Friday, January 16, 2015

Prologue to Long Ago

A Prologue
            My only resolution for last year was to survive. I did that, barely. And I had help. Not from a lot of people, but a few, people who mean a lot to me and even when we are absent from each other, their presence is still with me. A presence that can’t be seen, smelled or touched. Yet it can be felt, not physically, but emotionally. Over the course of the past twelve months there have been times I’ve either been numb from exhaustion or have ignored the gentle tugs of hope they offer because of my hardheaded nature.
            However, against all my own self destructive nature, I came out a better person at the end of the year than when I began. Which is all any of us could ask for, strive for and hope for. Basically, looking back, my survival has been a gift and a miracle. As is most of our survival seems to be.
            This year, as I’ve stated in previous blogs, I plan on slowing down. Not to the point where I will actually stop and smell the roses, but I will at least be able to see that they are there. Blooming, growing and existing in my life and yours. To me, that is about all I can do right now. All that I can expect from myself and all that anyone should expect from me.
            And now, on with the show…
            Jimmy, Karen, Al, Brian, Bobby, Rhonda, Brian, Roger, Cindy, Lisa, Mark, Dennis, Glenn, Peter, Paul, the other Paul, Terry, George, Doug, Mike and so many more names fill my mind with brief glimpses of joy, sorrow, laughter and pain. Memories of never ending days and even longer nights spent talking in half empty basements, berthing compartments, picnic benches and swimming pools. Or running from cops because of some sort of mischievous prank on some unsuspecting neighbor’s house, car or personal property. In some cases, tender moments of bare emotion where shared pains help form a bond that to me, has lasted to this day. In other cases, just the inability to escape the 569 foot long and 108 foot wide haze grey, twin screw, twin rudder island of death where escape from reality was in the form of dice, paper and imagination was the only reprieve available.
            Odd how this works. Ya know? How in the moment of your past, while you’re sitting there, laughing, crying, drinking, or just chatting and not really paying attention to what is going on around you, inside your brain a synapse fires off and all of a sudden a memory is formed that will be with you until the day you die. A memory you won’t think of or even recall for countless years to come.
            Then, one day, when you’re sitting at your desk, a lunch table, walking down a street, listening to a song on the radio or even just lying in bed… BAM! Some odd memory from your past smacks you upside the head with not just a simple memory, but something more complex. Smells, sounds, colors and even temperatures overcome your body and mind. You find yourself transported back in time to the moment the memory was created and all you can do is stand on the sidelines and watch your younger self act like a total idiot. No manner of hectic actions you take as your modern self will allow you to change what happened in your past. You are just an observer and your brain has become a slave to the electrical firing of the memory.
            Yeah, I know I’ve written about this sort of thing in the past but right now, at this time of the year in particular, I find it hard not to think of old friends of days long past. Seriously, as the song says “days of long ago”. Okay, you probably don’t know what song I’m referring to. Why? Because I wrote the interpreted lyrics. I’m talking about “Auld Lang Syne” and in case you don’t know “Auld lang syne” translated is “Of long ago”. The preceding word is “days”.
            At the end of every year, thoughts like this fill my brain as I’m sure they do your brain as well. After all, we aren’t that much different from each other are we? We all get dressed the same, sort of, we eat the same food… pretty much, we work at jobs we either love or hate and we are all just trying to figure out how the world works and exactly where and how we fit together in the grand scheme of our lives that seem to have ripple effects through space and time.
            If you are one of the few folks out there who don’t reflect upon the past year(s) of your life when the new year draws close then this blog is not for you and you may not understand exactly what I’m talking about. Or, maybe you do, you just don’t know it. But one day you will. At least I hope you do.
            For now, I’m content to sit on my porch, at my desk or just take a pleasant walk in the brisk winter air, enjoy a cigar and immerse myself in the past, all the while, making new memories of being surrounded by people I love, like and enjoy for the rest of my life.

            Have a great week.

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