He held the regrets of his life close to his heart for the most part. The question was never asked, “If you were tried, would you have been convicted?” It was one of those questions that really made the water clear or kept it that cream filled coffee murky. His answer would have been a definite, “No” said through his thick dry, cracked lips followed by a brush of his tongue for the sake of a contemplative ending. “Would you have been convicted”, not for any crime really, but more for the person he either was, or the person he professed to be. A clear difference from the shiny silver rainbow trout scales to the white subtle underbelly of vulnerability. A firm, “No”, clearly a, “No, not ever”, and why was that? What made the idea of a conviction to a cause or better a conviction to the making of self so difficult to own.
And here it was some years later and things had begun the wind down to a inevitable end. What really had mattered ten years ago was now incidental, pretty unimportant. Now it was the five blood pressure meds, and the other sixteen pills a day that took the stage. Yet he still carried the book, still said the words, still rolled his eyes when any statement wasn’t in line with the book, still couldn’t explain the teaching, yet made certain I knew it was important stuff; that it was the “TRUTH”….
I used to be all fucked up on drugs, now I’m all fucked up on Jesus
I once watched a raccoon drowned a dog. It was very systematic and calculated. The raccoon swam into the lake trying to avoid the dog who was driven entirely by nature, (This dog truly would have been convicted of the crime). Once a safe distance away, the raccoon floated, rested, hoping the distance and water made him safe. The dog, a tan sort of retriever, hound cross ran back and forth on a ten foot swatch of beach, eyes fixated on this grayish lump floating some 35 yards away. Instinct prevailed and the dog went into the water, swimming the direction of the raccoon. The people who owned the dog seemed to favor this and appeared to think this was just another day in the life of a dog. As the dog got within about sixteen inches of the raccoon, the raccoon sprang onto the dog’s head, fixed himself in place and pushed the dog’s head just beneath the surface enough so where dogs head was now a small island for the raccoon to stand on. where the dog went the raccoon went as well. A couple of small splashes of water on the surface, nothing more, the entire struggle lasted but a couple of minutes. The owners were shouting, throwing stones and sticks, the husband entered the water but the drop off was quick and deep, his physique defined he would never have been convicted of being a swimmer.
The struggle over, the raccoon dismounted, swam towards the opposite shore, the dog floated lifeless on the surface, a canvas colored bag with no place to go . The husband was now swearing, saying he was gong to kill that fucking raccoon, his wife, her hands covering her mouth and sobbing quietly.
A Sunday at the lake turned into an event they’d wear like skin for a time. Each a convict of sorts…
We have coffee every now and again, and I never ask what he regrets, he’’ll often tell me between conversations on Existentialism, writing, women, and planning lunch for the next Saturday.
There’s no harm in being convicted for just living….