There are two people that I will never meet who I remember most about that day…
There are late nights after a short adventures. You hit your bed, you open your eyes, and the people back there are gone and you wish they were here. Old friends and old pals and girls who you said goodbye to, and they said you inspired them…when really, they inspired you to keep going.
It always ends up back here. It always ends up back at the keys. It is, as the dead voices say, the only way.
And there are nights when you wake up and there are early mornings where you should sleep. Sometimes those times are those days where you need to create, so you dust off your fingers and you pour a cup of joe and you go sit down. You go back out there. You go out alone to see what you can find.
You are you and you are back. You wonder if something new can be uncovered with the same chords really words that you’ve used a million times before. You need to talk. You need to write. You need to see if you’ve gotten any wiser and or maybe nicer or even a bit angrier or gentler. You need to remember what you looked at. You need to see the poetry that sketches the days and hours and minutes, those same old memories that are gone but you want to have back. The sleeping lost times made of friends and strangers and even those two people who you only saw their love as if pastels of the future.
There are days when you have to wait until morning to get the rest of your sleep because for some reason you’re a writer, you’re a dreamer, you’re a timekeeper and a memory that needs some fire. There are those moments when you feel you need to write, you have to write, and you’re not sure what you need to write about, but you know, that you know, that you need to write. Does that makes sense?
And there isn’t any subject matter right away but you’re hoping it will form, and there might be a chance, just a chance that something happens that didn’t happen before.
This is why for no reason you get out of bed. This is why you sit down. The coffee has already gotten cold. You’re alone. You go at it with force, with the slaughtering sound of the alphabetical hammering tap.
So its late, the time, just late, let’s just say that, and I feel the flow of the words from the highway that brought me back to the keys. What happened? When? When did anything happen? It all happened. Everything…
In the past thirty years my whole life happened, and the stories I could tell that don’t need to be said…oh to hell with it.
This is a life, and a life that stood on the other bridge that late day in July with no money and nothing, and I looked behind me and the buildings were beautiful. I could smell the air and the air was hot-dog, and across from me was the sun, the old newspapers that were never respected, and let’s not fool ourselves; nobody ever listens to people who try as hard as people like me. They’re born to be skeptical of people like me. Chickens don’t like foxes, and brown eyes are more piercing than blue eyes when they’re determined.
And why do you want what you want, and you don’t know but you know that you stood there and you wrote, and you saw the colors of the bricks, the white splints, the people walking, the bridge was shaking, the river was calm, and nobody else was there and you wondered about how many people committed suicide where you now stood. Weird I know.
That feeling took over you and you had to write, you had to capture this moment, and you can’t even read your words as they happened because pens can be messy in the July heat. There was so much and its all been seen, and you know this, but again…oh to hell with it you said, and you wrote and the bridge shook and you wondered why anything mattered this much, why everything is so serious and what day was it I think it was Monday, maybe Tuesday… I’m not sure.
I was so hungry and the night was coming but right now was the reason. I was alone among millions and I was pretty sure I was the only one in the entire area seeing how beautiful they were and I wanted to scream and say wake up and laugh at yourselves and what’s the point, please, please what no no no…
The caged fence and I was skinny so I slipped through and sat on the steps and my legs were hanging over the river. My shoe almost fell off and I threw my unlucky rock in the river because that was last summer and it was time to move on and keep only what I could remember. It was the same thing for so many things in my life, and just like many of the faces I would never see again I would always remember more than the picture taker, and these words would always remain in the last great summer of my life.
My hair was soaking wet and in curls and my shirt was stained in ketchup. You can’t really ever wash it good enough, it only makes it dirtier, and right then I remember that I was writing something dumb. I wanted to name the wind. I don’t know it was something about the wind that seemed so individualized by each second that past, and I might have just said wind wind wind, it wasn’t anything that great. I was sidetracked and moved on and then I was writing the word of the sky and the trains and the smell of the city that makes your clothes smell of the city. Every city has its own smell and that’s interesting I think. Everything moved and I sat there and stood up and I felt like a monkey. I felt like the only writer alive in america and I’m pretty sure that in that classical sense that has been infused for some reason in my very being was true. I’m pretty sure I was the only writer in america, and does that matter, probably not, but it was something special to me and shouldn’t that be good enough for a change? I’m allowed good moments.
Happiness and I liked everything the way it was and I wouldn’t change anything for anything, it was perfect, and I wouldn’t want to be anybody other than I was right then , it was so lovely, and the color blue and the white clouds swirling around and making loops dreaming of paths in the air next to the skyscrapers in the distance, and there didn’t seem to be that many people out. I had nowhere and nobody but I felt loved, and by who I don’t know, by all of you and it was great and the day would get dark and the people would get sad and some of the people are lonely and some of them only know how to fight and pray for better days. I said no more anger and no more trains. Stop. It’s here. There’s no more running today. I said right now…
Only writing and capturing what I see. The song was gone, the music was turned off and the days would come and who knows if I would make it out of any of this alive, but it didn’t matter. It was a dance and everything was what it was, great, simple and joy, and simply the times of my life and shouldn’t that matter…
The zone, the emptiness of space, the dance, the karma that is given by particles of impressions of only the artist’s manifestations that linger with feelings of so many words that come and go and band back together again….wait.
I was where? I’m home. But I wasn’t home that day. I was in Chicago that day and just a while ago I just got off the road. Tonight I just got home from Detroit. Once again I was hoping for something to happen, for somebody new to say hello.
I handed out flyers for my books and the book store owners are always so skeptical when a young man says he’s a writer, and why are books fetishes, why are anything fetishes… were all on the same side.
And it’s just like when I was standing over that bridge in Chicago, and I looked across the water from where people think the view really is. I was standing by the outside looking in while the inside was looking out, and I saw a couple on another bridge and they were on Michigan. They were looking at me and I couldn’t really see them and they couldn’t really see me. We were shadows to each other and They, I think, I’m pretty sure that they were older, an older couple who has been through life already and they looked happy and in love. It was just another sunset and it was just another city. I was just an unknown man and I was looking for something, and I saw their outline and she pulled away and he pulled her closer and I knew they didn’t see me really. They were looking over the water but what they were really doing was looking at each other. We were a good hundred and fifty yards away from each other. Still, I could see him lean over and then step back and I think he tossed in a coin because I saw an arm flip and then two heads look down…
And I was here and they were there, and they were looking through me because they didn’t care about anything else. It was like they were alone on a farm, and it was wonderful. They were in love and I was over here, and I don’t know who they were but they were old and still happy, and over here my world was only beginning. I was only now an adult. I was only now finding my world. They were melting into theirs.
And as the sun set behind them I saw my future coming into view, and it’s romance, and it’s nice, it’s writing, it’s about people and cities and countries and nations and agendas and really… just a world, just the fading of music.
An hour away from sleep and two hours removed from being just…back, and just like yesterday…
On that day I was hoping something would happen. I met a girl and she said what do you do. I said I’m a writer, same thing as I always say, and we had a good night and then I left and said maybe I’ll see you again but I have more work to take care of. I left and was back on the street and I was handing out my information and looking at books. I never know what to buy in the book store. I never know what book to buy, and just like all of it, the book store owner said, can I help you find anything, and maybe he could and maybe he couldn’t, I’m not really sure. All I know is what I said to him, and I said, I get lost.
That’s the story of my life. I get lost. I wish I could but I couldn’t stay here all day, and she wanted me to stay and I knew I had to get back to work, pressing on and trying to find something new, and like every single one of those days that I try to remember and recapture all over again, just like my past once again I got lost.
I was lost in Michigan. I was lost in Florida. I was lost in Ann Arbor. I was lost in the woods. I was lost in California. I was lost in Illinois. I was lost and that’s how I felt in Chicago and that’s’ how I felt in Detroit, and that’s who I am and I’m not always so mad. I’m just lost and that’s alright, and that’s how I started tonight, lost, I was lost, and I don’t know but for some reason I had to go on and on and get lost over and over again, because when I’m writing like this, getting lost for some kicks, when I’m in scientist mode learning and jamming out my mind and I remember… those two people. I was waving hello, but they couldn’t see me.
By this time the trains were gone. I was stuck and then weeks later I would be in Detroit trying to say i wrote three books,will you read them. I was getting my twain on and dancing on the keys back home and you can’t even read most of the letters on my keys anymore because I type so much like friction of two rocks, like a caveman trying to make fire, trying to save the people, trying to save myself , trying to capture a picture, trying to get lost in the fading of something that will always end.
There was only the passing of light and the darkness on the highway home is always when I want to turn around. As soon as the last mile is taken and the last word is typed and you know when it’s coming and I want to go back up and out and run again, and I never want it to end. I want to make something new…over and over.
And I was standing between all of the suits and all of the money in the world and I was a writer and I felt like I should be there. Dresses and briefcases and shoes not my holy shoes, and I knew I knew I knew that I was a writer and not a money man, not a banker, not a lender, not a borrower or trader. I was only there for the story, and you know what I got out of all this insanity?
A setting sun of a couple of old lovers by the Chicago River acting like they were just starting all over again.
Like I do now into the night I walked away and woke up me. That day like yesterday I walked away before they did. I had to go somewhere else. I don’t know what happened to any of these people and maybe they are gone, but no, they aren’t.
Nothing is ever gone. It’s all up here. I never forget. Remember that.