Saturday’s Theme Music

1991.

I usually think that INXS was performing this song. The beat and vocal delivery reminds me of INXS although, listening, it’s clearly not Michael Hutchence singing. The driving, fast rhythms always moved people in the clubs. It remains a good walking song. I have also sung it to a number of cats through the years. They always just sit down and wait it out.

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Friday’s Theme Music

Today is all ’bout looking ahead. We were discussing different things while drinking beers the other night. The conversations invited nostalgia into my streams. I’d been in the military for twenty years. Being in the military with a mission and purpose was much different than this semi-kind of life of writing. After that came some startups and then more than a decade at IBM.

There was a gap in mil service though. I got out after four years, bought a restaurant, was running it while going to college, and then got mighty sick. Broke and weary, I went back into the military. My break in service was almost one year. It was a tumultuous twelve months.

1979 was when I went back in. This song, “Don’t Look Back” by Boston, was out. Back in a barracks at Brooks AFB in Texas, waiting for my wife to join me, this song struck me hard. Don’t look back.

I look back often. It’s mostly in context to remember where I’ve been and helped me adjust my course and remind myself where I’m going. It’s uncharted lands. Walking the next day after I had my conversations and bursts of nostalgia, I reckoned there are different ways of looking back. Looking back is fine as long as you don’t shove yourself into reverse and try to get back there by driving via your mirrors. The mirrors of nostalgia only show a few items.

Of course, the filters of the futures let’s us see even less. That’s why the future is more fun; there’s far less known and much greater potential to be shaped.

 

 

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Today’s song comes from encountering a friend as I was doing my post-writing walkabout. As we parted, he said, “Got to keep walking?” I replied, “Yes, I’m a roadrunner, baby, got to keep on moving on.”

That’s a line straight out of Humble Pie’s cover of “Road Runner” (1972). It’s a bluesy rock song that appealed to me when I was first heard it when I was fifteen. It still does, and I frequently stream it in my head when I’m on a long walk, especially when going up into the higher levels of the southern part of town. The walk up will strain your legs and lungs. There are houses up there (along with bears and cougars), but not many people are seen outside of infrequent motorists or dog-walkers. The air is clear and sharp, and the view across the valley is gorgeous in all seasons. It’ll clear your head.

Monday’s Theme Music

Today’s choice arrived in the stream because of a chance encounter with a friend.

I’m retired military, 1974 – 1995. He was in the Army for almost five years. Most of that time was in Vietnam. May, 1969, was his one year anniversary of being in country. It was a bloody year for him. He lost many friends. He was also nineteen.

We guessed that it was just a juxtaposition of insights that brought about the darkness dragging him down this weekend. This is twenty nineteen, which kicked off the memory of being nineteen, when he was in Vietnam fifty years ago. It’s probably because of Memorial Day, and the many men walking around with Vietnam Vet hats on their heads, and the television shows talking about different military campaigns. It could be his sense of mortality. He’s getting older, as he reminded me.

He never cried when he spoke but he did a lot of sniffing, some quick eye wipes, and sometimes coped with a trembling voice with some deep breaths. Vietnam offered some hairy days, and he was grateful to have survived without too much damage, get home, go to college under the GI Bill, marry, and have a family.

After we shook hands and went our separate ways, and I was walking under the lush green trees, past beautiful beds of colorful flowers as cars rolled by and people pursued their celebrations of Memorial Day, I started streaming an old favorite song.

Here, from nineteen seventy-four, is William DeVaughn with “Be Thankful for What You Got”.

 

The Path Dream

Just did a walk-about writing break, and thought about one of last night’s dreams.

I was helping a man build a path. We each had a length of nylon rope. What I thought of as his rope was yellow and mine was white. The white rope was in my left hand, and the yellow rope was in my right. It was reversed for him. We were using the ropes to lay out the path. It was a long path, and were squatting down to do this.

So, weird, the path already existed in my mind, because he was laying the rope on a long and straight stretch of black cement. On either end was a platform that people were to use to arrive and depart.

Others were watching from grassy areas on either side of me. The man would shift the ropes one way and then the other as I followed his lead. I didn’t understand why he was doing this. “How’s it going?” an onlooker asked me.

“Slow,” I said. “I don’t understand what he’s doing. One, the path already exists. Why does he need another one? Two, why was he trying different paths? I don’t see what the difference he makes? Why doesn’t he make a decision? As part of that, I don’t understand why the path that’s already there doesn’t satisfy him. Three, shouldn’t the path, if you were going to make it, connect the platforms that people were expected to use?”

The onlooker said, “I don’t know.”

That dream ended.

Of course, thinking about it during my walk, I realized that I’m the other man. I have the path establish but doubt keeps me looking for another path. Why, I keep asking myself, just as I do in the dream? Clearly, it’s because I doubt the path, even though it’s already established.

 

Hot

The heat wasn’t that bad. He thought that people were exaggerating, the way they gasped, shrieked, and ran, sweat running down their faces, eyes bulging and mouth gaping like they were imitating fish out of the water, as their clothes ignited.

A Volvo, BMW, and Jeep exploded as they passed him. Street lights drooped like limp noodles. Flames sprang from nothing to consume trees as the grass turned into black ash and a yellow fire hydrant lost its shape, issuing arcing geysers of water that turned into steam and blew away. Buildings began melting and crumbling.

Smiling, he shook his head and looked at the black-smoke inferno spreading behind him. If they thought this was bad, they should experience what he’d just been there.

Now that had been hot.

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