You Know Those Dreams

Where you made so many bad or uninspired decisions you spend half the time apologizing or justifying what you said? You threaten to punch someone’s face in while you can’t stop kissing another’s, and the simplest action of putting apples in a bag becomes so impossible that a new word for clumsy is born, the girls you wouldn’t touch are suddenly your lovers, the men who you like are not to be trusted; only to wake up and be more tired than you were before you went to sleep. Looking like you’ve been sipping on the opposite side of the fountain of youth and feeling lines and red marks in your face, that in the mirror, make you seem like you’ve been leading a double life. You know those dreams?

I just had two.

Valley Forge

But for the people that inhabit the earth which lend themselves to chaos, the world is a harmonious place and lends itself to balance. Everyone should get a taste of what it’s like to be everyone else. The carpenter should know what it’s like to stop an armed robbery. The fireman should know what it feels like to solve an impossible equation. The actor should time travel to the time of vikings, the chef to the invention of butter, the drug pusher should get a chance to score a goal in the world cup.

Sometimes outrageous moments occur which force us to question is time linear? Is time something that has happened and continues to happen and once something has happened can you never go back?

When cold water interrupts my hot shower I feel a sensation of stinging hot burnt, my mind goes white, my muscles tighten, my ligaments strain, my bones numb and I pull away like a stump suffering from tuberculosis. The cold water keeps pouring down while my naked figure hurls itself to the far corner of the bath. In that moment, I come to understand this is what it might be like for those people in Valley Forge. In the middle of a war, freezing to death. Starving to death. Bodies become toothpics.

My biggest problem is not having a room in the house to close the door and think about the days events. The balance of the world, however, denies me a simple pleasure (hot water) allowing me a moment to imagine what it might be like to suffer. Truly suffer.

Then the hot water comes back and my naked body literally vibrates with pleasure as all the fibers in my form lift their head toward the sun. I would rather have my problems than theirs.

Life Lessons

Rafael played with another boys’ toy today and learnt a valuable lesson about the price you pay for not buying your own drugs and having to use someone else’s.

At the neighborhood park a young boy with different colored chalk pieces was creating a sort of renaissance masterpiece of a Knight on horseback. He wasn’t a student of the round table or anything as freaky-geeky as that. If anything I’d say he seemed detached from his drawing, simply striking the lines where they should go, not manic but straightforward and simple was his style, to me the sign of a true artist. He also had a tiny blue and white striped stroller (for his bear), that stood immediately to his left. I watched the boy draw for awhile, finish up the hilt of the lance, stand up to view the portrait at a different angle then slowly and heartfelt, nod his head as if the bear had made a critique so compelling it makes the artist confront their own inner child (which for this kid was in the womb). The boy seemed to relax his shoulders and quickly assimilate the corrections.

Rafael, with his brown puffy pants, black puffy coat and Peruvian scarf tied around his neck like the Red Barron, stood watching the bear, apparently hearing the instructions as well. The painter, bending down to grab a different colored chalk, didn’t notice Rafael commandeer the stroller and high tail toward the swings. The painter continued painting and Rafael went further and further and further away.

“Rafael,” I said.
“You have to play with the stroller near the boy.”
“Cause that’s his toy. Is that your toy?”
“Ok, so you have to play with it near him.”
“Tell him to come here.”
“That’s not how it works. That’s his stroller. He is coloring over by the monkey bars. You are borrowing his toy so you have to stay by the monkey bars.”
“The bear doesn’t want to go by the monkey bars.”

This puzzled me. Would the bear risk it all right here? Risk having his ability to communicate to young children be discovered, all for the sake of being away from the monkey bars? What is it about bears and monkeys? I quickly flipped to the Things-to-Google portion of my notepad and jotted it down.

“I’ve been there, son.”
“To the monkey bars?”
“No, I’ve been where you are; wanting to have someone else’s toy and enjoy it my way, on my terms. I used to buy pot off this Greek kid called “Bro.”
“Was he your brother?”
“No. No, he wasn’t.”
“But it seems like such a brotherly name.”
“That was the point. He was brotherly. He would come to my house, bring me soda, maybe some leftover pasta his Mom had cooked from the night before and hang out right before the start of the five o’clock showing of The Simpsons. Roll a joint. Smoke it with me. Then stay.”
“I love watching tv by myself.”
“So do I, and you can imagine how hard it was to have someone there with me.”
“Why didn’t you just tell Bro to leave.”
“It was his toys. If he left, he’d take all his toys with him.”
“The pot, too?”
“I see your point.”
“So what did we learn today?”

Rafael reflected and just as his mouth was forming the word to begin the sentence, the bear, unable to hold his tongue, following our conversation with a turned neck and quiet pathos, a fidgety ear and deep imperceptible knowledge, basically just dying to judge us; Burst from the stroller…
“Don’t do drugs!” the bear squealed with indignation.
“Wrong! Rafael!”
“Always buy your own weed?”
“Exactly, now let’s get this fucker.”

At that point we squared off on the bear and it’s really impolite to brag about kicking the shit out of something inanimate, so let’s just say in four short minutes we were kicking back with an apple juice and a gatorade.