"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

22 April 2014

Here to Go

From back before they became a sellout band, and hearkening back to those badlands nights when we would burn fuel for want of anything better to do. Contextually, given the divergent paths our lives have all taken, it fits...

There is green amongst the grass and the tulip bulbs are popping up along the east side of the house. We were finally able to get into the back folly and reacquired my bicycle from its long winter's nap. I rode a few laps around town before going on walkabout. Muscles I'd not used since autumn for riding made themselves known. So it goes.

It is a given there's still snow. Mountains. Meteorological prophecy foretells of upcoming dustings, and perhaps one last major storm before it's all said and done. Mei fei tsu. The weather's the weather, and it's here until it goes. I sometimes apply that mantra to myself, and you'd be amazed how much brain damage it's saved me.

Out on the trail, I encountered a young lady who said it felt so wonderful to be outside. I accepted this salutation with a smirk and inclination of my head. Flippantly, I could've asked when isn't a good time to be outside-no bad weather, just the wrong clothes-but I thought better of it. I slogged through some knee-deep drifts and followed running water upstream. There was a ruin at the end of my rainbow, one I'd not seen before. A good way to spend a late morning and early afternoon.


I have burned bridges. Sometimes, it's quite accidental; life happens, orbits and taos drift apart, I'm sorry and I hope you are too. There have been others, in which I have been vicious about it. To the point of napalm-why fuck about? The auspice of going in the general direction of away. Here until I go. High school, and some of the years shortly thereafter being grand examples of said viciousness.

You can imagine my surprise when my phone rang from my daughter. Between her schooling and our respective lives, we don't talk nearly as much as we'd like. She sends me a text if she's coming up the hill. With a hearty swig of afternoon tea I picked up, anticipating the worst.

A friend from high school, one whom had tried to get my x-wife in bed before she decided the lithe-as in emaciated-guy with long hair was a much better way to piss off her suburban Catholic parents, was trying to find me. It was important, not nostalgic shit people use social media for. This involved another friend of ours. The same one who, a week before our ten year reunion, I told I graduated high school so I'd never have to go fucking back there again.

Have I ever mentioned the look someone gets in their eyes when they've been broken? It is another story.

Madness, or that sense of savage curiosity, which has gotten me into all kinds of trouble or been the stuff of grand adventures in the past, seized me and I dialed the alien number my daughter gave. Seeing as I was speaking to a ghost from my past, perhaps an ojai board would've been more appropriate.

I got this long gone friend straight away. We played a slight amount of ketchup, but neither of us were there for foreplay. The other friend, the youngest of the three of us, has been sentenced to cancer. The primary site is the esophagus, but it has metastasized to his liver and lungs.

Fucking perfect...

I have played these games before. Both professionally and personally. He is going to die. It is not going to be pleasant. There might be grand efforts made and glimmers of a fool's hope, but, when it comes down to brass tacks and bedposts, it's not if, it's when. He's only here until he goes.

And so it goes...

The friend and I chatted a bit more. Names were mentioned and a few memories ruminated. We said our farewells with that hollow promise of keeping in touch. Whether a lie or truth is a roll of the bones. Here and now, I question whether or not I'll ever learn how it all goes down. I question whether my curiosity will seize me, and, with a metaphoric ojai board, I will make an effort to speak to this other ghost of my past before he is swallowed by oblivion.


  1. Oddly, given my previous life, I've not had a friend die of a illness except the husband of a friend who went at 23 from a MI. But I've had several die of trauma, wonder if they'd like to have had a few moments to chat before the dark.

    My adult kids and I are in frequent contact, we all seem to like it. Mostly it's news about their life, rants about politics and the world.

    You've said in the past you have no time for thoughts of death, can't say it's a frequent topic for me either, but I wonder if I have warning of the sort a diagnosis of metastatic CA, I'll also want to touch bases with my past also. Guess I'll wait and see.

    Back to MT tomorrow, where the faux spring always has unexpected treats.

    1. It was suggested that this news brings up the trite cliché of living to the fullest because you never know when the number's up. I also couldn't help but wonder if this was some twisted way of truly cutting the fetters from that time. That's the way it has worked when I've put some other folks in the ground.

  2. While my childhood was full of death, my adulthood has been surprisingly clear of it. Not sure how I'll feel when the people who knew me as a teenager, as a young adult, call to tell me that they are leaving...


    1. I've not seen or spoken to this cat in twelve or thirteen years now, and still, when I was told, there was this mix of being gobsmacked and numbness.