Random Case of Funk

by tobias crabtree

Words. They spell out our feelings, kinda. Depending on how well we use them, they transfer our thoughts into the heads and hearts of others. We explain ourselves. Well chosen words are magnificent.

Lyrics and quotes and poems and sayings. My life is filled with the thoughts of others. I comfort myself with words written by someone long dead. I can read Rumi’s poems and learn to be better at being. The back portion of my RV is lined with books. I can see them when I lay down at night and I can feel their presence. Thousands of thoughts held, like butterflies in an aviary.

I am less a writer. More an illustrator. I have more control over the lines in a drawing than I do in script. I try to write. Most of the time I feel like the fella who showed up for the triathlon in jean shorts and flip flops — I’m down to try, but I ain’t gonna impress anyone.

It does seem like the old-fashioned use of words is changing. Conversations are not the same these days. Distractions are rampant. Words are being traded in for digital expression. Misunderstandings thrive in a world of texting and shortened messages.

I sure do like sitting with my friends and seeing them see me. I like laughing out loud with my lover, in person. I like to see the expression on a person’s face as they speak to me. Words with heart. Words with smiles. Words that I need to hear coming from the face of a friend. Words that hold the sound of my Mama’s voice, warmed by her wonderful heart. Words that tell my good people I love them. Words in the night, with the stars overhead. Whispered words. Remembered words spoken in earnest. Words that tell a story and hold the precious attention of the little ones. Words kept for the sake of the fragile. Words properly placed to help a limping soul.

We set a lot of store in words. We even choose what we will say on our tombstones! Us humans are a crazy lot. Seems like we always have one more thing to express. I’m included. This morning, I’m here, trudging away and writing with one of those little black clouds over my head. Grumpy. Bad night’s sleep. Barking dogs. Upset stomach. Right smack dab in the middle of this life. I reckon I’ll end this pile of writing with a misunderstanding. I’ve always kinda liked the band Rage Against the Machine. Yesterday at the tattoo shop I heard a song by them that I hadn’t heard in a while. I was drawing mountains. As usual, I knew some of the lyrics but not the name of the song. So I was singing, “it’s a random case of funk, it’s a random case of funk….” I looked at the name of the song and it is, ¬†Renegades of Funk. No biggie, I’ve just been singing Random Case of Funk for 16 years at the top of my lungs and no one has told me that ain’t right. Thanks a lot everyone. And you know something? I like Random Case of Funk better anyway. It fits me.