I've been stewing and brewing on my brood for a few days now and anyone who has read a bit of my stuff or had any correspondence with me knows a few things about what I write. For instance, I use the term "Fluck and double fluck" a bit when I can't say the words that come too easily to my mouth and brain. Well, last Friday I felt a drunk coming on and sure enough I could be found howling at the moon (if it wasn't full it was pretty damn close) sometime after midnight.
I am okay, but I imagine that we all go through our own cycles of mood swings and this was one of mine. I do my darnedest to improve my house and help my mom. I try to reach my kids and stay in touch with my loved ones, but no matter how much headway I make in my personal objectives I can't help but dwell on the two people absent from my life.
Recently I watched a movie called Tigerland starring Colin Farrell. A Vietnam Era movie about young men trying not to go over to the killing. One scene shows this kid who is telling about his life in rural Alabama and his wife and kids there and about how the moon staring down on these recruits is the same moon staring down on his family too. And that it is the same moon staring down at the soldiers dying half way around the globe and that it is the same moon that has been staring down at this earth for centuries upon centuries.
And the howling commenced. And all the dogs for blocks around could be heard for an hour howling at the moon with a man who felt like he was dying for the hundredth time. Not the permanent dirt nap, where old acquaintances come and pay their respects and remember odd moments when we all connected at one point or another, but that emotional death where you want to crawl up into bed and not come out for a week. Where you know that the people who see you suffering can look right through the hole in your chest because it is so flucking big. And of course you don't want to burden anyone else with this feeling because it is devastating.
So at some point after the howling had subsided, I used my kids old sidewalk chalk to scratch my heart's lament on the sidewalk in front of my house.
As the moon stares down at me,
I know it's the same moon staring at you.
Son, though we're five hundred miles apart
and there's not a thing we can do.
Please know that I'm here and I'm ready to fly,
swim , crawl, walk or paddle my canoe.
The only other I treasure equally so
is your sister and you know this is true.
I miss and love you two
and the things you do
please come home a time or two.
My friend, Rheino, came by the next day and saw what I had written. He liked it and at the same time (while trying not to obviously look through the hole in my chest) felt my pain and asked if there was anything he could do. Not a thing. The damage is done and the scar is all that remains. Of course it keeps bleeding as I pick at it constantly.
But the very next night a thunderstorm came rolling through and washed my lament away. And in a sense, it washed my heart clean for the moment. The howling was over and the pain had subsided. But I know that on another day, with another full moon, the drunkenness and the howling will come again. And I will ask the moon to tell my son and daughter that I love them, because the moon is looking at them the same it is looking at me. Fluck and double fluck.
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