Po Boy Views
Ambient Shadow Dancing
Most of our lives will go wrong in quiet ways. Most of our wisdom, if we obtain any at all, will stem from crisis and disappointment that will not shatter the earth; and, for most of us, our dreams will quietly fade as we busy ourselves with the contentment of drifting along peaceably without making more waves than are necessary, letting spell-check pick up the slack instead of learning new things, going new places, making new lives. We’ll reach a point where reinventing ourselves is not worth the trouble it takes to change the evil we know for the evil that we might become. Or not. Of course, I’m not talking about you; I’m talking about most of us.
“My father always promised me that we would live in France, we’d go boating on the Seine and I would learn to dance” goes an old sweet, sad song of how we want so much for ourselves, and then, put our hopes aside as unattainable childish things that mature people know so much better about. Adult impotence.
But our dreams never do grow up… we do. And like Peter Pan coming back to find Wendy a shadow of her former shadow; our dreams sometimes wonder what made us forget them.
As a kid and growing up there were many things that struck my fancy as the persona that I wanted to become most; what I wanted to be when I grew up. Pool shark, test pilot, musician, artist, poet and lover. I wanted to be a baker, learn to tango, see the Sistine chapel, sail the seven seas. I wanted to change the world, save the whales, travel by houseboat, learn magic, cross the country in covered wagon. I wanted luck to be a lady, I wanted fortune to smile on me and I wanted and I wanted and I wanted. Most of all I wanted to be Peter Pan; most of all, I never wanted to grow up.
I bought my lottery tickets religiously, wished on stars, prayed to the Gods (and Devils) and believed in miracles. Some of that paid off, although not on the scale I wanted -- compared to the odds -- if you get my drift. It’s as if I was investing in my own Ponzi scheme…… missed by that much!
‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda and ain’t it a friggin’ shame.’ AND, there’s enough blame to go around for my fiascos: timing, economics, discipline and location, location, location. A minute sooner or later and I would have been a contender and if frogs had wings…
The trouble is that I’ve always been a dreamer, I’ve always lived in a world of fantasy where all things are plausible and possible. Alternative realities that are now the rage on computer--as if it were that easy—were my bedtime stories to myself as I lay in the bed of my own miserable upbringing.
Well, I’m passed that now. Do you know what happened to the man who got everything that he wanted? You’re right; he lived happily ever after. How am I going to do that? I’m going to stop pushing the river.
I’ve spent so much energy chasing my dreams that I’d probably be too tired should they come to fruition to do any more than take a nap. I’m going to slow down so that my destiny can catch up to me. No more worrying that I’d be at the train station when my ship came in. I surrender. I give up.
I think that I have fallen prey to those pharmaceutical commercials and that I suspect myself of having everything from COPD to Alzheimer’s to osteoporosis so much so that I’m getting psychic constipation and cosmic psoriasis and it ain’t helping my prostate or my fear that I might be urinating a little too frequently. I’m sure that stressing about my blood pressure is what elevates it and I’m becoming exhausted trying to relax my brain sphinctor. “Side effects may include nausea, drooling, vomiting, excess snot running down your face, bad manners, five O’clock shadow at three, blurred vision, night sweats and a slight limp brought on by an erection lasting more than four hours. Call your doctor!” I have met the enemy and it is me.
But I’m turning over a leaf. From now on, I’m going to eat more ice cream, and not the fancy schmancy kind. I’m gonna drink cheap whiskey (I already drink cheap beer), not exercise as much and to hell with my diet. I’m worn out worrying about my waistline, my hairline and my credit line. I’ll read pulp fiction instead of highbrow stuff, wear my socks a second day, cavort with miscreants and kiss the cat on the lips (if she’ll let me). I’m going to paint canvasses that I like, cook with excess garlic and butter my toast with abandon. I’m going to color outside of the lines, sing off key on purpose and become a shameless flirt.
Wait. I already do those things. Aha! But now I’m not going to stress about them and you can mail checks to me at this address and call the boss and tell him I won’t be in because I’m on the Trans-Siberian Railway, headed down the Amazon, climbing the Great Pyramid or playing roulette at Rick’s Café in Casablanca. I just bought my Powerball tickets and I’m sure to win this week, eh?
I do believe I should go and study pastry in Paris, visit my relatives in Sicily and go commiserate with the Dalai Llama about the future of spiritual man. I say that we charge on into the year twenty-ten singing (off key, of course)
“So, put me on a highway… and show me a sign; and take it… to the limit… one more time.
It’s either that or you’ll never hear from me again because Tinker Bell has just gotten in with some pixie dust and I’m off to Never Never Land and I ain’t talking about the ranch in California!