It isn’t always about telling a story or making sure that you get your point across to a specific audience. It isn’t perpetually about making you sure you anticipate critique and use it to block the negative carefully. It isn’t even always about letting people read the words that you are writing.
Sometimes you need to write down words as they come into your head with absolutely no destination point in mind, no end to get to, and no saga to continue.
In the summer, blue skies always remind me of laying on my back in the scraggly grass that we had in Lancaster. It wasn’t quite nuked to death by the sun or dehydrated from the sun. It was so comfortable under the fruitless mulberry we had in the front yard. I would look up, and I would see this perfect azure blue to the sky. It wasn’t graduated, it wasn’t layered, it was a solid sheet of the color blue like you were looking at a color swatch in a paint book. When the clouds would come across like little pieces of popcorn, they would always be moving so fast because of the higher elevation that we were in in the desert. They would be there in the shapes that you would turn them into, and before long, they would be speeding away towards the valley to get turned into the movie stars shade and the beach bums weather reports.
The clouds coming over the mountains, coming in from the west, always looked like a giant foam from a wave that would take everything. All that you needed was to wait for just a second. Then there would be a thunderous cataclysm, and the valley would be washed clean of the gang-violence and the broken promises of employers who didn’t need to know your language to offer you a job no one would take for that kind of money. It would erase the pain from the broken families and the terror of the Nightstalker. Even if it had made it down to Millwood Ave, they would have found a way to make the wave wash the truth away and let them hang so desperately onto the alcoholism and deceit that kept the happiest family in the barrio together.
Water is the happiness I have trouble putting into context for someone who has never wanted to disappear in the Pacific and be found like a message in a bottle, thousands of miles away. We would go down to Malibu or Zuma, and they would wait with tapping feet as we tried so hard to get clean in the ocean in the Magellan called the Peaceful Sea. We would dance in the seaweed and the shells and try to keep our eyes open the entire time. We wanted a recording of the moments we got there, of the times when we were truly free. Sooner, always sooner, we would be back in the car driving up the PCH and back to the air that was so dirty you needed to breathe slower on the cloudy days if you would fall over and cough up blood.
We left the ocean, where there is no memory of ill or fault and only raw power and beauty. I fell in love with here, I honestly did. I have sat by the lake with a fifth of Whiskey and a folded over notebook trying to be Dylan Thomas with a heroin problem, or later on, maybe I was Coleridge without the heroin problem. I would write my nonsense prose, my rhyming couplets, my sing-song story poems, and at the end of the day I would walk back down 19 to the shit hole on the corner of 18 and climb into bed and listen to the same five songs I still welcome into my soul every day.
As things must go, days and weeks faded into months and years: death and love, more the latter than the former. I am blessed with beauty in my life that I do not deserve. I look into the eyes of three of the most beautiful creations in existence, and it stops my breath to know I had anything to do with how they have become the wonders they have become.
Sitting here, I never realized how much time had passed, passed with nothing to show for its passage, but scars I cannot heal from and trinkets I would gladly return.