Sunday, December 30, 2012

Teenage Rebel - A Magpie Tale

image by R.A.D. Stainforth offered on Tess Kincaid's The Mag.

Teenage Rebel

The terrazzo floor,
gritty on my feet, the smoke
gritty in my mouth,
the sharp hitch breathing
past my swollen voice husking
forty-two today,
Newports are my faves
but I have to steal over
half of all I smoke.

I sit in the old
maroon leather chair, daring
my dad to come in
and throw my ass out
of the house once and for all.
Then he did just that.

December 30,2012 6:02 AM

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19 comments:

  1. Hard, edgy, evocative write...pairs perfectly with the image...

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    1. Thank you.

      Not only that, my sister who was there would recognize all the elements and the history too... just not stuck together the way I have them.

      My parents left the planet in 2001, so I only have one witness left...

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  2. I often wonder what my life would be like today if I were more of a rebel as a teen....well more of a rebel at all really. I always played it so safe, hugged the wall, maliciously compliant. I never got thrown out of the house but I ran away twice. Still doing it I suppose. I always wanted to smoke too...but it just smells too bad any my health addiction gets in the way :)

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  3. And I wonder if that stopped you smoking? :)

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    1. I stopped because one of the rare flus I got when I smoked made it so impossible to smoke that I had three days cigarette free. By the time smoking was possible, I decided to see if I could do it and I told myself if it got too bad then I would resume.

      What happened, I never smoked again, but I was not off tobacco. I was chewing, which I did for another ten years before I decided to try to quit that and started chewing cloves as a substitute. I did that in 1991. I chewed cloves for a year. Then I walked away from the cloves with no difficulty at all near the end of 1992.

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  4. That cold maroon leather chair tells me all I need to know.

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    1. Wow, thank you. But it's old, not cold. Can't be cold. That chair was real. It picked up body heat very quickly. It was never cold if you sat in it for very long. It was also aromatic in the best way, and it was a real easy chair with ottoman.*

      Geez! I had to think a bit on how to spell automan. :D

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  5. Quite a powerful story; thanks...

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    1. It collapsed stuff strung out over time into a moment. That's the power in it. The terrazzo floor was the house we lived in when I was in high school except for a short season when we tried something with a condominium. We moved back. The chair obviously went with us on all moves. I did start to smoke there, but not Newports. I started with Luckies and Pall Malls, what my Dad and Mom smoked. I was caught and briefly defied my folks, smoking in the house, but the terrazzo floor was not in the living room where the chair was.

      The house I was thrown out of was later and after high school and the issue was far more global than my cigarettes.

      I did get to a pack and a half steady habit, on bad days getting up to two packs and a little more but that burned me out too badly from one day to the next. I could hang with a pack and a half indefinitely it seemed.

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  6. These spare lines tell much - a strong framework. I can picture a scene in my mind and hear the raised voices...

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  7. I especially love your first four lines.

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  8. I do too - the parallels of gritty floor and mouthful of gritty smoke are powerful, indeed.

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  9. Truthful and harsh. The last stanza is my favorite. Newports were my sister's faves.

    Happy New Year.

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  10. I like the attitude you displayed pretty boldly in the second stanza. I also love the ending. A bit of an attitude adjuster.

    Mike

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    1. I am not sure what you mean concerning the attitude displayed because I still echo the inner state of that time whenever I "remember" it. (it's not memory if it is current) However I do sense what you mean by "attitude adjuster". For me at the time, I realized I had no skills to use as an independent man and I had just screwed the pooch pushing my Dad to his limit. On the other hand there was no question I desperately yearned to be independent no matter what. The tension between my need and my capacity was schizophrenic beyond bearing. Getting thrown out raised that inner battle to an outer manifestation.

      Bit of an attitude adjustment indeed. I failed completely on the first attempt to fly. And the second as well.

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  11. nicely done Chris...so you remember those days in SF......I remember 66....then I sat at City Lights for a few years and got lost....have a great 2013

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    1. Did you feel lost then as well as you express being lost for a few years now? For example, I did not "feel" depressed in those days, did not recognize my inner state as that of a depressed young man. However, I cannot question how I read in my journal of that time and read it as the work of a seriously depressed young man.

      This is a situation I have trouble explaining except to say denial is an amazingly powerful tool of self organization on this side, or else the descriptions of depression as an inner state are falsely drawn, allowing some other inner organizing principals to express themselves in mimicry of depression on the other side. Most of the time I like to buttress my earlier selves and challenge descriptions of depression. I admit favoring "my" side is a minority view among mental health practitioners.

      At the time, I was challenged with this very tension and resisted it, keeping my "integrity" successfully. The arc of my development remained in my resistant hands.

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The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.


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