8.8.19

Their Lives Now

A day old Bakery offers, a day old price for a day old loaf of bread; and he wondered how he found himself on the steps of, “Day Old”, when it was so far away once, so far away. And he’d never planned for his day, nor did he ever think or know a day like today existed. Yet here he was, sixty something, his ability to navigate was good but no longer keen, his sense of what could be still remain but lacked the edge it once had, the sharpness needed to cut through the cardboard life he had created. 

And she, well she was no different. She could be mistaken for a once upon a time, movie star or celebrity when she wore those big gold sunglasses with the mirrored lenses. Her walk sort of said she’d done something, but each step was really a close association to the one who really did the somethings, and it was always her story that mattered. The story that would shatter the mold for the volume of material within. 

There was an interesting disease that sat at either side of the magnet, one that pushed and pulled, rejected and accepted that which wanted the exact opposite of what it was initiating. Sort of a bad idea with some small redeeming results that with enough lights and enough decoration could be called spectacular, for a time. Then it would be the feel of cold linoleum floors, a tighter space that with shorter ceilings and a views of gray skies and withered morning glory vines, for the winter. 

And they’d recall their close calls, their stories that were the almost’s, the many times they stood at the different steps of other things and places that filled the tiny pores of their souls enough to convince them they’d at least tried; they’d had ok lives, no regrets.

like a loaf of bread, wrapped in a moist towel, nestled in the bread box, waiting. 

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8.2.19

His bottom lip always reached for the coffee cup with slight anticipatory slurping sound. Surely it was getting enough moisture on his lip to create a buffer between the scalding feel of the cup and the soft pink of the inside of the lip. It rarely worked as He’d liked. They were not whole hearted truths, yet drops of something in the bucket of imagination that slowly filled to form a life perceived, yeah, that was it, a life perceived; that when poured slowly from into the bottle, looked like a life of where ever the conversation happen to be spending more time along the words. Small little bits of contribution that continued yea ole snowball, rolling down hill. It was a skill, well honed, well oiled and very well cloaked, after all, he’d lived this life, dipping from the other life bucket, his entire life. Perhaps there were needs that had never been met, were not currently getting met or maybe it was just plain insecurity, but what ever it was, he wore it like a well fitting suit. Of course there were studies, using words like, “Habitual” and “Compulsive”, sometimes even “Pathological”, he himself used those words often in conversation, those same conversations where the words had a spicy, razor sharp presence as each glistened like dew on a web. To him, there was a real comfort in, “fitting in”, having an answer for any question that might be asked or at least a contributory experience to show some degree of camaraderie bordering on the empathetic. Now that was a new twist, “Empathy”, the simple task of understanding and sharing the feelings of others, even if it meant neither one, yet appeared to encompass both like a mother huddles frightened children close. 

Most of us are made not born. The question then becomes why’d they make him this way and not another? Intention, don’t think so, more a skeletal, unconscious plan to move from day to day with the least amount of drag at any given moment. So in some way, this is an explanation, a statement of reason for a simple conversation that could remain simple or with the “Made” elements attached begins developing a bird’s nest of fishing line one that may spend a life time unraveling.

7.26.19

Rose to Hip

It is a shame some times when the bloom has left the flower. A once beautiful strand of orchids, one begins its wrinkle, turn inward and the vibrancy all but vacant. The indicators of that death become so apparent that unless removed, the beauty of the other flowers is lost on the focus of the most prominent, the demise, losing life’s struggle

She was one of those, those women who had fallen in love with the style, rather than the lifestyle. The style is nothing more than the trappings that give an impression of the landscape, the people, the colors of the high desert. Some sense of association by design rather than by soul or a scratch of the soul.

Santa Fe, the city different, she either is, she is not, or she is faking it to appear to be in the, “Is” bracket. When in that bracket, she finds the peasantry of life at a price far exceeding the ability of the living peasant. It cost a great deal of money to look bohemian when bohemian is not in her zip code or close. But, with the right look, she can float somewhere near the painters, the artists, those living a bit more on the edge than she can tolerate for any length of time more than a couple of hours at an art show in some back street warehouse with no heat in December.  A coyote jacket, a vintage Carrico lake turquoise bracelet, Tommy Singer squash blossom, that she calls, ‘ That old piece”, and a Loloma ring, from the cover of AZ highways 1970 something issue. Her handmade boots and Navajo style velvet shirt studded with silver conchos, she is. 

And those dreams of the gallery, in that town, that she just loves to visit on the weekends with her kids. That place that she fears walking down the street in the dark, because, “Ive seen some pretty sketchy people here before.”, and yes, those, “sketchy people”, occupy the daylight hours as well, That place where her spirit caves, where her struggle for her new age attitude is dissolved before her eyes because it requires truth. Truth,  she has failed miserably at perusing, because she’s just a little to afraid, uncertain of her art. Her family says its good, she sold a piece to one of her friends who has a friend on Canyon Road who owns an art gallery who liked it. But still…

She is the of model of the Santa Fe, I never have cared for, nor ever will. So next Christmas Eve, when you do the traditional, “Farrolita Walk” on Canyon Road, you can’t miss her. She’s the one that looks like she belongs there the least yet is trying the most to just be a part of something that is easy….

7.24.14

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The alarm never rang…he was a hundred 50 miles down the road by the time she woke..she had convinced herself…he’d be back by noon…then 3…then surely by six for supper…maybe he’d stopped by to see Dale…sure that was it…she’d find him on the couch tomorrow morning…she combed her hair out…washed her face…smiled at her reflection and knew….it was just another day in Pair O Dice…

7.19.14

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There was a large sliver of a broken cup on the yellow checkered linoleum floor…his front tooth was lying there next to a few drops of his blood…she’d been singing”C’mon boots…start walking”…that was Nancy Sinatra he said out loud…she didn’t answer

7.24.13

We called it a lake…but only because when the one summer torrential rain that would last 8 minutes…would fill the large uneven dip in the grass …did the water stay for an afternoon….and they would lie in the cool grass…beach towels and loud music…glasses that clinked with ice…and white bikinis…it seemed like stale bread to me…to young to know what I needed to know…and too old to play dumb…she insisted on being called Katherine…and spoke with a British accent…I always stared at her white bikini crouch…wondering more than listening…thinking more than answering….I guess it was a circus down there…or at least that’s what the older boys Kenny named the ‘Dreamers’ would call it…they smelled of rose oil and pomade…had the patchy Clearasil skin…with the few whiskers my father called frost on piles of horse shit…and they drank that white hearse vodka…behind the truck stop there at the interstate….and them hookers would wink on their way to business…say things like…”When you’re not a cherry”…I’d blush…I still called them ma’ma…looked down there…towards my feet a good bit…thinking maybe the right words would somehow show up there in the red dirt parking lot…but I guess it didn’t matter…but everything seemed to then…

I was there…in the back of the Rambler with one of three old men driving across the bridge at Zaragosa…for a weekly haircut…really it was a quick look at the fat woman’s tits that shaved their faces…and trimmed their bald heads….he’d always grab me by the shoulder…press his fingers hard to my bone….”Not a word goddammit…no a single fucking word…got it”….I nodded…smirked in a round about safe…way and tugged…from his grip…looking at my newly shined wingtips…pearl pink white skin of my freshly shaved head…we’d eat some tacos down the street…from a lady who cooked outside under a torn striped canopy with big black pans on the stove…she wore a cowboy hat…was missing two fingers on her spooning hand…wore the same checkered apron every time I saw her…young Mexican boys would. “bark”… “meow” everytime gringos would order…food

clouds always gathered in the part of the desert that time of year…it was a symphony…in a quiet…sort of slower way…maybe more like a drip on the cement…one right after another…make it smooth like glass and one day…I’d come back…thinking of Jim Livingston…that long smooth fat scare from belly button to neck…a road map of what things were going to be…sometime later on…he wasn’t a quiet boy…nor was he a good boy…his mother was a “stripper”…she only dated soldiers from the base…with their same haircut…checkered PX shirts and few twenties with nothing much to do…and maybe they were from West Virginia this week…or Conroe Texas the next month…but none were ever gonna be…Jimmy’s daddy…they were going off to Vietnam…not a whole lot mattered…especially not a red headed boy with a wheelbarrow full of things…brewing…He was 16…we were young…not real talkers….

I missed her…walking from a cool room to 105 degree day….engulfed…encompassed…completely…the barb far past my fleshy lip…dug bone deep…tasting brass…there was here…here was right now…this second…better live it large…he said… “Them Cajuns…well they wear they hats like that tipped down in front and tipped in back…so when they drink too much they fall on they hat not they head”……I was wondering about falling…”Discard an Axiom”… “Discard an Axiom” was the flashing message….better late than never I guess is what the bait was saying…while I was waiting…I imagine…to bite…and as far as I knew it was 7:30 pm or am…the time was the standstill…it was all of the stuff that happened in that dead zone…that had me hearing those faint echo sounds…music that was far away over the wavy lined sand dunes…they said he’d killed the whole family…then hung himself up there on that beam…I followed his finger end straight to the point in the wood that was worn..smooth like and old baseball glove…heard some of the clicks….felt the small grip high between my legs…and prayed…everything I knew was a lie…except for maybe Jesus….and I suppose…if he were real and not a lie…then satan had to be too…so I was right back where I started…sour milk or buttermilk…sick is sick…

He stuttered trying hard to say… “It’s a new day”…he put “C’s” in the word New….so daddy said he couldn’t be trusted…I mean what the fuck  kinda dimwit retard puts the letter C in New…when that dog lying there…hell he knows there’s no Goddamn C in that word…from then on it was fish fries…and lightening bugs…and sitting on the roof some days when the ozone was high…as the storms crossed the desert a hundred or so miles away…and the armpits of his undershirts were stained yellow in a big moon pie center colored oval shape….he put the kitten in a bag in the trash can…looked over his shoulder… “Stop crying…she’ll have more

it was just air up here…whitey tipped…tijuana smalls…and a good fuck book…a dug out mesquite…some pagan pink…couple huffs from the bag…and we was…gold lipped truebadors…the inhalers….the puto pinche motherfuckers with the power…he’d stopped  pounding his fists against the concrete wall…spit puddled on the shoulderof his gray jacket…his head rested slightly tilted to the left against the wall…he reminded me of the puppets hanging from the tops of the rough wooden carts at the market in downtown Wazoo City…they had wooden feet and hands made from dough…they made a klacking noise like an open screen door…in a breeze…it was a just bone…pearly white almost see through like dried glue….

2.10.13

I was collecting cat whiskers…a few thousand pearly white tusks with small black tips…all overlapped in the wooden two toned box from Australia…with the lacquered lid…and the blue velvet lining…..it had that smooth feel like something soft against the file teeth…like the tongue of a workboot…or what I can remember of her skin there…at her hips…right around the tattoo she had of saturn…I made circles in the tea glass…spinning the sugar…like a dust devil…always made believe I’d be standing there near the center…holding my hat tight to my head and saying words like “Humidor” and “Fossilized”…or maybe even sayings about the wind…things like how it reminded me of something else…that wasn’t really even close to how the sting of the sand felt against my arms…or my cheeks…when they bit hard like a million yellow jacket stings in the same spot….always the same spot….

I always wanted to forgive him…but couldn’t really figure out how the motor started and stopped…it  wasn’t like reading a picture book or holding my hands under the teapot water…it was just a reminder that I was never going to be me…at least not that me I thought I was supposed to be then…I became the hand holder…the acolyte for my own private collection of Jesus’…just never really getting that 3 meant one but 1 never meant 3…and how big rocks didn’t move no matter what I believed….sure…I guess they were okay …white…angelic…made me stand out a bit more than every other uniform clad penguin……accept my sorrow…ate at me like rust…the burnt pith feeling locked hard in a way that the key’s just out reach but the idea of  escape seemed worse than staying…there were alligators in the pond…and Saturday nights were always filled with Mexicans holding checkered bags sitting on the benches waiting for the light green pick up trucks with the plywood side boards and just below the drivers window it read in perfect script…”Servicio Particular” …the young red headed GI’s with their  brown girls for the night…and me holding his hand….it wasn’t paradise any more…all the steps seemed slower…longer…with no noise in the background but hisses and clicks…black stains on the perfect concrete walk…scrolls over the windows in stone and the oily dark furniture…I just couldn’t sit in…not really my purpose…they’d said….

they drove circles in the dirt field….sending large clouds of dust skyward…they were easy to watch…like flocks of birds…or maybe…a couple of pages from the newspaper blowing on the street…it really sounded different coming from  just her lips…I mean with out her face there to say any more than lips could do by moving…so when she talked…I listened…burned….skin and all…because it was the way we did things is what he always told me…and some people just do this…and it’s ok…but he wasn’t there…he couldn’t feeling the sheets of plastic coming off of my skin…and the pop sound I heard way inside my ear…it was not the carnival I was promised…or the scales from the same colored fish…it was all very different from the brochure….and her legs got a little heavier…her voice less smooth sort of nails in a canvas bag…and I guess it took what it did to open the right door…the worn gold handle…against the peeled painted wall of what she called living…with all their fingerprints…like brands….she sighed….

Today came and went…it just took 6 years…for me spell all of the right words…watch the bouncing ball a little longer…while praying for something like rain…I could follow every line down the  glass…wonder where they were going…where they’d end up…I mean after all they saved me…thick like the inside of an orange skin…soft like doubled up silk…quiet like death…or maybe sleep… I sometimes wondered what was the difference…I smelled her coat with the cooper enamel pin on the lapel, she smelled like what I always thought…cold should smell…of and she wore a hat…I could hardly let her go…I guess it was the time or maybe that I knew the lights were going to flicker…down to that yellowish dot there on the white island ceiling…those places I floated my way through every night…the troughs…valleys…secret places…the end of the end…it became a… “There, right there on the bottom”…kind of way of seeing things…I imagine ….where up was always up and down just wasn’t a real thing at all…except for the scar down there between my toes where the silver droplets fell that beautiful May morning…the cement numbed my feet for a few seconds…but hey it was summer…and the sprinklers were sprinkling…and I was in love with a girl….her name was Winona….she didn’t know it yet…..