From where I sit at my computer, I can lift my left arm up to point at the sky and directly impale the moon.
I came out of Seattle on the wings of swords, dizzy from lack of blood, thin with anemia, in love with long hair and laughter at three in the morning. How is it that we slept so little and said so much? Sheets stained, a hallway, dancing in the main room, ghosted in, refusing to exist for three days running, the colour of his hands in the sink. Revitalized, starving, everything blurring into a week of living out of town, trying to learn where all the streets joyfully go and how they knit together. Red like bricks, white like sheets, windows running, the darkness of a night-club, an arcade of easy decisions lain out to take, simply, delightfully, right.
Monday I arrived and Monday I left, a line on the calendar, traditional and far away, a sweet stretch of time, between an inhale of wind and exhale of sunshine, just long enough to remember what I want and how much of it I can create.
Back in September, the Brickhouse was crowded with loud, unexpected, off-season patrons, drinking while on their way to a club. The bartender glared at them as I took Mike past the main area, the 70’s upholstered couches cluttered with shaggy pillows, a short row of inaccurate pool tables, to the close seats lining the back where our group generally collects. There’s a Ms. Pacman there and murky fishtanks in-set into the wall full of dubious looking fish we always feel mutely sorry for.
I could see the taxis had been quicker, already our friends were there, a pitcher of dark beer resting on every table. Our evening, as the only people who didn’t smoke, the two playing accordion with language, slid from them into late dinner at a Pho place that played porn on a small television in the back next to a table of beat-boxing Korean boys. Laughter, neon, mirrors along every wall. With dawn threatening, the clock reading older: “Where are you staying?” “Nowhere yet.” “So what you mean to say is that you’re staying with me.” Four hours in a bed together before working up to the common revelation we call a kiss. He looked at me like a child who’s seen something truly marvelous, like the astonishing miracle of a talking sock. I felt like a gift, a treasure worth having, a lesson learned well enough to speak a new language, which was an old language, which was exactly a story waiting to bend itself to fit the confines of my personal mythology as well as my bed.
Seattle, where we met-went next, as architecture, as a patch-work of memories I am beginning to sew from day to day. This is where I took a picture of a walk/don’t walk sign, next to where someone grinned and played the rake, taller, thin, dry, not as everything as I knew before, but better, improved. This is where I stood for the bus that took me to Ballard, where the streets are paved in brick, Norwegian History, a story of a dead son, an Italian dinner, and the sound of back-stage banter at the Tractor, “give me your hand”, climbing the fence and staring down at Nicole as she argued with the buttons of my camera, as I wore Mike’s hat and smiled as if the expression were newly minted just for me. How everywhere is named the spot or the dot or the spatter, from sex clubs to breakfast places to all night diners, dark, noisy, crowded, and low. Dancing all night, walking past another day, sitting on the floor of the beating heart of the downtown library, knowing which bus route will take me back up the hill. Refusing to use anything but his full name, two syllables, originating in Hebrew, meaning “he will add”.
Who was that naked in the fountain? It’s doubtful we’ll ever know, but it is a friend os the family who lives in the pink house basement a block away from the full force impact of forgetting how beautiful his eyes can be, I’ve never seen him need such a shave, December could never be so far away as this moment here, again recognizing my lover and finally feeling my heart breathe.
I am meshing with the city, overlaying memory with memory – a hotel, how strange, sleepless long nights, better than last time, the changes in my life forcing me into a little more. This time with friends, watching my ties as they grow, thrusting roots into the unknown pattern of streets. Eyes stinging from the water as the stars walk by, lights I can’t even pretend to see. Blind. Sitting in a car in a parking lot, realizing that I’m apparently talking to a Jewish martial arts expert composer who runs a store where everything sold is purple and thinking that’s entirely normal and more than a little bit okay. Obviously. Evident like walking through snow, the shape of movement imprinting in the weather. Fire in a room, the shivering unlikely, improbable, and unexpectedly matched up like polarized film. Collected moments accruing into a future avalanche, an altar to where we’re all be next year.
It was nice to meet you, I hope to see you again. With love, and everything else the heart needs around. Knee deep.