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Friday, August 23, 2013

The Overall Man

Ripped overalls with pockets full of broke.  Brown bag full of sorrows, and hopes full of let downs.  Banned from society, outcast from the world.  You the dreamer no longer dream, but only hope to find where this old dirt road leads.  You walk with pride, as your knees fucken scream with pain.  Holes in your shoes like holes in your heart, shot from the gun of loved ones and sprayed by the machine gun of life.  You still stand, I still write, we still walk, we still carry on as our blood shot eyes fill with dirt and our hair with exhaust from passing trucks. The smell from the black fumes reminds us of home. It reminds us of hiding spots while parents fought, closets full of coats and umbrellas that came alive and comforted us as a crying child.  The dark is safe, the light is open.  A cigarette brings back James Dean, as the 3 legged dog morphs into a strutting cheetah.  Messy hair from falling fast, soon combs back like a wet comb as we fall forward.  A chip off the old black that could get a cargo ship lost in its depth.  A middle finger cold and frozen, stuck high from seeing so many stuck up.  Red knuckles and permanent damage from fist to wall, hate to self-pain, and frustration to must figure something out or else.  No money to spend, but a fuck load to gain.  No future, but a hope to one day look back at the past.  A dying want, with nothing to feel, a fight deep down, that seems to only roll in the belly of hunger and a mind of dizzy as the lack of sleep drains your thoughts.  Homeless with no home, loneliness with no one, empty and ready to fill the void that is restless within you. 

An old abandoned warehouse lies in ruins at the end of this dirt road.  The green grass slowly turned into burnt rubber, while the smell rose dark and the backward town seemed hidden but visible from where he was standing.  The once blue sky turned yellow, as black clouds traced through like arrows being shot by a thousand gladiators.  The graffiti on the walls of the broken warehouse dripped like tears, while the windows closed like fear.  A street sign that reads welcome, as the five-story warehouse quietly whispers turn around.  Wind that talked, and weeds that grew so high they wrapped around the man's ankles.   His cigarette burnt his fingers, making him jump and say, "ouch!" a necessary reaction.  He whipped his hands against his orphaned overalls, while his head turned like a spinning top trying to figure out what and where his windy dirt path had taken him.  A small child appeared randomly by the front door of the warehouse entrance.  Probably 4'9 and 180 pounds of muscle.  She was strong and confident, wide-eyed and alive.  A tall and skinny man walked up behind her with his eyes never unlocking from the overall scavenger that found himself now surrounded by at least two dozen men, women and children.  A complete circle was formed, smooth and fast, out of the dark shadows they appeared.  A few more from the warehouse, even a handful climbing down the black trees that were bent and fallen but perfect for climbing and tree forts.  The dirt below his feet was grey ash that slowly fell from the sky as if winter time during Christmas.  Memories of the once good times in his life passed over his face, before realizing they were and have been dead for many years.  His overalls slapped back and forth from the wind that swooped up and over the cliff in front of him.  It seemed as if the world literally ended 100 feet from the broken warehouse.  He started to lean his head up and to the side as if he was a kid in a car seat trying to see out the windshield in front of him.  He was suddenly awakened from his thoughts and curious adventure, a mental adventure on top of a real life adventure.  It was hard to faze the man that walked the dirt road with torn cloths and eyes filled with abandonment.  His chip held a lack of surprise, while a tender and sensitive feeling of sadness created a shock wave of constant depression.  But this......this gingerbread house in the middle of the black forest made his heart beat for the first time in years.  His lungs filled back up with air, and then the silence broke.  

A little girl broke the circle and sprinted towards the man's leg.  Her mother ran after her with her arms out as if trying to catch a chicken.  A panic took over the mother, but soon came to ease as she saw the little girl and the man talking to each other in a safe an ancient whisper.  The little girl said, "Hello", and the man said, "Well, hi".  He looked down at her glassy brown eyes and asked what her name was.  She responded by not answering the question, but instead saying "Their are many bad days in this forest where the dirt path meets, but my mom says that if we keep training hard we can make it to the promise land".  He looked up to the mother who stood a respectable distance away, while still being motherly.  She looked back at the man with no emotion, only her hair in the wind, and the men behind her who looked like monsters with beards of strength and legs of trees.  The women looked like lions, fast and furious, strong and hard working.  These people didn't look like the normal folk, they looked as if they.......well........they looked like him.  Holey clothes with ripped hands.  Sad faces with hungry souls.  Dry marks from tears, under a brain full of motivation.  The only difference from the man in the middle of the circle in the burnt black forest on the edge of the world and the strong people is that they looked like they had found something to be motivated for, while he stood empty handed.  He looked down at his hands with his forehead crinkled tight, while his eyes pierced down looking for something that should be resting like home in the palms of his hands.  But nothing, for the people around them had something.  The little girl tugged on his overalls that looked as if they were going to rip at any minute. She said, "Follow me sir, I want to show you something".  They started to walk to the front door of the abandoned warehouse where the tall man with the red beard still stood, eyes locked like an eye to a target.  He seemed like the leader, but then again... they all seemed like the leader.  The man looked back at the mother to see if she had any problem with the new plot of the situation.  The mother nodded her head, walked fast and then joined them by grabbing her little girl's hand.  

Inside the warehouse laid 30 to 40 medal cots.  Side by side, dream by dream, wall to wall they sat with medal feet, bodies of blankets, and faces made of pillows.  The little girl jumped on one of the beds out of either excitement from a new visitor, or just because she was a freak athlete, and that's what athletes do, they move, they jump, and they test the limits.  She was defiantly testing the limits of her mother, because she was soon told to get down.  The man entered the next room and to his surprise found something that would change his life forever.  It was a large bar that stood 30 feet tall, and at least as round and wide as the whole warehouse.  How he didn't see the massive metal behind the house seemed impossible.  It was shinny and long, dense and strong, alien like was an understatement.  The overall man reached out and touched the bar as if touching his first-born's face.  There was a moment of complete silence while he tried to gather his thoughts, and control his emotions.  He had so many questions, but stayed quiet.  Besides the little girl, no one had spoken yet.  Just look, expressions, and gestures were being used thus far.  The only noises were coming from the wind that had now died down, and the footsteps that had now stopped while admiring the pure shock this lost man was in.  Wings..........wings he thought, with his hand leaned against the bar and his head down with thought.  He looked up at the man with the red beard and asked.....wings?  The tall cold man who seemed to take the leadership roll nodded his head as to say, "Yes".  "Wings to fly," the little girl said as excited as possible.  "If we lift the bar hard enough everyday, my daddy says the bar will someday fly us away to the land of bright."  She said this while pulling each finger down as if she has rehearsed it a million times, and once finished she looked back up and followed with a jump and a clap out of excitement for nailing the plan the tribe had in front of them.  The man looked fast to the bearded man with a look of excitement as well.  The beard of the man nodded up, then down.  

The wings on the bar spread at least 100 feet wide on each side.  On one side of the bar the wing hovered over the black forest that covered the warehouse and the people who lived in it.  The other wing spread out past the end of the world, or what really was the cliff that led to the land of bright, where the trees grew tall, grass grew green, and the ash was replaced by rays of sun and wind of warmth.  The mother of the little girl finally spoke.  Her voice was soft like an angel, as her brown hair now fell straight down on the side of her face from the wind dying down.  "There is only one way to get to the land of gold and bright, green and happy, cabins of wood and water of clear."  She then looked at the bar......he followed her eyes to the bar.......the quiet stood for a while as he felt at home, as he felt alive for the first time, as he felt a part of something, as he felt he finally had something to feel, grab and lay in the palm of his hands.  He looked back at the mother with a smile on his face.  The black ash started to fall from the sky, and the bad day started to come to night.  His eyes wide, his heart beating fast.  

She looked at her bloody hands and then smiled at her beautiful daughter looking up at the overall stranger.  She then said in the most calm and soothing voice he had ever heard in his whole life.  

"To train everyday."  

Wings 2016 


  1. I feel like this is a you coming out of retirement post... Come on Jon you know you want Rio 2016

  2. Jon- I fully support your retirement. I feel like you are going to do wondrous things with your speaking. The world needs more motivation- I know you are going to make huge differences in the lives of those that get to hear you.
    BTW- this piece is awesome. I havent read everything youve written (yet) but I do listen to the podcast.