Tuesday, May 25

A couple of my latest and greatest...

Déjà Vu

He spent the first day of forever in her arms,
Praying for better weather to weather the rainstorms he in,
Now he'll never feel her warmth again,
It's cool,
Not like OK, but like its cold and dim
She opened her heart,
He found his home within,
Hopes if he cover his ears loves song will end,
Flame was hot like a matchstick,
Now alone on his mattress,

That's when the cold comes in,
Kept the pain inside hidden from man,
Envisions his plan,
His mission is damned,
But he can't understand,
Had it good and can't have it again,
Hourglass fixed to the table,
Top run out of sand,
Fears life alone,
Like his dear old man,
Loved all but not one, got little respect,
Doubts weaken his mind so he sleeps with regret,
Repeating the same wishes silently in his den,
Not wanting to go out,
Quiet pleas to his friends,
The calls end, it's then he cries out through a pen,
As if sound reaches her heart,
It'll scream back for him,
But the already seen,
He can't see once again...


I lived free...as God seed, now I'm gone, I ask you remember me,
Pretend to be strong and reach all of your goals in my memory,
Pour out nothing, everyone close knows I was not about waste,
I lived good, made major moves, with strength, style, and grace,
Underneath the heavens was us, but now above em' is I,
I reminisce on the times as my wife wipes a tear from her eye,
And yeah, I just got my wings, but I forever been fly,
Never reached all my dreams, but the hardest I tried,
Impossible to change the picture now the artist has died,
Besides only if you notice small things would you see flaws in my life,
Some of my choices broke the rules, you would think I'm a fool,
But I crawled up out of the gutter and graduated from school,
Traveled all over the world until my passport was full,
Defined myself as a man, made my own version of cool,
All the times my cup runneth over I just reached for another,
Spent long days and nights working with no food in the cupboard,
Used to have lingering doubts till I remembered my mother,
How she used to grind while I sat watch over sister and brother,
I made it all the way, honestly, without a single regret,
Sometimes I misspoke, but meant no disrespect,
Changed my situation with time, what else you expect?
I feel like other ones in my hood fell prey to neglect,
So please don't cry for me now, celebrate my older years,
I reached success before I left, death a motivating fear,
So family take care, friends take care, be careful of haters near,
I love you all equally, and peacefully I wait for you here,

Friday, April 30

Betcha didn't know I cared....

Let me tell you a story...

In The Sunshine

There are 33 vertebrae in the human spine, and I estimate a great majority of them are out of alignment in mine. Its 6:48am on a rainy gray Tuesday, yay. The only sound I hear is a solitary bird whistling in the distance. Kind of cheers me up until I realize I have to go to work. Thanks for the effort though my friend. I live alone and on a budget, so I sleep on a “bed” that has no frame or headboard. Actually, it’s all that’s in my bedroom really. I don’t even have a nightstand or clock radio. I paid 380$ for this shoddy ultra-firm mattress, which was supposed to be the “mid-grade” model. God help the souls who opted to save a hundred bucks and go with the value padding. Hell, now that I think back I didn’t spend four hundred bucks total on my last girlfriend, but that’s another story. “Argh, I need a nightstand!” I fume silently in my head, my hands dragging along the scruffy worn office gray carpet searching for my cell phone because I know in two more minutes the distinctly acute ringing of its alarm bell will start its stinging chime once again. I hate snooze. Who pushes that anyway? I just want it to stop punishing my ears, I’ll get up. I promise.

I suppose I should tell you a little about myself, since your already scrutinizing my sleeping quarters, I guess, in essence, we are working backwards. I was a slinky nerdy Puerto Rican and Black kid who grew up in a tough low income neighborhood. My Latino father fell into the shadows of drug addiction shortly after I was born, leaving my mother struggling to make ends meet. So she did what most women do when the man doesn’t live up to expectations. She made plans to move back home with her mother in Dayton, Ohio. Sending me first, alone on a plane, with a note, some Welch’s fruit snacks (which I still love to this day), a Ziploc baggie of only black jellybeans saved from Easter, and a black Hasbro “My Buddy” doll as company, I tread the journey on my own. I was just 3 years old. A few months later my pregnant mother followed, and soon after that my sister was born. For the next decade we lived there in a Section 8 housing project called Bella Vista Estates in the heart of rough West side Dayton. To this day I have never lived in a middle class neighborhood. To this day my mother lives in the same house I grew up in. Our family rooted in the same blood stained earth where three of my friends have been murdered over the years, where I was almost hit by gunfire just sitting on the porch, and I was even stabbed coming home from school in a robbery attempt. To me it’s real life. To live any better is a blessing of fortune.
I guess my background makes me a survivor of sorts. I’ll need every survival skill I have to endure today. See, I usually have Tuesdays off. But I need more money for food. So once again my class work has to suffer. The one day I had to work on just my school work is gone. Even worse is my job is commission based, and by the looks of today I don’t think many people will be out at the oceanfront. But I tuck my doubts away and quickly put on my crisply pre-ironed shirt on. I amuse myself by wearing some of the ugliest ties I can find at thrift stores. My managers have made fun of several of them. But in a corporate sinkhole it’s hard to retain any individuality; this small gesture is all I have. I savor it too. I finish my tie in a perfect full Windsor, thank you Boy Scouts, and guzzle a quick cup of coffee and head out. If there is one saving grace to a rainy day it’s the smell. I love this smell. Its nature, wet concrete, and clean fresh air all at once. It climbs in your nostril and rests there until you appreciate it. But then, I’m quickly annoyed again because in the split second it takes me to get in my car the rain has already destroyed my creases in my sleeves. Combine that with a bit of mud that splashed on my pant leg and this ugly tie, I look down and out. Oh well, at least I like this radio show so there is hope still for a good day.
I arrive a few minutes early, thankfully enough time to get a majority of the dark stains off the Khakis I’m wearing. Dirt is really, well, dirty. I dry my pant leg with the hand dryer and rush into pre-shift feeling like my dog just died. But at least I’m on time and will be making money right? As my manager drones on about the importance of the reports we file post-shift, I stare at the slots left open in the blinds. I pick a few random rain drops and watch them travel down the glass. I watch them grow in size and pick up speed with each smaller stationary drop they seize and finally crash into the bottom of the window sill, returning all the water collected to almost original form, several small stationary drops. It makes me think of life, all of our lives. Is this how we live? Gathering knowledge and possessions, gaining understanding and friends, trying and failing, and achieving and underachieving, all for naught. For an unpredictable end in which we must embrace death and return to our origins, the earth herself. “Right Juan?” I quickly turn back toward where the sound is coming from. “Uh…yes, I believe so” I chime. It was my manager. He’s a younger Type A guy who always smells of coffee, his catch phrase is “School is for fools”. I don’t even know what I just agreed to but who cares, we we’re allowed to leave after that and everyone was smiling at whatever agreement it was, so I assume it was fine. I picked up my stat log and rushed outside to my car, to drive to location.
In the car I slumped in my seat for a minute and recalled that bird from earlier, his song. I knew I would need something positive to balance whatever was coming next. I looked at my shift log and sighed, I had agreed to go to the one place no one else wanted to go, the Ramada. It had the smallest work desk there, and just recently construction had started on a new restaurant so it was a jackhammer I would now be hearing sing almost my entire shift. I started the car, and it grunted and whined as usual if it hasn’t sat for long before its put to work again. I grinned at its insolence. I had just had her oil changed days ago. The audacity of this machine, unbelievable. On my way to location I seen only a few lost souls walking the boardwalk, and with the construction I knew the hotel probably had only maybe 20 or so sold out of 105 rooms. Maybe I wasted my time taking such a slow shift. I parked and trudged in, this time weaving to avoid any puddles and staying close to the building to avoid the showers. I laid my things down on the tiny desk, and headed to the bathroom. To wake up I guess.
I slowly turned on the faucet and observed the stream head straight down the drain, and I reflected once again. Thinking of the rain drops I observed in the meeting, the way they each moved along a general path collecting and growing all they could, and I thought of my mother. Doing the best she could with the path that was set for her, gathering and building all she could for us with what was available. I watched the water rushing in the drain again, bearing too much weight to slow its reckless path to an obvious dark end and thought of my father, taking the fast track and handling the weight of all his problems differently. In both cases the same element, moving forward through time without choice or control, and in both cases an end was reached, as with all things. But the difference was the paths taken, and how. I love them both, but I respect my mother’s struggle much more. I laughed aloud and smiled at my lamentation, and rinsed my hands quickly to go out and cherish the rain I had cursed all morning. I rushed past my desk and through the front doors, only to find it was no longer gray and dismal, but the sun had shown his face. I looked up and smiled in thanks. I made three hundred dollars that day, and was the only one who had any sales.
I like God, because you see, he is a strange fellow. The way he brings us to realize things is always unique to the point where we wonder if it is him or just our own minds losing sense. But it’s deeper than that; it’s beyond just each of us as individuals. Because you see, what we are today, what we used to be in the past, and where we come from are all small matters when compared to what is in store for all of us in the future and what we will become. So do what you can when you can. Besides, after all of that living you have only one thing left to face...the end.