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Archive for the tag “dreams”

Green Grass

Green Grass png

Silence,

the green grass upon which

every dream of summer rests,

to wither,

lost for seasons,

burnt,

then cold,

unremembered,

until awakening in the

nightmares of another spring.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Forty-Eight Beats Per Minute

pick me up

I woke up two hours before my alarm.  The TV was still on, but barely audible, and it wasn’t the thing that woke me.  There was a dream.  There is always a dream. 

I had three messages on my phone from three different people, still accustomed to my old hours.  I’m not up all night anymore.  I’m just as likely now to fall asleep watching a movie before I know I’m even sleepy, and be up before the sunrise, before my brain knows what time it really is.

The only thing that is the same in my very different life is the coffee.  Except now, that first cup, and the time it takes to consume it, is as sacred as the silence that surrounds me as I drink.  Now, the only sounds that keep company with me are the clock on the wall behind my head, my nearly silent breathing, and, if I’m truly still, the slow beating of my heart.         

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Good Intentions

shrug text png

Life is a fucked up bitch,

playing give-and-take

with your good intentions. 

The problem with this is,

you were never one to take

Life at face value. 

The problem with this is,

you loved Life. 

You spent each day

dying for more from this Life,

and the moment you set in your secret heart

the plans for how you and Life

would spend your remaining years together,

you learned that

all your good intentions meant nothing. 

In Life’s eyes,

your dreams weren’t real.  

In Life’s eyes,

your dreams were yours alone. 

You aren’t special,

and you never were. 

Life saw you as a dalliance. 

And as you let this Life go,

and look the next,

all there is left to do is

curse the days of your youth,

and with one last dream,

and good intentions,  

dream you had been raised

not to care.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Crossroads

crossroads

First note to self: Every road has a crossroad, eventually.

This may be my last blog post.  Then again, it may be the first of another few hundred.  It all depends on what’s coming at the next crossroad.  Once upon a time, in a distant, bordering county to Los Angeles, I thought I knew exactly what the path of my life was.  With a wife and two kids, and a history of changing directions every few years, I believed I was cosmically chosen to move back to the land of my raisings, and begin all over again in the very same zip code my parents had once called home.

So we bought a nice, mid-sized home, half a mile from my old high school, and with plans and late-thirties dreams, we marched blindly ahead into the future.  I started a brick and mortar business.  Our eldest started the 9th grade. My wife stayed home with our youngest.  It was an early chapter in our book of the American Dream.  Now because this is an unread blog post and not an essay in some fine quarterly anthology, I will cut to the chase and tell you that in the years following, the business went bust, our eldest learned how to score meth, our youngest retreated into his own insomnia-fueled exile, and the marriage came to an end. 

And those weren’t necessarily the worst things that happened, just the highlights I felt like sharing.

Basically, it was a ten year stretch along a highway of failure after failure, bad choice after bad choice, crossroad after untaken crossroad.

Second note to self: Every crossroad has crossroad of its own, if you’re looking for it.

When I was younger, I would hear this phrase spoken a lot, “When God closes a door, look for a window”.  Now I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds a lot like breaking and entering.  And God being God, I figure if he closes a door, the least he could do is open another actual door, and I would not be required to carry a crowbar and a flashlight everywhere I go just to get into someplace I actually belonged.  Yeah, metaphors are tricky like that.

So anyway, crossroads. 

About ten years ago, give or take, I began two hardcore pursuits that, combined, still occupy nearly all of my waking hours, and a lot of my sleeping hours, too.  Those things are work and writing.  I know, work doesn’t sound like something you just decide to pick up in your late forties, and it’s not.  And frankly, neither is writing.  But the way I threw myself into them was.  Starting slowly, I forced myself to learn what it was to work.  Long hours of actual physical labor, with no human reward except the food it put in the fridge, the rent it paid, and the endurance it created in me.  And at the very same time, after thirty years of ignoring a calling I first heard in college, I began to write.  Then, after ten years of writing, a first book was born.  As much a tribute to the endurance learned from work as any questionable skill I may possess.

Both the work, and the writing, the result of slowing down long enough to look, and to see, the crossroads.

So now, because I sort of know what to look for, I know I am at the crossroads again.  After ten years of these twin occupations, I have decisions to make with them, and what roads to turn down on my way to something newer, better, and right.  One decision is made, and the other is in the making.  The first, I am quitting the job that is now damn near killing me.  That’s a done deal, even if the boss doesn’t know it yet.  The second has to do with the writing, and not even I know what the questions are, let alone the answers.  But I think the writing may be killing me, too.

You remember that line at the beginning of all this, “This may be my last blog post”? 

Maybe it is, maybe not.  But I know I can’t keep doing both the work and the writing for very much longer without becoming some cliché mashup that a friend of mine had called, Norman Rockwell-Bukowski.  So with that, and because I hate being a cliché, I’m taking a detour off of one of these roads before I have to take the other.  And we’ll see what calling it quits with the job does in keeping me from calling it quits with the writing.

But the truth is, I do not know what in the actual fuck I am doing.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Netherworld

netherworld

Days of the week,

or weekend,

the same. 

Shadows in the place of light,

morning and night. 

No noon.

 

Late I wake,

in the waning sun,

not set. 

With afternoon’s first cup,

must wake up. 

Too soon.

 

Adapting to this life,

upside-down. 

Into halogen and pixel,

I shrink,

lacking melanin,

blink. 

Cold moon.

 

Upon words,

a ladder to climb. 

Voices above cry out, 

join our Netherworld escape,

prison break. 

Lifeless womb.

 

Through endless dreams,

or not,

unsure. 

A solitary life of doubt,

must get out. 

In hope assume.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Black Friday

crows

Tell me what

a bluebird looks like.

Crows,

I’ve seen.

I take them home,

every night,

in dreams.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Dream Warrior

dream-warriors

“I believe in the power of bad dreams.”

          –random Facebook post by Bill Friday

 

I do. 

Believe in the power of bad dreams, that is.  Once upon a time, I believed, not only in the power of dreams, but in the possibility of their interpretation.  I believed that dreams were granted us to guide us, in the unknown places of our daily lives. 

Interpretation.  Foreknowledge.  Even déjà vu.  At some point, I was open to all of it.  Until those dreams took a turn down a really shitty street, in a bad part of sleepy town.  But then, that was right around the time my life took its own turn.

Same street.  Same part of town.

Just better lighting.

A couple of years ago, I took upon myself an expanded earnings opportunity with the company I have now been with for the last ten years.  That opportunity came in the form of some special skills that I was one of only a limited number of people in my company to possess.  This particular set of skills… and yeah, you have to say it like Liam Neeson… involved warehouses and forklifts, and drives in the middle of the night.  Or the middle of a weekend afternoon.  Or the middle of the night that goes all the way into the next afternoon, and the night following the afternoon.

In other words, I allowed myself to be counted on as an on-call delivery driver ninety-six hours a week.  As in, be available to work at a moment’s notice, any time of the day or night, for ninety-six hours a week.  With all that availability, I still wouldn’t work more than fifty or sixty of those ninety-six hours.  But the on-call nature of the job left me sleep deprived, isolated, and just plain exhausted.

Because of this, sleep was no longer a place of rest after a full day of good things.  It wasn’t respite from a long day of difficult things.  It wasn’t even a retreat from genuinely bad things.  Sleep had become the battleground of my subconscious, where things left unresolved from the day that was, or days on end that seemed to last forever, would try and fight me to the death.  The craziest, illogical scenarios would play themselves out, seemingly for hours, robbing me of the peace that sleep should give. 

And do so in the most knowingly cruel ways imaginable to me. 

As a High Priority courier, I was solely responsible for every parcel in my charge.  From dispatch to pick-up, pick-up to delivery, repeat-repeat-repeat.  100 percent of what could go wrong, and believe me EVERYTHING can go wrong, was my responsibility.  Aircraft parts for planes that sat grounded with passengers still on board, waiting to take off.  Quarter-million-dollar medical imaging equipment going to an ER with a patient overflow because of a bricked MRI machine in the trauma unit.  Harvested organs from bodies, not yet cold in the morgue, awaiting shipment on airline flights within the hour, for transplant into patients on waiting lists for a biological match.  These, and dozens of other scenarios, played out every day, often nearly 24 hours in a day, all on me to complete.

And my dreams had a way of showing me what my conscious mind was too closed for me to see.

In my dreams, I would always begin with the one thing that was my only pride in all this madness.  My control of a nearly uncontrollable situation.  When you can’t miss a flight because someone might die on a table if you do, you exert control over all things to make sure that does not happen.  Best route to and from a pick-up.  Flight schedules.  Parking at the airport.  All flight paperwork filled out perfectly.  All one form of control or another. 

In my dreams, that control was taken away from me, one scene at a time, as I dreamed of situations that seemed like I was living them in the real world, in real-time, one after another.

But in the dreams, what happened was, things would slowly unravel, one detail at a time.

Make a wrong turn.  Park in the wrong place.  Make the pick-up, but not know where I parked.  Find my vehicle, but become lost on my way to the delivery.  Become minutes, then hours late.  And finally, so often that now, it’s laughable, end up hundreds of miles from where my delivery was to go.  Until one night, in one dream, I distinctly remember when, for the first time, my “dream war” became mine to control.  On that night, in this particular dream, when all the details had gone to absolute hell, I uttered to myself from within the dream itself,

“THIS IS BULLSHIT!”

And I woke up.

It was long after that first dream victory, when talking about it with a friend, that it was explained to me just how rare the ability to “call bullshit” on your dreams is.  I know I had never experienced it, until the ninety-six-hour crisis had gone full-blown, and my mind performed an intervention on me.

And for whatever reason it came to me, this gift of calling bullshit on my dreams, it could not have come at a more perfect time.  Because I had been at war with my dreams, as I had been at war with my life, for far too long.  In that one moment, my dreams surrendered on the battleground of my mind.  There was now a truce, through which I could begin to make changes in my life, without which, I would have become a waking casualty.

I was a Dream Warrior no more.    

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Once Burnts

once burnts

Quitting is easier
You just stop
Of course the consequences
of concerns
laid bare

Hurts
and the scars that accompany
Twice shys from
more than once burnts

And the dreams
The visions of your heart
that come
if only to explain
what it means

© Copyright 2015 Bill Friday

Chasing

Chasing Dreams Doodle

 

I’ve grown

tired

of chasing

dreams

 

dreams

will now

be chasing

me

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Bill Friday

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