Itís the wrong side of 5:30 a.m. on Saturday night.
A thick fog has rolled in, coating the city I love and hate in a blanket of possibility.
Youíve caught me on a bad night dear reader, because tonight, it all seems possible and my thoughts feel like fast flowing poetry.
The words, ďAnd someday you will dieĒ keep rolling through my head. The heavy beat like a bass drum.
The truth in those words echos for me, and for all of us.
You listen and you hear the truth.
ďAnd someday you will die.Ē
A question, a statement, a plea.
I went out tonight. Loaded myself on a subway at 2 a.m. to walk the city. I wanted to see it, feel it, roll through itís possibilities in a way that only a NYC and a half bottle of whiskey can make seem reasonable.
My girl wasnít interested. Iím sure sheís mad as hell right now, but I have trouble caring. For someday, I will die. And when the day comes, when I look up and see the grim reaper hanging dark and heavy above my dying form and when he asks, ďdid you live true?Ē
I want to look that tall dark son of a bitch in his hollow eyes and tell him that yes, I lived, and loved, and lost and lived again. I saw the feast that the world offers and ate until I puked and went back for more, so take me now you piece of shit because I did it right. I have plenty of regrets and Ďwhat havesí and ĎI wishesí, but I did my best to eat it all and now I am ready for what comes next, for this world has nothing left to show me.
I am young and old at the same time. I am creeping up on thirty yet I still feel I have so much to learn. I am trying, with all my being, balls to bones, guts and grit, to understand. Not by seeing, but by doing.
What have I learned so far? That the hardest thing to do is see the world true, itís warts and ugliness, itís failures and broken dreams, and to love it anyway.
I ended up at the Bat Cave tonight. All black clad leather demons, fishnet and heavy thumping beats.
I remember a wise woman saying once, ďWhat is the point of dancing by yourself, when you canít touch someone?Ē
I answer, dancing outside of all bounds, outside of all structure, is an act of true freedom. It is saying, ďI donít care what you think, I am living in this moment and feeling it with all my body and heart. I am outside the bounds of what makes sense in the harsh judgement of day and revealing in my existence.Ē
A wonderful way to feel, and yet so hard to hang on to.
My heart was broken once... maybe twice... maybe three times or more. In some ways it breaks every day. But the first time is special. It catches you by surprise and rips you in two. Iíve always thought if I ever write the story of those dark days I will call it ďLearning to DanceĒ, for in learning to dance we learn to truly be ourselves. And only when you are alone, can you truly find yourself.
With pain comes wisdom, whether desired or not. And with wisdom comes understanding.
So I roll into the Bat Cave, sweet talk myself onto the VIP list (the code word is Ďsyntheticí), climb up the stairs past all the young couples decked out in black vinyl and fishnet. I belly up to the bar and order a couple of waters since Iím already creepy drunk and Iím trying not to fall over or throw up, and I watch the undulating crowd for a bit.
Thereís a reason I go to the Bat Cave. Iím not really Ďgothí, and I donít even really like the music, but I feel a kindred spirit with all the people there. Goth people are the same kids that got their ass kicked on a regular basis growing up, the kids who you copied you homework from but didnít want to be seen in public with, who didnít get a date until they were 18, whoís faces were covered in acne much to long, and who basically got the short end of the stick all through their formative years.
I like to see them, now that they are older, emeshed in their own world, harsh and beautiful, dark and pretending at violence, all the while still trying to find their place in a world that was never comfortable with them. Them are some of the nicest people Iíve ever met in this crowded city. Accepting anyone who is willing to revel in their own weirdness.
In this place I pull my mind away from whatever dark spiral my relationships are caught in and I find the moment and I dance.
I see a girl. Small and out of place. Itís obviously her first time here and I want to tell her itís alright, that we were all afraid once, afraid of letting go and leaving the outside world behind. I want to tell her that I understand her fears and her worries that she wonít dance good enough, that sheíll look silly, that all these people look scary. Iíve been there. Weíve all been there.
I want to tell her to let go and to live, for someday we will all die.
For many reasons I donít, but I will always wish I had. Itís not that she needed me. Sheíll have her own life, whoever she is, and will make her way through like we all do. It just pained me to see someone who hasnít yet found that place where they can let it all go and just be.
We all want to find that place where we can just be, where we are accepted for who we are, warts and all. Where we no longer have to play at the pretending game, our baggage packed away and our arms tightly crossed across our chest.
This city, itís nooks and crannies, itís wants and desires, have become a part of me. I owe a lot to itís infinite possibilities, and I hate it for itís cruelty. I am the same kid who left Texas years ago, but I am even more that person now. I, like all of us, young and old, am still finding my walking legs for this crazy world. I see now that the road of life is long and I hope and pray that I have the strength to walk it.
And I donít know about you, but as for me, I want to see it all.
But as for now, Iím taking my drunk ass to bed...