For Those Who Can Still Ride An Airplane For The First Time

I’m 35 years old and am trying to figure out most days what being a man means.
I don’t drink fight or love but these days I find myself wanting to do all three. I don’t really have a favorite color anymore but I did when I was a kid and back then that color was blue. And back then I wanted to be an architect an artist an astronaut a secret agent a ranger for the World Wildlife Fund and a hobo. And when I was six years old I used to throw my clothes into my blue and yellow plastic and vinyl Hot Wheels car carrying suitcase and run away to beneath the dining room table.

I’ve made out with more girls than I wish I’ve had and not nearly as many as I would like to. I’ve been in love 4 or 5 times so I doubt I’m gonna try that much more often. And I spend most days making pictures or thinking about making pictures–or masturbating or thinking about masturbating–and I dream too much and I don’t write enough and in this world of fast faces I’m trying to find God everywhere–trying to figure out this thing He made called a man.

And the television tells me that it’s bare-knuckled bombing.
And if I had a tank or was a movie star I guess my penis would be huge because that’s what they keep telling me. And that’s what I want because that’s what being a man means or least that’s what they keep telling me.

My Pops. He takes care of us.
He puts the garbage out twice a week.
He drives forty-five minutes to water flowers.

I’m sitting on a bus when a seven year old boy carrying a book of Robin Hood sits down next to me and asks me my name.
Anis.
That’s a nice name.
Thank you, what’s yours?
Quentin.
Anis? Do you wanna read with me?

So tell me what my fists keep writing.

My fingers open like gates when I type and the wind is swinging in the wake.
I lift bridges with poems and forests grow in my mother’s eyes. I am looking for God Quentin
while this world forgets you for trying. For this world hates your eyes Quentin. For they are simple and they are pure. And Quentin this world hates your fingers–little like the stems of flowers–for not being able to pick up the things you have left behind simply because you are still learning to do so. I don’t drink fight or fuck but these days Quentin it’s only two out of those three that I don’t do. And I’ve fallen in love 6 7 8 9 10 times Quentin so I don’t want to want to but I still do. And I want to find God in the morning and in the tired hands of dusk–at the mouth of the river and down by its feet but instead I drive sixty through residential streets praying to hit a child that he may stay forever full of night with simple outstretched limbs trying to pick up way too much way too fast forgetting what it means to be a person in a world where egos are measured with tabloids where automobiles double for morals where beliefs are like naps–you leave them behind when somebody touches you. And in a place where somehow oil always takes precedence over life I find myself sitting on a bus watching a small boy float down like fresh water carrying a book I used to asking if I want to share what he sees if only for a little while and I do.
And then asks if I want to give to him what I see if only for a little while.
And I read to him. And then says to me he is going to show me the world and starts reading me the sentences himself his hands dancing back and forth stumbling over words not noticing all the time what is written sometimes skipping whole lines because his fingers are moving faster than what they are showing his eyes and I want to tell him slow down Quentin.

Slow down Quentin.
You don’t have to touch and go.
You can see it all if your finger whispers on one word.
Slow down and hold what you see just a little while longer.

For in a world full of fast faces
I’m looking for God everywhere–
trying to figure out a little better
this little thing He made called a man.

– Anis Mojgani

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