Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Part 1: Leaping Embers

The following is a chapter-piece from a series (presently in four parts) that I am considering appending to Six Feet--it might just be the stuff to raise it from the tomb which is my hard drive! The section was written 22 October between the hours of 2am and 6am. More to follow.

Part 1: Leaping Embers

There is no time to edit this. what is in my mind is beginning to smell like rotten manna, and there's a lot of it. I've been pacing around the last two days wondering when it was going to be the time to put it down on paper. I was going to lose it otherwise, my memories, to the fog. I wanted to get down everything, and he was making me wait.

I can understand how this might come across as being more urgent than might otherwise be appropriate in such circumstances. The wager of the side of the justification of urgency; and yet it still leaves him open to a stab at double or nothing, the calling of the bluff: the justification of content.

Of course, having already made my confession to you just moments ago of my faith in the urgency of the matter at hand, my ultimate fate, at this point _______...my fate is in your hands.


Of course, I would have hoped you would have believed me...it was the reason I came to you in the first place. But you wanted to shoot craps for what I had left, to make sure I did not leave with a scrap of my self left hanging on the bone, so as not to bring too much attention to what you had done to me. That's why I did not leave you anything...to bring to attention to what I have done for you.

But that was the past and this is here and now, which requires here and now reminders. The past is a key to the future, as the saying goes. But that's just it: it is a key to the future...not the past. Using the past as a key to the past is like trying to use the same key to get back into your old apartment. The keys look alike...but they are, without a doubt, different keys. Sometimes the Korean shoe repairman Happy at Market St. Station can cut you a copy, single-use grade. Use it to look. The clues are there.


When you say to the professdor, where is the wevenen suns? uhghkkdnnnvollllthat. twas my original aintention, in bringing you to this place. this where. where am i> ''I apologize for that. He told me to stay composed!)

Sometimes it has to be clear like that. The force against the insides through can be painful...the repression that is. senial.
blue door the wayagain.

The pressure, on the inside. there is something in you. clawing against the walls of your chest. It is as if you a pregnant with fire. The pain puts you on a different plane...the pain itself is of a different plane.it is like the pain is from another planet. but when yo

When you are bearing the sun in your womb, unless you find a way to transcend the pain, there is no way to endure it.

There is one being who has walked this earth who has transcended the pain of enduring the birth of the sun. no rational thing is possible. that's what i'm getting at, i suppose.


But the birth of the sun led to the spilling of seed, fiery seed (being the product of the sun). Like embers leaping from the inferno of a burning fire, this seed leaps out, looking for something to ignite. A few may catch onto something combustible, some oily rag or an old Hustler lying nearby. Most of these times something big burns down...somebody's house, or tent, or water skis. It's not always pretty. Without combustible material, though, most of the embers fade out quietly into the darkness like a dying planet slipping into the abyss of the cosmos.

Believe it or not, the fire was a blessing. I wouldn't be writing you at 3:30am if it wasn't, right? There must be something....right?


I guess he is a John Coltrane fan. A Love Supreme--his request. He made it seem like there was something special about it, like it was reminding him about something nice. Personally, I think he loved it the same way my mother used to love the macaroni art and all the things we made for her. I remember all those birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas gifts we made by hand because...well, because we had no money.

These gifts took a lot of time to make, but that worked out well, because as kids we had so much more of it. And it didn't seem like work because the whole time we were engrossed we knew we were making something for mom (and we wanted to make it good, so she would smile, even though we knew she would smile if we handed her a plate of flaming dog poop). Now I pick up a 2 for $1 card for my mom at the Dollar Store on my way to the pharmacy. I sign Love, and my name, and drop it in the mail, addressed to "Mary Marco."


Okay, well now that we have some music on, let me get right down to it: I have a very busy week ahead of me. I am leaving for New York on Friday and am boarding a plane to Bangkok Saturday. This Saturday. Not the most convenient time for him to pop in unannounced; but then again, he was never one to be able to just sit around. If anyone else tells you he is eternally patient...they're lying. So, I would like to get on with this, so I can get into bed and not end up sleeping through my ten o'clock meeting. Please forgive me if I will seem a bit frank...tiredness can wear manners fairly thin.

This week I was given one assignment, three parts. Michelle was writing vignettes the other day...I guess he noticed me reading them. I guess he also thought that I should write some of my own. Three, specifically. The first began Sunday night. God, please keep me focused, I don't want to see that sun coming up!


It had been a dry couple of weeks, but Kerri had finally scored some herb. I was overjoyed--I didn't think I would have the chance for a last session before I left. It was very sticky and we cruised through three straight episodes of Lost on just a couple of hits. The episodes themselves were some of the best yet. I made up a word to describe them: "they are like philosophical fudge." I always leave feeling like my mind is still digesting them.

When I get back to my apartment, I'm hungry. I go to the freezer and take some strawberry ice cream out and over to the sink. A breeze brushes the sheer, and it flies up like a ghost, and I look over to the window. There is nothing there. When I turn back to the carton of ice cream, it was like a well that I could not stop staring into. My desire had not left me, but my arm was as if paralyzed and I was unable to bring the spoon to my mouth. And then I knew he was in the room, standing with a switch in his hand. "Put down the spoon, and place your hands on your side." I did as he commanded, feeling like the unwitting victim of a stickup.


But there was no gun nozzle jammed into my back; even the switch he kept was at his side, and it looked like he did not intend to use it. I could not see his face, as he would not allow me to move. But I felt myself in his shadow. I could have been imagining it, but it felt warm, the way you feel when the sun is shining on your skin. How can you tell it is day, that the sun is in the sky? The sun makes no noise to hear. Your eyes--unable to look directly at it--can only close and guess what it looks like...or even if it exists at all (since your eyes are closed). The sun does not smell. But if you get close enough to it, you get to feel just how hot it really is.

"Okay. You know the drill. Twenty minutes...where do you want it?"

I thought it was nice for him to give me choice. But I told him I that right where I am would be fine.

"Okay then. Put the ice cream away." I took one last look into the carton. The strawberries seemed to be glistening. I carved off a few bites with my spoon and lined them up on the bottom of the carton.

"Come on. Put it back." He said it gently.


It's close to five. I've been told at the rate I'm going I have no hopes of finishing the assignment by sunrise. I am going to take that as a challenge.


Just as Ulysses had himself tied to the mast of his ship, I stitched my hands to my sides and spread my feet. I always wondered what those London guards thought about while they stood motionless for hours on end. Maybe they weren't thinking at all--maybe the hours of standing motionless had made them into stone white buddhas.

I, on the other hand, felt like St. Anthony being thrown against the cave walls. Unlike before with Janine, there is here nothing to look at, nothing to sink my imagination into. It's just this...feeling, of dis-ease.

And then I feel it. The way a woman must feel the first time she feels her baby kick. The feeling of something moving, living, growing, and breathing inside you. I listen closer, anxiously; my mind becomes like a stethoscope, scanning my body, perfectly attuned. The apartment is volatile with silence. And then I hear it.

A scratching, scraping, against the inside of my stomach. I hear the sound of water, like someone stepping in a puddle, and feel something tickle against me, like a feather. I take my flashlight and enter inside, lowering down and following the sound. And then I see it...


Aren't dreams nice? You know what's really nice about them? The fact that you are SLEEPING when you're having them! I'm sorry; as my disclaimer discloses, tiredness is prone to make a man gruff. So, again, please forgive me.

I would like to say 1 out of 3 ain't bad. But I can't...not in good conscious anyway. I'm nervous for this retreat, the same way I used to get nervous...horribly nervous...before my wrestling matches in high school. I was always afraid that I didn't train hard enough or practice long enough. And I was always right. I would look at guys like Jimmy Deven and Matt Bloomberg and see fire in their eyes, wearing garbage bags shirts and resigning themselves to a steady diet of lettuce and water for the course of the season. They were like wild boars waiting to tear out from their cage. This was their One Thing. Going one-to-one with one of them was a humbling honor. In general, though, I was ashamed to even be near them.


Next Installment: Part 2: Walking on Water

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