We have known each other for a while. From the moment I met you I thought that you were comfortable at being you. I observed you like I was a child watching a carousel. Well, a drunk child. I was sitting in a stroller, sucking on a bottle of whiskey with milk and honey. The lights were shining. The wind was blowing breezily and smiles were on the faces of even those that were losing. The adults were laughing and the children inside the souls that went round and round always rose to the top. Only when the music stopped. This was my first chapter memory of you.
I always knew that you have not been this way forever but I chose not to delve deeper into your psyche. The feeling was good and the teat tasted neat. I sucked and swallowed and got fat on forgetting.
I did this because I did not want to see the disappearance of Superman Moriarty to the kryptonite that Super Sal Paradise’s comeuppance would provide. I didn’t want to see you without the costume of the superhero that you packaged yourself as. I was going through the evolution to the slow learning acceptance of moth to flame to burnt moth and learning to work between worlds that were real and those that were fake. I was going upstream at full tilt and did not want to lose the destruction of fear that you provided me.
That cocoon was warm as a kitten’s litter. I snuggled down deep and came out dirty and stinking but a little bit softer just the same.
My role as an observationalist and as your adviser has taken many turns. None of which I will go into for fear of being perceived as an unprofessional adviser. That, by itself, would be against the oath I silently took to zealously advocate a wayward , fairweather client and friend.
This statement will be anonymous. This blog is. No names will be mentioned. All parties involved will be able to see what they want. They can read and draw the pictures to illustrate the story on the walls of the living rooms of their minds. Over these words songs can play as loud as they want and no one will be forced to clean up these messes. This is a story, my friend. A factual story. Facts can’t be rewritten.
This turn of our friendship will be one that probably involves many right turns that feels like we are coming back to the same place. You probably won’t like it. I urge you to understand that I was not the navigator, but only the observationist. At the end of the bullshit of this tale as I see it I assure you that we are moving forward, but like Sancho watching Quixote, a master or a muse cannot truly see his direction until he sees that there are no more windmills.
I guess the story starts on a dreary day in a bar that has seen so many dreary, shitty days. Our glasses get dirty. Our memories get dirty. Our sleeves get dirty but our thoughts get clean. We hope for the best but our bar tab dies like the rest. We search for past places we have conquered but I end up slumped over taking the A train back to Brooklyn criss-crossing my feet to the music of the last song we left on wishing five years ago could have lasted forever but so glad that it lasted as long as it did.
Cut to a few casual moments later and hell happens. Life is going as good as living a half way lie can be and couples dinner is attached. Thunder rolls. Lightning strikes. You know what happens. If not, your girlfriend might.
Again with the cliché, but there is nothing else as powerful and poignant to describe it as nature itself, the shit came before the storm. It had been along while since I had to deal with a problem that was not my own and seeing as I did not deal with my problems I was caught without the emotional poncho that a man who was watching his Moriarity superhero let his protective plastic fly away in the wind. The cape didn’t flutter but was ripped away violently. Wind whistled through your teeth and I just thought that it would at least serve as shelter if not for a blanket to keep me warm. You bared down on me and asked for the impossible. Like I was a savior. Like I was gonna do something for you. Like I had ever done anything at all except for get you out of a bar tab. I was dumbstruck. Dumfounded. Dumbfucked. I made promises that I knew that I could keep. But you weren’t Super Moriarity anymore. You were appealing to me as a super minority. A philosophical detox of binging on percocets and promises unkept for lotto tickets unscratched that were cashed in. That you were the benefit of. You were grasping at the straws held by those that I hoped you thought would come through in a pinch and I failed to pinch you to tell you that you weren’t dreaming. I’m sorry for this.
You take photos much like I write. You see darkness. But you also see a story. A photo with a lens-cap-covered camera would result in nothing. So you look for light. You traipse back and forth. Adjust and bitch and complain because the subject of the photo gives you nothing to be optimistic about. But when you get it, the broken shard of light that shines down on a glass of triumph and a face of guilt gives hope to me. That one more can get that person from that negative to being back home again.
The only way I know how to do this is the only way you will probably not ever expect, a sports analogy:
“It’s nighttime here in philly, this has been a whirlwind of a series. Two, tough as nails teams that have been struggling to come from behind just to get on top again. Back and forth as the seesaw goes for sure. Here we are, runner on second, final inning. Crowd at a non stop standtill. At bat is the notorious brawler and scrapper Urdowitz. The Polish power, as he is known here in Bronx stadium. Down by one run and after being struck by an alleged errant pitch in the 4th he arrives to the plate with one tooth less than started, folks. After a medical examination he was deemed ready to play after an inning and it is rumored that along with the medical gauze to absorb the blood, he is still chewing tobacco folks! It is said to kill the mouth pain but judging by the looks of his eyes and his slow swagger to the plate he is feeling none. So I guess it is working.
He stops before stepping in the box and gives a look to the umpire and a longer slow look to the catcher. They are both unphased folks. Every single party is steel. The pitcher waits patiently for the triangle of people involved. Urdowitz slaps the bat against each heel and gazes into the outfield…his glance is tightening…tightening…on the right field foul base line!
The jumbotron has picked him up! It is the same Tigers fan that had recently thrown the beer bottle at him while rounding first base! The reason he lost his tooth! How is he still in the stadium, folks?
Urdowitz is raising his bat! Oh my goodness! In the measure of the great Babe Ruth but mimicking the drama of the Natural he is pointing at the…No, he is not folks! He is pointing at the fan! The Taker of the Tooth!
The crowd is going wild! He steps into the box with a foot and reaches down grabbing dirt…he wrestles with something and buries his hands deep in the sand…claps them together…has words with the umpire AND NOW IS HAVING WORDS WITH THE CATCHER!
He brings his other foot into the box and grips the bat accordingly. I don’t know what is happening faster here folks…”
At this time Urdowitz stared at the pitcher. He thought about his right foot that fucking hurt. He thought about that fucking cocksucker in the rightfield that got those seats cause he knew someone. He hoped it was the goddamned catcher. He thought about bowling and how much better that would be then he just thought about fucking leaving.
But then he thought about winning, then fucking leaving.
He made the signal for ready to go, crowded the plate, leaned his right shoulder in, spat at the pitcher and growled.
He backed off the ball as soon as the asshole went into his windup.
He intentionally swung a little late to get a line drive from a fast ball that was meant to clip him and sent it screaming right inside the first baseline against Ramiero’s charging feet. It hit the inside of the bag and shot up in the air and the taunting fan fell backwards to avoid a bullet that he thought was for him. Urdowitz had never had such accuracy but he knew this one was his.
The ball ricocheted and left the right fielder deeper than expected and seeing as Rameiro charged that spot was empty. The ball in all its bouncing glory went into the foot of a ballboy who in trying to keep his job jumped and sent it in yet another direction.
Urdowitz never planned on stopping. He was almost at third when they finally got a handle on it to send to the third baseline for the rundown. The man on second base had scored without even sliding.
The Yankees fans almost did the rest.
While Urdowitz was cleaning the clock for the fastest time an oldtimer had ever rounded the bases, the fans were giving the heckler the once over. He was drunk as a monkey’s uncle and no one except everyone except for Urdowitz saw him being pushed over the rails for fucking with their man.
At this point our hero was running for his livelihood. I’ll tell you that the previous injury had caused his nose to bleed which was mixing with the sweat from his brow and the snot from his nose and looked as if his own nose-coffee was bubbling. It was quite a sight for any photographer. These are the images in the mind of anyone watching but there were those who weren’t.
There was the asshole behind the plate in expensive seats who spilt his drink down the bosses fake-titted wife’s white shirt when he pointed at the jerkoff in the stands as he fell onto the field.
More importantly, there was the entire third base line watching the asshole collapse when they were supposed to be involved in the fucking game AND the catcher who ended up receiving the lob late cause the third baseman bobbled the throw instead of the bullet available to prepare for Urdowitz’s epically metallic train-crash.
Our anti-hero did as his father told him. The catcher caught it up high, pulled it down with the right glove preparing to embrace and he gave it to him with full fucking force.
There are few people who say they know how to take a punch. Anyone that takes them, doesn’t like it.
You spend your life hoping you never have to be the fucking liar that has to say that.
Urdowitz never did.
He buried his head and threw his right shoulder into the catchers left. Not before he slowly pulled his fists into a ball and struck the catcher's Adam's Apple. Urdowitz violently shifted his left hand open-faced and down stumbling like into the catcher’s left wrist hoping to knock the ball from the glove. As he did, he splayed his left leg out and veered to the right bringing the knee into the groin of the jock-strapped catcher while throwing his body to the left and actually collapsing onto the plate sliding forward while both players and the umpire fell silent.
The catcher rose first with glove tight and the black and white shook himself and stood and grabbed his hand like a victorious boxer as Urdowitz rose from the rumble. Again, blood was dripping from his mouth. The cotton swab had fallen by the wayside and the umpire shook loose nothing from the catcher’s mitt.
The ball was seen first by the wayward titty looking fan next to the fence who created an earthquake rumble that made oppenents fans. This incident again drew the attention of the boss away from the cleavage shot the invited employee most certainly enjoyed and she screamed and jumped making mountainous moments of short term sugar lumps on his single scoop of unemployed ice cream.
Urdowitz heard screams and then headaches and then pounding. His winning teammates bumrushed him without his knowledge. He was still semiconscious. He fell apart with energy and then rolled and stumbled to the Gatorade jug and pulled himself forward. He fell backwards, relieved to be not a failure but more so not to be a vomiter. Then he vomited. Blud.
Then other stuff. The stadium was going mad but then again so was he. He was also missing something.
He trudged back with a vindicated soldiers remittance and kicked teammates and pushed new champion t-shirts till he got to the bottom of things. The camera had focused on him. The game winning homerun of the seventh game of the World Series deserved the homeplate. He had wife and children at home and the end of a career to think of, after all. He was gonna hold that piece of rubber up like it was his. Like the constitution of a fallen country that America finally took back. ‘Cept...
He found what he was looking for while the camera forgot him for something happier as he ambled toward the dugout to finally rest. He was front-toothless and dug-out. But those teeth that he lost in that car crash of a win were fucking poison. They were gone. So was his career. He was missing his teeth but he was clean again. He knew he was right where he needed to be. He was whole again even though he was missing pieces (teeths) when he approached the plate to retrieve the metal in the shape of the cross he left when he was digging in the dirt earlierr at the plate. He told that cock-sucking umpire and the goddamn catcher that he was gonna come back and get it a few minutes come hell or high water.
And goddamned if he didn't. All the while leaving his teeth and the catcher's lying bloody in the sand.
And my man, that is the beginning of our story that gives people a place to begin your timeline. And the end for us to enjoy. Good night.