Oh small and wondrous takes
pink with expectation
green with the grass
purple with passionflowers
guessing at noon.
The periwinkle pains
no one and
fishes go with god.
It was the day they got together… hooked up… did it
for reals … and she always had remembered the day.
It was easy… the Fourth of July.
People joke about it, how getting together with someone
was like the Fourth, skyrockets, all that, but it was that
too… and on the very Day, with the sounds and flashes
still reverberating in the night skies.
That was a long time ago.. 1987… yet it was clear as spring
water on a summer’s day.
It’s 2005, and she called him all day.
It was the first time the date had come around since
they had found eachother again.
She called into the night, but no answer. The phones
were often out in Brasil, but it was odd that no one
answered for so long.
It was mid morning on the Fifth that he picked up…
he’d not been home that long.
“How Are you?”… his jolly voice barked at her.
“Sad and lonely… not good this week” she drifted off.
“Really?” came the response. Quiet…
“Where have you been?” she asked quietly, the first thing
on her mind, relief and strange wondering mixing in her.
“Oh, I was checking out a job, I was visiting a friend, I got
a haircut… I Knew it was our Day …blah blah …”
…..the list went on, but she wasn’t hearing the details,
only the tone. A certain manic thing…
“Listen… I have to tell you. I wasn’t looking, but I got
a haircut, and I ran into someone I’d known before…
(her heart suddenly went dead)
“well, I don’t have to tell you do I?
I’m not going to apologize.
It meant nothing…
She was without words. The sounds were there, but nothing
came from her lips. Her breath came in shallow whispers.
(please allow me to absorb this, she thought, but could not say)
“If you go out and do something to retaliate, it’s over!”…
…he shot back at her over the line.
“It was just sex, tits and ass…”
Quickly he evaporated the subject, and his hurried voice
filled in the hollows.
“I want to buy a ticket for my wife to come here…
I caught a 30# fish, I’m good, you’re gonna be so
proud you chose me…”
Still she could not form words… everything was floating.
“I’m not going to say it was the alcohol or the drugs…
I wanted her, she appealed to me …
I’m being modest here…
I had a hard time. I decided I needed a reward….
“Do you want to think about it and call me later…?
His voice went on in her ear, she doing her best to just
hear what the words were, and put them away for keeping,
to interpret them later…
“If you don’ wanna speak with me ever again, just let me know…
I’ll pay you back what I owe you. I’ll sell my car, my watch…”
….”Do you love me?”….
While he waited for her to breath again, he started singing
Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”, and when he got to
…”an’ the colored girls sang do de doo de doo…”,
she almost threw up.
“I can’t do this right now” came out of her mouth instead,
and she hung up.
There are no days of the week, no time to be somewhere,
just waking with the sun, and long invigorating walks.
At home I make jewelry, clear out the jungle, wash
windows, and let the days drift.
Talks with Alcir are sporadic… time zones collapse time into
different worlds… he’s not home when I call, or he’s sleeping
and doesn’t want to talk, or he forgets my number, and calls
my daughter when he’s drunk…
…and she’s getting annoyed with his ramblings.
Sometimes he thinks he’s called me, but he never did…
and I wonder who he did call, because there was no message.
It’s all in a fog, but as usual, just when I drift away, he
comes back with clarity, telling me his deeply amusing
stories, or reminding me of his real self.
His experiences pile up with pain and disillusionment…
His grandfather gave him a house on the coast.
While he was gone, his father took it and sold it.
Another time he gave $30,000 cash to his uncle for
a house in Ibicui….that idyllic place we want to live…
He never got the deed, and now his uncle is selling it again…
Again and again, the knife in the back. Since he was small,
the public beatings, and humiliations before his extended
family have created such isolation for him, such mistrust
in someone so naturally trusting…. and such disrespect
from the relatives, who used him as the scapegoat of the family.
There was/is deep inside of him, this pure childlike trust…
a clear sense of what’s right and wrong… a fury at the travesty,
at the viciousness of humanity.
He sees things in such clear terms, as a child…or an indian…
might see them.
He truly doesn’t understand how people behave the way
they do, how anyone can be so untrue to the most basic
elements of kindness and justice.
“When I see stories of slaves being beaten, I think …
…This is nothing. This is what I go through all my life.
Til one day I stood up and said…. NO MORE !
If you touch me one more time, I will break your neck…
I was 14…. and they never touch me again.
“Beating a slave is one thing… beating someone you
don’t know, who you have no feelings for…
But to beat your own flesh and blood……”
…and he sadly let the memories drift away…
And now, although some of that pure knowing remains
deep inside, he is an island unto himself.
Being one he trusts is an honor and a deep commitment.
I do my best to be clear and true, to remind him of who he
really is inside, beyond the distortion of carnival mirrors
shown to him as a youth, those wavy, untrue reflections.
“The first time I laid eyes …and lips… on you.. oh good lord…
how you changed my life. I tasted what could be…”
…he told me once again, this time with different words.
“I want to remake myself with what’s inside of you”
I hoped that this desire for rebirthing was true.
And I hoped I could live up to his vision.
The islands have always been good to me.
From the first breath I took when in 1987 I visited for
the first time…flowers suspended in moist clear air…
I knew I was home. It was the Garden.
The body knew too, and health and peaceful days always
followed me there, even when Hurricane Iniki in 1992
included me, and devastated Kauai…. still it was all a gift.
This time, in the summer of 2005, was no different.
Things fell into place, and the inundation of nature only
proceeded to lead me to the core, to the very soul of my
existence, and my heart, mind and body followed.
By being on my own path, separating myself from the
attachment I was feeling for Alcir and our life together,
my vision cleared, and I knew what I wanted in my life
I could see clearly what was him and what was me….
…and isn’t this something that is Always needed
in a relationship?
We All need our Man Cave, so to speak, and it needs to
be OK to want that, and to take that…. for Each of us.
There is no judgement here. We each have our path, and
things we must do, promises to ourselves that we must keep.
The problem is our expectations, and our programming,
particularly when it comes to relationships.
We have been told that when you are in love, you blend,
merge, combine, and fall into roles that have worked for
millennia…. but is this truth?
Respect for self and other demands the together
AND the Apart…
And because of these histories, teachings, beliefs and
outdated roles, we are caught in guilt and confusion.
The options are not made clear to ourselves, or to society
as a whole, and so we bang our heads against these walls,
while trying against hope to fit between them.
When it doesn’t fit, doesn’t feel good, isn’t working like
we Think it should, it falls apart or blows up.
But shouldn’t we be Creating other ways of being with another?
And shouldn’t this creative endeavor be a Good Thing,
even a commendable one?
This is what I was thinking about, and had been thinking
about for many years.
And this is the gift that the islands gave to me….
Space to create anew…..