Perfidy in Paradise

Images and concepts bouncing in my brain like ping-pong balls in a barrel. Perfidy, faith, treachery, love, vengeance, justice, betrayal, trust. Back and forth and 'round and 'round. And it's not like there are no choices to be made. But I've been known to avoid choices. I can become opaque, disappear into a hallucinatory fog of words, shed choices like leeches under a match, forget them disappearing into the mists of faulty memory, mistaken alliances, outright illusions, and half-forgotten grievances.

It seems a week since I've heard music. For some reason I don't want to. Perfectly quiet in this old house but for the cacaphonous roar of the human world outside, fortunately blocks away. Whenever it's quiet for a long time, I remember Joey, who may or may not hate me, but showed me by example how nice it is to be silent. To not feel obligated to say something.

I was in a hurry yesterday but stopped for a close-up shot of a small, pretty, white flower with four petals, newly-arrived in a miniature glade of deep green leaves near the mailbox. I figured it was there for me because I was in a bad mood, if I wanted it so. Then, feeling better, I went on and did what I had to do. There's nothing like beauty to get me going. It arouses me. It's all I want anymore. I can't get enough of it. I'm looking for it and seeing it everywhere, when imbeciles are not banging on my door.

Making love doesn't cost any money, does it? Or does it? I forget. I disremember. It seems I knew once. I know I used to pay for screwing, but that isn't the same. I don't think I ever really made love. Maybe once. Yeah, once for sure. No, twice. Different women. I guess some would say I'm lucky; but it only made me hungry for more. That was it, however, and maybe all there ever will be. Which makes me sadder than I can say.

Ah God, sometimes You know I want to lie on a deserted beach in surfsound under full moon and say fuck it; feel final outrush rattle of breath, heartstop, brainstop, fade to black. Had enough. Thanks so much, but no more. The End. Can you tell I'm tired tonight as well as blue? What am I, looking for sympathy? I must be getting soft. What difference would it make anyway?

Packing. Again. Compress it all into the van. Hide expensive stuff from car thieves. It all must be arranged very logically according to use and aesthetics or it is a constant pain in the ass. Looking for everything all of the time. When will I need this tool, this shirt, this roll of paper towels? Where can I use the stove? Where keep the sugar and coffee? Where keep important documents in case of fire? Where keep sharp weapons in case of van-invasion? How keep mildew off newly-found sportsjacket I was in a panic about, thinking I'd lost it. What about the lapsed insurance? Can I afford a post office box? Should I change front tire? Where did all these damned books suddenly come from?

I don't have time to think about Obama and the war, health care reform or punishing a failed President, the dying tragic honeybees, or the slow-witted EPA. I don't feel like I have much left of time at all. I'm sadly resigned yet defiant: Okay, motherfucker, bring it on. You don't scare me even a little bit. Meanwhile, I'm watching for beautiful women and outrageous sunsets, pretty little flowers and music that makes me want to dance.

My resort to profanity that I assiduously avoided nearly three years? I don't know. Frustration and anger. And pain goddammit. A man whose black-and-white logo is of a man on his back with a goddess straddling his face and his bladelike tongue pointed at her aroused clitoris is my latest torture. You have no idea how it hurts or why. And you know what? I don't care if you don't care. I want that to be my tongue; Krishna, okay? I want what I need.

"I keep on falling in and out of love with you/I never loved someone the way that I'm loving you/Never felt this way/Oh so much pleasure/so much pain..." (Alicia Keys)

I can stare a hole in a battleship. I can outlast melting snow. I'm harder than diamond and more toxic than cadmium. I never lost an argument. I smiled when they stuck the hot rebar up my ass. Bob Dylan asked me for a light once. I interviewed the Vice President of the United States. I fell in love when Aphrodite grasped me in an irrestible hug. In this paragraph there are two true statements. The rest is lies. Pick the winners and win a free trip to Wilcox, AZ.

Packing is like remembering. Oh, there that damned thing is (incense-holder.) I looked all over for it. I recently went quietly berserk when I came up missing a valued copper-colored sports coat, searched St. Tammany Parish for it, nearly called for an FBI investigation, then found it just before pulling the trigger, hanging way in the back of a closet in a black, hard-to-see bag. I put it there to keep it clean and safe. Hours spent obsessing about that thing. I suspected a well-known thief. I wondered if I left it on the front seat with the window open. I crawled through a window to inspect the last house I occupied and couldn't find the key for. I went through a pile of receipts looking for a Cleaners I might've forgotten. And there it was in the closet I'd checked a dozen times. I felt the relief immediately and actually remembered to thank God. But it was only a thing. Is there a way out of this material world of temporary illusions and entrapping possessions? Is there a way out of love, once you have fallen under Her spell? The spell of your own impossible love? And why must I be in love? Why must I suffer this beauty; this excruciating and torturous longing for blessed but unobtainable beauty? Is it a Gift of God, or another damned lesson?

And all this while I am packing a van in the middle of a field of rattlesnakes.

Packing to go to yet another neighborhood where I might or might not get away with living in a van. You have to move around a lot in case there are suspicious characters and/or snooty neighbors about. Packing & hoping the van won't need any major repair or a tire expire. I've gotten behind in maintenance, no longer confident I am road-ready. I've gotten lazy here in this comfortable but cold old house. I slept when I wanted, stayed awake two days at a time, smoked, wrote, read, ran around naked, actually saw my body full-length first time two years, drank coffee and juice, and ate when I had appetite (not often;) what a pleasure, and nobody bothered me here in Slidell for a whole three weeks. Practically Paradise. Imagine, nearly five whole months with a roof and no rent to pay. Nearly as good as living in a van with a lot of money in the bank. Better than passing Mrs. Thompson's science test. But now that the weather's good and I don't need to stay in this chair to stay warm from the three electric heaters at my feet, it's time to go. Don't let me get too comfortable, I might create or finish something.

The ironic? I felt a rumble on the tracks at a bend in my mind, and foolishly asked someone who could help, to help; the next day the cops showed up to evict me. Wouldn't you think that was strange? (They gave me a week to get out, seeing that I was not a nut.)

Like I said at the beginning, things are bouncing back and forth in this brain of mine. I can't settle on anything, The terrain below is covered with clouds and lightning flashes. I'm a crippled butterfly flying too high. Someone caught me and rubbed the fuzz off my wing before I got away, and the wind brought me here. Now there's nowhere to land and I'm getting tired. I'm an old butterfly, and nobody wants me anymore even for a collection. I'll probably end up in a bird. But lucky for me the son-of-a-bitch didn't crush my abdomen anyway and dip me in carbon tetrachlorihide. I'd have a pin through my thorax stuck to a board under glass in the back of a dusty closet at the American Psychiatric Institute: Exhibit A: Mike Havenar; common Louisiana Sucker.

I still have packing to do.


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