Monday, March 29, 2010

The Lunatic and The Boss

This past Friday night after I left work and picked up my daughter from her grandparents she reminded me that there was a fundraiser a radio station was holding and as it turns out one of the gentlemen I know from my church was involved in putting it together. (Also my daughter mentions to me that he will be getting a Pie to the Face.) Now that is a fundraiser in my book!

But, this is not a blog about pies or fundraisers, food, church or even radio. This is about Bruce Springsteen. I know what your thinking; "YOU JUST SAID THIS ISN'T ABOUT RADIO! LIAR!!!! THERE'S A HOLE IN THIS BLOG ALREADY!!!" to which I reply "You obviously have not read enough if that is what your thinking." Ok, first off, if you do not know who Bruce Springsteen is you can do a quick Google or Bing search on him. I'm serious, go do that I will wait here, I won't go anywhere I will be sitting here on my front porch, smoking a Gurkha and humming "The River" by Mr. Bruce Springsteen.

"I come from down in the valley
where mister when you're young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
when she was just seventeen
We'd ride out of this valley down to where the fields were green

We'd go down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we'd ride"

What? Your back? Wow, that was fast, I didn't even get to the second verse. So, I assume you now have a better understanding of "The Boss". Cool. I love his music, every time I listen to a song of his I learn more about him, his conducting style, his sense of pride, ownership, morality and his view of what is right and wrong. I have a lot of his music and by a lot I mean there are about 5 or 6 CD's of his I don't have and if you have looked him up you know he has a Metric TON of music out there recorded and released for your listening enjoyment. I have been fortunate enough to even get my hands on some "bootleg" music and I have to tell you it is amazing. I don't really know if there are any "modern" artists that can even come close to digging deep within my crusted, flaky and hardened soul and grab a hold of thoughts and emotions that have been put in a lock box, chained shut, attached to a 10,000 pound rock and dropped into the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.

Only this Mariana Trench is in my mind and inside my mind is a Lunatic that is running foot loose and fancy free with the keys to the kingdom. Which in some cases can be loads of fun and take you to crazy places filled with laughter and quick witted quips. But not so much fun when the sad little lunatic hears "Born in the USA live from New York City" It is an acoustic version of the classic 1980's Springsteen Anthem. Just hearing this song brings morose and maudlin thoughts of my childhood. The Boss's gravely voice filled with emotion and trauma break through the speakers and penetrate straight into that box that is buried within my minds Mariana Trench and those thoughts SCREAM to be set free and the key-wielding Lunatic obliges. He says "Ok, this is gonna be FUN! Lets see what Mr. Mutton Head will do with this moment of insanity. Let's see where his mind will go and what he will do with all this MESS he has locked away." You know, kind of like a kid on a sunny day with a magnifying glass and a hill of ants.

I think about Love lost and won, wars fought, won and lost, I think about my father who served in the Navy during the early days of Viet Nam, my Uncle who did one and a half tours in Nam and left parts of his flesh on a mine field there. I think about my cousin who did two tours in the middle east and left part of his mind, body and soul there. My brother in Law who is there now, fighting for his own sanity and safety with a constant worry of his wife, my sister, and his three sons. I think about the people I have hurt and can never make amends to. The friends I will never see again, the constant day to day existence we take for granted while there are other men and women out in our world fighting for things we will never understand.

And while all this "STUFF" is floating around in my mind, the rain hits the windshield of my car, the wiper blades continue their constant never ending battle of clarity while I attempt to see the brake lights of the car in front of me through the internal mist of emotion and tears that flood my mind and wishing for an internal wiper blade for my soul. Knowing all the while it will never come, that there are some things in my life, your life, every human's life on this planet that will never be wiped away, cleaned up or clarified.

I look over at my daughter in the passenger seat of my Nissan and she is dozing off to the sound of the rain. Oblivious that anything in the world could ever go wrong, be evil, hurt her. I have sheltered her, or I have tried to shelter her from all the crud this mixed up world has to offer. I try to give her security and safety so that she one day wont have to have a box in her mind and her own Mariana Trench to bury her own life's craziness in only to have it break out every now and again to play with her emotions the way a kid on Christmas day plays with their new toys only to eventually tire of them and put them under their bed for another day when they can't go outside to play due to inclement weather conditions.

When the song ends another one takes it's place, this time it's "Don't Look Back" a fitting tittle and song for my mood and I try real hard to take the Boss's advice. It ain't easy. It's hard. You have to gather up all the emotions, scars and scabs, try to piece them back together and play a game of TETRIS just to fit them back into that box. Then try and get the keys from the Lunatic that is sitting in the corner of my mind playing one handed jax. You see, the Lunatic has a death grip on those keys. He don't like to put things away. He likes chaos over order. Insanity over sanity. He has no reason for what he does. He is a complete "Reactionary" to all situations. The Lunatic enjoys strife it AMUSES him and he ADORES the attention it gives him. But I succeed. I get it all put away in time to avoid a car accident, a bridge lift and get my daughter and I to safety.

There are times after moments like this when I picture my Lunatic standing at a podium after all the madness, tears and laughter had settled down. He is answering questions about why he did what he does so well but none of those answers make any sense. I mean, c'mon, he is a freaking LUNATIC. Why should any of what he does say or do make any sense. His best answer he ever gave me was this; "Skip, I am a Lunatic, I am the part of You that is unrestrained in everything, your Love, your Madness, your Hate, your Contempt, your Passion. I AM YOU UNFETTERED! And there are times when I am going to do what needs to be done to make sure YOU don't become ME!"

I write all this on my front porch, it is a very nice front porch. There is a comfy porch swing, an American flag, a step stool, a broom and some potted plants. My front porch is big and gray. Right now it's raining here and on my computer the Boss is lamenting on "If I Should Fall Behind" with some pretty awesome back up singers. I need to go now and finish my cigar. Clarence Clemmons is blowing softly into his Sax and the Lunatic is SCREAMING to come out an play.

Stay safe one and All and know that I love each and every one of you.

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