“The darkest days”


The darkest days
Winter of 1992 was holding on and I was hiding out on Highway one. I brought the vodka and pineapple juice to Big Sur. Me and my soldier friend Robert Padget were drinking hard.  He was yelling at the sea and he told the sea to f-off. I laughed at him standing near the moving water. I thought, how small we are. Padget was a wild man. He was Baltimore born and he loved to test life and the Army system. He taught me how to suicide board the Pacific ocean and he was hell-bounded. He didn’t care.
I walked to the hidden path at Big Surf. You climb-up to a mountain peak and you can see forever. I said a prayer.
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“Please Lord. Forgive me for the sin of drinking the gin, whisky and the tequila, forgive me for becoming a barren soul and alone. Once I held great dreams and today I’m damned. Somehow I got twisted and I’m used up, I lost my mind and I lost my heart. Dead brothers and bad decisions led me to a poor ending. Now I love the drink, the free highway and the long-legged ladies. Please show me, the darkest days are needed to show us. The light of hope can be found again. Thank you for the sea and thank you Lord, for keeping me safe from my insanity.”
The highway is a fine teacher.  It showed you new places, it teaches you the gin and juice become bitter with time. It teaches us. Women may come and go, love is rare and sweet. Love is like a desert flower, rarely bloomed and a blessing to see and behold.
I looked at the mirror yesterday. I saw a stranger. Old face had left and new face, wore and torn eyes looking gray and lonely. I went back to Padget. Crazy man is trying to escape the rocks and go into the open sea. I joined him. We can never escape the rocks. Big Sur, wild sea and perfect place to dance with the sea.
Big Sur, teaches us. We are just mere sand in a world of great oceans and great land mass. We are just visitors upon the earth.
Old men love the dark days. Filled with anger and hard dreams. Today Johnnie would love to visit Big Sur. This time he would escape the rocks and suicide board down the coastlines of Big Sur. Find the hidden bay filled with crystals of many colors. He would leave them be, just hold them for a moment. Old men know, love the dangerous days and love the good days more.
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                              John Castellenas/Coyote