On The Balcony

My feet hang between the bars of my brother’s balcony railing. Two kids ride by on their bicycles, laughing about something. I watch them for a minute and then go back to smoking my cigarette. Sweet nicotine. Sweet sweet nicotine. The stars are out. It’s Los Angeles, and the stars are out. Seems funny that the stars are out with how much smog there is in Los Angeles. But I can see them. All of them. The Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and every single constellation in between. I would name them for you if I could, but I can’t. I never studied astrology. But they’re all out. Every single one of them. And here I am, on the second floor balcony of my brother’s apartment building. Just a single person on a single balcony in a single apartment building in a city full of apartment buildings in a country full of cities and a planet full of countries. I might have skipped a few steps in that progression but I’m not that worried about it. I’m nothing in the larger picture, that’s the point. And to a star I am really nothing. I am no star. I am no source of heat or energy or life. I’m hardly a decent, contributing member of society, let alone a star. I drag my cigarette and think about that. Perspective is everything. And from my perspective, on the second floor balcony of my brother’s apartment building, with my feet between the bars of the railing, I see that I’m not really anything. A writer, I call myself sometimes, but that doesn’t make me significant, in the same way that being a plumber or a teacher or a politician isn’t significant either. But we are not dust in the wind. Fuck that phrase. We are not dust in the wind. That’s bullshit. Because dust in the wind makes no impact. And just because we are not stars, just because we do not fuel a planet or a system of planets, or contribute to society, that does not mean that we don’t make an impact. Because even a negative impact is an impact nonetheless. Like a meteor. Like a meteor shattering the skin of the earth. Powerful and destructive and magnificent all at once. So maybe we’re more like meteors. We, each of us, are meteors making craters in the shell of the world. Each of us leaves an impact, but no one impact is significant enough to turn the planet on its axis.

My brother comes out onto the balcony and asks me what I’m doing.

I say that I’m not doing anything.

He says that it looks like I’m deep in thought.

I say that I’m not.

And so he just shrugs and sits down next to me with a cigarette for himself and another one for me and then the two of us just sit there and smoke cigarettes and we don’t really talk about much at all. We just sit there under the Big Dipper and Little Dipper and every other constellation and just play our insignificant roles in life. We play our roles. We play the role of a human. We destroy and we sit dumb under the stars. And that’s fine with me.


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33 responses to “On The Balcony”

  1. I like this – great cadence and ideas. The repetition works super well. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. shit. very kind. thanks for reading

      Like

  2. Man I love this. Amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Nitin. means a lot

      Liked by 1 person

  3. it’s beautiful. so natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. damn. thank you very much

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Depth!
    I’d have to agree with the first comment, the repetition does pack a punch

    Liked by 1 person

    1. happy you like it. thank you

      Like

  5. What sad little creatures we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seems like that’s all we are sometimes. oh well

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s just how it goes, i think

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ill take your word for it then

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Shit, man, this is so fucking great. You said it absolutely perfectly. And it was exactly what I needed to hear today. So: Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Tara. very kind

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Consider this – perception isn’t everything. Or anything. Intention is. Astrology or astronomy? I get all I need of one from some hack claiming it’s a good day for sagittarians to stay away from aquarians and all I need of another from McDonald observatory’s “Star Date.” There was a guy from Houston who did “star signs,” a syndicated astrology thing on radio for years. I knew him. Son of a preacher from Snyder Texas. His sister was an opera star. There’s that word, star. In our midst or in the sky. Our lives are little constellations. Stars and planets we keep in orbit around ourselves. There you are with the big question, and a planet from your star pulls up in a chair next to you. Knowing that is perception. Being together, aware or each other in the cosmic stream? That’s intention. The vibe drives the universe. And the vibe is intention.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. right on Phil

      Like

  8. Surely its sitting under the stars thinking about how inconsequential we are, that gives us the best ideas as writers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it usually does

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is fantastic Lou! I love the way you write what is, the way you write the moment so thoughtfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. shit. that’s very kind. thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great piece Lou..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you very much

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post.

    Sounds like a good night to be at the Griffith Observatory.

    Nevermind “they” probably won’t let you or your brother smoke there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you for reading

      Like

    1. thank you

      Like

  12. I love your writing style.
    Yes we make all make an impact, since we are all part of nature. We are all significant; trees, fish, butterflies, rain, dust, starts, dogs, humans, etc. etc. Well, that is my perspective 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you. and i like your view. appreciate you reading

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you

      Like

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