Hark! I stepped over a line into this other world. Beauty Queens. Astronauts touching down on sand and ice. This world so different from what I knew a singular moment ago. Harlots and Harlequins. Chainless bicycles spinning the wheels of time. Do I revel in this New World? Do I reveal what is true and hide what is false? We'll wait and see. Hark! Creaky bones call. Time to go, to catch a magic carpet ride.
My life is jammed up. That's right, jammed up like an old machine. Jammed up like an old turntable I found that needs to be lubed and cleaned so it can once more spin happy songs. This metaphor runs through my head as I pace back and forth. I need, need, need to rid this angst. This creative, life-living angst. That's why I'm going to the balcony. The glass door is tight, it too needs to be lubed. Tomorrow I'll get to it. I'm looking to the sky, now. Brilliant blue, soft white clouds. But the emotional confusion still runs through me. I'm going to say it, I'm going to scream to the sun, the God of radiant fire: "Charles Bukowski, where are you?"
What's this? The clouds are turning grey. The clouds are closing in on one another. Oh my, a giant wind. The smell of Jim Beam.
"I've been busy, I'll see you soon."
This second I heard the voice of Bukowski.
Oh, no. The rumbling sound of an ethereal belch and flatulence. I got to go back inside. Hope the Ghost of Charles Bukowski comes by soon. That way I can bring calm to my warring self.
Somebody bring me a blog. I'm on fire, burning up like a spice. Throw a blog on me like water, cool me down. No, No, being on fire is good. Somebody bring me a blog, I'm out cold. Knocked out by a dull life. Pass a blog under my nose; revive me, raise me up like a boxer ready to fight once more. This time I think I got it right.
You know what I need for my apartment? I need a long-legged hippy chick with mary-jane eyes and slow lips that jingle-jangle like wooden beads of love. I need an up-and-coming middleweight. Blood ready hands from South Philly who weaves out of neighbourhoods painted in dulcet tunes of grey. You know what else I need? I need a songstress and a seamstress. A masseuse gentle to the touch. A master of ceremonies to play Prince and the stony twangs of ancient Pharaohs. I need a naked Susan Sarandon; young and on a golden rug. I need a Bert Sugar hat; old brim pointed southpaw to an odd Cuban unlit. I need everyday things too. Soap and suds. Pot cleaners. Plaster on the walls. Pictures in glassless frames. I need pesticide and insecticide. I need canister spray and shaky powder on earwigs and centipedes and Benzedrine driven cockroaches hungry for life and the jingling sounds of hippy beads. Apartment dweller, what do I got? Heaven and Earth and a life in between. I got a blog and thoughts to go with it, apartment dweller who I am.
The dancer on the sidewalk. The busker's tune. Silver strings gleam in the summer sun. I hear the voice. I see the dancer. But to others I'm deaf and blind. What I hear is what I see: nothing, nothing, nothing. Hardly nothing. Nearly dark with absent sound. Only an artful tune with deft steps lead me to holy ground.
Once I knew a room that overlooked a bay. Twice I walked the path of a great plain.Twice again I ran through stalks of high corn and swam wondrously in lakes cold and alone. But I've never climbed the highest mountain. Nor rode a mighty river. I've never railed against the world from an anger within. I've never raged against injustice nor stood up for the insufferable or felt kinship to dying souls. What now? What to do? An ocean view. A good book to read. A blog to write, nurture, make my own. What grandeur will be mine? This shadow life on a yellowing page.
My mind lays awake this night. The numbers on a face burn like slow embers. Pictures fill my half dreams. People. The ones I loved too little. The ones I loved too much. The ones I let go too soon. My mind lays awake in the darkness. The red digits turn. The sun rises and calls the early morning. Then I kiss good-bye this night. But come evening the sun and moon will burn like slow embers.
It's late evening on a hot summer day as I sit on a park bench and watch children splish-splashing their way through a small wading pool. Peals of laughter. Joy on childish faces. Water everywhere. Here I am mired in middle age and I wish I were them once more. But it can't be. Still, their simple happiness makes me happy. In a not so complicated way life is better. I feel not so afraid of the mind's future, of those laden thoughts of time past.
Government workers lead their lives in compressed form. It's not healthy for the body or soul. They should stretch as far as their arms, legs, and necks can extend. Let their hearts beat loud and fast. It is a much better way to live. It is the only way to live, really.
Call off the dogs of war. I'll shudder the mills of rumor. Call off the assassins of character. I'll stop the presses, censor the columns of gossip. So it was you who started the battle, the feud that burns deep in our hearts. It'll be me who makes the overture of peace. It'll be me who hands you the olive branch, who lays down his anger in the name of a truce. But don't be surprised at what follows: I may be the one who dips the poison quill in the poison well of blood red ink. I may etch the first symbols of war in stone. Or it might be you. You, the one who spills the first words of battle, the one who cries the first notes of rancor. The peace will erupt in smoke and ash. The hurt will start anew. It always does.