What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


That moment where you realize you just can't stop it. You see the wall, feel it more likely, approaching and you just can't stop. It's those days that drop away like a sheaf of leaves falling, falling to the end. Not stopping.

That dream where you're falling. A fall you know must end. And end badly. But it keeps going. There's no stopping. You just can't stop it. You have to keep falling. No other option. The wind rushing by is a traitor to your cause because it won't stop you. So you keep falling until it becomes normal. Then you live your whole life falling through that dream, knowing the end, but you can't stop.

Things in my life that I can't stop. I can see where they're leading. You try to fix it, to make it better, but you just can't stop it. That spot on the car where the paint has flaked away. You know you should do something. Try to fix it. Solve the problem. But it just won't stop. Everything takes too much, too many spoons spent to just keep falling.

That sense of powerlessness. The projects that haven't been finished. The ones you need to take to the end, but you can't get them started. That sounds like a stop, but it's not because you keep at it. You keep trying to roll that stone up the hill. Because you can't stop it. It's what you do.

That moment you wake up and know that you're older now than you ever thought you could be. And you can't stop falling through that dream. It's right there, right in front of you. You can reach out to take hold of it, but even that won't stop it.

You try to call. But the phone says "emergency calls only." You're trying to stop it, but even the damn phone is against you.

And no matter how you fast you're falling, people are getting in front of you. They're cutting in line like those cars that drive all the way to the flashing merge signal before even attempting to slow or pull over into the only lane open. And they're getting the things you wanted before you can get them. But you can't stop going after those things. You just can't stop. They're winning awards while your working hard not stopping. And you just can't stop. Not because you're thinking you'll get there. No. The opposite. As they steal the lead you think you're never going to get ahead. But that doesn't mean you don't stop falling. Because there is no way to stop.

Hell, there isn't even a way to slow down.

And you see where all the arguments lead. It's not your first rodeo, but you can't stop it. They say all the same lines, like some script. And you want to go off-script. You know the script, know it needs subverting. You want to avoid the same ends, the same wall, but there it is again.

So the rust starts and you know you should stop it. Now. Before it infiltrates under all the paint. Before it bubbles up the surface like something alive to let you know it's eating away at all the time you've spent before, but hiding under a blanket the way kids do so you won't see them. And you should crack it open, expose it all to the light. But you don't have the paint to cover it back up. So that wound would fester in the light. Corrupt the light until it, too, couldn't be stopped.

And the snacks are just there and you know you shouldn't eat them. You're not hungry. Not really. And you say to yourself, "You should stop." But you have just another spoonful, another chip, because that might quite the anger. It might fill the emotional potholes. And you should stop. You know you shouldn't eat it. But you can't stop your arm on the way to your mouth any more than you could stop their stupidity from filling your ears. Because it's a way of falling just like all the rest.

And there is no stopping. You just can't stop falling. It goes on. And you thought you were used to it, but you can't ever get used to that feeling. The one where you know what the outcome is. The slow-motion existence of trying to stop the door from closing and knowing it's too late to do anything. Because you couldn't stop it earlier, so it's too late to stop it now.


Dan Berlyoung said...

Great essay. This is something that is much better *out there* and not still stuck in your head.

Oh and Neil Young's right. Rust never sleeps.

Steve Buchheit said...

Thanks, Dan. Yep, it's much better out of my head than inside. Although, inside my head there's this great reverb effect.