“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown,
for going out, I found, was really going in.”
~John Muir (1988), John Muir in his own words: a book of quotations, p. 73
-Hey Mikey, I was walkin’ my pups the othuh day and – I’m not kiddin’ you buddy, there I was with two dogs and a couple bags so, you know, I don’t get the evil eye from my neighbors. There’s some slob who rolls through our street with a big dog, we never see him but we know he’s been there. I mean, it must be a big dog. Anyway, I don’t want the neighbors to think I’m that turkey, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I’m walking, and – boom! I’m feelin’ a sudden like I’m the happiest dude in the world. Boom!
I forgot about the job. I mean, I think about it all the time but…then I wasn’t. I think they want me on their 24 clock, without punching in, if you know what I mean. I keep gettin’ texts and stuff, y’know, like all the time.
But…then I wasn’t thinking about work at all. I was just smilin’, checkin’ out the leaves and a guy mowin’, and this lady I see most days with this dog I just wanna steal it’s so cute. A big ole Golden Retriever she calls Abby. Great name, Abby.
I know what you’re thinkin’, but she’s got a bag with her too man. Allatime.
But I got side tracked man. What I wanna know, really, really wanna know is how to feel that way all the time. Most the time, I’m just nervous, you know, my stomach…well…what I wanna know – you talk to folks allatime Mikey – is if people know how to do that allatime. Allatime, I want some of that.
-Hey Joey, good to see you around brother– nuther amber? Just a glass of water? K.
You know, friend, this is a constant fight for just about everyone I run into. And just calling it a fight or a struggle makes it so, I guess. What I know for sure, partner, is that the folks who are here every night, just laughing and drinking and carrying on – lots of them anyway – are just covering up. Most are looking for something they don’t have – looking for something else I guess – instead of just grooving on what they do have.
Not always. Once in a while there’s someone like Jim over there who is as down home a guy as you’ll find. Great to talk to. Seems so at peace with himself. He was telling me how much he loves, to this day, Carl Sandburg. You know, the guy who wrote about the “fog, coming in on little cat feet”, and Chicago, “Hog butcher for the World”, and who wrote this great biography of Lincoln. Heck, even I read some of that. And then he’s comparing him to these poems in the New Yorker that you gotta have a Ph.D. in English to understand. Or one too many of those ambers. Anyway, like I say, he seems always to-be-right-there, you know, at peace with himself. Maybe he reads poetry when he goes home from here. I dunno.
There are a few here who you can tell just genuinely love to be with their friends or their partners – and hey I don’t judge anyway. I know those unholy relationships can end up badly, but when a conservative is out with a liberal, I just shut my mouth. Sometimes something special happens, eh? Who knows?
I mean, it was so cool to watch the fireworks between this Marxist and this Libertarian. One wanted total freedom, maybe, and the other, well, I really don’t want to speculate. Pretty interesting. But hey, they still hold hands when they come in after meeting here seven years ago. Still give each other those Independent, naïve-in-love-trusting eyes. Go figure.
Anyway, those kinda people don’t look to me anyway like it’s a “boom”, like you called it, but just enjoy being totally in the moment with their pal or their gal, their fella or their “Stellaaaaah!” One thing’s for sure, those guys are locked in – they are paying attention. To every word, every smile, everything the other person does. Maybe that’s just a continuous “boom” going on. I dunno.
For me, that boom has nothing to do with other people. Directly, I guess. Like you – and I hear this from people here all the time – most of the time it’s just a good long spell without words. Not thinking. Just being. It can be with others, like that the Marxist-Libertarian coalition I was talkin’ about or chatting it up with a poet, but for me, lotsa times it’s just packing up my all-wheel and getting up to that forest north of here for a weekend. 50 miles and I’m…right…there. My weekends are Monday and Tuesday and, man, there is no one up there most of the time. Heaven on earth brother.
Hey, gotta customer who needs a little liquid escape. I know that guy. He won’t.
So here’s the deal Joey – more walk, less talk. More being, less trying-to-be-ing. More boom, less gloom.
Take it from me buddy. I’m a bartender.
Muir, J. (1988). John Muir, in his own words: a book of quotations (P. Browning Ed.). Lafayette, Calif.: Great West Books.
Sandburg, C. (1939). Abraham Lincoln; the war years. New York: Harcourt.
Sandburg, C. (1960). Harvest poems, 1910-1960. New York: Harcourt.