The moonlit bridge

I walk down the stone and dirt path towards the abandoned train bridge. The moonlight is guiding my way down the path as I head to my hideaway spot, so I can look down at the flowing river underneath. The beer cans are clicking and clacking as I walk down the path towards my destination. I am alone, allowing me to fully take in the moment. I walk out to the middle of the bridge and sit down. The sky is filled with millions of stars engulfing the night’s mysterious nature and the moon is its yellow self, pulsating an aura that just captivates your senses.

I sit there on top of this train bridge watching the world pass me by. I sit back trying to understand why I was brought into this world and why I just cannot relate to anyone. I crack open a beer, take a sip, then another and get comfortable, because I just want to be alone and hide from everyone.

The Raritan River is flowing higher than usual tonight, but the sound of the current eases my soul as the water splashes up against the pilings. I start to cry, because I am feeling so lost, scared, and angry. I take another sip, then another. My mind is full.

I look across the river as I am sitting atop of this bridge in the middle of the river in between two towns. Bound Brook is to my right and South Bound Brook is to my left and I sit there watching, listening, wishing, hoping, dreaming, and there I ponder my future. Will I survive the night?  Will I keep fighting?  Will I jump? Will I give up on my stance, just walk away, and say screw it and disappear?  And, so it goes on in my head.

First beer complete, crack open the second and take a sip, then another. The Raritan River is playing a song for me. A song of silence and calm as if the river knows I’m hurting inside and wants to ease my pain. I hear no pounding, no yelling, no screaming, no music, no people rambling and rambling on and on about whatever vice has the grasp on them for the night. I don’t see any arguments, fights, dirty looks, intimidation advances, the good guys or the bad guys. I am alone on top of this bridge wondering why I am here and why I cannot relate to anyone.

Today, this bridge is no longer there, nor is the GAF Industrial Manufacturing Company that sat along the canal. This was my father’s and his father’s time, a booming time for business; one needed to have gunpowder and lead in the blood. I often wondered about how they survived through those times from time to time.  Endless moments of fishing and 4 wheeling along the Raritan River and Canal Road are long gone, but the memories will remain until my dusty bones fly away.

Both my grandparents are buried next to one another in that area and eventually, I will take a drive to go and have a talk with them. I will leave a cigar for my grandfather (Buster) and flowers for my grandmother (Violet). And there I will sit and have a long conversation and/ or cry. One thing for certain is that it will be emotional, and as I drive through the town and see how the world caught up, memories will flood my heart.

Release

The sun breaks over the horizon

The tears flow

The heart breaks

The tears flow

The  engines roaring

The humming of the heart

The tears flow

The compass is set

The destination unknown

The tears flow

The heart beats

The heart pounds

The wind blowing in my face

The tears flow

SCREAM!

LET IT OUT!

STOP HOLDING BACK!

LET IT GO….

Scream

Scream

Scream

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The tears flow

 

FIRE

Show me what I cannot see

Show me what I cannot feel

Show me what I cannot find

Show me what I cannot have

Show me what I cannot be

Show me what I cannot do

Show me what I cannot accomplish

Let my heart learn

Show me what my heart cannot see

Show me what my heart cannot dream

Show me what my heart cannot feel

Don’t tell me

SHOW ME

SET ME A FIRE….

Show me what my heart sees

Show me what my heart has found

Show me what my heart feels

Show me what my heart is

DON’T tell me

Show me

Set me a fire

Set me a fire

Set me a fire

Set my heart a fire

The night sky

The lightning crawls across the sky

The sky lights up like a concert

The lightning dances through the clouds

The sky goes black

The wind is blowing gently

BOOM

The air explodes with sound

The sound is shaking the ground beneath your feet

The sky lights up like a concert

The lightning dances across the horizon

The night is calling out

BOOM

The ground rumbles

The lightning is singing a song

FLASH

BOOM

FLASH

BOOM

The nights sky goes dark

The debate:

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This one will be a reader, folks….

So, my wife and I were talking about what the definition of friend means, more or less what she called a fairweather friend. We each had our own interpretations due to different upbringings, but we still came to the same conclusion. Of course this occurred after my wife and I debated a little bit. Seriously, I mean what fun is it to a have a beautiful partner, if you cannot debate or even talk about the smallest of things, no matter how mundane. My wife is my friend, my love, and at the same time she drives me up the wall to no end.

So before we even continue I went ahead and did a brief definition search, so we can look at this definition of friend or fairweather friend from different standpoints of exactly what friendship or a fairweather friend entails. So, from an urban point of view or what one would describe as an urban definition from the Urban Dictionary, a fairweather friend is

  • A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. At the first sign of trouble, these capricious, disloyal friends will drop their relationship with you.
  • A friend who is only around when they need you.
  • A friend who is only nice to you when it’s convenient. Someone who’s wishy-washy. Someone who is a “backstabber.” Someone who abandons you in certain situations.

I imagine we all know of individuals such as these defined here.

Here is one from the OED:

  • A person who stops being a friend in times of difficulty.

Here is one from The Cambridge Dictionary:

  • Someone who can be depended on only when everything is going well- someone who is a good friend when it is easy to be one and who stops being one when you are having problems

So, each of these definitions were pretty much aligned with one another with minor variations. I wanted to research further, so I looked the philosophy of friendship from Stanford and here is the short, sweet, and simple version, because there are hundreds of thousands of articles pertaining to this meaning for this single word (Friendship.)  Stanford’s interpretation is that friendship is a uniquely personal bond for the comfort of the other that encompasses some measure of benevolence. Now personally this is a pretty good summary of what I tried to sum up of what I have read of what friendship is or is not meant to be and put it into words.

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So, let’s break that down a smidge; first friendship is unquestionably very important to our duration on this planet as human beings, I am sure most of us would agree on this, because our friends have a cause to be in our existences and more importantly because our friends recognize how to help influence who we are as a person. I am fortunate enough to have a couple of them.

For me, friendship comes down to respect! Will you do for me as I would for you? I will listen to all of your stories and lies, I will listen to you crying, going off on rants, and/or cantankerous attitude. I will as well help you in any way I am capable of helping, may it be financially in which I would give you the last $20 out of my pocket or any type of support I am able to provide. I will break my back working to pick up the slack at work with broken bones, being sick, or on the verge of collapsing and even then I would still get back up to keep helping. I will give you my life “God forbid if it ever came to that!” A “my life for yours” concept… (Bob Marley put it nicely: Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.) Just don’t and I mean do not disrespect my intelligence or my understandings of certain facets of life such as my heart. This single act will most definitely and without a doubt cause me to cut you loose.

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You see, to me the heart knows best and this will generally guide one through all situations regarding life. You can go ahead and throw in religion, politics, experiences, education, business, social media standing or whatever tax bracket you are in, but it will always come down to one’s heart and how you feel. This is my opinion and you are more than welcome to agree or disagree. Why? Because you know your own heart and you are the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror. So, what’s my definition of friendship?

I will tell you how to lose it. Denigrate me or my wife (family) or tell me I’m stupid or insult my intelligence and you most definitely have lost my trust! Why trust? Simple! That’s friendship….Trust is KEY to my heart, because it takes more time to gain trust than it does to lose it.

Here are some mottos I wanted to throw in and there will be those who already know these:  For myself to all of those fighting, have fought, or about to fight, I so humbly wish I could be checking your 6.  In my heart I am with you and thank you!

  • OTATSIIHTAISSIISTSTKAKIO PIKSI  MAKAMOM  TA  PSSWIA
  • DE OPPRESSO  LIBER
  • IN GOD WE TRUST: ALL OTHERS WE MONITOR
  • GUSTASUSSIMILIS PULLUS
  • MINUTES AND HOURS-NOT DAYS AND WEEKS
  • NON POTESTIS  LATERE

Marines: Honor-Courage-Commitment

Navy: Non Sibi Sed Patriae! -Potus Mori Quam Foedar  -Pax Per Saentiam – I’ve not yet to begun to fight!

Army: This we’ll defend

Airforce: 1. Integrity first   2. Service before self   3. Excellence in all we do

Coast Guard: Semper Poratus— (Always Ready)

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So, trust is paramount to friendship; once said trust is gone, the bonds of friendship are not easily mended.  What replaces that broken trust needs a red hot knife to cauterize the wound that leaves a deep scar. That may be harsh, but I have had enough cuts to my heart and ego I could be Freddy Krueger’s nightmare.

I am finally starting to stand up and use my voice rather than brawn (the pen this time is mightier than the sword) and I will be dammed if I will have someone tell me I’m useless, uneducated, or I just don’t understand something because of age, the lack of paper credentials, a learning disability, or, my favorite, I am too intense. I have a voice and I am going to use it just like anyone else.

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Being a friend involves respect; those who are my friends understand the necessity of respecting my heart as well as my quirks; I am who I am and I cannot change that!  So, who is my friend and who is a fairweather friend? You decide….This constitutes family (blood) as well. You cannot be or call yourselves family if you are not being family (meaning:  individuals who are present and supportive.) So, friendship is a funny concept, isn’t it? As is the heart?

My words—–My heart—–My stand…..

So, if you made it to the end of this post, how would you define friendship?