Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Ok, I've been waxing nostalgic for Sanford 1976. Why? Take a look.
Kids, this was taken for our country's bicentennial, July 1976. I don't think it will see a tricentennial so take a long look. And I know I won't see 2076 so this is it. This was the future, bright and proud, leafy green and growing strong in the New England tradition. God bless America. I am proudly wearing my american flag pants that my mother probably made herself. My brother is the taller one in his Red White and Blue shirt. Please do not comment on our hair cuts but admire quietly the innocence and promise of this moment.

Another snapshot into the past. I would guess this is an Easter Egg hunt in April of 1976. We were not concerned with color coordination at that time. Maybe these were our Pajamas with red slippers and I insisted on wearing plastic cowboy boots with my lime green pants tucked in. My brother's shirt has some kind of farm equipment on it and the house which would soon be painted red and the Indian shutters black, is now a gross beige. That black bronze eagle on our front screen door is classic. Also classic is a tree directly in front of the door. The house was on a quarter acre with no neighbors. Icicles hung long from the roof.

Although I am apparently uncomfortable in the picture below I feel a tug in my heart when I view this. My mother's dark hair which is currently pure white, the multicolored afghan that smells like every moment of dreams a 5 year old boy would have. The transparent cloth lampshade, the clothing hutch in the background which is pure wood and not the Ikea atrocities that are around now. The evenly spaced and leveled pictures. The lamps. The soft and natural light by that antique wood chair. the hanging ivy in the background. The leather couch. These were my mother's hand The boy without aches and pain and scars. I can even see the corner of a bronze statue on the end table that was an Indian spearing a buffalo. And that globe with U.S.S.R on it and East Germany.

I return to Sanford searching for these moments like Charles Foster Kane returning to his storage locker looking for his wooden sled. The moose calls and dog fights and heartbreaks of the world leave me full of experiences to pass on and a persepective to share but don't they all eventually reduce down to this picture of security and essential bonding? And where is that in my life now? Non existent. I cough myself awake in a Walmart parking lot and work for 11 hours with fiber optic wire. Humanity has been banished from my life and the rainbow afghan of affection has unraveled with time and distance and resentment. I wrote a note to myself this afternoon as the wire crimping hypnotized me:
"Your children are all grown and the hippie's hair has turned as white as snow flakes on woodstock corn. Sons and daughters speed through life with their burden of resentments and regrets, their baggage propelled by energy drinks and estrogen enhancement. The promise you made when you were 30 and politicians were black and white and ball games were postponed due to popcorn was this: we got them this far. We gave our children a push and though they walk timidly, they walk nonetheless. Because one day your sons and daughters will have daughters and sons of their own and they will know the controlled chaos of youth and your resentments will dissolve into the recognition that color slides do not last forever. Opportunity is all we can bequeath to our children, their easter baskets filled with plastic eggs containing promise that only they can fulfil, their flags may change and their alliances may falter but we got them this far."
I'm merely depressed that my goals of writing can not be realized during the two hours of lucidity between work and sleep. It takes inspiration and time to write and lately I'm funding vacations in my mind while tapping S-O-S morse code to my fantasy lovers. How did Kerouac overcome his own collection of tattered travel stamps? How did he patch his fireman pants? When will these flags fly again?

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