29 May 2011

2 January


I sometimes wonder if we're more like moons or suns. Whether we burn with our own fire, or simply reflect. I think maybe both. It’s good to reflect. To have a part in the revelation to the world of something huge and great and … exploding. And it’s good to have a little of that burning inside you at the same time. That internal combustion. That spark of the divine. That something that is ever blazing and flaming, but not consumed... we kindle, dimly, and mirror. And, softly glowing moons that we are,  we're ceaselessly striving to be stars. Suns. To catch more of the fire. To be more largely ignited. To have more  light and warmth to discharge into the universe...
And I’m in the midst of a realization that, for myself, and likely for us all, I possess a measure of both. But here’s the thing. I’m pretty sure that I’m only either one or the other with people. To most, probably, I’m more of a moon, a dim reflection. But there are those with whom I’m more able to burn. Except with you. You’re the only one I know with whom I can be both. Sometimes even simultaneously and to an undiminished capacity.
Which is, I suppose, an unabashedly selfish reason for my loving you. That you’re a perfect and infinitely adaptable sky. And it’s not the only reason, to be sure. But it’s an undeniable one. 

26 May 2011

28 December

Good God, Simon. What is it about this night. This endless, ageless, limitless night. This night here, right here smack in at the bleak end of December, in this winter of my 32nd year, this night is Avery’s field, ’97 after the ballgame. And I could close my eyes and smell the grass, and the nachos and hear the chatter from the outfield… Rook was pitching and we hadn’t missed a game all season. He was amazing. And maybe it was just that everything was amazing that year.
They won, of course, and Rook invited us out with the team to celebrate, but we decided to decline, and we went rambling instead. How many of my greatest moments have started out as rambles with you. So we ended up finding that place out by Chapman’s Mill, the old cabin on that creek. It was dry that day. And we sat on the rotting porch and played stupid games we made up, and we wrote poems about the cabin – the homestead, we called it. Do you remember? – in the voice of whatever came into our head. This rock, that weed, yonder sunning lizard…  and invented a whole life story for the people who had lived there.  I can still remember the feel of those weathered boards and the hoo-ing of the light wind in the chinks in the roof, and your hand, warm and familiar playing with the woven bracelet I wore around my ankle. It had a little bell tied to the end of the strings, and I used to love the jingle of it when I walked. Ah, for the love of foolish things.
We walked the creek bed that night, do you remember? And there was a moon  then that was the twin brother of this one. Huge and yellow and wavering. Like it was its own reflection on a midnight lake. And the stars were out in droves. A billion glowing freckles on the face of the universe. We lay down on our jackets in the meadow grass and stared out into them, thinking how amazing it was that we were here, on our tiny little backyard planet, not in the center of anything, and yet here was all of this. Just for us. And how many people, (‘couples’ we said, looking at each other on that word, suddenly shy) had lain under how many skies full of the same starred magic, and felt rocked by it. And we didn’t have ipods back then, but we shared the headphones to your discman (oh, those days) and listened to something sweet. You always had good things, billie holiday, tom waits, john fogarty,
And you found my ear and in that voice that always covers me in chills, said, “every single song that has ever been written – they’ve all been about you.”
And I remember thinking, “ALL of them? What about I am the Walrus, or Bad Bad Leroy brown?” but I held my smart-ass tongue and nestled down into that space that was miraculously me-shaped beside you, and sighed. And I closed my eyes and felt the world spinning underneath us and the stars streaking across this perfect hour, and how we must look to them, two tiny specks, all spoony, and what kind of light must we be giving off just then. Something beautiful. Warm and bright and full. And what the colors you and me might make when mixed together.

23 May 2011

20 December

What in… what? You wore your necklace today. The one from the fair that time. When we snuck in with your cousin who was playing drums in that Jefferson Airplane tribute band. And we helped them set up and then took off, sixteen and wild with freedom. And we stood up on the ferris wheel to see if we could see the ocean and they kicked us off. And then we walked the tents, and looked at everything and it was all marvelous and it was all just a way of looking at each other. And we were holding hands then, I remember. And it was making me float, all of me filled with the helium of passion, stirred; and there were times I couldn’t tell which fingers were mine and which were yours. And we would do that young-person thing where you would look at me, and our eyes would lock and everything would get all breathless and dark, and so I would have to look away, and find something to distract my mutinous heart that wanted nothing but to take control and drive me top-speed, head-first off the deadly, sheer-faced cliff of you. And we saw those necklaces, the guy was making them, right there, do you remember? This blacksmith guy, pounding them out all orange and radiating, in whatever shape you wanted. And you said, “Lets” and I ok’d and we asked him to make something for us. And he did. And they were perfect. Two hammered circles, the front flat, punched around the edge with small circles. And the backs, two hearts, yours an indentation, mine slightly raised, so that, put together they fit precisely. And we glowed with them. And you took both of them, and paid the grinning smithy, and led me out the gate and we wandered over the foothills where the boulders have all collected and lie about in a riotous granite hullabaloo, and we climbed up and sat and watched the sky turn plum colored and soft. You took the necklaces and you put yours on and then turned to me and clasped mine around my neck, and I swept my hair aside and your fingers on my shoulder were a universe unplumbed. You caught my face and you looked at me and didn’t let me look away. And that was when you told me you loved me. At that moment all I wanted to do was to open you up and climb inside of you all small and warm and to never ever leave.
And who knows how long we wore them. Till I left, I suppose. And there you were today, reaching into the back of your car to get your things, and that old circle of hammered silver glinting in the light. And you watching me see it. And me having to pretend that I didn’t . I won’t wear mine tomorrow. I won’t have it be some private language between us. I won’t.
But I’m wearing it tonight, Sime. And I do. Still. Always.

20 May 2011

16 December

There are days, whole entire days, even, when I don’t think of you. When I don’t feel like some hobbled amputee who has lost a leg or an arm or a left hemisphere. I can even see you. We can talk. Nice little things, books, friends, plans… and not have it feel like soggy breadcrumbs, left by the ducks to rot and decay on the water’s face. We can do that quick little friend hug, one arm and a quick pat, looking to the left or right to show it’s just a formality. Just a habit. And I can do that and not feel out the old familiar place where I fit always, so tenderly. And not want to settle there, and not think about the weight of your arms or the rough, raw scratch of your jawline. Not imagine grabbing the back of your shirt in fists and speaking your name, and sobbing out these last 12 years. Or your hand in my hair, and your lips on my ear breathing words and sighs and promises and other impossible things.
There are days that I can hear some grand new philosophy and not think of how much I want to hash it all out with you. Days when I can eat my soup and watch the rain collect in the rocky path outside the window and not remember how good rainy days were. Not think once of that night in the storm and the firelight and the sound of the rain at the window and the thunder that shook the walls and the way things blurred and time got watery and wavered and the feel of you so, so close.

13 May 2011

9 December


Good gravy, Simon. Why did we have to do those things. Those things back then that ruin every single blasted thing right now. Like all those songs. Like the hours in your room picking out guitar chords and humming every single song we knew and having them amalgamate with the days of our breathing. Of our growing. Of our loving. So inextricable. Like the late night walks through Amos’ field and all the stars. Like dancing on the porch all those nights to the music that played from your grandmother’s records. Like all my favorite clothes, the wild outfits we would get at the basement store, the one where you paid by the pound, that have the ghostly scent of you clinging to their every hem and button. Like the books. The pages on pages on pages, the ink and glue and dust that was our world entire. Like the truck. Like how every time I drive it I find myself looking over expecting to see you shotgun with your arm out the window and your hat pushed back, that way you used to do. Like Ketchum’s and The Spider and Evanrude’s and the dad-blamed grocery store. Like how I can’t go to one damned spot in this whole town without being snagged, cobweb-style on some armed phalanx of memories of you.
You’re the ghost, Simon. The ghost we used to always be so afraid of. The ghost of regret. You’re this smoky phantom that shrouds every one of the two hundred million things I do each day. Yet you’re such a real ghost. Such a palpable spirit. You’re the ghost who brings me coffee on Saturday mornings when we happen to meet up at the dock. The ghost I played chess with last night as your wife read a deposition and we talked together of chocolate turtle brownies and planetary motion and the aces of diamonds. The ghost who still tucks my hair behind my ear when I want to hide behind it.
And somebody had better explain to me why I do this. Why I stay. Why I keep up residence here in this haunted house. Because I can tell you for certain that it’s not for the excellence of the sleep. And it’s not for the romance. And neither is it for the bright and promising future. Maybe it’s simply because I can’t leave it. Because you are the most beautiful thing that is likely ever to happen in this cracked and frozen world. Because walking away from this place would be walking away from all the light and wandering off into the darkness of the blackest void. Because I’d rather have the ghostly remains of you than the actual beating heart of anybody else. Because once you’ve had the greatest thing, there isn’t much place to go. After that. And mostly, I suppose, because it’s my fault. Because I left. Because every moment I’ve been circulating blood and oxygen and electromagnetic pulses since that one moment when I told you I needed to go – every one has just been me doing everything I could to turn around, and take it back, and make it right again. Because I guess all we do, if we’re honest, is break the things we most treasure, and then spend our lives on the floor with a bottle of crazy glue trying to piece them back together. Wishing for the impossible. For the broken thing to be whole, for restoration of that lost thing we love, for redemption.  

11 May 2011

5 December


It’s been a few days. feels like my mind has been rioting lately. Flashing colors, too many voices shouting, the world spinning, nearly out of control, like that last, sad wobbly turn a top gives just before it topples over on its side and skids to a stop. But tonight. Tonight somebody – maybe it was me… who can really tell – stood up on the hood of one of the cars and waved her hands and clutched at her hair and screamed for it to stop. And it did. Almost unnaturally. And it is as if the world in my head is on pause and everything and everyone is frozen, and the lights are beginning to tunnel, and there are only a few things left that can be seen in the blue-black space. And one of them is your face. And it’s – unbelievably – still. And quiet. And it makes the rioters lower their arms, and close their mouths, and turn and try to find their various ways home. And I feel everything inside begin to crouch down and to breathe, and to keep itself silent and calm. And then the light spots another figure in the crowd, and it is Adelle. And I see that, when I thought you were looking at me, through the crowd. Seeking me out to settle and stay… it was her. She was the one. And she is looking at you as well. And in her eyes is love. And no small measure of fear. Spiced with panic. And there was me. Looking on at the two of you, and feeling my own tunnel of light closing and narrowing to a pinpoint, and then disappearing altogether. 

08 May 2011

1 December


Reading Plath. Beh. But there was this one line in it that was so right. This one about mutual exclusivities and flying between them because choosing only one or the other is unbearable. And, that is SO me. And, I don’t know, it didn’t work out so well in the end for her… so I maybe that isn’t really the best way to go.  Like, can one person really hold together two polarities? Ones which are always pushing out from each other. Ones that have as their only and sacred end to fly in opposite directions. And how long can you do that before your arms are ripped from their sockets and you’re left watching them fly away, farther and farther, and you there with nothing but empty sleeves and no way of flagging down a taxi. 

04 May 2011

29 November

I don’t know if I ever told you this. Because we don’t really talk about that time. About what happened. … so… About that guy in Carolina? Mark? Yeah. He was a musician, actually. Which I know you’d love…  piano and guitar. And, oddly, bassoon. Anyway, he lived down the hall from me, and we’d always seem to be leaving at the same time, and the halls and elevators were so small and cramped that with the three of us (he and I and his instrument cases) all packed into such a tight spot, it was almost impossible, not to meet. It was either laugh at it and strike up a conversation, or feign either idiocy or irritation. We chose the former. … the conversation, not the idiocy… anyway, it was good. He was pretty amazing. Honestly. Great lyricist, and that kind of voice I love. All raw and real. Anyway, he invited me over once, and we drank coffee and I nosed around all of the pictures in his apartment and we listened to some music and talked. Those good kind of talks where you’re not really discussing anything but yourselves cloaked in arbitrary topics. And we built a fire on his balcony which I’m pretty sure isn’t allowed, and he played his guitar, and we watched the stars creep across the sky. And it was a nice place. A fearless place, and free. And so we struck up this affiliation. And I was so glad of it. And maybe another time I’ll tell you about how it ended. Because I was stupid. As I so often am. And ruined it all. And I’d rather not go through all that tonight.
Because tonight the sky is bleeding opal over the hills, and the shadows are long, layered behind the light, and the autumn is ripening. And I want my heart to be light tonight, running. Light enough to ride a falling leaf, or to catch an igniting spark from the pearly flame of the dying sun. Or maybe just light enough to remain buoyant in the churning quicksand of the world.