“You need to stay out of the sun tomorrow”
I pulled on the frayed edges of my cut-offs, twirled my cigarette in the ashtray….
“You’re getting wrinkles”
“Is it supposed to rain tomorrow?”
“No, its supposed to be beautiful”
“Then so am I”
Vanity and arrogance dribbled from the corner of his lips like tobacco spittle on an old lady. Didn’t your Mama ever teach you if you can’t say anything nice, not to say anything at all? Hey big boy…..whatcha gotta say?
He can’t say anything nice, so he just sits there. Stewing. Trying to dream up something else that will crawl under my very last nerve and get to me. He hates when he can’t.
These wrinkles aren’t from the sun, you silly fool. They’re from living. From failing. From falling. From flailing on the living room floor and living through “that” night. From laying down in the middle of the road in front of a car driven by a 16 year old maniac and bellowing “over my dead body”. From the Christmas Eve “Ma, I think she’s pregnant” revelations and the "oh, thank God she's nots". From kissing dirt and kicking it into gravesites 25-35 years too soon. From wars and ghettos and moments we weren’t poor, but broke as hell. From laughing hard and late in life. From loving and taking chances. From running, climbing, crawling to get here.
The sunshine just watercolors the lines on my face. Makes them glow in the dark. I’m proud of them. I've lived through them.
I believe in peace and love…
Take that, and put it,
Where the sun doesn’t shine!