I was searching my pockets for a story to tell my daughter on the night before Thanksgiving when she was looking especially nineteen, shouldering the immeasurable weight of being nineteen, and I couldn’t find one with a good three-act structure, but I started to tell her about the kind of vaguely existential warm knot I always used to get in my stomach when I went home from school for Thanksgiving, and how I couldn’t decide at the time whether it was happy or sad, but now I knew that it was happy for certain, and when you think about how once things change they are not changing back it can be a little heavy, but you don’t have to think about it too often, and we had this new recipe for cranberry sauce this year and you don’t even have to get up early to watch the parade.
When I went downstairs at nine the next morning to put the turkey in the oven, she was smiling in front of the TV, sipping a cup of black coffee with her dad.
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
The Galaxy Song
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.
The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, also known as The Meaning of Life, is a 1983 musical-sketch comedy film by the Monty Python team. Unlike Holy Grail and Life of Brian, this film's two immediate predecessors, which each told a single, more-or-less coherent story.
Behold! Kneel before the Empire raised
From your Foundry placed Kingdoms on your Dive
Of Knights, Regents, Bishops and Orbs so Braised
As Sultans by Carriage offer Endives
So this Life you Wish coat with such Affairs
Expect your Honest Gratitudes approve
Yet the Nose - High to Un-Reachable Songs - spares
Merely Tiny Tidbits of your own Love
Not Ring, nor Dance, nor any Bed Post-Date
Would these Petitions their Good Voices own
Which - by Reason - your Happiness debate
Lift their Forked Lives re-phrased on your Bestow.
Including I - the Heretic in Full
Prostrate before this Emperor in Soul.
Him who makes me hazy.
Him who's laugh makes me starstruck.
Him who's soft accented voice lets off "One year, Nineteen days."
Brain numb, and hands perspiring I step back.
"W-what?" I stutter.
"The day you broke up with me."
Blood rushes to my cheeks fast like a sniper.
Him who smiles that broken smile, the striking smile.
Him who looks like a newcomer.
Him who I haven't held in an eternity.
In One year and Nineteen days.
Five months, January 1st to April 28th.
One year and Nineteen days.
Him who had no trepidation.
Him who broke my heart as well as his.
...on this Saturday afternoon there is a street fair in Greenwich,
You step off the 1 train at Christopher Street station and all along 7th Avenue,
the little sidestreets, Bowery, Commerce, give me that old Dutch sensibility
Street vendors and street people eating, laughing, trying on five dollar leather clogs
On a day that is slightly drizzling, we pause to consider the trees
In a flash I understand the world you come from when you say you normally stay on the East side of Lower Manhattan, you start counting the colors on the street and ask where all the Spanish people at?
there is this reversal, a turnaround, a recognition in me that binds me to you, when I realize you can teach me how to be young and dance with my hips, when I know that you can give me what I've craved for so long, freedom-the opportunity to face all my fears- and the chance to be a wild thing. I am nineteen, for the love of God, and I never got the chance to rage and abandon all cerebral intelligence and just live in the realm of the senses! But for now, I'll settle for to know myself better and to live without apology-but of course, there is a certain fear with taking that step and giving all of myself to you.
Yet I find myself considering it as we walked with your arm around my shoulders and my hands on an eight dollar bag of Swedish candy. I know you know the effect you have on people, other women especially, I see the way they eat you up with their eyes. But then again I'm only beginning to notice the same kind of attention from men as I walk down the street-though I owe that to you too, giving me enough confidence in my body-to sway a little bit more.
And the fact that you repeat thoughts and ideas that have been constantly looping in my own mind makes me believe we are on the same wavelength. Like when the lights suddenly flickered off on the train and you glanced up at me and said how much you love it when that happens? Goddamn, it sent my head spinning.
And now we are together, supposedly. But of course I always keep in the back of my mind the possibility that everything you are is a lie and you could wake up one day and say I don't want you anymore and just walk out my life with both hands in your pockets.
If that happened now, I could say fuck you and move on.
But if I love you the way I want to love you and the way I long to be loved, all of that mind body spirit crap, a piece of me would just break and float away forever.
I guess that's a risk I might have to take one day, and I find myself considering it as we race each other to get burritos and later on I flick some water in your face and you just stare at me with a faint smile on your lips. So, at this moment, I am too much with you. It scares me when I think of what I might feel for you, and so I am on the edge of a precipice here-wondering whether or not to run with you.
Every time I hear your name my heart jumps
Into my throat. And when I think of you
my heart cracks a little more and I
can’t help but remember the agony
of losing you, has it really been eight
Years? It feels like yesterday you were here
But now I find myself searching for your
face in everything. You would be nineteen,
Off at college ready to start your life.
Instead I struggle each day to bring up
My memories of you. Was it me or
You who told that joke? I can’t remember now
The feeling of staying up laughing
our heads off till three AM will never
leave me. I sometimes pray that by the morning I
will have forgotten everything and the
pain will have melted away, but how could
anyone wish to forget you? There are
no answers for why you are gone, some things
must stay as questions. now days blur into
weeks, months, years and I’m still here and your not
and every time I forget and try to
call you, it will be the same terrible
realization like every time, that
no one will answer and I’ll be back where I started,
trying to remember, to put the pieces
together and once again pick myself
up, thank you for your friendship, I will hold
you in my heart forever because that’s
how special you became to me. So, this
is my farewell to you,
Goodbye my friend
Darkness never was my friend
At age five
It was a monster
A monster that
Could eat me alive
If momma forgot
To turn on my night light
At age ten
It was a reminder
A reminder that it
Was time to head home
And get ready for bed
The fun was over
At age sixteen
It was a cloak
A cloak that
Hid me from the reality of my choices
As I took another hit
At age seventeen
It was a reason
A reason to get wasted again
Cause what better to do than drink your sorrows away
In a small town once the sun's gone down
At age nineteen
It still haunts me:
The monsters sleep under
My bed cause momma doesn't turn
On the night light from 11 towns away
The reminders of all the
Things I should've done today but didnt
Compile themselves in long to-do lists for tomorrow
The cloak lets me hide from the outside
And obsess over all the things
I told myself I didn't care about in the light
And the reasons to get wasted
Are more abundant than ever
Making it more of a necessity
To escape the pressures building up all day
Darkness never was my friend.
like nineteen sixties plastic american sunshine
on the faded walls
if it was something a "la la la la" song could solve
then he wouldn't be up all night
pacing the hall wringing his clammy hands
whispering over and over
that we have come as far as we can hope to
how can i get you that one step further
look great but they have no love
look super-duper on t.v.
but they wont be there in your darkest hour
but he waits for her
a good egg his mom always said
cause thats what they promised him
a perfect girl with a shatterproof smile
a perfect painting of plastic sunshine
a glittering prize
an empty space behind bright blue eyes
she is one of them
her glory whore scrapbook
is filled with the blood traces of those
she has severed from their loved ones
and it smells of hard dirt
it smells of unquenchable thirst
she is now years behind me
and so is the monster she choose to be
shes a fast song now
feet too swift to spend a maidens moments
tarrying over the bouquets of roses at graveside
too swift to shed a tear for the children left behind
too swift to see the cost of her heartlessness
a fast song to spin the mind from the hearts ache
from the souls vanquish
i am alone on the long empty street
i see her as a wave of destruction approaching
over the miles and years
and nothing looks more lonely to me
nothing looks more void of humanity
than the look in her eye
i left you behind years ago
monster with perfect shatterproof smiles
and you will never never know what my answer was
I was trying to tell someone about spring.
I could have told them that as a child, I had bad allergies and my asthma would kick up every night. My dad would stay up with me while I wheezed and coughed. He read me stories and hugged me while I sat terrified in front of the freezer. My parents thought the cold air would calm my lungs. It turns out that’s not true. I’d cough myself to sleep and my dad would carry me up the stairs to my bed.
I couldn’t tell them that. Those are happy memories. I was loved and cared for far into the morning.
I finally told them about the time I visited my grandmother when she was in the hospital. It was May and our car was covered in pollen. I sneezed the entire drive. When we got to the hospital, the head nurse said only one of us could see our grandmother at a time. My dad went first and the rest of us sat in the waiting room with the plastic water cooler that bubbled when it wanted and the dated magazines about marriage and Princess Diana. My dad spent a lot of time in the room with his mom, so I got up to wander around the hospital. I was nineteen, but hearing my dad cry made me feel like a twelve year old. Twelve years old are adventurous.
I managed to make my way to the nurse’s station outside the psych ward. Before the nurses could ask me who I was or what I was doing there, a girl opened the swing doors. She looked like she hadn’t taken a shower or slept in months. Her hair was matted to the side of her face and her eyes had bags like an airport.
She didn’t say anything. She just stared at me. We were about the same age. I don’t think she’d seen a boy her own age before. The nurses grabbed her by the elbows and guided her back inside the ward before I could say hello.
I sat with my grandmother when it was my turn. She called me my cousin’s name the entire time.
That’s what the spring is like.
It can be found here: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2295/2193909590_2b2c1f151a_b.jpg