from long ago.
I sit here
and can’t help but think
that the things
but, then I realize
that the words
than what we wished
we just changed.
we died a million deaths
and our legs
but we never
stop us from
seeing the end.
thank god for that.
*this is an OLD poem. I wrote it in 1981. I wish I knew what it meant but I really don’t…
True Story - My Super Power
There once was a time when I had confidence, supreme self-assurance, and a super power. Yes, you read that properly. I had a super power. It was well recognized by some of my friends and some of my co-workers. It was never questioned and, in some circles, it was revered. In fact, dare I say, it was worshipped.
Now, I realize that this is probably pretty hard to believe, but super powers do exist and, as a person that had one, I can tell you that when it fails or you start questioning its existence, you start questioning your own existence. That’s where I sit right now. Questioning. Questioning if I ever truly had the power. Questioning if I still have it. Questioning if it will ever reappear. It isn’t a comfortable place to be but it’s in my kitchen right now.
You see, it wasn’t that long ago that I could find a Starbucks at any time and in any city or, even, country for that matter. Is it a super power? Hell yeah. If you don’t believe me, just ask some of the people that admit to witnessing the super power in action. I’ve found, and could give you specific and accurate directions to a Starbucks or its equivalent in:
Mumbai (and there’s only three of them)
New York City
Paris (anywhere in Paris or surrounding area)
And a bunch of other cities that I can’t even remember. I was a master to put it bluntly. Hell, I’m being polite. It was a goddamn super power.
But, then something happened. I went to Philadelphia. I stopped for a Starbucks in Harrisburg along the way (I’ll have to add Harrisburg to the above list someday). I was just sowing my oats and drinking my mochas. When I got into Philly it was too late to do anything so I just went to a local dive, had a burger, some fries and a milk shake. I didn’t have a beer (I began wondering if this lack of beer might be have been my “Kryptonite”).
The next morning I headed to downtown Philly. It was a perfect spring day. The flowers were beginning to bloom, the streets were packed with joggers, bikers, people walking. It was gorgeous. I took a quick look at my phone and located the University of Penn campus. It is a mother fucking college campus. Of course there will be a Starbucks there (conveniently next to the Chipotle I’m sure). I wandered the area for just a bit too long for it to be comfortable. Things just weren’t adding up. I caved and did a quick search on my iPhone for the local Starbs. Something akin to “cheating” and a certain breach of conviction. My faith was restored when I discovered one on the opposite side of my current block and that I had missed the Starbucks by a matter of only a few hundred feet in a city of 141 square miles. I turned left, turned left again and was greeted with…NOTHING. There was no Starbucks in sight.
I paced down the sidewalk until I found myself at the far end. Still, nothing. I’m sure I broke out in a vicious sweat, but my mind was blank and my memory only contains bits and pieces of the whole ordeal at this point. I walked around that block several times trying to locate the Starbucks. At one point I noticed a couple walking across the street with their Starbucks in hand. I had to be in the right place. I panicked and went for my phone. I located the Starbucks a second time and proceeded to walk directly to it holding my phone in front my face the entire time. On my map, I walked past the Starbucks. I turned and looked at the store fronts. Once again, NOTHING. I retraced my steps and walked by the Starbucks a second time. I was enraged when I noticed that the little blue dot, representing me, meandered right past the Starbucks being displayed on my tiny iPhone screen.
After approximately twenty minutes, I quit, hung my head in shame and, deflated, walked back to downtown Philly, without my Starbucks. I didn’t have a Starbucks that day. I was too defeated and the desire had been shattered by the Starbuck goddess that obviously didn’t return my love and undying devotion. I later found out that the Starbucks was on the second floor of the building that I been passing all morning long. I just never looked up. I can’t say, “It was right beneath my nose.” But, I can say, “Get your eyes out of your phone and look up you dumbass!”
It was a blow to my super power ego. But, over time I recovered. I found three in one day in Sacramento, I quickly found one during a layover in the Denver airport. Things seemed to be getting back to normal and I was projecting my Starbucks super power like a swashbuckling pirate ruling the seven seas.
But, as well noted, “Pride goeth before a fall”. I arrived in Boise without much of a plan. I knew that I would need to locate a Starbucks by Tuesday morning to start the day. Elly Mae and MC Boston were heading into town. Being the good host, I thought I should be able to quickly get us to a Starbucks the following morning. I found two Starbucks almost immediately. Both, big shocker here, within five blocks of Boise State’s campus. I later found one near the hotel where we were staying. I was set, I was confident and I was ready to lead to a Starbucks.
Elly Mae arrived and we went to dinner, had some beers and waited for MC Boston to arrive. When MC Boston arrived we went for more beer and some food, as she hadn’t eaten for hours. I’m only pointing this out because it completely dispels the theory that my failure in Philly had anything to do with lack of beer. We had a fun evening out and when we arrived in the hotel, I announced that I would take us to Starbucks the following morning. They swooned over my announcement (at least that’s what I recall) and we all headed off to our respective rooms.
The following morning we met in the lobby. We piled into my rental car and I let my super power do all of the work. I turned left out of the parking lot. At the first stop sign I turned right. I pulled out in front of squad car. I remember it like it was two weeks ago (which it is was). I turned left at the next light and started following my “Starbucks Sense”. Only, I didn’t find the Starbucks. Once again, panic set in and I ended up in the parking lot of a Firestone dealership. Which, I might add is the EXACT opposite of a Starbucks. I fished around for a bit and felt the blood leaving my body. I was dead inside. Elly Mae saved the day by locating the Starbucks on her iPhone and successfully navigated us home. My mocha was good but it wasn’t nearly as sweet as it should have been.
Since that day I’ve questioned everything. I’m not sure what I believe. I’m not sure where to begin. I’m not sure what mistakes I’ve made and what I’ve done well. I don’t know where to go to get my mojo back (or my mocha for that matter).
This is just an epic crash and burn.
***** Added 7 July 2014 - I’ve got my Starbucks Sense back. I dominated in Boston, Albany and Sacramento the past couple of weeks. I’m back.
7.15.2014 - late night dream
They’re tearing holes in the wall
In my simple little dream
Ripping out their hearts
And bursting at the seams.
Their stingers bear down on me
And they target my hate
Only to replace it with the anger
Associated with my broken fate.
Their legs, their spines, their poison
Make me ill, make me sick
And I burn a bit more
With each sting and every prick.
Their buzz never ends
As they penetrate my room
And my head roils and reels
As I contemplate my doom.
They’ve stolen my tears
So I’ve got nothing left to cry.
There’s no escape, no way out.
Only to sit here and let my life die.