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Mar 2010
there is so much about life he does not understand powers influences insights secrets repetitions patterns relationships mysteries so many things to learn remember so many things to forget every morning he wakes with hope faith no matter how challenging threatening or bleak the odds he feels confident in the possibilities optimistic in his abilities desires believing in his quest for love success happiness yet every night alone in his empty room he comes undone again

Dad’s dying generates beginning of Odysseus’s awakening from his long deep stupor Dad was so heavy-handed intimidating his reign of terror is done next several years blow by like chilling numb wind off lake michigan dreams seem more real than existence Odysseus continues painting writing bartending drives Farina to beach daily it takes a while for him to realize he is freed of shackles Dad’s tyranny and it is all right to answer to himself alone in june 1994 news reports genocide of 800,000 people murdered in rwanda in july Odysseus feels trapped in identity he can no longer endure after struggling for years to achieve stature as accomplished painter he realizes he is nobody perhaps simply troubled artsy son of well-to-do Chicago socialites Jenny and late Max Schwartzpilgrim his discontent goes beyond family he feels shame disappointment with himself desperately needs to make changes to his life knows he cannot do it in chicago weary of all the sins damage he has made suffered in that city he wants to find somewhere less corrupt stressful more down-to-earth knows all to well how to get in trouble wants to find someplace where there is no trouble somewhere quiet dull preferably beautiful Odysseus liquates ashes to ashes clears altar of every dust flake sells paintings art supplies books music cassettes clothes vintage collection other possessions at sidewalk sale makes out with nearly $6000 whatever he does not sell he gives or throws away he is used to giving or throwing himself away he is 44 Mom protests but her disapproval packs no punch without Dad he says his goodbyes to family friends packs up toyota and with Farina steers away from chicago he leaves behind many destructive friends acquaintances people who will never dig their way out of wrecks they are buried in leaves behind history of minor misdeeds abuses disappointments scenes happenings he feels shame regret about he leaves behind practice of familiar patterns certainties faces names who recognize his talent problematic self never again will he benefit from questionable reputation nor will phone ring many times daily and never again will there always be someone to meet up with or gathering to go to he leaves behind support system of loving family friends fans whom he will miss greatly he lets go the character he was to become someone different hopefully better they drive on aimless odyssey without thinking searching with no place in mind listens for scenery to call to him inwardly the journey is the meaning he drives up streets down alleys through 4 corner towns bypassing most cities whenever he sights a lake he pulls over treats Farina to a swim sometimes swimming together they sleep in tent or stay at inexpensive motels that allow dogs while driving he often feels overwhelmed by diverse raw beauty of American landscapes lush forests spectacular mountain ranges sweeping valleys winding 2 lane highways along coastlines he points out sights to Farina but ultimately he wishes for another pair of human eyes beside him
michael reid rubenstein
   Heather Mirassou
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