On the ferry against the rail
the deck as grey as the sky almost or vice versa
a kind of damp that works itself in finds the nooks hangs.
All the motion moving
or the appearance of such that the cars lined
We putter about with refined precision.
There are wreaths festooned with red bows
and garland strung.
A festive palor I suppose.
She is inside.
She is inside sitting at one of the booths by the window
contemplating I am pretty sure but I won’t take it much further than that.
“What do you mean by enable?” she’d said.
We had been discussing the proposed dynamic the whole drive in.
It was very early then and I guess still is now.
The shoreline and the trees marching are just visible passing.
“I don’t know,” I’d said,
“I think by showing up, by attending the
function, we are in a sense enabling the behavior,
the behavior consistent with the proposed collective merry absorption of certain substances.”
“The dysfunction,” I’d said.
So sure I suppose the use of the word dysfunction in conjunction with the discussion of her family of origin’s holiday traditional scenario is perhaps the crux of the matter.
Hence the crummy contemplative look.
I’ve witness to that look.
The lull before the storm so to speak.
The last time it was about a puppy in a box out front of Wal-Mart.
“The sanitation process has begun,” I say.
“The process?” she says.
“The whole ker-chunk ker-wang beep-beep when they backup,” I say.
“What are you trying to say I am late,” she says.
This is not something that will likely register I consider
as she paces applying articles of clothing. It is damp and has been for sometime outside; sodden inside-out it seems.
“I believe I will paint a tricycle yellow today.” I say.
“So what is with the beep-beep?” she says.
“The garbage truck beep-beep keeps time with the tock of your heels usually for about a block,” I say.
“Don’t make a mess,” she says.
“Keep the tromb-wall height that of the hem of your skirt,” I say, “And triple latte.”
“I am not wearing a skirt ,” she says.
We have been discussing this scenario for sometime now.
To no real avail. The wall height is a minor issue.
We acknowledge such is the case with our own secret code.
Today is my turn to not be up to the task and laundry.
“I am menstruating and you don’t have a tricycle,” she says.
“I want one a yellow one,” I say.
“I am making coffee don’t make a mess,” she says.
The damp is obvious and pale clung to the window.
Her head has been shorn. I am not yet quite used to it the bald.
Something is up. I’ve noticed an odd lilt in her step.
Foot-wear jargon I suppose.
“Don’t let the cat out,” she says.
“There’s a cat?” I say.
“Remember how we used to say nice things to each other?” he said.
“I do,” she said, “We were quite fond then.”
“Fond?” he said.
“You know,” she said.
“I have been purchasing deli sliced cheese all week,” he said.
“And refrigeration?” she said, “Do you refrigerate?”
“Why yes of course and the note on the door my vitamins,” he said.
“Good,” she said, “You look well.”
“Catatonic,” he said.
“I am menstruating,” she said, “I want to kick someone in the crotch.”
“The yellow mostly marigolds are blooming.” he said.
“What are you reading?” she said.
“I am mulching not reading,” he said, “I am reading about a guy mulching his garden.”
“I am smoking grass now,” she said. “They call it weed at my work.”
“Are you high now?” he said, “Stoned, lit?”
“Not so much,” she said, “But there are times.”
“What are you reading?” he said.
“Do you have any money?” she said.
“I have deli sliced and heirloom tomatoes,” he said.
“ I should kick you in the crotch,” she said.
“Would you like a beer a shot?” he said.
“I might a shot I thought you quit,” she said.
“I am reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein,” he said.
So yes there were times, and sure we waded thru the dysfunction relatively unscathed I mean no real scars to speak of… tho there was that retched morning in the kitchen in Olympia yelling in our socks wrestling to NPR and the pop of her knee when we went down. There is that to maybe consider.
Ok so yeah I punched her.
I suppose I punched her right in the nose.
It was one of those Dairy-Queen soft serve treks.
The sidewalk was still warm.
It was chatter of the hybrid dysfunctional kind and we were strolling.
There were lawn-mowers hedge-clippers and leaf-blowers going. I would not say it was frenetic but the neighborhood appeared I would say brisk.
So it came up again.
“What do you plan on doing?” she said.
“Right now?” I said.
“This minute now,” she said.
I knew it was going to be an up-hill climb.
There had been words.
And kitchen furniture and appliances.
Not so much the durable goods kind I guess.
“You should look for a place,” she said.
“Nebraska,” I said.
“Somewhere anywhere soon,” she said.
I figured there are some things soft-serve won’t solve.
“I’ll figure something out,” I said
“You god damn right you will you bastard,” she said.
And so she turned and kicked me in the crotch.
I punched her in the nose as I was going down and pretty soon we are both splayed out on the sidewalk this is how I knew it was still warm and she is holding her nose cooing like a Sand-Hill crane and I am pretty well immobilized and stars and this fella pounces on me and drags me over across his lawn and Half-Nelson’s me or whatever till the cops show up.
They are all still standing on the porch light pointing.
Pointing to me smoosh’d in the backseat of this prowler.
Dispatch sounds sexy and the bats flitter.
I do not see her. She is probably busy being pampered somewhere.
And but so I’m standing there
all covered in razzberry juice
with my thumb out
in the sun standing
and she pulls up
all kinda anxiety ridden
with this so do you want a ride
look screwed all over her face
her dog is in back
panting and the tops down
the suns hot I get in
she has one bare foot up on
the dash two hands gripping
the wheel and she launches the
topless Jetta back onto 101
in this jerky I could give a crap way
and she has on these goggles
and I’m thinkin she’s this alien bug
with breasts and a nice foot
and the coast is out there
to the left all blue on blue
I look and she has this mondo bud
all hairy stinky and such
she’s wavin it around all
Shaman like asking me if
I can roll and partake
I’m so but um yeah
and down between my knees
outta the turbulence I twist
up this excruciatingly huge
root and she’s all wide eyed
and oh my…
and we’re winding up the coastline
I’m watching her foot with
all kinds of skank in hand
and I catch this wicked slant like
grin eek out the side of her face
she’s all dropping gears and stuffs
the tiny V-dub off the road onto
a piece of gravel poking out
above the shoreline that seems
to go in a bunch of directions
all at once and be like blue
at the same time I’m all holy shit
and she’s um yeah so get out
bails all over the hood
of this cherry and I’m but lady
and she’s got her head cocked
spark the ganja bolt rider boy
I’m all but um sure
standing there and she’s so
this knockdown hood ornament
and I’m tugging on the grass
she’s running her hands thru
her hair I’m all over the dope
it’s skunky and my heads full
and she’s all grabby so I hand
her the fatty smooth and floaty
and she still has this nefarious
grin going on all shit-eaten like
and she’s starin at the razzberry stains
on my fingers the surf is crashing
below and were tit-for-tat
on the doob all gonzo
and she ups and slides on off
the hood and she’s standing
shaking her head all kinda I
so don’t know why I’m doing this
and but she drops all her clothes
off onto the ground right there
so I’m staring at this clump
of clothing and the surf is loud
and she’s running butt naked down
this trail to the beach the surf
waving for me to come on.
I stood at the edge of the pavement camel like.
The birds were unusually active and traffic was sparse.
I pretty well much had my thumb out and coffee
and my Marks-A-Lot and a shit eaten grin.
The markers are kind of toxic and yet I scribble
on guardrails stuff about having to have been there once.
Big trucks generally do not stop for us these days.
This one did I piled in when he got stopped.
The guy driving the truck driver, over here from Romania.
He appeared healthy and young and spoke very little English.
The cab of the truck was enormous and well lit
tho you have to consider most of it windshield.
We did alright communication wise I suppose, I mostly nodded.
He steered the truck crossed himself a lot and prayed.
It wasn’t so much a real prayer as a mutter.
But I imagine the point was gotten wherever it went.
The truck driver asks what for I be out here?
I don’t know, I told him I was comfortable here.
He said something about to go back to, from here.
It is all quite linear to me I told him.
Linear didn’t register so I just said Boston at least.
The truck driver from Romania kept crossing himself and steering.
I watched Nebraska and the corn ratchet ditch wise by.
At mile marker 420 the truck driver pulled off.
He looked at me and told me to go back.
He tossed me a clean pair of socks or two.
So anyway it was a crummy place to get dropped.
I didn’t have much choice but to go back west.
I figure shoot I’ll just go back to The J.
Start fresh in the morning, when this guy walks up.
He was short with a big belly button down shirt.
I think it was 103 degrees and humid no breeze.
The guy was sweating and appeared perplexed or agitated somewhat.
I offered him some water and a chunk of guard-rail.
He told me in broken English he was from Romania.
I can feel a tension in the atmosphere, in the immediate vicinity.
The Lanky fella, and the Little guy are interacting on a rather strange level. The Lanky guy is agitated, he keeps nudging the cement with the toe of his boot.
We have been hanging out under the overpass most the afternoon.
What can I say, it is incredibly hot and not one of us needs to be anywhere very soon. And well yeah the Little guy has some pretty good weed. I have to remember to hydrate.
I function quite well as a freelance spectator. I have acquired a tidy set of observational skills. The Lanky fella is seeking validation.
He knows I could give a crap so he has kinda cornered the Little guy up against this rather large slant of concrete.
The Little guy and me we talked some, I get where he is coming from, and well, the Lanky fella lets you know what your in for as soon as you run across him like I did. I mean it is some awfully harmless stuff from one side of the fence.
I tell the Lanky fella I could give a crap, but I tell him… I say I do know one thing.
I know this fella, Dr. Bertlmann.
Dr. Bertlmann on any given day never wears the same colored socks. The fact that he consistently wears different colored socks is our constant. We can rely on this data. So lets say you get a glimpse of Dr. Bertlmann rounding a corner and see just one sock, a pink sock. Your data is reliable. The observations are consistent. There you go.
Of course I tell the Lanky fella, it is about entanglement,
and our human essence, and wave function I suppose.
That’s what I know, I know the other sock is not pink.