I saw the face of my ancestor in a photograph that was taken today. A pale plump, round faced woman looked back at me from a photo that had been taken of me. How strange that she is me and we are meeting today for the first time. Why not? The last face I remember seeing was so much younger and leaner and tortured, a puffy red faced beauty, but I looked at her in a mirror and thought, “I hate you, I hate you! Nobody loves you!” and I saw her cut her blond hair off.
Such heavy lead filled thoughts to cart to the alchemist, laying them down on the work bench, smelling perfume of cinnamon and sulfur. The devil was here just before you. Can I make gold of this worthless lot? Why not? Why not!
Breezes from countries I never saw caress my face, leaping from leather binding and gold leafed pages to posses my fingers and send them to write fairytales and boil split peas. So many silly things pass through this window I call my self, why not one more? I almost loved the woman I glimpsed in the photograph today because she looked like a grandmother that once rocked me and like a cousin who I don’t know well at all. A cousin that shovels snow from her porch and eats black bread covered in butter and cheese.
I had once been a citizen of earth until I longed to learn to sing the songs of Saturn’s outer rings. Then I trained on the moon called Titan and gave water to a strange man and loved him through eternity, strangely familiar forever. Come with me deeper into the abyss!
While students memorize and serpents molt and gurus pretend, I wriggle, pale and slick in the underground wells like a Naiad, wailing an eerie tune to summon the strange. Up it comes, frightening me in dark hallways when I thought I was alone, drifting through the blue sky like paramecium under a microscope’s lens.
If you thought there would be a point in all of this, if you hoped for it and found it lacking and frowned, then you’ve never been to Titan. The locust make a noise like music in the evening and the swallows sing in the mornings and everything smells like licorice and coffee while the hands on the clock tick tick tick and fathers become grandfathers and die despite the lucky rabbits feet their granddaughters give them. Little Lagomorph paws dyed blue and dispensed from red machines after two quarters of a dollar have been placed on its long silver tongue just outside the air conditioned cool of a powder blue general store at the base of a mountain in the heat of a parking lot with a view of a lake. They come out in plastic bubbles, but nonetheless grandfathers die and their bodies are donated to universities.
While grandmothers fan themselves and mice scurry through cupboards and river rocks soak up the heat of the sun to warm lizards’ bellies, I open doors into invisible worlds and listen to the thoughts of others.
A sympathetic ear is so rare that individuals are almost always startled when you respond to their innermost ramblings. When you hear them whispering to themselves, “I hate you, I hate you! Nobody loves you!” and you crumple up just like a frightened pill bug and cry inconsolably, they will find it hard to accept that one occurrence is connected to the next. Plausible deniability.
Why not? Why not?
Why not one more song in the cool midnight blue? While babies sleep and spiders hunt and worried fathers pace, I make one more strange shape, electric green in the night. Can I make gold of this worthless lot? In dark hallways when I think I am alone? At the base of a mountain in the heat of a parking lot? Come with me deeper into the abyss!