Monthly Archives: May 2013
Once the echo of despair subsides,
There will shine a thin layer of clarity.
Take care of that surface…
They told me for years
To take care of my insides,
“You won’t be handsome forever,” they said.
“Am I all that handsome?” I thought,
Scratching the scarce patches
Of my hopeless facial hair…
Jon used to call me Patch Adams,
He used to call me lots of things,
He used to say that he was my father;
He’s always been funny,
Not to mention, fucker has a full beard…
I had a dream recently, in which
I kept breaking wine glasses in my hand,
And that’s all I remember.
Sometimes, I see canopies in my papers,
Focus comes and goes,
But anger has it’s own nest here,
Anger is comfy…Strange, I know.
Rambling thoughts and numbing agents,
Lead me quietly to my careless corner.
Love can defeat it all,
But as they say,
One must take care of his insides,
One won’t be handsome forever.
“Dear Lake Huron,” he whispered, his hair rising and falling, “You are the loveliest bubble!”
Among the waves, under the stars, he recalled other bubbles that he had seen; desert horizons in Iran. From one bubble to the next, at peace with the idea of being afloat in this vast expanse… No longer under the stars; he knew he was a part of them. Deserts and oceans…Earlier in the night, Jon had said, “Venture on, the wind will find you.” Among the aches and the stiffness of the universe in his muscles, he kept moving, allowing the sand to caress, for the first time, his bare feet; the bare feet that few had ever seen.
He turned to his friends. “There’s a light on the water.” He pointed and pointed. “There’s a light there. It has to be on the water.”
“Might be the reflection of a star…”
“I don’t think so,” he said, as he dug his toes into the sand. “It’s a different color.”
They all watched the light and said nothing. It would’ve been a pointless conversation, but then again, in this vast expanse, pointlessness went right hand in hand with the immensity of one’s desires. Irony smiled constantly. Among the aches, and the stiffness of the universe in his muscles, he kept moving, and he wanted to write the greatest poem in the sand with his toes, for lake Huron.
“Dear lake Huron,” he whispered, “Thank you for understanding my feet.”
“To each his own,” I said.
“Shots!” Sam exclaimed, “Shots!”
“Jon, can you tend to your duty please?”
There wasn’t as much laughter as I would’ve liked. I can’t get enough of making people laugh. I am addicted to the sensation of being humorous, and in my awkward desperation, I often ramble on to massacre jokes, painting silence, an awkward silence, worthy of me and my attire. But then again, some people will always laugh at my stupidity. Stupidity isn’t always funny; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…Either way, I never get as much laughter as I want. I don’t think anyone does.
Every now and then, Kate would look up from her book. “The sun is out again,” she whispered to me.
I looked around, nodding my head gently and said, “I’m not gonna be fooled.”
“Fooled…? By the sun…?”
“You’re a weirdo.”
“I just mean, I’m not gonna rip my shirt off and start dancing. It’ll be overcast again soon.”
Jon came back out on the porch with a tray and four shots of rye. “Well done,” said Sam. Kate closed her book. The sun was back in full effect, and despite my urge for thunder and my speckled negativity, the clouds did not return. However, I did end up taking off my shirt eventually.
“You’re way too white!”
“Yeah, you could definitely use some color,” said Kate.
Forty Creek flowed with calm. Jon said, “My ass is incredibly sore.”
“That was one hell of a hike,” said Sam.
“Are you guys down to go to the beach tonight?”
“Most definitely,” said Kate.
Soon enough, they all started slapping the air and smacking away the mosquitos. “They never bother me,” I muttered, cocky and proud that my blood just wasn’t sweet enough.
“I’ve gotten so many bites on my ass,” said Jon.
“You have one problematic ass bro!” This time I drew more laughter, but still not enough.
“They like your meaty ass!” said Sam.
They all had sweeter blood than me. I just might be one bitter ass middle eastern, and I don’t look middle eastern, which might make me much more bitter, in my blood, in my ass…None of this makes sense, but it’s funny, so laugh!
“Smart-serve us some shots Jonny boy!”
Forty Creek flowed with calm. The clouds never returned, and apparently, hunger and thirst had never left.
“You look exhausted,” I said to Kate.
“Gonna sleep well tonight…”
“Making tacos for dinner,” said Jon.
Entertained by all of our unique excitements, I started to notice our differences in unison. I noticed what the air had done to us. I started to see how our capabilities had come together. I couldn’t stop admiring the four of us, our differences in unison. The three of them were the only world I needed, and we shared everything; everything in our pockets and in the air, everything but the stingers of mosquitos.
“I miss the cats,” I muttered.
“You missed them as soon as we left home!” Kate exclaimed. “An hour into the drive up here, he turns to me and says, ‘I really miss the cats.’ An hour into the drive!”
Jon said, “It’s amazing that you’ve become such a cat person.”
“You do spend a lot of time with them,” said Sam.
I had nothing to say, but my smile was as real as it could get. I did not go on to mention that at times, even out there, in the cottage, in the woods, I could hear our cats meowing. Specially the kitten; he was always meowing. I mentioned nothing about carrying their meows around. That’s just crazy.
The sun on my skin, breathing in and breathing out, revealed my weariness and brought forth that old familiar vertigo, but it still didn’t stop me from rolling a joint.
Day-bombed to the edge of being; I thought, “If only St. Patrick could see me now!” I thought so many stupid thoughts. I pictured our cats back home, having a vacation of their own. I pictured them, confused and deprived, meowing around Amanda, who we had entrusted to feed them every day. I thought of a Hemingway short story, “Old Man over the Bridge.” I remembered that the old man had to abandon his animals during the war. He had some birds, a few cats, and four goats. I remembered how he had told the young soldier Hemingway that the birds would fly away, because he had left their cages open…but what were the goats to do? The cats would survive, I remembered him saying; cats are resilient and can fend for themselves, but his heart was filled with worry for his goats. What were they to do? Soon enough, they would surely die. But the cats, he was certain, would be fine.
Halfway through the joint, the three of them dispersed and went inside, leaving me on the porch, smoking by myself. I don’t remember what time it was. I could hear one of them doing the dishes. Sam had put on some jazz. I opened my notebook and started writing this. The floodgates propped open; I was the ocean of purpose, whatever the fuck that is…I had so much to say. I don’t remember how long I sat there writing, but at one point, Sam came back out on the porch and placed a smooth white rock on the table, in front of me. The joint had gone out in my hand and I knew all too well that all was lost.
“Found that on the beach,” he said.
All was lost on the page. I put down the pen, lowering my sunglasses as I picked up the rock. It was just a rock, and my smile was as real as it could get.
“If they’re open, I’m going to kiss someone,” he muttered, walking up the deserted street, his voice rumbling in his chest like that of Tom Waits. He lit a cigarette, taking steps slowly, and slowly piecing together their first night spent at the cottage, and the rain that had so subtly crept upon them in their drunken stupor.
It was exactly seven. Who knew when the rest of his party would rise…? Didn’t matter though, they’d be asleep for a while, and hopefully the store would be open, and he could grab a coffee and a newspaper. Along the way, up the deserted street in Sauble beach, his eyes flew about, leaping from crow to seagull to robin, from chirp to chirp and caw to caw; he thought, “All fucking birds are early birds!”
He sighed; or let’s just say that he exhaled his cigarette smoke. He smiled, or better to say that his insides woke, and his eyes grew wider, knowing that he hadn’t been walking without a purpose. The store was open.
A couple of old men, sitting on the bench in front, didn’t even notice him, or so it seemed. It seemed that out there, in the deserted town, life hovered by in utter calm; out there, life was the subtlety of the midnight fog. He thought, “This town belongs to early birds!” and he smiled. It had been a while since he had smiled with such sincerity at something so simple. In the city, it would’ve been too early for such nonsense.
Toronto Star, cup of coffee…He stared at the cashier, smiling still, perhaps even smiling a wider smile, proud of himself and the early birds inside him. He cleared his throat a couple of times, but Tom Waits rumbled still in his chest, as he said, “Walking here I told myself, if the store is open, I’m going to kiss someone!” The lady chuckled, but that was it. She wasn’t interested in his story; cloaked in Toronto from head to toe…She wasn’t interested, she asked nothing. It was too early for conversation perhaps. Perhaps, the thought of a kiss from Tom Waits frightened her. Who knows…?
Newspaper under the arm and coffee in hand, he walked to the beach; or better to say, he hovered back, from crow to seagull to robin, from chirp to chirp and caw to caw. He hovered to the alien beach where lingering flashbacks awaited him. The birds knew all too well, and they might’ve told him as he hovered back, but he’d never know.
“They all just want somebody. Everyone has the same thing…”
“Same thing?” she interrupted, “You make it sound like a disease.”
“It is! It is a disease!” he exclaimed. They drank. He let out his usual theatrical laugh and quickly added, “No…Not a disease.”
His fingers were squirming worms looking for more and more words, and his eyes lowered in the search as well. He said, “It’s just, I see the same things in everyone. I see how haunting loneliness is for them. Everyone wants somebody, and in most cases, it doesn’t matter who. They just want somebody, anybody…” He paused. Hunger had tiptoed back again; a sip of wine to his growling gut…He went on to say, “I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Maybe ‘cause it’s all around us. Everyone has it. And I’ve lost myself while thinking about it, and at times, I aint got a clue what to make of it, and I have been judgmental, looking at them and running my fingers briefly across the haunting fabric that is their solitude. Now I think, it must be love…it has to be…”
“Right,” she said, smiling as she brushed back his wavy hair, in disarray from his semi-drunken rant.
“It has to be love, some kind of true love! Or I guess, better yet, it’s wanting love; wanting love beside you. Wanting it! Who doesn’t want it? It’s love, right? But, you look around, and lots of people these days, wobbling here and crawling there, on the edge of busting with love, for their loneliness is damp and heavy with time. They want somebody, anybody! They can love anyone, and most of them will, gliding from one set of eyes to the next, ready to plunge over and over for any flower that may or may not present itself. They have so much love that they really have no choice…”
There’s no doubt that he could’ve gone further and further, the words would’ve come along the way; his rant would’ve grown with his intoxication…Neither his tongue or the wine would’ve let him down. He could’ve gone on and on…It’s unclear what made him stop. He leaned back; or better to say, he sank softly into himself, in the euphoric air of purple pillows and wavy hair.
“Are you okay love?”
“You have the most incredible ears!” he exclaimed.
“Thanks,” she laughed, brushing her own hair back this time.
“Something in your eyes as well,” he whispered. “It’s as if your eyes have hands and fingers…No,” he said firmly, “Thank you sweetheart, for listening…”
“And… I think we’re done with the wine for tonight!” She laughed…She laughed…The word ‘tonight’ echoed back and forth, back and forth…
“She has the most incredible ears, and there is something in her eyes as well…That’s when I knew how much she loved me…how she’d listen,” he whispered, suddenly gasping into the sound of his own voice and the emptiness he was talking to. Empty alien beach of lingering flashbacks; the lake also possessed incredible ears. The sea, our distant home, knows all too well, the trails and tides that we carry, deep down inside; the flows and falls of living life and wanting to be loved.