Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Way It Goes



A couple of "oh. . . shit"s today.  Anita wrote that her computer wasn't showing some of the links I was putting up for readers.  I checked the site from my iPad and I couldn't even see the music videos I've included the past few days.  Computers, software, operating systems. . . beats me.  It is Google, I know.  They change things all the time.  I'm an old man.  I can't keep up.  If you are not seeing them on one computer, I suggest trying another.  As much fun as my writing has been these past few days, the music is spectacular. 

If you read yesterday's blog entry, you can imagine my surprise when a few hours after I posted Obama announced that he was dropping the embargo on Cuba.  People thought I might be happy, but of course they were wrong.  Cuba will become a Carnival Cruise stop now.  The people's attitudes will change immensely.  It will become another Miami.  If you don't know the difference between Miami Cubans and the ones in the homeland. . . you've missed something.  I remember stepping off the plane in Miami after a week in Cuba.  Oy! 

I will see about going down right away, though, before the hoi-poloi have a chance to make their mark.  I'll be the prick running amuck fast and hard.  So to speak. 

Yesterday I had lunch with the mother of one of the young models I used to make pictures with, one that I tried hard to hook up with some pretty good people in the fashion business and some pretty good art photographers, too.  Once she got hooked up with an agency, I was pretty much forgotten.  From time to time, though, the mother gets in touch with me to invite me to dinner or a party, and I get updated about her daughter.  Last week she asked me if she could get a big print of one of the images I made of her daughter.  Sure, I said.  I met her at a little restaurant that served chicken and waffles, jerked meats and spicy shrimps.  I think the couple who owned it were Cajun.  I hadn't seen the mother in a year or more, so there was the inevitable awkwardness and catching up.  Her daughter has finished her first semester of college.  She has a boyfriend from England whom she loves, and she still rides her jumping horses every day.  She flipped through her phone and showed me the usual pictures. 

Then she was telling me about herself and her husband, and she was telling me the story of the affair he'd had a dozen or so years ago with a younger woman.  I'd heard the story before but I didn't remind her.  I love to hear stories told, and I thought I might hear something that I hadn't before.  She took her time and gave me more details about the affair.  She told me about his leaving and what bad timing it was for her, the emotional trauma, the counseling. . . and eventually over a year later, the reconciliation.  They are happy now, she said. 

"But you never get over it, do you?" I asked.

"No, you don't." 

"I cheated once," I admitted.  "It wasn't really 'cheating.'  My girlfriend lived a hundred miles away in the college town where we had lived before I graduated.  She was in grad school and we had decided to have an 'open' relationship.  When she graduated and moved to town, though, I was seeing someone else and didn't tell her.  I tried to balance two lives for awhile, but that didn't work out.  I was miserable all the time.  After that, I've never cheated on anybody again."

"My counselor told me that men and women want different things.  Nine out of ten men want respect.  Women thrive on love."

"Oh. . . I'm definitely a woman," I said. 

"I know you are," she grinned.  "Anybody would know that right away." 

She continued.  "But that is where the pain comes in.  I needed to be swaddled in love and then it was just suddenly gone."

She told me about the drug she takes now that keeps her happy. 

"As long as I take that, I'm fine.  Things are good now.  You know I have my faith.  I've always had that.  Everything works out if you let it." 

I let her say it without telling her I didn't.  We had finished lunch and she had to get back to work. I got the big print out of the car and brought it to her.  She was taking it to be framed.  She was giving it to her husband for Christmas.  I wondered, but I didn't say anything about that, either.  It wasn't my favorite portrait of the girl, but it did have an edge to it.  Half her face was falling away in shadow, and her expression is somewhat disturbing.  I'd like to be there when the presents are opened to see the way it goes. 

Now that Q has outed my system of measurement for relationship happiness, I have to say that I don't know anything about the other side of the coin.  I mean, I don't know the formula by which women work.  Do they rank men one to ten?  What do they base that on?  Traditionally, I think, it was the ability to supply "the good life."  Money. . . and stuff.  In the bars when I used to run, women hung on the guys with the good coke, the boats and the houses on the water, the ones spending the most money.  But that was a small, bad sample, right?  Elsewhere, though, it was the fellow on his way up the corporate ladder, a broker or a banker or a lawyer or a doctor.  I am not a good judge of that, though, for I don't like guys at all and was always a ragamuffin without visible means.  I depended on the free drinks that seemed to always be around.  I drove shitty cars and wore jeans and t-shirts and flip-flops.  When I wanted to be really cool, I wore a bandana.  Women liked me some and guys not at all.  Don't ask me how that worked out for me. 

Oh, yea. . . you can just read the blog. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To The Country Where You're Going


Oh shit, oh shit. . . they're good!


If you, my love, must think that-a-way
I'm sure your mind is roamin'
I'm sure you thoughts are not with me
But with the country to where you're goin'.

Hey Adam!



Another work party last night at the house of another of my bosses.  It was a much larger party that filled his very large house and spilled over to the decks and patio and pool than the one the night before.  I am not good at parties, to shy to interact appropriately, too aware that if I am talking to someone, I am not talking to someone else.  It astounds me that people who you've just seen at work will shout out, "Hey. . . you!" like they haven't seen you in months, like it is a big surprise to see you at all. 

"What the fuck, I'm still in the same clothes you saw me in this afternoon," I want to say, but of course. . . .

One prick that I don't like at all who is especially liked by top administrators was standing with a buddy of mine just as I walked to the outdoor bar.  I have had fantasies about shouting out, "Hey you bald fuck, get over here," grabbing him in a headlock and rubbing my knuckles too hard on the top of my head while shouting out playfully, "you. . you. . . you. . . ." 

As I walked up, he said, "Oh, wow. . . you lost all your hair." 

My hair has been quite a topic of conversation since I cut it.  People come to identify you with one look and so. . . .  Many people have not liked it at all. 

"Yea," I said, "while they had me out doing my knee, they decided to cut my hair, too." 

"Looks like they just put a bowl over your head and. . . ."

I was too quick, perhaps, like a trap door on a metal spring, like a snake taking a frog.  I grabbed his head and began patting it, not with my knuckles as I had imagined but with my fingertips.

"At least I have some hair," I said not even issuing forth "motherfucker!"  I hadn't even had a drink yet, and in truth I was already feeling low. 

It wasn't a good start for me, though.  Walking to the bar, too many people greeted me.  One fellow, an engineer who still lives with his college roommate like a frat boy starting pushing some awful specialty drink called a chocolate pretzel on me. 

"Oh, no. . . I can't drink those."

"Come on, wild man, do a shot."

"I hate sweet drinks."

"Don't be a pussy," he said. 

I started pushing my way  through the crowd to the bar yelling, "Fuck that.  Get out of my way motherfuckers. . . a drinker's gotta drink." 

At least I got my "motherfucker" out of the way.  I spoke it, though, in the high-pitched delivery of Duchovny in "Californication." 

People were pulling me this way and that to say hello, to get me to join a conversation.  What the fuck, what the fuck, I thought.  I just wanted to go sit in a corner for a while and watch the show. 

"I smell the smoke of marijuana," I yelled.  "Who's smoking marijuana?  There, it's coming from over there!  Ruth!" 

The careful and decent people were looking around wide-eyed saying, "No, no, that's not marijuana," but I wanted to extricate myself and could think of no better way. 

"Marijuana," I said.  "That's what makes me so goddamned fast!"  I was recalling a wonderful piece written by Hunter Thompson about Jean-Claude Killy.  It worked.  I saw my path. 

The smell wasn't marijuana of course.  Nobody at that factory would take such a chance at a corporate boss's party.  The smell was coming from the smoke of a fire in one of those outdoor clay chimneys.  It wasn't drawing right and smoke was pouring from both openings. 

"How's that possible?" I asked.  "Seems like you'd have to have air coming in from someplace.  This is madness." 

I sat down next to a woman I know and like.

"When are we going to Cuba?" she asked.  "We've talked about going for a long time." 

"As soon as we get our permits from the U.S. Government.  We can go for any of a number of reasons, but we'll need a contact there to sponsor us.  I mean, we could take down condoms to hand them out to the poor and call it a medical supplies trip!  It could take a while, though."

"Well. . . where can we go quickly, then."

"Mexico.  It's quick and fairly cheap.  We can go for five days and have a blast."

"Let's do it." 

The smoke had gotten out of control and people were moving away now. 

"I've got to get away from this smoke," my friend said and followed the crowd.  I waited long enough not to get caught up in some sort of migration that I didn't want to be in, then went a different way. 

On an isolated patio, I saw my college roommate sitting with another of our kind, uncomfortable misfits who'd rather be "among the throng, but not part of the throng."  I, however, was interested in none of it, and did not care to be among the throng at all.  It was dangerous for me, I knew.  Nothing but trouble lay that way.  This patio was the best route of escape as it was only a few feet from the road. 

"I need to go," I said.  "I'm getting weird." 

Just then the fellow throwing the party came out.  Soon there was another crowd.  I smiled and made my way to the kitchen where I ran into the friend who wanted to go to Cuba sitting with three of her girlfriends. 

"Oh my god. . . come here. . . look at your hair."  One of the pretty women was running her fingers through my hair.  "I LOVE it!" 

I looked at the other two uncomfortably.  "She's rolling, right?  She's done some Molly?" 

"Where are we going in Mexico," my friend asked. 

"We can fly into Mexico City, spend a day or two, then take the bus to Oaxaca."  I pronounced it "Wahaca."  Another of the girls sitting there laughed and corrected me. 

"Owaka," she said.  "It's pronounce "Owaka." 

"No it's not."

Just then a fellow who works at one of the other factory sites owned by the corporation tried to squeeze through the narrow passage I was blocking up. 

"Hey, man, I haven't seen you in a long time!"

"Yea, they don't let me come over there any more.  They told me I was banned." 

"Really?  You cut your hair.  Why?  I liked it better long." 

I turned to the girls.  "See," I said.  "Most people don't like it." 

They all said they did. 

"There you go, man.  The People have spoken." 

Then he started telling them about his own hair for some reason, saying that he used to have it long.

"Down to here," he said holding his flattened hand at the top of his shoulder. 

"That's really something," I said.  Why do people do that?  "We all used to be different, I guess.  Hell. . . I used to date girls!"

I turned to my friends.  "I'll bet my hair is discussed more at the factory than any other fellow's." 

"Without doubt."

"What color is my hair now?  Am I blonde?" 

Laughter all around. 

"I gotta go," I said.  "I really gotta go." 

"Well let's fly to Mexico," said my friend definitively. 

"Yea. . . to Wahaca!" (link).

I was almost to the street when someone called my name.  It was the same fellow who caught me leaving the party early the year before. 

"Are you sneaking out again?" he asked.  He was a foreman for another division, a right wing conservative with a wife, two kids, and an ambition to rise up the corporate ladder.  In spite of it all, I liked him.  I had mentored him when he got the job, and when I kidded him, he always laughed.  It is the most endearing characteristics a conservative can have, I think. 

"I've got to get home.  Early day tomorrow and all of that." 

Still, he caught me up in a conversation about work.  The entire time, I was inching toward the street. 

"O.K.  You coming to work tomorrow?"

"Of course. I'll see you there." 

Driving home, I thought of all the stupid things I'd said, all the mistakes I'd made.  Why can't I simply shut up, I wondered?  It certainly must be genetic.  I thought about standing in a room doing a Groucho Marx imitation, placing my knee in somebody's hand as I screamed out lines to the Margaret Dumont stand in: 

"I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows till you come home. . . .  Remember men, we're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did!"

Etc. 

It was early, of course, when I walked in the door.  Everything was as it was before which is not to say "good."  I was still suffering from the troubles of my times.  My time. 

"Revel in your time," Q had quoted in our conversation earlier in the day.  I sat down at my computer and went to his blog.  And there I was. . . misrepresented as usual.  Well, I thought, I do that all the time.  It is good fun.  Anybody who was at the party tonight would not remember anything the way I will write it in the morning.  As Q says, I have to be the goofball hero. 

I did say some of the things in his post, though.  Sixes will make you happy, but we all want eights.  You can have an eight if you have a lot of money and a prenuptial agreement.  You can have a nine if you have the most money and not much of a heart.  But if you are a silly romantic full of emotion. . . .  We all know that story.  Pretty women get more attention than anything in the cosmos.  That is why the book of Genesis was written.  It is nothing more than an explanation of things, an inevitable cautionary tale.  When people ask me if I believe in the Bible, I say, "Just Genesis."  They think I'm joking. 

I did, too, say the part, too, about happy couples.  They seem to enjoy just being with one another and acting out the rituals of life, Thanksgiving, vacations, Christmas, the mall.  They have children and watch "A Christmas Story" together.  Right now they are decorating the house with Christmas lights and picking out a tree.  They fill the sidewalks and the hallways.  I don't know, maybe they are the happiest people in the world. 

People like us, though. . . what is it we seek?  We read too many books of the wrong kind, fiction rather than self-help books, poetry rather than instructional manuals.  We've tried to look too deeply and surely thought ourselves too special.  And if you are like Q or me. . . we demanded too much. 

Some of the other shit he said is made up, but I do have quite a collection of panties. 

And he is right.  One of them in his marriage was far too pretty for the other. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Undatable



Sitting in the cold dark alone at the dining room table still and again--I understand now why the images are such as they are.  How could I make anything else. . ?  The dark, isolate horror, the cold beauty and fruitless desire both attractive and repelling, profound beyond simple happiness.  Stripped bare, donning masks.  Seeking refuge where there is none.  My mind unfolds.

My work wife is leaving.  My secretary.  She has been there since I became a foreman, a long time now, and like any marriage, we have had our ups and downs and have worked out a happy arrangement.  I've been to her daughter's graduation (two of them) and her wedding.  I've been to the funeral of her husband.  She knows my foibles and takes care of me.  I don't know what she does, don't know the routines nor the software that is required, but she knows what I should do and when.  She keeps me out of much trouble.  And now, in weeks, she will be gone. . . another of life's losses.  It feels sometimes that is all life is, a stripping away of things, a series of depletions, a paring down to the bone.  I will be troubled without her. 

We are in the process of hiring someone to replace her now.  We have been doing interviews.  I listen to the committee's questions as an observer, then I take the candidates aside and talk to them on my own.  It has been embarrassing for me that many of the secretaries from other offices at the factory have applied for the position, even those at a higher pay grade who work for administrators who have positions greater than mine.  They want to leave their supervisors to come work for me.  I am the fun boss, they say, easy and relaxed.  That is the way I seem, I suppose, the "holy goof."  They think two things about me.  1) I am funny, and 2) nobody wants me to be otherwise.  That doesn't turn out so well. 

But there are others, too, whom we interview who do not work at the factory, and in my discussion with them, I feel obliged to ask them how they work with "crazy." 

"It is said that I am like the carnival come to town," I tell them.  "Can you deal with that?"

One woman, very competent and serious, asked me about my "management style."  She has a master's degree in something.

"I don't know what 'management style' means," I told her.  "I don't 'manage' anybody," I said.  "Maybe I would say it is a liberal, creative chaos." 

Her countenance did not change.  She sat as proper and serious as ever.  Maybe I'll hire her just for the challenge.  On the other hand, she might get me fired.  She is like a movie secretary, pretty with a nice figure, nerdy/hip glasses and her wild-ish hair pulled up in a loose bun.  She looks like the kind who would report the first indiscretion.  Fucking HR. 

After we interviewed the last candidate for the day, the committee (three women including my secretary) and I sat in the conference room unwilling to get back to work.  We talked about the candidates and then about people who had taken the early retirement package and who would not be coming back for the new year.  The talk turned for a minute to someone in the finance office whose wife had died some years ago.  He had remarried to someone who worked in another office.

"Wait," I said.  "They are married?"

"Yes."

"I didn't know that.  Huh?  Remember when his wife died.  It was sudden and tragic, nothing you could plan for.  She was just here, then gone.  And what was it, like two weeks later that he had taken up with that tall blonde?  You'd see them all over the place holding hands, hugging and kissing."

"She was half his age.  That one went to HR."

"He was like a puppy, all cartilage, wiggling around."  I made some goofy puppy movements.  Everybody laughed.

"These guys don't take long after their wives die," one of the women said.  "Bob Crosby got married less than half a year after his wife died of cancer.  That was a strange one.  He found his first girlfriend on Facebook and they got together and married right away."

Bob was over sixty years old, and I wondered about all of it.

"Damn, I don't know how all these guys do it.  They have women falling all over them and I can't get a date!  And they aren't half as good looking as I am, either."  I gave a self-depricating laugh.

"You need to get on Facebook or something.  Jim met his wife on e-Harmony."

"Yea.  You should be on Christian Mingle."  Everybody looked at me and laughed. 

"I swear, if I was going to use a dating site, that would be the one."

"YOU should go on J-Date."

"What's that?" one of the other women asked. 

"It's a dating site for Jews." 

"I was raised Mormon.  Maybe there is a Mo-Date."  I realized what that sounded like right away. 

"Try Grinder," one of the women who works for me said.  The other two looked at me to see if I was laughing. 

"Maybe a last resort," I said.  "I don't know."

In the end, we all agreed that truly there just must be something wrong with me.  Perhaps I'm just "un-datable." 

"You're kind of unique," one of them said.  "I think you sort of scare people." 

I could see the subtle head shakes.  Goddamnit, I thought, it must be true.  I don't know why, but it must.  There was nothing to do but hold my head up so that I couldn't see the ground. 

I am giving up hope, really.  My body is betraying me, and in truth, I am looking awful.  I am trying the old "comeback," but the injuries keep mounting.  I guess it is ironic and funny in some dark way.  Yesterday, I went to the gym in the morning.  I did the elliptical machine as I was advised by the doctor to do before I tried running again.  I did a mile and a half according to the computer, and when I was finished, I thought that I should just try a slow, short jog on the treadmill to see how my knee held up.  I went a quarter mile with some weirdness but nothing sharply painful.  Great, I thought!  This may work. 

I drove home, and when I stepped out of the car, my back seized up.  I looked like a question mark the rest of the day. 

The good news, though, is that my knee felt fine.  Ho!

I went to a holiday party for all the foremen at one of the factory boss's house last night.  I went early so I could leave early.  Maybe the other's enjoy it, I don't know, but for me it is just like being at work.  I'm always in serious danger of saying or doing the wrong thing.  But, as I have said, there is something wrong with me, and one of the things I know of is that I am not very good at being quiet, and before I knew it, I was telling a story that went a little southeast, maybe, and soon people were heading to other parts of the house.  I couldn't figure out what exactly went wrong, but I knew it was something.  I was glad when my time was up and I could sneak out of the house and back to my car. 

At home, even though it was early, I could not keep my eyes open.  I gave up and got into my bed.  I put on the hillbilly music station I have created and turned out the light.  It was nine o'clock. 

I am going to start making pictures again, I think.  I have time now and no one to tell me "no."  I am good at it no matter how bad and weird the pictures are.  I don't care.  It beats the hell out of puppies and sunsets. 



Monday, December 15, 2014

Pale Moon



I began reading "Child of God" last night.  Words.  That f***ing McCarthy sure has them--and he knows how to use them.  It is an easy book to read.  Short chapters.  Vignettes, really, linked by character and plot but more by tone and mood and atmosphere.  I'll give Franco credit.  He captured much of the novel's feel.  His translation is practically literal.  Critics should read the novel before they write about the movie maybe.  If Franco is going to be criticized for anything, it needs to be his choice of trying to film literature.  Who's ever gotten that right?

I had dinner with my mother again on Sunday, two nights in a row--her birth week, I guess.  I am a beaten fellow right now, so it hardly mattered.  I skipped brunch with my buddy earlier in the day.  I'm not much use for anything right now.

After dinner, I took a detour and drove down the Boulevard.  Sunday night had hardly diminished its foot traffic.  Beautiful people dressed in beautiful things, bundled up as southerners do against the cold, fashionable coats and scarves and hats and boots.  My own hometown has been transformed, but sometimes I look and think, yes, maybe it isn't so bad.  I had a camera but couldn't make myself stop and get out of the car and take pictures on a picture-perfect holiday night.  I did not feel one of them.

At the last light of the Boulevard, the sky became visible, clear and cold, the stars shimmering above the oak trees, falling away beyond the fairways of the country club and across the city's lakes.  I turned east, then south, and drove a parallel road back the way I'd come seeing the decorative lights and the light of storefronts across the park.  The tent that housed the ice skating rink had a large plastic window so that I could look in to see the skaters inside.  The little rink was crowded and awkward, a kind of slow motion folk ballet.  Further south on the lakeside road, the college quiet now, the still water reflecting the night.

It had been dark a long while when I got home, but it was still early.  I was tired, but it was too soon for that.  I opened the laptop computer on the dining room table and looked for emails that were not there.  I decided to make a soundtrack for the movie that wasn't available.  You can try it here.




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Child of God



Yesterday was my mother's birthday, and as an only child, it was up to me to make the day special.  I am, though, better at organizing gun running to Venezuela than planning a celebration.  My mother and I don't share many cultural delights and she is not really interested in gew-gaws or fancy gifts.  So usually I buy her flowers and a card and take out to eat.  Eating is our true shared experience, I realize, and it is over meals and drinks that we talk about the "troubles of our time."  There is a problem, though.  My mother is on a very expensive diet plan that is being supervised by a chiropractor.  Don't, O.K.?  Just don't. 

In the morning, I sent her one of those animated Jacquie Lawson cards that used to be neat but are now used by everyone.  Then I sent her another.  As soon as she responded, I called her. 

"Happy Birthday, mom!  How are you feeling?" 

"Fine."

"What do you want to do today?  Do you want me to bring over a cake?"

"Ha.  No, I don't want to do anything special.  I'm on this diet.  I'm not losing weight as fast as I should."

"Do you want me to get your money back?"

"You can't.  I signed papers."

"Oh. . . I bet I could.  I'm pretty good at making people uncomfortable."

"Don't you do it.  Don't go starting any trouble.  I'm going to stick with it.  People have lost a lot of weight on this plan."

"O.K.  It's up to you.  So what are we going to do today?"

"You just do what you want to do.  I don't need anything." 

"O.K.  I'm going to the gym, then I'll stop by."

"Maria said she wanted to take me out this afternoon."

"O.K.  I'll call you before I come to see if you are there."

I didn't have a clue what to do to celebrate.  After I worked out, I lay poolside for about forty minutes trying to rid myself of the hospital tan I have been sporting.  It was early afternoon when I got the flowers and card to her house.  She was sitting in the garage with the door open when I pulled up.  It is her window on the world. . . of sorts. 

"Happy Birthday!" 

We went into the house to cut the flowers and get them into vases.  She opened the eight dollar card.  She was supposed to blow into a hole and something would happen.  It was that sort of card.  But nothing happened.  I tried it.  It was a dud. 

"Damn, mom.  I'm sorry.  That was an expensive card."

"Where'd you get it?  I'll take it back." 

We sat for a bit looking at each other and making small talk. 

"What are you having for dinner?"

I told her to bring it over and I would make something similar to what she was eating.  Our birthday celebration would be a diet meal. 

I decided to buy an on demand movie for us to watch.  Scrolling through the offerings, I saw "Child of God," the title of one of Cormac McCarthy's early novels.  I had read every one of them but that one.  I watched the trailer.  It was directed by James Franco.  It was about hillbillies.  Perfect.  That is what we would watch. 

Within the first five minutes, there was a graphic shot of Lester Ballard, a halfwit, taking a shit and wiping his ass very poorly with a stick.  For the rest of the movie, we watched him hump the corpses of pretty women.  It was a real treat to watch with my mother, but she was a good sport. 

"Looks like what my life will be like after I retire," I said.  This made her laugh.

"The music is pretty good, huh?" I asked her.  And in truth, it was wonderful.  "Does this remind you of your youth at all?" I meant the countryside, the mood. 

"No.  We never went to town.  I didn't see any people." 

"Well, I hope you had fun.  Maybe it is a birthday you won't forget."  I grinned. 

"Probably not." 

When she was gone, I Googled the movie and looked for the soundtrack.  Nothing.  I tried searching every way I could, but there were no links to the hillbilly music.  I even Googled the name of the band.  Nothing.  I was stymied. 

This morning, the sun rises from the far south. The shadows are long as the sky begins to pale.  The air is crisp and cold and translucent.  It is the thing I notice about being alone again, writing to the sun and the sky--observations are more poignant, the emotions deep.  As Hemingway so famously noted, it is easy in the daytime.  Night, though, is another thing, especially after you've gotten used to telling things.  You want to tell them still, the silly things, the personal things.  Perhaps you told too much, you think.  You have always tended to.  Perhaps that is the flaw among many, the one that draws attention to them all.  Why this need for story, for confession?  You've said it before--less talk, more silence.  People like a man of few words.  Gary Cooper.  You know.  All this blabbering is too much.  It is like a curse.  Who does that? 

In the dark, it is never late enough.  There is always so much night left with which to deal, then there is music that you again feel too deeply, and you are drinking and playing your guitar, learning the chords, the words, and there is the whiskey, too, and then it is midnight and you are not tired as you were before.  It is like that in the beginning.  It takes a while to get used to the silence again, to be one with things. . . to be one. 

But the morning is glorious and holds forth opportunities.  You think, perhaps, that some might be for you. 

“Each leaf that brushed his face deepened his sadness and dread. Each leaf he passed he'd never pass again. They rode over his face like veils, already some yellow, their veins like slender bones where the sun shone through them. He had resolved himself to ride on for he could not turn back and the world that day was as lovely as any day that ever was and he was riding to his death.” 
--Cormac McCarthy, "Child of God"