A Good Life

Pic of the day: View of the Delft, by Johannes Vermeer


People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better.

Ray Bradbury


Outside, there is darkness and silence in the street. A streetlight is shining it’s dull light on a few rustling pieces of paper caught in the slight breeze, making no noise as the moon rises semi-visible through the clouds. A car, whisper quiet, passes. It’s lights playing on the other cars further down the street, it’s deep dark blue paint job barely visible in the darkness after it passes out from under the streetlight. A cat walks in the shadows, stealthily.

The dull white light is bouncing off of the dull white walls. Dulled by years of just being there. Dulled by not being painted, not being so much as touched in places. The light shines dully through glazed glass that is many years old, and the light that filters through has the look of light that is years old. Light that transfers no heat.

Thunder that is years old plays out hard fast and loud from my television. The picture when I look at it is fairly dark. Just a few points of light on a basically dark screen. The picture regardless of what it is, is of little consequence. The sound is a sustained thunder, a sustained growl of anger and impending violence. Old, evil music, as if from deep in the maw of hell surges from the TV.

From nowhere thoughts of my past begin to dance an ugly, sinister, macabre dance in my head. They come unbidden, perhaps drawn by the dull light and angry thunder, and the imperfect state of the world which I live in.

Thoughts fall like rain. Thoughts of long gone days. Of days that are barely memories. Bad old days. Images play in my head. Bloody vomit. Shitting blood. The shakes. Words, half remembered. Passing out in mid sentence. Waking up, hours later and miles away, finishing conversations that were long done, while alone, bottle still in hand, fingers frozen in place. Waking up not knowing where I was or who I was or what had happened with the last day, or month, or year. Needing a drink at 9:00 am just to take the edge off. Days that are better left where they are. Days where I felt I had to anesthetize myself just to make it through the day. Days that blended into night into days into nights into weeks and weekends and months and years. Days and weeks and months and years lost.

When it happened it was great. That is what I thought. Best shit ever. Get drunk stay drunk, never be sober. That is where I was, that was actually my dream. Sobriety was a curse. And it was OK for me back then. No wonder people thought I was insane. I was. But I have since grown, and the child that needed that has grown away from that need.

Heard a question asked a while ago, week or two ago I think, in a different context, about whether I am better off now than I was years back. The simple answer is, in this context anyway, yes. And since that is the only context I live my life in, the only one I can possibly answer in, the answer is of course, yes. Presidents make not a lick of difference as far as that is concerned. Politics is really of no concern as far as that goes. Yes, life is good. Work is intermittent, money is rarely there in the quantities that I need it in, but that matters little.

So as I look at the dull light and listen to the thunder, with cats under foot, and my wife sitting across the room from me, contented on her computer doing her nights work, I can sit back with joy, sober, and think, “This is a good life.”

Good enough for me.


That’s it from here, America. G’night.


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