There’s medicine in the sadness, it shines from the curl of tears on cheeks, and the crust of too many that build up.
I miss the peal of her laughter into the night, her body out the window of the car, as she screamed into the sky with the pleasure of knowing it would end soon. She’s gone now along with my hope to be with her forever. The x on the calendar came and went, in blood stains on a tub, and an email of thanks to me.
He brought me happiness in his angers. It shined with passionate release, and the things in his path were music. He made it with fury in a mesmerizing pound of rhythm, from his spirit. The altar I made for him is gone now, somebody stripped it down to burn. White lightning in the alley.
I think about him at times. He’s like me, a kid with too much feeling. He can’t shut it off. He’s curious and misses his father who died the same way. He will never be domesticated, he’s got the itch of too much mountain air for that. I hope his survival becomes more joy than pain.
What a man! He made me feel like a mountain of a worker as a kid. I never doubted the danger of our friendship, I relished in the deliciousness of somebody who cared to be good, and had the courage to be wilder. I wasn’t surprised when he left the earth, just wistful. I miss his laughter, his admiration for my spirit, and the feeling it gave me to return it.
My adoration for these people will get me in the end. I caught the fever of the road, the pitch of the boat, and the trail of happiness, in not fitting in long ago. They have pain you can taste, that builds into the burst of their lives.
Their stories are bizarre and comforting, in the extremes I know as truth. I find it in their lack of ability to conform, and the glee they hold onto so fiercely. If I doubt them, I begin to anticipate the whisper of a knife. They look me in the eye with danger, and thank me for the honor and respect that was shown, and then dance into the night.
When they grace me with a tear, I can see it bled from their soul. Their look of surprise turning into recognition, becomes our friendship. After that our union becomes palpable, and I beg them to edit their words for me. I hold onto the moment with them, as it consumes me with purpose, and I’m thankful for the secrets I won’t know.
What shines through the filter of my desire to not be a witness at their trial, are things like, “I don’t know what intimacy is.”, or “My father is in prison, and my husband was chopped into pieces in the alley.” What do you do with that? Hold your judgements for the actions, not the results of past actions. People are not what they did yesterday. They have a moment in time to share, and its gone.
The art I love most comes from people who have the courage to preserve a chance, to witness these tragedies. They aren’t stuck on a vanity streak. They look to the outside of a person, and see the trail of pain painted on their social status, and embrace the inside of that person with a question to themselves. The cost is compassion. The reward is love, and a conscience that can sleep, in a bed of art.
My friends in low places tend to die faster, but they also know how to live. If you ever get the chance to sit on a curb with somebody and hear them out, they might lie or steal from you until you learn how to do it right, but you know what? You’ll get to enjoy tears that aren’t your own, and those tears are some of the best medicine.
People on the street look out for each other. Be one. A person on the street. Humanity is the transcendence of animal nature. That to me is taking the “fight or flight” urge, and turning it into the mercy of patient kindness. If you look out for the people on the street, they remember.
Are you curious about what goes down in your neighborhood? The best neighborhood watch is done by the guy in front of the store asking for change. If he’s there every day, it may be that he’s allowed to be there, because he is actually a priceless member of your community. Give him a cigarette and listen to his story, as the next time you see him, he may just smile.
An update to this post on the following morning:
Some people choose to wear rose colored glasses, but the dust of the world builds up, and their view becomes dim. I admire the way that Dennis uses his blog to reach out and clean the lenses of them with his efforts, as a radio of the street. His latest post inspired the flow of my thoughts for this article, and following up my last post of “Blogging Makes Laughter” with this one is fitting, as the joy in embracing the less fortunate, can be seen in between the lines of his stories.