So much happens in the tiny pockets of our memory. Trees grow here with roots that bury deep within and sprout in the fields of our dreams. And dreams? Yes, I have them. As a matter of fact, I am thankful for each and every dream I have.
Today is Thanksgiving, November 25, 2021. The temperature outside is 31 degrees. The dawn is just about to break and the early light is changing the color of the sky. It is still dark and quiet and from what I hear, the weather is supposed to be partly cloudy, which is fine with me.
You can call me crazy, but I appreciate a day with gray clouds in the late autumn scene. It’s not sad nor tragic. It’s just a reminder from the great Mother Earth who says “Relax.” And I plan to.
Relax, I mean.
It is Monday now, but only for now. As a matter of fact, give it a moment and the time will quickly turn into something else. And this is true. Time is always moving. The days and nights are always changing. And so are we.
Soon enough, our side of the world will begin to cool and frost will cover the grass. Soon enough, the streets of New York City will decorate itself with holiday spirit—and to us who’ve survived the pandemic; we hope this year will be better than the last.
The mornings were different when I was younger. The night was over and still, the smells of the places and the bars and the late night venues was still on our clothes. I was different then. So was the way I lived and so was the group of my friends.
I can remember beating the night until the sunrise came and then spilling on the street with an idea that sounded like, “Wow, the sun’s coming up.” We were young and we didn’t care. We didn’t know what we were going to do with ourselves. We had no ideas about a pension or a 401K. There was no talking about our future or future plans because let’s be honest, the future was for old people—and the term old is certainly relative. I mean, hell, back when I was turning the age and taking in the scenes, I can remember people at the night spots who were clearly out of their 20’s and deep in their 30’s and thinking, “Who let the old people in?”
By the end of the binge, there was nothing left. There was nothing left of me or my money. My pockets were as empty as my stomach, which had been making sounds for quite some time. I was strung out and pale. My jaw was clenched and my nerves were frayed like the tattered end of a rope. This of course was the chemical reaction to the substances in my bloodstream, yet, there was nothing left of me but the absence of the substance. Everything was gone. I was surrounded by tiny empty vials and little tinfoil packages. I was hidden away from the world and still hearing the paranoid phantoms that whispered to me.
“Try this,” they told me.
“This’ll help you.”
“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”
This is something my Mother would type when testing a new typewriter. I was too young to know much about a book called The Early History of The Typewriter. I was certainly too young to know anything about Charles E. Weller. He’s the one who wrote this first. There were other things that Mom could have typed. For example, Mom could have typed “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog,” and this would have incorporated each letter of the alphabet. But no. Mom chose to write, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of our country.”
I always liked this. . .
We sat together in a room on Christmas morning. We talked about our favorite meals and our favorite memories from back when we were young. And we laughed for a while.
We laughed about our childhood memories and the way it was to be a kid on Christmas morning. We talked about the presents and the way things change from action figures to a new bike (or something like that).
We spoke to one another the way regular people speak. There was no hierarchy, no pecking order, just a roomful of men who wished to be elsewhere. But due to the circumstance, for the moment, this was all that we had.
There was a little aluminum rowboat in the rear, northwest corner of the backyard at my childhood home. I suppose the year was somewhere around 1976 or 77. I was very young and of course, I was a little boy in need of attention. However, there was this small dream of mine. I would play with this dream play pretend for hours, outside in my backyard, during the cold New York winter months. To put a picture to this, my home was somewhat typical for the neighborhood. My town was like any other suburban town in Long Island. I was the youngest in my house with a brother who was six years my senior, which meant he seldom had time to play with me.
It’s crazy to think how we are more than 93 million miles away from the sun, and yet, we still feel the heat. It’s crazy to think about our distance from the sun or how long it takes to revolve around it. And then there’s Mars, which is even farther away. It’s cold on Mars. Then again, Mars is about 141 million miles away from the sun. So, it’s pretty safe to say that winter’s on Mars must be a bitch.
Space is interesting to me. And I don’t mean space as in outer space. No, I mean the space between time and distance. I mean the way we feel, which, no matter how far we are or no matter how long it’s been, still, we can feel the warmth of someone we love.
There are so many things that I haven’t seen. There are so many places I haven’t been to and things I haven’t done. But I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m ready, Mom.
I’m looking to experience, smell, touch, taste and see new things. I swear that I’m ready this time. I think age can be a problem — not to be too young or too old, but either can be the culprit of why we cease or desist. I think this is a mindset. You know?
I think this has to do with the way we see things. I think this has to do with our fears, our concerns, our wants and needs. I think what holds us back the most are obstacles in the mind. It’s our thoughts. It’s our ideas and our worries that the worst will come true.
It rains today. The sky is gray and the morning is quiet. The streets are wet and the blacktop on the street in front of my home is sort of glistening beneath the morning light. The white lines on the side of the road and the double-yellow lines down the center are a stretch down the country road where I live. Spring has sprung so the trees are exceptionally green where I live now, which is up in the mountains but not too far from the streets of New York City. I’m just over a bridge now and farther north. There is something peaceful about this morning. The grayness and the rain is fitting and comforting and yet, this is sad as well. Perhaps this is an acknowledgement of what this day means. Maybe Mother Earth knows. Maybe this is why she rains sometimes because she weeps too.