It’s always something. A word, a phase, a song. Maybe a springtime breeze, the smell of a dog, the look in a boy’s face. Always. A time of year, a season, a boat, a board, maybe a tool, a pair of overalls. A baseball cap, a broken promise. A boy and a girl, and old lady and her man. Always something. Maybe a car, the new Mustang, an old Fox body. A smooth muffler, a broken Dakota, or a long body Ranger, white and straight. A blackened motorcycle, or a happy child on TV. The ocean rough with fury. Always flowing, coming on, going back. Raising higher, dropping lower. Taking back, giving up, beating down and raising up. It’s something. The sun rising, the full moon on the horizon of an Easter morning. Easter, with it’s promises of resurrection, kids with Easter eggs, adults with coffee. 18-year old’s dying, “I blame the parents,” someone stupid says. Something to make them feel better. Something of no help, no truth, no good.
One lives, one dies. Where’s the fairness. Where’s the love? Where’s the explanation? Another time, another place. Waiting for eternity, waiting I sit. Sometimes moving, moving backwards, sometimes sitting, moving forward. Waiting I sit with the memories, the reminders, of love shared, love lost, and love left unsaid, unhugged, waiting to be felt in the middle of the night when maybe a baby is born, or an old person dies. Calls that come, calls that dread, calls that bind.
If it’s not something, it’s nothing. The nothing people don’t say. Stupid people who don’t know what to say, thinking there must be something when there is nothing so say it say nothing. Just don’t pretend it’s something. Real nothing is hiding behind rehearsed lines, reading from the page, putting the verbiage as a barrier likes friendly books, they sound real, they speak truth, but they are dead. They died when the tree dropped, they died when machines mashed them into pulp and putting black type on them didn’t bring them back to life. It just filled the space.
It’s the nothing that hurts. The nothing that doesn’t try doesn’t listen. Says it cares but because there’s nothing to say, nothing is done. Busy raising the money, busy beating the drum, busy crafting the picture, the word, the poetry. Too busy to listen. Too tired to stop. To familiar to change. It’s not a rut they’re in, it’s a damn cavern, blacked out, never to see the sun, walking deeper down, walking with their back to the sun, further they drop into their world, further they escape the feeling of others.
It’s the nothing I see in the straight strength, the solemn word, the stoic stand. Oh God so glad I am not them, never was, not for a time, but just a moment. I tried it on, I slipped in the long trousers, and tripped in the longer boots. The cuffs they covered my calloused hands, the tie, choked my breath, the collar cut my view. But the shirt, it held me together, it didn’t breathe but neither did I.
Who sees the persecuted, who whets their lip, who comforts their bruised heel? Who winces from their pain then asks for more? Who is their to lift their cross, to flower their path, to bury their pain? From whence do the come. From the body? The stranger? The wrinkled or the alabaster skin? Yea from all of them, from those who I least expect, from those who I discounted—and even from them.
You know who I speak—them. Them that out there we know are there but we don’t know. Them that are wrong—them that bring us so much pain—them that we are sure are going to hell. Them that we know nothing of. Them at the bottom of the class. The unknowable’s. Them that are in the dark, of the dark. We know—we think we know. We are the light. Yet in so much light why, why the darkness still?
Its something, isn’t it. Something that reminds us of him something said that takes us to her. Something done that drives us to our loss. We want it we need it we live by it. Together we live, together we try. Outside appreciation, outer-side ignorance, inside respect, in-sider reverence.
I live for the in-sider, I understand the inside, appreciate the outside, and shun the outer-side. Always something.