Monday, July 14, 2008

Entry #32

Freebird
by J. Scott Ellis


I’d almost forgotten what this feels like. The open road. The wind in my hair. Fuck the helmet law. Nobody is tying me down with rules again.

I’m never looking back.

I’m free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot change.

Skynyrd , baby! That’s what I’m talking about.

What happened to the Freebird I used to be? We had a pact that we’d never sell out. But one by one we got picked off by our own private Yoko’s like low-hanging fruit.

It’s not like it happened for me all at once. Lacy was all about the gang at first, but then she started to tug. It’s just for the weekend! But then it was just another. And another. The boys saw it for what it was and called me out. It came down to a choice.

But when Lacy got pregnant, there was only one choice.

Marriage, house, addition, mom-van, payments, painting, mowing, weeding, reaping what you fucking sowing, another kid, screaming, fighting, crying, and Lacy not even remotely the girl I met.

And my glorious Hog became a rusting derelict, banished to the recesses of the garage.

But if I were being honest, I was… empty …before Lacy. The guys had my back in a fight, but they didn’t keep me warm at night, or nurse me when I was sick.

And, sure, my kids can be righteous pains, but they’re…

… Just like me.

That’s not so bad.

No U-Turn, huh?

Just watch me.

27 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

How sweet :)

Nothing more blissful than to realize how blessed is the life one has.

Well narrated!

J.C. Montgomery said...

Great ending! Sometimes the concept of freedom doesn't necessarily coincide with the actual thing. I like it when he realizes its blessings he's counting, not curses and turns back. Wonderful!

Beth said...

Oh no, not another 'blame yoko' person. I just had to get that out of the way. I don't like Yoko, but she didn't break up the Beatles. haha

This was so different for you, Scott. I'm glad he decided his wife was better than all that boring freedom!

Sarah Hina said...

Fabulous ending, Scott! I love how his rebellion remains steady throughout, even with a changing goal.

Freedom can be so tempting with the burdens of responsibility. But it can also be empty by yourself. You captured that so well here.

Great writing!

24crayons said...

I enjoyed that the wife was more important in the long run too - and he could see it all for what it was.

Important stuff as you age.

Jaye Wells said...

I liked this a lot, Scott. Great job!

Scott said...

Thanks, Sameera, JC and Jaye!

Nice to see you again, Mrs. T! Thanks for the nice words.

Beth - Yoko was convenient, and it's not my fault. He said it, I didn't. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what to write about lately. I want to be more involved with real life, and not always that of cold-blooded killers and crime lords. It's nice that you picked up on that.

Sarah - You amaze me with your insight, not only on this piece, but in other comments I've seen from you here and abroad. I'm so happy that you picked up on the rebellion theme. I had this big plan to have him outrun the cops to make it safely back home, but I ran out of words in a hurry. I only had six words left to say it in. That's what's cool about the word limit.

Sheri said...

This was really good. I enjoyed going on the "ride" with your MC. He began "free" and running away and then slowly remembered what he was running from was exactly what he wanted in the end. I really liked it and it was very well written too. On and yet - he always remained true to his character - he still maintained his bit of 'driving' to the beat of his own drummer...

Wannabe Writer said...

He rode his bike back to freedom. I like that he figured out what true happiness is. Good job. -Rita

BernardL said...

Good story.

SzélsőFa said...

He's a realistic character and I also loved the moral of the story.

JaneyV said...

Wow! I love the way this story went 360 so that he realised what he'd gained and how much more value that had than what he'd lost.

Awesome Scott.

klgilbert said...

"And my glorious Hog became a rusting derelict, banished to the recesses of the garage."

We all have our "glorious hogs" rusting away somewhere in the recesses of our existences. Mine is a painter's easel. I get it out and paint every 6 months, when I want to define myself. After creating a rather bad paiting, I happily go back to making meatloaves again. Just a little rebellion to let us delineate ourselves.

Your writing always brings out the philosopher in me. Not that I am a good philosopher...but, nevertheless. Love your ideas and writing style.

September said...

if only midlife crisis were acknowledged so easily and stopped before they happened. I love this story and that he realized what he had and returned before he went too far. Great story in so few words. Very visual - I could see years and years of his life.

Scott said...

I want to reply to everyone individually, but what I really want to say is thanks for all the comments and nice words.

To klgilbert, your comment was better than the story! Get a blog so we can visit you. And thanks, and it's nice to be respected by so wonderful a writer. I pull out my guitar at the same frequency as you do your easel. I have a great many glorious hogs just like that, and it's so astute of you to draw that parallel.

mr. schprock said...

"But one by one we got picked off by our own private Yoko’s like low-hanging fruit."

You realize, of course, that a hundred years from now The Beatles will be forgotten and the conceptual artist Yoko Ono will stand as a great icon of the 20th century.

Awesome writing as always, Scott. Fuck the helmet and write, brother.

Vesper said...

Freedom and ...freedom. Hmmm... Yes, I believe I've had such thoughts going through my mind.
Great story, very nicely written!

The Grocer said...

Enjoyed the honesty in this tale.

Dottie said...

Your narrator's voice feels very real. I don't think he made his choice until the moment he made it. He could have easily gone the other way and that feels human and authentic.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like the character's inner dialogue; his reasoning is sound and he still knows how to have fun.

angel said...

that was fabulous! i love the turn around!

Linda said...

I love this story. Great portrayal of his inner thought process.

laughingwolf said...

life in the slow lane ain't so bad...

ChrisEldin said...

It's not the choice everyone would make, I think, but you captured the ambiguity of 'freedom' very well.
I enjoyed this one very much. Nicely done!!

Kathleen said...

I think I liked this one the best of all your stories, Scott. It ended beautifully.

jason evans said...

Wow! A whole progression of life deftly captured in less than 250 words. Damn hard to do, but you did it! Great attitute and flow of thought. High marks overall.

Congratulations on the Honorable Mention!!

Aine said...

Love that last line! True to his character-- he'll always find a way to feel rebellious, even when his priorities change.

Excellent story!
Congrats!!