|The Twelve Lightbulbs Of Janet Frame|
I saw her in the supermarket
Driving a runaway trolley
That dodged and charged imaginary opponents
I wonder if she was writing
Paused in the frozen foods
Between the chicken legs and the harassed mothers
People want to know
- What was she buying
Mouldy French cheese,
Canned spaghetti and sausages,
A dozen lightbulbs
Was all she had
Maybe they were on sale
Super coupon special
Maybe she only buys them once a year
Or maybe they all just blew at once
Like mine do
Like the Santa Ana Winds, she’s a force of nature
Cold and hot all at the same time, brought together by the battle within herself….
Yet she feels soft, warm and steady under your wings, as she whispers words into your hair that make you seasick as your rattle uncontrollably like the windows in your room…
She’ll find the smallest crevices of your heart as she glides pass the cracks of your door, making her presence known by the undeniable sway of her hips as she stirs pass the curtains of your eyes.
She has the power to make a nation hold its breath, as the California sun hesitantly sneaks away with a hint of a blush on its grimy face. Like a superstition, you can’t help but question the reality of her breath of life as you logically decipher her magical effect as you empirically acknowledge that she is real and so are you.
Some times she stays the night, but she never stays forever, no matter how hard you hold on, she always slips pass your weaken fingers. The moonlight highlights the ungraspable phantom of life as she silently climbs out the window making the curtains sway with a sigh, like a teenager burden with the adoration of loves first love about to be discovered. Its not until the hint of morning light that you realize that your mind is as silent as the world outside, she is long gone…
As your iris adjust to the soothing light, your muscles adjust to the destructive elation the steroids her spirit has left diluted for your heart to pump, stretching you realize that her eccentric essence will not fade as easily as she did…nor do you want it to.
|2 days and counting |
1460 days, 48 months, 4 years that you dedicate yourself to this country. I know your excited and anxious to go and start a new chapter in your life…. But for me… I could definitely wait 18 more years. I know you think I’m silly, over protected, paranoid and worst of all a liberal hippie. But believe me this has nothing to do with my exaggerated ideologies of politics, and great Uncle Sam’s foreign policies…. No this has to do with the wave of fear… a wave that has been building its strength over a thousand miles of ocean, but which makes little stir in the deep water, but which when it reaches the shallows rears itself up high into the sky, terrifying the shore dwellers, before crashing down on the land with irresistible power—so is the fear that has been building in the deep crevasse of my body ready to come crashing down come August 3.
I’m not afraid of your Initial Strength Test, or your 11 obstacle Confidence Course or even the fact that you will under go 54 hours of exercise of physical and mental strength… I’m quite certain you will survive The Crucible (I don’t envy you at all)
No, I fear your Corps values of honor, courage and commitment. These simple words will take you far far away, you will carry those values like appendages of your own body for the rest of your existence. These words will give meaning to your life, and act as talismans as your embark on one of the most honorable paths a young man or woman can take in life. You will be filled with a sense of duty to yourself and to your country, wherever you go.
I wish to protect you though… from those moments that you will need courage… or where honor will be won… those moments where commitment will hold you under its iron hand and you will question the simple term of freedom.
But I can not….
My last words to you, remember who you are and where you come from. Remember to practice the doctrine of anthropology and the aspects of benevolence. Smell, taste, feel and see humanity. Keep your faith in something bigger than yourself. Remember that I love you and that you will always have a home to come back to.
|The skies had cleared and more than 100,000 people were estimated to have packed the street of downtown Disney. The parks annual America the Great Disney celebration was about to begin, and the anticipation could be felt like the wisps of heat rising from the crowd as we all waited patiently to display our patriotism across the clear indigo sky. |
Some more patiently than others. As I sat in the middle of the street, with my back against a stroller that belonged to an unconscious child, my feet in-between a strangers and with a beautiful blue-eyed, blonde hair little girl playing with the checkers I had drawn on my shoes. So close to everyone, that you couldn’t help but over hear conversations. Beautiful blue-eyed, blonde hair little girls parent conversation caught my attention.
It’s always important to celebrate the birth of your nation,” said beautiful blue eyed brown hair mother. Which somehow made the group begin to question other nations birth celebration. Beautiful blue eyed red hair aunt then pose the question that somehow stumped everyone, “Do Hispanics have an independence day?” Somehow, surprisingly the beautiful people could not answer the question, they looked at one another for a full ten seconds until bright mother shouted out “Scissor Chavez! They have Scissor Chavez!”
I think I woke the unconscious child in the stroller as I clumsily stood up to better position myself to eaves drop. It took me a good second to decipher Scissor for Cesar. I felt like cutting in and explaining that Scissor can be said Cesar, just like you would for a Cesar salad (Specially since mom looked like that’s all she would eat). No need for the condescending accent. I would have loved to also say, that Cesar Chavez was a Mexican American labor activist and leader in America and if your asking for a Hispanic independence day, which country are you asking for?
But then the conversation ended with “Fourth of July is an American holiday. And we are Americans (and) we are celebrating here,” said beautiful blue eyed, blonde hair daddy as he picked up his little girl.
That last sentence stabbed me where my little flag pin would of gone if I was wearing something with a lapel. I’m I not American enough, because I know who Cesar Chaves is?
I pay taxes….I’m probably due for a stimulus check sometime soon. I follow the presidential race like everyone else. I read Time magazine and have even treated myself to a couple New Yorkers. I’m enraged by gas prizes. Nancy Pelosi is my home girl and I support our troops, I’m even sending my one and only brother to go defended my sense of patriotism. NOW Am I not American enough to celebrate Fourth of July?
Defining patriotism is simple, it’s a love and devotion to a country. Not just a common culture, but a set of ideals about democracy, equality and the rule of law. It’s the kind of pride that shines through in more colors than red, white and blue.
December 1, today marks the anniversary of your death. I can’t believe it’s been a year since your father called to announce your departure. “OK” were the words that protruded from my mouth as if the air had been knocked out of me. I remember being cold, as is the night cloak would never lift. As cliché as it sounds, it still feels like it was just yesterday. Nothing seems to have changed; yet every day the world moves onward on its sadistic nonchalant path, not stopping to care that your presence is missed. I saw your dad on Thanksgiving, I must tell you that I was not prepare for the pang of guilt and sorrow that resonated through my body as he hugged me. You had your fathers face, as well as his courage. Every time I see him, my mind retreats to a corner made especially for you, where the walls are decorated with memories of your laughter. There is room for more, yet no you to adapt to my substantial world. I miss you, WE miss you. Luigi and Fabby are now engaged and ready to be wed by July. Luigi had to find a new best man, which just brought about arguments of who would be chosen. Yours sister is married and a new life will be introduced to the world by the turn of the new year. Brian’s hair is past his ears now, it hasn’t been cut since that wonderful razor stunt he and Luigi pulled. I think we all agree that God meant for Luigi to have hair, his head was never meant to bald.
Ivan, I have a feeling that there will be many more years to come without you. But your memory lives on as long as I give life to this page with my own memories of the person you were.