When they threw the book at you, you caught it and began to read. you sure had plenty of time, son. soon you were self-educated and ready to go out in the world. in your homemade uniform you promised to kick some pretty ass. you didn’t even bother to comb your hair. a child playing with a deck of cards on a doorstep, looked up when you passed by. they stood up in their overalls and saluted you. that was the moment we knew god was somehow involved.
I thought about you after I met you and we played cards and I thought, wow, you are a really good person, you are someone special, and I remember putting my cards down, three three four and declaring GIN on you. And you were happy for me, you didn’t need to win at all, and that was lovely for both of us. Then when I saw you again you could bend your knee a little bit more, and you said someone bought you breakfast because they saw you had no money, and then someone else gave you money for smokes but not enough for a pack, and you were able to talk the corner store clerk down for one, and you’ve had it for three days and haven’t even finished it yet. And I was happy to see good things happening to a good person, and that you’ve been able to cut back on smoking, too, cuz it’s bad for your health. I told you how I thought about you and how you’re special, and I wish that your life gets better and everything turns out well for you and you can walk again, and that you are able to open that orphanage someday somewhere like you wanted.
Self-denial… i practiced it for years. I realize I get set back like anyone, all the time, and it’s painful trying to fall up into the goodness of affirmational living, but it’s worth the effort once you get there, self-crystallizing and shining again amidst your purpose on this hot spinning earth… I think it’s funny over scrambled eggs and patty sausage in a booth at my favorite lucky American diner to be across from a new friend whom I really love, listening attentive as you try to read my cards back to me… but it gets harder when you tell me who I am and what I need. I have been depressed since the day you met me, as though it were news. I remind you ima fucking depressive, okay, you just cannot take some things off like clothes, but are you so sure it’s a crime in the making of taking my life from me with my permission, as samsara goes — are you really gonna go there? yes you are — and you know, I got those butterflies in my stomach immediately, like we do, seeing the truth there and deciding to come to terms with my anger around it. Oh! to absorb how someone honestly sees you. Full well knowing it’s brilliant for anyone to take a risk and share how they feel, and celebrating this rather than pushing it away like you wanna. Especially a new friend whose got that courage, thank you. I thank you… and I categorically reject your attempts to tell me who I am and what I need. And it’s okay that you would wanna tell me, because I do know that you only wanna help anyone and yourself and why not me, sure, of course, and you are more than a decade my senior and quite a professional from what I understand, a state worker, a really nice lady who loves women, not unlike me who loves women and men even if I don’t trust most of them, and a high energy consciousness here in this booth electrified with boisterous argument. This is good. This is beat. This is more of what I want in the world, I think. Challenge my ass, sweetheart. This is my impression of you. And you are impulsive and perhaps insensitive with others whom you hope to understand. And that’s okay, too, please, be that way with me! Make those mistakes for me to absorb and reflect and correct. It helps me to see the deep rootedness which causes my categorical defiance of anyone and your guesswork on me. I am no stranger to myself today. But I only know it cause I was lost for so long. I had to get lost to find myself and my heart and my spirit and my passion and my obsessiveness. And here it is, again, staring me in the face and demanding I walk it down twenty-first street and pink-colored dogs behind plate glass windows and a belly full of coffee and write it down!