Dying/broken/forgiven.... now I begin

Born: 17-06-56....gemini.... monkey
re-born: 3-09-80
born again\found: 14-04-08
other notable dates: 10-03-68; 03-09-87; 23-03-96;
1-05-98; 31-01-02; 5-04-04

Interests: movement, stressed/transgressive embodiment, lived experience (body\space\time\relation)
expression ( word, dance, text, image, story, music, poetics)
learning, yielding......

Hopes for the blog:
offer up the wild intersectedness of lived experience and engage others in creative, expressive, perhaps irreverant, hopefully playful, and respectful encounters....
enact kindness
create moments of pause for disclosure, discovery, stillness

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Apocalypse ( May 15, 2009)

I don't know his name--privacy and security being important to him; he often waits in the bus shelter with me, mismatched clothing, sneakers as big as pillows, coke bottle glasses...
he checks his watch every two or three minutes, then turns his head to look in the direction of the bus, his marking time a corrective against public transport's aversion to punctuality.
This morning he talked to me as soon as I arrived, his voice quick and loud, right next to my ear, he describes his rationale for how many cans of salmon he plans to buy at the grocery store, the advantages of instant coffee, his annoyance at missing the earlier bus, how this has thrown off his schedule, what it might mean for all the other shoppers competing with him for his salmon.

At the bus station I met his counterpart, an older man in a stained raincoat, shoes with no laces, his shirt collar up on one side, buttoned up all the way to his Adam's apple; he toasts me with his coffee as I walk past his little cafe table. " Morning" he says, and smiles and stares. I smile and stare back. "Good morning" I say.
" Yer bus is on the way, missus" he says
I'm grateful for his vigilance, these daily assurances; and yet, this morning, I am somewhat unnerved by his appearance...maybe it was the shoe laces, maybe it was the way I felt my own swallow looking at that shirt collar...something seems off to me. He toasts me again; I go outside to my bench.

My third horseman arrives--this man's name I know, having worked with him for years and watched him go down the swift slide of paranoia; he lumbers toward me, his good side leading the way, as usual... his huge bald head beginning to show the first folds of age along the back of his neck. He gestures and wails, swaying towards and away from me, then right, then left; he tells me how angry he is about the sons of bitches he has to deal with in public bathrooms. His arms hang loosely at his sides and his ranting stops suddenly and he just stands there breathing and staring at me. I breathe and stare back. I offer some bus money, he shuffles off to his bus. I am sad enough to cry.

My own bus arrives and I climb on, hand over my transfer, find a seat. I sigh and gaze straight ahead. A colleague gets on at the last minute, spies me and attaches herself to the seat near mine. Her coat is velvet, her hair is clean and windblown, her shirt collar is casually open, neatly placed against the lapels of her coat, the points of both collars in marvellous symmetry, her eyes are shining ...and she begins: you won't believe the fabulous renovations I've been doing on my house...

I must be an ear; no one needs a mouth.


  1. I have a post on Interiority (beckettadaptation.blogspot.com) which is related to this one... I am in process of deploying my menopausal memory in the service of making links...and so far, it's not going well. I can, however, persevere ( perseverate? ) with the best of them...

  2. Hey lady. YOu are fine....Love your writing

  3. For good or for ill this is why Americans love their cars and a solitary commute.

  4. The sense of this piece is so sad... so human and yet also so inhuman...

  5. Linda-- thanks for the kind words and encouragement;WM-- I am still committed to the bus... I got re-connected with it on my stint in Oslo, and want to keep it going, although I understand your sentiment.
    Jon--I was feeling sad when I got on the bus, and it seems I managed to convey that. And, yes indeed, it is human and inhuman how so many vulnerable people barely manage to get through moment to moment let alone day to day. Like you, I am trying to notice and respond to the world around me.
    thanks, y'all...