Just ‘Round the Bend

It’s been many years since I’ve had a good relationship with August. We just don’t get along. I never wronged August, least I can’t remember if I did, but I must’ve. After all, August contains some of the biggest wounds of this man’s life. Shot on August 24th, mother commits suicide on August 12, and the biggest wound of all, my father dies on August 16 when he is 55 and I’m 15.

Now don’t be whipping out any sympathy violins for me, that’s not the point here. I am alive and well and happy and testimony that things can be survived and grown from and while wounds leave their marks and shapes, they don’t mean to stop your life, ‘less you hand’m more control then they deserve. Life happens to us whether we like it our not, it’s how we manage it that makes the difference, our living breathing relationship with it – that’s the point.

Suicide’s anything but fuckin’ painless and the same goes for getting shot and your father dyin’ when you’re fifteen’ll fuck your world up too. But you know what? Sunsets are beautiful and the same goes for sunrises. Friendships and family are precious and Springsteen songs make my heart soar and the sound of children laughing will lighten the heaviest heart and have you seen the flowers blooming lately?

Old wounds don’t stop life. Old pains don’t slam doors. Old scars don’t close your eyes or shut your ears. Open wide your soul and breathe. Lift your hearts up by the fuckin’ bootstraps if you have to. Open your eyes and ears, love people, love life. There’s life gifts in front of you and there’s life gifts ‘round the bend. You might not see’m now, but they’re just ‘round the bend. I know it’s scary, but don’t let it frighten you.

We all got our Augusts. You got yours and I got mine. You keep living now – and I’ll be seein’ you ‘round the bend.

Patience Is a Virture…… Sometimes

Many years ago my friend Dane said to me, “You’re too fucking patient with people.” At the time I think he was referencing my patience with a roommate who was about as committed to the apartment we lived in as someone who lived on the opposite of the globe who’d never met me.

Many years ago my friend Michael said, “You gotta stop trying to help everyone, take care of yourself.”

We were driving up Sixth Avenue in the village at the time he said this. We were approaching 10th Street and were in heavy slow moving traffic. I looked to my right and the guy in the car slowly moving next to ours, Michael was driving, was riding on a flat rear tire. I looked at Michael. “One sec, bro.” Rolled down the window. Shouted to the other driver, “Hey! Your back tire’s flat!”

He shouted back, “Fuck you!”

Michael said, “See what I’m telling you?”

Both Michael and Dane were, and, I am beginning to realize, still are right. Patience is indeed a virtue, a beautiful character trait. It has its place as long as you, I mean me in this case, are not cutting of your nose to spite your face. And trying to help everyone is an impossible task. I think the litmus test for the latter is helping someone is something that lands in the sweet spot of my bat swing if the person is willing to help themselves. If not, it’s time to let go.

As for being too patient, it’s something I’m working on but frankly I don’t have time to think about it right now.

Hey! Maybe I’m learning!