Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Short Cut

I was to give the eulogy. I hadn't worked it out, written it out, dealt with it at all. Time was ticking down until I had to deliver the address at the basilica before hundreds. I knew there'd be line ups. The former priest was well-loved. I wanted to spread the word that he was passed so that he could be properly honored. I erected a large sign, made a larger one so it was propped in front of the entire front of the store a few blocks from there, where many of his parishioners went. A white sign with primary red Arial.

Time was closing. I tried to get to the basilica, but got disoriented. Cutting across a park the snow had melted around the rocks, benches and picnic tables so there were toadstools of snow. Everything was ice-covered, the low parts water-slick.

I realized there was a knot of drunk homeless people under a tree. I decided to go another way across the park, towards the south instead of straight west. I was slipping. My hands were getting cut and bleeding from the sharp edges of the ice-snow, when I broke thru the crust to catch myself. I wasn't sure anymore which way I should go because I was past half way across. Doubling back would take longer. I realized two of the homeless people were closing in from two sides. A short, middle-aged native woman from 2 o'clock position and a large man in a dark snowmobile parka from 7 o'clock. It might not be about me but my gut says it was. The others were watching from under the tree, their loud conversations dropped, eyes raised.

I pictured the two pulling me down into a low spot beneath the high ice drifts, invisible, robbing me, raping me. I started to slip more. They met eyes across the space in front of me. She looked at him and he nodded as if, this is something we have to do. He moved towards me quickly and as quickly as he could grab my arm, he threw me over his shoulder. He held me by the back of my knees, my face hung down over his back. I reinterpreted their look at me, saw myself thru their eyes as being obviously bumbling. They had to help, not had to hurt.

He carried me out of the park to the dry sidewalk. He set me down. She was at his side. Both of their boozy breaths puffing in my face asking me if I knew where I wanted to get to and they were giving me instructions on how to get there. Her head was cocked with concern. She looked concerned still as I walked away but let me go.

Monday, September 13, 2010

the most incredible shade of purple & someone else's daughter

dream of two fragments.

1. At a hair salon getting my hair dyed (never dye my hair at a salon). they were aiming towards a black-brown (shade: ebony mocha). but they loosed my wet rinsed hair from the towel and it tumbled out in the most incredible cool bright shade of purple. almost leaning to lapis lazuli blue. loved it, beautiful and wilk, came past my shoulders.

2. A complex dream full of angst and complicated indivdual storylines. The only relevant strange, dreamt my friend W.'s daughter K. was my daughter. Didn't recognize her until I woke up. And one of the first times I've not dreamt my 'dream daughter', the child that I consistently dream who's always the same child, my child.

kittens and cats

In a funeral home, playing around the legs holding up the casket, 3 of our former cats (passed). In comes my aunt (looking 20 years younger) and releases a grey tabby, perhaps a month old, to play with the white kitten (from 18 or 19 year ago). They race around the room. The grey kitten comes and cuddles to me while the 3 others ignore me, being one languid cluster in the shadow of the coffin. The white kitten bats at the tail. Valderbar plots something inside her cocked head.

Aunt offers to trade her kitten for mine. I hesitate, reality breaking thru dream cloud and knowing it would be an unethical trade since when I wake, those cats will still be dead but this kitten that wriggles to the tummy rub I give it and that licks my hand must be alive. I take the trade and tuck the kitten into my coat for the walk thru slush streets home.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vagrant in the Big City

I was living communally with half a dozen artist-types in NYC. One came in the dinged, dingy door past the scatter on the floor and said a quiet word to the woman in the kitchen who was pack-leader of sorts. He'd got word of a police round-up coming our way. We had to make tracks quickly, grab what we could carry, abandon the rest. We'd leave separately, some by fire escape, some by elevator, some by stairwell, scatter directions and meet elsewhere. The rapid-fire directions named sequences too fast and too many streets that I didn't know. The youngest female took me aside with earnest and hushed voice repeated the directions of where we'd meet. Although I'd nodded, I wasn't sure I could retain all that.

I grabbed what I could and stuffed it in the orange backpack. I looked back at the half empty book shelf and all I couldn't take. There was no coming back. Once police knew about us, it wouldn't be safe. I kicked myself for not carrying cash. If they knew we were here, they probably knew who we were and bank accounts wouldn't be accessible. We'd have to slip out of the city or off the radar with whatever we had on us.

Time passed and I was literally down a blind alley, completely disoriented and it was getting dark. I'd missed the time point for meeting. Now they'd be scouting a new abandoned place to crash.

Next morning my stomach was growling. I'd slept beside dumpsters in the rain. As I walked beside a cafe I overheard two cashiers. The young guy was saying that a sandwich was part of her pay and she had to eat it. She said she was sick of them and didn't care. Cash was useful. Sandwiches not so much.

I leaned over the iron railing and offered to come by everyday and look after her sandwich, half for me and half for me to take to my son. We were pretty low on cash. She agreed. This seemed manna from heaven.

Next scene I was in a cafe in a different corner of town. I was glad to get that reliable sandwich but I'd talked to someone who said he'd give me cash for shooting pictures of the band he got in. They were to start to play after supper. My chair was in the back of the band, against the storefront window. On the other side of the band were maybe 30 chairs. Not many people had arrive by 7 when they were warming up. I shot a few pictures from an angle that showed the thickest bit of crowd past the band but it made the band all silhouettes and there was the distracting corner of one red t-shirt.

It was hot in the room and getting late. I felt myself getting groggy but kept shooting. The next I knew I woke up and the band was gone and there were only 3 or 4 people except me. The owner and P. who came over and greeted me laughing, and saying, you must be really tired. He shook my shoulder. You slept most of the time between 7 and 11. He said, here, $5 for you for the show. That was really entertaining. It was a Canadian $5. He said, if you're ever in my town or need any help, come and I'll make a place for you. I nodded, not fully with it yet and he waved merrily out the door. $5 is fine but it'd never get me to his place and it's too far to walk.

I had a mental image of all those years of diaries on the shelf that I couldn't take with me. Looked out the window. Off he went in his taxi. I supposed I should see about getting paid. And then getting to somewhere covered for another night in this rain.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


In the closing scene, I was dealing out the cards to the 3 at the table, but both sides of the cards were white and blank.

Friday, September 3, 2010

closing scene

Bright sun, saturated colors. A coloring book with transfer stickers between the coarse cheap paper pages instead of the tracing paper I expected.

One page had the outline of the body -- half-filled in, but wrong. The liver was in the head and the heart was where the lungs should be.

I considered it bad design of the book makers. If there were old style stickers and i could have fixed the child's book. But what would the child's creativity have thought? What if it weren't a child?

The soundtrack was a Haggard, Hank Williams Sr. or Jim Reeves tune. Something about heartbreak.