Friday, April 11, 2014

Pull up a chair, grief.

I sat in a park alone. Let the wheel turn as it would. All went silver into nothing. Then the view again. Silver. View.  I found that finally I was crying, the tears thick, oozing gently past my lower lids and onto my cheeks, immediately effaced by the wind that was mildly warm but gusty.  After ten or fifteen minutes the view took more colours. I realized I was crying not for my Uncle who just died, but for myself and his children. That I was crying because I know and fear that when my Dad dies I will be infantile with grief, an utter child again, railing and flailing.  I understood too that that though I will cry for when my Mum dies it won’t be so outraged. I hold her too close inside, she’ll always be in me chattering away, whereas the loss of my Dad will come with a fear that he is indeed lost…He lives not in the world of talk which can resonate inside, but in the world of activity.  I will see him in the repairs of my home, in my own tendency to not let myself be picked over in a fight, my straight and sound work, in some of the charm he transmitted through genes or all the living. I should trust I will have him close, yet somehow it his death I fear more greatly.

The wheel turns, the warmish wind blows, it is autumn, thinning of the veils.  And there!  Colour again.  A shed so blue it is sky. Its trim is the burnished brown-red of olives. The taste almost on me, of olives on a day hung cerulean blue.  Death-thoughts subside in the moment of that shed’s painting, all the confluent story of someone choosing those colours, dreaming that scheme; then two little girls emerge from the shed on hot-pink bikes. I remember being six or seven and going to Dad’s work, the excitement of it, the great warehouse where I rode a big purple woman's bike round and round the empty concrete floors. Hot chocolate in the dark wood office.  Just another childhood Saturday.

And now I build those childhood Saturdays for another, good reason, sensible loving reason, to have held down on grief and mortal fears. Good reason to go now, away from the salty words and into the sweet of my son and his little limbs sprawled on the couch. But I know too I’m not done crying, that in the mix of life and the days there is so much salt ahead, salt enough to make a statue of a wife, or salt enough to buoy a ship.

Which will it be?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A silent moment in the music

It’s a glaring autumn day and I am pleasantly mellow from a new sleeping pill I tried last night.

I was in bed, hazing and fluttering to the wind and creaking house, and felt as though I was back in the era of coming down from a night of hard dancing and partying.

I recalled a wild time. I had been with the usual crowd of about fifteen friends and it was a surprisingly small club and a winter gig. The DJs were from Detroit and the crowd worshipped their mix of dropping in Motown to high NRG beats.  I left everyone in a moment of clarity and certainty that I wanted to observe and absorb the undulating crowd of arms in the air.

Upstairs I prowled the mezzanine then bumped into an old friend that I had dropped for his ruthless wildness.  He was still elfin, delicate looking, shave-headed, his homosexuality projecting from him like a prowling beam.  We fell into each other’s arms and grinned ecstatically. “I want to hang out with you.” “ Yes, let’s go NUTS.”

He offered me cocaine,  e, speed…patting his cargo-pants pockets and beaming.  But even with the gleeful daemons wanting to play I had a ‘one elixir' rule and my choice was drink…”NO, let’s do shots!”

We sank shots and then champagne from the mezzanine bar then drifted down to the floor, soon in the middle, riding high on the wave of sound and people-pleasure, dancing like gleeful imps and air punching. I forgot the old ruthlessness he could show and swam with him instead in the moments of being beautiful and glorious.

He was my age, and at over thirty we were older than many in the crowd, so we busted out tricky moves from the early eighties house-music days and soon had a circle of dancing ‘fans.’

We danced for hours, leaving only for more champagne and toilet breaks; him coming into the ladies and using the make-up of many passing girls…

At dawn I still liked him, a lovely thing, and we parted to go to separate recovery-days, mine at a small club where the flavour was trance and jazz and fusion, him off to an outdoors day-rave.

It was years until I saw him again; he was skipping lightly arm in arm with beautiful young queers through a park I was in with my son.  He beamed at me and nodded at my boy.  I smiled and clasped my child’s hand.  A flicking moment where we acknowledged a passionate past friendship and respected the gulf between our now-lives.  We had forgiven each other;  me for his diamond-hard- core, him for my casting him adrift when he broke one too many times.    Forgiven each other through a communion of wild dance.  Would I want him in my life again?  No.  But how I love that memory of our dancing.

 Another jewel in my box of pretty things.