it's a juggling act, this art of alternative fatherhood in the 21st century.
lucky for me i have my friends who help me balance the bookstore business so's i don't stumble too awful much.
but we always stumble in front of those we love.
an audience full of strangers we can wow time and time again but when our family is watching we choke.
is it that those we love know us better and can see thru these disguises we throw up in vain attempts to cover that which we truly are? or is it the added anxiety of having all those eyes we hold dear boring into our being?
i take a break and muddle a few things out.
days spent playing on la alfombra with my twin girls, setting some stage for some show we do not know the half of.
i refuse to read newspapers. if i wanted to be lied to I'd partake in some good old fashioned phone sex.
no, these days my distraction comes in the form of comic books, a last stab at lost youth, perhaps? but more in the combination of words and images which ellicit more of a gut reaction than either could standing alone.
i thought that i had my words. i thought that this bookstore was my image. but now i have transcended both, left them behind in search of something more. which is not to say i don't still hold both as dear to my heart as lovers, tools, weapons, vehicles, cameras. but in the bottom of each beer i still find more of the anchors of my past lives, those selves i sold for visceral material pleasures of the instant. pleasures i was, for one reason or another, unable to retain even the slightest memory of. pleasures that surely shaped my being as much as any experience does. yet not a smell remains intact. barely a glimpse of the vast majority of my life can i recall. i try to tell myself that this is simply the way my mind functions, free from the constraints of that plethora of mind-altering substances thrust upon us by society's demons across all ranks.
my poems and journal entries provide me with the bulk of my memories, but i have to leaf thru their pages to grasp them. when my words fail, i search for images, those snapshots of high school wheat fields, those youthful, jubilant, ignorant faces on my friends of yesterday. and when my images fail... i wrack my brain for sounds and smells and tastes of alleyways in san francisco, of pine trees in the blue mountains, of stale beer in R dorm at Evergreen, of Brendan or Luke talking to trees on some abandoned Saturday.
As i grow older each day, my past changes with the present, creating the future. I sift thru reams of fabric, weaving the robe i will wrap my words in tomorrow.