Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Southern Cross (to bear)

Page 248 and Fleming's still choosing coffee over the bottle. He still gets the latter, offered up by the old and weathered and dying either to make some tiny ammends to the fragile, or - almost forgiven - to try to get a rope around a little bit of beauty, take it down with them. A rabbit's foot. A four-leaf clover covered in gold.

It's funny that it is here and now, in this umpteenth journal that a realization hits me. I'm starting to sink back into some relaxed, southern earth I didn't think stuck around low these twelve years up north. By all rights it ought to have come about after some small tragedy, stolen wallet or busted locks or lips on the way back from a night to remember. But there's been no such loss. I think it comes to others this way, but when you're as sensitive as I am, it doesn't take much. And the Lord God whoever has clearly taken this into account and doled out epiphanies in right and proper proportion.

I see, and now I know.
It feels real and I'm the kind to heed what it might come to mean.

The language that speaks to me these days rests in valleys not covetous of surrounding peaks, but resigned without a word to a place that cradels wind and rain instead of braving it for old Scottish ballads and shitty overpriced scenescapes circa my granddad's living room.

It's a language that can drink like my father did for a time, like I've heard his dad did. It could break noses by looking at them. It's the language of earlier times hid away in attics and spider basements. Younger days full of whatever the hello powered them, like crack we can no longer afford. Nights too much like contstantly pulling a butt from the fire for one last taste of what's been bought and paid for. I dreamed I talked with Buford, my mother's father the other night, in a way I never did when he was alive.

"Finishing up when the clouds are gathering" he said "is the best example of heaven."

"It's a sign sure as losing the lottery." I added bitterly.

"The air getting colder and your lot burning its last till payday. I don't know," he drew out with a cigarette smile, "timing like that should give a guy some hope in something."

I stared at my shoes and paused out of respect. These were words he could do something with, and I should find a way, too. Some simple scrap meant for better than fading into the backdrop of days. He said he tried reading some book from China once that was supposed to hold some wisdom. The "I-Ching" I told him. I gave it to you. All he could remember was the number of times it used the word 'auspicious'.

"Seemed like a bunch of fortune cookies with a bar code." He laughed embarrassed, trying not to disrespect it as a present from his grandson.

But these sentences, the ones he doled out wistfully in my dream, these were something that could make a life with legs under it, should you have the gift to know what the hell to do with it.

I finish Provinces of Night and begin Crime and Punishment. Lord help the kind of dreams I'll have now.

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