elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
Sunday, March 09, 2003
Baby Grand Blues
Where do you begin?
I look up into the night sky and ask myself. I wonder seeing you, whoever you are, with your two year old kid at the pasta joint. So beautiful. I wanted to ask you. Too late now. So many of us out here. Perhaps we'll bump into each other again. What are the chances? I'm waiting to see. I'm playing the odds. It happened once. Once upon a time...
"It's real simple, Chris," she would say. Said it more than once. On several occasions. I wish I could remember the context. Doesn't matter, though. None of it matters anymore. Except that I understand now what was going on. Understand better anyway.
It was never simple. And although I've forgotten the various contexts, the way I know this was the contempt dripping in her voice when she said it. Contempt. And the flash of anger for just a second, like unexpected lightning on a summer night. So beautiful. And then the ice. The anger she always tried so hard not to show. I took it.
I took it because that's what I'm best at. That and writing. That and trying to understand: where do you begin?
I took it because I thought I could change it. Turn it into love. Albedo, nigredo, mysterium coniunctionis. In the white foliated earth, transmute fear into trust. Defense into welcome. As it turns out, this is harder than it looks.
One day we were talking. I forget about what, but I said something about a Tom Petty song. Don't do me like that. And she was suddenly interested. She wasn't always. Often I wasn't sure if she was even listening. "What does that mean?" she said. In retrospect, retrospect being all that's left at this point, I know why she wanted to know. Does it show? Can they tell? Am I that transparent? Trans parent. Yeah, good word. Deep fathom five. Thy father lies. Long story.
You know I love you, baby. Don't do me like that.
"My mother had no inner life," she said. Telling. Telling me how it was for her. Not meaning to, but I'm a good listener, even though I often seem preoccupied. As if I'm somewhere else. I felt that way a lot around her. With her and yet not really there. For the longest time, I thought it was me.
She was sad for her mother, a trophy wife who always sought to please. A victim of circumstances. Or so it was supposed to seem. Why would anyone sacrifice so much? Concerned with appearances. The right clothes, the right delightful laugh. The soft spotlight centered always on herself. That's why.
And her mother, who had no inner life, raised her to know these things. How it worked. How to make it work. JonBenet Ramsey. At an earlier time. In another place. A mirror for Mommy. Say hello to the nice people, Honey. Spin and twirl little girl. A flash of anger, and I took it. Both barrels.
[to be continued....]
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at a major industry conference,
chris locke once again captures the real story.