There was a time when my time was your time. When any time I had was devoted to few, no time to spare because my spare time was saved for you. I valued my time, just now more than before, and it is for this reason that I spend little time thinking about our time, your time, because this time I have no time to spare you anymore. If you need some time, I’ll still offer mine, but just not my time that’s prime – that time, I find, is my time, and only my time, to sit blind to what everyday still binds. That particular time is buried deep in the pines of my mind, in clean lines counting nine, my natural resource to be mined each time I meet the bottom of the stein. So no more of the whine – you can still have a portion of my less valuable time – but this time it’s gonna cost you a dime. And any time I worry if you’re ok without my free time, if your cryin’, if malignant or benign, if better here or behind, history always assures me and whispers, “she’s doing just fine.”
We wield a lethal pen and a vicious tongue that over the years I have found even time cannot tame. Rather, time has acted as the whetstone on which these traits have been honed and focused to a pinpoint laser edge that causes much devastation when left unchecked. Perhaps the further erosion of these sharp and jagged slabs of granite from the falling tears they have caused will one day yield a smoother, more humane river rock that will cease to tear at the feet of those who remain to traverse across the fields upon fields brimming with the leftover boulders we have left in our collective wake. Boulders that once was the vicious ammunition that cut effortlessly through the defenseless flesh of our enemies – an unceremonious tribute to the words that once meant something to us; a tribute to the unrelenting grip that words will continue to have on our delicate souls. It is not enough to be cognizant of the fear we instill in those nearest – those that are most affected by the reckless slinging of mud, pregnant with shrapnel, in all directions. Rather, we should first be required to dance in that mud. To roll around in the pits that we so very often leave uncovered for friend and foe to fall knee deep in. A required ritual gateway of adulthood – to play in the harnessed arsenal of all of our anger, our sadness, our failures and losses where these words are born. To feel what could have been had the drivel dripped out, had they hit their marks – to bathe in the desperate and destructive words we might have used before we realized how much better it feels to leave them unsaid, to lay down our guns and close our mouth. To maintain the bridge between self and friends, self and family, self and the world full of strangers. Words have always had the power to make or break our relationships – you can’t put them back where they came from once they have been unleashed on the world like the weapons we too often make them out to be. Use them as the currency of the frugal.
The acid laced judges threw up their 6 and 7s, as the Valium laden dancers left trails on the floor, scores hitting a glass ceiling, remnants of the chaos their bodies left on the center of the universe long after the last legs moved. “I loved it”, the judges thought, “but they were just not emanating the life we were looking for.” Panning out, the drunks and romantic lovers stared intently at the cookie cutter logo in the bottom corner of the cell, debating the station the way the judges did their place in history and the world alike. “Pass me another..”, it was heard, as an empty glass of lost time clanged the wooden bar top that has seen one president murdered, another nearly, and another at the height of pleasure, on her dress a famous Clinton pearl. It’s pores, time capsules of smoke and broken dreams, tears the catalyst that locked in their permanence, if only cries from a hapless mouth missing it’s mark. Local outsiders pass through with eyes addicted to strangers, waiting for inevitable word that they aren’t welcome, a reception not unlike the scores of those through the airwaves, reality but this time for real. Regulars stared blindly through their ever deepening hate at the joker seated across the range from them, lining up their sights at the trespassers taking space. The hired magician worked the corner like it was Carnegie in the flesh, to empty seats and deaf ears and cares on not one face. This is my life, he thought, why don’t they give me respect, as the rabbit appeared and the woman sawed in half clapped for the lonelies. The bartender, required to show their love, gave out the drinks and more, with bloody noses and itching shells, and bugs; my god, this place was infested with skin insect cronies. To each their own, and why should it be any other way? But it never is, not in here, the tavern where you forever stay. By now, as the moon crawls, the laughs are belly deep, the conversation as shallow as the mushroom pond landscape, and the vibe as eclectic as the worlds playlist. Rodeo clowns save the endangered, inserting their souls to allow the escape of those who’s connection just missed. Hidden in a back room, beyond the searing eyes of those on the outside, the gambler plays his hand, not knowing it is to be a losing one. The grins take shape, the I-told-you-so’s muttered under breath, and the chips begin to fall how they will, soft as this was all intended for fun. But just like for the dancers, the drunks and the romantics, the magicians and the strangers, the regulars and the rodeo clowns, the card sharks and the nobody’s, the jukebox music stopped long ago, the soft landing going to hurt. And as the gambler stood up and threw his 52 chances to the wall where on this night lived the writing, he came to the only senses he had left up hidden up his sleeves, recalled a distant memory of a smile, and proclaimed – you and I, it just wasn’t in the cards.