Day One

On the way home this evening, I felt numb. The route home was slightly different but most of it was the same. There was the drive west on 36th Street instead of 41st Street but the rest was dark and wet.

It started raining but for a while, I didn’t notice. The rain made it difficult to see through the windshield but I didn’t turn on the wipers. At some point, it clicked.

It’s raining. Better put on the windshield wipers. 

When I arrived at home, the cats were ready to play. Some of them sat and kept their distance while others approached me and made their presence abundantly known. After a few minutes, I went upstairs and settled in. My bedroom is off limits to them.

Should I turn on the TV, read or surf the internet? Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should think. Thinking is never one of the choices. It should be. Must keep thinking in mind for next time.

The nocturnal animals slosh around outside on the wet ground. It stopped raining. I don’t know. I took my anti-depressants and a sleep aid. I need to relax. I need to forget a few things.

A story for another time, perhaps?

The Impressive Wall

He built a huge wall around his house. It’s an impressive wall, a wall that people admire.

But a crime has been committed. There is a good possibility that learning about what motivated the crime is beyond his impressive wall and in his stately manor.

“Mr. Apple, could you help us gather information about this crime? All we need you to do is knock a hole in your impressive wall. We only want to enter once and we assure you no one, and we mean no one, will ever use your hole again.”

Mr. Apple looks around at his impressive wall and says, “You don’t understand. If I knock a hole into my impressive wall I won’t be able to repair it. Anyone could come in. People could walk right in and do all sorts of unsavory things. I’m not saying you will but, I don’t know, you might.”

Law enforcement looks at Mr. Apple and says, “You’re being untrusting and unreasonable. We’re the good guys. Make that fucking hole, Mr. Apple.”

Stay tuned…

Mom

Tomorrow will be the twenty-first anniversary of my mother’s passing. We were very close though we often did not see eye to eye.

Recently I’ve drawn comparisons between my mother’s life and the one I’m chugging along with. I left home around the time my mother was forty-five, the same age that I am at now. My kids moved about a year and a half ago with their mom because they’re not at the point where they can be on their own.

When I left home, my mother continued working but unbeknownst to me, she was abusing alcohol. I know now that she was very lonely and there was pain, a pain that I’ve not been able to put my finger on. She lost several siblings before she died and perhaps the losses weighed more heavily on her than I imagined.

For the last four years of her life, she lived alone. I know that she watched lots of TV and read the daily newspapers without fail. After she had read the papers she would doodle on them. I have a few of the newspapers she left behind to this day.

I think of the times when I’m alone and at my loneliest and I think of her. It’s painful as fuck to be alone. And when I say alone, I mean without friends or family nearby. I’m saying that if I dropped dead right now no one would notice until I didn’t show up for my next workday. I understand her pain more today than I ever did.

I know now that my mother chose a slow and painful road to death. I say chose because I think she made a conscious effort to give up. It was one of those choices you make that you’re too embarrassed to share with another person. You just continue on a destructive path until its over.

Sadly, she lost the opportunity to see me grow into a middle-aged dude. I’m gray, my hair is receding and I am at the beginning stages of arthritis. She would have gotten a kick out of all that. She lost the opportunity to see her grandchildren grow up. Two are in adulthood and two are at the cusp of it.

To that end, I noticed some people on my dash voicing their despair. Most of them have children and families. If you are in pain, seek help. Don’t deprive yourself of the good and exciting things that lie ahead, both for your family and yourself.

In the last year or so, I’ve lost my ability to drink myself to oblivion. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened. I just woke up one day and stopped drinking myself to death. There would have to be a monumental turn in my wellness for me to die at the forty-nine as she did.

That monumental turn has three years to go. Give it your best shot.

Once Upon A Time

I’ve always wanted to write a story that began with “Once upon a time.”

There has never been a story that started with “Once upon a time” that hasn’t grabbed me. What will happen, I always ask myself?

And with that I am whisked away, like an old man’s hat being carried off by the wind. Like the hat, I have no idea where I’ll wind up but I’m sure to be a changed man once I arrive there.

On America

Yesterday was John Lennon Day in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed it and that was that.

The proclamation recognized the fortieth anniversary of the United States government’s dropping of its deportation case against Lennon. This paved the way for him to receive his permanent residence. He received his green card in 1976. He was set to become a US citizen in 1981 but his assassination in 1980 ended his quest.

I’m not a big “America, rah-rah” kind of guy. I don’t think I ever was. That’s why when I read of John Lennon’s quest for citizenship it intrigues me. This was not a man who came from an overly oppressive country. He had his reasons for wanting to stay.

I, on the other hand, can take it or leave it. There are clearly countries on this planet that do things far better or far worse than America. It’s not a contest to determine who the best is but some Americans think it is. I’m not one of them.

Ultimately, I can see myself leaving America for extended periods of time. Or for good. I can’t see myself missing it much either though some people disagree. I see myself settling in somewhere in the center of Adelaide, South Australia or in a flat somewhere in London. Maybe Auckland, New Zealand or somewhere closer like Toronto, Canada.

The world is a big place, bigger than America.