HE’S the man sitting upright in bed. With the big ears and hope-filled eyes. He’s lost some weight. A little thinner around the cheeks than he once was. His short hair now peppered with grey. His name is Juan Carlos Pajon. A man whose body was literally opened up by a vehicle that struck him 7 weeks ago. And I say “him” because Carlos was exposed. He was outside his vehicle, having just swapped a flat tire for a spare when the vehicle struck him at speeds upward of 80 mph.
The rain fell for so long. And since darkness had occupied so much space in their lives, it was hard for either to imagine a day when the sun would actually shine again. But in time, through silent prayers and things hoped for, a day came where their eyes witnessed the sun breaking through the dark billowy clouds above. On this day, the last Sunday of a most arduous year, the San Diego sun rose to its highest point in the sky. By mid morning, all the earth below was doused in soft light. Dead corners of society where dark shadows crept now sprouted with new life. Birds high up in the trees sang beautiful melodies that the elderly, scattered in bushy parks below, made their calculated chess moves to. With the rain now surely an afterthought, the residents of San Diego looked to one another, smiled and breathed sighs of relief… That is all but one couple.
Imagine you’re on a plane. You have a window seat. You raise the cover on the window and a rush of light pours in. You gaze out on the stratosphere. White fluffy clouds blanket the sky, stretching into the endless distance. Now, the captain makes his announcement. The plane is about to make its decent. You follow the flight attendants instructions. You raise your tray table and seat back to their upright, fixed positions. Time passes and the next time you look out the window, there’s a city awaiting you down below. From this vantage point it looks so nice and organized. Colorful houses neatly laid out with trees and pools. The world below looks so inviting, so decent, so promising. But you know it’s not. Because you live in it. You know the world can be cold and unforgiving where people die unexpectedly and kill one another for senseless reasons. But your plane is making its decent toward that chaos. My aunt, someone’s mother and sister, no longer has to deal with that world below. She’s finally free. And you wanna know something, I think she opened the door to her new residence with a smile of relief on her face. Not relieved to leave her love ones behind, but the relief to be free of the worlds pain. She is with the lord, in heaven, and there is no greater place.
Worked the polls today. And boy were they long. But I met some amazing people. Met a 99-year old lady. She was just four months from having lived a century. I met a 94-year old man and just now, I shook hands with a 92-year old woman who was just as spry and giggly as a school girl. There really is a certain beauty to have lived and seen all those years.
A painting I began in October of 2015.
“When writing is a struggle, I paint what I feel inside…”
For the longest time and for reasons even I myself don’t quite yet fully comprehend, I’ve been putting off watching, Fruitvale Station. Saw it tonight with moms, though. First and foremost, rest in peace Oscar Grant. And prayers for the family you left behind. Secondly, Ryan Coogler, good sir, you came with the fire in this film. But after watching Fruitvale Station where police brutality was highlighted in the senseless shooting of a black man lying facedown, a thought came over me as my mom wept on the couch behind.
I feel like I am standing in a clearing. A clearing within a deep forest of endless Redwood trees. A forest laden with fallen leaves the color of burnt sienna. I feel bad for stepping on them. I should apologize, but I don’t know how. They must’ve fallen an awful long way. Because the trees, they are so tall. Breathtaking. Peaceful. I wonder how many years they’ve gone through? What they’ve seen and how many human breathes they’ve actually taken? I tilt back my head, look up to see that there’s no end. All there is, is light. Clear white light. Ray upon ray of warm light slicing it’s way through the swaying canopy above. The leaves silhouetted against the light are merely black dots. It doesn’t even look real. Maybe they’re birds. Yeah, maybe they are birds. Black and white birds of all species. I can hear them. All around me chirping, communicating. I wish I could fly with the birds. Maybe… No, actually, no I don’t. It’s good that we can’t physically fly. Soaring above the chaos below is something that only our minds need to do, not our bodies. My guess, if I was allotted one, would be that it is early evening. Sure feels like it. The sun is beginning to tire. I can see it, slowly tucking itself behind the snowcapped mountains far off in the distance. I wonder who’s over there? I wonder if they’re feeling the way I am? Wonder is all I can do though, because for some odd reason, I can’t move physically. I’m frozen by the warmth of it all. And although I can’t put one leg in front of the other, I have no desire to. Where I am at now is okay. The sweet, clean air smells so good. The hairs on my body raise high up straight every time I inhale and exhale. My mind wants to say it smells so fresh, but what exactly does fresh smell like? If here is the only thing I knew, the only thing I experienced, would I be able to truly distinguish what is and what is not? Probably not. So what am I saying… I don’t know exactly. And sometimes, that’s okay.
The complete TV Pilot script entitled “THE E-2’S“, formerly known as “YOUNG GO-HARDS” will be uploaded and available for reading early tomorrow afternoon. All 68 pages, folks. Under the Scripts/Stories tab.
Caution: This is a very, verY, veRY, vERY, VERY different project for OnceUponeAde. Compared to his previous projects, you may think he’s fallen off the deep end. But read it through. Give it a chance. You may actually like it. So with that said, I hope you enjoy. And as always, constructive criticism is more than welcomed.
TV show log line: With the 2008 economic collapse imminent, three tight knit friends, who just so happen to be black, put their lives in America on hiatus and pursue new lives countless miles on the other side of the Pacific Ocean in the Republic of Korea.
There’s truly nothing more gratifying than enduring. Making it through something… anything. The idea of, ‘making it through’ never coincides with simple, painless endeavors. Just the ones laden with pain and bereft of rest. ‘They’ say we are quick to remember the negative and rarely the positive. Well right now, I’m not thinking of the back aches, sore swollen hands, the long days and cold nights or even the sick feeling of having battled unforgiving seas time and time again. No. I’m actually sitting in a quiet library. Gazing out the window. Admiring the setting sun’s warm colors playing off an array of clouds drifting across an evening sky. It’s chilly here. The day is drawing to an end. Aside from the maintenance man and a few attendants, I’m alone. The corners of my mouth are slightly curved upward. You can say I’m smiling. But while it’s a subtle grin, inside my emotions are running wild as I think back on where I was. The maintenance man and I nod our heads at one another. So much is conveyed in a simple lowering and raising of one’s head. Slowly the maintenance man moves on, disappearing within shelves stacked high with books of all sorts. I turn my attention back to the window only to catch a bald eagle flapping it’s large wings in complete control of the sky as it soars by. I’m beat, but what a ride it was. What a ride it always is. That’s what’s it’s all about right, thinking back. Reflecting on a lived portion of your life. And if you are able to think back with a smile on your face then there’s so much more waiting for you around the bend. At least that’s how I see it.