These two most certainly read this blog, so it is hard to write about them objectively, as I do (ok, objectively + very personally = subjectively) about the other 'subjects' who are posted onto this digital cork board. This thing that you might feel coating the photo is known as love, visible love...and every one of its infinite offspring (growth, trust, maturity, space, oneness, humor, understanding, compromise...as well as the inevitable 'downside' of said four letter word---lack of space, lack of understanding, frustration, patience-pushing, etc.). I think the upside trumps the downside, even though the words 'forever,' 'partnership,' 'the one,' are not easy to hear or believe or trust at such a young age, and for such intelligent minds. But here they are. This is one of my favorite love stories because it also seems to be made of those OTHER words we are trained to be skeptical of: destiny/fate/happenstance/luck, all arbitrary words taken from the script we can never read...In their case, it might be much simpler than that. It just is. It exists. And they both win.
One afternoon during our sophomore year at college, JJ and I watched from our 2nd story dorm this lovely young strawberry blonde walk across the 'quad' through the Japanese maples, probably on her way towards the library. He commented on the humility aka sweetness of her walk, as opposed to her external beauty, as many young men/men are wont to do. Hers was sort of like a ballerina walk, but more city...there was a slight up-and-down-bob that clashed with the long strides, and he loved this about her. Later that semester, they met...
JJ and I still reminisce on way-back-whennnnnnnnnnnnnnn...but we all do it together, from the comfort of their shared place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. JJ perhaps has his shoes off and has both knees up on the couch, while Kate is next to him, maybe in her pj's with her glasses on, lovingly clutching one of JJ's baby soft ears in between her first and second knuckles...calm, home.
24 January 2009
13 January 2009
Lee was released from an 8-month bid in an English prison on December 31st, 2008. He was missing his front teeth, and bore a fresh scar just above his eyes. I understood 55% of what he was saying. What I gleaned, though, was just about all there was to tell. It was his second time in prison. Are you going back? I asked? No, he replied. Excellent, I replied, as if I were a Professor of Platitudes. I went to go see my girl, he said, but she just had a baby with another man. I told her, he continued, that it was ok, I would raise the boy as my own. I have two girls, 9 and 12. I had a job in prison, but out here, dunno. His train arrived. I said Happy New Year (Platitude, PhD). He put out his cigarette, and said, Godspeed Sahara...be well. So, that is the thing about Lee...that and of course his unknown future and fight to remain free. When I meet people, anywhere, all the time, it is at least 2 or 3 times before they remember my name, and pronounce it correctly. Lee made my day. He gave me the best gift, which as we all know, is a piece of himself, truly and without reserve.
On Christmas Day, the first I'd had with Pop since mayyyyybe 1991? 92? 90? fuck, 1876? we popped a few bottles, ate root vegetables, rolled a few virginia slims, cried a bit, made a fire, ate oysters with lemon from the sea (the oysters, lemons come from trees) and listened to Pepe Marchena and Charlie Parker, Miles for Miles played for dessert...We sat in Teresa's kitchen...which, as a word, does not do the environment she has created justice. I know that kitchens are not for all women and vice versa, same for men...for me, the kitchen has good memories (colombia, san francisco, modesto, 2nd Street BKLN, 18th Street SF, 44 Broderick Street, 365 Clinton Street, etc.) but I do not know how to inhabit it...I find it more of a foreign space than not...Teresa's kitchen carries in it a constant stream of smells and ghosts and stories and sons and daughters always present, peeking in the bread box searching for one of Teresa's famed cakes or warm bread...it is the type of place where hours pass and all of a sudden it's dark outside and past your bedtime...anyway, aside from winning a Pulitzer or finding validation, making and having a kitchen where life breathes and lives is another of my lofty goals...Pop sported this tie all day, and I wore the tough guy jacket he gave me when we went out later...It belonged to a traqueto named Gary Cuellar, who gave it to Beto Borja in Paris in the 1980s, who traded it for another jacket of Pop's in San Francisco...and when Camilo is 18, I will give it to him. At that time, perhaps I can afford a place with central heating, and will not need to wear it while I cook in my kitchen.
You don't need to see the painting to know the painting. And so, as my shutter released in a small, very acoustic room, I cringed. I just wanted the borders, that's all...my apologies, Van Gogh (love your earlier work...thumbs up!)...As I cringed and advanced the film, a grandpa type appeared to my right...he whispered in my ear like a fearsome professor chastising a cheating student...'come on, now you know in America we don't take photos in museums...you know that...have some respect...' Ayyyyy abuelito, I do know that...and yet, que carrrrramba le importa a usted?!
Mi Pio and Ginger Boy, relaxing with Susan Sontag in wool, and a hat from Brooklyn...Pop and the Words, Pop and the Light. I acknowledge both on a daily basis as an homage and nod to this curmudgeon in the making, whom I also miss on a daily basis...and so I acknowledge that, too...and then I go off to find the light...literal light (not inspiration...c'mon)
...and she is sweeter than honey comb, of me but not mine...or maybe i am of her, circular, as Pop discussed...she is sensitive and communicative, loves her parents and her darling brother, wonders about America and will miss me...so she expressed for the first time in our delicate relationship...I don't remember when the idea of "missing" something registered cerebrally with me, but I feel as though I was born with this sense...to long, of longing, of missing and loving from abroad, of attaching wholeheartedly knowing my flight is for next week, of knowing I won't see him or her or Abuela or Pop or Marina or Mom for long stretches of time...and so it is.
06 January 2009
03 January 2009
The woman on the far right is definitely saying something in French. In some places, fur coats are just warm coats, no need to get all sappppppy about the whole thing...as I recover from a few days of eating jamon serano, lamb chops, and calamari...RIP.
By the Thames, it was windy. Londres.
By the Thames, it was windy. Londres.