As a boy of 10 or 11 I remember going to see a motivational seminar. All the kids in my neighborhood lined up to watch these hulking men bend rebar and tear phone books in half using just their bare hands. Amidst the loud music and applause these men delivered a stirring message for us to stay in school and we too could do anything we put our minds to. But their show closer, now this was a real feat of strength and concentration; where a master martial artist destroyed a stack of bricks with his bare fist and brought the house to it’s feet. Oh, it was amazing for a young boy, a spectacle to be seen for sure.

I left that place alone, feeling strong and uplifted and as I crossed under the freeway and hurried the 5 or 6 blocks home while the streetlights were popping on one by one. The world was new to me then, fresh, a peach waiting to be eaten by any man strong enough to grab ahold and sink his teeth in it. Yes, that was a beautiful feeling. But between that day and this one, nearly 30 years later something, maybe even everything went horribly wrong…

Yes, I’ve punched these bricks a few times, but these are not those type of bricks. You see, those bricks were made for men to break, while these bricks are made to break men. Somewhere on that short walk home those streetlights turned into search lights and I panicked and ran, only to slip and tumble into a world of unbendable rebar and unbreakable brick walls. Here life is no peach, and you bite only to be bitten and those who don’t bite, are eaten. What the hell happened? How did I get here? I ask myself, still out of breath, still in a panic. But the answers are like weed smoke slipping through my fingers, one of many things I still can’t get a grip on.

Things like time, thats a mystery of the ages. Time is the all seeing and all knowing judge that inevitably decides the worth and value of all things. Time hold all the cards and time tells all the secrets. Time heals all, time reveals all. Time has no friend and time takes no prisoners. And no matter what the song says, time is NOT on your side, no it is not. Every breath brings you closer to the abyss, every heartbeat subtracts one from your account at the bank of time where we all end up dead broke.

How do I return to that boy with the heart full of hope, on his way home racing the harmless streetlights? Do I need to see a hulking master martial artist rip, bend and break time with his bare hands or at least speed it, slow it, rewind it or stop time altogether. Would that restore my optimism? Maybe this is nonsense, just loose thoughts, or maybe there is truth here.

Maybe alone, surrounded, these bricks have infected my mind, I’ll let you decide…

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