Hi, remember me?
I’m that guy who talked to you as if he knew you, way back when you were waiting for that transit bus in Baltimore, some thirty five or forty years ago, or so. You thought I was some kind of weirdo or stupid or something, the way I went on and on about my personal life, but then, the bus didn’t come for quite awhile. You found that you rather enjoyed being entertained by such a loquacious young man you’d only just met. I must have told you an awful lot of very personal things about my life at that time. Remember? I have brown hair and Frank Sinatra eyes.
I used to do a lot of singing in public, too.
It was something I’d just do.
I’ve been doing all this ever since I was little; trusting strangers way too much. It’s one of the reasons I’ve had such a hard time in life. I would talk to anybody, anywhere, all my life long. I had a substance abuse habit in those days, because I was one of the ordinary flower children of the sixties. I was an ordinary hippie, the way I would go around looking for drugs like they weren’t even illegal or anything, the way I would go on and on, all over the place on the buses about everything and nothing. You might have been a little bit afraid of me, back when I was doing all that much talking in public places, back in the day that I was riding the buses in Baltimore.
Or maybe you just thought I was full of myself.
I don’t know.
It might have been in the 1970’s, or 1980’s, when I was talking to you at that bus stop just about anywhere in the Baltimore Area, or whenever you were driving your transit bus for a living. I sat right up front, jabbering away at you. Remember that? I was very open and honest with you, about everything and nothing under the sun. For awhile there, I rode your bus regularly, and then I just stopped showing up suddenly. That’s what I’m writing you about. I moved to the Tidewater Area of Southern Virginia.
I did not die.
I was a has been musician, who had never made a name for himself, but I made a name for myself talking, all the same. Maybe you just wished I’d shut up, but then maybe you found you were rather enjoying yourself, anyway. After awhile, you might have been glad you had someone to talk to you. It passed the time a little bit. I guess people have often tried to understand what it was I was selling, or what it was I was after. Finally, you found out my chatter was only for the chatter’s sake.
I’ve always loved the woods. I’ve had some really memorable experiences in the woods. I used to talk to trees, back when I was a student at the college, or the university. I just happen to be the same guy, the same composer of music that no one’s ever heard of. I’m Guitar George. I know all the chords. I always wanted to be a high school band director, and studied music education in my youth, but my schooling didn’t work out, remember? I spent years talking to the people of Baltimore that I used to encounter in my comings and goings.
I think I must be homesick tonight.
Maybe that’s the reason for all this chatter in my notebook.
I used to love to sing songs and draw pictures. Now, I love to write. Remember me up in Charles Village with my sketch pad, smoking cigarettes on park benches? I haven’t been inspired visually in quite some time now. I had a serious nervous breakdown when I was in music school, back when I was twenty. It was really kind of sad the way I just seemed to lose my mind one day. My mother was always very important to me when she was alive. Now that she’s gone, I find I was brought up well enough to get along without her, anyway.
I achieved long term sobriety a long time ago now. It’s been a long time since I had a drink or a drug, and I’ve been very engaging about that issue in the public restaurants and the meetings of the Program, out in the counties in the last few years. I got to going to the Program, back when I was in the state laughing academy. Some didn’t like my behavior in some of the places I went to, but I think it was mostly mistaken impressions of what my intentions were. I think that’s always been because I’ve had schizophrenia. That illness makes me a little goofy.
Maybe people didn’t trust me to be as harmless with others as I really am.
Nobody wants to call me by name in print, maybe because they think they’ll get sued or something, and I really do chatter like this in public. If you’ve met me, you’ve found out the easy way, that I’m not really the slightest bit dangerous. You were on your guard, and couldn’t think of how to get me to shut up, but then, after awhile you didn’t care if I kept on talking – or writing the way I do. I’ve told a lot of tales about my life in so many ways to so many people. I’ve lost track of whatever it has been that I’ve told people. There just has to be a lot of people who remember the very loquacious young man who didn’t know when to shut up.
I’m that guy who was very much engaging of your time – and by you I mean the general public of the Baltimore Area – and then, one day you just didn’t see me anymore. I didn’t stop by your restaurant to say goodbye, to let you know where I was going, when I was going away, or any such thing. I just vanished, totally out of sight one day, permanently. I must have talked about my beloved Mary a lot, and how much I miss her, and so on, about how glad I was that I never did drag her through all the terrible troubles of my youth, along with all those drugs I used to take, and so on. I talked that way right out loud to people I didn’t know, particularly after I’d been sober awhile.
I’ve gone on and on with an awful lot of people, but now the few people I can talk to only entertain my constant desire to converse, from time to time. I’ve found that what I need to do is monologue to my notebook the way I used to talk to others in public. I found that I’m immensely uncomfortable attending the Program anymore, so I don’t bother going to meetings anymore. I’ve been well steeped in the principles of the program, whether I go to meetings or not. I do some serious psychotherapy and such things fairly often, see a lot of doctors, because I was tough on my body there for a long time. I need to be careful of my health now.
I’m the one who happens to consider reality almost every time I talk, because my mind does a bit of circumventing reality from time to time. I would always talk about having schizophrenia, from the time I was 20, but I’m getting old these days. I talked about how I wrote all this wonderful music no one has ever heard – and the fact just happens to be that now I can’t play any of it anymore at all. I used to talk about going to mental hospitals a lot, and about how much I was just here because I’m not all there. They would come after me with a butterfly net, and spirit me away to another laughing academy every now and then.
That’s the way it would happen, that I’d be in town one day, and gone the next. It’s because they took me away, and locked me down in some kind of the state insane asylum, one day when I was behaving a little bit too goofy in public. I’d let all of you go after that happened, because I couldn’t afford the phone call to call you, even if I did have your number. Besides, I frequently found telephones to be very confusing devices whenever my schizophrenia acts up. I forget how to use a phone frequently in my lifetime.
That’s why the word doesn’t get around about me any better than it does.
I used to attend meetings of the Program in the tri-county area for a lot of years. I was always one to have a lot to say there, too. I wanted people to know about my concept of a Higher Power, and was always trying to say something about that concept, mostly to the young women who were smoking cigarettes outside, after the meetings. After awhile, I just gave up trying to get anymore glory days in a young girl’s eye, and just moved away to the Tidewater Area of Southern Virginia.
That’s where I am now.
I’m an Indie writer now, making a name for myself with my notebook and my writing. I just try to go on having some kind of thing to say to people, the way I’ve always done. The thing is that I’ve pretty well figured out that people don’t like it when old bachelors try to talk to the young women, so I’ve given up doing that pretty much. I’ve had enough of a memory of things that don’t work, I’ve tried to wise up a little bit. I’ve treated all the young ladies with respect, whether some people want to admit it to my face or not. I may be a little bit cavalier, for an older man, but I don’t believe in taking advantage of vulnerable people.
I’m not in a laughing academy at the moment. I live in a retirement community, where I’m the youngest resident in the place, at the tender young age of 61. I find that I have some of the women around here to fend off every now and then. I figured out I don’t want a wife or a girlfriend, but then there are women here at assisted living, who have their own ideas about that subject. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to be nice to people, being firm about my own stance at the same time.
I was in love once, as a young man, and I’ve developed this attitude that I’m not interested in having anymore girlfriends. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get some people to give up on trying to make me into a boyfriend, when I’m just not all that interested in that whole process. It’s uncanny the way some women have a way of chasing, now that I’m not doing the chasing myself. I’ve learned that women are people too, like men in many ways, but then, not quite.
I don’t really know what it is I’m trying to say, or who it is I’m trying to say it to. I’m just doing the one thing I’ve learned to love best, which is trying to write about everything and nothing on my notebook computer. I figure, why not? I’ve talked to an awful lot of people, all my life long. I’m not saying anything objectionable or vulgar in my conversation. What’s the difference? I mean, I just happen to be the man I am, and whatever I have to write down, I’ll share this on my blog, or make it into some kind of a short story for sale somewhere.
I’d rather just give it away, so there’s a better chance that people will actually read it that way.