This was a day that I planned to do very little. I have done it. I’ve done very little.
The baseball game is on the television and the beer is on the desk. I am at the desk. I will write and see how it goes. Or how it doesn’t. It’s an adventure.
I’ve never been good at managing time. I’m either incredibly conservative or incredibly liberal. There’s no middle ground. I’m either too early or too late. It never fails.
This morning I had a few things on my list to check off but I ran out of time. Everything is being left for another day because getting enough sleep went atop the checklist while I was asleep.
As this is a post about time management it is pertinent to know that I should be showering and readying for work right now and yet I’m typing away on this post.
As I said, I’ve never been good at time management.
My mother refused to allow me near fireworks. It sucked because everyone I knew could be near them and light them. I begged and begged but she wouldn’t budge. That was until July 4, 1979.
My mother came home that night with a bag full of skyrockets. Like fifty in a plastic shopping bag. “Surprise!”
I grabbed the bag out of her hand and headed towards the door. “Where are you going? We’re going to light them up here.”
I didn’t think that was such a good idea but, you know, she was my mom and the most adult out of the two of us so I bit. “How are we going to do it here?”
She opened the living room window in our eighth floor apartment and said, ‘This is where!”
So there we were mother and son shooting skyrockets out of our window on a warn July 4th evening. She lit every single one of them. I was only allowed to hand them to her.
Then something went wrong. I handed her a skyrocket, she lit the thing and when she let it go, it tangled into our living room drapes and started popping all over again. The drape were on fire.
Several sparks managed to catch the bag with the rest of the skyrockets and they lighted and took off in our living room. My mother grabbed me and ran towards the adjacent kitchen hoping the carnage would soon end. Once the popping mostly subsided, she ran into the living room with a large pot filled with water to douse the flames.
That was the last time I had dealings with fireworks.
I always have this feeling of desperation. I want to tell you everything. I wish I could tell you everything all at once and have it make sense but that’s impossible. I tell you so very little and I’m afraid that I’m shooting myself in the foot when I do.
I love you. You know this. In my heart I want to do everything in my power to be with you. Everything in my mind too. But doing everything in my power must include a contingency plan if being with me is not what you want. It’s all wrapped up in a sack like the kind you take to a camping trip.
This is a very important part of love; the ability to let the love of your life go on without you. I can do this. I know I can. It might kill my insides. It might rot my heart until it is soft and brown like the mud made by an incessant rain.
When I was in school there was a student who always showed us his bruises. We thought, “How does one so young manage to bruise so much and so easily?”
He’d raise his sleeve sto show us the ones on his arms. He would raise his pant legs to show us the ones on his legs too. He never bruised in places that were easily accessible: always on the arms or on the legs.
But there were no bruises. He would roll up his sleeves or pant legs, point to his “bruise” and say, “Ouch! Boy does that hurt!”
“But there’s nothing there.” He would ignore us, roll down his sleeves or pant legs and say, ‘ouch’ again. For dramatic effect, I suppose.
A few years later at the age of seventeen, his parents bought him a black moped. It was the beginning of summer so he rode it everyday. Even though it made more sense to walk to the corner store he’d ride his black moped there anyway.
A few weeks later, a taxi hit him from behind and dragged him for a half block. It was enough to bruise and cut him. We saw those. We even say the broken bones jetting out of his summer clothes. He died three days later.
We attended the viewing, his former classmates: the ones who could not see the bruises. We all took turns walking up to the casket to pay our respects. I looked into his peaceful face. There was no evidence of the trauma that carried him to this end.
There were no bruises just like when we were kids.
I slept about an hour last night. I never could sleep when I knew I was traveling the next day. It didn’t matter how I was traveling either. The simple task of “traveling” fills me with great anxiety.
The more I travel by air the more paranoid I get that my government is watching me. I didn’t feel like that pre-9/11. I bet most people didn’t. In my last few travels by aircraft I have only received TSA pre-check screening once. In my humble opinion I’ve traveled enough this last year to warrant being shuttled into the secured area with much grandeur much like Prince Fucking Charles.
Alas, I am always shuttled about with all the commoners.
I’ve recently begun to travel. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner but at the age of forty-five I am finally ready to embrace the world around me by visiting all sorts of places.
Alas, the reality is I only travel about a thousand miles south a few months at a time to visit my kids. I am weary of driving these days so this chore involves me reserving a place seat and renting a car. Not a whole lot of traveling going on, I’m afraid. Although I did go to Australia a little over a year ago. Just for a “few days.”
Everyone who knew I was going for a “few days” thought I was nuts. I wasn’t nuts. Best trip I ever took and will probably remain that way for the rest of my life.
The best trips always involve love.