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Friday, April 21, 2017

I Still Want

[Editor's Note: From 2008. The website where I got the photos is dead. I'm still alive, after a fashion]
I want to participate unreservedly in American life.

I want to say hello to my neighbors. I want to send my children to school on a bus with their brethren to read of George Washington and Abe Lincoln. I want them to eat peanut butter sandwiches from a paper sack with waxy boxes of whole milk to wash it down.

I want to watch the news and not think it's an assault on my worldview. I want to watch the news and not think it's an assault on the worldview of people with whom I disagree.

I want to read a newspaper. I want to listen to the radio. I wouldn't mind constructing my own radio with a soldering iron and a few parts that came mail order, but I'd rather not construct the playlist of songs. How would I know what I liked if I had never heard it?

I want to order a drink from the well. I want to sit on naugahyde. I want someone to smoke. I don't want to smoke. I want people to make music right there in front of me. I want everybody to know the words.

I want everyone to dress as well as they can for a social occasion and still be dressed badly. I want to see dress shoes and white socks.
I want to see old people. I want to see babies. I want to tell people their ugly children are beautiful. I want the ballgame to be on TV. I want the TV to be on a shelf over a bar.

I want to go to church on Sunday. I want to go to a bar on Friday night. I want to go dancing with my wife of many years on Saturday. I want to be buried in the same suit I was married in. I want people to stand there and look at my cold face and say I was no great shakes but I was alright.
I want someone to put flowers on my grave after everyone else has forgotten I was alive.

8 comments:

RJ said...

Nice piece, Greg. Thanks for publishing it again.

Casey Klahn said...

It is blasphemy to speak of the king's death.

Otherwise, I'm all in with ya. Carry on.

Sam L. said...

I'd be happy to put flowers on your grave, but I'm pretty sure I'm older than you, my son is older than your two, and I'm way out west, where it does get "way out (mannnnnnnnnn)", so I expect to go before you, and I know I can't fit in the suit I got married in, besides having given it away. Howsomever, a fine post re-posted!

Thud said...

Many more miles to travel yet I hope.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Be careful what you want for: Spaulding got nothing and liked it, and all he wanted was a cheeseburger, no, scratch that, a milkshake too.

Bilejones said...

Beautiful, thanks.

Mary*Ann said...

Me too. I want now...but I want then too.

Eskyman said...

Me too.

We once had a wonderful world, didn't we? It still lives in my memory.

Sure wish I had more regrets, though! There are so many paths I didn't follow, sigh.