… keeps me alive.
These days, I draw my sustenance exclusively from dead people. When I’m up against the wall, these folks are my crisis management team. Duane, Gregg, Stevie Ray, Kurt, Miles, et al.
Without my parents, my spirit would have broken years ago. Their indomitable spirit continues to live on in me. They lived and laughed as hard as they could under almost unbearable circumstances.
They raised twelve, Irish-Catholic, Somervillans who, obviously never got the memo on how hard life could be. Ignorance was always bliss with us. Thankfully.
After recently flinging myself across the country without a net, landing in Phoenix with my two little dogs and no plan, I am forced into the realization that I like playing fast and loose with life.
Which is why these people are so important to me. For one reason or another, either stupidity or curiosity, I am forced to confront myself when my ego starts to panic. In which case, I can either succumb, or revolt. I prefer the latter.
“The future’s uncertain and the end is always near.”
As long as I keep Mr. Morrison’s words spinning around on my hard drive, I find the courage to keep on keeping on. I just came off a critical three day stand-off with a business owner. A huge showdown.
Given my ticklish financial situation these days, the bright thing to do would be to adhere to his demands and fight the good fight somewhere down the road. I chose not.
I didn’t buy his wolf ticket and walked. I had three full days to consider the consequences. I could have acceded at any time but I waited while looking at my other options. Which were slim at the time. I was gambling heavy as the casino was about to close.
Day one, I was still full of myself. Day two, not so much. Day three, yesterday, I broke out the Eckhart Tolle material, “The Power of Now.”
The fever broke yesterday afternoon in my favor. Needless to say, that positive outcome will do nothing to cure my death-wish negotiation style. This used to drive my wife to distraction. It was a short drive.
In Arizona, nothing is “down-the-street”. Five miles is considered next door, so I get a lot of drive time. In that time, I get to listen to all the musical legends who went before me and realize they actually “went” before me. They’re gone. All their struggles, pains, confusions, addictions and failures, gone. But not forgotten.
The ego is constantly under threat, real or imagined. Mostly imagined. When I hear brilliance in a piece of constructed music, or an improvised solo and I realize this talented entity gave it all he or she had, then gave up the ghost, I am inspired to live life as hard and fast as I can, while I can, because, after all, no balls, no blue chips. Right? Deal ’em.
But what these trailblazers leave behind is immortal. They lived life, good or bad. They took chances. They expressed themselves in the extreme, and of course, all of them failed harder than the rest of us. They died. That is, if you consider death a failure. I don’t.
At my end, I want to be spent, played out and ready for a nap. I’m hoping God never has to say, “Why didn’t you?” Because by then, I did.