Wednesday, October 5, 2011

might as well live

My guess would be that he was from somewhere in Central or South America. I know. Real specific. But he’s going on, rather animatedly, about guitar playing. Acoustic. Electric. I don’t know. There was a substantial enough language barrier to reduce us to the use of simple nouns and verbs. A lot of, “What’s that?” and repeating things louder and slower. The cab’s not being driven at a comfortable clip. The guy’s weaving and taking his hands off the wheel, emphasizing things he’s saying with these wild semaphore-like gesticulations, and keeps making wrong turns, and this one time he like comes up real close to this bus that’s like taking up a lane and a half, and he is trying to squeeze by it, but can’t, you know, because of traffic going the other way. And so the bus stops to let people on and off, and this guy’s like right on the thing’s ass, and he starts going off, or on I guess, about buses and how much he hates them and how they take up so much space, and stuff like that. It’s weird. I don’t get it. Anyway. He keeps asking me for directions, and then keeps not taking them, and we’re going all nine ways from bananas over the city. I had my seat belt on. I wasn’t worried. So, he’s got this burly mustache, which is pretty greasy looking. A lot of spittle probably collected on it from his weather-not-the-news elocutions. Maybe it was sweat. Any why’s what, we’re bumbling along like that, his eyes not on the road as much as they should’ve been, and he’s jabbering about music, and he’s getting all excited about piano playing, and he’s like showing me how he plays, very soft or extremely violent-- “bang like percussion,” he says, while his hands are off the wheel for-- what I deem to be-- a dangerous amount of time. So, I’m like, ‘Whoa, fella. Get them hands back at two and ten there. Please.’ He’s mad for talking about music, this cabbie. I’m trying to keep my eyes peeled for turns he should be making, and at the same time trying to have this makeshift conversation with him, nodding and responding and having to pay much more than a bargain rate for attention to what he’s saying because his accent and bad English are making the guy a bit difficult to follow. Once in a while he’ll ask me where we’re going, and I keep telling him, and naming stuff that’s around there, and he seems to know where that “there” is that I’m talking about, but it’s hard to figure. So I’m like giving him street names to go down, but have no idea if he’s hip to any of it, or if he’s just going along and pretending so he can like keep rattling off about his love of music. All the wonderful while the meter’s ticking away, and the fare is growing mighty exorbitant, more rich than my blood’ll take, you know. It’s kind of awful and almost not, too. I like the guy’s excitement level. It’s nice that he’s so passionate about something. The wind of a god blown into him. Real-live enthusiasm on display there, I’ve got to admit. But it was late. I wanted to get home. Then again, feeling connected with others is something I strive for in this little here life I’m leading, and I didn’t want to be rude or asshole-ish in any way’s shape’s form to this guy. It’s a going without a saying, you know? Don’t want to yawn myself away. But I was tired. I was beat. I was horribly, annihilatedly bushed. Exhausted through skin and bone. And I wasn’t being discerning enough in my, “likes.” It was a hard time in New York town, as they say back in the good old world. I’m a casserole of doubt. I’m twice-baked potatoes upstairs. And this Latin-American music aficionado is screeching around corners at the last minute as I scream at him to, “Turn here! Here!” And he’s spitting sunflowers seeds out the window as he goes, and yammering on and emphatically gesturing all the way’s while, charging up hills and coasting down. It’s delirious. It’s wild. It’s a gas. Shit. Jumping Jack Flash, you know? Some of that and less. Well, I’m worried, sort of, but not overly. It’s like how I get in cabs, I guess. Relinquishing control to somebody else, just along for the ride, safe, somehow, and completely trusting. It’s weird. I wasn’t nervous at all. I just wanted him to get a move on it in the right direction, you know? Take me home. But maybe you can never really get back home, again. My instincts were fluttering with casual distress, but sealed inside this fantasy-realm intrepidness I knew no wrong that could become of us. It’s like I was afflicted with a bad case of predestination blues. Nothing mattered, and that was pretty A-okay as far as this here shredded envelope of misgivings was concerned. I pass myself off as courageous and bold most times, though in the thick of it I probably prefer to dart away rather than stick around for the nasty stuff. It works well enough when it works well. But I’m mindful of my own hazardous personality defects in a way that most don’t suspect or even care to know about. And why would they? It’s my own wax’s bees that keep the honey slow and sweet around these here hives. Any which-or-ever way, I’m doing quite a swell job of keeping the conversation working both ways, while also worrying my eyes out the windows for signs of familiarity, for streets we might head down to get to other streets that might sweep us a bit closer on to where it is that I really do want to be getting to. Really, in any situation where I find myself far away from where it is my heart wants to be, well, the later it gets the more I just seem to go along with whatever’s around me in hopes that I’ll be able to reconnoiter my way, at some point, back home. Maybe I don’t listen as well as I should to what’s important, to what’s coming my way from the colliding porous worlds of others. Have to admit that it’s not a task I was made very suitable for the doing of. And it’s part of my self-centered concern for seeming magnanimous that brings on these horripilating pangs of guilt I get for not being able to better care for lives outside of my own life. Seven times out of eleven I’ll be just waiting it all out, for it to be over, and then it’s, “Well, hope you’re enjoying your summer. Take care, buddy,” and all that mamba. Besides, who cares about this here guy me and his pathetic little life he’s trying to lead? Ruins of an underwater ghost town be damned. Lying’s often the best bet in these matters. Once in a lifetime meetings. It’ll all be over soon. That’s a that that’ll stick, right? Maybe. Maybe. Sun that won’t shine. Rain that’ll never pour. We’ve all met our beginning around such things. Cab rides. Phone calls late at night. Ring. Ring. Ring. Nothing. Turned more than around. Less? I know. It’s cradles of mistakes going sleepless before the alarm clock performs its subtle act of murder. We’ve got a handle on it, less or less’s more. Then you come to this juncture in the sway of things, this conceptualizing of rational how-do-you-doing. And it’s learn, craft a way, create your own exegesis and escape. It is what’s hardly lacking in all of us. Something that boils far from any stovetop burner. Openness doesn’t cost a penny, but I still catch myself fleeing from it as much as I can. The cabbie’s all flailing arms and air-instrumentation and gasping breath. I’m on to nothing. I’m dwindling. An open window’s blast of wind is crushing me, and I’m all lunched out, dinnered to dull, and in the meantime snacked all over and in. Mind’s low and away, in the dirt, stray thoughts rolling all the way to the backstop. Nothing seems as ugly as still being who I am, in the back of a cab, plodding along, small-talking and drying out to a bleached awareness, which is sated with the over-ripe boredom of daylight you’ve never had to struggle to see. A particle that’s lost its charge. I’m rainy in the head, wilted and gone too wrong for too long. It’s getting cold in the backseat with the window open, and I want him to close it, but he’s yapping so much now it’s hard for me to interject even the slightest suggestion of a phrase, or really do much more than nod in agreement and go, “Yeah. Totally. Right on,” or some other shield for him to bounce things off. It’s too much ado that I can’t get myself to get on with the doing of. On it goes. As on we all go, too, with it. Like, or just like, always. Vested interest is not taking. I’m up for grabs, my fears and nightmares right along side my hopes and dreams. Put the cream cheese on the bagel already. I’m through, you know? Well, comma comma comma. Shit. Usually I can get by between things, in the spaces nobody thinks about. I can grow slowly, without much notice, through accretion and well-timed attention-paying, to become the steeped rebuff to the slick quips of instant gratification’s spell. It’s not a talent I let on about. It’s dumb. I admit this to anybody who cares about such things. Getting over myself is something I’m constantly challenged to do, and failing seems the only option right about now-- now being in the cab, then, getting socked by wind and this windbag of a cabbie, lost and roaming, licked, spit out into the bathtub of the world, bumming around complacent and secluded from what I should be diving headfirst into. It’s cause's lostness, and I’m dumbed-down and skimmed over the gist of it. The color of gold is changing, imitating fallen leaves and the ragged coats of stray dogs. There’s an ever-increasing surcharge on what we amass, what we spend, what we hunt and gather into our homes. The skirmish of “me” with “you” and “them” with “us” is a battle without ground, and I’m wiped out on the shores of, “Well, you don’t say. How interesting, really.” It’s a bullshit exchange of bad for more bad, and we keep losing more while we think we’re winning it back. Ever the missed point, and I’m lonely as hell. Taking the backseat in the trek of my life, always just a bit behind whoever’s running the show, checking out the back of their head for signs of, well, I don’t know, love? It’s taking a gamble with whatever years you’ve got left, and the odds are never favorable. In fact, they stink to low heaven. Born into this, weaned on it, only to be eventually murdered by it in our sleep, and all the die-short-while we only stray closer to where it hurts us most to be. All of this striving around to be happy. All of this cursed luck and charmed negligence. Not owing even the slightest attention to what’s becoming of the factors that control the world we’re being trained to become accustom to existing in, with, for, or whatever else we can get by with not knowing or caring about. Just here for no reason, you know, and never rocking the boat with our rollicking on the boat. Soft footsteps on the padding that keeps us safely entertained away from boredom, cursed to be in want of distraction, taken care of, just drifting along without even the idea that there might be a different set of eyes to see all of this with, to know it in a way that’s not just, “Oh well, geez, that’s just the way it’s always been, so fuck it,” and in a way that’s not just without hope or concern, filled with apathy and nonchalant greed, but to be somehow craning your neck over the wreck and screaming, “I will not be just another mindless drone on the wide plains of what those around me keep for some absurd reason calling civilization. I will fight against the mechanics of this thing until the gears crack and the whole manipulative contraption blows higher than the sky.” That’s about what it comes up to. You get to choose what you notice, right? The things you notice become the things that make up who you are. A seriously long winding motherfuck of a road of thought and experience between it all, but it’s something to take care of, for, about. Maybe. Or, maybe it’s a combustible and spoiled half-ass solution to rectifying this powerless feeling you get, a warped state of being that’s dependent on outside forces for a way out of malaise and ennui that doesn’t involve any uncomfortable suffering or messy toil. The easy out instead of the hard in. Holy fuck. Shit. Everything, everything, every last goddamned everything is dead. Moses’d shit himself silly over it. Fuck. The cab ride? Fuck the cab ride. I made it home. I gave the guy a decent enough tip for jabbering my ear off while taking me on an unwanted sightseeing trip of wrong turns all over the fucking place. I made it home. I went inside. I didn’t go right to sleep. I stayed up for a while, staring at the walls, wondering what “being home” really meant, what it was or could be, and who it was that I was going to be for the rest of my life, and if it’d even matter. Plunk times plop goes windowing towards struggle’s leash divided by what might equal your future tense. Anyway. I’m an asshole. Don’t listen to me. I know not whereof I speak.