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Roof-real by Ray Printer Friendly

Just got off a rather strange phone call—a “conference” call with my friends from NYC, Trey and Carey. They kept calling it “three-way,” but that makes me uncomfortable in ways I’m not ready to discuss.

Speaking of uncomfortable, my chair broke, and it’s driving me insane. I’m not kidding around here: insane. Like I went and bathed in monkey blood and then chanted at a bag of dirty laundry for two and a half hours. Kidding! It’s called exaggeration.

The chair thing is really annoying, though. So, yeah, I ended up talking to Trey and Carey for a bit, and it was good times, if a little bizarre. “Flava Flav! I think it was Flava Flav!” Over and over in my ears, I don’t know if I’m losing my mind or if the world has just crossed some sort of portal-ly dimension or what.

“Flava Flav!” One voice goes.

“Buttermilk Biscuits!” goes another voice.

“Flava Flav?”

“Buttermilk Biscuits…Buttermilk Biscuits?”

“Flava Flav! It’s six o’clock! Tick tock!””

These voices don’t seem like they’re in my head, but what rational human being would be shouting things like this? Ah, my old friends, the ones that always made me never doubt my sanity in comparison.

I think about old times, about waking up with something like a billion wasps staggering around in my brain, and the sun shining in through the window, and having an almost religious experience because I don’t have to go to work.

A quick walk to the grocery store, stumbling across busy intersections, so glad for crosswalks, into the cool store for hotdogs and hamburgers and beer and good times. Back home, almost to puke because of the heat and exertion of a simple walk. Stopping at the Bargain Stop to pick up a pack of typing paper and maybe a pillow case.

And then climbing the ladder, wondering what kinds of creatures might be lurking in all the crap at the base, hands full of plastic bags full of beer, chips, meat, knives—all the things that make life wonderful.

The lid pushed aside, bright light shining down, all kinds of nasty shit dropping down onto your face, and then you’re up on the roof. Free, man, as free as you could ever hope or imagine.

That’s what was really up there on that roof, man, day or night: freedom. Freedom to be what or who you want. Freedom to live your life exactly the way you want to. Freedom to be yourself and no one else, nothing else.

No one will run home and tell your mother. Nobody cares to tell on you. At worst, you will go home as a story someone tells over dinner, and at best you will be a hero on the evening news.

It’s a world of fantasy and hardcore reality, and those things never mesh well in a sane mind. Alice down the hole, if you want to go with a tired cliché, but whatever. It’s another world—the city and the roof.

The roof was the romanticism, the ideal, the promise. Everything was attainable from there, everything feasible. What do you want to be?

Be it.

That was the roof world. What do you want to be? Be it.

I miss the roof, and I miss my friends, and I miss that world. Because I’m in a different one, now.

Different roof, different world. Not a bad world, but different. Think about it, my good friends.

Think about it for real.


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