Some on-again off-again writing for a book. Thought you’d dig it so far. Comments or edits always welcome.
The story starts long before the early morning landfall smell of smoke rises off the Jamaican coast line. Inky black nights, alone in God’s creation, feeling that the world is something more than just bits and bones, that there’s a hell-spark in all of us that roars into wild blaze every so often, experiencing Nature in all her naked glory, when raw lust for that pure and hard and clean spirit rushes through the heart, and belief in immortality leads down devilish roads.
There’s canyoneering, campfires, a mountain stream, fresh meat, drifting and moving and wondering and loving. Long road trips across the west, tires singing, windows radiating the heat of a place unwelcome to each of us bags of water. A circle of friends and heroes, cool headed, hard working, laughing, confident.
There’s that spirit that grabs hold when it shouldn’t, when the world is right but it ought to be wrong, when the world isn’t delivering enough pain to remind you that life is too rich for misery and scrabbling after the values of a dirty humanity.
Maybe it’s a good enough reason to forget all the rules we struggle to abide by. When that little piece of metal and rubber takes off and the world falls away in the roar of a thousand factories brought through 180 horses ripping away at a single prop dragging the whole contraption up past the smog to a clean and windy blue. Flying off the coast, instant flatness, development stops, and the vastness of a loving and bountiful and pitiless mother begins. Blue water, two whales, largest creatures ever to have lived, nostrils huge and smooth and clamping shut before the water rushes over, smooth movement, timeless and unstoppable. The blue white of flesh underwater, the incommunicability across species. Why do you swim? Why do we fly? Why do I go back to work when I should just jump out of this plane and return to what we evolved away from. Can a mistake be fixed in a short free fall that took 400 million years of evolution to fuck up?
Dropping back into another reality, purple curtains, Joan Jett, that rolling ripping heavy music in my own head drowning out the easy hippie music from tinny speakers, the deep blue bruising streaks of heavy pressure from a thick and low bass riff, all the toxins coming up out of the skin, a hard massage, roll me off the table limp and weak.
The unfolding of my lungs through repeated runs, overexertion, through the jerking of heavy weights, the cold stink of an early morning gym, the clean scent of morning mist, the cracked and grey sidewalks and the black shadows of night running up the sides of buildings.
This is a story about running into overdrive too early in a race, of recovering only through sheer willpower, of crying and broken hearts and crooked noses, of the stink of piss under a bar, the satisfying crack of slate as you flip a pool table. This life is equal parts warm puppies and heavy fists, love, and life, the juxtaposition of a modern warrior and an old soul.
This story is poetry and fresh baked bread made with my own hands, of old trucks and long unmowed grass, dogs rescued from a cold winter and cats shot dead in the street. My story is of life and growing and all varied and weird and wonderful mistakes that go along with doing the right thing, even too late.
Here I stand, alone and in the best of company at 32 years old. 146 pounds, ripped and hard, running faster, lifting heavier, loving more with more anger and angst and understanding and compassion than ever before. This place here, filled with friends and foes, with sudden bursts of understanding blended with the goddamn blind incomprehension of hate and emotional release is where I am. The story begins.
I grew up a lost Indian in a suburban white body. Always reaching for something different, always feeling a long and ancient connection with nature and natural things. That connection fought with some kind of inherent evil, a knowledge of lack of consequences, killing cats and lizards and squirrels through wanton abuse of all the gifts given.
Squirming and squirelling, wriggling through that tunnel that is too tight, of love and doing the right thing even when no one is looking, or trying too hard for too long with no reward only to see it open up before up before you big and bright and scary as your wife sliding down a rock water fall. The whole world out there, full of no safety nets, of black holes of the wrong thing, of occasional flashes of brilliance and love when the heart explodes into its own case, held together solely by the power of right and good and pure rushing energy. That is my life.
When, through countless tries and errors and victories, I come on serendipity in one moment, on the edge of a cliff, the urge to jump off, to see what’s on that other side, breathing too hard. Stopped on gravel, hands and knees, red digging craters in my hands, pebbles and dirt and grass and stains that don’t come out.
Every one of my pants is stained. I don’t have a t‑shirt that I’m proud to wear that is unsulllied. This life I’m living is one of experience, of hard won victories, of easy defeats, of the constant realization, over and over again, that I am the sole power in my world, the only creator, completely and terribly responsible for all I experience. The warring souls in me, the rushing thoughts of blood and violence, the deep love for humans and animals and clouds and every single soul on the highway crash together daily, churning out actions incomprehensible in their singularity, only understood through a wide lens.
Driving on the highway I feel the sudden heavy and unstoppable guilt that comes from killing, without warning or reason other than curiosity or the mild excitable rush that comes with meaningless power. This mixes and blends with those moments of remorse acted out, of saving a lost dog, helping a stranded lady, changing irrevocably the lives of hundreds of young men through faith in self acted out in a myriad of blessed and holy ways.