Woke up to to my Dad asking if I wanted to go to the polls with him. I agreed. We traveled first to Enterprise to visit the post office and the bank, then off to the only hill in Chapman, to a small building with little notice of any election. Waited in the car with Gutters for about five minutes. Then into town we went. We first went to Dillons for groceries. We bought the fixings for fajitas. Then I treated my Dad to a lunch at Freddies. He had number 6, I had a double number 7. We ate as the small restaurant quickly filled with men in camouflage outfits, soldiers from the nearby base. After our meal, we went across the to purchase libations for election night. Dad bought one bottle of tequila, I bought two bottle of beer, chocolate stout. Back on the road, we headed for home.
Once on the farm, my Dad went for the studio, I walked about the ground with my guitar, exercising my voice in the wind. I walked about finding quiet places, private spots where I could practice unbothered and unheard. After some time, I cursed and forfeited my guitar to the house. I check my phone for any messages, half an hour ago, my Dad had sent me a text asking if I wanted to learn how to stretch canvas. YES I FREAKING DO said my inner narrative. I moved to the studio with haste. He told me to pick out a frame from the red building, I moved and I found myself a medium sized square. Back in the studio, he gave me careful instructions. I cut the canvas, stretched it, stapled it, folded the corners, and primed it with two coats of gesso and mat-medium mix. In between coats I was deep in my sketchbook, painting away on primed pages. He went into the house, I stayed to paint.
Inside the house, we watched the numbers climb, the next four years to be decided by digits. It looked like Red was in the lead, which wasn't surprising. I made margaritas on the rocks, Dad made fajitas. We ate and drank and carefully watched the numbers, stepping in and out of the house for cigarettes. After hours of steady climbing numbers, it was announced. Chicago cheered and danced in the prideful air. Boston sulked in a cold silence. We waited for speeches.
After the whole ordeal, I phoned Thea and hopped into bed. We talked out the night, the alcohol settled into my system, and I soon set into dreams.
Up all night brooding. Making sense of my own chaos. Actually listened to my intuition.. He doesn't want to steer me wrong, wants me to succeed in any and all endeavors. Thought a lot about myself. All this time in on the farm.. sorting through my trust issues. All this time in the dark.
I woke up at 4am. I knew that I would not be getting back to sleep anytime soon. I felt that it was a good time to work on that "inner narrative." I dismissed all the issues pressing on my mind and concentrated hard to recall my earliest memories. I thought about the earliest memories of being with my Father. The only thing that came to me was a trip to Mount Shasta, where he was a dark smudge on a thick blanket of snow. I was a boy on a sled, learning what it was to have a finger burned by ice at high speeds. And now, as I type, I think about the time my Father and I were together in my Mothers family house, pissing together in the toilet, I saw his penis, and thought the thoughts of a child. For about half an hour I pulled memories out of my closed vaults and impressed myself with what came up. It was a nice distraction from the anger I built up in prior hours.
Before waking at 4am, before falling asleep, I began, once again, to read the Bible. I was refreshed upon the beginning of it all, and the deeds of Adam and Eve, and the misfortune of Cain and Abel.
I rolled around for hours, attempting to catch the sunrise. I thought a lot of Jim Rohns words. It is my goal to everyday become better than I was the previous day. I am actively doing this. This, I can have faith in. It is time to take better care of my body and my mind. Healing in appropriate time.
Out of some strange dream, I heard the chatter of a cat, it was Bentley. He talked on and on attempting to wake my lazy ass up. It was 10:30, I had to feed the dogs. Once the dogs were fed, I went upstairs to check my email and Facebook. After sometime, the door downstairs opened, it was my Father and Lee returning from their night together. He called to me, I responded. He asked if I wanted to go to Lucas, I agreed. I changed my clothes and met them downstairs.
We stopped off in Salina for a to-go lunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and coleslaw I had a Dr. Pepper, Lee and Pop shared a sweet tea. We ate in the car on our way to Lucas. The weather was warm. The trees were losing leaves, but still hung on to a few hedge balls. The hawks were high and low, either catching food in the sky, or waiting patiently on fence posts, resembling wood carved representations of themselves. We were entering Post-Rock country, where the early settlers were without wood for sometime, and used limestone to hold as fence posts, unique in this region of Kansas. We sped along the highway, and slowed through tiny towns where children played on dirt mound, and grown folk carried on about their business. Some towns were empty of people, but occupied with much character. As we came closer to Lucas, we observed more appearances of grass-roots art; dragons, birds, and other winged creatures welded together, colorfully decorated, posted openly at the edge of the roads.
Lucas, finally. A town of nearly 400 people. We first stopped at the Garden of Eden. Cement statues danced high off the ground and told a very important story, one that has the potential to always tell a tale of what is, depending on if the American man can get his shit together. We toured the inside of the small house, glimpsed at the tiny rooms, brushed the handmade furniture with our fingers, and studied the photos and relics of one mans great life. Our official tour began shortly, a short blonde Kansas woman gathered Lee, my Father, the other two tourist from Ottawa and myself into the living room, and began her spiel of facts. She told an amazing tale of an old man who read the Bible 3 times before he was 16, and went on to build the house we stood in when he was 60 something. The guide took us out to the porch and laid out more facts about the house and the man. All limestone and concrete. 600 pounds per six foot slab, carved by hand, stacked by hand, all by one man, 5 other guys, and a pulley system. Once the house was built, the old man began creating the Garden. 80 years old, he stood on wooden scaffolding and sculpted a story of biblical reference, politics, big business, and equality. The guide brought us to the mausoleum where the man and his wife were buried. She rested in a concrete tomb beneath him. He rested in a concrete coffin with a glass window showing his now decaying face. Apparently, before ten years ago, he looked the same as his did the day he was mummified in charcoal. We were soon left to tour the ground for ourselves and walk about. The three of us poked around for a while, I snapped a few pics of the structures. We purchased some post-cards and headed off to the Lucas Art Center, where we were greeted by a nice older woman, and two other tourist. The art consisted of local grass-roots sculptures, moldings, mosaics carvings, metal pieces, dolls, artifacts strung and hung, and a few mechanical pieces. I was surprised and inspired by the stories and the quality of the work. The tour of the art center ended and we three went to Brants, the local meat shop. When asked of his name, the shop keep went only by Brant, which we knew to be the family name of the little market, I speculated that his name was Doug. He spoke warmly and provided us with samples of exquisite meats and cheeses. We made some purchases and spoke our gratitude as we said goodbye. Our final stop was the newest installation in Lucas, the public restroom. It was a rather elaborate structure, there was a huge toilet paper structure unrolling into a walkway, leading to a mosaic representation of water. The inside of the restroom was coated in mosaic.. it was along the walls of both men and womens facilities We gawked for about 10 minutes before finally leaving the little town.
The Sun hung high in the air, still warm. The roads were the same, but this time we drove by a lake. A bright light streaked across the still water. I thought a lot about myself. About changing everything. About my health. About my mentality. About girls. About my girl. About my friends. About where I have lead myself. About changing directions. About making everything better. About being the best me. About how I've been the wild child. About a life without discipline, my every past footstep.
If my body fails, it it because I have failed my body. Change is the word. Discipline is the skill. Why not be the best person I can be? Why not improve everyday? Why not continue to work until I reach a sort of zenith? I know what kind of man I am. I know what potential I have. I know what to do. I know and I will, until..
Today I awoke out of a strange dream. I'll remember it as the dream of "sex games" though there was no sex. Only games of a provocative nature. The residual high of last nights marijuana lingered beneath my skull. A pale hangover left me dry. Outside of my door I could hear my Father moving about in the bathroom. I checked my phone for text messages; none. Bentley, the cat, sat near me on the bed. His white paws were tucked beneath the white patch on his chest, the rest of his black fur lay undisturbed, but only momentarily.It was early, around eight or nine. I didn't want to get up just yet. For a while I rolled around and spoiled myself with a few short dreams. I heard my Fathers feet pound down on the stairs, creaking and squealing with every step. Bentley listened and stayed put.
I think I got up around 12..
Hopped out of bed with my long johns and yesterdays faded red t-shirt and headed downstairs. Pop was in the pink chair watching Adam-12. A spin-off of Dragnet, the other show you've never heard of. We watched together for a while, Dad made jokes at the T.V., I laughed along. After some time and some talk, Dad retreated to the studio and I made myself some breakfast. Toast with strawberry jelly and an apple. Maybe a cup of water. Upstairs and in bed, I phoned my girlfriend in California. She answered with the usual morning yawn, in a breathy voice, stretched out the word "Hello..." We chatted for a while and eventually played a couple long distance games of "Words with Friends." She won again and again. Chinese Zodiac says the Horse is always a winner, I believe it.
Pretty sure I visited my Dad in the studio for a few minutes. I soon found my way back to the stone house and snatched up the book my Father suggested I read, "The Science of the Mind." I suggest you read it, too. I picked up where I had left off, sixty-five pages in, at the first page of chapter one. I read outside for a while, my concentration wavered. I felt sleepy, but it was one in the after-noon, and I was sure I had slept enough throughout the previous night. The breeze became to brisk so I gathered myself and the book and made my way inside to to living room, where I read in a soft pink chair. The Sun was greatly bright, but I was still cold, pulling a cozy blue blanket over me, I remedied the situation. The scent of a neat older woman filled the air, it was Lees scent, it must have been her blanket. I read for a little bit, but soon curled into a ball and quickly fell asleep. I woke up to the sound of my Father entering the kitchen from the side porch. I went upstairs for the sake of privacy and slept in my bed for a few hours.Waking up, around five, I felt the familiar pains of past days and a lazy haze holding me. To not further being a piece of shit, I put on some proper clothes and went downstairs. I found a snack, turned on the tele, and furthered being a piece of shit.
My Father and I watched TV for a little bit, he explained that we weren't going out for groceries today, but felt that I and the animals had enough to survive by ourselves for the night. I agreed and we carried about. He soon went upstairs to get dressed. Jeopardy came on and I wanted to watched. Keith, the six-time winner, was on for a seventh night and I wanted to see him win. Half an hour later, he lost terribly by his own very poor wager. And to think, he could have won if he were a lot less greedy, and little bit smarter. Dad was already gone at this point. I had the farm to myself. I went upstairs to get my notebook. I thought that a little writing would do the soul good. It wasn't enough to write though. I decided the day would prove more successful if I were naked. I took off all of my clothes and tossed them on the couch. I stood naked in the living room and thought to myself for a moment. I sat on the floor and stroked the page of the notebook with a pen only but a few times when the phone rang. It was Thea. She was off of work and hungry for something unknown. We talked and I carried myself from the living room to my bedroom. At six thirty, I excused myself in order to feed the dogs. I turned on the hot water, found the tin can in the fridge, filled a plastic cup with the warm water, grabbed a fork, and found the dogs. They were anxiously waiting on the side porch, Gutters more anxious than Pilgrim, which was surprising.. Two cups of dry food, one cup for each dog, poured into one silver and one blue bowl. Half a can of Alpo, a quarter for each dog, dug out and plopped into the middle of either bowl. Gutters squealed and grumbled a bit. I made sizzling sounds as I poured in the warm water, Pilgrims favorite part. Pilgrim stamped his feet and pushed closer. Stirring the brown savory mixture together, examining both dogs, I emphasized a few goofy sounds for the pups. Put the food on the floor and each dog had his day. I made my dinner, microwaved last nights left over rotinni carbonara and meat ball. The news on the TV reminded me of the watery chaos in the East. "I want to help." And I still do.
On the computer upstairs, I found some volunteer programs to sign up for. I found a few good ones, but nothing that matched the specifications I sought out. I'm hoping that soon, the right opportunity to volunteer to help with come to me and I to it.
Back on the phone with Thea, she disabled me in a couple games of Words. Horses... I signed on to Youtube for some entertainment and found myself watching videos of Jim Rohn. During which, Thea and I were on the phone. We stayed on the line together for a couple hours, before I excused myself for a snack. I went downstairs, finally put some proper clothes on, and took Gutters over to the studio to retrieve a smoky snack. Acquired. And back to the house. I made some cheesy toast with a tomato and alfredo dipping sauce. That some wine and the chocolate and caramel turtles and I was set. Returned upstairs, called Thea, she did not answer. More Jim Rohn, more inspiration, this time I'll take notes. Found my sketchbook, found the computer, pressed play, watched Jim. A text. Thea. Shes at Starbucks. More Jim. Another text. She loves me lots. I respond. More Jim, more notes. More smoke. More wine. Less calm. More calm. More listening. A text. Katherine. No response. More Jim. A text. Thea. Hows my snack? I respond. Another text from Katherine. No response. Now, blog... New age and classical music. My evening has taken a dramatic turn. But only in the sense of notes, somewhere we must resolve.