CAR TALK

“Do you ever look at the wolves and wonder how they got those shaggy gray coats?” I said to my friend as we looked out the car window. There was a pair of wolves pacing by not three hundred feet away.

“Do you ever wonder if you could shut the fuck up?” He took another huff from the piece and passed it back to me. We had been sitting in the smoky haze of the car for a good hour, blazing out of our minds. I took the piece and the lighter in hand, fumbling to get it going. When I finally did, I inhaled deeply. The smoke filled my lungs. I held it there for a minute, like a dragon holding fire in its chest, before exhaling. The world was already growing fuzzy around the edges—possibly from the fatigue. I had been up all day, out in the sun.

“But really,” I coughed out, “look at how those two walk together. They’ve probably known each other their whole life.”

“Yeah, I’ve known you my whole life, what’s your point?”

“Well just that, like, they seem to walk without worrying. We never get to do that. Even here, if some police came knocking on our windows, we’d be in a bit of a mess.”

“Shut the fuck up, you’re gonna ruin my high,” he said, then followed up with laughter, “do you think maybe they snuck away from their pack to do drugs, like us?”

“What, like they see some mushroom out with the pack earlier in the day, then double back to go eat them and howl at the moon at night?” I grinned back at him, “More likely they’re a couple teens sneaking off for a romp in the woods.”

He turned to look at me with mock seriousness on his face. “Wolves are always in the woods. How can they sneak off?”

“That’s fair. Alright, so maybe that was mistress wolf, and she’s stolen away at midnight to go cheat on her husband.”

“Was it a boy and a girl? I didn’t get a good look at them before they disappeared” He asked, looking back out at the trees in the vain hopes that he might be able to catch a glimpse.

“I dunno dude, I’m just making conversation.” I said, shrugging.

“How come you and conversation never leave me alone while I’m enjoying my drugs?” He quickly reclined his chair and closed his eyes. He meant it as a joke, but I took the point that we should take a pause. It was getting quite late, and he was just as tired as I was, if not more.

We sat in the silence for a few minutes, listening to the world outside and wobbling in our seats, until eventually he rocked himself back to an upright position, and started the car. He pulled away, and we drove home in silence.

——

 

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UNDERWATER (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Underwater

Underwater light

looks like glass sheets shattering

over and over.

 

Oceans of Green

Winds of nostalgia

smell like the waves of the sea

between blades of grass.

 

Winter Freeze

Wisps of the winter

run shivers through earthen spines.

Huddle close to me.

 

Rock Quarries

Kindred quarries house

a brotherhood of boulders

awaiting freedom.

 

Treasures on Trees

Who has need for gold

when trees provide the treasures

of life in their fruits.

——

 

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TAKING A SAD SONG

How do you make it better?

Paul told me not to make it bad,

But sitting here in the dark,

The hall light like a luminous spirit

Hanging over me, I can’t seem

To wash the tears from my eyes.

 

The empty house, filled with

Lost-hopes, hallow voices, and empty promises

Drown the once buoyant chants of the

Frost on Sunday rerun I found on YouTube.

 

Maybe from the steps of superstardom

The depths of despair

Look like a small puddle.

 

But the staircase to Paradiso

Passes through the Inferno,

And I think I might have gotten lost

In Purgatorio

 

Just like mama and papa did.

Why else could such good souls

Not make it into heaven?

——

 

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TONE IN LITERATURE AND LIFE

From time to time, my father and I talk about a variety of subjects. Anything from alcohol, to weight lifting, to…well, really anything. Yesterday, my dad finished reading Honored Enemy, a book by a (slightly) lesser-known fantasy author: Raymond E. Feist (at least, compared to George R.R. Martin), and we were considering it in comparison to the Game of Thrones series (yeah I know it’s called A Song of Fire and Ice officially, but everyone calls it Game of Thrones). My dad asserted that Feist’s characters were more hopeful, which I thought was an interesting perspective, since at many times throughout his book, they knowingly face and fear certain doom.

To contrast, the characters in Game of Thrones, while often times very dire (I mean, the Stark’s house words are “Winter is Coming,” which is indicative of a fear of death, rather than an enjoyment with life) also hold a sense of hopefulness at various points, it just doesn’t seem hopeful. Think about it. Tyrion is hopeful in his own way—in the sense that he thinks he can overcome pretty much anything with his own wit. Renly is hopeful in a way too. He is very fun loving, and clearly represents some amount of goodness in the world. Vars, in his own way, is hopeful that things can go well, and Littlefinger is hopeful in his own schemes. Though I would categorically say that Game of Thrones is far less hopeful than most books.

Which takes us to the point of this post! Tone! The whole tone of the story frames the perspective it takes. And I like to think of stories as an allegory for life. This one is that the tone you take can change how you look at life. If everything you think is hopeless, then the world will seem that much darker. But if you can look at the things around you, and find some greatness in it, suddenly you might be able to enjoy it a bit more—even in dire straights.

Alright, well I’ll leave it a bit shorter today, but don’t forget that life can be really great, just as books can be really great, even if there are many points where the world seems too big, and the battles you are fighting seem hopeless. Let me know what your thoughts are on the subject. Is life better when we view it as better? Or does the pessimism lead to better successes in happiness?

——

 

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