riding shotgun

by tobias crabtree

when you tend a fire, you care for it. you make sure it doesn’t get too big, that it doesn’t burn out. you tend it. so, to tend, in my opinion, is to care for something. someone might tell you tend to your own business, and they might be right. my business needs tending, that’s for sure. i like to tend. it’s a good thing.

i like to pretend as well. i guess pretending is tending something that doesn’t exist yet. it’s abstract tending. pretending is ok by me.

i have always pretended that the passenger seat in my vehicle, in this present case it’s a toyota dolphin, is reserved for the person that is my running partner. i have always wanted some hottie to ride shotgun with me, someone that can take the wheel and let me ride shotgun. hell yeah, that sounds cool to me. and we’ll drive toward the farthest wilderness and on and on until the road runs out. riding shotgun is like saying, “i got your back.” i like to pretend that this is something that is possible and that i am possible. i think i’m possible. pretty sure, anyway.

i mean, what do we want? i think we want a solid affirmation that we’re gonna be ok. that we are ok. we want to be ok. ok is good enough for me. i used to want to be better than that, but i think i might just want to be ok. all the way to the end, please. that’s good.

i run along in my old vehicle and i sing songs out loud to myself, mostly out of tune. but i sing them loud and wildly. i sing about what i believe in and what i believe will never happen. i sing about suns and moons and little birds and love and the loss of the love. i sing about being badass and about raging into the night under the stars that came from all of yesterday’s yesterdays. i don’t sing well, but sure as hell do sing. it’s a part of my pretending.

i slept so hard during a nap today that i had a dream. it was a dream of a speckled eagle flying back and forth out of a window. i don’t know why it was flying through that window and i don’t know exactly where i was in the dream. i was in some secret spot where i could look at speckled eagles without them knowing it.  i woke up and felt like i had just seen an eagle, i suppose i just had. in the middle between what is and what might be, there is a gap. that gap is where i spend a good bit of time. i’m there, pulling on the strings of reality so that i might tie them to my dreams. i’m closing the gap. if it works out, i’ll let you know.

so the next time we’re hanging out and you see me drift, don’t be mad at me. i’m just out there in the gap, pulling on strings and trying to make things better. it’s a kind of pretending. tending what might be.

big hearts are very important. we should stretch them out.