While the clothes are drying, off in the distance I can hear someone mowing their grass. I can also smell the wood from a smoker over where the fireworks will be shot tonight. Other venders and carnival games are being set up for today’s Fourth of July Celebration (in June). But I’m sitting here in my backyard with my back towards the sun. Filling my senses with all the activity going on around me.
For the past few days, I have not been at my best. The surgery my doctor recommended has left me exhausted, restless, and ready to return to my normal life. But the thing I have to remember is, is that my normal life was anything but. The dramatic weight loss and unstop digestive issues, have left me weak and lethargic. Add that to my ongoing heart and mental health issues, and it can be easily said I am a “hot mess”.
While a poor gene pool might explain most of my medical issues. The simple fact I didn’t take care myself places a good bit of the blame squarely on my own shoulders. It would be so easy to just give up on myself or at the very least patch up what I see as wrong. But Band-Aids can’t fix bullet wounds. Either can “wishing” our problems away. It takes hard work and it takes making tough decisions to fix what’s wrong.
So at the moment, I’m laying here researching and creating plans. Plans that will hopefully keep me around a little longer. For life is not meant to be just lived. It’s meant to be lived wholly and fully. Many of you may be facing the same choices, so what are you going to do? Live a so-so life, that fades into the mist. Or live your life kicking and screaming until your last breath?
Selfish. A word long absent from my vocabulary. A word long abandoned for the greater good. A word I dare not speak, for the bitterness that escapes my lips. It’s funny how certain things fall together, yet the moments are so far out of sync. For dreams that can be seen, only fade to dust, through the sheer movement of time.
Bitterness, the part of me the escapes the most. A code, a marker left behind by my forefathers. A part of myself that plants the weeds I wish I could pull up. But my tears are all but dry. For the stoic I had become to survive made damn so of that. Yet I scribble down words, I often wonder if I really mean. For the joy of what was once life, is now all out of my grasp.
Apprehension keeps everything out of reach. It paralyzes the words that should have been said. Freezes the moments I should have taken. Turning everything to servitude in an attempt to be worthy. Only to disappoint time and again the god I serve, acceptance and worthiness. Still that word, that word selfish; I dream but know I’ll never see. Draws nothing but poison from my veins.
At the moment it’s a cloudless sky. Me and Boots are near the sycamores looking for some morning shade. Physically, I’m feeling pretty decent considering how I felt the past few days. My blood sugar and blood pressure have seemed to have stabilized, while my stress levels have calmed down to a low roar. I got up early and wrote the story I posted earlier. But I be damned if I can remember what it was about now.
That’s how it usually is with most things I write. I work on them intently singularly focused. Then once it’s done it’s done. I have no magical formal I use to write most of what I write. I just go in with keyboard in hand and start typing. Finding my rhythm and inspiration, rewrite after rewrite. These things are all just part of the process. For me I’d much rather tell a story then talk about how I tell it. I’m not much on weaving fiction, but I have done it from time to time. Maybe it’s just because I don’t speak to very many people conversationally that makes my lines flowing.
Whatever the reason, I’m outside with the sun creeping up on my back. Writing basically nonsense, just more or less talking to myself. I guess the thing is, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Hiding behind filters and acronyms can only work to isolate you even more. The mask we often wear, may feel like it protects us. But for far too many they have become an excuse to hate and bully. Don’t let fear dictate who you are, open up a window and breathe the air.
Well, I’m outside underneath the sycamores again, with a can of Coke and a Slim Jim. This may not lend itself to a healthy lifestyle. But when your raised around roughnecks, factory workers, and other common folk; old habits die hard. Still, I got a little breeze blowin’ out of the Southwest. It’s hot, but not as sweaty as yesterday. I just took George back home; the construction crew have cleaned up and left. The roof and the trim look good, so hopefully my soon-to-be son-in-law got his money’s worth.
Lisa got herself a proper shower while we were there (remember we don’t have hot water). But considering the temperature is in the mid-90’s, I think I can stand a cold shower when I get home. Besides it beats taking one outside with a garden hose like our neighbor use to do back home… naked. Don’t ask me why I’m bringing up any of this shit, other than to hear myself talk. But history and tales are important to us all. It’s sad to think my grandchildren are growing not hearing one story about their great-grandmothers or grandfather’s.
We’re told to live in the present moment, the here and now, and I totally agree. But without knowing where we come from, what good is blazing a new trail without knowing where you started? I am a broken man no doubt. But without a starting point how do you know where to go? So maybe the point here is, embrace the moment, forgive the past, except your limits, and build from there. While the hair on my arms and my head goes grey, I do my best to accept to except these things. None of us are perfect but remembering who we are and where we come from; often gives us a prospective of peace.
It’s getting hard to focus anymore, I’m just starved for a little silly conversation. I’m just tired of talking about whatever ailment I have today. But after a light shower just passed through, I did rehang some laundry that hadn’t dried yet. There’s a breeze is light blowing from of the south, but it is strong enough to shoo away any gnats. I went over to the convenience store to get me and the cat Jim Slim and a fountain drink.
Lisa and I had just come back from seeing the grandyoungins. But they were far too busy in building a blanket fort to worry about us. I’d put up a picture, but my daughter would get mad for putting up another pic of her messy house. But just to hear them giggling and laughing was well worth the trip. After we left, we want to the local grocery store. Now mind you, I live in the country, 27 miles from the nearest Wal-Jacks. Yet this country store doesn’t have one bag of dry beans. I’ve had a hankering for some slow cooked baby Lima beans. Looks like my hankering for real food was crushed by a country store full of processed food. Talk about a food desert.
You know, life can be rather boring. Kitchen table issues don’t make for lots of likes or attention. We’d all rather see beautiful sunrises and beautiful lives. Well, those silly conversation I have with my father-in-law each Sunday, are a beautiful life. Don’t take for granted what your everyday life can teach you. About the dreams you have or maybe even lost. Right now, it’s raining hard again. The clothes are back off the line and that wishful dream of being in the sun. Well, it’s been put up for another boring day.
Knowing good and well onions in any form are not good for my belly. I still made oven fried onion rings anyway for supper. For which I paid a dear price in pain and discomfort. Have you ever found yourself doing shit like that, knowing good and well it’s no good for you? It can be as innocent as buying that 64oz fountain drink you really didn’t need. Or something as tragic as falling in love over and over again with the same toxic personality. I admit, I’m a blooming idiot when it comes to such things.
My bad choices have caused me and my family hardships. Never one to take the safe route, I’d spill from one awkward situation to the next. Thinking that this time things will finally go my way. My older daughters would often wait for the next “shoe to drop”, when any decision was ever made by me. It’s probably why they don’t trust me much now anyway and why I don’t really blame them. But there are times even in my “godless life”, where faith is required to save the day.
I suppose you could call these things mere predictable, that at some point the odds work in your favor. You could say that only a small percentage of goodness is granted by compassion and even a smaller portion given through destiny. However, when it happens, it happens. Too many times in my life unexpected miracles have occurred. The point is to be aware of your own stupidity. Never forget to forgive yourself and to make amends with those you wrong. I won’t ever stop making mistakes, that’s for damn sure. But my life doesn’t have to be a tragic story, if I don’t let it.
All post written by
FD Thornton, Jr
All Rights Reserved.