I have forgotten myself. I strain my memory and look into the sun, squinting, but it remains: who am I? Or who was I and can I get back there? It is a grand larceny, this life: you only understand it long after the fact.
I look for ways to reach inside myself. I try to play to my own cheap seats. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t; Tom Waits works, and always. (Anywhere, anywhere, anywhere I lay my head, I gotta call my own)
Waits takes me back in time; he picks me up and places me in my colorful memories. The beige car interior, sunlight playing off the dashboard, turning out on the highway and heading for the hotel. Later, I turned to my friend and slurred, “I just drink so I can sleep.” The Ohio moon played its middle eight.
On Cape Cod, the same beige car, parked outside our house in the middle of the night…grass, rocks, far off ocean lapping. I turn the nob on the stereo–it’s louder, now, under the same moon. I turn to my right and look at Dan, pulling on my beer as wrap my hand around the back of his neck. He is sweating. He smiles and looks at me, still shy, and drinks his beer. While he sees me as a leader, I cannot assume the same. 1 AM, he gets out of the car and heads to bed; she comes up to the front seat and tells me a story in her purple tank top. She is sweating.
His voice is a map to my own maturation. As I listen to it now, I tear up and adjust my posture–now rigid, now aware. (I see that the world is upside down, seems that my pockets were filled up with gold).
The chore is remembering yourself–smile and look up at the sky and follow along the path painted white by the clouds and bring your eyes back down to the horizon, following it to its end. The line forms here.
(I don’t need anybody, because I love, I love to be alone)