Brother Pablo asks me if she has told me which of my words are her favorite and I say allow me to recite them for you.
I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.”
Brother Pablo shakes his head and says I may use his words but what will catch her eye comes from me.
“My friend, if you can make her LOL she will give you much more than you can imagine but you also must give her trust to lay her heart in your hands. So maybe you tell her you know you are close now, that she catches what others miss but you know you both can go deeper.”
Brother Pablo congratulates me upon on my insight and salutes me.
“You have done it my friend. Make sure she knows how to visit the places where you reveal yourself and maybe she’ll be daring enough to reveal herself too.”
His salute is followed by my own raising of a large snort of Macallan 12, the Triple Cask and a promise that when the buzz wears off I’ll resume time on the treadmill.
Letters We Write
Rolling with Bruce again, smiling at the all the details I catch in the lyrics and stories in his most recent album. Riding along on his Burning Train, got some ideas for more words to write but can’t put them on this page yet, but maybe one day.
Could be they show up elsewhere as I play with combinations, dancing in the fire that never stops burning, lost in thoughts and questions about how it all happened, searching for clarity in the darkness.
Letter To You comes to mind because I have played it more than others, but I know I am missing something. But instead of obsessing about what it might be I dig into that particular set of lines and let it wash over me.
Got down on my knees
Grabbed my pen and bowed my head
Tried to summon all that my heart finds true
And send it in my letter to you
Things I found out through hard times and good
I wrote ’em all out in ink and blood
Dug deep in my soul and signed my name true
And sent it in my letter to you
Insane bravery is what is required to put some of it out there or maybe not. That could be an exaggeration because sometimes you just say it in a letter and send it off.
Will it be read, heard and or understood?
Don’t know. Can’t know. Won’t know.
Unless you try.
Messages keep rolling in from out of town, out of state and out of country asking if the house has power and running water.
It surprises me how many people are concerned and have checked in to make sure we are ok. I mention to one person that I haven’t found anything I can’t manage yet.
But admit I have found a few that have twisted me up a little bit.
“I don’t worry about you managing, you’ll figure it out but sometimes it takes you a moment to recognize reality.”
Makes me snort and I say it is like jumping into a pool of really hot or cold water.
“Takes a second to adjust. You’re running around screaming there was shrinkage or trying to figure out where to stick your hand to try to keep that part from burning up.”
“Don’t be an ass. You don’t have to take the world on by yourself. You do know some people who will help you.”
The texts keep rolling in and more than a couple hear stories about others who were without power for sixty plus hours and those whose homes are wrecked because of water damage.
“Joshua, what does the market look like for repairs?”
“It looks busy. You can guarantee that some parts and provisions will fly off of the shelves and people will scramble to obtain them and we haven’t reached the insurance claims yet. That will have a significant impact.”
Later on I’ll take a call from Dick and tell him about how I used his name when I shared stories about earthquakes, fires and riots.
“I still have a radio and shoes under my bed.”
I laugh and tell him I am not surprised. We remember the shaking and swap stories about camping gear in the garage and kits we can use just in case.
It is 27 years since Northridge and 36 since Ojai. We hadn’t finished high school when the fire touched us and were barely out of college when the quake struck.
Echoes of who we were float through the air and there is a hint about who we might have been had we not been through what we experienced but there is no real talk about it because this is who we are.
Forty plus years of friendship provides a lot of shared experiences and colors in pages that might otherwise lay blank.
“I remember three or four aftershocks at the condo and wondering if they would be big enough.”
He snorts and mentions he remembers far more and I laugh.
I tilt my cup back and ask Brother Pablo if he thinks I ought to write more and he says to do as my heart tells me to.
“I have, I do and I will. Wherever it may lead right.”
“Es tan corto el amor y tan largo el olvido”
I nod my head at Brother Pablo and tell him he picked a line whose English translation almost has the same impact as the words in Spanish.
He smiles and waves at me, there will be no further remarks. This is his way of telling me to enjoy the introspection and to put upon paper what I will.
And so I do.