Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Big Bad Leroy Brown and Don Juan's Reckless Daughter revisited from July 1st 2011

How long have we struggled to write my friend? 17 short years growing shorter with age... Is it possible that in my prolonged silences you think that I forget your hipswing poems of NOLA? I don't forget myself although I forget details. Every day another detail lost to the wind and I wonder how it ever was that I thought I would write more with experience. But with experience the experiences fade in memory. I remember your jeep and your crazy driving on the side walk passing traffic in Manhattan and maybe you thought you were Dean Moriarty and your babe from the cape Mary Lou. But maybe you were just yourself better expressed in a book, yet only if you're looking for that illusion. How things change over time. I don't struggle to write anymore. I am the pen and the paper. My feet scratch out the words in the sand or pavement, concrete as I pass and that's my story damn it! FUCK THIS FANTASY! screams out as I crumple up another manuscript of mind and toss it in the waste-paper basket of life. Why must we be heros? 

As I'm inspired to write as I write you now, I feel sad. Because there is truth in the short and subtle rage of releasing boys from our souls and turning off the big screen tv of our minds. Open the door and step out into the light of the street and there you are, YOU. And I wonder about you who taught me about stream of consciousness which became my best writing... What a flow Jack! For the moment no more monkey on my back. Stanley took off with the plan and left me thinking about Leroy Brown somewhere in middle America and that's who we are when we're not flying. Just big dark and heavy figures beating down the fears we harbour and hopefully we don't terminate as he terminated... Rise above the rooftops of our limits and find more free space not so thick aired suffocation... 

And where did I go? I'm still here. 17 years later. Walking my story, loving my story, anticipating my story. And when I die the book will close and how many pages had I written? I ran early in the day. In the sun, you don't float. You cut. For me, it's the duty to complete the run and hope that somewhere during the process I start floating or loafing like a gazelle... But, I accept the difference between almost 38 and that of being 31 and that maybe it's sufficient to reach the end heavy and panting. 3.5 years of apple cake, chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese toppings and fillings, giant cookies and all the pickings and tastings weighing me down. How wonderful it will be that day when I don't live with pastries... I never wanted to bake, but I wanted to make a life here with Margarita and that was the message that entered my mind and I still can't explain how it happened. We were sitting on a park bench in the middle of an enchanted couple of days where I was receiving information about what we were about to do... And suddenly it was time to bake and how we baked! From June 2003 to almost May 2007 we baked. You may ask why that's important when bakers bake or they're not bakers. But that's just it. I'm not a baker and never will be. Just as I'm not a historian nor am I a Jew or a Gringo... Why not? Society places labels but the person has the right to define themselves. And maybe it's not a right so much as a will... I have a will to be clear about myself. I'm not a baker. Maybe I am a Gringo because that's a name placed on an object outsider and can't be chosen... Robert says that they fear him. But maybe it's not so much fear but awe... Do they fear me? No, because I'm short. But maybe it's not fear. Maybe it's down right awe. Robert hops on his steed and he's off, a cowboy riding high and they hop on his back with their eyes and they go for the ride of their mind... I think we're crazy and I fear crazy. But maybe it's not fear but apprehension and you and I never became close friends due to that apprehension. But now who is the more conformed with the baby on the way? But one day you will visit me and I'll still be apprehensive, worried about the pressures towards samba and hipswings and dancing in the streets... But all that lives within me plastered below thousands of pounds of concern about control and security... Is it my mother that rides on my back? 

I remember when I left in that Grehound Bus for the south of the south, knowing that I was jumping off a diving board into an abyss. My mother wasn't sitting with me, nor did I think about her. And I don't remember the best memories of the transformation from American boy to... The passing through Virginia at night and Tennessee during daylight then crossing through Oklahoma at night and Texas in the daylight... Seeing pewter green 57 chevy colored rivers crossing below the highway hundreds of miles before Laredo... Listening to Joni Mitchel's Don Juan's Reckless Daughter for miles and then switching to Plant and Page and back to Joni, Plant never could hold Joni's hand as he wished... I knew I was leaving and there was no way back... Why wait for physical death to experience rebirth? And I'm a ghost reaching into your dream causing more memory returns... I can still hear the songs playing over the radio while calling for subscriptions at the Democrat. It's as live as that as mundane an experience as could have been. But we were together, weren't we? I remember that parking lot at night and saying good-bye until tomorrow. But I don't remember getting you the job. Just that you were there and I imagine it was through me... At the same time I had a friend who fashioned himself after Charles Bukowsky and taught me how to love a cup of black coffee with nothing, no sugar, but a cigarette butt as an accompaniment in the mouth, beautiful smoke crossing my vision, pouring from my nostrils, one cup at a time in refill diners and I was too young to have appreciated him and his experience or to have known him and I regret never making him more important. But I remember him talking about writing in the first person and how I tried to pawn Sue off on him... It was time for me to move on and she was very clingy. Did I pawn her off on you? Or did I know better? How can I be a writer if I can't remember those things? You went down to Vineland no? You went off into that dream and I let you go... I couldn't enter your risk. It was time for me to stop cliff hanging. I am afraid of heights although I've never truly admitted it. I've done some crazy cliff and top of the ladder rung, third story house eave hanging stunts and I don't remember being afraid. But I couldn't go with you and what a shame, because after all was said and done, it's who I was all along... And now we're married. And what does that mean? I'm your older brother. Maybe you knew that and maybe that's what maintains the distance also... And here I am and I haven't written anything... How about that. We're always traveling but doesn't it seem that we're walking on a treadmill? When will the journey truly begin? And what must we do to be able to fully set off on that one? Do you ask yourself that question? Robert, Michael, Jonathan, James... One real man will always be journeying and his wife may not always understand. The Alchemist was written by a man so it was easy for the bedouin woman to tell her lover that it was his nature to journey and, understanding that, she would always be waiting for his return. So romantic. But I don't believe that women are so accepting and understanding of mens journey needs, since that's not their story... And you marry and blame the limitations on your wife when they were the limitations you sought because it's nice to have someone intimate to come home to, a reason not to be so alone and on the road, because on the road you are a bunch of un-tied ends seeking a knot... I knew that I was meeting Margarita somewhere below the South. I knew the journey wasn't to be had so alone. But as you don't know, I've learned the truth of our separateness and the silence I experience journeying so close to another... Here in Mexico I speak two languages and with so many people and we joke around a lot and plan and talk... But the silence is profound and there is no one to confide in as maybe I had confided in before. Sometimes we don't truly know the levels. That maybe you reach an age and you start becoming more silent regardless of the language and regardless of how much you may talk and laugh... It's a profound silence where I expect decreasingly that another person can understand. And I accept it as my journey alone... It's a meditative journey. And the glory isn't so much in the sharing as it had been in the past... And I am happy for my friends and what they experience and accomplish. But I don't enter their lives or their paths even if we're sitting in the same bus looking at the same mountains...

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