elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
Saturday, March 15, 2003
Baby Grand Blues 4
Last day in this place. It's dawn now, the movers arrive in two hours to take all the furniture, what's left of the books, which is still a lot, too many to read in three lifetimes. I like looking at them.
Last time I will have slept here. Last time I'll write from this place. I have to tear down this system as soon as I finish whatever I can sneak in. Hurried last rites. He was a fine fellow. Well, most of the time. Made you think. A bastard too, no doubt of that, but let us not speak ill of the dead.
The peace symbol upside down was an anarchist thing. I used to wear mine upside down. I was a teenager in Binghamton, New York. I was very political. Upside down it's some sort of rune that means: the man lives.
When I erased her messages, among the earliest was one where she was saying "I think of you as the prince of the imagination." It sounded like Prince of the Imagination. And something coy about how she liked the way I tickled her fancy. I did. I had. It was hard to delete that one. Hard to delete all of them.
"You make things up, Chris," she said at the end. "You imagine things." Something must have happened in between. Something that's not worth thinking about anymore. Not worth trying to figure out. A car backfires on a street in Detroit. You are not walking point in a Southeast Asian jungle. So why are you ducking like that, diving for cover? It's just a car, see? Nothing to get hung about.
She told me that the last guy she'd lived with was a pathological liar. I was surprised. I couldn't imagine her being with someone like that. I was sad for her. One day we were walking around outside here and she thought she saw him. She was scared, wanted to get back inside as quickly as possible. Why, I wondered. Now I know. So he wouldn't meet me. Say something I shouldn't hear, perhaps. I'd like to meet him today. Two liars comparing notes. So let us not speak falsely now. Two riders wondering what they'd made up, imagined.
I played her Sanatana's cut off Supernatural, You Are the Love of My Life. She was. But she seemed distracted. Embarrassed. Tentative. Protecting her boundaries, perhaps. Who knows. And at this late date, she said six months later, I have no interest in explaining it to you again. Ice in her voice, the cold she told me I was imagining. "You always expected the worst," she said. I wonder why. I make things up to explain what happened. I imagine things. Quod erat demonstrandum. Demonstrate. Demon strait. The devil, as ever, in the details.
I wake in this almost every day, a year later. In the twisted wreckage of ground zero. Drink my coffee, listen to the birds she loved so much. Still does, I imagine, sitting outside her house four miles from here. Might as well be four thousand. Might as well be that we've died. Though we have not. The man lives. I don't know about the woman. I imagine her as I saw her once. How I loved her so. How glad she made my heart. Did I imagine that too? That she once made me a prince in her own mind? Made that up?
Of course. In the course of human events, these things happen. Like a newborn baby, the Stones sang, it just happens every day. The girls go by dressed in their summer clothes. Young girls are walking to the canyon. And in the morning I can hear them laughing. Sampling. Stealing. Borrowing, I like to think of it, like any thief. Words that said it better, and it had a soundtrack. Lines woven into my life that wouldn't make sense until much later. Or would make a different sense as I got older. I have to turn my head until my darkness goes.
The man lives. He does not forget. He carries these things with him in his heart and tries not to break. Not to dive for cover in the lovely spring sunshine, the birds singing for joy at another new day. Blue sky. These incredible mountains. So I will leave here now, not going very far. And I would like to leave some of these things behind. I should. Forget. Start over. But I have already started over. I'm writing again and I will write till the sun burns out. Till the jungle fills me, folds me into itself. Takes me home.
7:53 AM | link |
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at a major industry conference,
chris locke once again captures the real story.