04 June 2009

Chasing The Me Of Me


You remember those times as a kid where you and your friends, on a bright sunny day (wasn’t it always a sunny day for this?) breathing deep of the infinity of promise in your lives, sap rising in the trees as more than one Dad would say, and god, Dad could you be a bigger goober? Who says that anyway? Dads do, that’s who but on that bright sunny day you and your friends would start laughing with that gleam in the eyes and all of a sudden everyone is up on their feet, sneakers or flip-flops or those god-awful boots, what did we call them? Chukkas? Wallabies? No, no desert boots desert boots with those nasty crepe rubber soles and oh jesus Christ you used to wear them with white tube socks, could you be a bigger dork? Really, no wonder you never had many girlfriends, that’s right those dag nasty stupid boots were like birth control glasses but for the feet…

But you remember that, right? Right? Of course you do, they were your feet goddamnit, desert boots or no but they were on your feet, everyone was on their feet on that bright sunny day in a string of bright sunny days, but today in particular when everyone was up and running spinning in circles, faster faster with the head thrown back and eyes half closed so the sun wouldn’t blind you and man, it was hard to stay in one place with your eyes closed so sometimes you would open your eyes and your best friends were all spinning in place like madmen like dervishes no, dervishes? Really? You didn’t know what the hell a dervish was and years later when you found out they whirled themselves to achieve religious ecstasy or visions, oh you laughed, because then, really, then (before you knew) you would whirl and spin and open your eyes and see her spinning in place just a few feet away and your heart would fill up and mouth gape because it was ecstasy you felt, except it wasn’t religious exactly unless you counted the daydreams you had of her where it wasn’t uncommon to hear ohgodohmygod, woops, your eyes are open and you are gaping like a fish on the beach and she is staring at you in that start-stop-start-stop like an old fashioned flip book cartoon, crap she caught you staring so you quickly looked up again and squinted at the sun and told yourself that the tears were from the sun, yeah man, the sun was in my eyes but that didn’t explain the gasping breath and the dizziness beyond that of the spinning and then you started to stumble stumble stumble, those damn desert boots might as well have been swim fins but you managed to stay upright just the same…

Just like everyone staying on their feet on that bright sunny day, out in the front yard of a friend’s house, and everyone is still spinning but staggering and no, ma’am we haven’t been drinking why would you say that? We’ve just been out here in the yard on a bright sunny day and spinning around to make ourselves dizzy, so dizzy, almost sick dizzy…

And why would we do that whywhywhy spin like that well cheap thrills and no hangover or a trip to the ER or reeking of unspeakable things wallowing in a cloud of cheap six-pack grossness oh lord did we really drink that crap? Of course we did beggars can’t be choosers and we had almost no money and forget the tastes of adulthood the refinements or the so-called refinements we grew up to kidding ourselves that we were so sophisticated because now we drink out of glasses instead of the bottle, sitting in a bar or on our brand-new grown up couch and isn’t it great to finally be an adult?

Except on that bright sunny day we didn’t have to be adults we just had to be to spin to run around and laugh ourselves to gasping and it was grand it was great it was out of ourselves which by the way felt wonderful to not be drowning in that angst that would catch up to us later when we thought we were grown up although no, no it didn’t start out that way…

Because on those bright sunny days we just ran and spun and didn’t think about the consequences of being dizzy we just did it, didn’t we? And jesus kee-rist it was fun it was fun because you would spin so much and you reached that point when you knew to stop and that’s when the fun really began or it seemed fun at first because then when you tried to stop your body wouldn’t stay still because the inner ear and your balance was all screwed up and we would all stagger around like loonies laughing and desperate to keep our balance so we ended up running in circles sideways while flapping our arms which never really seemed to work because we always seemed to end up falling down crashing into each other laying in heaps and feeling sick dizzy and the sun was spinning overhead, wasn’t it? or maybe that was our eyes rolling around in the sockets, the muscles spasming and then the nausea would start oh crap crap crap forgot about that yeah not feeling so good and hoping that please don’t get sick don’t get sick I’m sorry sorry please don’t get sick…

Which come to think of it was that same feeling years later when we grew up and became adults and spent so many years spinning and running and spinning and running until we couldn’t find our asses with two hands and a flashlight and jesus we suddenly realized we didn’t know who we were oh shit how did that happen all that time in and we still don’t know? Is that what this is about? Is that what it feels like? Yeah yeah yeah I think so to be spinning in a circle desperately trying to get something back find that self that we left behind so long ago and the shock of it all…

…was realizing, on that bright sunny day, that we were chasing ourselves for years when all we had to do was stop, stagger and fall to the ground…

…and land in a heap on the self that was there all along, hidden by dizziness and spinning.


  1. Sometimes I feel like I am spinning until I am sick everyday...then I go to bed.

  2. You know that part right after you get dizzy just before you fall?
    Fookin' awesome! :D

    It's like the point before the swingset goes completely over.

    Peace - Rene

  3. "...we grew up and became adults and spent so many years spinning and running and spinning and running until we couldn't find our asses with two hands and a flashlight and jesus we suddenly realized we didn't know who we were oh shit how did that happen all that time in and we still don't know?"

    Damn fine question.

  4. ahhhhh....the memories of simple childhood.

    I actually still do this periodically, although barefoot...with my daughter. It's our 'welcome spring' tradition. We've been doing it since she could stand; she's now 10.

    This year was the most memorable as it had rained 3 days straight...no sun, all mud. Best one yet.

    Thanks for the post!


  5. i heard every word. and the breath behind them.


  6. Irish-

    I saw some kids spinning the other day and I made a note to write a post about it. Sooooo, it looks like I can just scratch that off my "to-do" list. Awesome. Thanks.

    All kidding aside, a great post. It made me kinda woozy (er)

  7. damnit, who grew up? When we have kids it is our excuse to go outside and blend in with them again, but that goober of a dad, or mom...just big ole kids spinning in this scenery we call life...great thought provoking piece my great bowl of Gumbo friend...

  8. And I think I need to throw up. I'm spinning from reading it. Great post.

  9. Brilliant. Hope you are doing just fine.

  10. oh my. i'm dizzy and sick. perfectly written.

  11. Kat: Good thinkin’…maybe I’ll go to bed now.

    NTR: Right on! Especially that swingset bit!

    BTW, the fried bologna idea: RAWKS!

    Jan: Let me know if you find the answer :)

    F8hasit: A fine spring dance, and you are welcome!

    MIW: (blush) Thank you…

    IB: I’m all about the service.

    ChefE: I think I might have, but I’m still not sure.

    Michelle: Sorry, dear :) Thank you!

    OAM: Why thank you! Hangin’ in there…

    Pamela: Next time I’ll include some barf bags. Glad you liked it, though.

  12. Irish, I'm sittin here with a honey brown lager in my hand... ok, off to one side of the keyboard, but you know what I mean... where was I? Whatever, I need my hand back.

  13. Okay, I'm dizzy. Give me a sec.

    Yeah, I love what you said, basically that all we had to do was fall to the ground to find our real selves. Sometimes I am still spinning.

  14. Wow....Exactly....That's all I can say.

  15. I picked this story out of your archives because of the title, and I wasn't disappointed. I remember spinning, in fact when people started talking about spinning classes at the gym, (how embarrassing to admit this), I thought they were spinning like dervishes for exercise!


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...