The atmosphere was heavier than usual. It was stormy conversations and stormy weather. I’ve thought, if I just think peaceful thoughts, and stay away from any conflict or craziness, I can hide in plain sight. But inevitably, I interact with the storm. My clothes are blown at odd angles, and despite my friendliness, people don’t like me, and they start to make my life difficult, stormy in fact. I was reading the Tao—the way. I had lost my way, and I was trying to get back into the natural rhythm of things. Much of my time is spent, not feeling quite right. There is a general uneasiness, a yuckiness, like bad luck, that hangs around like a demon, and makes my life difficult—not terribly difficult—just gives me a little unnecessary adversity—keeps me on my toes, even though I don’t want to be on my toes. After a few days of this, I start to wonder why? The feeling, might be how many men feel, when they interact with their ex-wives. There is a general uneasiness; though, mutually agreed upon civility, and all of these feelings, are unspoken.
If you get away from these things, that weigh you down, you might relax. The woods and a mountain hike, will do. If you could only stay there, you might feel light. No need for ambition or money—those are traded from one person to another, like problems. Peace is free, if you trade your worries for it. This story begins in the present time, during a stormy season of my life.
I was dealing with some unreasonable people, at my apartment complex. I was left alone, all year, until now. They were going to raise the rates on me.
“I’ll just shop around,” I said.
She looked at me through cold eyes. She wanted my money— not for herself, but it was her job to care. I am never able to care, because my job tells me to. People pick-up on my disdain, unfortunately.
I go on these walks, after work, with my mother, and tell her all of my problems. She’s kinda like a therapist, who loves me. I’ve always been a momma’s boy, and I’ve thought about what I might do, when she’s gone. Maybe my neighbor will be a Japanese Samaria who will teach me not to be weak, and I will learn how to bottle-up my feelings and use them like a war-cry in battle. I don’t think that will work. I’ve tried to make girlfriends my therapists… that doesn’t work either. Women have enough problems, enough drama, enough emotions. They are looking for an unmovable rock, who listens. And when he doesn’t empathize enough, they might get angry and scream at him, but the rock just listens, and the woman feels comforted, that he just listens. If I had to listen like that, I would go insane. The prospect of long-term romance is not on the horizon for me. Where am I going to find someone who listens to my stories, and tells me how great of a writer I am, regardless if it’s bad? And where am I going to find someone who listens to my ideas, even if they’re offensive? My mother tells me, I have a good nose. She tells me, I’m handsome.
I said, “I smell dog shit.”
And she said, “You have a good nose.”
I talk to her about the traffic by my apartment. The road lines are confusing and drivers honk at each other. There is yelling. A couple times this year, drivers got out of their cars, and threatened each other. If you take a right, at the light, you go down a road in Maple Valley, where you will get lost. It’s an old railroad track, that was cleared of trestle and turned into a shortcut. It’s a one-lane road. Sometimes you get to your destination in half the time, and sometimes, you get lost. It’s kinda like the Bermuda Triangle. This light is right on the corner, across the street from Safeway. There are accordion players begging for money in the parking lot. I always give them money. I never give money to the church, anymore. For some reason, I trust the street hustlers more than the church. I got this idea that God and Satan might be playing their instruments in the parking lot. They attract people who follow them. I would give them both money. I am confused about who God is and who Satan is. I am at war with my flesh, but my flesh still makes decisions for me. I am half good and half bad. I am trying to integrate my badness, so that I can become successful. Anyway, I envision what the devil will give, to people who give him money. Perhaps, he’s like a pimp, and he will tell me where to get laid. That is too much for me to think about, so I think about what God will give me. He will give me peace, if I ask Him. That is worth more than 20 dollars. I believe in too many things. I heard that it has to do with hormone levels. If a man has too little dopamine, he will start to have faith. I have a lot of faith now, so I think I’m not getting rewarded with the pleasure chemical.
I took the shortcut through Maple Valley because I am looking for an apartment on the other side of town. I got lost. This might’ve added to my bad weather, but the apartment that I found had rates nearly half of what I’m paying. I decided it was a magical place. The only problem is, getting to my apartment might be a challenge. I found it this time because I got lost. Maybe that is the secret to getting back into the rhythm of luck. One tries to get lost, and they find what they are looking for. It’s how the universe works, I think, but I’m a lost soul, and don’t try to follow me. If you do, you will get lost.