I have lived beyond reach, outside of me. Beyond days that chased me down summer beaches; closer to the night, but still not a part of it. My battered shoes have carried me down streets I may never walk again, through towns I can’t remember, kicked under beds in musty rooms, crossing the gravel of castle courtyards, walking toward beautiful things, away from hurt.

We are all men of midnight, in shadows hidden. Daylight, fearful as it must be, shows me weaker than I care to be. Whatever message I have to give is woven into the texture of my stories or songs — plain though they may be. Now all life’s schedules have been met, there are new songs to sing and old dreams to dream, recapturing those dreams that escaped or grew and went off on their own, only now coming back and demanding to be held, or shaping themselves to be lent or given.

I have longed for you, thought up songs for you, missed and mourned you in times past. No map brought me to these tranquil flatlands, clearings calm, feelings without fences. I started in not knowing who I am. When was it, never mind. I dwell too much on me. I built sure places, constructed in the mind where it’s quiet and lived in private. There is an emptiness and it is deep; a wound so old, that healing won’t work.

So, the merry-go-round goes on turning and every face seems just the same except the smiles on the faces of children. Never fading, even when disappearing in the rain. I have so little permanency and not much time left up ahead. I ought to stay at home behind the iron gates and the rainbow glass. No one need ever know if the wounds are fatal or if I’m waiting out some healing time.

October, with all its satanic glory, witches, ghouls, is still the month of dying flowers, trees undressing down to their bones. The streets full of monstrous children, behind masks they dance and laugh and play. They come from nowhere and will go everywhere, striking on doors for reward. A contract signed by demons. Hadn’t we all a youth that was fabulous and heroic.

Let us all accept the strength of October, take a friendly hand, and combat strength with tenderness. Take all the costumes hung up in your imagination, throw away those ones that have you screaming, and dress up in the delicate, the enchanted, and offer love’s sweetness at every door.

Do what you can. For now, stay well. See you.

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