Home Town Heroes (30:30)
The warring weasels have strolled down through the city limits. Our Town was once a play, famous in my high school though I personally skipped out to steal a cigar and five bottles of Narry out where they built the basketball courts. Down into the tundra-like bush covering there, up from the little league field where I was once a hero, I guess that was the last time. Oh, the opportunities all along the way, but then who’s to say what makes for a hero, my Mom and I probably had different qualities in mind though again here on a Mother’s Day possibly not – it’s possible we were attuned to human kindness and proactive compassion.
Recently I have read that compassion is just likely the end all be all of what’s most important – true compassion, and we may have had some of that back with little league baseball or maybe I got some from my boss working at the record store, you want to talk delicious, speaker up over the plate glass facing out into the grocery parking lot, look at me, Ma, I’m a freakin’ deejay and this in a place oh so sacred because just around the corner from this building are the reeds and mucky, oily footings were we would climb the embankment and cross the railroad tracks and down to the very edge of the glorious Wareham River. If I lived in my hometown today every day going forward and likely daily the last 13 years, I would walk along the river, I would inspect it from one vantage point after another and – get this – that includes Oakdale where I went a little back in the day but not anywhere near enough, there was that grocery store that sold six packs to us under-agers, went there nights for that more than my share, but I cannot remember one time entering a house to visit a friend, and we talk among ourselves at times about lost opportunities – Oh, Lord Dedith – the scales covering my eyes, the critical unawareness that attention was everything, but if I can go back sometime while still alive and twirl and dance through my Wareham I will take a drive over to Oakdale and get out and walk along the river from there, that side, the east side, and come to think of it, the folks in Oakdale must have had, sweet, sweet sunsets, looking west over and above downtown, over the tops of well aware buildings, back in the Courier days, that smell of ink, my Dad, the front office, getting to be back among the linotype, see, once again, how much did I see, the fact I’ve dredged this up means
I saw more than I often remember or give credit for, and for sure there were oh many times in back of that journalism building down by the river’s edge there, of course talking black folks what about the time me and Donnie are fishing just down from the Courier and I fall into the river at high tide rushing in current time and all the way over, replying to Donnie’s yells for a helping hand, here comes an older black guy and he gets to the concrete platform from where we foolishly were casting and hands Donnie his wallet – I see this while being pulled away – and jumps in with someone’s fishing pole – just like the Van Morrison song – and reaches that plastic life line out to me and pulls me back to being right here right now typing this, think of it as time folds over itself, me here on a Sunday morning Mother’s Day writing about lost opportunities to hang out more with black cats by the river and oh yeah how about that time a black cat jumped into that river and saved my white shrivel ass. Yeah – that’s an “Oh come on.”
My life meanders, the river kind of meanders coming in from the Bay and past all those beaches I came to love, I could name them, and all those memories and that could be a valuable exercise come here with the timer flicked on and write memories from each beach with every single detail I can scroll up through the ages logged on and in my brain, through it too, oh my mind is going through them changes, that’s what another Buddy was singing one day, and see to your neighbor in another incantation and it was only last night, amidst a wicked attack (yes, that’s the correct term) of acid reflux and I’m propped up the wife trying to sleep beside me and likely has the earplugs in at this point and there’s pain and these attacks are entirely whimsical as I’ve eaten not one morsel out of the ordinary or any later than normal though with a next day’s review I see I was unnaturally tired and you could call it “punked out” kind of out of the blue the evening before the bedroom assault to the esophagus and what this has to do with the river well it always has to do with the river and my childhood through, what it has to do with weasels wandering in over city limits, well that was, like the movies sings, a bit of a mind flip (thank you Bob and Doug for taking me to Rocky Horror at the Nuarte and Fox Venice – talk about magical wonders – )
Anyway, the first imagery floats into my head and I type it and sooner or enough it works toward what becomes the ‘subject’ though I couldn’t have told you what it was previous to the first finger tap or that there would even be one (a subject), and last night I’m lying there in bed trying to haul the stomach acid-adjusted food stuff which has rolled back into my throat out by regular throat clearings, each one leading to a burn baby burn sensation entirely unpleasant and somewhat scary, and I tried to turn my mind back to home town girls I knew and thought were cute and possibly had some degree of hots for and maybe that would have skyrocketed on the hotness scale if I had – you guessed it – paid more attention to what was hot and who was cooler than the “normies” I ended primarily hanging around with, oh woe is me, and I often dream of getting another chance to do it over again, say like from sixth or seventh grade on and man oh man I would do nearly every single thing differently and that for sure means bringing my complete devoted attention to others than I did, I could list some of the names from last night but as I have had a tendency to “post everything!!” lately I will protect the innocent, let’s just say I sure would have brought whatever sexuality I had to a number of different young women including heavy slow dancing and wicked long make-out sessions and another thing I would do different would be to take an entirely different ‘track’ in high school and this for sure would have meant many semesters of typing, which if I’d done that this very piece would be at least twice as long, some mathematical juxtaposition think of it if I use 10 fingers instead of just these two and also I would have taken auto shop as much as possible even if it meant getting my ass kicked periodically, that too would have been something not ducked, and maybe a commercial orientation to learn ‘applicable’ skills versus college stuff, since I’m a writer and always was a writer including much of my life not knowing it,
Which makes getting to hang out in a newspaper where my Dad was the editor extra sweet and prescient and of course the high school newspaper and the college paper and working for a couple of small town papers and now we’ve come to a sci-fi world where for about $200 I get a virtual Blog space where I can write any old thing I want and put it out for any single resident of the planet to see – if they want to. The way you just did.