June 24, 2008

Lord have mercy, forty one years of non stop breathing

It's a little past midnight so I am officially forty one now. My birthdays have become more of a time when I get stuck in retrospect than anything else. That's true of most people from what I hear. I was born in 1967 in Newnan hospital on Jackson Street. My mother told me that it was a bit after midnight when it happened. Now I'm here. Ten miles from there. Hindsight being what it is, what do I wish that I could change? Well, I wish that I had all the money that I have ever spent on fast food, beer, liquor, cigarettes, porn and numerous other crutches that have helped to prop up my psyche. I wish that I had bought land with that money. I wish that I had learned to relax more and enjoy things as they happened instead of worrying about what other people thought of me. I wish that I had spent more time with my Grandparents when they were around. Ditto for my Dad. I wish that I had beat that guy in highschool's ass much worse than I did, I would be out by now. I kind of wish that I had taken the bait when I was threatened by the group of cops in Carrollton after they got me back to the station and surrounded me asking, "What are you going to do about it?" when I complained about them hurting me when they pulled me out of the car by my elbow while cuffed, I would be out for that by now as well. I wish that I had listened to my brother when he tried to get me to drive the car when I was thirteen, I really wanted to, but was just too afraid. I wish that I had shown people more respect when I was younger. I wish that I had asked that girl to the prom when I was a junior in highschool. I wish that I had learned how to tattoo people. I wish that I had lost weight when I was in my late teens. I wish that I had kept all of my toys that I had as a kid. I wish that I had not effronted as many people as I have, and for some of that I am sorry. I wish that I had told my cousin that I loved him the last time I saw him. Ditto for everybody else that has gone on now. I wish that I had taken that scholarship from the Savannah College of Art & Design. I wish that I had not drank all that thunderbird when I went down there with the art club to watch the competition. I wish that I had learned to play an instrument. I wish that I had not been ugly to that girl that Christmas. I wish that I never had read The Lord of The rings so that it would be new to me again. I wish that I had gotten a black belt in karate. I wish that damn moth hadnt just flown into my drink... But most of all I wish that I had developed closer relationships with my siblings. Time is a funny thing and I fear that I have wasted a great portion of the time that I have had here by giving in to the paranoid and pessimistic side of my mind, but then everybody is out to get me.
Every person on the face of the planet could make a list of things like this, but this list is mine and unique to me. As my four year old and I were out on night patrol in the Kawasaki mule earlier this evening I came to realize, or rather remember, that all that I have been through has led me to the point that I am at now. I am thankful that I have a good wife and two good sons who have been there for me through thick and thin. They understand me and accept me for who I am, that is special to me. I will love them forever I know, and I hope that I can live up to the standards I have set for myself where they are concerned. I am thankful that my mother, mother inlaw and father inlaw are still here - and they should know that I love them and respect them for all that they have done in their lives. They are all good people and I nod my head to them in a quiet salute for their hard work and accomplishments. I am thankful as well for the people that have shaped my life that are still here and I salute them too for the positive influence and good memories that they have given me over the years. For the ones that have gone on, I hope that from time to time I will be afforded the opportunity to pass on to my sons some of what they have left to me. I am a hard person to like I know, but I am a fair person. I don't talk much and tend to live inside my own mind, and that is a cumbersome existence at times, so if I appear to be surly, just remember that I am simply too afraid to say what I feel.
Some of these things that I wish I had done I could set about trying to accomplish in a bucket list sort of way, but then that would be trying to live too much in the past... Not to mention those cops wouldn't have any idea who I was when I went after them... I have stayed my mind and calmed some of my emotions over the past few years and learned to accept things for what they are, some were easy, some were difficult and some do tend to eat at me non stop. I read my brothers blog today and he said that he was thinking about how he liked to dress up in strange outfits and has lots of useless items that bring him momentary pleasure, he questioned himself as to this behaviour now that he is about to become a Dad for the first time, hell, he may be by now... I've been a Dad now for fourteen years and I say this to him - Go out right now and get yourself a set of matching blue and red robes so that you can show him all the secrets of the hobbits that live around here, you will not regret it one bit.


Jules said...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Big Daddy
Happy Birthday to you....
Here is to 41 more years. We will get it all right, or mostly right, sooner or later.

The Angry Georgian said...

Happy Birthday!
Thought I'd drop you one even though I haven't read the post yet. I'll have to come back this afternoon and read it. Gotta get to work!

Anonymous said...

Happy birtday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Clay
happy birthday to you
and many many more.
Loved your birthday blog!
We love you!!!!1

HeartofGoldPlate said...

Everyone check your shoes. I think someone stepped in birthday.

Jim Wilson said...

Maybe it's coincidence, but i was listening to some Muddy Waters on the way in to work this morning. I can remember enjoying some Muddy back in your basement room in the late 80s ("Give me Champagne when I'm thirsty ...").

Anyway, I think the line from "Young Fashioned Ways" is appropriate:

A young horse is fast
But an old horse know what's going on

Have a listen


Anonymous said...

I hope you had a nice birhtday. Indeed, we all have our "list". but you are who you are because of all the trials in your life, like we all are. I could go back and change a thousand things in raising my sons- but they turned out to be great men inspite of me and my mistakes. I love them more than life itself, now they have only added to my life by giving me wonderful daughters and grandchildren.
Just a note... show your feelings more-I like that kind, soft, loving side of you. I couldn't help myself tonight when talking to you, I kept looking at your face thinking how much you looked like daddy.
I love you brother.

Leanne Clothier said...

Oops! missed it :0)
Happy Birthday for yesterday Clay xxx