Every story is a story and every happening is a happening and everybody gets fudge if they behave properly.
Been watching with one eye the last few days how the divisiveness I alluded to a few weeks ago is rearing up like a horse in front of a brush fire. Been listening with my ear to the trees and hearing the murmur of Holiday Cheer and the whomp-whomp of the giant food processor blades a-comin’. Can you feel it, too? Can you taste the air changing? Can you smell the sweat and the old gum on soles and the old sad on tongues?
So much chatter-talk about movements and factions and genres and ad revenue and corporate fuckery and big business buggery, just flapping in the wind of commerce and art and fuck-all. I just want to do this, man. I just want to string words into words that lead to more words that hopefully—in some masochistic and not-so-sad way—untie the big knot in my heart and help me reach a higher plane. Not just for me, but for everyone who kindly deals with me, kindly allows me to soak up their glow, kindly hugs and kindly shrugs.
I don’t give half a fuck what genre you work within. Can you write a cogent sentence? Can you show me where your heart is hiding? Can you stop telling me how superior you feel you are for one goddamn minute? Can you stop analyzing every last puff of smoke and just look at the smoke and smile?
When was the last time you sat down on the floor like a kid with a coloring book and just lost time and had fun and did it and felt like your chakras opened up and your sex felt alive and you just wanted nothing more in that moment to have a friend with you—even an imaginary one, for fuck’s sake—to share it all, to share it all?
It always starts around Halloween, this feeling welling up inside of my guts and making the rest of my body aware of the creep that has started to uncoil, the slow march into the sad of it all. By the time Thanksgiving hits, body full of comfort food and starch, the creep has become a cloak surrounding my heart and my actions and my intentions. It stays until after the New Year, hovering and darkening everything I do, everything I feel, everything I wish I could still feel, everything I wish I could do, to you, to me, to everyone I meet.
My father’s ghost is around. This is when he arrives. This is when, in 2005, I dropped everything to take care of him on his last ride. This is when we made peace without making peace and I burned every other fucking bridge I’d ever tagged. This is when he was high on morphine I was giving him and he talked about invisible cats and The Weather Channel and how he’d dreamed that Phil Mickelson was his real son and I was an imposter and he wanted me to call Phil Mickelson and thank him for the flowers. This is when I would crush up Ativan and put it in his wife’s coffee, to slow her roll and stop her from climbing into his dying lap while drunk and asking him things like “Since your son is a Jew, can you tell me if he gets to go to Heaven?” or “Who will take care of me and pay the rent when you die, Terry?” This is when I was so desperate for human touch—any human touch—that I put two hundred smackeroos on a bar in Santa Fe and told the bartendress she could have the money if she would allow me the briefness of making out with me and holding me or allowing me to put my mouth on her breasts in the walk-in cooler, only to have her boss, my stepbrother’s partner, throw me out of the bar into the cold. This is when I scoured Craigslist for anyone looking for a Casual Encounter in a fifty mile radius of Santa Fe, only to come up as dry as my heart was becoming watching my father die in front of me. This is when I told a former lover on the phone to put the business end of a .45 into her mouth and eat lunch. This is when. This is when. This, is when.
And now is here.
When my birthday gets here, that is the day. That is when his ghost passed through me—7:07PM Mountain Standard Time—and that is when everything about the person I am now was born and came to be and will forever be. When that day comes everything will shift, with the rest of the days until the New Year a fog of misheard quiet things, of series of stray wants and needs, one loping ejaculation of sad, staining everyone and everything.
[I realize now, right now, as I type this, that I want to ejaculate for you, and maybe that is why I write, to show off the stream of possible lives, of possible stains, of possible me, of possible us.]
Earlier today I was sitting in a café by myself waiting for a good friend to arrive and I was dreaming. I was dreaming about Jack Gilbert, and the things he must have chosen not to put down on paper, the filtering system he must have had. I was dreaming about Jack Gilbert and how beautifully he had aged before he died. How the lines in his brow were deep and strong, much like his lines and images. I think the reason why I dreamed these things is because, as the sad of this time of year goes, my father’s brother, my Uncle Jimmy, sent me a brief email, in which he said the following—
I hope this finds you well. We are living in Florida for
18 months now just south of Daytona Beach. Weather and climate is just
cleaner than NYC. We are 200 yards from intercoastal waterway and 5
miles to ocean. Not overcrowded our community has 700 units most
retirees. I sent my picture to remind you as I get older what it looks
like for me to get older.
Be well. Best. Love. Uncle Jim
I stared at this photo for a long time this morning, trying to see myself in my Uncle Jimmy, trying to find our shared genetic coding, trying to look deep into his face and see what lines may form on my own, what sadness of his is mine, what sadness of mine is his. He took my father’s death very hard. I tried to spend time with him after, but all he wanted to talk about was my father’s terrible wife and all of the drama, when all I wanted were good and just stories about my father as a young man, so I could forget that father he was and learn about the boy he was. This same thing echoed in every relationship with every member of my blood family until I could take no more. This is where the fracture of family becomes a cross, becomes something to drown oneself in substance, in sex, in wandering.
I abandoned my blood family.
Nobody abandoned me.
I did this.
My father’s ghost is here with me in this room right now. Probably laughing at me, maybe feeling a little sad that I, too, cannot get along with blood, or maybe he is patiently waiting for me to stop writing, so he can watch whatever porn I click on when I am done with this.
Every morning I am anointing myself with Holy oil. Every morning I am waiting.
written, is a bold man.