Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lost in Thought / Thoughts of Mind - An Essay

Here's another one of my old creative writing non-fiction essays that I had to write for my tiny little class a few years ago and barely tweaked, since I felt that the essay proves the basic point of it all, a rambling, chaotic mass of words. I basically wrote this over the course of the semester, from a series of little bits and pieces of other writings that I had done, both in the classroom and at home. The one part about Chicago from a previous post is also in here, as you may notice.


Jack Kerouac wrote, “What funny things a man discovers about himself when he writes.”

I tend to discover and realize certain things about myself as I write. It’s a new experience every time I hold a pen in my left hand or the keyboard rests in front of me. Words tend to materialize from the nothingness.

This is why I'm writing this. My mind tends to ramble when the thoughts are not fully clear, but they are there, needing to get out. Writing is how I let out the words that are scattered in my mind, when my mouth is unable to keep up.

Writing is an explosion of thoughts and ideas and beliefs. A simple spark of thought creates a cascade of brilliant, majestic waterfalls. These words pound like a powerful sledge-hammer.

There’s something else though, before I go any further. George Santayana once said that, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” One way of preserving my own past is by writing what I remember from my memories. Memories. Simple flash points in time and space. I find myself constantly thinking about the past when a certain word, or a phrase, or even a name or faces pops up in conversation. I seem to live in the memories of my past. Small flash points. Memories. That’s why I like to write. I write about the many memories, thoughts and ideas that flow within my mind.

Grotesque shapes float about me. Grotesque figures walk amongst me. Grotesque thoughts plague me. Waiting to be written. Waiting to be born from my hands. Waiting to live outside of my creative mind and rest upon the pages in front of me. Waiting to no longer be grotesque, but clear.

I found myself wandering about in the evening chill of early Winter. The cold air striking me. The winter air feels clear, clean and unbroken.  I gaze up to find the stars in their right places, against the backdrop of the steel blue twilight. Reminding me of a cold freezer or a chilled ice cube. It’ll be a damn cold night, finally, I thought to myself. Knowing that the memories of Autumn was slowly but surely starting to fade off and simply be only that, memories. No more bright and beautiful colors. No more of that slow marching death of nature. No more leaves falling and showering the air.

Closing my eyes, I feel a shift. I open my eyes and find that the scenery has changed. Spring has arrived. Summer is already at our heels. That almost forgotten sticky warmth is returning. The flowers are sprouting and the tree branches giving birth to leaves. Now, it’s time to forget entirely about the cold winter we just faced. The frosted blasts of coldness. The snow blizzards and frigid whiteouts. Watching the temperature drop well below zero. Trying our best not to hit any snow banks as we drive through the mess. Thank goodness it’ll only be a memory. At least, until the next Winter.

Walking around the grocery store soon after it has just opened up in the early morning is an interesting experience. Try it sometime. I highly recommend it. Especially while you are still feeling a little sleepy. I've shuffled around a grocery store a couple of times and have often found myself staring hard at everything. I hear footfalls echo, which are my own.

Strangely, I find myself staring at the grocery store clerks, watching them do their stocking business. The clerks kneeling on the title floor, taking out food boxes from the storage boxes. Setting up the show for the full day ahead. Almost feeling like I could just stand there for hours, crunching on a bucket of popcorn as they work. Food.

Food. My mind comes to life, just thinking about the word. My stomach snaps to attention. Now I’m wondering when I’ll get to have the chance to savor some food. My eyes bulge. Imagining the goodies that could be in front of me. My mouth salivates. Thinking about the taste of juicy goodness.

Food. My eyes are in heaven when I walk toward a buffet table. The steam rolling off the mountainous heaps, oh, what a beautiful sight. I look down at my slightly scalding hot empty plate, ready to fill it with small mounds of food. I methodically look for what to place on my plate. Exploring the platters of food like a safari animal tracker in the wilds of Africa. In the process, being sure as not to stir the other tracking parties.

God. I love food. I love it to death. Can’t get enough of it. I have an addiction to it. I tend to sit in a zombie-like trance as I robotically move my fingers from the bowl of salty crunchy chips to the lips of my mouth. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Food. I love the sound of my food. Flavors pop, sizzle, and explodes to life as I munch on food. I love the taste of my addiction.

Addiction. Women and poetry are another of my major addictions in life. Because a woman is poetry. Poetry, in the sense that a woman is beautiful, elegant, and powerful, just as the way poetry is meant to be.  Also, there’s a deeper meaning there, that only a few can truly understand. A meaning in the sense that there is an air of mystery, yet familiarity. She, a work of art. Made from the flesh of man, by the hand of God.

The beauty of a woman is her femininosity, which are her curves and the womanly shape of her body. Her hips and rounded breasts carve out her deep sexual beauty. Hips she knows how to use. Breasts she knows how to master. The beauty of a woman can be seen when she lays in bed. The rise and fall of her body when she breathes, so rhythmically erotic. Her silhouette in the shadows of a darkened room is pure sexual poetry. Navigating her backside, all very smooth with little valleys and small ridges, the darkness makes her a goddess. The beauty of a woman’s d├ęcolletage. Inexplicably erotic in nature. The parting of her womanly bosoms, peaking softly through her shirt. Delicately hiding away. Gently sexual.

The beauty of a woman is her neck, so smooth and very slender. Her long flowing hair sometimes hiding it all away. The curved arch of her shoulders to her neck. The nap of her neck especially. Secrets laid bare when touched, just so. So close, you can smell her millefleur perfumed scent. The aroma of cherries, or blossoms, or vanilla, or even of peaches. Just the way she can smell. Oh, sweet nectar of beauty.

The beauty of a woman is in her eyes. The look in her eyes when she sees who she deeply enjoys seeing. That sparkling beauty. It’s in her hands, just the way how she holds you. It’s is in her touch. How she can barely touch you, yet you feel her love all the same. That firm, yet loving way. It’s in the way she moves. It’s in the way she walks.

The beauty of a woman is her voice, her smile, her laughter. All so very soothing, warm, and gentle. Full of compassionate love. The sound of her laughter makes her joyous. So desired. Whenever she slyly grins or smiles eagerly with glowing eyes, and truly means it, it is all so truly beautiful. Truly loved.

The beauty of a woman, it’s the way she whispers in your ear to say that she loves you. It’s when she falls in love and has the simple glow to her telling everyone who she is in love with. That glow never goes away once she finds the right guy, because she is so happy.

That’s the beauty of a woman. That’s the poetry of a woman. Beautiful and hypnotic.

A passing train is hypnotic and beautiful. As each box car of the train rolls past, it’s as if it’s a somber funeral procession, at the right slow speed. As it begins to pick up speed after awhile, it then becomes a deafening noise. That noise is nothing and is everything. 

After the long train passes, you don’t at all dare speak. It’s as if life is renewed. Reborn. Reawakened. Nature can be heard. Again. You notice the smallest of noises. Birds chirping. Cars gunning their engines. A simple breeze moving the branches. The wind carrying me away.

My dad taps me on the shoulder and points out the train window at this massive decaying warehouse as we near the city of Chicago. The building is a dying monster that had been marked repeatedly by graffiti and the many windows, long gone.

“I used to play in that building with my brothers and sisters whenever our dad brought our cattle into the city,” he reminisces, eyes going back during the time of his childhood.

I could almost hear the sound of a rusted old tractor starting up in the muddy cornfields as he looked at that structure.

I looked again at the relic, history flowing just past those shattered windows. Soon to be lost. The city’s past seems to be slowly crumbling away to make room for the city’s future. Something I’ve noticed every time I travel into the city of Chicago. 

Soon to be lost that building was. Ever since that time, whenever I travel into the city, I have never been able to find that same decaying building. It has mysteriously been lost to the forgottenness.

Then I look within the train, there’s life within too.

An old man dressed in a business suit jacket, sits towards the front of the train, looking like he’s long overdue for retirement in his graying white fedora and black suit. The old business man’s hands wrinkled with time and by hard work, comb through the front page news with his thick-framed eyeglasses. His capped lips moving every so slightly, reading to himself. An old woman sits next to him, very lady-like and with a stern looking face, her hands held firmly to her purse that’s on her lap, doing her best to not disturb her seatmate. She stares straight ahead, at the cream colored wall of the train. The gesture saying that they are not man and wife.

Tiny Mexican children laugh, scream, and chatter away in Spanish while they climb all over their seats. The frail looking Spanish woman in flowing dark hair coo’s at her babies, trying to calm them down to no avail, while the rugged looking father stares hard at the four little children and commands them as politely as possible to settle down.

 “Mama! Mama,” all four of the little Mexican children scream. “Papa! Papa! Mirada! Mirada! Chicago!”

The Sears Tower rises out of the mid-morning haze. Arrival is imminent. I can feel the anticipation mount throughout the train. Newspapers rustle. Suitcases are at the ready. Heads bobbing as they look out the windows, catching glimpses of the city life through the haze that slowly gives way to openness. Everyone leaning forward in their seats, ready to sprint. Arrival is imminent.

The sights, the sounds, the smells, the colors and just the feel of Chicago, is an all out amazing feeling. The soft twilight glow of a billion lights that hangs in the air at night, mixing in with the billions of stars that shine in the heavens is pure beauty. Letting you know, you are not alone. What makes this city of nearly 3 million souls the most unique, is the architecture of the buildings. These mighty buildings rise from the streets reaching towards the sky and hit the clouds on the way as these structures rise up and up and up.

The morning dawns and all there is to see is fog. A grayish white bleakness hangs there. Heavy weight. Feelings of being trapped. Unable to see the world. Beyond. Feeling so blind and dismal and dreary. Hanging depression. Fear and paranoia persists, as long as the fog persists. It’s as if the world isn’t entirely there. The fog makes feel you as if you are placed in a nightmare dream. I wait for morning. Hoping it’ll be over with.


We were drifting in and out of consciousness, half dreaming and half awake, inside the warm Des Moines International Airport, doing our best to wake up before the 5 a.m. flight that would whisk us away. The sleep ebbed through us as we huddled together in a semi-circle, in the airport’s uncomfortable plastic chairs, watching the dawn break through the early morning twilight. I wasn’t able to see it though, beyond the blackness that was outside those huge windows. I knew that the world was out there though, but I didn’t care all that much. Too early to think much about it, especially with the plane resting quietly and patiently on the tarmac.

There I was, rushing outside onto the airport tarmac, through the Iowa cold, the wind blasting at my face, making me teary eyed. As I hustle up the airplane’s stairway, I get a glimpse of my female classmates, all jogging from the airport building exit, carrying their makeup bags and other random carry on luggage, which are all trying to keep up as the girls’ sandals flop-flap on the cold pavement. I have the urge to laugh. All of them dressed in their warm destination best. Already dreaming of Paradise here in the middle of Iowa. Already dreaming about that place that’s still a few thousand miles out there in the Pacific.

Little moments are little treasures that’ll always be remembered as one grows older. Memories never to be let go of, because every thing is part of the past and that past should never be forgotten. Cherished little things. Christmas presents that never lose their meaning. A smiling monkey doll in a tuxedo. Mix tapes that are full of silly little love songs and bands that provide a couple’s best favorite songs. A little bear holding a heart. Funny little cards. A discarded book or two. And a road atlas that leads the way towards a brighter future. Where there is something more.         

That one long good night. Just laying next to her. When I couldn’t fall asleep in that summer heat. Could only toss and turn, toss and turn on top of the bed covers, because something was on my mind. Those three powerful little words. I could smell her millefleur perfume and all I could think of, as I laid there, were those addictive kisses.

Every kiss, every new kiss is all so very awkward and out of whack. Gentle and soft. The tenderness of those lips. A kiss gradually builds into madness, and then total passion ensues once man and woman are in sync and are entwined and wed together as they kiss endlessly. The crash of love vibrating as their souls collide like a shock-wave, becoming a battle of perfection. Firecrackers. The beauty of their tongues poking and lashing about. The suckling of tongues. The loving bites. The simple taste of such lips. Beautiful.

Just one of the many things that I thought about as I laid in the tiny bed. The other major thing racking in my mind, was an idea. The big words bouncing in my mind and through the darkness of the small room. The silver moon egging me on. It had to come out soon. It had to be said. It was said, at sunrise, after talking until the sun broke through the window shades.

Life is a series of events. Life is filled with endless memories. Life is one long strain of thought. Full of blended ideas. But, where to begin? When you’ve lived a long life, memories are a bit out of order and sometimes you have to ramble a bit to make a point.

I wait for a flicker of light to show me the way through the darkness. Long after the candle has since died away. This is what I find. These words. Out of the emptiness of blank pages and blinking, blank computer screen, these many thoughts bring about a spark. Here it is. These words.

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