May 15, 2018, 05:56AM

The Baltimore Kid Rides Again

There was a time I believed admiration was respect.

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Charting life like a graph in a PowerPoint presentation would resemble a silhouette of the Rocky Mountains. Or some other impossible ticker tape, lie detector mountain range. High peaks above the clouds and low dipped down valleys beneath. A pointy Etch A Sketch from cradle-to-coffin boxed in. Plateaus of emotions, hills of beans, ravines of forgotten memories under creampuff clouds stuck in crevasses of regret. Hanging by fingertips on jagged cliffs of joy. Peering over the precipice into the yawning abyss.

A multi-colored pie chart slicing up percentage rates of good and bad events marking milestones and special occasions. Some slices are thin slivers while others are huge wedge hunks of life pie. The correct answers to life's fundamental questions could curry favor in a possible next life or win a random prize in the mystery grab bag of being alive in the moment in this god forsaken place. We exist therefore we live. Or merely survive. There is no app for that.

Random acts of kindness, reactions to positive and negative stimuli processes moving in weird energy directions I'll never understand. The meaning of right, wrong and knowing the difference. A mathematics of pain. The choices made in these storied days is the weird object of one’s desire living within forlorn years itself. There may be other ways to discover the path we take through life to learn from past mistakes or regrets repeat this story in a vicious cycle of repetition till death’s final conga line kick.

A random meaningless accident wrapped in the grand experiment evolves out from the great unknown. That question mark hanging over my head next to the blinking neon vacancy lightbulb of ideas in my personal growth cartoon show. How I arrived at this point is just as baffling to me as my survival all along the way toward the comic strip of now. And it’s not funny anymore.

A lonesome traveler across time to places in the heart-mind of a loner soul at best. An anti-social misanthrope dressed in modern age rags of nonconformity. Never truly finding a place to fit in. The shoe drops. Somewhere else is always the future destination. I bang my head against the walls of acceptance and beat feet down city streets that were once my hometown. A gunshot in the near distant future. That quaint backwater burgh. Somebody’s provincial unholy land. Pleasant living is the least of my concerns. Many may romanticize a place like Baltimore in some grand city scheme of dreams. The line in the sand where you make or break all the rules.

The magical urban love affair with unreal fantasies of being a shaker and a mover in a take-no-prisoners no-nonsense town. Where everything is happening all the time in a cultural Mecca of impossibilities. So many events to attend it's improbable to go to even one. A matter of taste in a world of diminishing choices. Galloping across the vast concrete desert of one ways and dead ends. The stop and go of no access easy way out exits. On the off ramp of eternity down a road of little chance and no return.

In this world, stupidity is infinite. We speak in hushed tones about conspiracies that have yet to occur. Whispering in the ears of a numb populous in a once-proud city. I’ve also fallen prey to the fear and hatred of the little town blues. A constant anxiety of becoming a statistic on the daily news. Just another victim, symptom of a bigger dilemma. Baltimore typifies the entire country. As a species we failed the moment we allowed “leaders” to control our lives. Giving despots full reign over individual needs and basic human rights or compassion because we were lazy, or worse, we trusted them. Voting for the greedy and mindless self-interest before people. Free enterprise is not freedom; the cost is too rich for common decency. Those who hope to achieve power and rule over others have no concern for them. A superior attitude of privileged ruling class mentality destroyed any options for good to progress in our city.

Tomorrow’s promise comes with stipulations, rules and regulations breaking down in the time it takes to live another day unscathed. We the people failed to stop the carnage that surrounds us everywhere at once. So damned sick of the endless bullshit, too tired to fight back from the lip-service rhetoric. If I said I no longer care would you hold it against me? Maybe you hold me to a higher standard? You don’t care either. A better way for all concerned. Sorry, that’s not in the cards. There are no reasons left to defend anyone. We’re guilty and we’re so sad here. I have no answers to soothe a dying person’s suffering or ease an entire city of them. Words cannot heal.

All the printed matter that names the best of this one or that are long gone. There was a time I believed admiration was respect. It’s just a troll peeping through the window and you’re in public wearing nothing but a stunted smile. The photo-op popularity contest and the cult of personality have no legs left to stand on. The selfish selfies of the beautiful people in a land where dreams allegedly come true are on permanent leave of absence. It’s a sucker’s bet. Don’t fall for it. They’re banking on it. It’s post time. Your call. I’m all in.


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