Archive for strength

Don’t Forget, Boy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by JC

Tuck stopped. The hills rolled with no end in sight before and behind him. He’d been moving twelve hours and now the sun was about down. He didn’t care. He’d wittingly gone a path he couldn’t replicate and tried his best to ignore the sun all the way. He struggled to forget the date. How old am I? I know but no matter. To be free was to be lost now.

He was unfettered,  scrapped by the foreman–the formidable foreman who always stopped for  who? what? where? when? why? how?–hours ago. The only thing was: what now? Immediately, that is.  He was tired, but restless. His brain buzzed bzz bzz like the caricature of a dying television and his body promised “I’ll give out shortly!” in its ineffable ways. He naturally sat down Indian style in a trough between two crests and fished for an apple. Even a timeless man acts like he wants to live.

No apples left. Jerky–dried, salted umami–did fine.

First reading lesson at age four, out on the creaking-eeking porch: couldn’t make sense of the symbols on the page but he saw their beauty and wanted to know the rest. Grandpa lowly rumbled as he moved his finger across the page. “The fox, f-o-x, jumped over the fence.” said it, sung it,  tapped it with gravity. He picked it up quickly and deeply, and respected it because he respected beauty and he respected grandpa. Ma and pa were proud. Grandpa was so proud of and confident in the boy he fantasized about beating the hell out of him for it. He reckoned Tuck would take it at first like a child, ow ah stop, and then like a stone, a silent, stoic stone who knew what happened was right and reasonable. The boy was ready for a real education, having mastered letters. But the old man never really thrashed him. Ma and pa wouldn’t have sanctioned it.

Grandpa respected people insofar as they could handle the vicissitudes, the abuses of life. Must have been that frequent ah shit, that “Ohp, no corn this year; weather didn’t allow,” that kept him on the balls of his ass, his life. A lifetime of manual labor had rendered the elder’s hands raw at first and then rugged. Love, loss, and onward was just callous following abrasion. Hardening by abuse—life’s flames looming, swarming, testing, burning the fat, moving on—was tried-and-true; he suspected his son’s tender approach, flame retarding in his view, would foment nothing to write home about. Nonetheless, he respected his son and daughter-in-law for going through life and resumed a semblance of the parenting they’d started. He knew Tuck would encounter abuse organically but, sensing the boy’s precocity, grandpa yearned to share what he knew without delay so they could be men together; he didn’t have much time left, he thought, and he wanted to know this man. Restraint here, holding those hands back, would be the last iteration of grandpa’s method.

Dried, dead, nourishing flesh reminded Tuck that at seven death called when the farm’s failure was imminent; accustomed to multi-day fasts, he knew too well the processes wasting him now. Grandpa told him “Don’t waste this and don’t forget this.”  Tuck reluctantly internalized the old man’s old sentiment. His next meal was his best up to then. It was like that.

Still dully hungry, Tuck wrapped the leftovers in the tattered cloth grandpa had left for him and put it away. Seated still, he straightened his back and closed his eyes. The aural buzz, the bodily crying, softened and then stopped, along with his hunger.

He went on, stuffed with wisdom and just enough just-fine jerky.

The Pinnacle of My Current Self

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by JC

The day I forget the subjectively proclaimed tragedies I’ve suffered is the day I lose my impetus, my fire, my soul. The day I forget the passions associated with those tragedies, those events that were inconvenient and upsetting in their own time, is the day I lose this, this ever-giving gift, the blood of passion that bleeds, bleeds, bleeds from pen, fingers, mouth, body, onto paper, digital substitutes, into the air, onto, into or in other relation with sweet-smelling, straight-talking, fine things that think the same of me and bleed similarly.

The day I lose the sometimes infuriating, sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes comical, sometimes contemptible, sometimes emotionally vacuous memory of myself as a boy, a lovestruck once-future, then-present, and now-past cuckold, and the similarly volatile memory of the then-wicked, then-selfish, then-confused, then-irresistible, then-in-my-mind-deified girl who made it so, is the day I lose the perspective I’m so proud of today, the day I lose the attachment to and love of me I now possess and rely upon, and it is the day I lose the ability to make do with only that, to anchor my state of mind by the weight of that alone.

I can take on anything, ANYTHING, as long as my passion bleeds for or against it, whatever the case should be. I have my failures, my sufferings, my detractors, my supporters, my lovers, my acquaintances, my friends, my family, my training, my mentors, and the random but unmistakably human, living, feeling, learning eyes and ears and brains I meet anywhere to thank for how I burn today and for how I’m positioned and poised and ready for the next poppage of passion accumulated that will no doubt occur, the next shedding of an underdeveloped self that will no doubt occur.

I love life. I love failure. I love the small tastes of success I’ve had and, at least as much, I love the reminders that they’re fleeting, that I must continue to succeed, to try, and I must live and fall in and out of love and suffer in order to keep moving toward better passion, more complete self-love, more complete love of all, and of someone in particular.

I love; thereby and therefore I burn. I fuck; thereby and therefore I burn. I touch; thereby and therefore I burn. I hurt; thereby and therefore I burn. I write; thereby and therefore I burn. I read; thereby and therefore I burn. I learn; thereby and therefore I burn. I converse; thereby and therefore I burn. I connect; thereby and therefore I burn. I run; thereby and therefore I burn. I lift; thereby and therefore I burn. I see; thereby and therefore I burn.

I know I am because I burn, and I know I burn because of this and other outpourings of stuff one can only call scintillating interactions of humanity and experience. I can’t imagine better points to know or better chains of conditionality to make them so.

When I burn, and only then, I am the pinnacle of my current self, the pinnacle of my example of humanity.