Justin Stone's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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Location: missouri, el paso

The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lighthouse Orbits the Moon
(Memorial Day)

Hi, friends. Mom. I hope the barbeque was good today, the weather fair. I hope your crazy second-cousin, the one with the absurd cowlick and the brown tooth, I hope he fired his contraband bottle rockets into the sky, far away from all precious eyeballs. I hope the fields were not too dry. If you were down at the track gambling, I hope the fix was in. If you were in the car driving, I hope the road unspooled before you like the perfect cast, and that arriving at your destination was like then landing a plump, speckled salmon. I hope your feet are now up, your belly full, the conversation good. It would be really awesome if you were having a singalong, some folk standards or hymns or what have you. I am a huge fan of Shenandoah. Just an idea.

I stand before you with an embarrassed grin. I am not sure what to do with my hands and my feet are suddenly very itchy. I wanna look at them. Shake them. Maybe take them off. Awkward. And there's some kind of smell all of a sudden? It is burning up in here. Positively dirt street blues.

Best if I just cut to the point.

Recent days have found me digging through the archives of my writing, the old works and cast-off freaks. There were a staggering number of journals I have been reluctant to revisit, but for the sake of both obsessive compulsion and honest personal accounting, I had to do it. Going in to this task, let me say that my expectations were low.

But that they could have been lower.

I guess many of us are familiar with how clumsy can be our attempts during adolescence and early adulthood to be a decent, involved human person. Hell, even beyond early adulthood, it is nigh impossible to constantly keep a sure footing or soft, confident hands in the world of the standing and the holding of things. Moreso, if you are one of these nutcases concerned at all with expressing yourself, telling stories or writing songs or such, and you have even the tiniest ability to be self critical, you are used to the clanging racket of everything falling apart, things being dropped, pianos you were playing tumbling out windows, your body pitching headfirst down stairwells, etc. I would even say a certain kind of mental disorder is necessary if one is to keep trying, year after year, to put thoughts into words, fashion ideas, tell pictures.

That said, I found some rambling disasters in these old books, friends. Many, many of them. Faulty observations unnumbered. One excruciating attempt at "deep" introspection after another. Asides that so wanted to be clever, wanted to run longlegged right up to you and kiss you full on the lips, but that ought to have been taken out behind the barn and put down. Deformed literary experiments. Mangled metaphors. That is just for starters. The major offenses are the ceaseless gimcrack justifications for outlandish behavior, the noble, self-righteous affectation, the self-flattery. All dry-mouthed and cracked. There is no way I can ever take back these words. My gawds and baubles, the letters I sent! Far worse, and the reason I write to you now, there is no way I can take back my concurrent actions in the actual world of the living over this same period. Our world. Yours and mine. I cannot say at this moment that I ever even had an idea who you were. I cannot believe that nobody has ever kicked my ass. It is breathtaking. The urge must have been overwhelming. Why have you not punched me in my big, smart face? Knocked me to the ground? Crumpled me into a little ball? There must be dozens of you lying in wait to do just that. Believe me, I am on your side. I do not know who this egomaniacal, petty, irrational, jealous, delusional, paranoid dandypants thinks he is! The sense of self-importance is staggering. The knowing every goddamn thing. Embarrassing. Do you know how being embarrassed for somebody else is an extremely uncomfortable feeling? I do. The uncomfortable look you have been giving me all these years makes perfect sense now.

If you have had the misfortune of being personally acquainted with me in this life, in particular between the years of 1990 and, say, yesterday, then I must apologize to you. I am on my knees before you. I'm kind of blubbering, inconsolable. You may punch me in the mouth, rap me on the skull, pinch my ears. You may twist my name into scathing, run-on curses. No doubt you have such diatribes on the ready, dangling eager on your tongue. You have rehearsed them countless times, waiting for the day to just let me have it. Here I am. I'm your boy. I'm your huckleberry. I'm the trough in the men's room at Busch stadium.

I will not say that I am going to make it up to you. How could I make it up?

Know that I stand on watch.