Relativity SimonAmerican Tune (1975)

The secret of life is to grade on a curve. If you’re reading this you, probably like me, have a standard of living blessed to be in the top one percent of the 8.7 billion living on the planet. Yet, as Einstein said; “It’s all relative”.   

As I shake off an epically shitty day; the kind you can just smell coming, I think, despite the knowledge that I could be waking up in Damascus dodging kill crazy Syrian storm troopers; despite the fact that an angel prepared for me more food for my noon meal than a Somali eats in a week; despite the new full size luxury car and the Italian cashmere top coat and more cash than most families of four earn in a year stashed in the vault; I feel like the last chapter of what the fuck’s the use.

I woke at 6am for god knows why to the sound of rain and it was cold as ass. I had to check I was still in Oakland, CA in mid-July. I called home to find my son was making funeral arrangements for his mother and she’s still breathing; though barely. And I heard the news that my sister is dizzy from traversing the turnstile at the hospital; as a result she lost her job.

Chances are ripe I’ll have to move back home, a couple thousand miles from paradise to live in the frozen tundra of northern Wisconsin where it was a humid 100 degrees yesterday and six months out of twelve it’s way below zero. It’s an idyllic spot on a lake and the one benefit is I get to hang out with my 90-year-old mom who is my favorite person in the world; but still the crib is 14 miles from a two mule town where everybody looks, talks and acts the same.

Billboards dot the highway with people size letters proclaiming “Fudge, Cheese and Videos Next Exit” every few miles alongside others that simply say “Vacationland”. It’s not quite hell since the northern lights are visible from the back porch; but you can see it from there. For icing on the cake I also had to jettison two friends.

A gentleman never leaves a woman. Instead, we act up until they leave us and let them have the high ground. It’s the noble thing to do. I probably shouldn’t reveal that man secret and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you ladies but I do like to make my words educational; apologies guys. She left me but it wasn’t until today that I said goodbye. I don’t normally cast off people like dead skin but she committed the one sin that’s unpardonable; she stopped being fun.

In the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, I loan a “friend” $500.00 bucks for what he promised would be two weeks so he could pay his rent; that was over three months ago. It’s not the money; I felt like I’d never see it again when I gave it to him. But he’s put me on his “pay no mind:” list and the slight, much worse than a blow, has me dreaming of driving over there and tossing him through his front window. I don’t want to hurt the guy. I just want to get his attention. If and when she becomes fun again and he pays up I’ll welcome them back in the fold. I’m not psychotic about it.

I thought I’d just veg out and go view the new Oliver Stone flick at 7pm since I like to watch movies about people whose lives are worse than mine. But I forgot that normal people with jobs are out and about at that hour and there was an atrocious line. One of the quirks I picked up from my Dad, who stood in one to many lines when he was in the army, passed on to me detesting queuing up for anything. The only lines I enjoy are white, flakey and expensive and originate in Peru

I was feeling blue when I opened a message from my Muse, the angel who assembled my comfort food. I’d shared my angst with her earlier in the day and for my health and sanity she sent me a poem about all the things I ought to have gratitude for and while reading it I felt the pain flee. It caused me to dispel all that heinous shit and I suppose I’ll just let it go; for today anyway. So instead of breaking something valuable and having to pay for a new window, I gorged out on ice cream and wrote this lament. Love that girl.


About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

2 Responses to Relativity

  1. Roy says:

    Life could be a lot worse. You could be moving to Fresno or Detroit.
    You could be in a wheel chair, or have terminal cancer, flesh eating disease.

    You get to spend quality time with your mom (duriing her remaining years ono earth) in a beautiful place. You leave Oakland and Berkely, Murder Capital of CA and home of misguided spoiled intellectuals who whine more than they effect change,

    Take up hiking, hunting and fishing and learn how to relate to country people. You will have a lot of time to write and read.

  2. James Mcfarland says:

    Very sad but tremendously filled with powerful emotion. A 9.8 rating, one of your best albeit painful.

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