This was our last conversation on earth. We went out laughing. We went out talking about ghosts, the shadows we leave behind. The body is gone. It was organic, composed of carbon molecules. But there are trees that live thousands of years. How do they do this? In Tasmania, there is a grove of King’s Holly that is thought to be 43,000 years old. They’ve survived by growing up, falling over, and starting again. A group of 47,000 Quaking Aspen in Utah, nicknamed the “Pando,” are all connected by a single root system. Scientists say, according to the trees’ genetic makeup, they could be a million years old.
On the red couch, I sip my coffee, I smoke a cigarette. He chops up Adderall, which is blue, which he takes with Zofran and Dilaudid. Next, enzymes and precise shot in his belly for clotting. Jessie Girl (as he calls her), his CN, arrives at 11:00 a.m. and runs the vacuum in the living room, the hallway, and his bedroom. He sells her an automatic weapon he built in his man cave, he sells it for $600 which he uses to pay off his funeral. He and Jessie Girl have a special bond. He can talk to her when he can’t talk to me.
And I can’t say that I love crows, in the same way, that I love a flock of starlings or a blue jay. I have more respect for crows. They’re like the Merlin of the magician’s world. You don’t fuck with them, and you don’t laugh at them. They aren’t really your friend, and certainly are not here for your amusement. They are smarter and more powerful than you. So be humble. Not everything in this life is hearts and flowers. Better make room for your shadow, and honor your ancestors. Be ready at all times to travel. This is the message from the crow.
The work we shared was blunt, poignant, often brilliant. We wrote about the perfect day in the future, the stress of food shopping, the disruption of our lives, but also the poetry and unexpected grace of a bird or a hike through the Calfornia desert. We wrote about our children and our lovers. I chose Prompt 3 for this issue: Describe the world outside your window because, in the new normal, the world had taken on a new shape—paradoxically familiar but also very strange
I think he fell out of bed at the nursing home because he was really at the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, just north of Las Olas Boulevard, and south of Sunrise. This was his favorite spot, old school Florida– the Jolly Roger Hotel, and the Parrot; a tiki bar for locals. He was at the shoreline in a hospital bed, just as the sun was coming up, facing south, and sitting up. Instead of being in some institutional nursing home, he was at the beach. And he just got up, and walked away, headed north. On earth– his body fell out of bed. And that was the end. The rest was pro forma. Maybe his heart kept beating, but — really, he was at the beach, smoking a Marlboro Light, and a having a coffee. And he knew he was dead, and said, glad that shit’s over.
I have big plans to wash clothes and bedding, and mop the hardwood floors. Instead I roll a joint on the desk in the large empty living room. It’s the only piece of furniture in this room; not counting the kitchen chair where I’ve propped a large framed photo of the Rolling Stones at Altamont–a gift from my late brother. The very same picture that fell off the wall the first day here, and completely shattered a glass topped coffee table. I didn’t have a broom, never mind a dust pan. It happened at five in the morning, still dark out. My first thought; I’m taking this fucking picture and throwing it in the river. Because once I started to let go of things, it was hard to stop.
Everyone should have an aunt as cool as you
I love your beabocks and your beehive hair-do.
I met a man at a French bistro on Atlantic Avenue. Very tall, dark curly hair, parted in the middle. Black eyes. He sat next to me at the bar – how did that happen? He was so gorgeous. I was dumbfounded. I had Peach Bellini’s and thought, you should marry me tonight. We bonded because we realized our shared phone company had this algorithm — that whenever we walk in to lower the bill, we walk out paying more. He said he was going to see the Grateful Dead in Chicago, and I said be sure and pack some hallucinogens, mushrooms or ecstasy. At some point, a very drunk man fell backwards off his bar stool and crashed, headfirst, onto a marble table.
In quantum field theory, in my imperfect understanding of it, gleaned from YouTube, a physicist can make an atom vibrate on one level, like a violin string, as well as a neutrino on another level, and so forth and so on. But apparently, Higgs Boson, a subatomic particle with no mass whatsoever, moves everywhere, on all levels; fluid, like a body of water, like a river, appearing and disappearing. This is why it’s called the God particle. It’s omniscient and omnipresent. It doesn’t move through time, it is time itself.
You might want to make sure you’re sitting down while reading her.
AFLW East Coast Salon at KGB on May 30th.Writers: Jennifer Baker, Alison Kinney, Ysabel Y. Gonzalez, Michael J Seidlinger, Tobias Carroll, and Marnie Goodfriend. Also in attendance, Rosanna Arquette and friends.