Right now I’m nothing.
But next year that will all change
And I’ll be something.
Right now I’m nothing.
Time is running out
Remember all those things
We promised to do together?
I did them without you.
Yesterday I spent half a day washing my car. Now, to many of you that sounds liek a boring prospect. Indeed, to ME it sounds like a boring prospect. But here’s the thing: I wasn’t doing it on my own. I was doing it with my father.
Me and dad have had a strained relationship over the years. There’s times he was there for me, times he wasn’t. Times I later found out where he fought my corner but never told me. We had a LONG period where we barely spoke to each other. There were many times I vowed I’d never be like him.
But recently, we’ve been building bridges. He has helped me out a LOT with my house, dealing with the shit time at work, and he’s mellowed out a lot. And so any opportunity I get to spend some quality time with Dad, seems like a good thing to me.
He had this cleaning treatment for the car called “Diamond White”. It’s some chemical compound you apply to the car, wait half an hour, apply a different chemical compoud, wait an hour, then buff it up and it’s all shiny and supposedly you don’t have to wax your car for 5 years. We spent the morning applying this crap all over the car, talking about the news, my trip to Cuba, and all manner of other things. It was great.
At one point he gave me some metal polish so I could “get the chrome bits shiny as a diamond in a goat’s arse”. I told him it wasn’t chrome just plastic. “Just do it!” he said. Then he told me to do the wheels.
“The wheels aren’t chrome,” I said.
“I don’t give a shit, get them shiny, ” he replied. This should give you some insight into the sort of person my dad is. Still, I got those wheels shiny as hell. I’m glad he talked me into it.
After the car was gleaming brighter than the sun, Dad took me out for lunch in town. We talked about how much the place has changed over the past twenty years or so and shared travel stories. After that, he took me to a health food shop to buy me “some vegan goodies”.
It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Not just because my car was shining and I get some sweet seitan jerky. I realised that for all our faults, me and my dad are actually pretty similar.
And I’m pretty proud of that.
People baked mud into bricks and built
Towering edifices to impress their gods.
They made discoveries unravelling the mysteries of the universe.
People fought against injustice,
They took a stand for what they believed was right,
They banded together to help the weak.
They watched the walls fall.
They stood defiant in front of tanks and refused to move.
People worked on unimaginably complex problems and solved them.
They crossed the void between earth and the moon
To land on that distant world and return.
People felt joy at each other’s achievements,
They felt the warmth of love in their hearts
And they felt the sting of betrayal,
The heat of jealousy and the bile of rage.
People meant something once.
People accomplished so much
But none of it mattered.
None of it mattered.
None of it.
Taillights guiding me through the dark,
The only other sign of life on this lonely road.
Destination locked in but it doesn’t feel like home,
And again my thoughts begin to wander…
Not for the first time I think about life in perpetual midnight
The multitudes asleep, uncaring
(Easier to deal with than the usual awake, uncaring)
The roads my playground for eternity
Snap out of it as I see the road block ahead
Guilt and uncertainty wash over me as panic bursts my heart,
See the side road, make the turn,
Alone again on the road to somewhere that isn’t here
Single track roads and humpback bridges,
Blind turns and misty crossroads…
They used to hang people here you know?
But if they want to hang me they’ll have to catch me first.
Through sleeping villages and across fenceless fields
On, on into the night, every mile closer to home
Fills me with more and more despair;
Because home brings sleep, and sleep brings dreams
And dreams force me to confront who I am again.