His God is achievement I explained… In-between passings of our attractive server we preamble back into the talk of men. I sit back with the Master Salvor, Master Sculptor, myself a metal worker and another comrade woodworker. I watch him- awestruck at the stories and hearing the word master so often makes you ask yourself have you accomplished anything at all. Mind you not the sort of achievement that depends on others recognition, most of the Salvors accomplishments were underwater and celebrated among a small crew of men who know how. We young men on the threshold of discovery sit at the table of ability and study. The word “Kemo” is said- like a wave it should have darkened the conversation but to him now its just another hiccup between jobs. Even a master of that… fear I think they call it. That achievement does not come from beating others, it comes from living up to your own potential. That poor New York farmer boy became the greatest Salvage Master in the world.
At a wedding party once I met a frenchman who said he was a underwater salver. Our table was full of people and when I asked this gentleman if he knew my friend, his eyes watered up and he told me stories of their friendship and travels together. The rest of the table included my eXwife and her husband, I was proud to have spent my time in the company of greatness. I learned a lot about my friend that night.
The roast beef sandwich is made with extra meat, I don’t know if she charges me extra but its worth it if she does. My Vegan comrade pulls avocado through straw and calls it healthy, id rather use my teeth to cut and tear into life. Have you ever had a woman’s hip on your mouth and it feel so good you cringe in fear you might not know when to stop biting her? You shiver and stop of course just before her yelp. Is that pepperJelly? Its delicious.
He normally has a laptop and an obscure book on the table. His food never lasts long in front of him- he blames it on the army. The lack of evidence of nourishment leaves you to wonder if his powers come from the sea. Soon he will be gone again, like a hound who picked up a scent he vanishes. Here just long enough to charm everyone he talks to, then he is gone again. In the old days I thought his woman ran him off, now I see its just the way of things. The well mannered son closes down the coffee shop. The smoked hens who keep watch on the veranda have gone home to roost.
Another day in paradise.
The woman I date is like me but with a kid so less me more them. When visitors go to Jerusalem and experience the holy land there is a mental illness that attaches to some of the tourists. Its called Jerusalem Syndrome- The person believes they are the new Messiah and that God has chosen them as the coming Savior. There is a wing of the hospital in jerusalem for these people. The best treatment is to introduce them to each other. “I am the Messiah”, “No, I am the Messiah” They get annoyed with each other and somebody snaps out of it. Why do I snap out of love? I wake up as hard as I fell in… its weird and savage. It is not lack of connection, compassion or commitment that makes my heart float on like jetsam. It is fear of the shallow slackwater. I was born to swim in the deep and wide. If I drown it will be tempest, not indifference that takes me. Like a man lost at sea he was not defeated, he was swallowed whole. That doesn’t happen in the shallows, but all the best stories are deep. -theDick
The puddle of breath accumulates in my muscles
affording the cough that might clear the room to build a life.
My cough is my hammer.
My cough is my hammer.
Hammer. Gasp. Hammer, Hammer.
The question is how best to spend your time with bankrupt lungs? The struggle is for efficiency and to slow down your favorite parts of the cycles you find yourself in. How can I stretch time? My body is damned to the speed of trot but my mind fires hot, hotter than trot, faster than death. This lump of fat in my head is responsible for my momentum. It is as important to my progress as the finest medicine. The cure is in me. My mind doesn’t know its limited until my body convinces it otherwise. The sting of “can’t” is swallowed to a bitter stomach. The rage is digested and beaten while hot into a tool i’ll gouge my way out of this hell. If I go it won’t be quiet, it will not be dignified.
Perhaps the biggest contradiction about me is the illusion of freedom. I cannot go one day without meds to help me breathe or enzymes to help break down and absorb the food I eat. For years I try to explain to people what is different about my body. I learned to speak of my lungs as rebellious children who argue and need poisoning from time to time. In a world of pill prophets and sooth-huffers I’m chained to the tools of medicine. Blessed with a compass that always points to life I weigh my stubbornness against the spirit that inspires.
Tomorrow I go into the den of disease to look for life. I hate hospitals- you have to convince a drowning man who wants to live to stop swimming. I’m no good at sitting still and waiting to be saved.
I work my tail off to make gifts for strangers and feel like a zombie at family holiday functions. Seems backwards. When I did find it in myself to come out of my shop and socialize I got way too tipsy with mixed company and decide to climb a billboard like the old days. The catwalk is 50ft from the ground and she has gracefully slipped up the thin ladder and waits for me. A few rungs from the top i look up just as a nest of squirrels begins to scream and run all over me. I swat with one arm and leg and holdfast with the other. Squirrels are caught in my hair, one bit my lip and one ran down my arm scratching and jumped for the nearby tree. Yes my lip was bleeding the girl was laughing and crying and I was well… frightened and thankful I hadn’t let go. Its nighttime and I’m tipsy- we covered that right? Well there I was with a beautiful woman counting my scrapes and thinking I should google early onset rabies symptoms. Luckily she had seen it all, it would be our secret. Our “others” would never understand why we were there together in the first place. I felt like a man having fought off 3 acrobat rats on a high-rise billboard. Hear my roar little rat!
The juice IS worth the squeeze. Ive never gotten into so much trouble that i didn’t learn something from it. My most cataclysmic situations have taught me the most. I had a day when I wondered how I even have friends after all the unrest the people closest to me must go through. I had a moment yesterday that frightened me afterwards. I laid on the carpet all splayed out crucifixion style. I thought to myself how much force was holding me to that point. The work is spinning 1,000 miles per hour on its axis and orbiting the sun at 67,000 miles per hour and here I am unable to move. I felt claustrophobic for about 30 seconds and pondered the illusion of death and in those moments wanted a panoramic view of my situation. I contemplated taking my life. Not as a way out, but as a way IN. What is my place in all this? Perhaps when I wake up I will see it all more clearly. Occasionally the universe feels oppressive and robs me of any sense of adventure. Moments after this hell I realize I have nothing to lose and everything to learn. Missing out on a trip to Japan or never having children seems like a momentary disappointment. I don’t even know how long my “ life” is. I have a vague idea of how long this body will last but no idea what memories are locked away in the 90% of my brain I can’t access. I can’t even remember everything I did yesterday! I suppose my frustrations mainly stem from here. I know I know the answers. I just can’t remember- Days like this I remember why I shouldn’t use drugs. As a sober very happy human I still can get so worked up over mental gymnastics that I ponder taking my life- Not that I would, but it does seem brave for a moment. I understand why people take that quantum leap off a building… Just to meet the wizard behind the curtain. I have always looked at life as something to be grateful for. I can see that just living until the end requires a lot of faith, you hope that when the big finger hits restart you won’t have to face the same trials again.
Stars are born within clouds of dust and scattered throughout most galaxies.
Turbulence deep within these clouds gives rise to knots with sufficient mass that the gas and dust can begin to collapse under its own gravitational attraction. As the cloud collapses, the material at the center begins to heat up. Known as a protostar, it is this hot core at the heart of the collapsing cloud that will one day become a star. And all the world will love you just as long as you are.
The process to becoming a star sounds like the making of a man…or like the evolution of love that untied the knots of lust and steam that we thought held us together. We are bound by that crushing gravity that drives the attraction that pushes us to love what is hard to be close to. Freedom is realizing you don’t have to fight the current, you can ‘float on’ as a wise young woman taught me. I want to trust the current, perhaps one day. Until then, I just want to shine until I nova.
the days quotations:
We are not over the hill… we built the hill- Old.man.&theSea.
When I get an email that the Exquisite Bastard has posted on twomendying.com I never see it correctly. One time I thought the domain name was womenDying and today I thought it said twoMenCrying! It seems ages since we first talked about this blog and altho only a fraction of our discoveries have been documented here it is still exciting to see it thriving in secrecy. I have spent a lot of time exercising lately to bring my lung function up to comfortable, since starting to swim again it jumped from 52% to 64% within a month. In that time I have pondered the death of breath. How does it end? Why would it stop? Does cancer fill his cup like mucus and infection fill mine? It seems a fight against infection and making some breathing room. I guess my question is.. would swimming help lung cancer like it helps cystic fibrosis? Who starts a blog just to ask questions? I guess I do, after an hour of reading about lung cancer I made myself stop after noticing I was reading from the Ladies Home Journal.ha. I know I’m not the first to scour google for a herb or an exercise to give us another summer or time for another adventure. It seems the world is not sure how to slow the growth of bad cells while generating the stem cells it takes to repair them. I have a doctor buddy who is an Optimal Health Specialist & Brain Surgeon from New York who can help us. We should kill a bottle of wine with ole Jack, he is truly one of a kind. JackKruse.com
Tough times don’t last but tough guys do. Could it be so simple as to just hold on? It seems in my quest to become a great climber the difference in the end between the greatest is they don’t let go. There is a time to tread lightly pulling no harder than needed and other times you just hang on no matter what. I see this with my breathing… when its time for treatment and I have shredded my lungs trying to hold on- I have to make myself rest eventually. Make yourself pull out of the race so that you can enjoy some of the simple subtleties you might have overlooked. It definitely slows the world down when you step outside the current that has swept you through adventure at the speed of life. Its an addicting feeling… always on the go. Living for the next big push and pull. Mortality is a cruel reminder that our time is spent.. like gone. Whatever you spent it on will hopefully sustain you in the days you can’t bear the silence. Perhaps thats why I love pictures. Its like an echo of time well spent. At the end of mans life is when you see it clearest. Does his achievement drown out his fear? Does his love of life make death a run on sentence that blends into the next adventure? Sure feels that way
Its been over a year since he pulled the giant stump from the river.
The muddy water preserved the old tree, much better than the air.
I thought the goal at first was preserving the wood for a re.imagined table.
If it dried too quickly it would crack, if it did not dry it would rot… choices.
I let it weather till the skin became like stone,
now to stop it before the wither rots its bones.
After floating in currents of ageless purgatory.. hiding its beauty in the mud.
It stands now embracing time and all her terror.
The weakness cauterized, no more afraid.
We did not stop time, we leaned into the discomfort till we rode it like the currents we used to know.
At the center of it all is a fire… it sears the rot and chokes the damp.
Consumed eventually, but not today.
Sadly duty does not drive me very well, neither do shame or guilt. Those things might get me out of bed when I don’t want to, but passion for better or worse guides my life. Sounds rather epicurean I know but luckily there is no competitive side of me that seeks to preform in order to impress. Only to breathe in order to dance,climb,love,create,destroy…then i’ll dance again. Curiosity is what sustains passion, you have to willing to reinvent yourself and the relationships around you constantly. -TheDick