Friday, August 28, 2015

Getting off work

Tonight, after getting off work and having one of those 'Fuck it, I'm through with this shit!' episodes (pardon my French), I decided that it was time for one of my epic walks. It took a couple of false starts to get going, but I finally wound up out there at that big white water tank near the loop by going down the road close to were Leah used to live. There's some kind of UNT property out there, up north by the loop. A library, or something. You know where I'm talking about. Discovery Park! That's it.


So I wound up out there. I dunno why. I guess I had it in my mind to traverse, cross country, from this suburban development and on through the creeks and weeds and coyotes, emerging onto Hercules. Yeah. That's a real road, and that was my plan. Oh. Because I've done it before. Hercules leads to Sherman, and Sherman leads to Kroger.

Yeah. That was it, the plan... but guess what? I didn't do that. Tonight just wasn't the night I was hoping or wishing it would be, I guess. So I just came back the same way I went, and that's how my adventure ended... like a whoopee cushion sound. I did have it in my mind, however, to use up one of my saving throws to make some French toast when I got back to my compartment, so thusly rejuvenated, I decided to splurge my sudden excess of mood and take a slight detour to visit a thing I kind of liked.

It really wasn't much of a detour; just a different way to go. There's this house near the North Park area that reminds me of the one I lived in when I was a kid. Every time I walk by that place at night, the windows are glowing blue from the TV inside, and there's an old beater in the yard, with toys scattered all around. Familiar signs of life, you know. Like when I was a kid. Good, bad, ugly... I dunno. Probably all three. Signs of life.

Tonight, when I walked by that place, there weren't any lights on at all, and the windows were boarded up with solid pieces of plywood. That place had obviously been shut right down, hard. Reminded me of the old family homestead in Omaha, the way it was right before somebody burnt it down, hard.

I was a little bit flabbergasted with disappointment. I had wanted to see the life there. I just kind've expected it to be there, and it wasn't, so what I did when I discovered it like that, about twenty minutes ago, boarded up and shut down, was I stood there, gripping a stop sign, and I leaned against it, and I even started to cry - it don't take much to make me cry nowadays - and said, over and over, I dunno how many times... "This ain't right. This ain't right. This ain't right. This ain't right. This ain't right..."

Ain't that a helluva thing to confess at 3:47 AM? And to top off the whole gaudy mess, well... shee-it. There's three dwarf horses, not fifteen feet away from me, right this second! Three DWARF HORSES!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

That place

How to know everybody on the planet? How to share in or at least acknowledge all of those existences? All of those individual hopes, angers, loves, jealousies, sadnesses, joys, revelations, disappointments, epiphanies, lies, dreams, disillusionments of antidisestablishmentarianism, plus all of those other vague failures, victories, coming-uppences, doubts, faiths, beautiful deeds of altruism, and heartless deeds of cruelty which can't help but to contain fewer letters?

How can I ever know what motivates the hearts of the people behind all of these secret doors on all of these public streets? And that's only here in Denton. How can I ever know that any of it is real? If any of these concerns have a toehold in any kind of reality? I only have my own determined belief to go on... that 7 billion people, give or take, are alive right now and at the same time as I am.

Ok, moving on.

I'm at a place that I come to every once in a while. A couple of times a year. It's this seemingly abandoned nursing home which lies at the bottom of a natural (or maybe it's unnatural. Heck, I dunno) tendency of downwardness from the road... about 15 feet down a 40 some-odd degree slope. You can stand on the sidewalk and look down at it. It's kind of a steep hill that goes down for a while, and then there it is. An abandoned nursing home is what it looks like. Down there, at the bottom.

It seems to be in fairly decent order, except that there are never any lights shining in the windows, or any cars in the parking lot, or any signs of human habitation whatsoever. The cracks in the concrete have only just started to grow weeds, but it's looked like that for the past couple of years... like it's in a perpetual but very short-term state of neglect.

I'm looking at it right now, right this minute as I'm saying this, at a moment in your present which, at this very second.. or from your point of view, that very second... describes(ed) the permanently frozen past, from where I am/was/have been yakking this to you.

From here, in the dim scattered light, it looks almost normal, except for being so deserted. Several times I have imagined myself looking down there to that abandoned place. I've watched myself waking down to it and going inside, into dusty and empty rooms where old people eked out a few meager last moments before they died. People with entire lives connected to them, like box cars on a freight train hundreds of years long, extending into the unbroken and diminishing past and containing everything any of them and all of them ever felt, and all painted the same unrecognizable color.

I've seen myself wandering through that place as if I were in a dream, gathering clues to all the lives that ever gave that place a purpose... from the people who imagined it before it was real, to the people who paid for it to be made into a real thing, to the people who worked to build it and make it real, to the people who worked there as janitors and care givers and bookkeepers, to the people who visited friends and family there, to the people who lived there, and to the people who died there. And to the people who decided that it needed to be shut down. And to the ghosts.

All of that which I just described... all of it, if you were to take it and mix it together in a pot and cook it into this homogenous substance that you could slurp down, or let seep in or absorb in some otherwise unknown but effective way, would contain the essence of the dream feeling that I've gone up and down and hither and yon about for years now.