Monday, December 27, 2010

I should write about that

I don't know what to write. It's been too long since the last time I wrote, and the words have been piling up in my head until I can't sort one from the other. I'm afraid that, having begun to type, they'll all fall out in random order: what, in, whangdoodle, of, Lillian, love, it, the.

I should write about the holidays, about solstice, about that year-end assessment we feel compelled to make. I've been reading back through the years, 2009, 2008, looking for clues to how I came to this place.

Might as well look for buried treasure. Might as well explain the pathways of the heart to a fly, read the future in its thousand insect eyes.

I'm shaking my head over the screen, rattling out a crusty build-up of unwritten, unsaid words. There are only beginnings in there. No conclusions. No answers. A dozen stories begun and lost.

Nothing left but the woman at the coffee shop. She puts her to-go latte on a table, places her hands together in prayer pose, and bows her head. Opens her eyes to scoop up the cup and she is gone.

Nothing but the doorman at the strip club. He wishes me a Merry Christmas as I pass. He looks me in the eye and says it with gravity, almost reverence.

Nothing but the family who folds me in as though I have always belonged.

Nothing but the one who puts his arms around my splintered self and sees where I am whole.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The thing you're not supposed to do is meet someone's eyes. The man sits on a stoop. He's gorgeous. I look right into his large brown eyes.

"The white man's time is over," he says, conversationally. "We will kill you all.

"White devil," he adds as I pass.

It's 8:30 in the morning, and a guy is pissing behind the courthouse in my alley. He's pissing, yelling something at me, but I can't hear what he says, not about to pull out my earphones to listen.

He's coming toward me, too late to avoid his eyes.

"...the FUCK away from me!" This much is clear through the music. He shakes his pink penis at me, drops scattering in a sunlit arc. I step out into the street to give the man plenty of room.

First day of my mini-vacation, and it's raining. Can't find my hat, nothing but a scarf to shield me. I huddle in the bank, where it's warm. Hang out at J's office, delaying the trip home in hopes the weather will break.

The weather doesn't break, and I finally venture out. I head for the bus stop, but the rain is hammering down, I'm already wet. I'm already wet, why not keep walking? I walk and relax into the rain, listening to leaves opening up, soaking it in.

These two strangers knocked me off course this week. I don't know why I care. Random people in the street. But it matters.

I'm at the top of the hill now, back at the labyrinth. Nobody else is here today, not in this weather. There's another one inside the cathedral, but I've made friends with the rain.

I walk, and the rain soaks in, softening, opening me up. Today on the bus a woman smiled, genuinely, for no apparent reason except in recognition of another human. I wanted to hug her.

There's a crowd outside the courthouse. People are holding small U.S. flags and signs that say Marriage Equality. A woman is crowned with laurel leaves. Two men carry stark black and white signs about God's Law. A woman in pink smiles at these men. Her little sign says Marriage is Love. The crowd is subdued, respectful.

The whole world is here, in my neighborhood. It all matters.