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Archive for the tag “me”

Please May I Have a Coma?

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“Please, may I have a coma?”

 I said that in a conversation with a friend the other day.  There was no correlation to any one thing I remember talking about.  It was just a stand-alone thought.  This sort of thing happens often with me, seeming, usually, completely disconnected from whatever train of thought or flow of conversation I’m having in that moment.  Most people, even those closest to me, miss it.  That instant when my consciousness gets invaded by my subconscious, and my Freudian Slip starts to show.

I used to miss it, too.

But a lot has happened over the last year that, on this day, I didn’t miss it at all.

I, and most of my nearest and dearest, have had a hard year.  I can’t explain why.  I mean, maybe?  The same way people try and explain how a half-a-dozen women in regular near-proximity to each other seemingly sync their periods, or how, when you buy a make and model of car you never really gave much thought to, then it seems like that same car is on every street and in every parking lot everywhere you go. 

The collective unconscious, manifested.

And no, I don’t believe for one minute that, like periods or late-model cars, any of my friends and I wanted our collective shits to happen, but maybe there’s something equally invisible going on that drew us all together before, so that we could be here for each other in the during, and rejoice with each other in the after.  Because that’s why human beings have friends. 

“Please, may I have a coma?”

Now that the end of another November is here, and with it, the end of another National Blog Posting Month, I think it’s time for a re-examination.  Priorities that held this priory together last month, last year, last life, no longer belong in my life.  Things that once felt important, no longer feel that way.  And I’m educated guessing that the same is being said by many of my friends.  But human beings are nothing if not creatures of habit.  One of those habits is holding onto to things we’ve outgrown, or that have outgrown us.  I don’t know what you’ve outgrown but, like a closet full of last decade’s fashion disasters and fat pants, for me, it’s time to make room for something new, or maybe for nothing new at all, but only for what’s most important. 

Because a closet full of winter coats does you no good if you live the rest of your life in the sunshine.

“Please, may I have a coma?”

Okay, but only for a little while.  It’s time to empty out my storage, give away what I won’t be needing, and decide where the sun shines brightest for me.  But don’t worry.  You’re ALL my friends.  And I’ll leave breadcrumbs on the trail, wherever it is I go. 

Thank you for reading my words these last 30 days.  And thank you for allowing me to spend it reading yours.

Till then. 

 

Always,

Bill

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

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Even If I’m out of Time

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This is a throw-away post. 

It was bound to happen sometime this month.  I just didn’t expect it to happen like this.  To be brief, my computer and my phone are working.  I still have the internet, and I’ve been good physically.  I haven’t run out of ideas, and I haven’t run out of words, either.

What I’m out of is money.

And because I’m out of money, I am also out of time.  I’m out of time to sit and contemplate what to write over the last week-and-change of National Blog Posting Month.  I’ve been busy chasing the money necessary to keep the creditors at arm’s length while I complete my comeback from the work-related depression that forced me to quit my job last June.  Yesterday, I sold my pickup truck to the highest retail bidder.  Sold it for a couple grand less than it was worth, just to get the cash.  The cash that won’t be in my hands until after some bills go to collection. 

I’m not bitching about life.  On the whole, life has been pretty good to me.  For now, just not THIS part of life.  I’ve been told, repeatedly, that life… God, the Universe, whatever floats your philosophical boat… takes care of me.  But today, I can’t say I know that.  Because today, I’m writing a post saying that I could be living in a twenty-year-old Dodge in a couple of weeks.

And the downside to all of this distraction is, I’ve got no time to sit and contemplate what to write.  Not what to write for myself, because I do that every day, but what to write for you.  Because some of you read me every day. 

And I don’t want to let you down.

So for the rest of National Blog Posting Month, I’ll keep trying and meet you here, every day.

Even if I’m out of time.     

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Like Someone in a Mirror

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BILL is standing behind a podium at the front of a large meeting room.  Before him is a roomful of folding chairs, all of them reserved for the bloggers of Nano Poblano 2017.

Bill is about to call the meeting to order.

 

Bill: Before we begin… where IS everybody?

 

Two people sitting in the room look around at dozens of other people sitting in folding chairs.

 

Woman: You don’t know?

Man: How many people do you think we’re missing?

Bill: Count the empty chairs.

 

The two people look at each other, then slowly, at Bill.

 

Bill: Why are you looking at ME like that?

 

From the back of the room, a voice speaks.

 

Voice: Ummm… Bill…?

Bill (looking for the voice): Who’s that?

Voice: It’s ME, Bill.

Bill (under his breath): Shit.

Voice: Shit is right, Bill.

 

The person who is The Voice stands up, and begins walking to where Bill is standing at the front of the room.

 

Voice: Have you looked in a mirror lately, Bill?

Bill: Huh?  What does that even mean?

 

The Voice reaches the podium.  He stands in front of Bill, looking at him with a face of knowing expectation.

Voice: Don’t you see what everyone else sees?

Bill: I see what I see.

 

Bill looks out at a roomful of empty chairs.  Only the two people sitting in those chairs are the two from the beginning of the meeting.

 

Voice: Look again, Bill.

 

Bill looks at The Voice, then back at the room full of empty chairs.  Each chair has someone sitting in it.  Bill is looking at a roomful of people.

 

Bill (to The Voice): You look a lot like someone I know.

Voice: A lot like someone in a mirror?

Bill: I haven’t seen that guy in a long time.

Voice: Since the first of November?

Bill: About then.

Voice: He’ll be back.

Bill: You mean it?

Voice: Yeah, Bill.  You mean it, too.

 

And The Voice disappears.

The original two people look at each other, then back at Bill, then at each other again.  They seem confused, and a little bit like maybe they’ve seen a ghost.

 

Bill (to everyone in the room): Hello, Peppers.  I’m Bill. 

Peppers (in unison): HI, BILL!

Bill: Only ten days to go.  You all hangin’ in there?

 

Nano Poblano ends November 30th.  If you believe in ghosts, you might want to avoid mirrors until December 1st.  But hang in there.  Between you, me, and the voice in your head, everything’s going to be okay.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

It’s Not About You

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I don’t stockpile blog posts.  I’m not in any way a prolific blogger.  I used to wish I was like that; the Stephen King of blogging, grinding out page after page on any subject that popped into, or fell out of, my head.  And for a short time, about ten years ago, I was heading in that direction, writing online. 

Until a nasty bout of what I thought was writer’s block overtook me, and for the next few months I went from writing a feature column for a website to being an itinerant poet. 

I’ve told the story before, so that’s why the short version this time.  But there is a part I’ve never told, in print or in person, to anyone.

I started writing poetry for the same reason people vaguebook, or subtweet, before there were such things as vaguebooking and subtweeting.  I started writing poetry because all the things I ever wanted to say to others required honesty.  Feature-length, name the names, feel the feels, full disclosure honesty.  And I wasn’t ready for that kind of honesty ten years ago.  Just like I wasn’t ready for it five years ago, or two, or even more recently than that.

Poetry, and I just figured this out last week… I know, late to my own party, again… became a way of purging shit, real, honest shit, without ever having to confront another human being over that shit.  See, I hate confrontation. 

ALL CAPS HATE.

Of course I know what some of you are thinking, “How can a guy who writes the things you write NOT be confrontational?”  And my marginally confrontational answer is, “Have you not read my writing?”  See, I’m both blessed and cursed with a soul.  Not the half-in/half-out, maybe I care/maybe I don’t kind of a soul.  But the all-in/all-out/all-the-time kind of soul.  The soul that can either love you, or burn the bridge you stand on while we’re talking.  So because of that, and because this 100/100 soul can’t hold everything in ALL the time, I started purging all of it through the power of poetry. No names, vague scenarios, love you or burn the bridge you stand on, poetry.

And I am a saner man for it.

So if in the future, before you ask me, “Was that poem about me?” remember to look down and see if you’re standing on a bridge ready to be burned, and know that I probably love you, or I wouldn’t have written the poem in the first place.

And just believe me when I say,

“It’s not about you.”

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

The Night Ruby Marie was Born

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This is a momentary hiccup in Nano Poblano for me.  A hiccup like the sound my almost-here grandbaby has been making on the fetal heart monitor for the last two days.  Blogging takes different paths for everyone in the month of November.  Some people have equipment failures (me… on day 2 of last year), life failures (people dropping out mid-month), and every other reason imaginable for stopping before the end of this crazy-busy month.

But I’m kind of a ‘hell or high water’ blogger.  As a poet, and most of my blog posts have been poetry, I post when I’ve got something I want to share, not because I have a self-imposed blog deadline I have to keep up with.

But in November, knowing that I’m going to post every damn day, come hell or high water, I have already resolved that nothing is going to derail this blog train. 

Nothing.

And then came Friday.

My daughter… my first born child… was told by her obstetrician that they needed to induce labor. 

That night.

And as she had already designated me as one of the two non-medical personnel in the room, I was on-call for her beautiful, blessed event, my second grandchild.

                                                          *************

And now it’s Sunday night.

My not-so little girl, after 48 hours of induced labor that still hadn’t produced a labor or a delivery, is in the Labor and Delivery O.R. as I write this.  I’m in the waiting room and her man is in the room with her.  I am sitting with a load of family.  Both sides.  And I have no idea what’s been happening in the 45 minutes since the C-Section began.

But I have time now to do more than worry and pray, and so I write… and post.

It’s a hard, strange, helpless position to be in.  Hard and strange I can handle.  Helpless, not so much.  But I have this commitment, so I’m telling you about what’s happening on this day, when my morning post became an evening post, and my full-grown baby is having this second baby of her own.

I’ve seen pretty much enough of hospitals for a while, but for my little girl, I’ll see them as much and as long as she needs me to.

Stick around, and I’ll keep you updated in the comment thread of this post, and let you know how everything went on the night that Ruby Marie was born.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Final Approach

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“Once we induce, it could be 30 minutes… it could be 3 days.”

At least that’s what the Labor and Delivery nurse said to my daughter when she was asked, “How long…?”  My baby is having a baby, her second, almost 10 years after her first.  I wasn’t in the room with her for my first grandchild, but besides the father, this time my daughter asked me.

And I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

Don’t tell the nurses, but I brought a flask of bourbon into the room this morning.  If I’m going to be here for the duration, I have to have some of the comforts of home here with me, right?  Almost 10 years ago, when I was still becoming who I am today, I wouldn’t have had the balls to bring a flask into L&D.  I also wouldn’t have had the balls to write a blog post at the foot of my daughter’s bed while she was beginning to have the contractions that will bring another granddaughter into the world. 

But I’m not that man anymore.

This time around, it seems, everything is different.  My daughter isn’t a kid anymore.  Her life is as stable as any parent could’ve hoped for his child as he was raising her, imperfectly… so fucking imperfectly.

This time around, she trusts me.  And that’s all a dad can hope for from his kid.  Because after all the work and worry of parenting a first-born child… your ‘experimental child’… is done, all that’s left is that she, maybe, loves you as much as you love her.

And being in this room, in this moment, I know better than any other something could ever show me.

And in this room, at this moment now on final approach, I know I am a fortunate man.  Not because I have life figured out, or because I’ve made myself great in the eyes of the world, because I haven’t.  Not even close.  I know that I am a fortunate man because, for one of the rare times since my birth, realize what love is.  I am fortunate in the time between contractions, from the tender looks between my daughter and her man.  In the sound of the fetal heart monitor, filling the room with the presence of new life.  And I am fortunate in the flow of conversation between my daughter and me, which finds its place in the gaps of all that’s happening in this room where Ruby will take her first breaths.  In the randomness of bad jokes, and doing whatever it is my baby girl asks of me. 

This is where my life finds some semblance of completion.  This is where everything, good or bad, from the day of her birth till now, has led.  This is that moment where I know that nothing I have done badly is held against me, and all that matters is now, and the future is alight with promise and purpose and every good thing that could ever be.

And I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Something

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I don’t know what to write about today.  It’s not like something doesn’t always come to me.  Something always does.  In words, and in life, something always comes to me.  Once, for an entire year, I had writer’s block.  Then poetry came to me.  Once, for thirty years, I had security.  Then clarity came to me.  Once, for three-hundred days, give or take, I had darkness.  And then came the sanity.

Something always comes to me.

A few months ago, on the advice of others, I began to journal.  Besides that it sounds strange when you turn a noun into a verb like that, one thing the act of journaling taught me was that if you have feelings, you have thoughts.  If you have thoughts, you have words.  And if you have words, you have actions.  And actions are the only way feelings become changes. 

I’m a different person than the one who emerged from the three-hundred days of darkness that kicked off during NaBloPoMo 2016.  Most people won’t know how different, if different at all.  You would’ve needed to know me in the before, and I mean really know me, to see.  And almost no one really knows me.  But for those who don’t, maybe the only way is to read what I wrote a year ago November.  I mean, you can… I won’t.  I lived it, and that’s enough for me.  I will say one thing about it, here.  After I wrote it and bottled it all up in a saved file on my computer, I let it out again after the darkness had passed.  I handed it to someone who really knows me. 

And they are turning it into a book.  A book that I’ll read, I hope, along with you.  The book is called, “That Year I Died… and kept on living anyway”.  It’ll be out early next year, because something always comes to me.  Poetry.  Clarity.  Sanity.

Something.

 

© 2017 William S. Friday

Saving Daylight

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The clock on the wall is so loud in the dark.  Three-forty-one a.m.  Saving daylight is over.  This is the real time now.  I tried to sleep, really, I tried.  Sometime after four, I gave up and made coffee.  As the world around me slept, I drank myself awake.

Sitting up, after the coffee was in me, in my writing chair with the laptop open, the noises of the new day have leveled.  The clock isn’t banging against my ears like before.  I hear a motorcycle power down the freeway, two miles in the distance.  And through my window, the sun is making the horizon turn every color of silent grey. 

I know that, in another few hours or so, I’ll regret waking up like this, on the day when I’m supposed to reclaim an hour’s sleep from the powers that be.  But for a few minutes more, until the sky is blue and the world is made of noise again, I’ll sit, I’ll wait, and I’ll listen to whatever this morning says to me.     

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

The Wish

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“I wish you had…”

That’s how it starts.  When someone you thought believed in you opens a new window in the conversation with the same line all the others have used, when you finally came to realize you would always let them down.

“I wish you had…”

They try and catch themselves, before the next line of words fall out.  Before you hear what they, secretly until now, think of you.  But they can’t.  The words they, until now, had not let slip, must’ve been building up pressure inside them for a long time, because they look… surprised…? that you could hear what they had not said for so long.

“I wish you had…”

It doesn’t matter how they finish that sentence.  How the next words will be for your benefit.  What their motivation must be, because they only want what’s best for you.  Because when you hear those words you know, from experience, you’ve lost them.  Whatever they have, or do, or will, mean to you in the past, the present, or the future, changed.  It’s no longer how unique you believed you were to them, it’s how the same you are.  The same as all the rest whose expectations you never quite lived up to.  All the rest who, eventually, could not hold back the words that lived in their heart, saved up just for you, no longer able to hide the disappointment in who or what you aren’t.

“I wish you had…”

And as they fill in the blank, you check out.  Not out of the conversation, but out of their life.  Because you know how this story ends.  With the same wish that, every time before, when you wished it, didn’t come true.  When you, reflexively, think of them,

“I wish you hadn’t…”

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

Living the Life

Day 3 of Nano Poblano, and the idea of a morning teleconference with authors was made just a little better with a proper writing prompt. 

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