With each major change we go through in life we always think, hope that we found the missing piece of the puzzle, the answer to our prayers and the key to life’s mysteries.

Then, stuff happens and you feel all the pieces are on the floor and you try to put it all back together, but you can’t find your reading glasses…

The pieces of the puzzle, once placed can only disappear if you choose to not see them anymore. But they are always there, like a scar on your skin, like the hair growing in your ear or the bills that come way too frequently, so you snooze the alert hoping they will magically…

But they don’t. Once the bell has rung you cannot unring it.

So you try and master the puzzle of yourself by learning about religion, philosophy and reading about affirmations and manifestations.
Nothing really helps other than…

Watching your family sleeping, staying up late and writing, telling stories inspired by a piece of lingerie found on the stairs of the boardwalk, a rose left on the sidewalk or an elderly man walking across a deserted street.

Those images cry out from inside of you and their stories need to be told, their meanings and origins described in fragrant details… You hope.

It doesn’t matter if only your mom reads it and you get some phantom views, it’s really about the process of creating a world only you can envision and describe in your own words, using your own subconscious memories, hopes or desires.

You don’t give it much thought other than the image of the inspiration in your mind and the stories it invoked.

The pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly while you are doing what makes you happy, makes you whole.

You feel the tears being formed within and finding it’s way to your eyes but ending before they can fall, that would be too revealing…

You feel whole, all the pieces fit even if some have been damaged in some way, they still manage to fit and create a photograph, a memory or a reflection of life.

Then, real life hits you and the realization that the bills never were magically paid, the scars on your chest are still quite visible and the hair in the ear is now an afro.

You sit at the table and you put on your reading glasses and begin, once again to place the pieces to the puzzle together.

It’s then you realize how lucky you are to have pieces to put together, to have a puzzle at all. You smile and you find a tear falls down upon a puzzle piece. It will warp that piece but somehow it will still fit in where it is destined to be.

Happy 55 birthday Freddy, you’ve been through a lot. Hard times no one will ever know, good times and those times when you just sat by the table and did your best to keep it all together.