I Didn’t Have in Mind to Meet You
Originally published October 22nd, 2015
Listening to the hollow clicks of another passing train, I can’t help peering through a half cracked window out into the darkness. Nothing to be seen save the street lights working at half power and a car with a fresh coat of frost. My own breath hangs high on the wind for only a moment before it’s taken out of sight. Another quiet night in the deep end of a shallow city. I see a spark out of the corner of my eye signifying the last porch light dying for the night a few houses down. Under the light of day these streets have a certain charming aura to them. Rustic and homely, these are the alleys and roads of a humble childhood. All charm is lost under the beaming moon and instead the desperation can be seen looming over each household. Chipped paint and cracked windows seem highlighted in the foggy night. With no one in sight these crumbling shacks have no veil left to hide behind.
In the near distance a few drunkards can be heard squabbling over what can only be assumed to be some petty disagreement. Surely only the worst can come of such nonsense. One can’t help but recall being in that exact situation too many times to count. So many nights lost, wasted. All the money, all the chaos. Was it worth it? I wouldn’t say so, but there’s not too much that can be done about it now. Just avoid the same messiness from whence you came, admit defeat and find your way back to the Yellow Brick Road. It’s out there somewhere, hidden on the far side of your mountain of empties. It’s best for all that we see no return to the pinnacle of this fabled copy of Everest as it too often precedes a jarring fall back to earth. Chin up, lowly liquor-pig, you’re doing just fine.
The last cars have long since come to this end of a tired city called home by so many through forced smiles. Approaching another few months of rosey cheeks and frozen toes puts most in a bitter mood. Those who don’t thrive on ice skates or skis either wait inside or suffer, the choice is theirs. We freeze for a few months until it all melts and we’re up to our knees in muddy water and lawn clippings that we’d forgotten in our backyards. Before you know it the sun’s back, the water’s warm and the campfire’s cooking. Get it while you can because the leaves are primed to fall the minute your sandals come out of the closet. Just like that another winter will be inching it’s way closer to your front door. You’ll be another year older, another year farther from your dreams or closer to grabbing them out of thin air. That much is up to you. It’s a long year yet to come, but it will find a way to slip through your hands and have you wondering where the time went. Then again, what am I even talking about?