Saturday, September 17, 2005

Scraps of my past

I cannot come up with anything for the blog lately that does not seem forced, contrived or more banal and empty of substance than the usual dribble I spew forth. I want to write. But there's a fog or barrier keeping the witty and interesting from making the trip from my brain to this screen. Shit! I can't even seem to muster any righteous indignation over the many injustices and mistakes the World honchos are making as we speak. There is always something out there that is pissing me off. Right now though, the energy needed to get excited seems such a waste of time.

I sit here contemplating this latest creative drought as I work the rough spot on that back molar with my tongue. I pause and look at a photo of my dad wearing a silly wig. I jammed it into the edge of the door casing 25 years ago and there it still sits. Dad, Father, the ole man. Of all the pictures, I pick one that is not even a good likeness. I often wonder what he would think of how, why, and what I turned out to be. Would he be pleased? Proud? Or just shake his head?

Right under Dad, a picture of the first mountain bike I ever rode. I borrowed it from a friend for a couple of months in 1984. I knew I was onto something new and unique when I first floundered in the woods on that bike. I did not know or would have guessed the impact the loan of that bike would have on the rest of my life. Something I took up to fill some leisure time became an avocation and quickly turned on me and became my life. Obsession mutated into duty often grudgingly dealt with. Twisting wrenches and selling bikes to John Q is most definitely not a lifestyle of the rich and famous. I often feel it is thankless and a useless endeavor. But I cannot help it. I love bicycles.

Switching my tongue to the chipped canine, my brain follows suit and switches gears. Dropping my eyes along the door casing, my ratty first truck license hangs on by a scrap. Man, was I young and full of cum when I strutted into the Glen Burnie DMV to take that driving test in 1971. Brought down a few pegs when I watched the 2 guys in front of me fail before they even left the parking lot. I remember sweaty palms and a mirror sunglassed test guy monotoning, "Okay, see those offset cones? I want you to back up between them and stop within 6 inches of the dock." Suddenly, all the learnin old Fred had pounded into my head was lost. But somehow I managed it and 20 minutes later I strutted out, Class l license in hand. And then spent the next 17 years delivering what America wanted.

Under the license, a picture post card of the New Dorm at Towson State University dangles. In 1972 it was the New Dorm. I wonder what they call it now? I remember the night Bean and I went over to the half constructed building and checked it out. Rolled and smoked too many doobers. I walked into the elevator shaft thinking it was a closet. I remember being grateful when Bean caught me by my shirt tail and saved me the hassle of falling 3 floors to the basement. One of those moments we all have when we know one of the nine lives has been used up. I have always wondered why I did not take that post card down. Maybe that near death experience is why. Hmm.

My favorite cartoon of all time hangs nearby. Stained and dotted with the many thumbtack holes I punched into it as I took it with me where ever I went. Yellowed and frayed, it has paid it's dues. And even now, it brings a smile to my face.

These few scraps and pictures have no good reason to be on my wall. I do not even remember why they went up. But of all the useless crap I have held onto, I chose these snippets of my past to display. Meaning nothing to anyone else, they have incidents and times attached to them I will never forget. The disorderly and desperate way they are jammed or pinned up seems so temporary. Yet they have endured over 20 years. And my wife, Miss law and order, has respected their place on my wall. She has no clue why they are there, but she leaves them alone. Somehow, they seem important maybe. And they are I guess. Reminders of a time when my step bounced higher, my forehead was smaller, and my outlook brighter. When I pause now and again to look them over, they always have an impact. Sometimes they make me sad. Sometimes they make me glad. And occaisionally mad.