Don’t Look Back

27 Jun

I.
The massive “Warriors” chants began before the doors
to the train had opened,
fans in their fresh gear
ready for battle.

He turned to catch a glimpse of
his past life
somewhere out in the Oakland hills,
then turned his gaze
towards the San Francisco cove
where the sun would soon fall
producing yet another Bay area Sunset.

It was as if he’d never left
to become the person he was that day
taking for granted he’d once lived here
All those great escapes and close calls
afterward brought him back,
he wasn’t even close to the same person then
let alone the person he was a year ago.

He reached into his pocket to produce his ticket,
joined the mass throng of basketball fans
and allowed himself to get lost in the crowd.

II.

The yard work put him in quite a meditative state.
There so much to love about the Oregon summers
Tillamook strawberry ice cream and naked bike rides.
Longer days and shorter nights amid daylight’s
illusory effects.
A city boy with an affinity for country life
exhausting his body to clear his mind.
It was a shame he couldn’t share any
of these simple joys with her.

III.

He never thought it was possible to encounter someone
so thoroughly disgusting that he’d wish that he would never
see that person again.
A person of that character he wouldn’t even interact with
it was puzzling that it got that far.
He considered them to be genuine friends
amid the shared intimacies
that were largely ignored and dishonored.

Such a lesson was so painful
that he wished that it weren’t necessary
to meet his shadow incarnate
the embodiment of his animus.

Experiencing such a failure forced him to choose
between either killing himself or becoming a better person.
Sometimes the best way to learn about the man to become
was to encounter the kind of person who not to be.

IV.
Briefly considered how such a period could be documented
–if it should be recorded.
It was like the whole town had conspired to remake a really bad 80’s movie.
Trendy assed poseurs, hipsters and superficial 20 somethings
frolicking about in the appropriate garb.

Eight heightened months
largely full of unpleasant experiences
save the occasional pick up games
and random sporting events,
time well spent with friends
despite the fatigue and regret that resulted from the trip.

He’d over analyzed things so much that he’d become distant
from everything that made him who he was.
There was nothing left to glean from looking back.
No one left to blame (including himself)
His chance at redemption was not as far off as he originally thought.
There was no need to revisit those old files.
No need to ever go back.

V.

The month had been good to him.
Tonight found him stimulated by the naked women and caffeine.
Later when he entered her,
he knew it was time.
The feverish excitement finally brewing inside his veins.

And when he finally came,
there was no grandiose crescendo
no sexy bass lines
no R & B singers
nor African children singing “Boom Ba Yay!”
Only a long chant
slowly building inside his head,

“Rooooooocccckkkkkk. Chaaalllllkkkkk. Jaaaaaayyyyhawk. Keeeeeeeeeeeeyoooooouuuuu”

He was focused.
There was clarity.
There was purpose.
He was ready to go.

~Edward Austin Robertson

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