Ok, I am definitely not Rita Hayworth. However, I have an affinity for the movie The Shawshank Redemption. It is my escape, my happy pill when I find myself wondering what is going on in the Mind of Shoo. I can’t explain why I enjoy the movie so much. Nor can I explain why watching it really helps me out of the dark days life brings my way. Perhaps its the friendship between Andy and Red that makes me smile. Maybe it is how brilliant Andy was in fooling everyone during the years he carved his way out of prison. Maybe because the movie mirrors my life in the many ways:
The prison holds my mind. The large stone walls seemingly rising to the heavens. So many thoughts awaiting parole. Housed so long within the aging walls, often silent, always haunting me in the darkness of my cell.
I feel like Andy Dufresne. I am charged with a crime, which in my case is alcoholism. However I am innocent. I was not the alcoholic. But I am the one sentenced to life. Just for being part of dysfunctional upbringing. It is this upbringing that keeps me imprisoned. I, like Andy, have my moments of joy or feeling free. Like on the roof of the plate factory or listening to opera. I have my hobbies. They are numerous and varied. I have my friends, everchanging over time.
Boggs and the sisters are the characteristics that Adult Children of Alcoholic Parents suffer. As we go through our everyday life, they are there watching my every move. Waiting for the right moment to pounce. To take me against my will. Sometimes I fight them and win. Often I just give in. I am still waiting for Office Handley to rid me of these ugly character faults for good. To beat them to submission never to bother me again.
Speaking of Office Handley, I had him in the form of my father. His baton was alcohol. Using it to inflict damage both mentally or physically. Easily flying off the handle at the slightest issue. Often, he had no soul.
And I have time. Time to slowly tunnel away through rock in an effort to be free. To be free of the chaos that haunts me. Time to manipulate the world around me so I am achieve a successful breakout of my own demons that have been holding me all these years. Like Andy, I silently plan while I’m playfully outgoing and friendly. Concerning. Seeking knowledge. Waiting for my day to crawl through the sewage of life and land safely on a beautiful beach. Free from my past. Forever.
Finally, like Andy I have hope. As he writes Red in the movie, “Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good things ever dies.” I’m waiting for my Red. Whoever that may be. I’m patient, like Andy Dufresne. And hopeful
We are a growing community of blogging writers who come together each week from all parts of the globe to share individual flash fictions from a single photo prompt (above). The prompt goes up early Wednesday morning CST to give each writer time to compose a story by Friday. Some use the photo as a mere inspiration while others use it as an illustration. Use your imagination and think outside the box.
I am over on words, but I couldn’t cut back much more. In fact, this is just a clip from a story I am writing which came to mind when I saw the contrast in the two cellos side by side. Actually, the photo was perfect. The two cellos are protected by the wooden box. From all things on the outside. Here is what came to mind when I saw the image above. I call it “Beautiful Music”
After riding our bikes on the church grounds, I sat on the steps with best friend Monty. Two ten-year old kids in a rural southern town enjoying a summer day together.
A bike approached. The man on the bike said “We don’t like coloreds on our side town. Go home.”
Racism. I learned of it at the expense of my best friend, who was black. All I could say was “Sorry man.”
Monty smiled and said “You take cello lessons right?”
“Yes I do.”
“We are like two cellos except our exterior is different shades,” he replied. “We have the same number of strings. We’re shaped the same. When played we sound the same. Just beautiful music.”
I have always wanted to be a writer in some shape or form. There are so many words in my mind just dying to reach the tip of a pen onto paper. I have NO professional training whatsoever. I only started writing recently after being laid off my job. It was a shocking event in my life. After a few days, those words just started to flow out my mind as if a dam had just broken. I don’t have any classification for these words as they appear on a paper except just that, words on a paper. It is a phrase I heard Rick Rubin, producer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (and many others), use when he described how their song “Under the Bridge” was born. He was thumbing through Anthony Kiedis’ notebook when he came across the lyrics, which Rubin described as not yet a song but just words on a paper.
I am about to put some of these words out for public consumption. Am I nervous? You bet! I am uncomfortable with it? Very uncomfortable to be honest. However, I feel it’s a good time and venue to begin. A little background on these particular words on a paper, which are about to become words on your computer screen. They came to me when I saw a beautiful picture of a tree standing alone on a mountainside. I once heard Tommy Shaw of Styx fame talk about his song “Crystal Ball”. He described how it came to him (at age 17 no less) in a “whoosh” and he had to frantically write it down on paper. That is how I can describe how these words came to me as I saw this image (not the one pictured above).
So here are my “words on a paper”.
There he sits high on a hill All alone and majestic. He’s bare and yet so beautiful So picturesque against the clear spring sky bu with green below.
There he sits high on a hill All alone and majestic. His roots are deep as he reaches for the sky. Waiting for his leaf buds to grown. A cycle that come yearly that began with a seed so long ago.
There he sits high on a hill All alone and majestic. Sit there with me, holding my hand. So that the seed of our friendship can be planted. Let our roots grow deep So our friend is as beautiful as the tree.
Ok a little background first. I am from a small town in south Louisiana with a population of about 6000. There were only two high schools, the public school and a small all girls catholic high school. In a town of this size, everyone knew everyone. With that said, it is now that I say I was not one of the popular kids in school. And I wasn’t one of the tortured unpopular kids either. I was kind of the faceless kid who hung around with some of the popular kids. I am not sure how I ended up with the popular kids, but there I was. Those friendships were meaningful, deep and at the time I treasured them dearly. Some I do. But those friendships also amplified my insecurity. And that was hard.
So here it is, 25 plus years later and I joined facebook. I joined with the intention of allowing my family that is still in Louisiana to follow my kids growing up many miles away. What I quickly found was a large number of people I went to high school or knew from being from a small town are on facebook as well. Through facebook, I quickly understood some things are still the same. Cheri and Lori are still beautiful! Dain is still funny. Troy is the still immature as he was in high school. On top of that, he is a school principal! Go figure. He even said to me, can you believe I am a principal! There were a few surprises like Jon, a class valedictorian a couple of classes before me, bought a sailboat and is sailing the waters of the Caribbean and Atlantic. I never imagined him doing something like that! But its cool. I thought in a general sense, it was status quo all these years later! Wow! Times don’t really change!
At first it was cool cause I was able to see so many people I hadn’t seen in years. Where they lived, were they married, see their kids, their successes and their failures. I was happy to get friend request from many who I hadn’t heard from since we received our diplomas. Some request were expected cause I considered them close friends back them. Some request were from people who literally didn’t say more than 10 words to me back in the day. I suppose I was just a number, another reason for them to say they had over 500 friends. Me. Are you are sending me a friend request? Why? You called me pimple face in 8th grade and you sent me a friend request? I think NOT! This is my revenge against you! I will not be your 500th friend. You will have to say you have 499! Take that. And I didn’t get some request from a few I thought I would. How depressing. Its is like I am in high school again. It shouldn’t matter now I told myself! I am a grown man, not an insecure ugly kid I was then. I am a grown man, great father and non drinker! But insecurity raises its ugly head and on some days its tough. Especially considering my battle with depression I wage to this day. How odd.
I move forward. I still enjoy facebook. Seeing everyone’s activities they chose to share with the facebook world. Some respond to my few post, most don’t. Some post often, some rarely. Most days it makes me smile. Some days its just depressing. I suppose that’s normal, I don’t know. Perhaps I should bring this up to my therapist. I just thought I would throw it out there into the blogging world! I feel more secure there!