I HAVE NO illusions of immortality. Superman is stuff of comic books and I don’t want to be the pallbearer to the Lois Lane(s) of my lifetime. Pain can be endured, grief is unbearable. I want my children to live a full life. Let them be my pallbearers for children are supposed to bury their fathers. I have no visions of grandeur. I count my blessings no matter how small. I count my friends. I keep tab of the number of knives I have sticking out the small of my back. Luckily there are very few.
I am thankful for the years I managed to coast along (not soared, but barely coasted along) no matter how harsh some of them have been. I can still crack a smile knowing that the kings of the world are for leviathan sunken ships, and here I am, standing with my grim-weathered face, a skipper of my tiny fishing trawler through rough stormy seas. My life experiences have mellowed me, humbled me. The fiery rage had tapered down to glowing cinders. Piercing screams stifled to a whisper. I have long bid goodbye to the youthful idealism I have nurtured once, not for loss of hope but for better appreciation of realities. I regard lofty goals with measured pragmatism and view failures and desperation with robust prospects.
I see myself in music. Somebody told me that I am a rap symphony. Move the horn section aside and make room for Snoop Dog and the boom boxes. I am fucking Ludwig van Beethoven in over-sized shirt. Wear the blings and let the curls down to please the homies. Let The Chairman of the Board and King Cole toss and turn. Leave them be. This is my time and I’ve got to keep my rhythm.
But all I ever wanted is a passing glance. I convince myself that I exist in my own nondescript way while the world went on in its damn big hurry. I take time to stop. I grab every conceivable opportunity to take a respite and admire the mellow shade of sky. Then I can dream of a forgotten world of poetry and prose, of silence and its eloquence and then crash back to earth with a sickening thud and bask in my insignificance.
I am but a Zippo spark in a multitude of darkness. Let me flicker in my own little realm for, as in life, stars that burn twice as bright only shine half as long. I seek hope and faith and love, but mostly the last. Because in this rapidly-changing world, where all will soon be lost, love will be the last to go.
Today I look back and reflect at all the cards I have been dealt with thus far. And although, sometimes, I pray that somebody re-shuffles my sorry deck, I still thank God. A perpetual trio of aces isn’t bad at all.
(pretzel on the block)