Thoughts from the porch… (The carousel of life)

Thoughts from the porch… (The carousel of life)

carousel with lights
Photo by Mihai Vlasceanu on

Being at a family gathering can give you interesting perspectives, maybe it is lost on some, perhaps on the young, on those who don’t step back and look at the whole, but I suppose that is what makes me who I am, an observer, sometimes on the outside, the carousel of life, but the more I thought, the more I observed, “carousel” is a terrible word, and an even worse analogy, it sounds lofty and poetic but is not true, a carousel, well, by it’s very nature people hop on and off, riding fake fabled beasts, everything is decoration and pomp, lighting and circumstance, you always arrive from where you came, that is not life indeed, as un-glorious as it may seem, life is more like a conveyor belt powered by unrelenting time, not quite unlike that famous lucille ball clip, but perhaps more subtle, just in one glance I am looking at the end of the belt and near to the beginning, those starting their lives off, moving into family mode, those watching their grandchildren blossom into adulthood, those nearing the end and faculties fade and old tried stories remain and remind of days long gone by, the passage of time, the belt just moves along, never stopping, always forward, there is no fight to be won, just enjoy the ride…

turned on white light bulbs
Photo by Ervick on

I wonder about my place on the belt as well, somewhere in the middle of all this, but my experience is vastly different, I suppose I am on a different route, same belt, more doubt, wondering if I could have or should have done things differently, of course this is feeble distraction and not worth my time, but I can not say I do not indulge in the delusion of that particular rabbit hole, the ‘what ifs’ bear intoxication, as dreams mainline into my veins, here, at a summer night, one block off the ocean, the breeze coming in, a cover band of covers I don’t recognize, probably bon jovi and springsteen as is the custom here in my native rock, I notice the air has condensed on the banisters of the deck, I look around and realize I am reading a book, a story, an amstel in my hand, drips condensation down on to my leg, I wonder if they can read what I am thinking, or what they think of me, families are a strange thing, people you know your whole life but at times more mysterious than friends, years pass and things seem the same, the only gauge is hair, lack thereof, and kids, who are no longer kids, I must admit I passed a grin, even if none of this is for me, at least for now, probably never, but there is joy in others, even if we are on a factory floor, riding a conveyor belt to an inevitable end… maybe the best if this is a carousel, if I choose to look at the draw, the charm, the joy, the smiles, on a summer night, by the beach, hearing stories of childhood from eighty year olds, why not… circle around again and enjoy it all… again…

aerial photography of houses
Photo by Ben Baker on

prologue, a travel story of phobias and foibles
I was off last weekend so trying to snag two saturdays in a row would not be feasible with work (or fair to my fellow workers, I have this strange work ethic thing happening), but I did manage to leave the office @ 3:30 pm which seemed reasonable to get somewhere by 5:00 pm in a state where you can pretty much drive anywhere in 2 hours (give or take), and this was not (well should not have been) a 2 hour drive, certainly a sparkling day, not too humid, and I am travelling to the shore… so expectations are a damn nice ride, if I can get there, ah, the garden state parkway, in summer, living up to the “park” portion that is for sure, I was colored surprised figuring if you want to get to the shore, you leave friday, or early saturday, why oh why would saturday later afternoon be a traffic magnet, but I suppose the universe was conspiring against me, although I should really just relax a bit, this is a family gathering, not a court appearance, so, I tried to convince myself of that, although I don’t like to be late, I nod to myself to accept my fate (well, OK I think I went about 82% and held onto the rest anxiousness, c’mon that is progress), so, I slog through some traffic, mainly just frustrating, as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the flow, or lack thereof, stopping, starting, darting, speeding up for four miles to come to a complete stop, the relentless tease of release which does not come until I am well south of edison, around the arts center, at least there was no concert tonight, time is ticking, the hour of the party is approaching, I have to stop myself from thinking, just accept being late, just a margin of how late, half an hour, seems reasonable, but 42 minutes? for some reason that makes me feel like a scoundrel, ah, turn up the tunes, you live in a world with thousands of choices within reach, jam out for a bit, for some reason, and I do not know why, “monmouth beach” sounds so much closer in my mind than it actually is, am I conflating “monmouth” as an area, or the college? this is almost a foreign area to me, I have been every place in and around it, all the roads, 35, 36, all of it so well traveled in my travels, but never right HERE, strange, how could I miss out on something as great as “seven bridges road” as you crest and fall like slow waves up and over gorgeous views, water is more of a power broker here than land, it shapes everything in your eye, surrounding, people hiking with fishing poles, I’m jealous, but I have somewhere to be, even if late, my GPS glares at me screaming 5:42 arrival – no matter how fast I seem to go, I think I earned back a minute, damn these things for being so damn accurate, as the miles dwindle, the sky in the coming not so distant distance is beginning to resemble smoke, so of course your mind starts to wander to wonder? is that smoke ? or is that fog? well, I am travelling right in that direction so I suppose I will find out, and the closer I get to my destination (always a bit of trepidation to new locations is creeping in), the closer I get the sun is more obscured, it is not cloudy for sure, just this amorphous fog that seems to have dark streaks, one thing about the shore, you know you are there when every street seems to have a purposeful name… “seaview avenue”, “ocean avenue”, “atlantic avenue”, “dave don’t turn here blvd”, ok, I made the last one up… so here I am tooling about this town I know nothing about, a strange mix of old style beach houses, huge porches, decks, those awnings that remind me of the beach as a kid in deal and yet also italian restaurants, and then there is some other gaudy mansions, roman columns, some other homes that look like an architect could not resist bucking what a beach house should look like, I am probably rubber necking, I try and keep my eye on the prize and be aware of cars behind me, but this is a nice town, it is all new and yet familiar to my jersey DNA, I make a turn, I think I’m here, on the street at least, frantically looking for the number 10, making sure I am not causing a traffic dust up, that must be it, over there, on my left, catering truck check, OK, first mission accomplished, time to park, oh, there’s my brother’s car, definitely got the right place, damn, was that a space in front of him? hard to tell, there is yellow curbs and some curbs kind of colored with rust that in a flash throw me off, so I go to the next block… can I fit there? I have a perception problem, I always over estimate the size of my car, which makes parking a loving endeavor or I drive around needlessly for too ling, so I begin to parallel park, damn, awful angle, and I knew it pulling in, a quick look, eh, no one saw me as I now micro correct my parking job back, turn, forward, back, curb, forward, turn, turn, back, no curb, whew, back, back, park and I’m in, so I grab my offering and saunter over to the house, up the driveway, “hey dave”, it’s my brother, in the garage, I assume up to no good, but no, he was helping his beau prepare a cake in the form of a truck, like one of those cakes you see on TV that looks more like a toy than chow, but it was apparently a rice krispies cake, pretty neat I must say, although I hate sweets, looking more forward to the clams and such, I’m a mollusk freak in that way, so all my fears now allayed, I stroll to the back of the place, noting all the house features, the smell of the ocean is faint at the moment, and the fog? yes, I almost forgot about the fog, since I smell no smoke, this must be fog that decided to join us from over the water, no matter, no matter at all…

notes… I wrote this all in one form, my hybrid of prose and poetry or just what I do…. writing is cathartic, not always, but sometimes, it allows me to question everything, mostly me… I hope you agree, and I suppose if you got this far, you got something out of it, only one person other than myself, that is always my goal, two is a win, four is more, but one is just as good… all thoughts, comments, likes, re-posts and whatever… are all appreciated, thanks. I do this to throw myself out into the world, maybe there are simpaticos out there…. maybe not, but I have to do what I am made to do….

oh, and by the way this is part of my porch series, should I be remiss and not link to that ongoing thing…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s