I am exhausted from exhaustion
My mind is a fishbowl with too many inhabitants
Do I give in and enjoy a lazy lane
Drape my weary and swollen toes in the icy waters of autumn
I have shed so many diseased tears over an empty couch
so many fears over the days I could embrace
The chills that swaddled from summer’s heat
Friends and fiction and my permenent host
I am exhausted from exhaustion
There is hesitation to my mornings
Disdain for golden leaves falling distant dreams
Normal is not quite what it seems
There has always been a vast difference between the sum of us and the minute majority minority group aptly named, vagabonds.
- Word Origin
wandering from place to place without any settled home; nomadic:
a vagabond tribe.
leading an unsettled or carefree life.
disreputable; worthless; shiftless.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a vagabond:
having an uncertain or irregular course or direction:
a vagabond voyage.
I had the privilege of growing up in an era without phones that attached to the hip or ear or back pocket. My phone was built of empty B and M bean tin cans and string that had been stolen from my brother’s shoes.
Alas, the simple life, ain’t so simple. How often have we heard of snippets/books such as, How to become Rich, How to be a millionaire, Why not be a real estate mogul in three easy steps?
How often has anyone yelled from a broken and abandoned building housing nomads, people living the simple life:
Enter in here and you will learn how to be poor!
Once upon a time, I made enough money to make myself look important without being humble. I also found myself, intrinsically, going nowhere fast. IT hadn’t been that my riches were not full and electric and fancy and top of the line. IT had been that my soul had been admonished with attachments that were nowhere near what my heart desired most.
Course, not being bright or quick to learn, I discovered ‘self’ the hard way with repeated attempts at ignoring the obvious. The donut had been my life and my soul had been the hole. It took two fires, and hopefully it ends at that, to awaken my ignorantly imagined infinitely blissful psyche. As with
most house fires, on both occasions, we had lost what I had assumed was the root of Ruth. Trophies spouting off how wonderful am I, top of the line lesbian wardrobe, a tell tale sign of my physical attributes and assorted vanity items. Note the word, vanity!
After my Higher Power’s second attempt at comedy, the house that Ruth built burning slowly to the ground, I gave up. A surrender of sorts. A fall to the knees in an open corn field. Head to the turbulent sky. Eyes fixed on spirituality’s revelations not mankind or womankind’s justification. I had heard, through the grapevine, that one knows when they have had too much. Internally we are all aware of rock bottoms personal vendetta.
All that has been written is truth. Yet, as I have said, I am a slow and not too steady learner. There are still on and off again moments where I just have to have that third Tablet/Kindle just in case the other two die. Or, times where I say to self, oh, it’s only a dollar. Three or four solar-powered plastic flowers the move via the light won’t hurt anybody.
My family is dysfunction with a capital D. My kin should have a mascot decorated with kitchen knives, bad karma and a scary clown head. They are what they are. And, it takes what it takes.
This time, it took ‘family in crisis’ to snap me to! Not that I had been out purchasing large lots of land and/or placing bets at the local Bingo Hall. But the ‘simple’ life had slowly started its downward descent into bargain basement shopping for the act of pleasuring one’s self with unnecessary plastic objects.
What I saw…when I again, saw the light? Aging parents that had done the best they could with what they were given via their own upbringing. And, I stand here today to tell you, they were given a bag of coal and flour and told to make the most of life with ‘the same shit’ their parents were given. On and on, and on and on, goes the vicious cycle of dysfunctional families.
Oh, physician heal thy self. Or, in this particular case, Zen Buddhist writer and fool, look what you’ve done now! I cannot begin to describe the night terrors. The slumbering sweat I awoke in. And/or the court jester-ing fool I witnessed in the morning mirror.
By slowly avoiding what it takes to ‘keep it simple‘. Which by the way is a hard and repetitive, daily journey into self. By masking myself in society’s masking tape. I forgot the following basic human and humble rules.
Who am I to judge? Judgment or mindfulness? Clinging to attachments can cloud and dilute the truth we all seek. How is it I came out so wonderful? If my parents were such mongers?
Living simply is not for the faint of heart. First step is in realizing that just by breathing, in today’s material world, you will be charged. Second step, going out of the house costs! Be aware that
To keep life at a minimum as far as expenditures to the masses, one should always start their journey with a fair to moderate idea of the ‘impact’ walking out the door will have. Life costs everyone. Yet, with education, it can have less impact on those with little means but large dreams.
To me, a vagabond for this century, is more likely free footed with structure. Not a desperado with lackluster morals. A vagabond for the current age, moves slightly through their places of the heart…leaving little and absorbing much.
Through the two house fires I have managed to keep three small trinkets of little money value. They are no bigger than an inch tall Snoopy action figures. By action I mean, Snoopy is blowing out birthday candles or napping on his dog house. The figurines were a gift from my father. At the time, his gestures had been in the form of verbal abuse and not typically, heart-felt items bought without premeditated goodness. Times were never filled with Norman Rockwell images of family bliss. My childhood consisted of the wanting to be a ghost. Not seen and not heard. Therefore, the idea of my angered by DNA and childhood poverty, father, giving me something so nonchalant, left and still leaves me…
BREATHLESS and WANTING TO KEEP THINGS SIMPLE
Take long morning walks.
One sided talks.
it is not the toll of death…that bring forth the tears.
the let’s make pretend and forget…years.
Why is it the fractured limb…seems always the last to fall?
Why is it the large than life…pray on the smaller than small?
This life of…walking and rolling with the punches…
This feel of…your self motivating guilt…has lost it’s usefulness.
I can no longer take hand me down trips.
I may have been bred sick.
But I can choose to not live in your illness.
That is my prayer…as your god is my witness.
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time——
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal
And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.
It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene
An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.
The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.
I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You——
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.
You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who
Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.
But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.
If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two——
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.
There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.