the lucky ones have no phones

the lucky ones

our technology was killing us a little bit each day, and the lucky ones had no phones. i saw a lone wolf pay phone in the city outside a restaurant by a busy intersection. remember how we used to get on then off these phones? you dropped a quarter in and set the world aside for a few minutes. when you hung the receiver up there was a chime, the change fell and you could scoop it out with one finger into your palm. look up and the world was right there for you, confrontation, and you wanted to face everything. you were in it! we didn’t know any different back then. we were the lucky ones. i wanna be lucky like that again. i’m gonna keep this crap phone and this crap service as long as i possibly can, until i’m so sick of it i won’t ever pick it up unless you need me.
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journal

Journal # 08.22.16

We used to walk together down to the boatyard with grandma in the village, trading gossip and good stories about things only locals knew about the lake. The long and deep winters burrow into you and you become reflective in the intervals between cutting and hauling wood for the fire. The snow falls night and day and you are steady and still as the lake frozen over. You listen to the wind whistling through the gaps. The world outside your windows is beautiful and unforgiving, and you develop a deep respect for the ways of the world, the season and its accompanying challenges. Some are keeping bees and tapping maples for syrup. Others are hunting and trapping. Still others are shopkeepers and schoolteachers. The many state and national parks are staffed by rangers and historians, though the groundskeepers are always the heart of any place, for they can remember how it all came to be.

Only they can keep the place running. You will know them by their oil-soaked shirts and plain stained pants, and a ring or two of keys. Only they are entrusted with certain secrets which more than likely will go to the grave with them – but their honeys know, too. My grandma lost her husband in the early seventies by a heart condition, and then outlived him by a quarter century. She ran an antique shop called The Barn in Melvin Village, NH. She traded in painted barrel staves and chests and American furniture from the 20th and 19th centuries. Sometimes I imagine her all alone up there in the strike of a desolate winter, getting by with the help of neighbors and friends. I can see her striking it up over coffee in the living room adjoined to the barn, with any of her favorite local all-around men. Serving them coffee in the peeking of dawn. I see the hardened swollen hands receiving and carefully encircling the ceramic coffee mugs, and sipping the coffee she percolated, black. I see both the pain and laughter in her eyes. The mutuality. Her love lost. And the easy conversation goes to shop matters and upkeep, and rumination over how long things will last. And god, do I miss her.

kids

we were kids we carried book bags we threw rocks at each other for fun we drank milk and ate cookies and laughed crumbs and stamped them out with our kicks with our boots with our sneaks with our heels with our might, we cried and we raged and we kissed — harmlessly — and if the winters storms had blustered and the snow had fallen and melted and then frozen overnight well it would break loose when we thundered down on it and you could hear the earth cracking under us and we laughed fearless, convinced we would never ever never ever never ever ever ever, die

lost in books

When I was a little kid and the youngest of my family, I remember there was a lot of safety in intimacy I mean touch, there was a lot of playful gripping and holding and caressing and embracing, playful fighting and running and pushing and pulling, between kids and kids and adults and kids and friends and cousins and kids and family, there was a lot of charging and edging and rolling and rough handling of me, picking me up and tossing me in the air, or letting me get on your back or sit up on top of your shoulders when I was young enough to be light enough to be carried that way to be held that way to be safe that way and those days were so wonderful they could not last long enough. There was even a sad time somewhere when I could not reach out to you – nor you me – and I knew not what to do with myself, only get lost in my books.

1.2.3.1

they say it will be different but i don’t believe them. they say to get excited something’s coming but what? i am already excited. now they are reminiscing all of them but i don’t want to. please. i wanna stay right here cause it is all i can handle. yes, yes, i can celebrate with you! why not. this moment is full of potential and i’m gonna fill it with all i’ve got. please can i contribute to society in my own way? i am thankful when i can. i really love trains but not getting railroaded. thank you for letting me be me on this ride. loco. motive.