Poetry Break

“A Life of Errands” by Leonard Cohen

We all think about it at some point, don’t we? The purpose of our lives, the time we spend at work – all the things we miss out as we while away the times doing a job “that makes us happy.” Perhaps it’s become more prevalent in my life as I watch my son grow, wonder what important things about his life I have missed. There are moments when I notice the aloneness that has crept into my life. When I wonder if someone will enter my life who can hold my interest and I theirs.

Are we more than just a life of errands? Do we long for more than providing what others need? Do we only await to embrace our next commissions?

For the fourth poem, I have chosen Leonard Cohen’s “A Life of Errands.” I hope you enjoy it.

More Leonard Cohen:

Personal

Fishbowl

Shaun celebrated  his sixth birthday on Saturday. Sixth! Where does the time go, indeed. His slow crawl toward a decade on this earth is more of a sprint now. And still I’m in awe of his existence. I suppose the feeling never does pass. And it’s a good thing that it doesn’t, because a parent—a father—should forever be in awe of his child.

Things are falling into place. For the most part. This journey has been a learning experience. To say the least, anyway. What journey, isn’t? Though, as I listened to Izzy who’s no longer the Izzy of her childhood. And I listened to Ruben who’s different compared to the kid I meet all those years ago. And Justin who’s no longer the child who wandered the hallways of this house. I listened and smirked. Each has faced their adulthood in their own way. Each dealt a hand of cards and they played them well. Be it children or cancer.

I watched Jeanna enjoy herself. And, shit, I admire the fuck out of that girl. Love her to pieces. She’s the girl I chased for years. The girl I tricked into falling in love with me. The girl who gave me balanced for almost a decade. Wish I could say the favor was returned. But that time has come and gone. And it’s not good to dwell on what was, what might have been, and what’ll never be.

Dear Shaun:

Contemplation is great. Just don’t let it rule your life as the world passes you by. There was a time when I felt like you had to wait for that right moment to make your move, but that’s all romantic bullshit. If an opportunity presents itself in your life, you strike the first moment you’re given.

So here’s some advice from a man who’s waited. Find someone you love as much as I loved your mother on the day you were born. Find someone who loves you just as much. Find someone who offers without asking, and never wait for the question yourself.

Find someone who pushes you to better yourself, but loving you for the person you choose to be. Someone who supports you. And someone you support. Never stop inspiring each other.

And if, perchance, you find someone you’re willing to share your favorite type of cookie with, ask her out.

Personal

“Tell each other stories”

“So when do you think you’ll publish a book?” he asks. There’s nothing condescending hiding within his voice, but his weasel smile still angers me. There are times when I want to trust him, but this isn’t one of them. The knowledge of what he’s capable isn’t lost on me. I know better than to share my secrets with this tiny man.

“I don’t know,” I say. Yeah, I do. There were plans in the past where being a published a writer was the end game. I imagined penning the novel that would move people. That would grab men by the balls and women by the heartstrings. That would make the readers uncomfortable with themselves. Make them question what gets them hard. What gets them off.

These days, those plans are behind me. I write when I can. The need has dried up. And I’m ok with that. There are time when I think about getting started again. Let my boredom create worlds and people. Let my fingers clatter away at the keys. Hear the orchestra of pen to paper as my scrawl fills journals. Wake up to the sound of a character’s voice.

Every project I started these days has ended up the same. Unfinished. Forgotten. Left in the note-taking stage. And it’s not something I want to tell this man, because as I recalled the only reason why they hired me in the first place was because I possessed a certain skill of molding words into images. Images that captivated people. That drew others to me.

“I haven’t written enough,” I tell him.

At home, I busy myself with television. I vowed to read a hundred books this year, and only managed twenty-two so far. I spend as much time with Shaun as possible. And by that, I mean we’re both on our respective devices while the hours figuring out puzzles. That is until I realize that the best days are burning quickly. Then we tend the garden. We run. We play hide-and-seek, and each time my heart catches in my throat when I can’t find him. And when he seeks up behind me to catch me, I feel relief.

The dreams returned after a few year hiatus. In them, we’re happy. They started off as memories. False memories. Memories from another dimension where we didn’t split at the seam. And they become heavier. I feel her lips on mine. Her touch upon my skin. The heat of her breath on my neck. I shudder awake. I stare at the darkness of my bedroom. I listen to the whirl of the fan, of the a/c. I have never felt more alone than I do after one of those dreams.

And just like that, the voices come to me. Almost in unison.

“Hey,” they say. “We’re not finished with you just yet.”

Personal

Thoughts on Shaun Starting Pre-K

Shaun started school a couple of days ago. He’s getting older, and that scares me. Puts it in perspective, don’t it? How the time has just slipped through my fingers. Watching him grow without realizing it. And still, I find myself in complete awe of the fact that he’s mine. He’s this extension of me. And when he sleeps in my bed on those weekend nights he stays over, I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night. I study him for seconds, sometimes minutes. Making sure his heart beats. Making sure he’s still breathing. Does this ever go away? I hope not. I hope there is never a time when I wake up and he’s just routine. Just a fixture in my life. And while it’s inevitable that he’ll grow distant from me. He’ll no longer see me as this grand person, this super hero, this protector. I beg never to stop feeling this way.