All those hours of our lives are our own. We have to figure out what to do with them, but having our feet on the ground is a good beginning.
I wish I was a sample man. I wish I had a simple life. I sometimes wish I had never seen the backstage of a theatre, the inside of a radio studio, or the handle of a drum stick. I wish I didn't know about ontology, cosmology, semantics, ethics, metaphysics, sociology, politics, history and religion. I wish I didn't know about Bach, Mozart, Wagner and Schoenberg. I'm often tempted to discard all my books and magazines and never buy another one.
I wish I had lived a simple life with a steady job doing something mechanical or educational; a grammar school Phys Ed teacher. I like kids, That would have been a good one.
I would have liked to have a simple home with a wife who liked to smile and keep her house and her garden, while I fixed things up around it. I would be happy with simple food: franks and beans, burgers and potato salad, pea soup, Once a week I would take her out to dinner: Chinese, Italian, steaks and chops.
In the evening we would watch a movie or two. I would get my news from the TV and not think much about it. I would enjoy a good ball game and have a favorite team. Once a year we would take a vacation and go to the shore or to Disneyland.
And if I wanted to be creative I'd paint pictures of flowers from her garden and not worry if they were any good or not.
I would enjoy a good joke and share it with my buddies over checkers, while she was with her ladies sewing circle talking about whatever ladies talk about.
I would be reasonably healthy, well fed and sleep the sleep of a grateful and contented man.
But I can't afford to properly feed myself. The TV news irritates me. I've been a Yankee fan since I was a child but I don't follow them now. I cherish my books even though I have to read with a magnifying glass. I love music and won't stop hearing more and more into it. I fret over every one of my paintings. There is no woman here, smiling or otherwise, no kids, no garden. I sleep in short spurts of time. And I am angry and distressed that illness has taken me away from my career.
The sound that you hear is my silent, fundamental, existential scream of rage and sorrow.
Come and sing with me, all you who are dissatisfied, even to any degree, with the conditions and limitations of your life. Come sing with me and we will raise the spirits that have ignored us and call them to account for their neglect. Come sing with me the song of the struggling pilgrim.
DB - The Vagabond