Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Roaring Plenties by Katie Heindl

I turn back and see you bobbing in the lake, the sky is pink and the water’s gone silver and something thuds up hard against a wall of my animal heart and goes still. We know ourselves to be savage, I can see the recognition in you of kind, I understand the stirring quality of kinetic triggers or just what comes after 30 beers. The rare moments you realize that everything is happening exactly as it should, roaming out in front of you and coming back in lazy circles before tearing out again on legs taking warm communion with the ground, tetherless. Our hectares are sparks, vibrating colours, your whole body a turnstile stuck with us in the middle, the plexiglass shuddering to know what it's got. You hold me to the hot water vent in the pool, handing me a Roman candle, cupping my chattering mouth and lighting the thing. The gun powder comes down around me settling soft in the chlorine and you tell me to wait there you're getting me out and pull me dripping into a towel then your duvet and then I’m lying on your living room floor wrapped in it, soaked. You hand me the Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band ‘Night Moves’ album and I draw his face on your chest, dripping water all over you. These bursts, stuff as natural as milk teeth, eyeing sideways your greens go into my blues making weird lagoons. Your breath was rampant and mine quit. Standing smirking with an armful of OV bottles, you eyed me from the floor and Billy Joel came from fucking everywhere.

The resilience of your body and how you come to know it, rolling over the hoods of cars and flinging it off the sides of boats into water so cold it shocks your breath from you in clenched up fists, pummelling your back. With all the skin and blood that goes from you into the world you find new ways to grow, outward, skinned open and made wide to the whole world maybe but you feel the power in you keening through pain. And you share your body, that’s what it’s made for. All your native crooks and angles plus the ones the world makes, you fling them around your betters and feel the worse lessen. We burn up, our skin sloughs off, we take mouthfuls of each other, we laugh and choke and sputter and taste so much through moans we build in layers into mountains we barrel down on laughter wild and shaking, tearing down the mountains, burying ourselves in the rubble of each other. I told them all: I can’t wait to know you for the rest of our lives. And the weight of this, of all the blood we’ve left to lose, it casts up over us burning and bright and I feel proud for our pain we’re bound to endure with our backs up on each other’s, holding, steady. What will we take? Too much. There’s no doubt. Have you seen our mouths? Great maws wide as the night, open to shadows and all the shit in between, eager as anything. But I’ve felt all our arms and legs with my own dog-hungry hands and their tremors are thunder steady enough to sleep on. “Can you imagine all the things that are going to happen to us?” I’d asked him, years back, before I even got run-over, “Oh god Katie, I get night terrors already.” You could cast your nets for days, trawl the cold trenches of what’s out in front, but we’ve no idea the depths we’re coming against, broadside. My anchors are blood, theirs and mine and what we’ve mixed up by now, and the holes we’ve made in each other we hold to.

There's a thing to meeting someone in summer. It's loose and it's light and it's all blood, ripe and reeling for the touch. This season feels an effigy, everyone is gathering around you and the light in their eyes is burning you up in flames that lick like the longest days you’d hope for. There ain’t words for how explosive the feeling that comes after cramming the best you’ve got, the best that’ll have you, into one small room again, onto one black roof, where your feet refuse to stay firm on the floor and the bouncing in your body is for how hard you can’t scream. Scrambling up rubble to the rail path, forcing everyone to do push-ups in the couch house, chasing a beach ball around a swamp while Rachel McAdams looks on from craft services ignoring your screams of “I CAN’T STOP TIME TRAVELING” through the firework pops, standing stupid proud with the Roman candles still going off in your hands after the bike cops have rolled out of the fog onto the baseball diamond, paddling back to the jetty weaving around handfuls of bloated oranges bobbing by you in the lake, thrashing the sheets to the floor, jumping off the marina dock in the rain the fog rolling down the bluffs like a tide of hungover ghosts, going feral from the heat, the howling of coyotes from the golf course next door as we stand stock-still and chattering in the backyard pool, the sky orange like an emergency blanket stretching across Chinatown, quicksilver clouds out in front so close you could smell them, heat lightning back behind that, out over the lake and everybody stopped, gaping in the street, smiling at you as you pass in the camaraderie that comes only with weird weather or impending doom, their teeth bright, everyone sweating, a hundred pairs of eyes like emergency flares trained upward, and it’s only July.