In just over a week, this blog will have its sixth birthday. It has been my great joy to write here, but it seems the joy has been replaced by anger and bitterness. In fact, I've become quite a nasty five-year-old who needs a good spanking.
Through much reflection and disappointment in myself, it has become obvious I've lost the most important attribute which once made these words sing: the art of fun.
"You have to have fun every day," Daddy told me many times. He lived to be nearly 92. At this rate, I'll surely dig myself into an early grave.
I'm not having fun here any more. What happened to the stories of the road? Nearly disappeared. Where are my studies of human interest? When was the last time I wrote something funny? Just how and when did I turn into a seething mass of fury? It's been longer than memory serves me.
Another tendency over the past few years is an increase in words. If a writer can't be brief, they become boring, complacent, predictable. I'm sure that when many people see a new blog entry pop up, they likely think "Oh God, what's Deke bitching about now? I don't have time to read a novel."
It's very heartwarming to have been read all over the world: Canada, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Germany, France. Transit operators are a melting pot of diversity, yet we share a common bond once we get behind the wheel. Many of our collective stories ring a bell with others thousands of miles away. You could put a group of operators from different countries in one room, and I'm sure we'd all find much in common. We'd also laugh at our shared experiences. To reach such a wide spectrum of people is an accomplishment I never dreamed of when I wrote the first entry here on May 5, 2013.
Yes, management needs to be called on the carpet from time to time. I'm not sure I can resist. There are many times when I've sounded like a scratchy old LP, and that needs to stop. One thing I've learned over the years is that the faces may change, but those in power never learn. We'll continue to be their punching bags no matter what or how often I write about it. It's time for somebody else to take the baton, because I'm out of wind.
On my desk is a photo of Dad laughing as I read him a few chapters of my book, JUST DRIVE - Life in the Bus Lane. He truly enjoyed the fun parts of the book. He laughed often and loud; it was perhaps the greatest accomplishment I've known, to entertain my hero. I haven't laughed much since he died. Perhaps I've just been too angry at myself to remember how to have fun the past few years. I'm very hard on myself, and expect great dividends for my diligence. The problem is however, that I've worked too hard at the wrong things. Yeah, I miss the old dude. He taught me joy is found in the simplest notes on the chart. It's time to sing his tune again.
Deke loves to have fun, so I'm challenging myself to do it more often. Hang in there, and I will bring you along. Maybe, somehow, I'll also be able to one day stand up and say, "Hi, my name is... and I'm Deke N. Blue." That would be cool. We'll see.
Thank you all for this bumpy road we've been on together. Give me some time, and I'll bring out the road crews to smooth the route again. I truly look forward to having fun with you again. If for some reason that is easier said than done, perhaps I'll just have to set the parking brake one final time. I'd rather just keep the wheels rolling.
With love and respect,