For the women who were/are/may-yet-be in my life.
Her hands hurt, hard in the cold rain; creases running rivers through her palms revealed the hidden nature of her life; a banyan tree’s branching limbs stretching out on the microscopic lines of her fingertips reminded a caressed ego that it’s all just passing away anyways. This cold heavy chill sunk deep down into the roots of her central nervous system…tolling her soul.
Initially, she secretly had the intention of remaining forever a delicate little flower; but somehow, a catepillar she became…and bright green, rolly-polly and clumsy she remained until her cocoon moon rose and shone down upon oceans and cosmos alike, wrapping her white-washed, moon-dusted. Once a flower, then a caterpiller…now a great white moth. Her wings stretched out like astral planes expanding, flapping in the cold March air, seeking warmth, seeking home.
Her thoughts however lingered far beneath the dark-and-heavy-springtime-rain-rain-go-away clouds.
The man she’d loved had nearly passed away not yet four hours ago; trapped, suffocating, burning. He’d just barely made it to the hospital in time for emergency surgery. Skin grafts, life support, blood transfusions…the whole deal. She stood at the entrance of the hospital for thirty-seven minutes before she found the strength to push open the door, to go through the motions of being a dutiful “significant other.”
Wheel-chaired patients, aides, nurses, doctors and pizza delivery guys all brushed passed her. All she could do was look up at the tarmac roof. In the cold night, moths frantically swish-swooshed across the fluorescent lighting fixtures seeking heat. She stood and watched her fellow kind. “There they are, struggling with every fiber of their being to reach that stupid fluorescent bulb…and what would happen when they finally squeezed through some small crack in the plastic cover, realizing their nirvana? They’ll get zapped and out their inner lights will go for good.”
Somehow she could relate.
She’d loved him first upon a Wednesday like no other, when earlier she’d found herself’s reflection reciting stories of their future lifetime’s journey together. Earlier that evening, he’d played her a song titled “Just the Same as Your Name” and that moment stays forever suspended in the clear-jelly atmospheres that fueled her fondest memories. His music had her hypnotized, allured her, led her into his masterful hands and the rest for her was simply learning how to tolerate the man that he was regardless of her influence.
Her love had been a cellist/vocalist in an early-90′s jazz/hip-hop ensemble called, “Ambilance.” Their song, “If it don’t smell funky, it ain’t ripe ’nuff for me…” was funkier than a dill pickle stuffed with cheese, fried in chicken grease on a buttermilk waffle smothered in maple syrup AND sausage gravy, served with a side of “…but gottamn that bass line holds it down!!”…and to top it all off, a maraschino cherry. The ensemble never really amounted to much in the grand scheme of Rolling Stone top 40 or anything, though in Ambilance’s defense, as their bassist “Big Marc” so elegantly phrased it, “…the Man did fuck us over.” Regardless of what the critics had to say about their lack of wide-spread marketability, Ambilance made the ladies swoon. Screw the haters.
He had told her all about Ambilance that first Wednesday. She swooned.
“Ahh, yeah you know the music I make really does become a part of me…and the real beauty of it is that once you take it in, then you become a part of it too”…he’d whisper sweet nothings in her ear, her eyes flashing golden nebulas…breasts perking…his fingers quaking tension though the strings of her heart, digging deeply into the rosewood fretboard of the small of her lower back…He took hold of her hair with a firmness she’d never felt. Often, in the heat of it all, the reverberations had a tendency to short circuit her brain’s ability to form coherent sentences…”Ahh the cello’s mellow bellow…a yellow sparrow chirps a friendly ‘helloooo finnnee fellow’…I mean, ahh whatever, let it ride…how’s it feel inside?” She’d drone on, moaning nonsensical phrases of possibility…….Oohhhh….His pressure made her wince in pain. They came simultaneously, and, coincidentally, they climaxed simultaneously concurrent with the rising of the morning sun. Then, yes…also simultaneously, they slept deeply, limbs and hair all criss-crossing like a two-human pretzel, through all sorts of alarm clockery until nearly sunset the following day.
He’d hummed a melody all that magical Wednesday in his sleep as they wandered lazily between states of intermingled consciousness. She subconsciously danced in her dreams to it’s wafty melody. It later went on to become his magnum opus. So, it too was once a catepillar; for it began by be-bumping here and there, wherever, until it found a cocoon moon of it’s own in those sparkling eyes of hers. Three years later that melodic catepillar blossomed into a symphony-painted butterfly and flittered and fluttered over the heads of bewildered, enraptured, esctatic or otherwise pleasantly amused audiences world wide…all because of her sparkling eyes…
He was to her a path leading towards a much-needed home. ”You’ve given me the strength to live my dreams!” She was to him a path leading towards a much-needed redemption. “I’d give my life for you.” Whenever he’d bring up salvation, she’d simply show love. Whenever he brought up impending damnation, she’d simply rolled her eyes in disgust…real punk rock style. He had sensed a burning fate all his life, so he said himself. “I can almost smell the sulfur.” She’d thought this only melodrama…but now a new thought manifested.
“Perhaps, it was simply the heat of preminition…not that of impending pergatory…that had haunted him all along…” She thought again…”perhaps the future had sent a fiery message to the memory of the momentarily-present man of the past…a warning shot…Hey! Don’t get burned!“
“Fluorescent lighting isn’t very condusive to abstract thinking.”
She rubbed her eyes. Inside the lobby area now and the receptionist didn’t even seem to notice her, too busy…too, too busy. This night seemed to be “Half-off-your-entire-hospital-bill” night in the E.R. The blue-scrub-donned receptionist, dashing back and forth between two computers, a whole isle of filing cabinets and a leaning tower of clipboards simply pointed at a deli-style ticket machine and gave a, “Sucks, don’t it?” sort of half-smile and went back to digging through her mounds of manilla insurance files like some kind of damned office gopher.
Ohh…this is going to be a long, long night!
*Rippp* She glanced at her ticket ever-so-briefly and found the most current, least mangled and somewhat interesting edition of whatever waiting room caliber magazine she could find. The pile of magazines on the one coffee table looked like a pile of dead soldiers in some strange newsroom war; torn and tattered covers with graffiti’d-in beards on supermodels, beaten up and abused corners, barely corners anymore, wadded up hunks of decomposing paper left to rot. She ended up with a Better Homes and Gardens issue from 2001 about “10 Revolutionary New Ways to Decorate your Foyer to Get Your Neighbors Talking.” She thought back to 2001…
“I can’t remember a single foyer that year…nobody must’a read this one.”
The loudspeaker cracked on.
“#121. #121 please come to the main window…#121.”
Well, that wasn’t so bad, she thought to herself. Her legs were stiff as she got up from the war torn waiting room chair. She stretched. She glanced at her ticket again…
“Oh shit! I’m #211?!”
This thought came bellowing out from somewhere deep. The other soon-to-be-attended-to’s all looked up at her. Some smirked, some nodded, some coughed sickly, some looked as if to say, “Hey, at least you’re not #237 like I am!”
With a huff and a puff she blew herself back down into the well-worn padding of an uncomfortable waiting room chair and re-opened an uninteresting magazine.
“Damn…” she thought, “that…” her heart break-danced, “man.”