Sunday, September 30, 2012

Xmas 2012

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Dead Flowers
Roses On Your Grave
            When I was younger I used to read the obituaries in the newspaper and wonder, upon reading about someone who died at twice my age, whether they realized, at my age, that they would be living, that comparable day, with more time behind them than what was left in front of them. That changed when my mother died.
            My mother was the last of her generation to die; her family, friends, husbands and lovers had all circled the drain and left without her. She was buried next to her younger sister in a small cemetery somewhere in the boondocks of New Jersey. The funeral was poignant, sad, insightful and a little bizarre; you had to be there.
After a cruise through her small town haunts she was “laid to rest”; a phrase that I have still not figured out. I mean what else are you going to do when you’re deceased and buried; call the gang over for pizza and beer?
            After being dropped into that final fissure, a few moments of silence and privacy were granted her children; and I stood trying to read, with furtive glances, my siblings countenances. I wondered if they had come to the same conclusion that I had: we’re next. We are now the older generation; we have had the children, they will have children and we will, sooner or later, follow the family tradition of decrepitude and death. Sobering to recall, but, that was when I realized that, from that point on; I’d have more days behind me than in front.
            Obituaries look different to a person who consistently sees their age category amongst the dearly and recently departed: “how come he died so young or was he very old? Is the body still warm or is it very cold?” Sometimes I wake up in the night and perceive the abyss and I am saddened beyond comfort.
            Oh, I know that Lord willin’ and if the creek don’t rise that I’ve still got some decades ahead and good ones too; I have a healthy strong body and an alert and inquisitive mind, knock on wood. Come any given morning, I’m good to go; I’ve got plans and goals, but there’s not enough hours in the days or days in the week to get all the things that I want accomplished accomplished. Therein lies the rub. Every moment is precious and becomes more precious as time goes by and I want to do everything at once and as my bucket list gets longer and longer, I know that there’s only one thing for Christmas that I truly need: money. Yep money; lots and lots of money. I don’t want pie in the sky when I die; I want it now. Greenbacks. Bucks. Dough. Geedis. Bread. Moolah. I want coin. I want juice. I want some long green. I’m not the greedy; I’m the needy! I want my cake and I want to eat it too. Y’erd?
            I know, I should have thought about that years ago, but, I didn’t. I didn’t because I was busy growing into the person that I’ve become. Going through good times.  bad times, low times and high times; cramming as much of a life as I could into the seconds of my life as I lived it. Scheming schemes that didn’t work. Hatching plans that didn’t fly. Loving the right people, places and things and fucking up. Loving the wrong people, places and things and moving on. Taking advice, advantage and adventure down strange and wonderful life-paths; blowing every cent that I ever laid my hands on, with no regrets. And, I’m not about to slow down; especially if I can get Santa to bring me a five pound box of Benjamins.
            I know, I know, “money can’t buy happiness”; which is also a phrase that never settled well with me. Whoever said that obviously didn’t know where to shop! I want more than I can spend and I promise that I will spend it freely. I deserve it because there’s no one out there offering me… immortality.
With immortality I could work, save and spend forever; AND, I would always have time to repeat the cycle: work, save and spend ad infinitum. I swear I could go on everlastingly if but allowed.
            I feel like a character in The New Wizard of Oz, traveling with Dorothy, the guys and that little dog too. I’m going to see The Wizard for some life extension; I already have the heart, brain and courage. Listen: that’s me singing:
I would be an avid reader,
converse with royal leaders
 without formality.
I would climb every mountain
and I’d drink from public fountains
 for some immortality”.
“I would serve my lovers potions,
I’d even swim the oceans;
Shun immorality.
I would visit every nation,
I could learn to speak Croatian
With some immortality.”
You get my drift? Sure, but what are the chances? About as likely as mining chocolate on Mars. Wait! That’s still a possibility, right? Yeah, immortality would take a Wizard. Oh, I forgot: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” I’m screwed ain’t I?
So, after reviewing my situation, it turns out that I have to resign myself to having to leave this world that I have come to love; at some point. And as for having money; well, I guess poverty must also run in my family. A patron, sponsor, benefactor…. Better known as fat chance. The lottery, racetrack, casino… I’m a lousy gambler. Inheritance?  When my father died he left me his hat and a bag of pennies. When Mom died all she left me was alone. I guess my epitaph will be “He wanted to; he REALLY wanted to. He tried; he REALLY tried.”

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