I can’t explain the momentary lapse of reason or loss of awareness that made me drive across the tracks while the red light was flashing and the guards were coming down because I don’t make a habit of trying to beat the train.
So I’ll start this post, words about the inside of June with song lyrics I used earlier in the day.
One slip, and down the hole we fall
It seems to take no time at all
A momentary lapse of reason
That binds a life for life
A small regret, you won’t forget,
There’ll be no sleep in here tonight
Was it love, or was it the idea of being in love?
Or was it the hand of fate, that seemed to fit just like a glove?
The moment slipped by and soon the seeds were sown
The year grew late and neither one wanted to remain alone
You wouldn’t describe me as absent minded or an airhead but you might say I am prone to getting lost in deep thought.
And you might ask if I have lost my car in parking lots with greater regularity than normal or if there are other signs of abnormal behavior.
The answer is I have misplaced my car more often than normal and I have found myself in a few other unusual situations.
One of the boys tells me it is grief and that I shouldn’t worry because you grieve as long as you do and then you are done.
I tell him I am not worried about it and that if it makes people uncomfortable that is their problem, not mine.
Many years ago when I was a wee lad I asked my father why he had done me the injustice of giving me a ton of sisters and no brothers.
“When you are older you might appreciate your sisters more. They’ll have friends and you’ll like having them around.”
I don’t remember my exact response but it was something about girls being stupid, irritating and the biggest pain-in-my-8-year-old ass.
Somewhere around that same time I read about Lady Justice in a comic book and complained again to my dad, “Lady Justice is a girl. Why would anyone do that.”
Dad assured me a day would come when I would find girls to be very interesting but told me that didn’t mean they wouldn’t be difficult sometimes.
“I don’t like it when you tell me things that can’t be true.”
“I am not, you’ll have to get a little bit older to understand.”
“Get your things, we’re going with grandpa to the shvitz.”
That made me smile. The shvitz meant we were going to the bathhouse. I’d get to go swimming, use the weights and sit in the steam room with the old men.
Those guys told all sorts of stories, more than a few were things a kid my age wasn’t normally exposed to.
They were generally pretty good about not sharing the inappropriate stuff, but that was when they saw me. I learned to be quiet and to hold still.
Sometimes my grandfather’s buddies would talk about what they did and where they went in WWII which is where I heard some men argue about whether the English broads were friendlier than the French.
I remember trying to figure out how they were part of the fighting and why the guys spent more time talking about them than killing Germans.
And I remember both my dad and grandfather saying “bullshit”about a different man’s story. Couldn’t tell you what he said, but I thought it was pretty cool that dad and grandpa said it at the same time.
A thousand years later I can come up with some educated guesses about the stories. I wonder about how many were exaggerated and how many weren’t.
I wonder about how many were never shared and whether they were tales of average people involved in heroic efforts or if they were about average people who did horrible things.
Mostly I remember the smell of eucalyptus leaves, the sounds of men snoring post shvitz in the Bullshit room and the Doc Brown’s Creme soda I used to get with my bagels, lox and cream cheese sandwich.
Got The Moody Blues keeping me company while I plumb the depths of the cavern between my ears and consider what gets shared and what gets left unsaid.
There are memories demanding an audience and an opportunity to be pulled off the shelves and taken from the closet in which they remain.
A thought I can’t quite hear is floating around inside my head and every time I try to grab it the damn thing floats away.
“What are you searching for?”
There is no answer, just the echo of the question and this idea that I’ll figure it out or forget it. It is not particularly comforting or insightful, but maybe it doesn’t have to be.
A couple of days ago I conducted an imaginary telephone call in Hebrew.
It was done with purpose and intent because I needed to get in touch with someone and the gatekeepers weren’t willing to let me through.
My natural inclination may be to knock walls down and tear doors off of their hinges with bare knuckles but it doesn’t mean I won’t mix up my game.
The Hebrew worked and the person I wanted to speak with found their way over to me. I don’t want to jinx anything so I’ll say I got the door to open, all hail a deft touch and the absence of brute strength.
I tried on four shirts today and left the store without purchasing any of them.
Not one of them fit as I wished for them too.
Some were too tight in the shoulders and or the arms.
Some were too tight across the belly.
All looked funny upon me and I wondered what would happen if I magically dropped the extra weight.
Would any of them rest upon my frame as I want them to?
I answered my own question with a resounding no.
I am of average height but broad. If I lost 100 pounds my shoulders wouldn’t disappear and I would probably need something that would be far too large around the belly to make sure it was big enough in the shoulders.
Or so it went in my younger years.
Fortunately I don’t need to drop anything close to 100, but that doesn’t change the net result here now does it.
I crossed the tracks. Lady Justice is still a girl and I might be MIA for a good part of tomorrow. Ain’t life peachy.