Hold on to your hats, folks! If you're not wearing hats, hold on to any other loose clothing. The short pieces that follow are my own personal exercises in stream-of-consciousness literature. Some of them don't make a whole lot of sense. And some of them I like more than other pieces I put a lot more time and effort into writing.
These pieces, all written ten or more years ago, are what I like to call "Slumbering Thoughts." For a while, it was my custom to take a pen and notepad to bed with me; when I was at my sleepiest, before surrendering to sleep, I would then proceed to write whatever came to mind.
Often I would go back the next morning and see what I had written, only to find it completely indecipherable. It also wasn't uncommon to see a word or sentence stopped midstream and a line of ink streaking down toward the bottom of the page. Some of these "thoughts" have never and will never see the light of day. But a few of them aren't half bad, and even the ones that are bad are at least entertaining.
So here you have five examples of my "Slumbering Thoughts" – the salvageable ones, the best of the oddest stuff I've ever written. And that's saying quite a lot. Enjoy!
There must be something. For so long there has been nothing. Waiting in the wings or poised to fly away. Love? Life? One makes the other matter. The other is nothing without its counterpart. I struggle with words to properly express the activity of inaction. If I were trying, I would be doing. Because I do not try, I do not. Opportunity knocks softly; the rest of the world carries on noisily. How can I hear them both? The pursuit of happiness is happiness. There is only excitement in the assured existence of absolute uncertainty. But what if there are no fish in the water? Can they be caught? Looking backward, I have forward thoughts, and yet I wonder, would I truly be moving at all? Or would I be returning? We return because we want more of what was good before. Can you want more if what seemed good was only an illusion? And if so, is there joy in such returning? Deal me the aces – I'm ready to go.
I had the means by which to do it. It was a sad day for a happy man, though. Right now I am thinking, which is more than I can say for you. Skip the details. Get straight to the point. I can see the big picture. What is a man if he is not slovenly? Sometimes they generalize, and who suffers most? The better your work is, the harder you will work. Slowly close the lid, of which you spoke, when you threw me into the ocean. Good things always happen at night. It's best when you don't know. It would be a delight, and she, the woman I know, would be behind it all, sometimes checking one of this with a very look. I'm not sick, though we walked another one today when she could. I took my pills, stop nagging. Step to the lightning, and you see the lightning – great ghosts of upward condescension – to judge which of six does seven choose by too many chairs. Putting on the crater – left by tornadoes. I'm in a bag, don't sift through me. Creamy on the inside. Commissioned by a cow, but don't it make you want to sing and dance?
Words and stuff by one who knows words like the back of nobody's business hand. ~ A master painter builds his house on a hill and looks down upon the world and paints life in aerials. Are those ants, you ask? No, but people, large in stature, tiny in the perspective of the big world itself. Going about their business, oblivious of one another. Each carrying his or her own special burden, often a burden greater than the person feels he or she can handle. And yet they carry on. From up here, you can't see the problems. You can't feel the pain. But this detachment naturally attaches. You feel for those who do not seem to feel at all. You watch them move across the green canvas and wonder what they'd do if they reached the edge? Maybe someday he will paint houses. The pay is poor, but you get to talk to people. You see them as they are, even if the truth is disturbing. For now, he watches, and waits, in wonder.
It really happened! I wasn't there, but I was taking notes. Imagine me, smelling the roses in the middle of a stop. I got the horse this time. He created a situation, and I defied it. They tried to trick him, but he wouldn't let them. Playing hopscotch on the sidewalk, that's where he is! No one ever plays anymore. Too much work can ruin your thunder if it has been stolen while you were playing. It's too complex for me to break it down. I merely ask, in hopes that they might answer. My pen travels faster than my brain. A shower of words fall, fall, fall to the ground, and shatter into a million tiny fragments. If I could find my voice, I would sing, and while I'm at it, take a time out for a Coke and a good vibe, if there ever was such a thing. I want to know the truth. If I'm standing in line, how can I get out of it? Frenetic, frenetic, it's all in the genes, I believe. DNA means "do not answer." Cause for alarm, if by chance there is a conflict. But do not worry. I can still dance. I am as limber now as I was twenty years ago, when I was but a tot. Or not. I'd like to think it ends somewhere.
She isn't anybody you'd know or imagine, were you given the task to respond. But it's not whether or not you're willing; rather if, in doing, you can see what the differences are. I try to make sense, though I never know till later. One-zip, no margin for error. Step up, crank out. My door is always open, and I chant with a lesser musical tone than most. I cheat occasionally on the good news or bad. If more is bad, I stress the good. If good prevails, bad sneaks in conspicuously. There is no honesty in this game. What are we doing? Is it our job? Candles burn, but the darkness is greater. It must be a dungeon, because the world passes by above. Something dank and dusty hovers with a creepy American feel and no fine tuning. Can it be? I'm watching, but my eyes deny themselves. It's time for a chocolate chip cookie. Marvel not that sweet things are hard to come by, and even harder to keep. If only I knew what to think or say. It will come to me then. But how much of the meaning will be lost in translation?