A trailer sized motor caravan that all had arrived in had then just as quickly disappeared. In it’s place was a twisted wheel deprived frame dragged up high in the air by a container crane. The story leading up to it equally absurd in it dimensions. An effigy of a failing life gone unexpectedly off the tracks into an unimaginable sense of twisted fate. The sin being one of exploration in that latter point of life when prospects disappear and fast moves forever always inadvertently go awry. Perhaps what had occasioned if might have been the fate of an acquaintance at the local bar? A big guy named AL. An old dry soda biscuit dry humored billy goatee bearded rascal whose best days might have been seen in the jungles of Southeast Asia long ago in youthful manhood. Someone from that ‘tough shit’ universe who carried his innocence wrapped tight in shards of broken glass to be broken open much later in life. Only if the situation allowed! He had taken a spill landing against a table and chairs. When the blood could no longer reach as high up as his head causing him to unexpectedly pass out. That big heart having gotten even bigger in his chest impacting into his lungs and sealing up the envelope of the little matter of his continued mortality. A routine known all too well at that age! The family legacy hit home having slowly arrived over decades. The last few years leaving a big house to play in to an empty audience. Now the wheels were gone and the buckling aluminum whale supported above by the derrick was high out of reach. No way to return to that former place, that for lack of anywhere else, was called home. That lingering impulse of change of state to go from someone perpetually landlocked to freebooter on the highways leaving only an uncertain limbo. The lingering past and prescience of possible future gone before the immediate ‘here and now‘. That big redwood trunk of that man felled laying on his side. A bloody napkin freshly pulled off from his temple still too cogent to duck recall.
The big box store occasioning these tale still seeming fresh in the first years of its life’s cycle. The setting for that motoring behemoth parked up the lane so that its occupants could easily depart towards its main entrance. Old and generally stiff of the joints, it was a customary courtesy afforded without question. Much to my surprise and shock of those remaining within the vehicle it suddenly became apparent that the establishment had been sequestered by too eager a crew of motorcycle paraphernalia attired Satanists. A coven of bored Middle Class stalwarts that had formed a pact among themselves out of a lifetime of boredom to lay down ritual mayhem on the easiest most accessible place where innocents could be found. This cavernous well-lit environment a place of possibilities for violence perfect in parameters of containment and a potential to inspire terror over a substantial number of inadvertent victims occupying it by chance. The caravan’s arrival coinciding with a perfect near completion of the first phase of their murderous riot. Loyalty keeping those left behind int he vehicle from immediately driving off. That pulsating animal impulse for self-survival quashed out of some vague noble impulse. A foolish thing experienced over a matter of minutes of indecisive discussion of pro’s and con’s before the pirate crew mounted an exploration of the caravan’s insides. Their first ignoble act being to throw a ninety year old colored woman out of the side window impacting the pavement and breaking her neck. The poor old soul caught in the midst of trying to pull on the pants of her equally arthritic husband who lay pathetically weak and prone upon the carpeted hallway’s floor.
It seemed to be a very unfunny joke to denigrate anything deemed ‘white‘ especially if it turned out that the orator was classified as being a ember of that group. An adaptive form of dialogue equally viscous as practiced by progressive immigrant Hitler minded Hebrews all nestled in the midst of the audience. One evidently taken up the burning torch to their perennial ‘straw men‘! Ritually victimizing others as scapegoats for their woes! The historical crutch of arcane magical numbers of the craft in six and nine and eleven ever summed in their math. Those same perpetual discontents living by an ancient time weary code of an ‘eye for an eye’! And eternal task of vengeance handed down to successive generations to be leavened upon the descendants of enemies justifying the tibias perpetual mentality of constant deceit. The entire world outside the coven, a mortal enemy. Human nature defaulting most to group and to ground in applying ignoble customs. The big fat Italian on stage entertaining the select group about him in what appeared to be constant self-depreciating dialogue Sex! Blacks! (whores!) All manner of ‘no go‘ women topics! His patter sallied about the safe harbor of what seems to be conventional Saturday morning conversations ‘German-ness‘. The legacy of an era of vitriol fanned by a ‘half and half’ race mixer President. Who in the Hell knew ‘whom‘ he really was? A hero or demonic saint? The divided land. Self-Isolation by the telling of the tale of the Springfield Race Riot of 1908. Who would dare to give anything less than a dispassionate account? Persistence and empty liquor bottle. These disparate groups switching roles but continuing on essentially just the same. “Who created them!” “Who enforces them?” Who has any respect enough for anything to surrender their God given power without a fight? The man that no one wanted. He was tried and tasked and tried. And when he thought about it. He was also so very much alone. The pirates only being a figment of his ailing mind.
He awoke. A nervous shaky feeling pervading his upper back running immediately down the length of both his arms as if he were in electrical contact with something heavier and more metallic. It might as well be something to do with him? A carry over perhaps? The tingly tingling sensation feeling now descended into his lower back as if some electricity was constantly discharging its waning potential slowly from him back into a state of equilibrium. The space beside him in his bed was empty save for wrinkled sheets. The previous two that had inhabited it so long before him. They were now gone. Long gone and in the grave. It was still all too easy to see them slumbering unawares within this space. It had started out as their own! Decades passing where he was just some occasional visitor. Sometimes a squatter and ever a guest. The day was forming itself up just outside his window. Massing in strength to mount a rising illumination. One that began to seed flickers of light into a sky. Graying the ground from the grip of darkness lurking below. An utterly still and silent animation transitioning two realms, one to the other. Each instant suggesting that one had been switched off sometime in total darkness to hearken benefit for the other. The readout on his personal assistant stated the dead of Summer and the midst of August. A light touch of warmth fading quickly from the top edge of twisted covers. Now pulled back slightly and left open suggesting something in seasons ahead being much colder. What would the weather be today? Uncomfortable and sweaty and hot like last week? This last weekend having been cool like the middle of Fall. The light feeling of unheated air dancing upon his extremities extending down to his knees then halfway up the front of his thighs. “Circulation?“, his mind ingeniously pondered.
He pulled off his over worn black nightcap. Slinging it back over his head and set about rearranging the covers back to their nighttime convention. Imagining that he could prolong the night in order to compensate for the raw sensation that had deprived him of the full measure of needful rest. The disorder of the nights disturbing dreams defaulting to random misaligned images without hope of plot or drama. He lay back again in a flood of excuses. The impressions left by the fading visual imprint depositing deeper more lasting impressions that like some form of ultimate penalty would be levied for the coming day. An hourglass of sandy bothersome grit running out. He made an instantaneous sweep of the arm pulling off the covers once again. Unexpectedly rolling to the side onto the carpet to swiftly venture forth to the ‘jakes‘ of his kingdom. Fragments of dream rattling about his head. “If they weren’t recovered“, he reminded himself, “Then they would be lost.” And he would have to walk around the rest of the day under their burden. Trying to piece them together from loose threads suffering that nagging feeling that he had missed something important and telling about himself. Something that might hold a key to ending this current époque of stagnancy. There they lay like random bits of broken glass, sharp and pointed in his mind’s reflections. So much certainly like other ones of a previous vintage that he could barely recall being related to other more random experiences unearthed from many years back.
The world awaited out there. An apple to be plucked. An immovable lodestone that needed to be cracked open.
I just returned a few moments ago from the movie that I should have seen yesterday with my relatives. Valerian. Directed by “Fifth Element” French director Luc Bession, it may be the answer why the French were excluded from the other current Hollywood Blockbuster, “Dunkirk.” Where the later is critically acclaimed and a total downer, Valerian promises the key element to pleasing and audience and leaving them hop, skip and jumping back intuit he light of day with a happy, hopeful chord. The journalistic critics who tried to say that it was incoherent were either listening to their parent marketing liaison’s who said push “Dunkirk” and pan “Valerian“. The irony being of course that both in their way push the idea of Globalism. One in the sense of future events to come full of horrific conflict, the other in a resolution of the most treasured of all human emotions, the love of a man and a woman. Albeit a bit adolescent at face value. But in fairness recounting in everyone that point in time when loving someone else is first consummated by the vow of a lifetime of commitment to them. It’s central characters embody the best genetic parts of the high European beauty from the high fashion runways of Paris infused into the graceful frames of Western Africa’s Masai somewhat stealing the thunder from the latest most preeminent Hollywood money-grosser “Avatar” living is the perfect sort of Utopia that only rich Southern Californian’s could only dream of.
The picture perfect lost Eden portrayed in what quickly becomes a paradise lost is more than made up for by the petulant innocence of its two main protagonists. Even my own scarred and stony heart seemed almost ready to revive at in many ways was much of the same old cliche trials and tribulations of male and female that have been handled in a similar manner in so many previous films over the history of Hollywood. The dialogue is smart and the asides clever enough to break a smile without being forced. The empathy building for finding out the meandering path of the heroes’ journey that the two embark upon keeping ones interest throughout its one hundred and thirty-seven minutes. The guest appearances employ the talents of invited star performers in particular being the best parts of Rihanna. A cult figure that in other venues only seems to produce great doubts in terms of clammy cultural context. Where “Avatar” as an experience has many wishing for impossible existence as part of another species, the conclusion of “Valerian” plays upon the retro of what in some ways was a kinder gentler less complex time when space travel was characterized by hopeful spirit enriching encounters with the unknown. Not, face hugging predatory monsters bent upon species extinction.
Sure this is the kinder part of the Illuminati’s wet dream of a genetically enhanced Kalergi approved ‘milk shake‘ world society. But it’s soldiering in the war for the quest of perfect Social Justice is made palatable. Not shoved done your throat at gunpoint. Maybe you are too old to bathe in the cleansing ‘pearls’ of youth culture shit out the behinds of Disneyesque cuddle toys but grounded in the hope that love does indeed conquer all! Fuck the critics! Go see this film!
There are a lot of questions that one is likely to ask in the course of their own lifetime. Most seem like they might expect a reasonable answer to point you in a reasonable direction. One’s that the answer to which will help you to avoid a few more questions that you are not ready or willing to be asked. Lonely questions that one would not think of volunteering save for the middle of the night when one is alone and cannot sleep. Tough questions like why did you decide you should count someone out. Someone that you thought you loved. That is until you realized that you didn’t. Maybe it took an off moment to realize it. And maybe it took several decades and a lifetime until it dawned upon you? You never loved her because you never find a way to love yourself to believe her. That made her a liar in your eyes. Someone who wanted something that you couldn’t afford to lose. That longstanding smokescreen that you were used to referring to as your own self-respect.
But now things were different. You stared at the light dancing occasionally upon the ceiling hour after hour. And now you fantasied that things were different. That they always had been different. But no one had bothered to tell you. If only someone would have just said the right word. Then things would have worked out the way they should have. That goddamn parking lot staggering home half blind toked out and inebriated feeling the full moon above the two of you weighing you down. She in a huff angry. Spooked more like at the mess you had gotten her into. Involved her in like it was simply nothing more than a wrong turn that meant nothing to you. But obviously, everything to her. And so you walked on in that empty parking lot miles apart with the distance between you ever widening. And when you finally reached your floor you knew that you were truly alone. And would never be with another that same way ever again.
So now you are an old man laying on the flat of his back no longer making any plans for a future. That empty blank ceiling above you like the lid of your coffin. And you just staring there forward seeing nothing but some other poor fool’s headlight reaching out in the lonely night as he or she travels past along a mostly deserted highway probably heading to that place that they called home. Something that you had always dreamed of but never seemed to find a way to. Too hard to make a life with another who could only be second best. You heard it said so many times over the intervening years that your first is alway the one that sticks in your mind. The one that you ran across that other parking lot at first as the sun died that fatal afternoon. The long lonely weekend when you returned format he news that someone that you had known had died young. Too young. And it hit you like a piano dropped from the second floor. The keys striking a minor tone as it hit the pavement with you under it. Things like that were not supposed to happen. They were too real for the young to have to know. But you knew!
So you went back down the road back to school to find the one that you knew you wanted. All the shyness and reserve now gone. Washed away by the silent river of tears that were shed upon the steering wheel of that car speeding back at dusk doing a hundred down the two-lane. You jumping out of the seat making a beeline for her room and catching that look on her face as she turned to see that your eyes were staring back only for her and her alone. A magnificent moment that one only dreams of in the movies but not in the perfidy of real life. That was the first and last time that you really gave yourself to someone else. Hook, line, body and soul! But now it is a vague impression that you tell yourself was real. It must have been! There couldn’t be all that broken glass back from this moment all the way back to that time when the two of you walked away from each other in the moonlight on that cold hard asphalt lit night. It would have taken so very little to have walked a little faster instead of playing the fool. Selfish man!
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 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!
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.