Springtime in paradise means it’s only now time for the birds that hid in the winter cold to come out and find another bird to sing sweet songs to; to give themselves to halfly and fully; to grow old and fat in their perch together, overlooking someone’s children torn to bits on the pavement below.
The heat does other things like turn the road blurry in the distance and some bikers would tell you it’s always an omen when it gets blurry enough that the line between the sky and the dirt (they don’t say horizon) blends so much you can’t tell till you’re there. If you ask what kind of omen they might say the kind you won’t understand till you’re there. And if you say that doesn’t really make much sense they might just say it’s cause you’re not there yet.
There was a reason for staying and it had to do with a name of a girl that some song had told me means she’s somehow related to fire. Her hair was red; but not the red of fire. I don’t think I’ve ever seen real red fire; it’s only ever a young yellow. Her hair was marigold yellow. I’d heard 3 people who know her all suggest one after the other that her hair was blonde, red, and brunette. I promise you as the person who spent the most time looking, it’s the color that comes about when you combine those colors just in the way that makes marigold yellow.
And there was a reason for going that didn’t have any name I hadn’t already heard at every other moment of my life. A name like Jack that wasn’t just that. Whether it was another name, or was just something metaphysical – I still don’t know, and promise if I did, I wouldn’t say. What I can say is the name that said go was the one that other people called me and when I called it myself I heard where it went and because I think I was jealous of where it was going I did what I could and followed it out east wherever it led.
But I didn’t do that either. Instead I spent time wondering if the birds had just started singing, or if they’d been doing that all winter. Had it been this many this early in the morning? Was it now that they were just employed on the weekdays as well? What kind of bird wants to sing so loud and pretty before dawn on tuesday? Who convinced him that was worth it? Are birds just the most devout creatures on the planet; God said “let there be song” and there was, by the grace of a couple cardinals and bluejays sat outside my window. Are birds just the horniest creates on the planet; their father’s all told them, “early bird catches the worm!” Who the worm is in this situation, I promise you I haven’t figured out. And if I did figure it out, I wouldn’t tell you, but you’d know I knew anyways.
There was a good hour I set aside everyday to work on my empathy. I focused primarily on hate. I felt fairly sure that there had been a few wrongs done against me but I also was sure I didn’t really care and I thought that was just a sign of a lack of empathy. So to fix it I spent that hour meditating. I looked for the angry people and found quite a few. I asked “if they’re so pissed over this crap, why aren’t I more angry over this crap?” I’ve yet to realize if the answer to that question says more about them or me. I have realized though that I don’t know what the hell makes other people angry. So I stopped empathizing and started just pretending. After enough of that you even convince yourself. It’s not so hard to fake feelings like that. When you first try you know it’s crap but it’s a bit of rush. The real change is when you think about it later and you remember being angry. You might think “well that’s a fake memory”, but you crush that thought and you say, “yeah, and if I was angry, there’s a reason.” And for people like me who have a reason but no reaction that’s a good healthy process to learn how to hate a few good people. I think it’s just earnest education. So I did that for sometime and concluded in my hours of empathy that the fire girl I might’ve mentioned was as bad as the silent P in Pterodactyl. I could explain why but that’s not entertaining and you know why anyways.
But it’s hard to be mad all the time; and sometimes I just didn’t care enough to be so empathetic and have to give the natural damn everyone has inherent and that’s when I’d say the girl with the Marigold yellow hair was as good as whatever I wanted to remember her as. And that there, in the end, is the only truth I’ll ever know for full-certain.