Man, the coffee is just hitting a little differently today. It’s in the low sixties here in North Texsa but the humidity is high as Hell! Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but our two-year-old air conditioning unit decided to peter out on us this week. December. Texas. Blah.
To be quite honest, I’m supposed to be dead by now. The master plan was to find a small apartment in Queens, NY back in 2019, write my ass off, and drink myself into an early grave. I intentionally planned to live the literary dream and finish myself off in the most cowardly way imaginable. Depression is a bitch, especially when you’re a creative soul.
The bottom line is that I’m not a fan of pain, although I was determined to get a head start on the process and poison myself from the inside out. At least Thompson had the guts to pull the trigger, right? I was well on my way down the path of Kerouac when my sweet Samantha pulled me from my self-made river of shame.
The two of us built a life together fifty miles from my comfort zone aka my hometown and nothing has been the same since. I knew I would never truly be successful as an artist if I didn’t do the deed but getting away was the best choice I ever made. You’ll never be famous in your own hometown, the singers all say, but fame is highly overrated. You can’t be everything you ever wanted to be in your dreams as long as you’re confined to your roots, unless, of course, you’re one of those families who have all the dark secrets, and it was all conveniently handed to you by those who came before in similar fashion. Yes, that’s a long fucking sentence but it needed to be said in such a way as to invoke the power of its message.
Some of the greatest writers in the world lived and died in New York City and my intoxicated wish was to be one of them. Love had come to be an unnecessary part of my life and I was just waiting for my youngest to blaze his own path before initiating the trek. This is what it’s genuinely like to be one of the creative types. You’ll always be obsessed with thoughts of your demise and what your mark will be on this Earth when your body fades away into obscurity.
I was fooling myself.
Love is necessary to be creative. Not necessarily the love of another but loving yourself and loving your craft. If you do manage to obtain the love of another, it just makes the transition so much easier. Now, I don’t mean physical love on track to fill some kind of sex quota, but actual, emotional, and unconditional love from someone who sees you for the person you truly are. Only then do you realize how much life is worth living. Sadly, some never find this.
Go ahead and laugh, but I’m in the middle of my fourth, and hopefully final, marriage. I went through wastelands with three others, but it was a learning tool to discover the type of love I didn’t want to take to my grave. Heartache, sacrifice, and lost friendships litter the path I’ve blazed from the womb, but all that means nothing if you refuse to glance back over your shoulder. Sure, it’s ok to recall upon the memories, even fondly from time to time, but keep your eye on the goal before you.
As the great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson said: Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride!”
He’s partially right. Not once does he mention the person sitting in the passenger seat. You cannot drive this crazy train alone. A co-pilot is necessary for all things worth enjoying. Some people reach out to religion. Others prefer to self medicate. I’ve tried both, and nothing compares to the glow of a soulmate’s essence, mutually feeding one another through this opaque darkness known as the human experience.
The dead know nothing, and the living overthink. The veil seems to thin a bit with that first sip of greatness. The juices flow, the highways of the mind find their rhythm, and the sights and sounds of the world fade away into meaningless obscurity. I’m not sure where I’m going with this one today, but I couldn’t help thinking someone on my reader list needed to see this. Perhaps I’m wrong, though. Just perhaps I needed to see it again written out before my own eyes. A reminder of all things which have come to pass, and the potentially treacherous pathway ahead. Nothing lasts forever except the stone advertising your name, and even that will eventually weather, erasing traces of us all.
You better hope the person you came to be still travels upon the tongues of those left behind. I would much rather them smile fondly upon my delusional accomplishments instead of my highly publicized, cliched, and poetic final curtain. Waking daily to satisfied wishes rather than woeful walls. The city cares not for your blood. After a while, it all tastes the same. Do the best you can do with the tools provided, but always know there’s more. If not, steal the tools of those too stupid to lock the box. They’d do it to you. Guaranteed.