Living in a series of crowded, sprawling cities back to back, which have a serious traffic problem, in spite of the many roads, I never do any driving. Don’t want to. Not a tree in sight, anywhere you look, and you know you don’t dare look far on foot, with a rollator. No personal transportation, or ability to walk much, has me stuck like a bug in a rug. Back roads and back woods are far gone, in who knows which direction? It’s an awful feeling of helplessness, without some way to get around, of my own volition. But my options are permanently limited.
I’d grown accustomed to driving myself, of having a car available there for awhile. Nonetheless, I don’t feel safe driving anymore, which makes things extra inconvenient for those that have to take me places. I feel bad for them, because I can see what a challenge it is to drive around here. Maybe they just drive me because they know I can’t drive myself now. My brother, and the other person I have to take me around, are both slinging my folded rollator around.
There are very few things that actually happened to me in the past, in the woods, that remain memorable to me, just enough to write about, but not much more. I used to enjoy how the forest looked, with so many trees all around, and the various, natural clutter under foot, on the forest floor. It was a strange phenomenon to witness how the air temperature dropped so noticeably, in the warmer months, if one got far enough into the trees, on foot or whatever.
I feel lost without the wooden plants, the way the world once was to me. I’m hoping the forests aren’t all gone, since I can no longer keep watch. At least the trees would be lining the roads where I’d be driving when I could. It’s impossible now. I would not have been pressed to go wandering in Nature’s maze, it would only happen. I’d gravitate toward the wood all my life. Don’t have any idea how to quench the thirst of it. The health and vitality I enjoyed in those days is gone now, along with the woods of my youth, although my attitudes, in general, are better than ever.
Used to play soldiers in the woods, and dream childish dreams then, whatever those dreams were. I cannot honestly claim to remember my dreams. Ever. War was a game to a child, unless he was forced to endure the real thing, which I never was. A friend said I fought my own war, inside myself. There were times I got everywhere with a bicycle, before I had a car. I cannot handle that mode of transportation anymore than I can handle a car. People are more than generous to provide me transportation now and then, which I’d even need to get back home.
The woods were a hiding place for me, a cathedral, a sanctuary for me. Adulthood decided to make itself even more brutal to me, by zeroing in on my childhood – to kidnap me in my personal, sacred place. I’ve always had a concept I refer to as the sanctity of childhood. Haggeon spoke of it to me at one point. Haggeon is my closest friend, while I sit alone, working at being a writer. This is my second surge of productivity, of being as prolific as I’ve been at two different times in my life.
With most news bombarding all of us all, most of the time, unless you don’t watch TV, like me, one sees and hears all about the most awful atrocities happening every other minute, all over the world. People look at the boob tube idea like horrors are an everyday occurrence, which they are, if you’ll watch TV a lot. That’s why I don’t turn the darn thing on at all. I’m not interested in the lies and the emotional manipulations that gadget performs on the population all the livelong day. I was taught to choose my friends, and reading material wisely.
The fear factor of the public media is what pulled the plug for me. I’ve paid too dear a price, to quietly sacrifice my hard earned tranquility for the likes of media. Movies are just as bad as the rest of it. They all teach the same fear, the same irrational paranoia as everything in any media teaches. I’ve found the same serenity in my own, quiet suite, as I would in the woods. I enjoy it when the leaves of the trees clap their hands, but if I must do without, to have what I need, I choose this place.
Practiced hanging out in the woods, becoming a die hard hanger inner, after Haggeon taught me how to go on without the party to my lips, and feel better, not worse, because of the abstinence. It turned out to be a skill that helped comfort me in life, if I’d only known sooner. I was given an image, half a lifetime later, about just how it would be that I might look for Haggeon in the first place. I listen to garbage mouth just long enough, I won’t listen to it anymore.
Turns out Haggeon did come and help me, after I lost so much. Had to get away from possession. It was a monster. I had to understand the problem before anyone could give me the solution. He helped me more than anyone can possibly imagine. I guess I needed some personal growth, before I could have Haggeon stop by to tell me much of anything. He went everywhere with me for the first several years I was walking my way away from recreational chemicals.
There was plenty of trouble, and I had to learn to walk away from it effectively.
What I have now is a complete retirement community, with nice furniture, a nice laptop, and endless hard drive space. I have a lot of really handy conveniences and services. Plenty of people who help the disabled do all the necessities of day to day living, now that I struggle to walk, on top of everything else. There are plenty of community rooms to explore on three levels of an elevator, which are used for various entertainments and distractions.
They’ve even got transportation to various places, for those of us residents to take advantage of, since so many don’t drive anymore. The company bus keeps an old driver, somewhat like me, from getting too dangerously confused in all the wild traffic, on the maze of roads to get lost on, all around this house. I mostly stay at home and in the house, with some certain planned exceptions of a handful of destinations, to cause me to venture abroad somewhere, want to or not.
There are the very few, strange looking trees here and there, but I’ve been in this town for better than two years. I’ve only seen the slightest hint of forest since, anywhere near here. The closest I ever got, in better than two years time, to actually seeing even a patch of forest primeval anywhere near here, I never did get up the spunk to go walk to see the place close up, or walk down the trail and take it all in. I’ll wave a disability banner, which makes it a challenge for me to walk anywhere.
Driving a motor vehicle has got to be out of the question, thus the ongoing lament.
I had a thought awhile back, that I ought to up and walk out of all these crazy houses around here, and disappear to being homeless, when I don’t have to be. Then I remembered how I’m not able to get up off the ground anymore, and all those other in-capacities. I remembered all those taste meals which have already been arranged for me, and the fact that I’ve gotten something like crippled getting here. The flow of things I’ve grown accustomed to having, would no longer be.
There would be things I wouldn’t think of, like not having any medications to take anymore. I’d surely attract attention by the Police, since I would surely go psychotic, maybe manic, and I’d end up somewhere I didn’t want to be, like Virginia State Hospital or someplace. My siblings would be sick with worry, since I wouldn’t have a phone. Who knows? Maybe one of them would file a Missing Persons with the State or something. The cops would be all over me.
Maybe none of my siblings would feel comfortable have me around at all, after such a stunt. It’s amazing the things that go through an individual’s mind, when it’s quiet. Wouldn’t have to worry about watching TV before I got busted, or having any possessions laying around. I’d surely get back to the land alright, and never get off the ground again, either. No homeless person is going to care if the old man can’t get off his tookus to go anywhere, or to do anything. Those guys would just walk away and let me lie there, like I don’t already know it.
Relax, I’m only being nostalgic about times and places gone by. I wouldn’t try this.
I don’t know what comes over me, thinking about all this and remembering all that, when I have more than enough time to think about good things, make some plans, do something constructive. I’ve turned out to be way too sentimental for my own good. It’s part of me. I remember ole Billy Ralph from school. His father and grandfather before him, were the same thing, Billy Ralph. I remember Dicky, who made it big with his marching band somewhere, as I had hoped to do one day, while there was hope for me. I’d never get the degree, much less the certificate, and I bailed out abruptly.
The problem between me and the girl was that, I was never certain whether she understood where I was coming from. She wrote me every now and then, before we broke up. I kept those letters for as long as I could. I was read them a thousand times over, trying desperately to recapture the gist of the person I rejected once. I knew she understood my love for Nature. She understood that before I did. I found out about it from her.
Breaking up so suddenly, was no rash act, as she might have imagined.
What I did was shelter the poor girl from my greatest disability, while I cast myself into unforgiving circumstances, demanding my forced isolation and solitude she never knew much about. She’ll never know how desperately I tried, over the years, to remember her body, when the nights grew endless, and the insomnia cheated me out of anything like sleep, or relief from a young man’s distorted appetites. She’s known to have gone on to a reliable husband and family. I was hoping she would. The years have gone by, and the only family I’ve got is my brother.
I’ve never met my own baby or been able to handle very much of a job. Fatherhood and jobs go hand in hand, but there was never a small hand to hold onto. We’d have had a large family, you and me. I refuse to name my disabilities any longer, because the words mean different things to different people. I never mean to be abrupt or unkind to you, dear, but you were hurting my teeth I don’t have anymore. I never meant to infer my disapproval of your smoking. You wanted to smoke, far out. I was more than happy to see you smoke, dear. You only coughed too violently, and I couldn’t remember…