The Day After I Turned 25
I wrote this on the evening of March 20th four years ago when I got off work at Quality Burrito in downtown Olympia. It’s rare because a line in it tells me what day it was written and almost none of my writing is dated. When I find the few notebooks that have survived, they could be from anytime and often they were from many. I would write a few pages in a book then leave it in an attic or basement or tent, travel around several states and then, if I happened to come across it again, pick it up and repeat.
Often I was writing the first few pages of a never finished memoir. That’s what this is, the thousandth beginning of a book still being written in my steps and my tears. I used to start to write my biography like my Mother took us to church, in sudden spells brought on by impulses that were from a deep unarguable impulse that left just as quickly as they came. After a few weekends we got to stay home for cartoons again, after a few weekends the notebook was back at the bottom of a milk crate again.
Anyway it’s a big life time for me (like any of them have been small so far) I missed my Thursday post this week because I was doing things worthy of becoming posts someday and when I came across this it made me laugh at how seriously I can take myself, and how much I change, and what things are still true and how hard I have been working this entire time. This has not been edited from how it is in scratchy red pen in the grease stained composition book so you get the full effect of a tired uneducated preacher with a flair for drama:
There are six hundred things a lady in a guacamole-covered apron could do on a Saturday night. There is a birthday party on the Westside, a 10-o’clock meeting at the club and a dark purple sky over a deep singing sound- to name a few. But I am here, freshly off work, held up in my corner booth like one of those new coffee shop bohemians holding this precious, priceless in between time. Whispering to it and hoping to render from it the stuffs that meaningful story can travel through.
So I start from where I am. How could I start from anywhere else? I have never been anywhere else. I am an alcoholic and a mystic and an uninitiated 30th generation red-faced fool and this means that so far as my very important feelings are concerned: Anything happening right now is everything happening forever. Happy sad hungry hopeless cold sexy scared quiet, nothing ever feels like it’s going to end.
So I start from where I am because romanticizing a past does no more service to the present then demonizing it. I start from where I am because worrying about what will happen next just douses the fire that would be encouraging my ass to keep moving no matter what bright ideas I might have about quitting.
So I start from where I am because if I can’t then all hope is lost, if I can’t build a damn good try at this life business from here then there is nowhere.
So I start from where I am because here is a place that so many are so prejudice against. Here is never as good as there was or there is going to be. Here is stained with there’s blood, tainted by there’s failure. Here is just a marker of there’s impunity, here is a zit because there didn’t wash it’s face. Here is just the aftermath of there’s hatred, there’s intolerance, there’s co-opted revolutions and impotent descents. That’s how people act and sometimes my little brain salutes these notions.
But here is where we are. Here is where we start, here is every hope, every possibility, every bit as much beauty as any other time and here we are ungrateful forgetful sitting wrapped in a luscious blanket of opportunity to see where we are and get into it.
You’ll please pardon me if you’ve read even so far; I get a little preachy when I turn 25.
I never even thought I would make it through my teens. Looking back I guess I’m glad I never got that jailbait tattoo…
I was born a quarter of a century ago, yesterday morning…