There’s Nowhere to be When You’re Being Here Now

28 August 1999 (you got less than a month, right?)

Hey Dude,

Today be Jamie’s birth date day, and we’s havin’ a barbecue
in his honor if he ain’t drunk an’ if he shows up.

Jack be doing the cookin’, I’m on the eatin’ committee.

Maybe we can do it again when you get out, in your honor.

(Oops, I didn’t mean that your honor. No, I won’t reproach the bench.)

I had me one of them birth date days too, 4 days ago.

It was ho-hum, which they get after the first six years.

An I didn’t get no cake… an I didn’t get no party neither…But I turn 38 in 2001 so mark your calendar. (I bet that’s one thing you got good at.)

What did I get, you ask.

Lessee, mmmmm oh yeah! I got a couple of CD’s, an ooh! Ooh! That reminds me–you ain’t seen my stud-o-saurus yet.

He don’t walk softly but he do carry a big stick.

Where was I, oh yeah, the “loot.”

I got myself a couple of pairs of REAL GOOD sunglasses, a DVD, an a
headache.

You got me worried with talk of Bactrin and Pentantamine.

Is the prison doing this for prevention or did you come down with AIDS?

Did I mention Jake FINALLLLLLLLLY moved in, lock, stock, and porno?

I gave up but suu-prize, suu-prize, suu-prize.

Jake was in solitary for 8 months.

Eight months!

I hope they named a tile after him.

I guess I better work up an appetite by staring at food for a while.

Them pills my doc gives me don’t work so good.

I hate it when the present is the past and the future is now.

I guess what I mean is there ain’t no place to be when you’re being here now.

Got that?

Laters dude!

 

9c) Rob Goldstein 1992-2018

I found this on an old hard drive. The file is dated 1999 

 

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Mother, You Need Shoes

I would not have noticed her had the subway car not cleared
of people at Lexington Avenue.

She removed a tattered stocking cap and stuffed it
into a grimy army jacket.

She held a smudged white bag between her legs.

She reached into it and pulled out half a doughnut.

That was when I noticed her shoes.

The uppers had split from the soles; she wrapped
her feet in newspaper and rags.

I thought, Mother,  you need shoes.

I wondered if forty dollars would do.

I looked up and watched her untangle a lock of
matted grey hair.

She reached into her bag and found a bobby pin.

She styled the lock of hair into a bun

I had forty dollars.

It was for vitamins; specifically, anti-oxidants.

My body was rusting faster than a wet Ford.

The crows feet around my eyes whispered: erase us; your
happiness demands our absence.

I examined the old woman’s cracked and broken shoes;
they were useless for January in New York.

She closed her eyes, as if ready to savor a long warm ride.

Maybe she lives in the subway, I thought, like those people
in the documentary,  Dark Days.

If she never leaves the subway she doesn’t need new shoes!

My crow’s-feet said, ’Yes!’

But that can’t be right, I thought; an old woman, alone, with
nothing but a stale doughnut for dinner.

I saw myself stand, and watched as I took two twenties out
of my wallet.

Then I knelt and said, “Mother, you need shoes.”

She opened her eyes and smiled at me and
nodded in agreement.

“Will forty dollars do?”

“Yes,” she said, “God bless you.”

I gave her the money and returned to my seat, and
listened as my crow’s-feet maliciously threatened
to deepen and spread.

 

Rob Goldstein (c) 2014-2018 All Rights Reserved
First published 5/29/16
Revised 4/7/18

 

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NOT MY SECRET...My story...My truth

Robert Goldstein wrote a blog about recognizing himself. If you aren’t following him I highly recommend it. He is very talented and wise.

I was thinking about his post as I was on my walk today taking pictures of randomness that caught my eye and allowed me to be mindful. A piece of grass still alive in an entire yard that was dead, a tree stump with one leaf and one acorn, a piece of fern coming back to live when everything around it had been frozen in the latest freeze, a camellia bush that was entirely red and one that is just like my 14 year old but at least 10 times it’s size, and a few feathers that I consider a reward for my picking up a few sticks in my yard.

As I looked at these photos on my camera they looked exactly as I saw them…

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The Problem with Pictures

I have a problem with pictures.

We don’t recognize the guy in the picture.

He’s not Rob Goldstein or Mateo

or Bobby.

or Sara

or Felicity

or Peter

or Bob.

He might be Matthew.

When I’m asked for a picture of myself all of my alternate neuro-networks light up in confusion.

Whose picture?

Collage Portrait in torn paper

“ You peer into the mirror and have trouble recognizing yourself.

You can’t remember whether you actually did something. . . or only thought you did.

You feel as though you’re just going through the motions of life.”

The Stranger in the Mirror.

When someone shows me a picture of what they say is me I look at it and smile and thank them.

I never say what I see.

Portion of a 3-D Collage on Clarion Alley

That’s how we lose friends.

Rob Goldstein 2015-2018 All Rights Reserved