It’s the people absent from my bed who are changing my name, eroding at my identity like a negative space sketch of rain. I can’t help but recall my conversations, the blankets inspire me, the delicate, familiar movement of taking my glasses off and putting them on the windowsill. I’ve been setting my eyes down on various surfaces every night of my adult life, slowly evolving into someone who doesn’t like to be on top because I can’t see my love’s face from so far away. I remember Marc’s laughter, his climbing strong melody as he cradled my glasses and explained to me very carefully where he was putting them down. Another windowsill. Like mine, to the left, but not the same at all. A queen size bed but we still managed to fall off the sides. I remember Lidd crying, viciously attacking the life given to him, threatening to smash my vision to the street below. Too much alcohol, too little faith. I could see myself in a mirror then without them. Worse now, my astigmatism, my trained lack of sight. I remember lots of things, voices attached to shining blurry faces. Different colours. Lindsay, he had a desk with a computer from 1995. I put my glasses down next to the keyboard, under the red guitar that hung from the brick wall. Lindsay, whose chocolate hands made my skin look like iridescent milk.
A flash to Lung taking a picture down his pants on a dare, how we discussed Oliver’s skin tone as something to photograph nicely against mine. To my silver haired scientist twisting away from my camera, hiding under the blankets, breaking my heart. The beautiful images Alastair would send me long distance, driving my adoration from over a thousand miles away. Kyle was so beautiful I could have cried.
Repetition with improv over the top. Notes of fire, of searing words. Burning too hot, too fast, too aware of the desperation inherent in oxygen, a poison gas when taken straight. I didn’t like the wall sized mirrors in that fugitive hotel, how they turned my blurred body into a pale shifting ghost, messy hair and all. Not to say I don’t find hotels mirrors friendly. The man who is named the evening star, he grasped the delicacy of my blindness right away. Gently murmuring about his father’s death to the glow of craving a cigarette, he ran his hands along my arms, guiding me to where I needed to be. I took a picture in that mirror, wearing his shirt, my hand upraised, a final thank you and eventually, later, a good-bye. He undid the buttons and every doubt I had about my body fell off me in shards, never to return again.
These are the things that stick, a hundred final scenes. Kissing a man in a restaurant, only a few blocks from my apartment. Touching his tattoo and wondering briefly, the closest I’d flirted with infidelity, if anyone would see us. All a long time ago now, these memories held like dried flowers, delicate perfumed things, willing to break details if handled roughly. Photographs seen from the wrong end of a telescope, out of proportion, fading when the phone-calls do.
The Moon Festival starts tonight at 7:00. Renfrew Ravine Park, at 22nd and Renfrew.
Easy to get to by transit: Take the skytrain to 29th Ave. Station, then take the Arbutus bus five minutes to 22nd.
My fire show tonight starts at 7:30. There will be fireworks, an underage contortionist, a band made of eight trombones, a percussionist, and an erhu, and half my crew are delinquents, including one multiply convicted arsonist.
If any of the fire people on my list would like to come perform, I can toss you into our finale if you check in with me early enough.