February 12, 2018

Sure, I could be talking about that fab George Harrison hit, but in this case I’m talking about life as it is lived when it is lived. Was talking to my neighbor John who just took a boatload of cash in selling his house to move thirty minutes east of here to be closer to their grandchildren. He’s 66 and he’s telling me there’s really nothing good on the horizon – sure, he can play a little golf and spend some time with the grandkids, but his parents both had Alzheimer’s and he’s planning to call it quits as your everyday handyman next year because his knees ache and his back aches, and he doesn’t recover as quickly now as he did even a year or two ago.

“So what keeps you going?”, he asks me.

“I used to like my job but it’s no longer fun and the people I work for are a bunch of incompetents at best and two-faced assholes at worst.”, says I.

“So what do you do now?”

“Well, I got a great wife and friends who care about me, but otherwise I don’t know.”

See here’s the thing: when my mom was alive there were things to consider in everything you did. For her, family came first and making her happy made me happy. Now she’s gone and it seems to me that the whole bottom of my existence has been yanked from under me. Don’t get me wrong: in some ways it’s a burden off my back that I never asked to have put on me and never really liked. But making her happy made me happy – being the oldest that’s just what you do. So is having that yoke removed a good thing or a bad thing? It’s really neither. It’s just the way it is.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there’s a great emptiness that I can’t get rid of. Or the sense that at 62 years there’s not a whole lot of good that’s going to come down the pike, at least health-wise. I mean, I look at me right now. I can’t even get rid of this crap in my sinuses or in my chest that’s been nagging me for a month now. Granted, it’s a great way to lose ten pounds, but I’m tired of feeling like crap and I can’t go to the gym hacking my brains out – they’d look at me as if I had the plague. I have the worst nightmares, and I can’t even hit a dozen balls without wheezing. So it’s back to the quack tomorrow for the third time.

I’ve lost my desire for golf and can’t even stand to look at my clubs. There’s a little PTSD going on there, for sure – every time I pick up a club I think of being in Vegas and getting called by work, and I can almost feel my skin getting rashed and my speech slurred again. I just can’t deal with it right now. Can’t even watch it on TV without starting to feel the heebie-jeebies coming on. So I might just leave the clubs on the sidewalk, say the hell with it, and tell the Goodboys to go on without me. They’ll do OK.

Fortunately, I’ve found a great deal of solace in George Harrison’s Living In The Material World – a classic in every sense of the word – most especially “Be Here Now” and “That Is All” with its memorable lyric:

Silence often says much more than
trying to say what’s been said before

I guess the whole point of this post is that there is no point to it at all. It’s a warm night, the wind chimes are working overtime in the southerly breeze, and it was nice enjoying a pinot grigio while watching the clouds slide south to north overhead. I’m living in a state of limbo that I’ll simply wait patiently to pass. Is it a “dark night of the soul”, as my man St. John of the Cross called it? I look at the kinds of decisions we’re trying to make for my dad and see in them only the kind of decisions waiting to be made for me twenty years down the line. You think twenty years is a long time, but I can remember clearly what was going on in my life back in 1998 – we were getting ready to move to Louisville – and it doesn’t seem very long ago at all to me. Fact is, twenty years from now everything will be gone – perhaps more than I can imagine right now – and there will little point in any of it. But I’ll still soldier on.

Harrison was right in one very simple and straight-forward observation about life: all things, must indeed, pass. And, as he so eloquently sang, Beware of Darkness. Because that’s where it’s at right now.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:00 | Comments Off on What Is Life?
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