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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

cat's in the cradle

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

so when i ran across him today, he was passed out in a chair. i barely noticed him, he was that quiet. he barely stirred and that lasted for at least a coupla hours. finally someone went up to him and asked why he was there. he mumbled something about waiting for someone and went right back to sleep.

i shook him gently and asked if i could help him find who he was looking for. he was almost incoherent. he was far from unintelligent, however, his words were so short and his sentences were barely even thoughts. they were just phrases strung together like paper lanterns and it all seemed so very wonderland and so very familiar at the same time.

it was almost impossible to tell how very beautiful he was. well groomed(a while ago) and a blemish free face with nice teeth, full dark hair, and had spent many hours working out as his dogs were big and easy to see.

i took him to use the phone as the battery in his cell had died. he had a mile high meth project brochure in his hand and there were pieces of phone numbers scrawled all over it. he kept trying to decipher the numbers off the paper, and then once he was able struggled to make sense of the push button phone. what followed was either a sputtered nonsensical message or a very brief conversation that neither solved the situation nor moved it forward. he seemed certainly stuck.

and stuck is an appropriate word. after much deciphering of the verbal hieroglyphics, it was gleaned that he had been stuck by a needle whilst shooting meth and he was stuck in the hand with the point from his hiv positive friends works. he had left the place he was partying and started to feel ill, so headed to find somewhere he might get some rest. then he worried about what might be coming and decided to act. but he was still twacked and couldn't quite get it figured right.

turns out he is homeless. he has never seen the doors of a shelter, but he is completely like blanche dubois, as he depends on the kindness of strangers (and their couches and refrigerators.) being attractive really helps, but isn't a necessity. only flexibility and adaptability are. and desperation. this is a common occurrence in the day of a tweaker. drama and insanity happen without a missed step. it all reeks of hell wrapped in promises of heaven. and it whispers in screams of madness and depravity.

i know this man's story without batting an eye. it has embedded its footprint onto modern gay men's culture (as well as rural america). this was my song. or maybe one very much like it.

today's sound choice is ugly kid joe with an acoustic version of "cat's in the cradle"



Sheria said...

This song always makes me feel like crying. I don't actually shed any tears, I just feel as if I'm going to cry. Your post makes me feel the same way. It's beautifully written, metaphorical like poetry and yet so full of sadness. It hurts to think about all of the broken people in this world.

C said...

The picture and the post are very poignant. I looked at the model in the photo in a different way. The beauty of the angular lines, the start looking at the soul. The song reminds me that the time you invest in people always comes back.

Java said...

This song makes me cry real tears almost every time I hear it, which is why I'm not going to click on that arrow. I'm too close to tears already anyway.

This young man's story is heart wrenching, and even moreso because it is all too common.

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