She screamed not to look, too horrible a sight for me to bear in my winter’s vulnerable state. I asked if it was a cardinal and she said worse. Curiosity bit the cat, or should I say the window smacked the bird. I saw him there, on the back porch. A hairy woodpecker concussed to death. That night I dreamt I was on a plane that flew into the side of a mountain, then I heard God roar, “This is my house!”
I have tried a thousand times to explain my love to you. Mentally scribbled line after line in a language you could somehow comprehend. But no matter how clearly the words rang in my ears, upon yours they fell foreign—like two travelers across the bar from one another yearning to exchange tales of recent journeys, yet the distance between them that of oceans in the absence of a common language. Still, somehow for a moment, you really heard me and I understood you. Maybe it was spoken in our body language under the dark of those long, college nights. I would climb the stairs to your second-story apartment uninvited, promising penance for passage through the doorway to lustful abyss, and in that one moment of acceptance, you would take my hand into yours and show me in. But even moments later when physically entwined, an uneasiness fell upon us. So we medicated in a drunken stupor, a last ditch effort for the humming in our ears to at least sing the same song. Nowadays the tune hums alone while I continue to scribble—desperate attempts for you to finally understand me, even though you choose to no longer listen.
I’ll be taking D2D a new direction. Writing has seemed to be difficult as of late, but that doesn’t mean my creative juices aren’t still flowing. My morning walks have led me to a love of capturing beautiful moments, along with a developed habit of clearing my head from the daily stresses of practicing law. It’s also during these times of peaceful solitude, I’ve realized it’s time for some change. I’m sure I’ll continue writing poetry, but lengthy prose to share I will not. Additionally, I’ll be making some life changes and busting out of Indiana for a bit, finally! I hope you all stick around and drop me a line as the journey unfolds. I also look forward to beginning to stay more closely tuned in to you all, too. I dropped off for a bit, but D2D is back and intently listening!
Indiana morning dew (iPhone 5)
I found myself sitting in the waiting room next to a boy, maybe nine or ten, who was from “across town.” I say “across town” by doing this thing with both of my hands up by my ears and waving my index and middle fingers up and down—that’s how my mom and her sisters say it. You know, like if some lady is wearing a god awful amount of jewelry you say she’s from “across town,” or if you see a guy in boat shoes he’s from “across town.” That’s how I knew about this kid. He was from “across town” because he was wearing Sperrys and a cotton button-up. Most likely he was from Windy Heights, a golfing estate for those my mother said with her fingers “had money.” I found it comforting to be in the company of people “across town” who “had money” since our problems were surely those that only plagued the rich and intelligent.
The boy raised up out of the chair and the Sperrys pranced across the room. I gasped in astonishment when the kid’s mother allowed him to pick up a magazine from the table. My mother always yelled at me not to touch those filthy things when at the doctor’s office. They had germs and I was bound to catch spinal meningitis by just looking at one. This kid was a day away from paralysis and didn’t even know it.
He brought the magazine back and stared at a puzzle for what seemed hours. Pointing without actually touching the infected page, my patience wavered, “He’s right there.”
"Who’s where?” the kid asked.
"Waldo. He’s right there. Top left corner under the umbrella by the guy in the blue Speedo. There’s Waldo.”
“What a booger! He is there. Look Sam, there he is!” I had no idea who Sam was, unless it was short for Samantha and she was his mother.
"What are you here for?” I asked.
“We haven’t the slightest idea.”
I found it peculiar that even his mother didn’t know why they were at Dr. Sharma’s. After all, it was my mother’s idea to bring me here to begin with although it was more for her than me. I could handle the expectations of my gift.
The kid whispered to me in an almost shameful manner, “What are you here for?”
Since he was from “across town,” I let this one exception slide and told him my secret. ”Perfect—I’m perfect. I think they call the condition perfectionism, although I like to think of it more as a characteristic rather than a condition.”
The kid side jabbed the air and talked to the empty chair between us, “Wow, did you hear that Sam? Perfect! Just like those stickers we get on our paper when we get an A+.” Looking back at me he whispered, “I usually get the A+, Sam just gets the words ‘needs improvement.’ We’re working on it.”
I scooted away in my chair for fear that this kid might tell me next he needed to go to K-Mart for boxer shorts. What was the sense in letting someone like that taint Dr. Sharma’s patient pool, anyway? For a minute, I thought I might be in the waiting room of a nuthouse instead of an office for the exceptionally gifted.
I prefer intellect being stoked
over the ego being stroked,
Rapture of discovery over the
evanescence of victory.
1 year, 6 months, and 10 days since my Deutschland exit…
The chill of the air lingered, remnants of eight straight days of rain. I thought I saw the sun coming out, but it ran away when I got to the door— evil games we’d been playing for a week—like a kid who rings your doorbell, then takes off down the street at the sound of your approach, little bastard. I’ve been in Germany for a month, now—five weeks to be exact. No sooner was I ready to leave San Antonio than I was ready to fly right back. Rule #23: Don’t buy one-way tickets to unknown lands. I’ve dreamt of driving to Frankfurt, taking the twelve-hour flight back to Texas. I’d get off the plane and take a cab straight to downtown. Rent a bicycle—one of those new ideas for public transit—then ride around town looking fancy and hip all the while shelling out some mad cash to be “eco-friendly.” Who needs the damn bus? To hell with the bus and its diesel burning pollutants. The trolley, too. Trolleys on wheels irk me out, anyway. I’d peddle around until I found some decent Mexican cuisine. I’d have to stay out of Southtown because no one has a liquor license, only beer and wine. That and I may run into someone I know, forcing me to act as if I’m having an interesting conversation when all I have is some decent tamales on my mind. “They put Section 8 housing where? No!” Rule #342: Don’t mess with the old city, or you may piss off the old people. Speaking of old people, I would stay away from those fancy downtown restaurants. I’m talking about the ones street-level—for Christ’s sake don’t go down to the Riverwalk (Rule #183: Avoid tourists at all costs.)—fancy restaurants where you can get a fifty dollar steak that is just to die for, darling—too affluent for me. I’d lean more towards some late night hole in the wall for a plate of rice and beans. I’m so desperate I’ll settle for fillers. One time, when I couldn’t take the craving anymore, I went to a Mexican restaurant in a little German village outside of base. I had to argue for five minutes with the Pakistani waiter as to why I wanted a side of rice and beans with my burrito. “Yes, I know there are rice and beans in the burrito, but I want a side of both outside of the burrito.” You can never have enough rice and beans, standard Mexican fare: pinto beans, black beans, refried beans, my personal favorite barracho beans—any beans will do. When I got my plate there were no beans, just my tomato paste for rice. God help me at least I have a margarita coming. The damn thing was aqua blue with table salt around the rim. Tasted sadder than it looked. Worst Paxican I ever had. The next week I tried to scratch an itch for curry and naan at the Indian restaurant across the street. I’ll be damned if the waiter wasn’t Mexican.
As Mother showered me in the haze of the new day, inauthenticity fell from my face in the form of warm drops of rain—not even my tears were genuine in her presence.