Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Takin' a trip down Memory Lane

Thus, am I
Stream-of-consciousness blather because, after all, I have been encouraged by the validation afforded by Facebook Friends, buoyed by mood enhancers, and held aloft by a general sense of health and happiness. In spite of one or two embarrassing moral slip-ups that resulted in my looking like a fool.

It ain't like it hadn't happened before. Once or twice. Heh.

Hell, if I was going to worry about that, about every time I had made a fool of myself, I'd have long ago laced up the hiking boots, strapped on a backpack and just walked up some river (it's always a river, for some reason) to see if I might find some isolated earthly paradise away from people. Just like brother Noah from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. It would be too painful, otherwise.

Maybe that's what it means to leave youth behind. World's no longer at your feet, you know? So, why pretend that it is? From time to time, life is going to punch you out. Happens to everybody. Roll with it, baby! Because the world's going to keep on going, for sure. You look back on pictures from 20 years earlier and say "Damn! I was a good-lookin' kid and I didn't even know it." And when the day comes that you can look at your younger self as a not-necessarily-innocent-but-at least-well-intentioned young man... well, it's official... you've crested the ridge.

Hope to have a good long stretch of trail on the downhill side, too, though. Lord knows, the ascent has been spectacular.

Tonight, for whatever reason, I remember the loves that came before.

I had an Irish girlfriend for a short while... after my divorce. Dark-haired beauty, complete with Black Irish freckles and eyes that sparkled --sparkled like the sun coming off the water, and I don't care if it is a cliché. But she was running from something. Running, running, running. I'm glad that she slowed down enough to walk with me for a little while.

And, of course, Tormented Enchantress, who was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. And liked the music I liked. And laughed at Woody Allen and read good books. And our ministrations to each other, not just those ecstatic pleasures that for a time kept us afloat, but also those thoughts we tried to share --when they weren't accusatory or hurtful or fraught with traps and tests, they were poems written by poets trapped on a doomed vessel. That one hurt.

Or she who roiled and bucked like a thunderhead that comes storming in off the Pacific. All the fury of a lightning-struck heart. Impatient with the God she had known in her childhood. In that time, I was angry, too. We raised our fists together. We struggled mightily, trying to prove to each other and ourselves that we would not be subdued. Not even by the whole mad world. When she came, I believe I knew that it wouldn't take her long. Not as long as it would take me. Sure enough, sooner than I would have liked, she had pushed on past. I waved at her back.

Still smilin'
Loved them each and no regrets for nothin'. Every day I spent crying fades to shadow when I think about those rare moments that were so perfect we were afraid to believe in them:

Sun on the waves at Oswald West State Park, just the two of us and the dog.

Hugging each other like kids at Christmas as we contemplated the prospect of our new home.

Laughing giddily over the embers of the white-hot fire we had only just quelled.

Can't post photos. It wouldn't be right. But if any of them ever read this, they'll know.


Ridwan said...

A great post brother. Was rolling along with you and putting my names to the demons and joys you describe.

Life and love can be hard sometimes but looking back it is "better to have loved ... lost" ..

Just wish that I knew this then.

Thank you writing so honestly!


J. Kevin James said...

As usual...wonderful post, Dade! You're in a good place when you can flip back to the pages of your past and discover a fondness for the journey...despite the hills and valleys!

P.S. The Word Verification for my comment was "aging"...seems appropriate for this post ;-)

Anonymous said...

O.k seriously when does your book come out, because I need a new good read.......I didn't want your Blog to end........

Anonymous said...

Hey Dade ok I am still trying to figure this whole posting comments...apparently I'm the anonymous one......Dora Tuza

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are a wonderful writer Dade. Very very nice.

-Brian Menke