The Past or the Passed
So many have moved on.
Each day brings me closer to the past. Each day starts with a new memory that washes over dry desert creek beds, over rushing desert flash floods scream-warning of a fierce storm in the mountains and leaves just as quickly.
There is a dark spot where memory burst forth, I suppose, when it is all dark, I am done. The past obliterates the future.
I used to perform simple math to calculate how much I spend each month with lottery winnings. I accounted for a bit of mad money for my mate, some money for housing and the bank and the rest divided into 240 month chunks.
I am rethinking those numbers. 85 does not seem to be as reasonable as it did a few years ago. I figured 85 year wandering ’round the planet, was a good slide point, a good place to be quiet and wait to fade.
But with almost each passing day, a new memory rushes forth and clouds the day and I and forced to rethink my numbers.
Yesterday I had a memory of standing alongside a thousand dusty roads, at turn-offs at farm roads, at on-ramps to freeways, set back a few dozen feet off of a million corners. I was heading somewhere.
I guess I was heading here. I remember never having the right words to songs but it didn’t stop me from playing it over in my head…Standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona…
I hated Winslow Arizona. I had never been there, I just knew I never wanted to get stuck there. They hated hippies and there was no way to go anywhere unless you had a ride to get there….”Standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona…” and a ride to get out. Before the night. Before the dark.
At that time I had stood on enough corners.
Somewhere along my line, maybe while I on the road in Europe, hitchhiking died off. Maybe people we afraid of picking up Charlie Manson or maybe the shared drugs were enough to drive you insane. Maybe it was just a growing urge to not share: if I can work and buy a car and keep it running and buy gas, this guy on the side of the road with his thumb jabbing the air just off the corner can get off the road and make his own money and make his own way. I can buy my own drugs.
And then everything sorta stopped and hippies or guys on the side of the road had to get work if they wanted to go anywhere.
Many of us tired of standing on that corner in a million Winslow Arizonas, took a million jobs mostly doing a million mindless tasks and it all sorta died off.
And yesterday, it all came rushing back and so did depressed smugglers who had all the risk and all the money, but never the girl, and so did blurry eyed Tequila mornings and hearts that told a million truths but eyes that lie.
The day before memories of just when you started to feel old and your first ache came when you rolled out of bed and everyone was singing about how happy all the young dudes were.
Damn…where did it go?
I was going to start the next paragraph with “Finally” but there never is a “Finally” so I can just recount how I just knew that there were aliens and I was amazed by beings that had a blue eye and a grey eye and they just didn’t seem to be from here.
Sometime along today, the past overwhelmed the moment and I thought it might be time to change my division. That maybe 240 months out into the future was too much to hope for.
Besides, I had that corner and that thumb and I was already lucky enough to have spent a thousand nights by a thousand creek beds and watched a thousand flash boom fires light a thousand ragged mountains and waited for the sound of a trickle.
Sometimes it came, sometimes it never made it down the mountain.
We look to the children and we see our twinkle and then maybe it is time for a nap. Maybe there will be a brief dream about a dusty road and a dry creek.