Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Gravity's gone, and I'm just floating."

And I quote the Drive By Truckers (look em up), "I've been falling so long it's like gravity is gone, and I'm just floating."

And I am just floating.
I float out of bed.
I float though work.
I float through my ride home,
and then float through dinner;
and promptly float into bed.
Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Most days,
these days,
it all just melts together
into a delicious grilled cheese
of boredom, lonliness, and bone breaking ache.
Imagine getting lost walking from your kitchen to your bathroom?
Now imagine the space between these two rooms,
is as big as a baby pool?
Even a child can navigate
this blue plastic and shallow wonderland.
And yet I somehow find myself
lost and drowning between the brittle curved edges.
My guess is I could somehow
find a way to drown right now,
in a five gallon bucket full
of piss and vinegar.

But I wouldn't drown.
I'd just float;
Right back to the top.

Everything has changed
around me.
I have watched
the big oak out back,
go from green, to amber, to barren, and back to green.
I have sat beneath her
and watched the stars climb across the sky with predictable precision.
Some stars fell.
We prayed for them.
I have stood next to her
and waited for the fury of the gray storm veil,
that moved across the inlet towards us.
And as the gale overtook us,
before the rain really fell,
We watched as the lightning cracked
upon the onyx surface that divides liquid from air.
The big oak holds steady through the storm.
And I pray for her.
Because I have little else to pray for anymore.
I have little left to trust and believe in.
I am afloat;
And I am adrift.

Right after college,
when we all seemed to be drifting,
when we all seemed to be floating;
we stole my friends father's boat after a night of drinking.
He was allowed to take it out,
just not at night after the bars had closed,
and without permission.
We parked on the side road outside the marina,
climbed the fence,
snuck past the sleeping watchman,
and with quiet determination,
pushed the big boat away from the dock and into the river's current.
Once enough distance was between us
and the pier,
we fired the big engines up and headed out into the black.

My friend,
who was now in a world of shit,
for stealing his father's boat,
manned the helm and brought us to a spot on a river somewhere;
where we dropped anchor and settled in.
We were pirates,
if only for one drunk night.

Another pirate on our journey
issued a challenge.
Who would dare to swim under the boat
from port to starboard?
Who would dare to dive into the black?
So he and I did.
Even with eye's wide open,
there was nothing to see.
The only way to make it to the other side
was by feel;
A hand stretched out above you,
running along the slick bottom of the boat.
And it felt
like I would never reach the other side.
Breaking the plane of black water above,
was like a rebirth.

But this wasn't enough.
My friend, my fellow pirate,
challenged me to contest of wills and strength.
"How far do you think we can swim away from the boat?"
So back into the black water we went.
At first it was a contest of speed.
Then it became a contest of will.
Just how far are you willing to go?
The light off the bow keeps getting smaller.
Are you giving up yet?
The sounds of those left behind are gone.
All I can here is my body moving through the soft waves.
Am I giving up yet?

And then it happened...
I just laid back,
looked up to the stars,
and floated.
I let the current just take me.
I could make it back to the boat,
if I just rested,
I also knew
that just floating
on the current
could take me further away.
But as long as I floated,
and stayed awake,
I could find my way back to shore.
I could be miles from home
when I touched land again,
but I would never drown.

So I paused,
and stretched out,
upon the uneasy engine of the black water,
and watched the stars.

And when I had enough of floating,
I fought my way against the current,
back to the boat.

I am floating.
I know this.
And when I have enough of floating,
I will fight my way against the current
back into the land of the living.

But for now,
please let me be.
I need this.
I need to feel weightless and free.
I need the infinite heaven of stars above me;
and the black uncertainty embracing me,
and holding me up.

I am floating.
There are better ways to be.
But as long as you float,
you can't drown.
And the tide will always take you someplace,
that just might end up home.


  1. I tried to throw you a life preserver and make you grab it although I know now that in fact I should let you float for a bit. I didn't intend to pull you ashore- just wanted you to hold onto a little something while out there.

    I'm on the boat. I'll wait here for you, my friend and pour you a nice pink beer over iced cream when you decide to swim back. Until then I wait here patienly while you look at the stars and pray for the Fallen ones.

  2. Was a little worried about you MIA, glad to see you are floating. Greetings from the old continent.

  3. there are no words that can give this the justice it deserves so i will just keep my fucking mouth shut,