Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding . . .


Alone, standing still behind the unusually silent all-male dormitory, October, a Thursday forty-something years ago, 1975, the not-still boy, the not-yet man, is evening out by the side of the pond which is encircled by drowsy trees.

The trees' maroons and ochers are reflected in pond-ripples, and fat geese float placidly in the refracted hues. They are at home there. No notion of flight troubles their round, puny heads.

And the not-quite-yet man wonders, "How will I get home tonight?" And then (he didn't see the next thought coming) "There is no home to get to." Perambulations of mind, of heart, but not of feet.

During this freshman year aid has been located in a pen to write with, in the constancies of blank pages, in the time to gather something to say, to actually see what one thinks by what one says to no one, though he prefers not to write from his life. Science seems less trouble to write about (he had thought about this). In Science, plots have centers. George Washington Carver felt at home in a dorm like this one, and too, in God's Little Workshop--which is what he called his laboratory. Plasticity there. Bonded molecules of silence. Study. Years a man spends shelling miracles.

In the sky above the not-quite boy, wisps of clouds, the color blue. A sun behind him halo forms around his head. Saturation.

Eyes scanning the eastern sky he notes the complete absence of planes. Song-cycles spin repetitively in his head.

Love-heart loses its elasticity as he stares down at his feet, flat, sinless in the green grass. Organics, he thinks, are very important. When they're used up decay rots the foundations, and the musty world dissembles. No-world. Calcification.

No place to put pain, no one sea big enough in all the failing world.

The composite he had seen in the mirror that day: noboynomannohometogotoanymore.

Faces of people he had known years before now blow through his mind like blooms. A kind of rapture takes him in its embrace. He draws his sweater tight around him like a self who understands that it is wrapped around its own personal store of nothingness.

Nature's flow toward night, indecipherable rhythms, its gradient descent, these lay their certain regularities at his feet.

Gentle breeze blows bushy hair. Close. Round face.

Without detecting how or why, he felt alive. Alive. And so he stopped thinking about home and the absence planes and where he might go to observe the unfathomable pain that heaves the earth's seas, and instead he walked away, in the direction of his room where he would write and wait with oblique anticipation for whatever grace was sure and soon to arrive and bare its breast like a lover to his eyes and heart alone.

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