Dé Luain, Nollaig 22, 2008

Tales From North Platte

I went to the Den tonight, . Imagine what The Watering Hole would be like without the drink specials and with the smell of urinal cake permiating the entire bar instead of half of it, and there you go. There was a woman's pool league on. Fiftysomething broads with flatops, pancake blush, Husker pulleys, and a taste for Old Gold 100 lights. The woman who nearly got in a physical fight with her daughter when I was home for the Fourth was there and seemed to be in good spirits. I made eyes with her daughter and she seemed to appreciate my attention. But then I have observed her enough to know that her attention would not be at all enjoyible, and certainly not important enough to go through any trouble persuing. Still it was fun.

My own mother could be accurately described as a broad but it wouldn't tell half the story of the woman. She is the indisputible leader of a family of lunatics, a center of stability for several dozen friends and family members whose pride won't allow them to accept that they are as bad off as they are. She is able to perceive people as they are without allowing presupposition to distort what is there before her, and act accordingly, while all around her the men of the ostentatiously masculine west deal with each other according to the nearest availible cartoon type instead of what is truly there. I try to seek my mother's advice when my father isn't around to add his earnest and confused word salad. My own intelligence comes from my her, without question. It was left up to me to sink into my own brain until it did me no good.

I ran into a dear old friend of mine at The Den, Aaron "Boz" Bozfield. He was sporting two black eyes from the forty ounce that his wife smashed in his face. He was with this fellow I remembered only as "guy who used to be in jail all of the time." His biggest adventure involved getting caught burglerizing a Pizza Hut in broad daylight some Sunday morning. He called me "Josh Buchowski" which I appreciated. It's a terribly inacurate label, but not completely so, the truth is that I had a way with marginilized women while I was here. Women who had given up on life at twenty and needed someone just as I did. But oh never mind, I've already said too much.

My mother said she found movers who can take my possesions to Chicago for eight hundred dollars. I'm currently in the slow process of talking her into simply loaning me the money in a lump sum. I will drive there in my Pontiac with my coffee potmy microwave and my wardrobe organized into trash bags. That's where my mature life awaits me. That's where the Beran family name will be raised out of the corn fields and the auto shops Ma. I know it just sounds like another delusion from your Bohemian son. It goes completely against your own practical way but you must trust me. This is what is right. My desk, my TV, my dresser, my couch, my card table, the hell with it all. The truth is that I've never felt any particular affinity with any of my physical possesions, never associated with some memory or common experience with someone else for which they were part of the scene. That's what Craigslist is for these days Ma. Firewood for hobos Ma, firewood for hobos.

Find three roomates and I can live a good life for a time in some nice corner of a flat for a few months. The truth is that I've found a new courage and clarity of purpose that wasn't there before. I do not believe or wishfully think that this is the right thing to do, I logically know it and believe it and wishfully think it.

The truth is that another cycle of Winter and Spring spent entirely in Lincoln, with no job, no Dan, no Becky, would leave me with too much weight on my back to advance in life. How long have I coasted along in the company of people impressed with my cleverness on its own terms. How strange it is to have true peers, to have my own ambitions tied into my loyalty to them and the trust they have put into me, this sense that our important thoughts and intimate thoughts were one and the same.

Becky, take care of yourself darling, and be brave. Live for yourself for awhile and accept love when it is offered to you. I will do the same, I promise you that. This time, this place, these words, these looks, these understandings and aceptances shall not be betrayed. They will be made into something, and the world will know.


Dan said...


Joshua Beran said...

Fuck no son.