feeding stress with chicken, smoked mozzarella and peppers baked in a roll might not be a good idea past midnight.
it tasted great, though.
buddy and maxx enjoyed it as much as i did. they get a percentage of everything i eat.
i slept well, or at least i thought i did, then i dreamed, but as i awoke things changed.
i was thrust back in time to painful moments in my life and every feeling returned crisp and freshly-renovated like a brownstone located just inside the gates of hell.
the dream was set in time – i and everyone around me were younger. it was meant to be an allegory not about people i knew but about life itself, or at least this was the perception i gleaned from it.
given the moment, the past can rear itself up and lay a serious hurt on you.
this, for the first moments of waking, had me reeling and unsure where i was.
the best way i can describe it, waking up this morning was like coming out of a blackout.
i can recall a few of these moments in my history that were just like this morning, the only difference being i couldn’t blame this morning on jack daniels or jose cuervo.
nope, not a lampshade lying on the floor anywhere near me.
not a moment wondering what i might have done wrong, who i might have done wrong TO or checking for physical scars from the night before.
just….were my brains put in a slingshot and launched to “the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension” for any particular reason other than to give me something to think about once i was able to shake the terror off?
what the fuck?
…..and of course, like with everything else i do with my grey-matter processor, i’ll work enough variables till i find either the truth or the most palatable replacement for it.
this, no doubt, is how it works for me and as far as i’m concerned the jury’s out on that and i’ll delay the proceedings till my last breathe escapes me before i get around to that answer.
procrastination isn’t a bad habit, it’s a science.
what pushed me to that baked chicken cutlet sandwich was anxiety about mortality, particularly someone else’s.
that and hunger.
the lesson i took from the post-baked-chicken-with mozzarella and fried hot peppers was this; i have as much a chance controlling my dreams as i had controlling my past, something easy enough to accept, but what begs the bigger question; how much do hopes and prayers influence the miracle-of-life game?
how much does one’s own will influence the inevitable and what exactly is the inevitable, anyway?
yeah, death and taxes indeed, but i can give offer a couple of “deviation of whens” that have occurred on my own road, where the design of logic collides with the phantasmagorical whoozits of the fates, the will of the stubborn, the no to end all no’s; not this moment, not now, maybe later, yeah ok , but absolutely not now this moment, no way, no how….and how much of that wears the electronic display of something from a holiday window on proteus-star cluster T-1563, one of many places i’m sure a proton or two of me have been to for a galactically curved moment in some sort of timeframe or other, however things might work on this plane or that……the slipping away…….the fade to dream…..
…..but whatever it is, there’s something that draws eternaplasma in the roll of the dice at the big casino.
c’mon…..c’mon baby…..c’mon….c’mon…c’mon…..c’mon, you can do it, c’mon baby, c’mon girl – c’mon………it’s the entreaty i wrote in little notes to a dear one.
it’s the whispered prayer of the gambler turning that card upward, the face close-in, peering, trying to bring home that inside straight…..said just after blowing on the dice, rattling in the the relaxed fist of the hand’s palm, the last coin dropped into the one-armed bandit, c’mon…c’mon… – it was my mantra for days…
it was my prayer to those things that give me hope and cause me to laugh in the dark because i know she’ll hear the same prayer in the middle of fucking, the utterance heard when the choice is between cutting the blue or green wire, when the measure is life and death, winning and losing or explosions in film or the kingdom of cum.
“c’mon, baby…c’mon…c’mon….c’mon baby…..”
of course the gift of such gray days gave me reason to go out there, in search of the big tire and a place to retreat……and as i walked the beach and dunes, i said those words with each step, “c’mon-baby, c’mon-baby…..” and so on and on, almost dispassionately, trying to get the words to synch with my breath, heartbeat and steps…sharon mccarthy, you’d never believe it – and as i link this old note, i see that it’s a day short of a year ago since i wrote it.
ain’t that something?
isn’t everything something?
this, too, is something. we found the the big tire. maxx definitely regards this tire in as personal a manner as i do. if you look at where this tire is, you’ll notice it is no longer next to the rocks where i found it eighteen months (or so) ago. look at the pics from just a few notes ago.
if you look back at the strip of rocks behind it, you can see how far this tire was moved.
when i paced it off, it seemed a hundred and fifty yards.
the ocean has been busy.
the ocean can kick humanity’s ass. the news you don’t hear on the teevee is saying that the shorelines of some impoverished nations are being eaten by rising ocean levels.
oceans, as opposed to grifting lizards from mars, don’t consider taste and diet.
there are whole chunks of dunes washed away in the week or so since i was last here.
as i walked from the big tire, counting paces with my brain, my hopes continued to chant, “c’mon-baby.”
my heart continued to beat in time with them.
the ocean roared.
there wasn’t no-body no-where.
maxx ran and ran and ran.
i insisted that i would hear from her again.
we walked almost to jacob riis park, home of the largest parking lot of it’s time (5,000 parking spots) and then headed to where i could pretend i was a photographer.
the autumn colors of sleep were plenty.
and to this, i changed my mantra to “do not go gentle into that good night, baby” but only said it once or twice, owing to the degree of difficulty of working it with my heartbeat.
i looked for things to confirm the feelings i needed and i found this patch of stubborness and i went on, secure with my own sense of relentlessness;
these things ebb and flow.
on this day i was flowing.
and i marveled at the crazy dance going on up close……and all the promises i attached to it;
satisfied, i ventured further in, taking a path that would eventually lead to the old WWII gun placements. maxx was well ahead of me.
at this moment, he was the happiest dog in the universe and when i called him, he turned and headed back to me just like the happiest dog in the universe would.
i knew i was going to be in big trouble when i took this picture, but life’s a gamble, isn’t it?
i mean, that’s what this note is about, isn’t it?
i tucked in the camera just in time before the “me and maxx impact.”
i let the sky take a picture of me sprawled on my back on this path. i laughed and laughed and maxx came back and looked down on me quizzically. i continued to look up at the sky. i wondered if henry david thoreau had a dog. i wondered if her dreams were passing by up there.
i rose to my feet and called maxx over, securing his leash. i knew that ahead was a clearing with a small marsh with high reeds that maxx liked to jump into.
unfortunately it was the kind of shallow that stank you up plenty what with the mud, pond scum, algae and whatever else it is that leaves that smell of “aww-shit” in the air.
we had to go back to beach and repeatedly throw sticks and balls into the ocean that day to get the stank off him.
maxx is totally addicted to fetching. we even play it in the apartment.
but i digress.
there’s the matter of the great blue heron.
the path maxx leveled me on turned left to the small marsh pictured above.
standing quietly was a great blue heron just like the picture here;
it was so beautiful and overwhelming, i was struck stupid AND clumsy and couldn’t imagine where the camera that i keep IN MY BREAST POCKET was.
maxx moved to leap after it, but i had him close on the leash. the heron noticing the hubbub – in an easy, almost casual fashion – spread its majestic wings and lifted away from its place, not fifteen feet from where i stood.
it rose up and off toward the beach. i finally located the camera but already resigned to keep it right where it was. i tried to attach significance to this but couldn’t except to note that i was lucky to see this beautiful bird, but not so lucky in the nature photographer department.
i walked away from the day no longer having to be conscious of my prayer. it fit into the groove of the rest of the day and i returned home unemcumbered and filled with something resembling serenity, not that i’m one to know for sure what that is.