I started writing this piece the other day/night, earlier this year while in a random state of mind. For whatever reason, I thought better of it after the fact so I deleted it (twice). I censored my own thought. There was a previous personal, possibly even public commitment to self that should have prevented that transgression – I suppose the security isn’t as tight around here as it used to be. It remains a ridiculous self-absorbed collection of narcissistic sentences struggling to coalesce into paragraphs, but here they are again, uncut.
God bless her. She doesn't get it. How can she? She is just a dog after all. We've talked about it multiple times…too many to count, really. But none of those conversations included the word ball so she has been less than interested, certainly not motivated, until recently. Is it so much to ask, that your one eternal companion understands the gravity of a simple statement? Maybe.
Maynard got it. Yes, I’m aware of how close to the edge it makes me appear and possibly proves that I am that I put (continue to) so much stock into the conversations I have with my dogs, but that’s what is. He did get it though, and that’s probably why I miss him more than all the others. I've spent a lot of time proclaiming to be living in the is, not the was. That was our thing, Maynard and me. On the front end of our relationship, that was all we had and that was unfairly personal to me. On the back end of our relationship, in the months before he died it was personal to him for a host of different reasons. There was a recognition of unavoidable facts in his case, and that was the gravity that kept he and I in the is. That’s weird. I’m aware. I never saw the front end with any specificity until maybe right this second. We never discussed or imagined how it would be, how I would be when the unavoidable happened. That’s on me, not him. We both had a lot to deal with those last few days and I don’t fault him for not entertaining my personal pitfalls. Maynard was my oracle, but he was just a dog. I never thought about who I would talk to after his curtain closed. I should have.
What never occurred to me during my long, sometimes epic counseling sessions with either of my dogs was that they had no idea what I was saying when I said a thing to either. They just listened. Until recently, at least as I assess the current this or that through the filter of my superb bourbon addled intellect, I never saw what was. I sure as hell never saw the illusive is. In hindsight, I suppose there was always at least a metaphorical chance, with all of the players who have done time and subsequently been benched and / or traded to a better team from my yester life. What I never saw until post production, is that the is that I was always so jazzed about on the day-to-day was the never could’ve been in reality, in almost every single scenario since 1987. There’s a big fat pill to swallow, if you want one and something I've honestly been unable to come to terms with as of yet. I'm the original it's not you, it's me asshole, but I've rarely had the balls to say it in the moment.
Living in a supposed is that is irrecoverable is a hard thing in of itself, right? Realizing that the unavoidable associated was never had a chance of being the is is devastating. That’s the thing I chose to ignore since jump of my life, to my own detriment.
This, I think more than anything, is why I’m a dog person more than a person person. Dog’s are simple – humans suck. Throw the ball, I’ll bring it back. Give me food, I’ll love you forever. That’s living in the is, right?
So. To that question I mentioned earlier, that I never really asked. It’s not even a question so much as a statement. It is a statement however that has never elicited the reaction that I require, and quite honestly expect and deserve. I love art. If you don’t understand that about me, then you don’t understand anything about me. It’s not even about actual art – it’s about what I see life to be. It’s about possibility. No human being that I’ve ever known has taken the time to decipher why I say those three words, or even ask for that matter. It should be, and is likely obvious why Shangri-La has yet to show up for me…at least in the way that I need it to. As it turns out, being dedicated to a quest for an illusive existential truth of one fashion or another is an off-putting and seemingly pointless endeavor to most people. Who knew, right? I'm not so naive to assume that anyone understands that which I pursue, personally, metaphysically or otherwise. I am however shocked that a modicum of respect isn't thrown my way out of simple courtesy, but okay. Fine. Again, with the big pill thing, right?
But, that’s what is. Until I find an organism of such merit, or even a mediocre caliber facsimile of the same, capable of that unrequited but essential unspoken return (and a million more ideas and thoughts and actions and expectations that would be impossible for a single human being to live up to) I’m a solo act. I started writing in my mind the other day an essay about the difference and sameness between perception and reality. That probably would've been a positive exercise to go through before writing this one. Oh well. This thesis remains intact. Had that piece found a way to be written, me and it would have found ourselves at this same conclusion:
Glancing around this hovel and epiphanously realizing that all that is my life doesn't suck, doesn't suck, right? There is a warm glow here, there’s a lifetime on these walls and in this heart, there’s Rob Zombie on the stereo and another lifetime to discover come morning. My sweet Belle is posted up like a champ on the couch, chillin’. I’m sitting at a table and in a chair that I made with my own two hands. I’m surrounded by what these two hands have done…what I know art, what I know life to be. There are certainly some cracks in the plaster that I should patch, there are definitely some walls I shouldn't have painted in the manner in which I did, but I have no regrets. Tomorrow, I will get up and go do my thing...snap a couple of pics, pick one and try to convince you it matters. This is my perfect life, however I define it.
Tonight, right before bedtime, I’ll say what I say to Belle every time I see her face in my face. “You’re my best girl, Belle.”
That’s what is.
I think that's enough.