Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Take The Long Way Home

I love this time of year.
It seems this is the time of beginnings and endings.
The ending of the college basketball season always sets my internal syncopation up a step. All I know is I hope someone beats Kentucky in the tournament. I'm just about always rooting for the under dog in the tournament. Northern Iowa (my daughter's alma mater) has done that twice. Once in the early 90's they took out a very talented Missouri team and about five years ago did the same to the mighty Jayhawks.
Don't pick them because I'm rooting for them and that is a certain kiss of death.
Days like today should be spent outside as much as possible. Since I'm trying to destroy about 100 pounds, tonight was a great night for a bike ride as I put another 14 miles on the odometer.
Later, as the sun started to go down, I walked over to the local Hen House grocery store and after  I decided to take the long way home.
I'm at a pretty decent place in my life at this point. I like my job, most of the people I work with, my "mother in laws" quarter is pretty centrally located in suburban Johnson county and I'm within walking distance of movies, the grocery store, a Quik trip, a Chinese restaurant and so on. The neighborhood I reside in would be considered middle class, maybe a couple of the houses might move up to lower upper middle class, but I picture these houses as being built in the 60s and 70s. Some starter homes here and there but the majority have been lived in awhile by the same family.
My abode is the back of a house owned by an older couple. One of their parents lived here for a while and passed not too long before I got here. I have the essentials, or as my father would say, I have a place to "shit, shower and shave." I can cook here and it's just handy. 15-20 minutes in to work and for whatever reason, 25-30 minutes home. As I was walking through the neighborhood tonight, I immersed myself in all the smells as I've been known to do. It's freaky really, that just a waft of a cigarette smell still reminds me of my mother. I can't stand to be around it, but just that  faint smell sends me back. Someone in the neighborhood had a fire going, someone liked very spicy food. I smelled fried chicken too (another one of my favorite smells) but I'm not sure whether it came from someone's house or the Popeyes a mile or so away.
Tonight also reminded me of working in the drive in theatre for some strange reason, too. I will still say that job was one of the best I've ever had. There were weeks where I'd put in 60-65 hours a week and get paid $1.25. I remember the summer of 1973, I got a 10 cent raise to $1.40, so I went and blew at all on a brand new stereo component system. I still have the receiver too. Cranks like a boss.
Anyway, this would be the time of year I'd go to work on the weekend getting the theatre ready for human consumption. Opening weekend was usually the first weekend in April and the first few nights were always cold. You could get a propane heater up front at the box office if you wanted. I always wondered why no one died while inhaling that damned heater. It was a Redstone theatre, yes the head of the company was one Sumner Redstone, one of the richest guys in the world and he was known to drop in on places like Silvis Illinois to check out his property. What an incredible opportunity for me at the age of 17 to be the assistant manager in charge of making sure this theatre rocked. And it did.
Funny how I think of that.
It's amazing to me what lies in our sub conscious, just below our everyday world that's looking to escape, given the right circumstances. Whether it's by smell, sight, music or any other stimulus, it seems so many things accumulate there. Some things need to me let out, allowed to breathe and when that happens, I can get overwhelmed at times.
As I'm writing this, I'm listening to John Mellemcamp sing "make me feel like I want to feel, make me feel like I did at the start.." which gets me overwhelmed with thoughts of a person I can not touch. Or hear. Or see. But I can still smell her.
I had an old friend tell me many years ago the things we go through add to the chapters of the book, the colors of the painting and the soundtrack of our life.
I am thrilled my painting has such deep, passionate colors, such riveting hues and shades. My book is filled with many well written, in depth chapters that cover the spectrum of joy, frustration and being hit by a number of freight trains. My career is about a frog who dreamed of being a king...and then became one.
As content as I am now, that only allows me to think there's something around the corner, not sure who or what but this has never been about the merry go round, it's been about the roller coaster.
I hope to get off of it someday.

1 comment:

karlene's mom said...

I decided to email a DJ to be a guest speaker for my broadcast class... And here we are...close to - what? - 15 or 16 years later?

Beautifully expressed.

Thanking God you're writing again, my friend... :)

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