whirlpooled topics unbackspaced. streams of consciousness. blurts. scribbled notes. outlined ideas. velocity waves. snatches from icloud. because self-editing is a writer’s cowardly way of preventing a reader from fucking the writer's confidence. dates don't matter. memories and moments aren't chronologically marked on the soul.

The Living Room

Do you know what happens when someone dies? The phone calls stop. The texts stop. The visits stop. And the survivors are left in the silence of solitude struggling to breathe in the dank of the sorrow. 

And then your friend sends a text. He’s stopping by after Mass. And your heart is risen from the death. A resurrection to the living from their dead.

Fired Up

Last night I had a great evening. Bonfire. Gin & tonics. I’ve missed bonfires. I just looked at the date on a pic: October 27, 2018. That’s the last time I’ve stood around a fire. 

Funny thing about pictures. I saw that pic from 2018. A pic of me having a conversation I didn’t want to hear with people I didn’t want to know. 

I’m over taking pictures. Yesterday I knelt in a church as a woman walked up to the altar and started taking pictures with her phone. You know. Like she was at the zoo. Completely oblivious to what an altar represents and the distraction she created to anyone who might want to offer a prayer. And instead of praying I thought, I’m done with taking pictures. I want to participate in the activity and engage with the participants. Not fill my instagram page. Moving forward - one pic of a group of people I want to remember. 

So last night. No pics. Just lively conversation with friends. 

How disciplined am I again? I ate 2 slices of pizza and drank 2 gin & tonics over 6 hours and came home. This morning I’d lost a pound.  Total of 17 so far. All about the carbs, baby. All about the carbs.

Taken On Good Authority

Yes. I’m didactic. Of course I am. I don’t want to read any author who doesn’t possess the stones to be declarative in his craft. Author / Authority.  Those words share the same etymological root. And that root best be from the tree of knowledge.

Faded To Away

And then a life becomes a memory. A memory tucked between the parchment of crisp stiff sheets. Each photograph secured behind aged cellophane or cornered by black triangles. A memory of a boy. A moment of an athlete. Of a soldier. Of a groom. Participants added as his life developed. Snap: a bride. Snap: a baby. Snap: a family. A policeman. A grandson. 

A tree. 

A lineage. 

A living name. 

A name spoken over poured water above a font. 

A name spoken by a bishop with a hand that turned a cheek.

A name spoken over a couple knelt in union.

Tomorrow his name will be added to the litany of the dead. A memorial Mass. A remembrance of parishioners who’ve become memories. 

Tomorrow I’ll sit alone in a pew with his name on my soul. I’ll hear his name echoed through the nave. One of the last times. A final mention when she’s no longer a widow. Then silenced. Never to reverberate.

His memory faded like the photographs. My sorrow shielded by a cellophane.

Rising To The Occasion

I worry I’m leaving the wrong impression of my true emotions. JFTR: I love being my parents’ caretakers.  I’m honored. I love the privilege. 

When my dad died I went over to my friends’ house and I sat on their patio and I drank gin & tonics and I smoked 4 cigarettes. And I inhaled.

As I smoked I thought: I am the man I’m supposed to be. I am the son I’m supposed to be. I am the brother I’m supposed to be. I am the Roman Catholic I’m supposed to be. I rose to my dad’s occasion. 

And I did not feel guilty. 

I did my best. I give my best. The emotion I felt wasn’t guilt. It was sorrow. 

Am I good enough? No. But I’m trying. Honest true effort. 

Taking care of my mother is a step toward being better. I love her. Helping her is not a burden. I’ll rise to her occasion.

simultaneously

One can simultaneously feel hope and sorrow. There’s room in a heart for all emotions of love.

Breach

All of a sudden you don’t listen anymore.

All of a sudden you don’t edit anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t reveal anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t conspire anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t collect memories anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t feel communion anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t wait anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t hope anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t love anymore.

All of a sudden you don’t feel angry anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t hate anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t care anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t worry there’s no us anymore.

All of a sudden you don’t want their more anymore. 

All of a sudden you don’t stay anymore.