ironic nature of present-day RED life — how being pitched into oblivion actually helped me learn how to write again. Larry said as much during his Saturday night visit, noting that artists throughout history have been their best and most prolific during the darkest days.
I don't profess to being a great artist, but I do acknowledge being on a tear right now. I haven't written this much in years, and some of it isn't bad. Which begs the question: if I was happy, would I be able to write? Would this goob be capable of stringing together sentences that would draw an audience? Or is it all about the unraveling of my life that's drawing eyeballs to this blog?
("Unraveling! Train wreck! Eventual explosion and news story!" the dark voice says, capering with open glee.)
I think the dark voice is full of shit.
See the picture of the pumpkins? A happy boy took that, after carving the smiley-faced creature. I remember that night and it makes me smile. "Giddy" is not a word anyone has ever used to describe me, but that evening I was giddy, the happiness galloping inside my chest while I sat at a big table, surrounded by a beautiful family of good hearts. There was laughter and warmth and we all carved pumpkins while eating Hardee's and talking about everything and nothing — the sort of Rockwellesque evening that the cynical me never believed existed in real life.
But it did exist — it does exist — and the mystic chords of memory are not making it prettier than it was. I have a hundred memories and more, just as sweet as that one. A car show in Carthage and a willowy vision in red. Walking along a country road at night. Holding hands while strolling through Silver Dollar City. Feeling safe during a roller-coaster ride. Watching the sun set on Indian Point. Morning Starbucks. Evening dinners. Rupert. Winks. McRibs. Exchanging small, goofy waves. Moon-faced bliss at Ocean Zen. Busting a surprise birthday party for Amazon Addie and feeling embarrassed and stupid together. Barbecue and live music in Memphis. Singing along to Bieber, for God's sake. Realizing how much we have in common, despite our obvious differences. Watching rom-coms and 30 Rock and Futurama. Quiet nights, just reading and exchanging glances and realizing — finally, after searching in vain for so long — that happiness actually exists, it's the most genuine emotion of all, and all we had to do was let it happen and believe.
Goofy, I know. Too sweet for this bad-ass. The stuff of sentimentalists. Ferlinghetti would not approve. Fuck him. Happiness hit me like a train on a track and I want to jump back in front of that locomotive, I want to run and feel that impact again and I'd do it in a heartbeat, no looking back, no regrets, no caveats, no doubts, no issues with what has happened in the past, no questions asked — just looking forward and moving one day at a time, no promises and no pressure. Just happy thoughts.
Happiness. Damn, but it's a fine feeling. I could type a million words about the goodness of that emotion. Writing about it right now makes my fingers fly across the keyboard. I'm smiling. I'm alive. My heart just skipped a beat, remembering what it felt like. The point is not necessarily living happily ever after. It's about living happily right now.
I've done plenty in the past few months to destroy every possible brain cell so I can forget all of this, because there would be bliss in obliterating the blissful. It's the same reason I hoped that a blood clot would finish the job the stroke has started. The dead have no memories.
But I want those memories, and I want to make more of them. I want to be happy so I can write happy. This dour outlook on life is draining my life's batteries. I'm tired of being thisclose to tears. I read back through these posts and I just want to slap the hell out of me for being such a downer. I said it a month ago and I mean it now more than ever: I like happy Ron. He's really a good man. He deserves a chance to shine again, to be happy again, and he's a better man than before — more appreciative of the spaces needed so someone can grow and flourish. More understanding of the care and feeding of an introvert. More able to be the Fourth Jockey of life. Nicer. More easygoing. The sort of guy with whom you'd be proud to carve pumpkins.