Tuesday, June 12

If the Brakeman Turns My Way

I’ve got the symptoms: late nights in front of the TV, achingly predictable Friday nights with a book, catching up instead of partying, green tea for coffee, sugar-free pastry, and just recently, a nagging weight around the neck.

It took awhile but here it is, still too soon.

When panic grips your body and your heart is a hummingbird
Raven thoughts blacken your mind until you're breathing in reverse

I'm settling comfortably in my thirties. I'm done being the dog walking in circles flattening the grass. Though I enjoyed the experience tremendously, the band thing came just too late in my life. I'm just not that person anymore. I prefer slowly spiraling to drunkenness conversations with friends over quick, massive attacks of alcohol. I'm the catch-up guy now. What are you reading? What are you listening to? And do you remember that time...?

All this automatic writing I have tried to understand
From a psychedelic angel who was tugging on my hand
It's an infinite coincidence but it doesn't form a plan

At work, I'm surrounded by mostly skittish young people, but also the most hardworking and (frighteningly) responsible of the young folks that I have ever met. We ambush work with furrowed brows and take 30 minute coffee breaks in between. The meeting of deadlines, a given. The fooling around, also a given.

Bright Eyes' Cassadaga is not a record you spin over and over. The dusty folk and soul creeps from behind you and quietly breaks your smile. Not at all depressing. But thoughtful. Thoughtful of time passing. I listen to the album at work to ground me. To remind me that work has to be done, that work is where I am, that work will pass in time.

It is an old world it's hard to remember
Like a dime store mystery
I'm a repeat first time offender
Who has rewritten history

This is, then, the bed of grass that sometimes takes a couple of fuck-ups to find. The bed you made, and the people you choose to fill your space. Growing old sucks. Knowing that you're growing older sucks more. But it's a given.

The rest---the books, the music, the silliness, the couch in front of the TV, the love, and most especially, the friends you've grown old with---these, you grab and never let go.

Bright Eyes, "If the Brakeman Turns My Way"

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