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Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Texas Romp

I don't remember how it started. I don't know how it will end. I tore across that Texas line a few weeks ago, for my random, wind-blown job. My footsteps were quick to lead me out of Arkansas. Supposedly, and I'm not joking. I'm almost a wanted man in Searcy. Though nothing serious, just a little conflict with some security officers over a little random celebration, an idiot mistake on my part involving, bright colors, a boom and a bang, the sloppiest getaway, and the ridiculous tech savvy security features on my car. So I slipped out of town like an outlaw; out of the heat of Arkansas and into the warmth of Texas. And when I came to step out of my car in Texarkana, looking at my feet, the thought occurred, "I should have brought my pair of cowboy boots."

Landed in Dallas, staying with a cousin of mine. Hung out and caught up, and had once ventured up to Ft. Worth to a huge Honky Tonk, where we were both hit on by a pair of 45-year old, completely plastered ladies. We would break our way from their drunk, derailed seductions and "offerings" to sit on the edge of a bustling, shiny dance floor and watch several young, beautiful girls being twirled around the wooden panels all in succinct, rhythm, like a well-oiled machine. Meanwhile, I'm thinking if only they would free-dance, instead of these set maneuvers then I would burst out on stage. My cousin didn't seem to care, asked a homely girl to dance, while I thought to myself, "If only I had my cowboy boots on then, I would scuff and raze the floor, and maybe throw some cowgirl to the twang of a steel guitar."

Attended a wedding in north Dallas. It was a small, outside wedding. The bright white pavilion shined like some medieval pageant in that vast, blue sky announcing the union of man with woman.. And so their oaths were delivered, their paths converged, and their souls shuffled. The king and queen assembled with all the suits there attending….with hearts, and diamonds, and spades, and clubs. And the jacks and the aces felt the solemn vows of the majestic sunset. And I appeared, as always, the token wild card. There was mingling of old acquaintances as the punchbowl spoon tore through the chunks of ice. And all the while, I hoped, so wished, that the dancing would begin. Because dancing at a wedding is the most sublime thing. But none occurred. But I did manage to give my gift a tad late to this couple. And what was it? And what could it be that would so capture the essence of a binding and strong love? I had the gift hidden in a bag, for I can’t really wrap all that well. But within this bag sat the one thing that a poor shopper like me, would think could seal a sacred relationship for all times…it was a 3 disc-set of Kenny Rogers greatest love songs. Yes! And I can’t wait until the newly-weds tear through the bag and see this fine treasure of white beard and hair and most especially, ballad-singing cowboy boots.

Outside of Waxahachie, I began speaking with my cousin’s neighbor, we sat on a bench at this apartment complex. We talked about life and love and the other important things. Me and this stranger. And she told me about her husband whom she is separated from though not divorced. How cruel he is, his jealousies, his drunkenness….and how he has raised his fist in the air and swung down, beating her and kicking her. She only pressed charges once. But she still thinks he will change. So she spends time with him, and she returns his calls. She left her phone inside as we were talking, and he called 11 times in the span of an hour and a half…wanting to know what she was doing and how come she hadn’t called back. She, poor creature, called him back..and I could hear his voice on the other side…accusative, possessive, belittling,….a monster of a man. I wonder would he show up. He only lived a few minutes away. And if he did, how I would love to stuff my fist in his face. Raze him to ground, throw back all types of rage his way, tackle him, subdue him, erase his angry deeds with the angry deeds of my own, vanquish and castrate him, kick him over and over again, in the head, and all with those cowboy boots that I’d left behind.

Made my way up to Wichita Falls and I didn’t know a soul. I found a large field in a park and popped out a blanket and very picnic-like, I kicked off my shoes and laid down trying to read The Prophet, but my mind was distracted trying to take everything in while the afternoon pealed away its golden layers before the few remaining trees of this West Texas gateway. I sat in contemplation and prayer and I felt like a large weight was lifted from my tumultuous heartstrings. It was the release of what was my heart’s wrestling with the true acknowledgement of grace and faith. And in sitting at the beginning of the Great Plains, I felt all anxiety drip from me, and I felt assurance all around. Love and peace were so close, they had been all along. And yet, all the while, I had been striving, and striving for perfection and against perfection. For love and in absence of love, and for joy and for the darkness that was the shadow of my disappointments that seemed to have gripped me like a vice for the past months, years, maybe. And yet it was one huge grappling match for a faith, that I didn’t really have much of…but all the long I howled and fought, never realizing that if I just believed in complete acceptance…then what peace was there. I was always thirsty. In search. Like a wandering cowboy in a desert land without his pair of boots.

Further West I ventured, into the city of Lubbock. A place I once lived. I stepped forward in my life, but stepped back in time. Again the nostalgic footfalls were heard. And the sun on high in every direction cascaded its light all across the scene. I recounted memories, but not reachable from their usual melancholic hold. Talking with old friends and laughing about the times. Sometimes I wonder about the past. Is it really as beautiful as the present? For the present can seem so mundane and lonesome, so boring and trivial. And sometimes I wonder about the future. It can seem so gray at times. But how gorgeous is that West Texan sun in general and how blessed and thankful I am to be alive, though my path always seems to be rough and zigzagging, without a guide. Fragmented and broken-sharded, my life and self appear to be….but I’m making my way through the blessed days of the past to the blessed days of the future, My hands for once are at ease, and my footsteps in grateful rhythm being lead across the canyons, and valleys, and ravines, even when I’m thoughtless enough to forget my boots on this one long wild adventure of mischief, dancing, commitment, revenge, love, and life.


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