The strength of strings

It was a time in my life when every little detail seemed to matter. Like it was all just there for the taking. Life seemed to vibrate, to hum. All of it a painting and me just passing through. You could say it felt like a charmed life. Down to the fact that I could hear the neighbors fighting every night: the guy would start shouting and his wife would start crying and pretty soon the baby joined in and it all just piled up like that, a heap of broken glass. The kind of sad cry of the unheard lower class. I leaned out the window by the street lamp wishing I was Bukowski. They shouted, and I think there was some hitting but I tried not to get involved. The guy was out on parole and wore a mustache. It felt like being a part of something real though, the youth part of me passing through. It had a grit to it living downtown. The prison right behind the slaughterhouse where they made the bacon, the one with the cartoon pig. It felt like I noticed too much. Like everything could be written down or needed to and I’d miss out on something if I wasn’t careful and that made me nervous. I sprang out of bed for fear of missing out. I pined hard for females. I brooded and made a pathetic game of it but always lost. I started to learn that to write is to live, and you can’t do much of the former without the latter. To live and to love, to feel something so much you don’t want to let it go. That was reason enough to live, no matter how much you saved. Anything else is gravy. It’s hard to feel that way most days but it’s a lot better than the alternative.



Categories: identity, Memoir, prose, writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Very good, this. Intense. I feel it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good punchy writing, seems like song lyrics somehow.
    I don’t know much science, but always liked the idea of strings moving in sympathetic vibration. Even if you feel like you’ve lost some of the immediacy, and aren’t constantly humming with the intensity of your reactions, on the other hand, do you feel like you’ve gained perspective, the ability to think through things, and not just react? And of course, feel free to tell me to kiss off, if I’m wildly off track. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that string bit there Robert. And the notion of sympathetic vibration, very cool. That’s a song I have some attachment to (“Strength of Strings”). Probably completely unrelatable and better kept to myself. Happy this read like lyrics to you though. I took an excessive amount of time editing it, just for kicks. Now you can kiss off, mister! Ha! Take that!

      Liked by 2 people

    • And to answer your question about thinking through vs reacting, yes…maybe that’s a benefit of aging.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “You have to die a few times before you can really live.”

    Do you still want to be Bukowski? I wanted to be Annie Dillard, long ago. I re-read “Pilgram at Tinker Creek” this year and now I’m over it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kind of makes you wonder: is it better to be young and vigorous and angsty and full of hormones, feeling everything at double strength; or older, more experienced as to what’s worth the angst, but with less intense feelings?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dave, I love your deep reflections and comments…thank you…yes, I’ve been wondering this quite a bit! Just finished a Herman Hesse novel they called “a German Catcher in the Rye” and I think it’s rubbed off on me some.

      Liked by 1 person

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