Monday, June 30, 2014

Rain like honey

July 7, 1980

I can pay some of my creditors all that I owe, all of my creditors, part of what I owe, but I can’t pay all of my creditors all that I owe.
But I managed to throw them enough meat out of my student loan check to keep them from tearing me to pieces this week.
So I feel less like a fugitive than I usually do.
The note on the refrigerator tells me my girlfriend has gone off for a walk and that she misses me.
I went for my morning jog, sun on my back, wind on my face, churning up inspiration daily labor tends to devour as readily as my creditors do my student loan.
The spirit dies with thoughts of work – which still lies ahead of me like gray clouds of an approaching storm.
It is a gray day with a promise of rain I can’t enjoy except for a brief respite near the loading dock door where I might stick my hand out and let the wet weather lick at the tips of my fingers, which I lick, tasting the honey of life I constantly labor for.
The river shimmers in the early morning even without sunlight, and I am caught in an eddy of time, a flash back to that time when there was a Mayor Kramer in Paterson, and Dave and I played river rats not far from where I jog. Kramer – a Republican – is running for something, a mayor twice of Paterson, who has aspirations to become something more important. His signs litter this side of the river even though his world is on the other side, Paterson still filled with horror stories his second term could not cure. I knew him from when Hank and I hung out on Market Street waiting for the bus to New York, and from when we worked at the theater, and it seems ironic that he would retake his place in city hall in a few years ago – with money pumped in from the federal Republicans, who ached to have a Republican mayor in an otherwise Democratic town.
The world is changing, and he is an icon to a past that no longer works, a hope for a future that can no longer take place, the hip model of peace and love extinguished by the harsh reality of gas and food shortages, and the rise of drugs no one anticipated when Hank and I wandered the streets of Paterson or Dave and I came here.
This river is the only constant, it’s dirty water flowing at my feet, carrying away the hopes and dreams of older generations to bring in perhaps fresher water from rain that has fallen up stream, rain that people can stand under and absorb without fear, rain I ache to strike my tongue without needing to stick my hand out from a loading dock to catch.

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