My umi says…
Tomorrow may never come
For you or me
Life is not promised
Tomorrow may never show up
For you and me
This life is not promised
I ain’t no perfect man
I’m trying to do, the best that I can,
With what it is I have
Dear friends of the inter-connected networks. The Twitterers, the FaceBookers, the folks that have this page as part of their RSS feed, everyone still on my Hotmail e-mail blast list… How the hell are you?! Have you gone to any of the free concerts being held all around the city. I was able to catch Gil Scott-Heron at Central Park’s Summerstage. I will definitely be in the park on Sunday, August 15th for Public Enemy as they commemorate the 20th anniversary of their greatest album – ‘Fear Of A Black Planet‘.
Gil gave us some blues that makes me recall the oil spill in the Gulf.
How has the summer been treating you so far otherwise? Excellent, you look well. Me, not so much.
If you have recently looked at my face when I didn’t know you were watching me you have seen that I don’t smile as often. It isn’t anything that you have done per se. You’ve actually done your best to keep me in good spirits. You watch the videos that are produced by the ICs collectively and singularly, you also read the blog posts that we all generate in various online locations. You’ve done your part to keep us together on the web, but I still got the blues.
This could be that male menstruation thing that I read about somewhere and maybe I’m cycling thru that right now. Actually to be honest with all of you I know why I have the blues. I received an eviction notice from my home for the last almost 40 years. Not my co-operative apartment that acts as a warehouse for all my shit from action figures, to hundreds of pairs of sneakers and over twenty years of Polo Ralph Lauren clothing. Not my mother’s basement (which incidentally is now located in an Atlanta suburb called Marietta).
The home I’m referring to is Never-Never Land. I’ve been the steward of this place for as long as I can remember. Everyone that has come thru here during that time has pretty much deferred to me. They’ve allowed me to guide them on adventures that have been delightful, daring and sometimes deadly. Each year I welcome the next group of adventurers and we fly thru this land making our own rules and avoiding Captain Hook and his henchmen as best we can.
But then Tinkerbell came to me with the message that NeverLand was being developed as a resort island. There is no way I’m going to be able to avoid the bulldozers that will uproot all my favorite treehouses and cubbyholes. It’s finally time for me to grow up. Growing up isn’t about just paying bills on time, altho’ that is definitely something I will need to work on. Growing up is living your life in service of others. Family, friends and even total strangers. I’ve been a solo act all of my life. Even when I had a younger brother I was on my own shit. Even with a girlfriend I still went in my own direction at my own whims.
My life changed a bit when my father died, but my mother was still independent despite contracting multiple sclerosis. As she has become elderly and now invalid I am asked to assume the responsibility of the leader of my family unit. I have been a leader of the Lost Boys, but that isn’t how you lead a family. Leading the Lost Boys was still an exercise in selfishness. The boys that couldn’t keep up with my madness were cast off from NeverLand. If you didn’t have the courage to follow me into the mouth of the volcano I called you a coward and mocked you. I had no patience for those with fear.
I was like that because I had so much fear. I used to afraid of being alone. My mother left me alone a lot when I was young. I was raised by her grandmother. My mother was young and pretty and she had many suitors. I’m sure she loved my father because she married him and gave me his name, but his drug abuse demons drove her away. So as a young single mother trying to get by in New York City she had to leave me. For days and weeks and months my great-grandmother did her best to replace her granddaughter. And she did a wonderful job. My great-grandmother was a Scottish goddess named Beryl O’Loughlin.
I just returned to NYC from visiting my mother in Atlanta. Her condition is deteriorating after falling and breaking her hip last year. She isn’t able to walk any longer and the MS is stripping her nervous system of control of her life. I suppose I should start looking for a place in NYC that offers assisted living because she isn’t going to be able to remain in Atlanta for much longer when the family that is living with her has to go their own way. This is the sound of the bulldozers and excavators entering Never Land.
I brought my nephew with me to see his grandmother. He is the middle child of my kid brother’s 3 x 3 litter. 3 sons by 3 different mothers. This child is the only one of the three that I know. For various reasons of the American story that is how shit goes. I haven’t seen the child for over a year. He reminds me of my brother too. I have to make sure that my nephew doesn’t end up a Lost Boy. Not too many kids can get thru that period without gaining horrible scars or worse. I was lucky that I was smart and emotionally unavailable. He needs my help and I see this.
Now Peter Pan has to become a parent or dare I say a patriarch. I didn’t want this day to come because I never wanted to be responsible for anyone other than myself. So this is why I’ve got the blues. But the good thing about my blues is that it isn’t the song of defeat or humiliation. My blues is the song of redemption. My blues is the phoenix that rises from the ashes to spread its beautiful wings to the sky.