every man is frightened…

Come to my promised land…

Where is your promised land? Somewhere safe, with loved ones a small cul de sac, or a quiet acre? It’s hard to figure it out, to know for sure to be aware to be awake.

As John Wayne would say my dad had the “big C.” diagnosis, take the kidney and it’ll be alright you have two, oh no what’s that with with the liver? Let’s do a scan. Damn now we have an infection and you have to leave. 6000 miles with no-one to talk to and nothing to keep you company but music and thoughts and books. Let’s read a detective story a flawed Scotsman or Montana sheriff, you decide. Guilt, loneliness, relief, concern all mixed up in a big ball of anxiety.

The blues had a baby and the bastard couldn’t sing…

Oh good nobody is going to sit next to me, I can stretch out. In and out of sleep, watching bad movies, not drinking the coffee you have to pay for, why is there no knife for the scone? Listening to music on noise cancelling headphones, lip reading but not  making eye contact because the guilt of having more space than others may overpower you. Nodding off again and again, 10 hours and 50 minutes never felt so long before, how can they be so exact, where did the 50 minutes come from? Landing two hours after leaving, how did that happen?

Idiot son of Donkey Kong…

L.A. sucks, coming in to land  one continuous concrete wasteland, the rivers dry and funneled through artificial channels, not even river beds. They look cool on the screen as Arnold throws his motorcycle along but in reality they are an obscenity. It’s so hot, waiting to get off the plane two hours to make the connection back to the cool Oregon landscape. First there is Customs, damn so many people, how am I going to do this, answer the questions, fingerprints and pictures taken by the machine. Then there is the cry, residents and citizens this way, out to get the bags, I may make this half hour to go, through the check pick up the bag, pass it on, move to TSA, 20 minutes now. Sit in the lounge.

and hear my cries…

“You’re not in the computer.” Fateful words. Slumping the shoulders, sweating in the heat, desperate to get home, only 2 hours away or so. Grab the boarding pass, stagger down the strange purple lit corridor of the Virgin jet, recently bought by Alaska Airlines but they haven’t changed the paint or the decor, disorientation sets in like some  flashback you weren’t expecting. Sit down hold on almost there.

Crawl on your knees down collision drive…

Fall off the plane, you’re there, alone with your thoughts, the guilt, the pain, at least they are alive, alone and holding on to each other, abandoned and helpless. Greet the family or well one third of them, hugs smiles and relief you’re there to help with the newborn, Alzheimer’s and the rest of the shit life has thrown up all over the back seat of the car. 40 minutes to go, grab some food, well KFC. The colonel knew what he was doing, saturated fats, chicken and coleslaw.

I know what you did…

No headphones but the music plays on in your head, why play the same album for so many hours?

Say make believe it ain’t so wrong…

48 hours later, listening to the same album again, this time the record not the download. Flashbacks and stutters, what happened?

When do I have to go back, are they alright. FaceTime and texts, long distance care. Do they tell the truth about how they are. Would life have been easier before instant communication, when families lost touch forever once a member left, faded letters and crackly phone calls.

Now waiting for the answers the scan may provide. Or the further questions.


You know we can’t do this without each other, fateful last words.

I can feel my head exploding now…

7 thoughts on “every man is frightened…

  1. Sounds like a very stressful and upsettingly inconclusive trip. Hope you have the support you need now you’re home (if I’m reading it correctly).

    Like St Julian. Don’t know that album but it’s on my list.

  2. Life can really come at us from all directions sometimes. I hope you’re managing to take care of yourself in there somewhere.
    Glad the universe tossed you a bone with the extra room. Interesting observation about the pitfalls of modern long distance communication. In some ways it can make the distance more palpable.
    Beautifully written, by the way, as always.

  3. Hey, haven’t you heard, nobody listens to Julian Cope anymore. He’s so last week around here.

    Sounds like you left your sanity somewhere in the heat of L.A, la.

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