Cleburne, Texas

that moment you realize you're going to wind up retiring to cleburne, texas and drive into waco twice a week to teach kids about '80s history

and every day you'll walk past the town square where your grandfather played in the band before joining the marines & hanging out in cuba.

and all the kids will look at you like you're some old fossil and they won't know. they won't know. they won't know what's authentic.

with their play stations and their mobile phones. not one of them will know the joy of an honest to god analog synth...

...or the joy of breaking the rules and getting "high" off mexican skunkweed in the ditch behind the subdivision...

...while your parents are still at work and you turn to your best friend and ask "do you feel anything? i don't feel anything." you realize

the crap you're smoking is total shit and you can't wait to leave texas because this town is full of little people with closed minds

and you work hard to get through college only to discover professional life is a cavalcade of assholes and you remember that one night

when the fireflies danced in the creek bed behind the house and you went out and looked at them and they flew all around you

and carried you off to some firefly dimension beyond the human concepts of time and you woke up a little later realizing...

you had just ingested maybe 6 or 8 of those purple microdots and had become unstuck in time and traveled the universe except

you notice the universe is made out of cockroaches and they crawl all over you now but it's okay 'cause it's beautiful and life is beautiful

and you wake up and it's your retirement dinner at baylor where everyone talks about how christ-centered you are

and you release a stream of verbal invective against the hypocrisy of modern religion and a university that makes you lie about your feels

and everyone is shocked and looks away except this one young girl who's like maybe 19 and has this look on her face

and it's the first time she's seen anyone speak truth to power and she doesn't know how to relate so she tries to be your lover

and you have to tell her "no... no... i really am too old..." and you never see her again but hear she's working for an NGO

trying to fix the world and then you snap back and realize life is a day-dream of a 12 year old 'cause you're bored at the scout meeting

and it's okay. it's okay. the world is what it is and your attention is drawn back to the fireflies.

and you wonder how you wound up in cleburne, texas.

but it's okay.