A very warm day and a newly dead pigeon. Just some rocks and a cigarette butt to keep him company. There were other pigeons nearby, but if they had any knowledge of this pigeon, they gave no indication. His feet and legs are splayed open as if he was straining towards something in his final moments. Maybe, even as his body shut down, some part of his brain was remembering what it felt like to fly. Before the last great darkness grounded him once and for all.
I had been taking care of this plant for months. It was just this little kind of boring succulent that never even seemed like it needed the water. Not like the basil, which would shrivel up after just a few days without agua. Still, I always gave this plant a drink. I didn’t see these flowers on the plant until I moved into my new apartment a few days ago. Little beautiful succulent aliens. Just one blossom. A little bouquet to say thanks for the water.
I’m sitting here, having just moved my entire life (which consists of more crap than I’d like) and am taking comfort in reading a map of New York’s subways.
Soothing stop names like Hunts Point, Cypress, Dongan Hills and Bowling Green make me feel like I’m about to enter season bloody four of Downton Abbey. While with stops like Bedford Nostrand, Flushing and Rockaway I feel like I’ve just walked into East Egg, 3D style.
Last night I dreamt a man and a girl kidnapped a baby from a grocery store. They would have gotten away with it, except the father - who was also the owner of the grocery store - already suspected the girl, a former employee who quit under suspect circumstances.
He went to her house, where she lived with her mother, and searched her things until he found a rock she had inscribed with how much she loved this man and if they could just pull off this baby heist, she was sure he’d be hers forever.
Other than that, most of the night I dreamt I was on deadline.
Lafayette, Kingston Throop, President, Broadway Junction.
Back to the crap unpacking.
I want to live. I want to give.
—Neil Young, Heart of Gold.
In honor of paganism, NPR did a play by play of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring last night. I was in my car, cruising for a bruising as they say, and caught the tail end of it around 11 o’clock.
The one expert guy was trying to explain how amazing and radical the piece was to the other NPR guy, but he was having trouble doing this through language and so at one point he resulted to mimicking some of the guttural sounds within the piece.
“It’s like, you realize the stresses and beats aren’t consistent and there’s this underlying melody that really runs through the whole thing if you listen closely. It’s like, ba bum bum BA DUM ba bum bum BA DUM BA DUM.”
Then he played that part of the composition so we could listen closely and I have to admit, I had a few glasses of wine in me and I felt like a woman possessed. I turned the volume all the way up and drove around until the music stopped and they started talking again.
The expert guy said this month marks the hundredth anniversary of the thing. May 29th. My mom’s birthday. This year marks the 60th anniversary of her.
Just a few weeks ago, I asked my mom what she did for her 30th birthday. I ran away she said. Weren’t you married to dad already, I said. Yeah, she said, but I needed to run away. I just needed to get away and be by myself and think about what it all meant.
My mom is that staccato Stravinsky. A beautiful thing that can’t sit still. That knows beneath the surface we all bubble with the same primal stuff.
Anyway, listen to it here. And close your eyes and do your best to block out any and all memories of Fantasia.
Last night I dreamt about puzzles. There was this oval coin and it opened and inside of it were two lighters, one plastic bic one and one old golden one from smoking days past. Then there was even more stuff to deal with and I remember thinking, This all came out of that coin?
A cryptic postcard with my name on it and some cut outs of Egyptians.
I can’t begin to understand all this, I thought in the dream.
Solve it, said my subconscious.
I was missing something that wasn’t there anymore.
So there was no need to miss it.
—Steve Nelson, on the trials and tribulations of that great wrecker and creator, love.
Of vision and mirage.
—Sign outside the Lakeview Lutheran Church.
Tonight I watched a movie. The last time I watched this movie, one of the people I watched it with is a boy who’s now dead. You must know people like this too. Or, you don’t know them anymore, because they aren’t here.
This particular boy I’m talking about was an English major and a cheerleader while he was alive. He had a nice smile and his favorite Salvador Dali painting was the one with the tigers and the pomegranates. Sometimes I think I may be the only person left on earth who knows that.
This boy wasn’t the only boy in his family to die. His brother also died, while the two of them were ice skating. His brother fell through the ice and my boy tried to save him but could not. Years later, in college, he got a tattoo in honor of the un-saved brother.
The movie was a long one and kind of boring, although I liked it because it tells the story of people in the theater and all those people’s worries and hopes and failures. The last time I watched the movie, we were all in my college dorm room, huddled, with our own worries and hopes and failures. I remember when it was over, no one really know what to think or why I had made them watch it and I didn’t have much of a rebuttal on that.
The boy died a year later I think. He was driving home on whatever that weekend is that’s closer to September…memorial day or labor day. He was probably tired and his car swerved into the opposite lane and a semi truck hit him.
They buried him in his cheerleading outfit which I thought was in bad taste.
Anyway, he also liked the band the darkness and drove a pickup truck which I rode in once. Come to think of it, that’s probably the same truck that exists now as a heap of twisted metal.
Somewhere in the ground, a cheerleading outfit is slowly rotting over a bunch of bones. Well I don’t mean to be morbid, but facts are facts and that’s how it is when you bury someone in bad taste.
The promise of living. The promise of growing. The promise of ending. Is labor and sharing and loving.
—From the opera The Tender Land by Aaron Copland.