Life in Words
book writer • song writer • poet • dreamer
My C-bomb happens over a single week in my favorite month of October. First comes the project closing, then the diagnosis, and then the final blow, a 4am call from my lover's secret lover.
Clearly the life I have known is over.... just gone. Every street looks unfamiliar. I'm in a slow-mo spray of the pieces of my old reality. I am Keanu Reeves in the Matrix bending backwards in half to avoid getting hit by the particles. I am reduced to a triangle inside a dodecahedron, the sacred geometry in which I take my only comfort. As witness to this deep anguish, I become intimate with rejection-speak. You know, the kind that pushes its agenda of fear of never being loved again. I am running along the edge of this war, waving my arms madly screaming, "Go ahead you bastards, take me".
Then I meet my guardian angel, Andy. Andy is an 8ft. black man with a wicked sense of humor. "What took you so long," I say. "I was waiting for you to ask for my help," he speaks like Barry White.
Slowly things come into focus, like the joy in a pie case in a midwest bakery. As bad as it is, there are these warm loving arms reaching out to me . They are strangers who are there to make sure I stay on the narrow path to the other side. Every minute of every day, I review the events leading up to this disaster, inner movies that showcase my mistakes, soundtrack featuring my angry voice, harmonized with repeating reasons. This poetry slam is written and directed by blamers and liars and me. When I'm sick of the endless loop, I simply say, "I am not going to die, am I, Andy?. You're going to make me do this again and again until I get it. It's cold and I have no hair and my skin feels funny all the time. Couldn't we just let me fade into the sunset?." He doesn't answer. He's not there to convince me or tell me what to do. He's just there to listen and reveal truth. It's infuriating.
But then the loved ones wake me up. They bring soup and flowers, stones and stories of the world I used to inhabit. I am stretched beyond the fire. I have become the ashes out of which the lioness appears. I think, "Thank God, at least SHE will not give up." One toe touches the other side of the chasm.
In July I wake up on the rocks of this moon, my home for 10 months. I am broke, naked and bald and there is chalk writing scribbled beneath my face. It says,"You must choose." Andy begins an angelic litany of 77 reasons to live. I choose two- unpredictable joy and pie.
I climb out of my bed, walk down the stairs, and open the refrigerator to begin again.