Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hovering Awe

We are in an existential freefall.

He lay in murky half-sleep as I stood by his bedside, rubbing lotion into his twisted, sleeping feet. My eyes kept vigil on the readouts of the ventilator, the heart monitor, the oxygen levels of lungs. Maintaining the appearance of someone but drifting through a number of strong realities, I find I am quite a few someones lost in one body. The day before I was a worker bee. Subways, winter chills, the darkness that fell so early every day, the daily grind, the forever feeling of being tired. I was a friend and a lover, a daughter and sister, and a million other things in between.

Today I was simpler. Quieter. Just a girl, keeping watch over a stubborn man stuck painfully inside a broken body. He and I were joined somewhere between each other, outside of ourselves.

His eyes snapped open. He looked around frantically, searching, the touch of my hands on his feet unfelt. I walked around the bed and took hold of his right hand, kneading the dry skin there that barely covered brittle bones beneath.

We locked eyes. He smiled his familiar smile, awkwardly stretching that goofy grin over tubes rising up out of his throat. He closed his eyes and squeezed my hand. His nails dug into me: the urgency of a frightened man. It was impossible to tell if he was falling down, flying up, or floating.

“We’re all dying,” he wrote a few minutes later.

“But not right now,” I answered out loud.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Road to NowHere

“Everything is blooming most recklessly.”—Rilke

Creative destruction: the act of dismantling a symbol representing what one will no longer settle for; getting rid of something incapable of driving one to where he or she needs to go. Sort of like a cicada crawling out of that weird tan shell and fluttering away without it. They say in order to live free and happily, you have to give up boredom [and clutter, and safety nets]; and that can be the most difficult sacrifice of all. I’m not sure what heaps of old-car parts and random gears and gadgets in my brain are causing the clutter and crying out for dismantling and removal. But one thing’s for sure: It’s pre-spring-cleaning time. Static fuzz, take a walk.

“You live in a place between the sound and the fury,” he told her. “It bears no resemblance to anything else and yet feels like home.” And this: "I was struck when I caught a glimpse of our reflection in the window while we rode the subway. We look good together. And I worried that you're going to break my heart."

The essayist Logan Perssall Smith said: “There are two things to aim at in life. First to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.” His words loop through my head as seasonably sunny, cold winds kiss my cheeks. There’s a lot to feel hopeful for; one need only trust herself enough to find a creative way through the bog.

“Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be…Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go.” – Mark Helpin

I had a dream recently without vision. It was only my voice, trying to determine whether when people die they stop being able to answer our questions; or if we stop being able to ask them. I waked. I smiled.

Today's another day, and we're all still here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Alleged Robbery Scam Belies Industry Crime Drop

Alleged Robbery Scam Belies Industry Crime Drop
By Nicole Caldwell
[Click on article for larger viewing size]



[Originally published in Diamond District News, February 2009]