The End of the Road
Got my doctoral hood. (Ha. Fake Doctorate. The lawyers were getting jealous. Read all about it on the Wikipedia.)
What a decade. So much has happened. 3600 days. Pretty serious. Everything in my life. I was really going to be something by the age of 22. Over that. Over myself. One more test. One more paper. Then TWO more tests. Then maybe a job — a job I don’t want to do. Maybe something else.
Always new songs. Always new women, new smiles. Always something else. Talking to my father about wanting something new, and worried about getting bored with the always something new. Boredom — I’ll have to figure that one out, break it open, see how it works, see if anything can be done — probably has something to do with caring and interest and drama —
Parenthood. Hard to say. Still a child myself, with medium-long legs. Maybe I’ll grow up soon. I’ve been a grownup before. I was the oldest fourteen year old anyone had ever met. In one way. Stuck in my own head, huge like a balloon. This. Solipsist too. Strange conversations, echoes. Picking up a guitar. New York City, with your tall and beautiful buildings. I’m leaving you, leaving you like I’ve left others — you almost got me — or turned me away — or I turned away — something in the way you move, herky jerky, done before, won’t knock it, but I’m not there there’s a here, anymore or ever, alone on your island with your little dramas, the Great City State, the Great Island, with your insular concerns —
Not for me.
Bob Dylan, coming here, with a beat-up guitar on his pack. He knew what he was selling, knew what was selling, and knew he could sell it — did. Changed the rules of the game.
Is that for me? To sit around and change the rules of the game? To force? To master?
Jerry Garcia, standing in a corner, playing a guitar, Pied Piper, all the children running out of their houses and gathering around him, and following him out the city, and putting poison in their veins and liquid dream-drops in their eyes and thirty years later, grown fat and soft, still humming — to me Jerry will always be Old Jerry, Whitehaired like Jehovah, round like one of his bears, smiling, a guitar in his hand — Garcia had nine fingers —
Or what about Blind James Joyce, who wrote one book that changed the world, and tried to write another, with English falling apart, even as the world did — oh James, oh James, even you laid there in your death bed and watched the light go out from the world — even you — with the snow general over Ireland, far far away from your chamber in Paris —
Three of the famous, whose names are known.
What of the countless unknowns, whose names stay close their selves — who in order to be known must be known — who have their stories, about the scariest thing that ever happened to them, the time they almost died, the time they fell in love, their first kiss, their first, their last, their daily struggles, unhappy mornings, happy mornings — the texture, the fabric, great things seen, all of us together, doing something making the world as good as it can be — trying to understand — trying not to understand — Dean Moriarty or FK or whoever on a mountain trying to find his way — or my father who had a father who had a father and all us both imprisoned and lifted up by the certainty of the soil —