THE LAST STOP MOTEL (early notes)

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

THE LAST STOP MOTEL (chapter one) copyright john e doe

by johnedoe

You know, 43 years is a lifetime for someone that’s 43 yrs old,….I mean up until that point anyway.

Seems to make sense, right? For many people, this may be true. For those who may have been blessed with what appears to me to be, a normal life,…I wonder how many of them, truly know, just how good they have it? Since their lives are normal,…do they just take it, their life, for granted? Do they only consider each day, to be as the next, with only the slightest of deviations in their patterns,…in their rhythm?

I no longer look at them. The world, or just my world, has moved ahead to a much different time and place. A very real time and place, nonetheless. In simple admission, I myself, never could find normal. I couldn’t even find it’s distant cousin, from Chicago,…twice removed. I didn’t come from the normal mold, so I had no actual and specific starting point. Thinking about it now as I am, the yellow brick road was the closest thing that I ever even saw that seemed to be a sort of, semi-practical map. Leading to the hopeful promise of normal. Or at least maybe something like normal? That path didn’t do it for me, as the wingdamonkeys fucked that all up for me. Although, I did experiment with poppies, in my late teens. Ok, actually the product made from the poppies, if you know what I mean? I had hoped they might help me find my own road to normal. I guess rehab is normal,…at least for some. Leaving rehab, I had to find another way, or path, or,…a door, there.

I tried many that I had hoped might take me there, but, I could find no doors. As for where I am now? This, this is the place that I have chosen for what may be, or actually is to be, I’m somewhat afraid, my last stand. It is just as good a place as any, I suppose. I have learned the hard, but somehow freeing truth that, no matter where you go,…there you are. Now,…if anyone knows otherwise, now would be a good time to let me know…jus sayin. I have learned that any loving advice, when not encouragingly shared, with someone, or anyone,…just ain’t worth a shit.

Me, I have reached the point where I feel as if I have lived way too many years in my lifetime. In fact, too many for anyone’s lifetime. When you come to the point where the meaning of life just feels like a contest with no prize for the winner at the end,…then why fuckin play? Why play at all? I think of the old saying about, “Keeping up with the Joneses” so many of us humans only seem to exist to simply outdo our neighbors. Always have more than, and want more than, the other person has. I think they preferred the saying “He who dies with the most toys wins!” Wins what you asshole!?…how exactly do such stupid and selfish people, make so much damn money? I want to ask if this is, really who we are? But who’d even listen? I don’t guess that anyone bothered to tell all the rat racers, that due to the shit economy, the Joneses are now living in a homeless shelter about six blocks from here. Oh well,…they can have a reunion with em soon enough. Oh well.

But, as far as I am truly concerned, well,…I’m still alive, right? So that right there is saying something, isn’t it. I’m a survivor. I have made it so much further than many whom I have known. My motto has always been, to,…die trying. Their motto was to,…try dying. They found success in their efforts. I was still alive. Still,…here. To live to fight another day. Another battle. In the many battles that life throws our way. Ya win some,…ya lose some. Until,…the last stand. I gotta shake that off! You’ll know when the time has arrived as soon as it shows up. Keep fighting!

I am a fighter. A fierce fighter. I have developed a resilience in my many battles. Many are done when the first battle comes their way. They feel as if their life is already over, and they kill themselves. What the hell people? What it must be like to go down without a fight!? My heart wants to go out to these type of people, but I can’t afford to drop my shields to let it. Never let my guard down. Be cautious. I am a fighter,…

But even then, though I am a fighter, how much pain, and how much weight, do you think that, one man, can carry around inside of himself? Burdened by it’s combined weight, my agility and energy has faded. Weakened. My mind is still sharp, but even then,…there are, these, moments? As if someone has stolen tiny pieces as I sleep. Totally unbeknownst to me? Five years ago,…this would have been impossible. That was then, this is now.

Gravity, must be affected by the simple passage of time. If only Sir Isaac Newton would have been from Switzerland, the time capitol of the world, perhaps, his formula would be somewhat different today. Objects would still fall at the same speed,…only now, with his new and improved formula, the damage from the impact would increase over the years. Constantly. And it would increase,…as,…they fell. When ground zero, or rock bottom is rudely discovered, does the proof become evident. Or, does the evidence, become the proof? I don’t need proof. I know what my future holds. The future is very patient, as it, much like myself, has absolutely nowhere to be. Why even try, for that matter? Any sane person knows that the future, in and of itself,…can never even exist. It can’t exist,…because that contradicts it’s very own nature, and also,…it’s intent. I remember being on long trips with my family. In the back seat of my father’s old Impala. Seated between my older brother and sister, I was at their mercy, which they didn’t have. Anyway, enough about them, as we haven’t spoken in over fifteen years. So, I really don’t see much of a rational reason for thinking about them now….

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? To this constant inquiry, the answer was always the same, and also louder each time, “We’ll get there,…When, we get there!”

That sums up the future in a nutshell.

Here I am now,…my, luggage, is jam packed. So full that the case almost wants to explode from the pressure. Soon enough, I think to myself. “we’ll get there,…when we,…….”

So, how many memories? How much pain? And where Is it that the good memories have gone, to? The good times? There actually were some of those times in my life, so where the hell are the good memories when you really need them? Probably hanging out with cops somewhere, as the saying goes, cops are never around when you really need one, either. But,…life isn’t fair. Fair, is a place where pigs win big blue ribbons. Life is where you step in the pig shit. If only they gave out blue ribbons for that? I’d have to rent a warehouse just to store them in. and that won’t be happening any time soon. Fuck blue ribbons. As for the how many memories can one man carry? Carry on his back, before he just disintegrates under the pressure? I know the answer to that one. I wished I didn’t, but I do, So much more, than a little too well…but, “lessons learned the hard way are the ones more easily remembered.” Much more so, when the very existence of our hope, is attached to, the knowing of, the correct answer. Kinda like a bad tattoo. These bad memories are there as long as I/you/me live. A permanent reminder. Till death do us part. God, I hope so… I have learned to count on my new regrets. They have never failed me. Each day, or so it seems, they show up like clockwork. Just like a homeless aids victim who shows up in the downtown food line, awaiting his piece of stale bread. Bread or steak, it doesn’t matter at all here. There is no difference. A necessity is a necessity. My regrets need me.

I have tried, a few times at the very least, to convince myself that they don’t need me. If only I could prove that to myself, I could get rid of them, once and for all. Finally, one day, leaving them behind for good. One licks my hand now, a restless regret searching for it’s crumb for the day. It’s vital and life sustaining treat. It knows who it’s master is. And these regrets have so, so many brothers and sisters…..It licks the other hand. A chill runs through me. Time to feed my children.

Normal suddenly, yet quietly, pops back into mind. I hear the laughter of children. I can smell the chicken frying on the stove in the kitchen. Relaxing after a long day at work, I settle into my chair to let my tired muscles soothe themselves. The satisfaction of accomplishment out weighs any muscle ache I could ever have. My children run past me. My five year old son chasing his older sister through the house. Quick glances and happy fun filled smiles my way, acknowledge my presence as they pass by. My beautiful and loving wife steps from the kitchen to slow the children’s haphazard chase. But, as usual, too late to catch their attention without an all out, over-expending of energy. She instead, wiping her hands on a dish towel as she does so, just smiles and lightly shakes her head. She was a kid once too. I fall in love with her again on the spot. She is not beautiful, she is beauty itself. How did a guy like me, end up with someone like her? I must have done something very right?

As she turns back to the kitchen, this is when she sees that I came in the door quietly. Smiling, she begins to walk slowly, and playfully, towards me. She likes to sit in my lap and rock with me, so I remain calmly seated, and wait. She has a certain way of seating herself on my lap. I can’t even begin to explain it. But, I love it. She knows that I do. I reach out slowly to take her by the hand. I can taste her lips before she is even seated, our fingers touch…………God, I love this woman…..

A car horn honks, in the exact moment, it’s driver intentionally drives through a puddle of cold and filthy water next to a clogged curb drain. My entire left pant leg is soaked through instantly, as is much of my old jacket. I feel nothing, except another lick at my hand, and a nibble at my fingertips. My regrets are remaining me that we truly belong together. We deserve each other. Love has many different definitions. The driver honks as he speeds away, and, I’m sure just to let me know that someone truly cares and notices that I’m alive, he calls me an asshole… We show love, in many different ways too, don’t we?

The smell of my wife’s perfume fades from my nostrils…and the smell of her hair………..though now, a new smell rises up through the tiny holes of the cast iron lid which covers the opening which leads to the city sewer main line. In my mind, I smell my wife’s perfume again. But now, mixed with this, new fragrance, I gag, and throw up on my shoes. It’s not the first time……

Normal. At one time I allowed myself to be happy for others. The ones who had what I, as a child, had hoped that I would one day have. I hear the car horn again, a final reminder of, not only who I am,….but, where I am, as well. I no longer allow myself to be happy for them. This is why I also, no longer look at normal. In my early years, I just knew that I would get, it, right. But now,…right is only the opposite of left. Left? I let a small laugh wake inside of me as I let my thoughts speak. Left? I see my father’s taillights drive away from me the night that he left. I think of the car that just soaked me…it’s taillights. Why I felt nothing as the water drenched me. I felt pain, as my father’s taillights shrank into the distance. Pain is only a feeling. So, I learned, just turn off the feelings, or at least learn to control them, and one can turn off the pain as a result of doing so. Whatever it takes. Remember,…I’m a survivor. Surviving, is not a gift, it’s a skill. A skill which, over the years,…can be precision tuned. And I am very good at it. Maybe one of the best. I would trade this skill, this art, in a heartbeat,…if only I could be this precisely dialed into a way with, and of,…getting things right!? No, that will never happen…I’m a fuck up, and I am all too aware of it. It’s okay now. Leaving my, I can get something, fight, fantasy behind as quickly as possible,…I let reality show me, one more fuckin time,…that I just never can get it right,…I’m not even sure what, it, is anymore? It slips away from me more as those tiny pieces of my mind are stolen while I lay sleeping. I tried to do things right. I tried to get things right,…I tried to be a good person, god damnit! I know that I did! That I do!,…?!…?,…fuck.

Or maybe, I want to tell myself, need to tell myself,…that I have? That I did? I‘m just not too sure of anything anymore,…

But, now, here I am in this place. The destination which the purchase price of my ticket brought me to. As I look around, my surroundings have become slightly surreal. I wonder if the poppies are comin back on me. They aren’t. not sure how I know what is happening now exactly, but,…what I do know is that a question rises from deep in my soul, but with very little disturbance. Which I find surprising in itself. How do I know that it’s a question? I have absolutely no idea. But, I am one hundred percent positive that I am right. I wait. I know. I try to focus on these changes, but I’m not able to do so. I prepare for battle. This is that time. My senses are heightened unlike any time before. My mind races, faster by the second. Heart rate escalated…breathing faster….harder……..adrenaline coursing through my veins. I have never……..never………..what the fuck…….

In a split second, all is back to how it usually is. Still stuck in the mystery,…..but totally calm. My hearing is on high alert,….in a second,….I will know why. I know now. Words begin. Crystal clear. Smooth. Precise. Full of emotion, but bland. I think to myself, “this is what undeniable fact sounds like when it speaks.” due to my situation,…I listened…very,….very,…closely

The voice asked,….“What happens when you get to a point where you hear the music playing,…and you know that it’s time to pay the fiddler?” And that was all that it asked. The answer came from somewhere within me. Somewhere very cleverly hidden. I didn’t even know it was there. But I am not shocked. In the slightest. My attention is fully captivated…and locked on to what can only be described as speaking thoughts,….???,….or,……it doesn’t matter what it is,…..I listen,…and I hear……………………..I,……need???…….what I am hearing,…is,….me.

But there is also someone else. Or, it’s as if, I, am someone else……but what I hear,…….I need……………and I want………..I speak,………it speaks??????……………..something locked away????……….I listen……………..as I throw up on my shoes for a second time in less than an hour. But missing not a word……. The voice said,…….The bible says , that God will not be mocked,…for we reap what we sow. I’m reaping now,….getting what I deserve,…meaning, the consequences for my actions in life are knockin on my door,…LOUDLY, very loudly,…….AND THEY’RE CRAWLIN THROUGH THE WINDOWS AS WELL,….I’M SURROUNDED BY MY ”MISTAKES????”,….I’M HAUNTED BY MY ”COMPROMISES”,……….. I have no home,……no land,…………very few possessions at all,….. I am naked,…..as well as alone,…………..it’s dark here,….and it’s cold,…..so fuckin cold,………my mind races,……….. I can smell my children’s breath as they sleep,….I can brush back their hair,……I can love them while they sleep and gaze upon their faces, for as they sleep peacefully,….I feel as if there are a few hours left in my life in and with which I’m going to get things right,……….finally,……….but, I’m always wrong,…………..my daughter is grown. A life of her own now…..and gone,……having only seen her 3 times in her life,……she is beautiful,…..and I am thankful,……….I’ve missed so much,……..because of my own choices,………two other children from another marriage, a boy and a girl,……….but,…I was always gone. I was always out on the road chasing something. Perhaps, I was chasing me…….maybe I was going to catch up to the man that I could become?,……… now I realize that I was running,…from me,……I was the one who tore my life apart. I was the one who did this. I was the one who brought me here,………to this place,……….Loneliness and isolation,……my pain is self chosen,……the executioner awaits,……every night I hear him sharpen his blade,……..I know the sound all too well, I have heard it many times. Many times. Over, and over, and over…..around and around…….for hours. My grandpa would sharpen his knives on a little whetstone on the rickety front porch of his old home site in the Oklahoma hills,…….we sat, side by side, in the two old rocking chairs which rested there. Always waiting,…patiently. I would sit quietly with him, this man, this mystery,…..he taught me to carve anything that I could imagine out of any piece of wood that I could find. He lovingly and calmly taught me the importance of never denying the danger which the razor sharp carving knives posed to one who acted as a fool. He told me that the knives how no feelings at all,…but, if I did not listen to what he was showing me,…that I would find in a bad way that my, fingers, or worse,…did, have feelings……..I loved him,….and he loved me……….I never once cut myself. While I carved, my grampa sat next to me calmly and patiently,……….peaceful. That is what it was. Peace. This old man was my grandpa. He, just livin his life,…..day after day,……….waitin for his time to come,………..in peace. He had no fear. He did have concern for me,…which is a healthy fear……..I miss him,…..so there he sits, and he sharpens his blade,…. around and around on the stone,……again and again,…………..the sound is almost hypnotic……The rhythm pulses in my ears,………my grandpa is long gone,……lightning struck his house, the flames did what they do,………and all was gone,…………..never going back,………………….like I said, I know what it is that I hear,………..the executioner has been paid,……. now, it’s up to me to square my bill,………they say that death is the debt that all men pay,………………..the blade grows sharper,………….and I wait,…….but, I’m a fighter, remember!? I knew I was not a fighter. I was just scared,………….and desperate………………..a film of some kind begins,…blurry et first,…..then crystal clear,……..full color…………3D………..now I watch the movie of the life that I have lived,……….I wanted to believe as a child that maybe there was going to be a happily ever after,………..I had one last child, a son,…….the only one of my children that I was a father to,…… he was my little boy, my best friend and my buddy,……he made all seem right,………he is now gone as well,………………. I watch them all grow up in the pictures in my mind,……………. the tear stains, from my tears, mar the images,……….I try to organize everything in my mind, for organizing things in life is obviously impossible for me,….. but now,…..even my mind is weary,……my once strong imagination has begun to flicker like the well used batteries in a flashlight,……..the tell tale signs,…..the kind you don’t ask god to show you, but you definitely get to see…….am I asking you to feel sorry for me?,…..absolutely not……………a friend of mine once told me this,….he said, ”you can see trouble coming,…..but you can’t avoid it!”,………as I began moving my lips to tell him to fuck himself, I had to agree with him,…………I have lived my life as a fool,……………I have been in involved in the most terrible situations, situations which I fuckin chose to be a part of,………… I hear the clock ticking louder everyday…..as Poe said there came a rapping, tapping,…. tapping at my chamber door,…………. I’m not even scared,……I’m just aware,…………..I am fucked,………….and so goddamn alone,……even with people around me,……..I know that I’m dying more each minute,……….. my one last shot at life,……the big finish,……………..my opus,……………..out with a bang…..or maybe, that’s just the sound of first place in Russian Roulette,…and as I lay bleeding, I find myself still hoping to escape the man that I have chose to become………do I fear hell?,…..eternal torment?!……..you ever think about that word, eternal?,….I’d be willing to bet it means, constant…. How bout, torment? Having to see, as well as feel the results of my choices….as I said, do I want you to feel sorry for me?……….I could only see you as a fool if you did,….and then, I wouldn’t even want your stupid ass near me,…. I am much like the family dog,….the friendly old family dog, the dog that when it has been hit by a car and is so overcome with pain, that it shockingly bites the hand of the one that tries to help,…………….I have been hit,……I know pain,………I have bitten, and I will bite again,………………..but just like the dog, I’m the one who chose to walk in front of the car. Even after my father said to make sure to look left and right before trying to cross the road,…….the road?,……that’s funny to me only now……. You see God told me to watch out for cars too,….He warned me right up until the impact. He is here with me now as I lay bleeding,.. The lights in my mind, in my heart and in my life are almost out,…. The images of my children dim to keep me from screaming,….I have proven to myself, as well as god, that they are better off without me,……….I have failed,……..I know this,….I am tired of the lie,…….what people think doesn’t matter to me any longer,…. I wish I had those close enough to me to hold my hand as I die,…. For one reason, or another I don’t,…….my dreams have turned to dust,….my mouth is dry,……….I feel a hot wind blow,…..but I’m still cold,….so cold,…………………………….my father asked me to be by his side on his death bed,….I didn’t,…..for whatever reason,…. But that doesn’t matter now,……………………

I miss father,….so much,…….soon, all too soon, I’m afraid we will share two secrets,….secrets that you never have to be concerned about telling anyone, for you will dead when you come to truly learn, or actually grasp,…what they,……this is my,….and maybe, your,……..special reward…….the reward for the life which we chose……or,…..is there is still time,……the life that we,…..choose…………chose,…….one of which is this,……. THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS

You know this to be in inescapable reality, for you smell the stench from the fresh tar even now, especially now. You wonder what brimstone smells like, and laugh….you don’t remember learning to operate the paving machine,……but you have somehow become, one of the best in the business…………a job well done,….something’s missing you realize and you know what it is at the same time,…… There are no painted lines on this highway……this is, your road…..the road less traveled This is,…that road….that just like the dog, you tried to cross,……..

The final secret that he and I share? The secret that finally breaks your heart and stops it in it’s tracks…for in this place,…..with this secret, you realize that there is no need to carry on,….that you, by choice have come to make your last stand,…or just rest……….. …..here and now….. at the,…LAST STOP MOTEL Where once you’re here,….you learn what it means to check out at any time, but you can never leave,…………. So now, I sit in my room,…alone,…..the knock at the door?,….room service?,……it no longer matters,…..why do they ignore the DO NOT DISTURB sign,…..and even though the curtains are drawn tight you know the light out side is fading,……. In this place, you can no longer hurt any one, ever again,….nor can you be hurt anymore,…..or so you hoped,…………the music stops, it’s time to pay the fiddler,….so, what do you pay him with? You have nothing left.

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