Let's face it. I'm a 49 year old, broken down , ugly son-of-a-bitch. I wake up 8 a.m having to take a raging piss. I walk over to the toilet. Two hours later the mirror is fogged up, my face is red as an August morning's sun and finally, finally I hear a dribble of water on water. Thankful to god for answering my prayers I turn to the sink and begin to brush my tooth. Working on that doesn't take long. I next turn towards the stairs. It's only 11 steps but with each step my body parts start screaming at me and each other:
Knees: "Loose some weight you fat bastard, you're killing us"
Prostate:" Killing you? I'm as bloated as Big Ang's lip from Mob Wives. Every morning I have to hold back a river of human water until this lazy bastard wakes up"
Eye: "You got more problems than you think. We can't see shit! Wait until we're crossing the street someday and we don't see that Mac truck coming. The you won't have anything to complain about anymore", And so on and so on with each and every body part. I finally make it to the top of the stairs with the sense of accomplishment as one who has reached the summit of Mount Everest. I turn to walk to the living room and that's when I hear her voice. The voice of my fiance Pris. Ever wake up in the morning next to a flowing spring? Fall asleep under a tree in the spring and are awakened by the gentle chirping of a blue bird perched on a limb above your head? That's nothing compared to the melody her voice brings to me. My steps become a little lighter, my knees quiet down and my eyes force themselves to dilate in expectation of seeing her. And there she is!
"You know Rocco", my Brain starts off half in amazement and half in disbelief, " I still can't understand what the Hell this girl sees in you? You carry more baggage with you than a fully loaded 747: you've got the body of a 1963 Pontiac whose owner changed its oil and gave it a tune up only during those times where there was a full eclipse of the sun; the people at Chase, Bank of America and others line up at the window when you walk by, laughing and flipping you the bird,. On top of that you have many, many more years behind you than you have in front of you. Tell me please what this beautiful 30 year girl sees in you? "Well," I start and right away my brain jumps in "Bullshit, don't even try it. You may have worked in Harlem for close to 20 years but you know you don't pick up an attribute like that through association". Rightly corrected, I begin to think again "Maybe she sees something in me for the future. That I have potential to be something big in the future". My brain answers back with a smirk, "Rocco, come now , what future? You're 49 years old. Your like the sun when it dips so low in the horizon that it doesn't cause sun glare and backups on the BQE any more". Again I stand corrected. Finally I look my mind straight in the "eye" and say, "Well you have all the fucking answers, you tell me?" I answer shrilly with embarrassed and damaged pride. "It's easy and I can tell you in one word! Lasik!" answers the Brain "What?" I answer in bewilderment. "Lasik, moron. Laser eye surgery" my brain answers with growing annoyance. Seeing that the look of bewilderment was set on my face like cement, my mind answered with great annoyance and exasperation" Lasik! Eye surgery! I'm trying to tell you the girl must be blind to be with you and that was she ever to get her vision corrected she would run from you like Rush Limbaugh would from a meeting of the ACLU!". It was the last point that really drove the point home. I sat down, started to sweat. My knees started to ache like they were in vice grips, my eyes crusted over with pus and my prostate got so big I mistook it for a ventral hernia. Damn was I down. Then I heard a voice, low and not so recognizable. "Hey, Roc?" again I heard. "Who's that?" I answered "It's me the Spirit". "Wow! I haven't heard from you in a long time". 'Yeah, I know "replied my childhood friend. "Wow where have you been". "Where?" quizzically he answered, 'I've been down here in the gut where I've been for millions of years. Remember? We used to hang out a lot but since you started reading all those crazy books you've tended to ignore me. By the way you do know Nietzsche was a lunatic". "I always thought that", I answered. Then I asked "What brings you around after such a long time? "Well your Mind has been bugging me for a real long time but just a little while ago he pissed the shit out of me. Lasik our ass! The girl loves you that's why she sticks around with you. that and nothing else". Again the sense of bewilderment begins to build. "But what about the Mind and all the stuff he said?". "Listen Roc" answered the spirit "I've been around for millions of years. Consciousness our your mind, in as far as it's ability to think and pronounce judgment on things abstract like love , hate, jealously has been around , at most ten thousand years. So more or less he's like a five year old trying to perform trigonometry equations. He's necessary and one day will grow up but right now he's like a child who found something that feels good and keeps playing with it even though he doesn't really understand why". Feeling much better I ask "how sure are you about what your saying?. The spirit thinks a moment and responds "remember all that shit you got into as as a medic? Remember going down to Haiti after the earthquake? Sure you were going to die, weren't you? "Sure was' I answered. "Well who do you think got you into that shit? Your friend the Mind! And who do you think it was that got you out of it? Me! Your old neglected friend the Spirit. You believe me now?" It took me about a second to shoot back "Yes!". "Good", said the spirit with a pleased smile, "now go over and love and enjoy that girl. Screw what the mind says. he's an adolescent asshole". "Thanks" I say to the spirit as I run towards Pris grabbing her up in my arms and kissing her as I have never done before, my heart as open as the Atlantic is wide" . Surprised, Pris shots me a very surprised look, "what got into you today?" she says with surprise. . "Well" I answered "I had a little talk with a friend today and he set me straight on a lt of things". Pris answered excitingly "Wow then who is he? Where is he from" Have i ever met him?". "Baby, if I told you half the story you wouldn't believe me.If I told you the whole story you'd probably have me committed as a lunatic" I answered with a laugh that echoed up and down the streets of Wappingers Falls