canopy of trees that lined the streets far below some ten stories below. The most notable part of it being the yellow flashing lights that had caught his attention. Most of the horizon having been sequestered in Summer green. This was his day to play the role of exhausted past all reasonable possibility of useful activity. The cushion of gray that seemed to despoil the day before noon was barely a memory now. Hazy blue emptiness surmounted all by the faint hint of an airbrushed horizon. It was a different day completely. He was clueless now how to occupy his time as no occupation seemed fit to engage in. All occupations being essentially worthless to change his essential situation. He was old growing older every minute. The notion of attaining success was a topic clouded over by cynicism. A cynicism that was not without a certain degree of factual support. Three different careers had come and gone. The fourth was merely a hint of several vain hopes wrangled together from experiences long past. A sort of archive of topics checked off on a paper list. One that had not turned yellow enough with age to be illegible. The youth within him refused to be evicted. It lived in the here and there like a squatter ever ready to plan its umpteenth takeover of all things downtrodden and depressed. Yet fortune seemed ever elusive not allowing it to take a a foothold. Where was the world of lurking possibility as he had once known it. Now it was simply a bunch of empties littering the street.
While he was amidst his chat the emptiness of the sky just outside his window had birthed some small white clouds that as he caught him with the corner of his eyes were sailing just overhead out of sight. Was his brain boiling up the temperature just above him? It was not an obscure notion that could be discounted that one’s mood was ever the oarsman of one’s fate. No doubt this present tense could not be seen as anything else but being becalmed. The hermitage of this small apartment sequestered format he street a refuge from reality far below. A woman’s nightmare of inflexible orderliness and massing dust balls. The kitchen floor had not received a good scrub in nearly ten years. Carpets stained and worn like the ragged hems of the threadbare black jeans that hung clean upon closet hangers. Smelly old black socks hung out like guest towels.Time had stopped in the last decade. This had become a waiting room for passage to the great beyond. He was just another face keeping busy till his number was called. The previous night after the exhaustion and two refrigerated beers had stopped off the hard shell of his habitual indifference he lay in bed under the cool sheets naked. What did humans really have to look forward to that was not simply a sensation driven experience confused with something vaguely animal. Desire? Love? Companionship? All seemed established and nourished based mainly on the expectation of physical sensations? Desire involved touching or being unexpectedly touched in a manner that one had long repressed. Love was the embodiment of a reliable embrace provided at all costs in any situation. Companionship maybe two hands clasped on into the other? but certainly the calming of anxieties wrought from animal vulnerability to the unknown. Or the paucity of the other two aspects of a closer more intimate relationship. His concept briefly explored his mental focus snapped into itself like the sound of a lady’s compact snapping shut.
The world was to be viewed and the chaos that lurked around its edges respected. Yet no longer indulged in. The sky above him would vary at the whim of fate but there was very little remaining that had not already been charted out long ago. He sat in his easy chair waiting to be proved wrong and confident that behind all the barriers that were long tested that this was not ever going to be a possibility. This was not to say that he had not abandoned the notion of the opposite sex in his mind. The mind is the great builder of proper fantasies that while they may involved drama yet would always end in an expected happy conclusion. Yet this would inevitably evaporate by the next day no matter the positive level of confidence in one’s calming self assurance the night before. This gerbil was firmly locked in a cage of his own design. Such mechanisms ever proving to be impenetrable. Even if one knows where the keys are hidden.