From Some Stones Don’t Roll
In Stockbridge, Massachusetts, during the 1970s, the author befriends a young man, unaware that this newcomer is a paranoid-schizophrenic who depends on medication to keep him from suicidal and homicidal behavior.
Yes it goes on. For a day passed and my heart remains unbroken unless you count that one break so mysterious and weird that it cannot, nah will not, count even as a memory. I could not put the words together to evoke a shred of empathy from you. Whoever you are. It’s Saturday. I hear the rustle of papers. She is here, my angel my light. Death hangs over our home. Each week some news arrives. He went. She went. We’re of that age. A bell is tolling. The bell in Herald Square. 1943. I wait on a corner in the rain. The cold East River wind lashes my cheek. I am seven. I do not know what I am waiting for. We have moved. My world is over. I am lost. Nothing beyond this is anything, The lashing wind,
Life. I could live forever. I am a fool. My life has not begun. I am still living backwards and forwards. Now I live now. Harrumph. Get a grip. No Camus Sisyphean angst today. Albert could have made a seraphim out on that beach.
I took a shower this morning. I extended my left leg and lifted it gently over the raised tubside and let the water fall down over me careful to touch the bases and then replace the soap in the dish and exit with similar gentleness. Mindful wondering if my heart was going to break. I do not like to think of such things. Of sad things. Of the forthcoming gratuitous violence broadcast on Netflix movies. Of the abyss that panic brings. I imagine the edge of the cosmos where the abyss is, the point of no return. A mind is a terrible thing to contemplate when panic is in view. I cannot speak this morning. I cannot speak without complete solitude. I shall go back to playing games. Easy ones that I can win. Quickly. I hate games that I can win slowly, where I must be patient for victory to come. I counsel patience and the freedom of not judging. I tell my followers to love life. I hide nothing. Finally it makes no difference. Half of everything is chance. But chance is always observed.
The drip. It is my one constant. The drip. The traffic. Where was I? Yes. It was Charlie Pride singing in my head. And Bill sat next to me. And next thing you knew he was twice his size, inert on a table in a Pittsfield hospital. I figured it was him. I said it was. It was not the Bill I knew, clever and bright. It was not my singing buddy up on the riser at the Lion’s Den. Now I cannot remember a song we wrote together. I cannot remember anything but the fear that he would strike again. I cannot remember most of everything. One day I imagine I will simply dial up memory at will. In my immaterial future, saved from that abyss within the finitude of heaven, beyond being carved up and disposed of. Yes, I shall donate myself at death. Drip. Drip. Bill did you bring your pills? Did you take them? That is the story we believed. He didn’t take his pills. I never knew that he was sick. I didn’t know a thing.
There are no pigeons today. I watch for them. I listen for the gurgle of their confident communication. I see their bulk and wonder how they fly so easily. The heady newscasters are macerating the thin yield of news of a missing 777. When things are lost they are lost that’s all there is. Oh yes, there is the toll to be considered. The endless tears of love eviscerated, life undone. Who knows? Some I miss, some I don’t. Love is visceral. Love is bodies. Love is mutual memories. Love is lyrics. Love is the anxiety of failed favors. She is almost moving outbound now. She will start her daily five miles after completing her 120 sit ups. She traverses all Manhattan. She is the walker. I sit. She walks. I watch for pigeons. She watches for ice and what careens. She smiles. She is a child. She saves me daily. She is not going to New Jersey. Bye bye. Walk careful.
Solitude. Drip. I roll forward and back. I shake the coffee. Nothing left. Traffic. Inaudible breath. Now. I have not even gotten to now. What else is there? Envy! Yes. If I could just write like… If I could spin a verbal sophistry. Drip. Whoa. I must look at my email. Ah, some forex spam and a chance to get one of my Kindle books reviewed. Nothing heart-breaking. Does this mean my prescience is finished? I have moved into my now stage. I am quicker on the draw. Fastest mind in the East. Or does it mean the day ain’t over yet, as my friend of the road used to say. Maybe I shall call her. I am doing another book of digital art. When I showed her some, she complained they do not MOVE. They do for me. I sell copies of my first one. I am on to something. The eye is art. The art world is dross. Drip. It is clearly time for more coffee.
Enjoyed reading this piece? Please hit recommend and share with others.