I’ve been messing with this piece for a long time. I acknowledge now it is time to let it go:
I’d like to acknowledge a few people without whom none of this would be possible. My parents, of course, and God, I’ve got to acknowledge God, it’s required of these kinds of things. I’d like to thank the friends that got me here, like Eddie and Steve, Mike and Dave, Sean and Tom, Tom and Tim, oh I could go on, yes I could go on. I’d like to thank those that influenced me: Tim and John. The Muppets and the Velvet Underground. Jackson and Bruce and Billy and Eric, Jimmy and Neil—the other Neil. I can’t forget the places from where I would not end up here: the Shack and the dives along the way. The Club and the Bull and Finch. The Golden Tiger and the Blue Door Blues and Jazz club where they don’t play blues nor jazz and the door is brown, but really that makes me thank them more. I’d like to thank those who took a chance on me and then broke up with me; those that said I was worthless and forced me to do something valuable out of spite. I’d like to thank Spite. God Bless Spite.
I’d like to acknowledge the people who left impressions on me that cannot be repaid. The profs and elementary school teachers. Mr Kingston for caring; Mrs Guidice for understanding we were only five years old.
I’d like to acknowledge that I’m impatient; that I’m intolerant of people who repeat themselves; that I’m lazy; that I’m prone toward wandering instead of being focused. I have to acknowledge right here that I’d much rather have taken more time after high school; and then after college instead of ending up in Mexico headed to New York. I’d like to admit it was simply a matter of thinking something would simply drop in my lap.
I’d like to acknowledge that I am irked by people who use sentences in the form of a question when they’re not really asking anything. I’d like to acknowledge I’m as curious as to what happens to the assholes who I’ve taught as much as I wonder about the honor roll members, who often, I must admit, are equally assholic.
I’d like to thank my son without whom I would not, to the best of my knowledge, be a father. I’d like to acknowledge it might be the only thing I never tire of doing. I’d like to admit right now I tire of doing everything else really pretty quickly.
I’d like to have known my grandfathers.
I’d like to thank Camus for making me question everything and Indiana Jones for making me think I know everything. I’d like to acknowledge the people who pick up the cigarette butts most people flick out the window because they’re too-lazyass-bark-at-the-moon stupid to use their ashtray.
I’d like to acknowledge Aaron Sorkin and the writers of West Wing and Newsroom for some of these lines.
I’d like to thank Kathleen who I knew when I was five. And Kay, of course, and the early morning calls of cows in the distance. I’d like to thank Essie. I’d like to thank Lynn and Kathy and Michele—not that Michele the other Michele—and Mary and Joan and Margo and Lisa. I do not wish to thank Stacey. Freak.
I’d like to acknowledge people like Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa and other contemporaries of ours for making me realize I’ve really done nothing at all.
I’d like to thank my inexperience in starvation, my ineptitude in homelessness, my warless neighborhood, and the plague-less road I’m on.
I’d like to acknowledge rest stops and urinals. Or trees, I acknowledge both equally. I’d like to take some time right now to acknowledge the passing of time, the quickness of life, the fleeting moments during which we are truly passionate, the ability, the possibility, and the stability. I’d like to recognize my ability to know when it is time to move on, to let go.
I’d like to thank myself for not hurting anyone. I’d like to thank those I might have hurt for dropping my classes. Ironically, I’d like to acknowledge I’ve hurt way too many people. I’d like to take it all back. I’d like to give it all away. I’d like to leave it all on the playing field. I’d like to go back and run one more time on the south shore beaches where my grandparents lived, where we’d walk along Freeport Avenue smack dab in the middle of the road where the cement slabs met along long strips of soft tar, and we’d press our toes into the tar as we made our way to the ocean, and be two behind my sister, one behind my brother, in front of some cousins, and later we’d go back to the house and explore the ancient attic. And we’d drive home late and in the morning I’d wake to the sound of foghorns drifting up from the Great South Bay. I’d like that a lot.