The Inverse of Happiness
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
I wrote the following as two separate pieces a day apart. Initially, I had no clue as to how or why or who the first part would fit in to the stream of work I have been producing lately, I just knew it had to fit in somewhere.
Sometimes inspiration and creation take time. Sometimes the process is like a puzzle you put together, one piece at a time, one by one, days apart.
Thus, it occurred that it all came together last night.
I had written about the necessity of blood letting the day before (not literally, but literarily) and then an opportunity to do so occurred anoche.
Note: Once again, the original photo was taken by the beloved Rose & Olive. I’ve turned it upside-down, hopefully, as the title of the verse that follows reveals, for obvious reasons. I also adjusted brightness and color to draw out more intense hues and shadows, befitting my mood at the time of composition.
Oh, and please forgive the sports metaphor, I’m not a baseball fan by any means (boooring), but this is what came to mind, so I went along with it.
July 4, 2007, New York City:
I couldn’t properly challenge life or myself when I was married.
Actually, I probably can’t challenge either while in any relationship whatsoever—for any compromise often ends up being too much compromise.
This is partly why I write—I lay my thoughts and my experiences and my principles out for everyone to see to challenge the way and wherefores of how I perceive and live my life—for by being open, honest and true I get to step up to the plate and risk being hit by a curveball or, as I prefer to think of it, I get the opportunity to hit a homerun.
If you’re not willing to risk you’ll neither ever strikeout or bring everyone in, you’ll just end up always being a spectator on the sidelines of life, shelling out $35 bucks for a lousy seat and just as much for a few beers and a dry hotdog.
To be a good writer you’ve got to be willing to be in the game, willing to fall, willing to fail, willing to make yourself vulnerable. To be a great writer sometimes you’ve got to open up a vein and show people that your blood, your love, your pain, not only cures you of your vanity, but also makes you just as human as everyone else.
To me, being human means both expressing the idiosyncrasies of your individuality, as well as, as much as, demonstrating that at the core we cry, we rejoice, we yearn to voice our opinions just like everyone else.
Ultimately, it’s a constant balancing act between succumbing to the humility of common experience and embracing, as well as exalting, the evolution of our souls and extra ordinary selves.
July 5, 2007, New York City:
the inverse of (something like happiness)
not like tonight,
a ten-hour flight, only to be
sent back home, ostracized
not welcome again in new york city,
at least not by his eldest son,
the one who left home
to get away, to start anew.
who knew that the legacy of anger
and insult upon insult upon insult
could linger even after 15 years gone.
i didn't, at least not until tonight.
he threatened to be on the next flight back
i said "go right the fuck ahead."
go back to where you came from
i don't need any more criticism or
advice on how to live my life right
or “wrong,” according to the wise old man.
fuck that, enough said, tonight
i've wiped my hands clean.
something like happiness
it seems, this sadness of letting go
of saying goodbye, of not knowing
or caring for a reconciliation;
but that is how it goes sometimes,
that is how it goes.
(R&O thank you for the inspiration)
Rose, Olive & Me