Driving home, late at night in the Corvair. Past the whitewashed cross at the corner, with its base of hellfire red christmas lights. Past the big old conversion van with Waylon’s face on the side, tall as the man himself. The earscorching siren blips twice and the roller lights of the deputy’s cruiser bop red and blue chasers through the back windows and strobe like disco lights on Waylon’s weary smile.
“Shit. Fucking shit.”
The hot engine sputters and finally dies. I wait for the boots to grind across the sand scrabble pavement and keep my hands where everybody can see them. And before I open the window I mutter it again. A common refrain in those days for me.
“Five fat years and five lean years, that’s what they say in the book.”
And I didn’t know what it meant then, I said it bitter, to ask what historical richness had bought me this immediate poverty.
To ask of God why and when would mine arrive, when I’d have and not worry, when I’d slumber untroubled and toil endlessly as a machine on a track and never quaver with fear or in laziness slack. When I’d feel like this fire had purpose and direction.
To ask Him why these were the best years of my life as all His children kept telling me.
To ask Him to not exist at all, for all the good He does.
And now I’m lean and times are fat, and I say it now with a quiver, to ask what time will take from me to repay this immediate wealth.
To ask of God how and when mine was found, and to worry over when it’ll change. To ask Him to return to me the untroubled slumber of my youth, the strong back which let me toil without end, the ignorance of consequence which let me never quaver, and the aimless fire which burned out all laziness.
To ask Him why these were the best years of my life and how I could make them last just a bit longer.
To ask Him to exist. For all the good He does.