a little “once upon a time”
by tobias crabtree
from a letter not too very long ago…
it may just be the way things are. you know that saying? i heard it a lot from older men when i was a younger man. now i say it. when i think about it, it seems to be kinda taoist. so maybe there is some natural tao in every old man, in every man growing old…and i guess that includes every man. the younger you are the less you want to pay attention to the someone with shaky old hands. chasing all those dreams with muscles bulging out from under a too tight t-shirt is just so much more attractive. but the now is always now and youth is a shooting star.
do you have time for a once upon a time? i’ll keep it short. i caught a memory this morning. from nowhere, it bubbled to the surface and i closed my eyes and let it reel past while the clock flipped and showed 5:42 a.m. there was this time when i was 15 and my dad and i road all night to the town where he was born. we each road a motorcycle and neither of us wore helmets (they weren’t required back then in the states we road in…so, of course, if they aren’t required…). i didn’t have my drivers license yet, my dad wasn’t worried over stuff like that. he worried over things like whether my heart was given to jesus, after that everything was negotiable. but yeah, we pulled into a little town called redrock in the heart of oklahoma. it was so old. down a road, half paved, and on and on. a sign said “big dip” and there was one. a left and several miles put us in front of an old house with chickens and several dogs, the woods beyond hummed with the early morning sounds that can only be found in oklahoma. the old pond. everything wrapped in pre-dawn blue. it was cool. there was a light on in the kitchen and i saw a woman. my dad said that it was his old aunt. an old indian man stepped out on the porch and his hair was white and he had on suspenders and horn rimmed glasses. uncle edgar. i stayed for a week with them and it was the only time i would ever see any of them. they are long dead and i imaging the house still sits at the end of that road…for sure it does in that blue morning memory that came to me in the dark…..