Thursday, June 28, 2007
A few days ago an incident happened to me which set off feelings within me that had not been aroused in a good while. Two dickhead type cops showed up in my yard for no apparent reason other than harassment. They wanted to know about my dogs. "Are these all your dogs?" "Do you have any more?" I start to explain that, actually none of them are truly MY dogs, except maybe Momma the black and tan hound who has lived here for a couple years now.
Momma had come out of the trailer and was just standing at the edge of the porch. Cop says, "Get hold of that dog!" and I hold her collar. "Uncle Bob" with the pit bull head, who took up here maybe three or four weeks ago, went walking out in the yard, casually looked at the cops and wagged his tail. Cop yells, "Get that dog!" I say, "He's fine, he's way over there, I can't reach him and he's not interested in you." Sandy, the tall very bony white dog, mother of the four sisters I have, is walking across the yard minding her own business, paying no attention at all to cops and cop yells again, "Restrain that dog, I don't wanna have to shoot 'em", and his hand rests on the gun butt on his belt, and my eyes start to glaze, and time starts to slow down, and I'm flashing back to '05 I think it was, when I found myself standing in the middle of a Lagrange street staring down a cop's gun barrel, and wanting to manually rip him into a hundred pieces so bad I could taste the sweetness of it, because he had physically assaulted me for no reason, and....
I say to cops, "What the hell do you want from me, man, these dogs are not bothering anyone, and I can't restrain three dogs all over the yard at once, and there would be no problem if you just get the fuck away from me!"
Grudgingly they got in the cars and got on the road. Sandy, as usual, starts to chase the cars but she runs, not in the road, but on the bank, and "Uncle Bob" joins her and they're barking and the two numbnuts cops stop dead still, sitting there in their cars, with both lanes of the road blocked, and are yelling at me on the PA, "Sir! You have to restrain your dogs! Keep 'em on your property, there's a leash law here!" and all I can think to do is just let Momma go and go back inside.
My insides are boiling. The sanctity and privacy of my home has been broken, I have been violated, yet again, by true asshole members of the world's largest gang. Finally, they went on and that was the end of it. But not really.
I usually have a delayed reaction to stuff like that. There's incredible rage, feeling of utter impotence, primal urge to mangle and rip, and when this cannot be sated, finally morphs into very deep depression and the deep numbing pain of injustice; of being abused.
The depression drove me to seek solace, as I often do, in sad songs; the kind that usually say kind of what you feel but don't have words for right now. I cried because I have no pictures of me before a couple of years ago, as if I only came to be on this planet fairly recently, but really I've been here nearly half a century and have seen things and know things that simultaneously make me want to retch and make me glad I saw them and know them.
When I am assaulted in this way, and driven to this depression, because there is nothing at all I can really do about it otherwise, there is not enough Prozac/Zoloft/Xanax to make it better. I could (if I had it) take enough of something to make me pass out for a while, but I would only feel even worse later. The only recourse I have is to lose myself in the sad songs, cry until I am hoarse and aching, tell it somewhere like here, and try to find a metaphorical hole to hide in for a while until time has salved the pain a little and formed another scar.
The specter of my mortality placed itself in the forefront of my consciousness and there was no escaping it. I thought about how all is quite literally Dust In The Wind, and listened to Kansas do that song.
I visited some old dear friends, now dead and now dust in the wind themselves so, of course, they knew nothing of any of this... but I watched Elvis do If I Can Dream; Watched Johnny Cash do his best (and last) video ever, Hurt. Saw June's eyes watching him as he sang, "What have I become..." and I wondered that of myself; "What have I become?"
I found myself crying like I have not cried in years. I had to force myself to get away from the screen for a while, go outside, blow my nose several times, breathe deeply, smoke a cigarette... I thought it had passed... this itching achiness that threatened to drain my body of fluid through my tears. It had not.
I thought of people in my life; Melinda, Bess, Philis, Jordan, Lil, my Jimmy, my friend Sam, whose only earthly remains - if there are any - are buried somewhere on a mountain in Denver. This person whom I loved as dearly as anyone can love a friend, this person who was goofy, strange, bi-sexual, a father; this person who spent many hours sitting with me in a car or in the woods, singing together songs of the time; he who was accused, along with me, of being a HOMO SEX U AL (as the arresting Deputy put it), and arrested for it, along with me, and put in jail for it, along with me. And then at 33, his body ravaged and blackened by Kaposis Sarcoma, as a result of AIDS, he ceased to be. And here I am.
My Jimmy, who had a picture taken with me, sitting on the hood of an old Chevy in a cotton field when I was about three and he was a year and a half. My Jimmy, the son of my half sister, who was as much a brother to me as anyone could possibly have been; who worked in a saw mill with me, camped out with me, drank beer and smoked pot as we played poker with a cousin and listened to the Eagles do Hotel California, Stairway To Heaven, and the Stones on Angie with me; this man I loved died when he was 42 and I was on the road in Nashville. When Philis told me, it took an entire hour of laying in my bunk (with the AC and radio turned up full) screaming and crying at the utter, senseless loss before I could function.
Philis, the first woman to ever agree to have sex with me, to MARRY me even! when I was 20, thus saving my life, because I had already been to the point of sitting on the side of the bed with the shotgun barrel in my mouth and my toe on the trigger; the woman who took care of me and "raised" me in a sense for 26 years, and who now sits alone in a house unfit for human habitation with her cats and her diabetes and her mental problems; and here I am, wanting so much to go there, to hug her, tell her I love her, to clean up the house and make improvements for her, but I can't even visit because the only vehicle I have access to will no longer make such a trip, and even if it would, it's not mine, it's Melinda's and I wouldn't want to risk messing her up getting to work.
Bess, a poor lost soul in desperate need of love, but who never really learned how to accept it or return it properly; Bess, one of only two women I was ever truly in love with, who traveled the country in my truck, in my bunk, who took care of me on the road and in our apartment (for a short time), but who also cost me literally many thousands of dollars; the one to whom I absolutely could not say no (one symptom of the disease known as being "in love"); even when a part of my brain was screaming at me what an idiot I was; Bess, the woman that I wanted so bad that I threw up Wendy's chili all over my steering wheel while going down I-65 at 70 mph because I had a prophetic dream of her laying in bed with another guy, taking a call from me, asking for money, and then saying, "Dumb fuck" about me as she rolled over into his arms knowing I would be sending my last bit of money to her and couldn't eat myself, except for sandwiches for days until I was paid again.
Lil, the first woman besides Philis to ever offer herself to me completely and freely; the other one I fell in love with - the married black woman in New Jersey who looked like a stereotypical "lunchroom lady" from my elemetary school days; the one who STILL tells me she loves me deeply and I'm still the best love (and sex) she ever had; Lil, the one I wanted so badly that serious thoughts of murdering her hubby so I could have her (especially when she called me in Laredo and said, "You don't have to win the lottery," in response to my having told her earlier that I wished I could win the lottery so I could take care of her) began to plague my synapses until I was fortunate enough (with her help) to back off enough to gain some perspective.
Melinda, my current wife, who has many emotional and physical problems herself; the one I almost literally killed by stuffing a bedspread into her mouth because I was on the brink of breakdown from stress and she would not SHUT UP; the one who is nonetheless a good person, one who I have honestly come to love; the one who offered me a place to live after I had returned from Bess in California, and had planned to go on to Philis's in Alabama and put the gun to my head and be finally done with all the fear and pain.
Jordan, my only guy friend now; a wacked out wanna-be Christian alcoholic, but who seems to truly love me as a friend, who has been there for me many times over the years, with encouragment, with money, with a shoulder to lean on.
And so, I watch "Hurt" and I feel deeply sorry and bad for things I did that I should not have; for hurting people without meaning to. I watch "Hurt" and I feel hurt and I cry for shattered dreams and unfulfilled hopes; for dwindlling time, for the utter futility of all existence... I think of what's probably the truest thing in the Bible (hey, any genuine atheist knows this stuff backward and forward), the passage in Ecclesiastes which says:
|9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.|| (9:2-3)|
The same death comes to us all, the good and the bad alike.
|9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.|
|9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.||As long as we are alive there is hope. After that there is nothing. "A live dog is better than a dead lion."|
|9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.|
Then I have another swig of rum (that I hide from Melinda because she's trying for two years sober and I don't wanna mess her up) and cola and a Hershey's kiss and all is right with the world. Or as close as it will ever be in my lifetime.
Until next time... TRB