Saturday, September 3, 2011

Boot Laces

I sometimes wonder if I ran away from home or if I was drawn to Portland Oregon to practice my art? Maybe I wanted to die and saw this city surrounded by evergreens as a last chance or an appropriate coffin? It rains here most of the year and that cabin fever becomes a good excuse to write as a refuge from the self-perpetuated insanity living too far inside your own mind can cause. I wander through the forest and can see between these trees the way that I like to read between the lines of a book, lost in intention that is only an interpretation of what I think something means.
The rich soil absorbs my step and I remember all of the places I have lived and environments I once called home. I grew up in a desert suburb of Los Angeles filled with sunshine and plastic people. The shitty thing about the sun shining all of the time is that when you are having a bad day the sun mocks you, makes a person feel like they should not feel the way that they do. I once lived on an island in Hawaii, where I was stationed as an infantryman. It was paradise on earth except that I spent most of my time preparing for war and something about preparing for war has a way of taking the magic out of paradise.
I have lived in two combat zones, and the good thing about these places was that I grew up in the desert and they reminded me of home. Life makes much more sense when a person spends the majority of their time trying to stay alive, there was a certain purpose to it and everything seemed so real. The corpses of our enemies were rotting in the sun and the smell would creep into my daydream to keep me grounded. I always loved Halloween and sometimes I would look into a set of rolled back eyes and contemplate the meaning of life. Then it would be time to have lunch and I would eat. I would tell jokes to pass the time but those corpses never laughed. I would tie up my boots and we would walk all day, until we wanted our eyes to roll back like our audience.
These trees are guard towers of judgment, they can see through me and I can only see in between them. I am lost and the dampness in the air turns into rain and I can feel my boots sinking deeper into the rich soil. The bark crackles and the trees bend over to keep me where I am. Sometimes when I walk through the forest I like to walk into the beams of sunlight that pass through the branches. Other times I want to see the forest cut down so I can climb up a hill and appreciate the sun breaking through the clouds casting its beams on thousands of tree stumps.

So It Goes 2001

I had a Mohawk when I dressed myself in a jean jacket with the sleeves cut off and my back read, “Stop: do not call 911, the man is out to get you.” My step brother did not know his father but we knew each other and he was the bass player in our punk rock band. He had a piece of cloth hanging from his ass that read, “Fuck racist cops!” We were walking back home to our suburban existence when we spotted a couple of cop cars parked in front of a gas station. We decided to enter and not buy anything. The cops looked like movie characters and noticed our strange wardrobe. As we left the double doors they followed and yelled to us. We acted surprised as we turned around and the policemen approached us. One had a mustache circa 1992 in the year 2001 and he said, “Fuck cops what’s that supposed to mean?” My step brother retorted that his message read, “Fuck racist cops,” and the officer repeated himself, “So fuck cops huh?”
This is funny to me now, considering my military background and work for, “The Man,” but I still relish my teenage rebellion. I think I wanted to be a well-rounded man and I must have made a deal with myself to explore all perspectives. The cop with the mustache told me to turn around so I did. He read my message out-loud and told me, “So when the brothers are kicking your ass around the corner you won’t want anyone to call us, right?” I replied, “The brothers sir? You mean black people?” They stumbled on their words and let us on our way. There was a general racism that was accepted in different realms during the days following September 11, 2001. I’m not sure why, I just remember that’s how it was. I remember a country that progressively lost its mind so I manned up and bared the burden. In the end it is people like me that will be blamed for it, but a wiser man than me once wrote, “So it goes.”