Way Down, Below the Ocean

Man, it’s a beautiful day out there—one of those days I have to actively resist the urge to chuck it all and just take off, leave everything behind, and just go. It’s the first real spring day we’ve had, nice enough that I sat at home in my shorts for the longest time this morning, smoking cigarettes and just staring out the window even though it was sure to make me late. When I finally got moving I hailed a cab and the driver, a guy from Thailand if I had to guess, was playing Bach loud enough I had to yell out “Second and Folsom!” at him before I drifted off in the back seat. An Asian guy playing Western classical music while zipping me along in his cab through San Francisco…Well, that’s the 21st Century if anything is, but I’m tired of that, too. From the corner where my office is you can look down Second Street and catch a glimpse of the Bay reaching over to Oakland, with one toe-end of Treasure Island just jutting into the picture, and the fact that the view is blinkered on either side by a canyon of blank-eyed office buildings only makes it that much more like the end-point of a dream. That’s when that verse from “Henry’s Understanding” came to me:

& horribly, unlike Bach, it occurred to me
that one night, instead of warm pajamas,
I’d take off all my clothes
& cross the damp cold lawn & down the bluff
into the terrible water & walk forever
under it out toward the island.

It’s not like that, I don’t work like that, I know that the islands and Bach are just a coincidence, but I do need to get away, in some damn way or other. The fucking situation is wearing me down, and the dribs and drabs of other people’s bad news keep rolling in and bugging me, too. The way I’m feeling right now I don’t even need a car. I’d be happy to grab a duffel-bag stuffed with a couple of shirts and whatever book I’m reading, and make it out to some godforsaken stretch of highway where I’d just sit down, have a smoke and take a good, long look around me. It could be anywhere, really, I don’t care, just so long as the horizon gets out of my face for a while.  Y’know, I’m very nearly burned out here—

2 Responses to “Way Down, Below the Ocean”

  1. Jason L. Brown Says:

    Pretty much each day is punctuated several times by the inner refrain “Why the hell am I doing this?”

  2. Von D. Says:

    Time to scrawl “Gone to Texas” on your door…

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