They tell me I don’t understand the impact of guilt and the anxiety that is tied to it and I nod my head to encourage them to continue speaking but there is only silence.
“You don’t know everything I have done and all that I have been through. You might be surprised by some of it and how it changed me. I just might understand things better than you think I do.”
Their silence doesn’t offer insight into whether they wish for me to keep speaking, be silent or just leave.
I ask them to remember my hand is there for the taking and that it is not a sad cliche to say sometimes the sins of the past bless the present.
As they nod their head I walk by, squeeze a shoulder and start making notes of the items I am going to need. I am going to have do my impression of Orpheus marching into Hades to try and rescue Eurydice.
Maybe the lessons of the past will lead to success, one cannot know without taking a shot.
Everything I Own
Bread is singing Everything I Own and I am thinking about a conversation I once had with someone about the song.
I can hear their them talking and it feels a bit like I ought to be able to make like Gumby and step into the pages of that particular story.
If I could I would definitely do it because there is some much to be said and so much to be shared that has never been heard or explored.
It would be significant and meaningful to me to have such a conversation and funny because the biggest lesson I have learned during the past ten years or so is how to just walk away from people and things.
That is a lesson I have been unsuccessful in passing along to another which is why I am gearing up for the trip to the valley that leads to the entrance to Hell.
The plan is to push the boulder that blocks the pass out of the way and make my way inwards because Old Scratch and I need to have another conversation.
When I shared my idea with some family members they asked me if I was serious and suggested I reconsider.
“You’re too old to go to war and what has worked in the past isn’t guaranteed to work again.”
I shrugged my shoulders and told them I have infinite patience for some things and none for others.
“I can’t sit, wait and wonder if they’ll figure out how to break free of the cage so I have to go. Maybe I am not who I once was but that isn’t just physical in nature, it is mental and emotional too.
I have let go of so many but the very few and for them I will fight until I collapse and then I’ll rise up and fight again.”
They told me I am the king of hyperbole and silliness and I smiled.
“I am just me and that has to be enough.”
Light Up The Night
We head out for a festival in Roanoke expecting to walk around a bit, check out the food and what is for sale and then move on to the next thing.
The kids have chosen not to go and part of me is disappointed and part of me feels like it opens up all sorts of possibilities.
Phone calls and unexpected stuff lead to a change of plans. Instead of a short ride out to the festival we end up driving much longer and farther.
Adjusted plans lead me back to my 0ld neighborhood and I drive by a bunch of apartments that are supposedly named for places in cleveland and pass my old apartment.
I have Springsteen singing Atlantic City on my car stereo as I pull into the mall parking lot.
I park in front of the Rooms To Go outlet that I bought my couch at four years ago and keep my fingers crossed.
Three salespeople fight for our attention and I tell them we’re just browsing. A few minutes later another will ask if they can help and I’ll tell them about the couch I bought four years ago.
“Did it hold up well?”
“It did alright. It wasn’t magical but it saw some magic.”
The salesman tells me he wants to use that in a future pitch and I say if he can pull it off without sounding cheesy it is ok with me.
There are no magic couches or ordinary ones to be found so the store is given a proper goodbye. I keep hearing about Burgundy Pasture Beef and want to hit one of their stores.
As I head out of the parking lot Bruce and I do a duet:
Well I guess everything dies baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Fifteen minutes later a lady is recommending I take home some of their chili along with steaks and burgers.
“This is Texas chili, it doesn’t have beans but it is very tasty and a little goes a long way. It will light up your meal.”
I tell her I love chili and grad a container but I have the grace not to mention that I have ice cream at home and that chili for dinner and ice cream for dessert will help me light up the night.
The thought makes me snicker and I figure some things are funny forever, the childish and ridiculous ones especially.
The list is permanently etched upon a place it can’t be ignored or forgotten.
In a short while it will be time and I’ll march off to do what I can to do what must be done.
Can’t say when this will be done but when asked I always say it will be. There are no other options other than this one.
The adventure continues.