Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Velvet Green

It was quiet enough upstairs at the bar to feel pressured into conversation. One who was unassuming anwswered “cap” when I asked him about his sign. I asked everybody about their sign. The one whose sign I don’t remember was more the jovial type, but in a bad mood because of a hole in his stomach. I stuck around for the conversation like one might stay in a little store because of a rain storm. Because of the acid I had taken I was unsure about what the usual boundaries of casual conversation might be, when the pudgy guy asked me if I was gonna buy him a beer because of the hole in his belly I split. Sean and I got in the truck with no idea of where to go, and ended up near the train tracks east of Canton.
We weren’t so na├»ve as to imagine that it would be fascinating to stand near the tracks at night. It was quite empty. I don’t remember vividly, but we probably shuffled around for a little while watching errant thoughts twist around in the darkness like helicopters from a maple tree. I’d say we would have been careful enough not to get too distracted, and eventually the small thought of hopping on a nearby highway and setting out for Richmond appeared, and we accepted it like an invitation.
The sun met us at an old monument to Civil War soldiers, all grown with ivy, and kudzu- whatever that stuff is it’s fragrance filled the air on a golden January morning. The land awoke sleepily as if it couldn’t freeze, and on it we planted our feet firmly understanding what it was to be somewhere else for a change. My old girl and I had once dreamt of living in the south. Maybe Sean and I had embarked on our trip just modestly enough to hear the spirits of this place, our destination. Still, we didn’t want to overstay our welcome under the sun so we found a diner to duck into while it climbed higher. Sean ordered Bloody Mary’s and I pancakes from the pretty waitress in the engineer boots. Winter did seem to be more merciful than summer because the sky was cast over with clouds by the time we left the diner. It was a subtle comfort to our naked nerves. We headed north again.
Sean drove St. Anthony and I sunk low on the passenger side with my knees on the dashboard. In meditative stasis I peered out the bottom of the window, receiving a range of flat tones of green under the milky firmament.
We listened to a remix tape by an english band that I believed to be legendary, a music longing for an object that might be searched for a lifetime. I had naively hoped it would subsume me in a dream, but I was already in the dream and saturated enough with feeling that I wouldn’t be carried away any farther.
I had just broken up with my girlfriend. For a week she’d been gone and I’d begun to take diligent notes on reality as I perceived it, complete with diagrams. Quiet had come to my house, and I knew studiousness for the first time. A dry, relatively warm place awaited me like a clean bed with rumpled covers. I never seemed to turn the lights on. Just more than old enough to be let into bars, I made a living in a simple way, with shovels and trowels, and raced my friend home every day down the JFX while rush hour piled up in the northbound lanes. For a little while, life was floating.
We passed through the capital beltway easily, free to wander away only on a weekend, but no one noticed. Sean and I were returning to a city every bit as gray as the world before us, only known to us, where my apartment awaited. I arrived and walked softly through, every little thing quietly remained just where I’d left it, and I entered the little room where once I’d lain with my legs crossed up the wall, a water-sign in an sea of emotion, delighted to be a crustacean and she an elemental phenomenon, Aries, sublimating into brilliant grains of Aries that when disassociated from each other left particles and each of them was Aries, complete and unabashed. Light that night had shown in brilliant colors in a heavy southwestern blanket. I had once bad tripped in this room, she stayed by me, gently reminding me that all I had to do was come down. The dividing wall had fallen out of focus along with the tangible side of the veil and I saw a body of light. That was only a month or three before, and I followed the spirit to the crossroads.
One window backed the velvet green futon, the same gray light pouring over me like a waterfall. The silence of the apartment was complete. My life as I’d ever known it swayed in a moment of perfect rest. I cried. With a clear voice and open release of tears, I cried until I was tired, on the spot where days before, I’d begun my first exercise of focused meditation, and then I slept a full day, night and day again. My girlfriend even came by (still a good name for her). She came, lied down with me for a while, woke up and left.

Monday, February 18, 2008


She wore white cotton and it crinkled almost stiffly about her frame, edgy enough to be light instead of cloud vapor. She gazed into me simply, walking her son through some of his first steps in the grass, icy dry eyes darting slowly up to me from above she and her son’s bare feet.
Her son’s father just sent her a fuzzy, digital photograph of us. We’re wearing jeans and t-shirts, my figure was calm like in the photos from those days that I knew about. Her dark blonde locks curled tightly under a pink bandana. The boy was in green, too. I could swear he’d been in just a diaper as she walked him, his little hands holding the tips of her fingers above. I remember the both of them glowing.