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Originally from: batesville, ar
Currently residing in: fayetteville, arkansas
I've been on arkansasrockers since May 13, 2004
Last updated on Mar 3, 2020 at 11:44PM

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In General

How did it get so late so soon?














It’s night before it’s afternoon.

December is here before it’s June.

My goodness how the time has flewn.











How did it get so late so soon?


Dr Seuss


Thank you Justin.

- - - - - -

My grandmother died after Christmas while I was away. She was 91. Today we had an intimate memorial service for her.

While I was traveling, far away from everything geographically, her death hardly seemed to penetrate my mind. In fact, the day after I found out, we toured around Stockholm and I remember being unusually chatty and positive and energetic that day. Now that I think about that, it may have been that the day “had to” go well for me unconsciously

Feeling guilty for not visiting her enough. Feeling guilty that I miss having her in the world because she loved me. I’m afraid, in a way, at having someone removed from my life who knew my life from the time it began. I feel less known, and so less real, and there’s a frightening feeling of myself fading too, as she has faded entirely.

At the memorial I was overwhelmed.

In daily life, a person is mundane. They are only what they are in a given moment, and your picture of them is changing in real time, moment to moment, and so you are fixed in the present. Tempted to focus on and discuss only the mundane. It would require some kind of conversational skill you don’t have to turn the topic to, say, spirituality. Or what it was like being a kid during the Depression.

She is standing in the kitchen, chopping lettuce, her wrist in a cast, only her immediate self, and the only things to be addressed are those immediately before us; how are you healing? Can I help with dinner? Hey, I remember this pepper grinder. What-all medications do you take?

But at a memorial service, intended to reflect upon and honor your entire life, I’m overwhelmed. You are, all at once, everything you ever were, to everybody we both knew. And, cruelly, paradoxically, this is when I wish the hardest that I could see you and talk to you and ask you things. I feel so certain, sitting there in the pew, that I could connect if only you were here just this one last afternoon.

And you are—another paradox— the life of this party. I want to talk to you in part because everyone here wants to talk to you. Having to wait my turn, and in the anticipation having extra time to form exactly what I wanted to say to you.

It occurs to me I’ll miss the luxury of being able to be perturbed with you. You seem sanctified and idealized today, at your memorial service, so already even your memory has been compromised and diminished. I miss, already, the comfort of being able to be a little miffed at you, at something incisive and critical, or outright mean, you said to me; to be able to leave the room you’re in and avoid you for a while, forget about you—feeling confident I could return and we could start over again, never even tell you I was angry. But today I just have to sit here and take it on the chin, that thing you said to me. Because starting today, I can nevermore be mad at you for something so insignificant, especially since now you can’t even apologize, and I feel pity for you being removed of all your options. The it strikes me hard again, that you’re not even here. How can I feel sorry for you if you’re not even here? That doesn’t make any sense.

Afterwards, coffee or liquor? Neither, I guess. Both sounded okay, but neither felt necessary. Just a boring lunch with all the family at a boring restaurant, with iced tea. It has to be boring. Nobody cares about going someplace decent. The sun has to come in clear and harsh at a low angle, through impossibly clean windows, and you have to sit and look at a sandwich on a pristine white plate, and you stir your iced tea with one of those long spoons.

I hate being alive for a few seconds, then realize I’m only luxuriating in the comfort of the idea of not being alive, and this is actually part of what I love about being alive. With that, I’m grateful for being alive. I feel a rush of love for everyone around me. I need a nap. I need a beer or a coffee. Or I need to walk the dogs and feel sunshine or something. I put my arm around my son. I’m grateful for being alive. I’m grateful my son is here. I’m grateful to be able to sit and be so bored, in this ordinary place. 

I’m mad at everyone in the world, especially the people in the restaurant, who are starting to come in now that it’s the lunch hour. Someone is chewing food and talking as he walks around the salad bar loading a plate. I feel fragile and petty and mean, but determined not to pursue those thoughts let alone let them show. I know I must look sad and tired, but nobody has to know about the anger.


Goddamn melancholy.





Tonight I’ve been in the garage, finishing wood, listening to classic rock, with kind of a bitter attitude. I do keep a list I call "Tolerable Classic Rock Songs," and when one comes on the radio I go find my notebook and add that one tolerable song. So, the mind is never idle. So, life is a constant, applied, dedicated education.

It’s an objectively beautiful evening. Get away from the work, take a walk around back to the dark side of the house to take a piss, look up at the cottony nimbus floating past the gold moon. Drink an entire Coors Banquet in one gulp. Sigh, shiver, then breathe deep, then pay close attention. Tonight’s atmosphere is a warm, still womb. Lay your palm flat against the sky, the shifting threadbare quilt of clouds, the moon illuminates the threadbare parts, the old shirt and dress patterns, behind the bunched boles beneath your fingertips.

The crickets and grasshoppers are all out tonight, but the mosquitoes and moths and junebugs have gone away. I work under a bright shoplight, and the bugs get stuck in my hair all summer long, investigate my ears.  I come inside late at night, lie down to read, and they come crawling out to find the lamp light.  Delicate pale-green lacewing. Tiny hard little nameless harmless beetles, gone by morning.



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