Won’t Back Down

hilltop road near Taos, New Mexico


Almost tried to buy a house that wasn’t right. See what forgetting who you are can do?

When we moved from Maryland almost 15 years ago, I sold or gave away most of my tools. And I had tools for everything. If you needed something fixed or built, I probably could have done it. There was welding equipment, too, and everything I needed for bronze casting, from mold-making materials to my handmade melting furnace. I’ve barely scratched the surface here, and all of that is gone. At the last minute, I even sold a footlocker full of selected tools that I was going to keep for only fifty bucks because I thought we needed every penny. We did, but did I have to hurt myself?

“I’ll just buy new tools when I get there,” right. Without a home despite seven moves, constant money fears, equilibrium a distant thought. Yes, I’m a writer, I get that. But I sure miss being able to fix stuff and make things. Before we moved to New Mexico, I thought about building a solar melting furnace for metal casting. Just imagine all the mischief I could foment. Didn’t do that, of course. I’ve been here almost 15 years and sometimes it seems I haven’t done a goddamned thing.

You know what that is, don’t you, all of it, the whole of that old tale? Not going for what you want. The thing where you settle for less or run away because you just aren’t good enough. What, in a grown man? Damn straight! Denying oneself pleasure knows no age limit.

I suppress the urge to pick up my guitar because I “should” be writing, for example. How sick is this, my brothers? Those old dead people taught me well, but I am onto them, even though they almost made me go for “safe” and buy a little house where writing is the only thing that I could do, and the garden tools would still be outside in the sun or in the ugly structure of my choice that I had built upon the land with tools I don’t possess.

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  • Rita January 4, 2014, 10:29 PM

    Good for you, figuring this out. Now please pick up your guitar.

    • JHF January 4, 2014, 10:31 PM


  • Karen Streaker January 7, 2014, 9:49 AM

    It’s never too late…..you have so many talents and so many directions to go …..how fortunate for you….enjoy every minute of the rest of your life…you deserve it!

    • JHF January 7, 2014, 3:56 PM

      Hey, thanks! I feel pretty good, actually. Have several projects underway, so we shall see.

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