From Fakes to Firsts and on to Life

For years I practiced to write and smoke and teach.

I pretended and faked so hard

with my own picture writing system, my own chewing-gum cigarettes, my own imaginary students

just so that one day, I’d be ready for the real deal: the poems, the party, the classroom.  For life, as the others painted it to be, you know?

And then I wrote and smoked and taught

for real

for the first time

with dictionary words, cancerous tobacco, and curious students.

And man, real life, at first, is tough! There are so many ways to do it, life, and everyone tells you how and why and, most often, NO!

Indeed, in all my firsts,  

I feel the cookiecut actions I engage in, and I hate it! I hate the sameness, the normalcy, the predictability in it, because they make me dread the new, because you have already laid out exactly how I’m gonna react. And listen – I’m gonna make it my life goal to not let that happen, because – surprise – I’m ready to fail. My life is long. And I’m gonna fall. Many a time, but I have time. I’m just so thrilled, because at all times, I get to

try

again

and again

and again

and a fucking gain.

And every second time around, I’m making it more mine, more surprising, more authentic, and never, never, never the socially acceptable, and certainly not yours.

And so as my, my collection of firsts

grows and grows and grows

every time of day, in every way,

my collection of seconds grows twice as fast.

Because I’ve found my signature, my voice, my favorite dance move. Because I’m gonna participate, make rules, and bring change. Maybe because I have an ego, and maybe because I’m not ready to just exist. I’m living, and living leaves traces behind and marks and even scars. I’m gonna deal with it.

Because in all this mess, the chaos, the noise,

all I seek is meaning

my meaning

that which I understand

and can live with forever and ever

in how it makes me relate to God and myself and, most importantly, to other people

that which makes sense to me

and my ears

that hear different things that yours do

which is ok.

More than that, actually –

it’s life,

and it’s dialogue,

not difference

if we make it so.

So – we should talk.