Living your life the way you truly want to live it is one of the hardest things to do in this world of ours. Being true to yourself seems to be unattainable when others around you are factored in. But once you get the hang of it, it is the only way to live.
A friend of mine use to say, he saw no correlation between drinking all night and waking up the next day with a splitting headache. It was two different days or time periods in his mind. He clamed that because he thought this way, most of the time he did not wake up with a hangover. I would smile and say, “You just didn’t drink enough that night.”
Drinking massive amounts of coffee seems to go with the description of being a writer. At least this is true for me, and most of the writers I’ve run across in my lifetime. I think because the only time I find I can think clearly enough to write is in the middle of the night when most of the non-writers are sound asleep. It truly is the best time to write. No phone ringing, no bill collectors, and certainly no knocks on the door. Well most of the time no knocks on the door.
I do believe coffee will be my downfall one day. I drink cup after cup with a boyish grin all while typing wildly on my keyboard. When my mother was pregnant with me she use to drink 3 pots of coffee a day… When she told me this, I thought, I had to be floating in coffee when I was in utero instead of amniotic fluid… I’ve wondered from time to time if my obsession with caffeine had anything to do with her drinking so much coffee. Then my friends voice pops into my head, “I see no correlation between the two…” Correlations or not, we all do things in life or make choices that effect us and others. But coffee is a choice I’m not giving up anytime soon.
I was lucky enough to grow up with a colorful cast of characters known to the rest of the world as my uncles. My Uncle Randolph was never short on words or ideas for that matter. He told things like they where, and you knew without a doubt where you stood with him. I remember going to visit him and my Aunt Jo some summers and always being in awe of their lifestyle. They had goats that roamed their home freely. Not those cute miniature ones you see on TV that fall over every time someone’s cell phone rings. They were full grown poor people’s goats. Big ass Billie’s with thick 12 inch horns and scruffy beards. The animal’s hooves thudded loudly on the wooden stairs as they went up and down… Their hides were also tanning outside in the hot Florida sun. Nailed and stretched on boards leaned against my uncle’s old cut-pine home. My aunt and uncle’s lifestyle of living I’m sure sounds barbaric to some. But they lived the way they wanted to live and that’s what so many people are afraid to do.
One winter Uncle Randolph was given a load of collard greens. Enough that he soon realized he did not want to go through the work of hand washing them to get the soft sugar sand off the thick vein filled leaves. So, as many of the folks in my family often do, he used what was at his disposal. He loaded them into his washing machine and hit the start button with a smile… At least he was smiling when he told me what he had done. His wife, my aunt wore a displeased down-stare as me and my uncle began to chuckle. So now looking back on that time I think, correlations, greens, wife’s washing machine, and wife not being so happy. Hmmmmmm.
There’s always outcomes, good or bad that come from the choices we make. My Uncle Ralph was an old-timer, ( Born 1914 ) that lived by his own rules. One example of his rugged way of life was him going to the barber shop and getting his tonsils removed. He had been sick for weeks. The barber convinced him he could pull what was left of his decayed tonsils out. No anesthesia but plenty of mind over matter they began. Piece by agonizing piece the barber plucked away at the inflamed tissue with long steel tweezers. Some how my uncle managed to sit through them being removed. He went home and was soon sick with infection. He would end up staying a few weeks in the hospital extremely sick. He, by far was one of the toughest man I’ve ever run across, and I’m proud to call him my uncle. He met an untimely death when I was about 18 years old. He and a friend had gone fishing on a river not far from his home. My father and I had fished that same river with him before. It was a major waterway with a fast current. But this time when my uncle went out, the river was even faster, swollen from a storm that had blown through the night before. Uncle Ralph and his friend drowned that day in the muddy Georgia water they had fished on all of their lives. Correlation, choices, consequence, or achievements they're all just merely words describing someone else’s adventures; good outcome or bad, if you are not alive and living your life it will always be someone else who will know what it’s like to fail or succeed…