I cannot concentrate cannot concentrate down on the floor, board by board everything dusty and clean, squareness radiating the night. I lie spent and see the revolving spheres beyond the heavy ceiling now that our universe’s grown too big to bear in one’s mind. I was struck by the fear to rearrange the absence of being or the excess notions of meaning but now I understand the glass plan we were wired to and it seems too little a satisfaction. Too deep a pond to get a glimpse of the golden bottom, if any at all.
I sense the granular surface of ancient floorboards which have seen more of that wild west setting a spirit afire in the blaze of failing dreams and, after all, I spy on my bucolic surroundings with enigmatic self-confidence because I seem to know. This shed’s keeping me safe from the cold of a desert night repeating itself in sturdy vastness like the time we were born out of, and a question maybe. Days and days my flowery skirt atomizes the dust like precious glitters and strewn thoughts just like memories of my journey across the hard land in a battered cardboard trunk from house to house, saying hello to shiny eyes and fading smiles, embraced and cherished by the soft tiny hands of silent little girls whose mindless gentleness set the record for it. And I am, of course I am.
Last night I had a vision coming in through the flimsy window panes, setting the house a-rattling or at least it’s what I saw there was, well the widest desert vacuity crossed by an eternal sort of breeze, kind of sliding down from the range up north and echoing voices around, whispers that cut through my cotton-wool belly giving me the sharpest view upon the hollow night bigger and more aggressive than the last black hole, sucking away at words and shards of pain, the peaceful disease caused by stirring forms of mind. I dread the invisible weight on my belly, nailing me down while my button eyes squirm for a lemony kind of deliverance. Deep green buttons appreciating the starry universe.
In the afternoon the sun beats hard on the plain as I listen to a thousand shrubs slightly swaying out of time, when I suspect no one can take you out of this.
Joe was too full of life and electric dreams to waste his time sucking boring literature so one day, enlightened by desire, he just thrust his beautiful collection of French and American masterpieces of the century, all them lovely geniuses, he thrust them on the floor and lit a marvellous fire all adamantly blue like the most enticing inspiration. He sensed purification from all those useless words burning dissolving into priceless atoms of the world, bright and clear when it sets your mind afire and Joe wished it could, always for every single fragment, split second of a lonely day.
His eyes icy green stared at the infinite shades of blue tinged by grey and the silent sky was already a reason to live, stepping free and holy out of the cosy crap we know so well, days and nights of homes and families enslaved to a culture of solid lies and fucked-up belonging, longing to die for fear to see. Envision the immense universe embracing our shaky heads and I will deny the past. As my rags feel like bruised skin craving more energy, new essential stories to colour my days in this porchless shed.
Back then you know, little Joe was my hero and closest friend; I used to follow his every move from the corner of our bed, my fluffy feet bright orange on the checkered quilt. Struck by sudden love pangs, he would leap on the bed squeezing the softest cotton-wool out of me and I would feel happy, his wispy hair sandy and sweet on my chubby arms.
Then they left, family had to go somewhere else out of unexpected failure so there I stood in a cardboard box among deprived knick-knacks and a broken table lamp to spare me some light.
Betty found me out of a Sunday garage sale in mid-fall, a day slightly warmed by see-through sunshine even though it had rained so much the night before. We went for a stroll down the leafy boulevard, her sweet arms tight around my waist while her tiny nose kept on exploring through my bright green dreadlocks. Her jangly walk set off an awkward fancy rhythm in my belly so that trees and sidewalks kinda looked different, sharper maybe or was it the emotion of a new encounter?
We used to spend our days in the park, the central one, close to downtown where flowers and cars reminded us of another life, coming closer to the surface of an unknown foreboding while Betty hid her lips into shivery tulips. She would sit on the green cross-legged and graceful with me in the middle, creating a preposterous balance: Betty wouldn’t say much, just lie there and catch a million voices from every single leaf, voices of stray passion and faded fear, a silent chair dividing space and time in two and there, the invisible crack, she would find peace because somewhere you reach the feeling things don’t exist anymore, finding yourself beyond the line of unfathomable conflicts. I saw it in her eyes, the swaying of trees the most vivid expression of life violent out of control with bruised lips trembling. What did I really know about her precious mysteries? Safe for the strange dimension we were raising around us, desperately looking for something clearer to fill our bellies where there was apparently no way to. At the end of the day you wish life could be nothing but a whisper.
Roaring dog came and grabbed me away as Betty was checking the magpies wasting around the grey pond. I couldn’t even let out a sorrowful sigh so fast was the ugly beast, treading the bushy path to the other side. I just felt my hands and feet bouncing in the ominous air, clouds gathering up above. I always wondered what lies within the sky’s grey shade like I feel there’s always a message in such things though hard to reach I know. Wrapped in the urgency of that frightful moment. I got swung into the cold water splashing all around, soaking my fabric in a matter of seconds. And I went down disturbing minute red sharks contemplating submarine darkness.
After one day lying underground, Marie came by with a rusty hook fishing me out of the muddy waters, where I did nearly lose my colours. She brought me home in a wicker basket, hanging me out to dry for about two days spent looking at the world upside-down, entertaining the few sparrows that happened to stop by. I guess they were wondering how did it look like from that obsolete angle.
-I’d like to be a giraffe but then it’s too hot but then if you’re a giraffe you wouldn’t care about it…
-A mighty bird maybe mm… well if you’re a mighty bird men will chase you and if you’re a small bird all animals will chase you… ehm
-A tortoise or an elephant then yes, men will slaughter you
-Tortoise? You mean turtle?
Silence grew sweet upon Marie and John, close tight to each other as in a plastic nest tiny wooden flowers in their minds. I’d been watching them all night taking strange positions reflections in their eyes. Marie up against the wall as John would crawl upside down on her milky skin, inch after inch, moaning sweet songs.
-I love Depeche Mode, they’re brilliant, aren’t they? Fuck, I wish I had a light bulb fur myself… I wish I could be in my perfect garden…
-Would the one day fly feel that her life will last just that long? I’d be watching peacocks pacing around, them psychedelic tails showing a thousand shades of blue…
Marie would come back from work just disconnected, eyes blank and shaky lips, falling on the bed like a numb fish going ahem mmm gnarf gnarf for half an hour then back to music blasting pictures in her eyes. She just told me about anything, John and her syrupy life: she met him in the joint, one day some months before while she was taking money from the cash machine. He looked shaky and slightly insecure, asking her for coffee, faking self-confidence. She had a boyfriend at the time but she knew it didn’t matter anymore even if it wasn’t completely true; she was getting closer to new enthralling puppetry, enticed by a wave of smudgy dreaminess.
The one time in the bushes was when she happened to understand love’s like candy, it melts under your tongue fading away, straight and true, just a second in the ocean breeze. They loved the nothing time in between pleasure, where no edge can harm the skin like gravity dissolves into simple imagination. And it is.
After a few weeks passing time upon the shelf, Marie lent me to her aunt, a lovely girl of sixty whose pearly white hair seemed to give a shine to the afternoon air; she owned a corner bookshop downtown, just in front of the main college and I loved her the moment I met her vivid eyes, so young after years of space and time. She used to sit behind the small counter smiling at customers as though she could see through them, toward something brighter than life or she’d take a gentle stroll along the racks, dusting volumes here and there the ones that stuck out. I guess I did fit between the history of rock’n roll and the book of ancient Irish cuisine, a relief stance I did think.
I used to wonder about the myth of the tiny silver star, the one Megan hid in my belly pocket the day we gave time on the steps of the green church, just one fine day in mid-July while winds were chasing the clouds away.
I thought I saw the cardboard star somewhere in the past then maybe I just made it up in my puppet dreams. When she gave it to me, I failed to sob out of sheer surprise, I recall we had a long stroll along the waterfront, the sundown adding colour to the blue waters of the sound, bushy islands encircling the closest horizon. Then we stopped right at the end of pier 19 from where the whole sound looked like a strip of mystic urban serenity and she sighed, flicking the last cigarette over the banister into the sea.
-Do you know what this small star means, at least to me? Mmm… I guess you know. They don’t understand whenever I try to tell them. Mmm? Of course.
The waters reflected the interstellar overdrive and the day was gone.