Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Shell Game

I'm the all or nothing guy; up down in out black white. Linda just thinks it's funny, but then pretty much every annoying trait I own she's put into her funny column bless her little heart.

I'm the guy that ten days after my first heart attack was putting up 4x12 foot sheets of sheetrock on the basement ceiling, using a wobbly self made 2x4 contraption as a jack so I could do the work alone. The guy that once in a while had to grab his crotch like a baseball pitcher to be sure that little incision the docs made for the angioplasty wasn't leaking anything... like... well... every drop of blood from my body. The guy that weeks later ran into some snag, some necessity that was over my head or skill I didn't have, and so dropped the whole obsession until a later date; a later date which took 8 years to reappear.

It takes dynamite to initially get me off my well rounded ass, but once I'm in gear I'm like a freight train comin' down the mountain; you need a ten story building? I have a week problem.

It's like I enter another dimension, or inhabit another's body with a brain I ordinarily keep hidden in a locked drawer. It's not necessarily obsession as in some diagnosable and therefore treatable thing; as often as not I don't even like the work, and if there's an obsession at all it's based on getting a thorn out of my side as quickly as possible.

But sometimes, rarely, it could only be described as joy.

When I first bought a house, everything beyond the perimeter of the building itself was a burden to me. I loved trees and shrubs, but in the forest, not at the end of a heavy, cumbersome pruners. I adore golf course quality grass, but the idea of kneeling down to pluck even one dandelion on a path to emulate a putting green, only made me dislike having a yard at all.

Then we bought a chunk-o-country and within a year I was reborn a naturalist. I can only liken it to when I was a kid taking piano lessons, eventually being tossed out because I composed, not practiced. The city lot was like practice, mowing the teeny lawn like doing scales over and over until I wanted to chop the piano into tiny pieces and sell it as firewood.

But the acreage was like a canvas, a raw lump of clay just screaming for someone to come along and massage it, poke holes in it, to love it beyond measure.

Not so much as knowing crabgrass from furniture I grabbed Linda's book, the Durr Manual of Woody Plants, a 500 some page phone book of every freaking plant known to man that makes a snapping sound when bent too far. And within a month I knew the latin names, cultures, disease and insect weaknesses, sizes and applications for probably 400 plants; nearly everything that will grow in my zone. I'm not bragging here, I've forgotten much of it already, but the point is that's how driven I can get.

It wears off eventually, I can get distracted and off on another course fairly easily. I visualize it as an ogre in love with purdy and shiny things, absolutely fascinated with some rock for hours until a bug lands on his nose and when he slaps it, his eyes lift a bit and then Oh Oh Oh!!! there's a purdy thing over there he runs to, leaving the poor, formerly beautiful rock in the indentation in the grass where his big butt once held sway.

Most often I just accept it as my "specialness"; everyone needs an eccentricity, this just happens to be mine. But sometimes it saddens me when I lose interest and drift away from what I know, into what I'd like to know; at least when I actually know I once loved such and such, and now it's just ok.

As I blew through the hundred poems I wrote for an on line challenge, I was on fire. I finally bought a spiral notebook and pen and carried it with me as single lines were pouring out of me as if I were a pasta maker and the air itself was dough. I was traipsing out of the shower with shampoo in my hair, walking the hallway to the kitchen in hopes that the 40 steps taken wouldn't be so many that I'd forget a random, hard water gifted cleverness, before jotting it to treepulp memory.

It was like being in love, getting a new puppy, eating a giant ice cream sundae. It was spiritual and nourishing and ego boosting and properly painful; it sucked and it rocked and I breathed it as if my lungs actually worked for 50 days.

There were a few days I let my anger/paranoia/self hatred get in my way...but even my weaknesses couldn't stop my little engine, I just wrote a fucking poem about them too.

The biggest fear I had that I was smothering people, emotionally, couldn't have been fun for some that thought me annoying stylistically to see five of my poems back to back on their friends page or news feed lol.

My biggest fear was then and is still today is that I'll lose interest without an imaginary sword in my back, that the ooze will stop oozing and I'll take my showers without leaving a trail of soapy waters down the hallway as proof. I spose it's like being an epileptic; you know you'll have another seizure, it's all in the waiting. I want to believe, even though the "seizures" make me... "odd".

I hope it's not the case, I sometimes think I've lost it already; I never wanted this couple years to be a memory, but only a starting gate. When I wrote/produced music for the short time I was given the opportunity it was like this, I was invincible and life had meaning far beyond what I'd ever have believed possible before that time. And now it's dead, that last of my tapes sent to the landfill, the last of my musicians sending me junk mail announcing his and his company's desire to sell my house, and the last of what little respect I received for my efforts only a fading dream.

Maybe this writing thing will be my breakout, the new leaf, the new trick so to bark..err..speak; maybe it will continue to be my single, dim light at the end of my pitch black tunnel. I hope so. I love writing so much right now I want to have sex with it, and God knows if I leave little pregnant pauses laying around on every piece of paper in the house and all over the internet, Linda's gonna put a stop to that pretty quick.

1 comment:

  1. Obsession can be healthy when it's channelled.

    I love the pregnant pauses being literal.