Some people live. Some people don’t.
Or, as Bukowski once wrote, “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
I happen to agree with this.
I happen to believe that in spite of myself and in spite of our craziness; in spite of the calluses and the tough layers of skin which you and I have had to develop over the years; there is a special tenderness that has developed between us.
I can’t deny this.
I believe that life is never happenstance.
Life happens to all of us.
Yes, it does. Or one could say life happens for us.
I suppose this depends upon your point of view.
Life happens every day.
We wake up. We live and we learn. If we’re lucky, we can make some waves.
We can shake up the world.
If we’re lucky, we can do things and see things.
We can taste things and experience moments that are otherwise unforgettable.
Dare I say it, we can sin and we can laugh. We can dance up a storm and be wild as ever.
It’s all just a choice.
I will say that yes, I have gone crazy.
I will say that yes, I have left a wake behind me.
I have left a trail. I have left behind the tell-tale signs that I have lived as hard and as fast as humanly possible.
My grooves and indentations are no different from my fingerprints on a crime scene; only, I am neither guilty nor innocent.
Instead – I was only part of a system in which, at some point, I gave myself a wild ride.
I can say that even in the times when life was down – or should I say that when I was down or in my worst places or circumstances; in the darkest of my life, somehow, I was able to find and magnify the reflection of light.
I might have fallen. I might have seen the inside of terrible places and experienced terrible things.
Yet, somehow, I’m still here – with you.
Hence, this is a sign of my survival of unnecessary things that took place during unnecessary moments.
But hey, that was then.
I have told you this many times.
And, I will tell you this again.
I have built this loft in my mind. I have built this little room which is where I am now – with you.
I am speaking to you as I type. This is my voice.
I hope you can hear me.
I am telling you everything because, in fairness and with all the honesty I can muster, this is the only way I can reach you.
This is my way of expressing myself.
This is how I reach through the membranes of my existing limitations.
This is how I break the boundaries.
This is how I escape the invisible prisons of the mind, which are the bars and the doors and the unseeable divisions that have kept me apart or separated throughout my entire life.
I come here for this.
And it’s safe too.
Here . . .
It’s safe to tell you about the sounds I’ve heard and the sights I have seen.
I can literally detail anything to you here and nothing can hurt either one of us.
I love this.
Either way, some people live. Some people fail to try.
Some people never give in and some people never begin.
And me, I have been all of the above.
I have come to the understanding that in spite of myself or in spite of my best efforts, I have survived.
No differently from you –
I have made it this far for a reason. Like that saying goes, I didn’t come this far just to come this far.
I have more to do.
I have more to see.
I want to try more things.
I want to taste more.
I want to reacquaint myself with this idea we call desire.
But more, I want to rekindle the fire and the light of my youth to refurbish my youthfulness.
I want to come to the point where I am not just young.
I am youthful and unafraid.
I am somehow untouchable yet I am traceable by the feel from your fingertips and noticeable to the eye because, by you, I want to be seen, heard and enjoyed.
I want to be more than antifragile.
I want to be more than just robust. I want to be unphased by my stressors.
I want to be unmoved by risk or complications.
I want to be free from intimidation because at one point in my life, I believed this could be so.
I know that although the time was short, I know that somewhere in my history was a time before.
There was a time before the worry. There was a time before status and the levels of cool popularities.
There was a time before the introductions of shame or embarrassment.
There was something before the doubt or the discomforts of unsureness.
I say this because there was a time before this which is when there was only truth.
I want to reintroduce myself to the time when it was safe to believe in life by the means of “happily ever after.”
I am not asking for the fairy tales or to fly or to have supersonic or superhuman powers.
Yet, I am asking for this because, to be clear, at one point we believed that we could jump higher and run faster with the right sneakers.
We believed in the man on the moon and the green cheese, which is what the moon was made of.
We thought that we can do more and be more because we believed.
And some people – well, some people never had this in their history.
Some people have never dared or tried or ever thought about the fantasies which only serve to make us smile.
I was thinking last night about the wildness of my youth. While I never glorify or transpose the craziness of my young life; still, even in light of the damages and the breakages, there is something about what I have survived and done.
There was something about my rebellion and the revolutionary wars that took place within my own mind.
There is something about my scars and imperfections as well as a truth behind my self-inflicted wounds.
There is nothing glorious about the crimes or the sins or the battles that transpired.
Not at all.
At the time though or while I was in the mix, there was glory behind my crazy mutinies.
There was something to be proud of because I refused to conform.
I’d take the pain before accepting the blame.
I refused to submit and whether I caught a bolt of lightning and the touch burned my hand; I refused to let go because of all things that I’ve always wanted to feel – I’ve always wanted to feel alive –
Last night I was thinking out loud.
I was thinking about the craziness of my moments in the villain’s light.
In no unspoken terms, I was one of the town’s knuckleheads or the court’s jester.
I was one of the refused. I was long haired and wild.
I was one of the kids from the neighborhood.
Sure, I was in the paper. I was in the paper a few times and not for anything spectacular, at least not back then.
I am a person who experienced a relatable life and committed regrettable acts. I regret nothing now because, at last, I can say that where I am is a result of where I’ve been.
None of this is due to happenstance.
Nothing is by chance.
No, I have been put here before you for a reason.
If this reason is to be helpful, so be it.
If my reason for being here is to allow someone a different view of life, so be it.
If my purpose is to help you avoid a pitfall or a landmine, I will take my position and fulfill this to the best of my ability.
But more, if somehow I can make you laugh or smile or think and feel, then this will be my most special achievement.
I do not condone what I have done nor do I promote what I went through to be “cool,” or at least, this is not what it means to be cool.
If there is such a thing.
To be clear, the word cool has come and gone and changed in more ways than I can count.
I don’t know what it means to be cool.
At least, not in anyone else’s eyes; nor do I need to be cool, nor do I care (as much), nor do I have the need to sit in the cool section of the cafeteria.
No, that part of me is gone now.
I am no more like I was or less like me in the face of my yesterday.
I am still me. Of course, I am me because who else could I be?
I am still the same flesh and bone yet I am new.
I have changed a thousand times over.
I am new in a physical sense.
I have also changed at a cellular level, replenished as I’ve grown. Over the years, I might have become unrecognizable to some people.
But I am still me . . .
(Or so I think.)
Then again, we all go through our bouts with the “out of sight and out of mind” ideas.
Either way, I say we never forget the people from our youth.
At least not me, I remember –
And this is meaningful.
This is as meaningful as you are to me – because first, I love you and secondly, I value you enough to want you to know everything about me.
I say this because you are more than a part of me; you are my protector.
I know it.
I remember listening to the quiet soft melodies like the ones from 1985 when I began to listen to The Pink Floyd.
This is when music became my replacement.
Music was able to offer me anthems of glory.
Or, music was the sound of my rebellions, like screaming riots that yelled about teenage angst.
This allowed a passage for my outrage that was outwardly and openly aggressive.
This was the blood on the razor’s edge!
I could bleed and heal. I could seek and destroy; and more, I was still young and fresh for the fight which meant that I could go through wars and not have to worry about the consequence of a night with no sleep.
I could do anything . . .
There, standing, sometimes swirling, often red-eyed and misguided by the wild highs of tiny stamps that brought on the wealth of inestimable visions, I endured vivid hallucinations and hallucinogens that took me on the rails of the lunatic express.
This was a freight train of madness – alive and wild in technicolor visions that were kaleidoscope by nature.
Oh, and the sights, the crazy sounds of sirens, bells and whistles, screaming laughter, and other frantic reactions that blared in my ears like madcaps in madhouses, or the deranged insanities in loony-bins, or the voluntary schizophrenics who self-induced, took one too many and found themselves tranced-like by the view of a psychedelic explosions.
This was part of me too.
I was that kid.
I saw nothing so angelic or phantom-like or anything stranger than fiction. But what I saw was certainly brought on by the chemical reaction of something called Lysergic Acid Diethylamide/
LSD. To me, this meant a few tabs brought on as a moderate poison to achieve an insurmountable high.
I took one dose for the wildness, another for the madness and one more to act as the coup de grâce – to bring on the unstoppable laughs that lasted for hours.
I know what this must sound like; as if this were so haunting that even crazies wondered if this is too bizarre.
Which it was. Demented as ever – I was too far gone while listening to Pete’s radio in the middle of a place that was otherwise unbecoming of a natural tour.
We were in a graveyard, of all places . . .
As for the radio, which had been on for quite some time, the night moved in different stages of color and madness.
The music went this way too.
But me, I had the same cigarette in my lips for at least a half hour.
But too high, I kept forgetting to light the damned thing.
Instead, I laughed each time I went to take a drag – and then I’d laugh some more after forgetting to light my cigarette again, and then I laughed once more, as if the joke is still new –
Wild though, trippy, and too psychedelic to compare to anything else.
My hands unraveled. My mind expanded and hours passed like a color of purple haze.
My eyes were crazy. All of us looked like this, beaming-eyed in the wild little mind of lunatics.
And that was us.
We were lunatics who chose to dare the trip of a lifetime in an old graveyard behind the old church on East Meadow Avenue – which without question, this is a night that I fail to remember yet this is a night that I never forgot.
This is all recalled and finally, the night led into morning, deep in November, cold as ever.
There was frost on the ground to lace the lawns of houses that made up the streets of my crazy little town –
Dawn, the rising sun, my eyes still red from a final joint that had been passed around in a circle – like a ritual.
This was us being young, or wild, or so high that while the world went around us, no one cared about anything but the laughing clouds and Lucy in the sky…..
I had music to walk me home.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, to be exact . . .
I don’t condone this.
I just understand it.
Like Charlie once said –
I didn’t come to you for the answers.
You came to me.
I know why . . .
I know everything.
I know why the queen wears her red hat.
Well, maybe not exactly –
But I do know my share
And now . . .
So do you.
“I don’t condone this.
I just understand it.”
I have recently spilled a lot of virtual ink on this very same, same subject, but nearly as eloquently as have you.