One of the giants of industry had trouble at home. his wife would not speak to him and his kids ran away. he was a god at work, and very alone. he would scream early mornings in the elevator and rising. then, self forgotten, go calmly about his business. he didn’t even realize his secretary wanted to sleep with him.
The world did not wake me up singing on a Friday, unless a whistle in my bones counts. Over a pastry from Pushkin Bakery and coffee, I tried to manifest my namesake and bring Hurricane Katia out of the Gulf of Mexico and into my energies ona late summer early fall morning. She was swirling around so heavy, I was liable to knock some neighborhoods around. I had to figure out could I settle all my madness, and make it righteous good?
you recently got off the streets. you aren’t getting any younger, and you feel your age. chronic pain has kept you from doing the work you love. i was just listening to you tell me your story, all the ‘lost time’ after you lost your kids and your purpose. but you don’t feel sorry for yourself. you found a way to connect with your grandkids and even took them fishing. you still want to live even if you cannot always understand what for. i elevate you to survivor status. we laughed when you told me the story about the time you got shot in the back. you were under the hood in the garage, working on a carburetor, when a stray bullet flew from San Pablo Avenue and knocked you to the ground. once you realized what had happened, you dragged yourself to the office for help. they got you to the hospital and most of the fragments were removed and you walked out of there in under 48 hours. when you got back to work, you walked to the office to thank them. your boss had a parrot he kept in there, and the moment you walked in, the parrot saw you and started screaming: ‘I’m shot! I’m shot! I’m shot!”
you told me again how it happened. you found a diary from two years ago, and read me an entry from a single day. what you wrote came to pass. you got to feeling good about yourself. you were tired of living in a room and board. you stopped taking your meds when they ran out. before long, there would be empty bottles of vodka under your bed. you lost touch with reality. you stopped returning calls and closed your door, and began to drown. again…this is not the first time we have said goodbye. i make sure to hold on longer because i know how bad it gets when you fall. i am just a counselor, tangential to your life. you have worked so hard this time, i’m proud of you. you inspired the others. i hope we won’t see you here again but if we do, we will be family and embrace you.
one moment you feel little, then large, and in between. some hang on to your every word, while others wouldn’t know you exist. you care about something, you care some more, then the world becomes full with meaning and you couldn’t care more. you could care less.
the third was full of frisbees and soaring like a bird. oils were dripping and smoke was rising, the links were hot as hell. when they discovered water in the park bubbling up from a pipe, the kids made ample use of it. everyone and everything within a hundred yards got wet, except the birds. soon it would be labor day and no one wanted to work but i was ready. i felt i could handle just about anything. the full moon was coming. so long as you got out there and under it, illumination was certain.