Friday, May 9, 2014

The Roaring Plenties

By: Katie Heindl


The willful space over a century of knowing somebody will bring. The still-white heat of disagreements and the hollow tonality of our learned habits well known by the other - there's no such thing as slights of hand when we've had a hand in so many of the other's. It's lonesome, to know so much. It's more lonesome still to think of a time when it will finally have become enough and we will have worn the other out. Not an outgrowing, but a wearing right through. We've holes, already, huge ones. Holes and fresh wounds and places of me you've seen early bodies removed from. It's trying to know you and tougher still to think when we both stopped trying to know the other. I can't even offer it up as a threat, not being there, we're tied so tight to one another something is eventually going to fall off. What is the spectrum of not taking everything so personally made up of? Collapsing stars vibrating with their death knells and the physics behind both swallowing the other. There aren't physics for it. As a comparable experience we aren't one. What do that call that, besides crazy. I described you as being someone who had half a self waiting in the dark ready to pounce on a laid down argument, days old already, thinking of this and that in one word you're a predator and what does it make me. Foul or fowl. The cost of always having someone in your corner is closer to a coroner, your whole self, offered up on the daily willing or not. Open and ready and wound-weeping and bright as you are sapped. What other choice do you have in knowing someone.

In the Gallery of China I reach into my pants and unbunch my underwear and you cover me, arms out wide to ward off nobody, surrounded by 4,000 year old jars. After the Bronze Age we’re in the Gallery of Gems and Gold, exhausted and blinking hard at Brazilian fire opals saying how we both used to smash every single forest rock bigger than a balled fist open hoping for amethyst. Now we’re lying down on the bare hardwood where the bed’s gonna be, in the empty apartment, my heart is starting to slow and the space stretches farther than it did standing up out past my feet. The crux of borrowed space is you come to think of it as owned, cause you drop blood and spill beer and blurt guts past what you shell out each month to take up rooms and a roof. They all say don’t put nails in the wall but the lived damages are near invisible. Hawks perched on billboards for last minute vacation packages, hawks roughhousing and screeching from the trees on our street, thin branches bending from their weight. The cats are here now and they stare out the windows as wide as you can make them. They press to my hands and feet in the night, so long as they can feel me on a part of them. They sit in the bathtub howling, they fall asleep upside-down on the kitchen floor. They eat the corn plant, they eat the spider plants, they vomit, they start to smell so good because they start rubbing against the French lavender but they never take a bite. They scare off the neighbourhood cats that were used to sitting on the porch before it was ours. They puff their breath out like old men running up a hill and somehow that seems to work, like they had the devil at full height behind bringing into this doesn’t know what he’s in for.

The moon was so low and gold it seemed better suited to August. We reversed down the street to better place it between the persistent rooftops of the suburbs and finally through the gap between the Presbyterian church and some forgotten business in a post-modern building that had been there since I was a kid we saw it climbing, butting against the treetops past the buildings. We drove halfway home through the old neighbourhood until it jutted out again. We overshot our street and pulled up in front of my old public school. A two-had like storey schoolhouse the same for a hundred and fifty years or more. Out over the open field, the two baseball diamonds, one sodded over, the moon climbed still. Shaking gold off by the second but not growing any smaller. What a straight shot to drive out onto the field and tear through so many recesses. I'd lain teen drunk here before under smaller moons all to myself, sure in the way you feel your neighbourhood up to the backs of your eyes. What dangers come in the night don't come til later. The blunt scope of my life.

Going through Warden Woods on the subway and the sun shoots through the trees in Morse code. We're of kind. We tore through woods our whole lives. Woods in the spring and their squelching mud and hovering sun, rank smells carried on the backs of breezes that run and smell like new water. The cold in the air that sticks to you til you run it off, replace it with the fawning heat of early sweat, the first of the season. You can’t dress for whole days. You leave your jacket strung up in your tree and your arms bleed pink where you get roughed by new growth gone brittle from winter. The air’s got an edge of everything but most of all someone hollering your name for you to get home already.

She walks around like a drunk on the bus, jerking and teetering and hurling her body to alternating sides as if reacting to the invisible forces already pushing in on her, 14 months into this whole thing. She is generous. She takes one of three chocolate covered cashews in her mouth out and hands it to me pinched between tiny fingers. Somehow she's got warm chocolate all over her feet. The candy is actually closer to hot. She laughs at everything. She somehow launches into a front flip from sitting still. She’s El Salvadorian now, she lives under mountains, the floors are terra cotta and the doors don’t have doors on them, the ocean is close. The pleasure of these tiny creatures entering my life, roaming and grabbing and stomping and falling down, crying and spitting and lying down on the floor with me. To know they are coming, to know they will keep coming, I feel very fierce. Charged by the charge of their blood and small hands knocking at me. 



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