Monday, June 9, 2014

Writing - Luminary Memories

Writing - Luminary Memories

I am a wanderer.  Tracing barely remembered paths up and down back streets, through alleyways and down that dappled lane.  This wayward stroll, following vanishing friends and fading memories, the sounds of the past and moments gone.  We have all grown up, become other people and done other things.  The buildings are boarded over, replaced with fresh paint and new glass, the cars a shiny varnish, and what's left of a rainstorm drifts down the gutters with languidity.

A long hug, warm embrace and the ghost touch of lips on skin.

I remember the late nights, a drunken stumble and our loud laughter.  We were the kings and queens of our world, striding four abreast across this river of stilted concrete and crumbling stone.  We pushed our way through knee-high snow and blowing winds.  We strolled along waxing poetic, plying words to our whimsy as we debated the intricacies of terms and things barely known.

I remember the tea and music, of dancing and sweeping and joyous exaltation.  Of closing up shop and brewing another batch, we played keyboards and guitars, warrior musicians of a different age, sipping chai to the fading light until we closed the doors.  Another round of coffee for my brothers, the night is but young, and there are topics yet un-debated for our ripe minds to pick at.

I remember running through the streets, a superhero, the time an enemy.  Floods of people part and I yell "Sorry" behind me.  Bag bumps my hip, binder heavy in my hands.  The race across the streets from one show to another.  I chart the path I took that day with my eyes, see the crowds, the excitement; "Artist coming through!" a knowing smile, a call time that can't be missed.

The press of clay between fingers, muddy hands entwined as we folded pots in on themselves and laughed.  Smudged and dirty, trying to coax earth impossibly high and errantly thinner.  Painting glaze and imagining wonders and not children's toys.

Dancing, a swirl of bodies and sweat and warmth and love and the beat, the beat that rushes through our feet and moves us.  Moves us.  We can't help but drift stellar across the floor smiling at each other beneath lashes and long hair, fingers entwine, you grab my shirt and pull me where you will.

I remember a bridge, the open water, a rising sun and a belly full of donuts.  We climbed that mountain of steel and rivets, doing impossible things and wanting to see impossible sights.  We laughed, and ignored the scuff marks on our hands and the rips in our jeans.

We walked arm in arm, singing tunes and being children in a time of adulthood.  We whistled at each other and dissolved in a fit of helpless giggles.

Running out into a blizzard to get some ice cream.  We were young and silly and foolish.  We got frostbite for it.

Playing pingpong, crushing tiny plastic balls against the stonework in the summer air on the back of a loading bay, we would rush there and play a handful of games, paddles flying and keeping score.

A plate of nachos too big for all four of us to finish, a thing of ice and alcohol that we drank in the hot summer sun, wings and beer, late night pizza, bites of steak and chips and corn.  Green onion cakes on rainy summer days, a morning bagel and coffee to warm us up.

The smell of books, of meeting amidst the stacks and pointing out the covers and the names.  The swirl of colors and characters that danced on book jackets before our eyes, we flipped pages and watched words collide, meandering, imagining.

Open spaces and possibilities, with pinpoint lights and racks of steel.  With speakers high and seats down low.  The black decks a canvas for our ideas, our dreams and imaginations.  Our voices raised high, our hearts beat down low.  We were these gods of these empty buildings and spaces, between brick and concrete, building worlds with the flick of a wrist or a twist of the head, watching light and hearing sound expand, fill and explore.

I remember a bite of your sandwich.  And you stealing my fries to dip them in ketchup, and vinegar, and gravy.  You are weird.

A hacky-sack game in the shade.

A glass of lemonade so sour it made our mouths pucker.

Sitting in the grass watching a magician ply his trade while I signed your cast.

Our friends serenaded us with guitar and ukelele, with violin and keyboard, with a harmonica.  With spoons.

We propped ourselves up back to back and watched the world pass by.

I remember arms wide open and jubilation, yelling at the heavens.

I remember singing.

I remember loving.

I remember living.

I did not die that day on the open plains, waist deep in snow and storm, blowing wind and howling fury.

I did not die that day on the bridge of steel and iron, that colossus of earthwork that rises above the river.

I did not die that day in the open air, plummeting with the rush of earth and wind.

I did not die that day, with eyes slowly closing and with breath drifting from my lungs.  I did not die, surrounded by linens and cloth, feel the slowing of my heartbeat, and the darkness at the edges.  I did not die, with vermillion leaking out my veins and crystal falling from my eyes.

I did not die that day, I am here, remember, and live and still.

I hug you again, again, again, I crush you to me, and me to you, breathe in and know and remember and commit these thoughts forever and a day.

Again.  I hug you friend, again.  I live.  I remember.  I am here and the fading memories, they fade no more.