Saturday, May 18, 2013

Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to be Famous. Not anymore.

I remembered days like, summer days where we were nothing but smoke. And time seemed like a centerpiece whose purpose was to collect dust because I had monarchs to catch and wolf spiders to feed, and neighborhood kids were best friends and worst enemies all in one until someone cried, “Supper!” and we would all disappear, ephemeral and longing and raptured home to Lord Mother and Lord Father to feed and prosper and espouse about a bloody knee.
When did I grow up?
I didn’t plan it, and yet it happened and here I am, safe in my same New Jersey bed in my same New Jersey home in my same New Jersey city where a week prior everything was glorious and vanguard and I had plans to conquer and sights to see and I saw God on morning high and evening tide and yet now it seemed like a desperate search for something unattainable but that I needed because I did not know what exactly it was.
Once upon a time I wanted to be famous. But not anymore.
That was what the cancer was that had burrowed deep into my generation, and I was just now realizing it by being lost—the longing to have the most Twitter followers, or Facebook friends, or having the instant gratification of sending a SnapChat to some unknown person a thousand miles away you have never met.
How awkward it must be to come soul to soul, face to face, if you ever even did, eventually, and know that you had seen timed snap shots of this person’s life through digital media but never saw personhood or character? They may be glorious to look at, everyone knows their good angle, and they may have a following…and yet age decrepits even the most Greek, people forget who people are, and what you were five minutes ago isn’t what you are five minutes from now and still we feebly try to keep tally by followers on a made-up scoreboard who are just as whimsical to flight away with breath of wind as you are to send a text message to the past a wonder if they got your message to no avail.
The only true constants are love, family, and God.
It doesn’t take an adult to see that scraped knees heal by affection and understanding, that is why children ask for you to kiss a boo boo before disappearing back into the smoke of youth.
And while digital media is great for connecting with loved ones, to use it in any other fashion is narcissism and cancerous.
I am working on that not to be the case for me, and it is a long road, because becoming smoke after becoming stone and accepting morality and mortality beyond the digital dialogue while still maintaining my dreams of writing and producing will be harder to grasp. But the respect is worth it.
So when my son, Atticus (whoever his mother maybe in future times as she must agree to this name prior), asks me while I’m bandaging his scraped knee, Can I join Facebook?
I’ll say, “Let’s write the story of you first."

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Grandfather Died Yesterday, And Grandma Needs to Go to Him Soon

Yesterday my grandfather passed away at the age of 89 in his sleep in a whisper in a stop of breath while I was a thousand miles away in the depths of New York blocked by skycrapers and anonymity and unknowledgeability to the fullest extent that a hero had fallen on the battlefield of my heart but I was out at a club and had bottle service.
Grandpa, or “Papa” as I and everyone took to calling him, is gone now. It’s weird, because his number is still in my phonebook, and it’s tangible and reasonable that I still may have the possibility to call him and hear his voice say, “Hello?” in the cryptic rasp of old time Americana and then holler to my grandmother in the distance who asks, “Who is it?” and hear him reply, “It’s Sam!”
And I knew that I was in tune with the universe because the godhead had been connected and the trifecta and the loveline to my past was still here a wire away launching humanity into satellites and into receivers we call souls.
Papa and Grandma and Sam.
It happened once or twice a week, and we’d laugh, and Papa would tell the same stories except a little different because as he aged his stories were like cheese—finer but harder to digest without a grin as you tried to suppress the gas.
And Grandma would sit there and I could see her in my mind bobbling her head and just smiling to know that her grandchildren loved her more than sun and moon and stars and infinite insurmountable greatness.
Both of them perpetually put the “grand” in their respective titles.
But now Grandpa is dead and Grandma is a shell.
The cancer came to Grandpa and the dementia came to Grandma. And here I am digesting death and the prospect of death and how absolutes become ends and hearts become earth and eyes become entryways into eternity.
I had never felt such pain as I had felt yesterday, and it made me ask the eternal question on why the eternal is not… God, why?
For some reason I thought that this Death would be different; that of all the death in the world, I would be anointed above it and deemed too precious to not have to the learn the inequitable cruelty of the world. But lo, everyone does, and everyone will, and you yourself will teach the lesson to a loved one someday, too.
We are all purveyors of the promise of death.
Our mothers carry a curse of heartache in their bellies, our fathers in their loins.
And yet we continue, onward, upward, downward, forward, beyonding and beginning to far reaches and meeting new lovely faces of people that one day will expire too and we never know who will enter our heart except those around us as we enter this world, and that’s what stings the most.
That my hero is gone and the wind still blows and my shower tub looks exactly the same with soap scum and hairs that I know I should scrub away but my Papa is dead and is in heaven looking down on a Grandmother who has reverted to mental infancy.
But humanity is just, and God is justice, and the universe inhales and exhales and we will all be together in some matter someway somehow forever eternal.
It’s just that I wasn’t ready for the infinite now or for eternity to expand.
I love you Papa and Grandma. Grandma, please go join him.

Papa, Grandma, Dad, and I at Lincoln's house in Indiana, 2009