For a certain little boy in England who wants his own Lizard of the Loo.
Read the reason for this video by clicking the link here to read The View from the Throne.
Beginnings. It’s what my brain is telling my fingers to shape this week. The series starts HERE with one of my all-time favorite pieces. Today’s piece is a work of fiction, though my fiction often contains more of myself than I am ever willing to reveal in my own voice. Thank you for visiting, for reading, and for sharing my words.
The grief of the soul assaults everyone in the murky claws of night. She is not exempt. It sinks its talons into her chest and drags her out of bed, her feet protesting as she is propelled down the hall. Is it because she hasn’t slept in a week that she imagines a shape in front of her, a shifting image that changes from leering to loving, from the first blush of amour to the final searing throes of goodbye?
She blinks, her eyelids sluggish from insomnia and torrents of tears. No she decides. Purposeful absence paints him everywhere. Waiting in the car next to her at a random traffic light. Calling at the end of the line with the next trill of the phone. Coming toward her through the stands at a ball game. Sitting just beyond the periphery of her vision at a play. Filling her unopened mailbox with apologies, with revocations, with the admission that he made a mistake when he tossed her away.
Those things never really happen, except in the vacuum where her heart used to be. It’s been hoovered from its moorings and steamrolled into the mud at the back end of a forsaken dirt road. She couldn’t find it if she tried.
Weak light from the refrigerator makes her squint at the bottle of water on the top shelf. Sighing, she grabs it and trudges to the sofa. I was sitting here the last time he walked out that door she thinks to herself as the water falls from her hands and seeps into the cushions and the carpet. Before she can blink, she is kneeling in it, her pajamas soaked and her wet hands blending with the cascading rivers on the landscape of her face. I don’t want to begin again I don’t want to start over I don’t want to…………………
She heard it spoken aloud, read it in the lanky shadows on the wall, and saw it printed on the insides of her eyelids when she heaved them shut. It stole its way to the wasted carcass that lived where her heart once pumped. With a jolt, it shocked her system into a new start, filled it with the will to begin again.
It wasn’t a dream. She knew it when she awoke on the floor, still damp from the spilled water bottle. Every end is a beginning she whispered.
Her mouth trembled as it formed the first vestige of a timid smile.
Beginnings. It’s what my brain is telling my fingers to shape this week. I can think of no better way to start this series than with one of my all-time favorite pieces. Thank you for visiting, for reading, and for sharing my words.
I Will Remember You. Will You Remember Me?
A scrim. It’s a theatrical device. Essentially a translucent piece of fabric, it’s usually employed to evoke specific feelings in the audience. Fog perhaps. A scene illumined by odd light and shadow. The dead of night.
My memory works like a scrim. Things happened to me behind it. People move. They change. Scenery advances and contracts. The play is there, but the outlines are muted, fuzzy.
That’s the way I’ve always felt about the town of my birth. Few people would guess, but I am a Tennessean, hailing from a town outside of Nashville called Springfield. Right after I was born, my parents moved us to another town, giving me a few random experiences in the place of my spawning before we left it all behind the scrim when I was four years old. To me, it’s always been this mythic, misty place, separated from me by hundreds of miles and decades that wove a heavy veil over my memory.
My seminal memory from the place of my birth happened before I was two. I sit in a car with my Mom across the street from a boxy building on a hill with a filmy green lawn. Her voice is there, but I can’t see her when she tells me that building was the place I breathed for the first time, the intersection where I became me, started living in front of the scrim of whatever comes before we existed. Not seeing that structure for over forty years didn’t mean I forgot it. The edges were blurred, maybe, and the colors were off, but I still conjured what I saw with my baby eyes on the stage of my mind.
Yesterday, I viewed it again. The same sloping hill. The windows. The odd mish-mash of rectangles and squares. The site that gave me life, tarnished and uncovered, preening in front of the scrim of my recollection.
I sat in the car in the parking lot, afraid to get out and walk. Instead, I talked to some of you right here, used your words to give me the courage to see the place again. A concrete stair. The smell of asphalt. Sunlight glaring from glass. People buzzing around me as I stood underneath a portico and cried alone.
It was the same. And, it wasn’t. A trick of the scrim that highlights some bits while shielding others. I don’t know what I expected. The earth didn’t move; yet, it did. The air wasn’t different; yet, it was. Traffic still whizzed along the roadway; yet, it stood still. Seconds ticked by; yet, time stopped. I didn’t want to feel anything; yet, I felt everything. Sadness and euphoria. Pain and ecstasy. Laughter and tears. Anger and joy. Frustration and purpose.
I imagine if I could see my birth through the scrim of my consciousness, that’s what I’d feel. All of it. At once.