RSKdetroit

am writing

Category: Creative Non-Fiction

Hemingway and the Dog.

A large, dark cloud throws a shadow on the plants lining the wall. The thunder gods rumble across the sky and I run to the window to affirm – it’s early, too early. I hadn’t slept but a few hours the night before and woke up at the crack of dawn. My phone says 6:45a.m. and I slump down on the couch just in time for the rain.

Listening to the drops beat against the windows, feeling the thunder in my gut is a tonic. So much so that I’m dozing again – a deep, restful nap that lasts about an hour. I’d dreamed of a dog. It’s balancing on the roof of a car and I’m trying to stop the car from moving, but the driver doesn’t hear me, doesn’t see me, and hits the gas. The dog falls, unharmed but shaken. I cradle it in my arms. The dog is medium sized, tan, almost white.

When I wake, the rain has passed and the sky is a pleasant shade of blue, clear as the day is young. The breeze feels soft and cool. I know so because I crack a window to smell the sun shinning on wet pavement, pine and summer adding to the aroma. Sleepy and unfocused, I reheat the coffee that was left in the french press from the day before. It would take a minute or two, so I settle back in the front room to stare out the window. There’s a rocking chair on our porch that isn’t rocking. A stray dog runs by. It’s medium-sized, tan as a toasted bean, black face. It looks stressed, scared. Through the open window I whistle at it and it looks towards me, briefly. Now I’m outside on the porch because the dog is heading for the main road, Woodward and 8 mile, on a busy Friday afternoon. A tall thin lady with short pink hair is speed-walking after it, in pursuit of the spooked canine.
“Is it yours?” I ask as she passes.
She doesn’t look at me.
“No. I just don’t want it to get hit.”

Two cars stop near the intersection. Heads are leaning out the windows. Everyone is watching the dog and the dog is still darting this way and that. I walk down my steps and whistle at it. Calm, detached. The dog seems to respond to this so I keep whistling. It turns from the cars, dodges the lady in pink, runs towards me, but crosses to the opposite side of the street before it gets too close. Now the dog is sprinting down the street toward the innards of the neighborhood. Wouldn’t have been the first time I’d caught a stray and brought it home.

The lady in pink whisks by me again. She’s still following the trail of the dog. She still doesn’t look at me.

I’ve burnt the morning coffee. I’m back in the house recounting the dream I’d had from just an hour before, wondering where all the wonderful “breakfast” smells are coming from. It’s not until the coffee is really cooking that I remember. I’d put it on high in a large pot, nearly a whole french press full, and now it’s reduced to a thick, brown sludge. I drink it anyway.

An older man on a green bike rides by. He has a blue sweater, round glasses, a blue knit hat and a brown satchel. He looks like Hemingway, I think. He looks straight into my window.

Detroit Cycling

 

Music selection this week is Basenji “Don’t Let Go” because I reviewed it at Indie Shuffle recently and it’s still stuck in my head. Also, in reference to the song title, I’ve been thinking about how stubbornly we hold to things that are no good for us. Holding on can be a pretty romantic idea, or a masochistic one. There’s a duality to everything.

Doing things a little different for this post because I don’t feel like rambling. My head never stops rambling and lately it hasn’t gotten to the point. Instead, here is a simple anecdote that hopefully can say more in the spaces between than I can with my words. It’s called:

Detroit Cycling

be well. love often. enjoy.

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With my visor down, I am invincible. Cars can’t touch me, prying eyes can’t touch me. Not the wind nor the rain, neither the light or the darkness can touch me when the visor on my Basecamp cycling helmet is down. Don’t I look like I can’t be fucked with? That’s because I can’t.

Two beers deep. Always two. That’s the magic number. Two sits with me right. Two of coins. Two of cups. Two of swords. Two of wands. Just the two of us. I like twos. Life is easier in twos. Threes fuck everything up. With three, doubts arise. Confucius says, “When three people journey together, their number decreases by one. When on man journeys alone, he finds a companion.”

What Confucius doesn’t say is that sometimes that happens all backwards – one man journeys alone, finds a companion, and that companion adds a third into the equation – then there was three and life became fucked.

I’m only swearing because I have the visor down. It makes me mean, a good kind of mean. The kind that can go super fast even if the relative speed isn’t all that fast according to a stop watch. My burning thighs say I am fast. Also, the ticking of my heart.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. It’s pumping strong and hard and I’m flying around curves. Adrenaline quiets the madness. His touch also quiets the madness. His touch is like words upon my pen, dripping from a tip that presses upon a page that receives their touch, wears their meaning, becomes the word – touch. Touch me.

His touch is therapy. His love is maddening and his touch is therapy.

There’s a kink in my back. No matter which way I squirm, it’s still there. I’m riding harder and faster because adrenaline will make that go away, too. All forms of pain washed away with stimulation. Speed is so addicting. Sometimes I wish I were the wind. My Mayan chart says once I hit 40 I’ll turn into wind, incarnate. People will know my words far and wide.

For now, the wind has stopped whistling past my ears tucked neatly under my helmet, which means I have stopped. With stopping, feeling returns.

There’s a duality to everything- stopping and going, staying or leaving – a two-fold choice to most things. Tonight I will choose between succumbing to my fears or rising above them, as is the choice every night.

I will choose between doing the writing or thinking of writing, as is also the choice every night.

Love is also a choice, a brave and complex choice that comes with its own string of dualities. Much like cycling, Detroit cycling, joy and pain come with the package. The choice lies in whether or not we keep going, keep pushing towards a positive goal. Progress isn’t always so obvious, you know?

Some days are triumphant, some days it’s enough to just show up, and some days you get rained on.

 

 

 

Werewolf You Under Light of the Full Moon?

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That sun is hot enough to bake you black, or in my case a deep brown, brown enough like the camel colored hide of my closed-toed heels. Legs bleeding into the tan of my shoes, arms bleeding into the tan of my tank top, I feel like a gecko in Arizona dust, visibly invisible in my clever camouflage.

This is not Arizona, but Detroit, Michigan where I, with my latest W.P. Kinsella (R.I.P) book, sit marooned in the middle of my feelings and a slumbering homeless man on the patio of a bagel shop. He’s got a large book open to some page chosen by a light breeze that’s been on steady decline since 9:30 am.

I wonder how dark the man’s dark skin can get under the sun. I wonder if he’ll have a stiff neck having stuck in that position for so long, or if he’s slept here all night; if he’s actually reading that large book in front of him or if it’s more of a pillow. I wonder if we have more in common than this shared space – like how spiritual and material lack vibrates at the same frequency. He wakes briefly, as if my thoughts are that loud, and greets me, but I know he can’t see my eyes behind my even blacker shades, so I stay silent. I’m too tan and naked to be humoring his kindness. I neglected to wear a bra. His eyes are smiling in the direction of my tits.

The air stills, sticks to my skin like this tiny spider biting the top of my foot. I brush it off, surprised by the lingering pain of a bug no bigger than a granule of pepper.

“Isn’t it amazing what such a small amount can do?” A friend said that, a friend who facilitated my recent escapades in acid. Having taken it for the first time, I started small – half a square, then the next day, half of a half – learning where the drug wanted to take me and then settling in – my mind finding a place as pleasant, focused, and wild as the weight of a full moon. Just like that. Feels just like that, like, something so cerebrally stimulating – the conscious mind lunges, fights to be released from its tether; the body, so physically grounded, present, oh so present, yet mindlessly moving – chaos operating the base level mechanics of existence for this brief walk between worlds. It’s a distance, a vibrancy, a feeling like there’s no earthly way to contain nor release all the energy accumulating in ones spirit – the body radiating with spirit; creative, nurturing, moody, watery; The High Priestess; sorcery beyond the comprehensible; silver, iridescent, omnipresent – if there were a word or phrase to encapsulate all these things…

“I feel like I’m tripping,” I said, reverent under the silent effects of a full moon in Sagittarius, defining the feeling came as a revelation. Last night the rest of the world was prepping for parties, car accidents they didn’t know they’d have, emotional run ins, fall outs, over consumption, overflow – I opted to avoid it all, the people, the parties. Instead, I put to use the tools acid had given me, identifying, learning, and settling into the power of the lunar event about us.

Full moon nights are like this for me. The eb and flow of feels consumes me and I become something like a werewolf who’s only duty of the evening is to avoid mutating. Personal preservation and safety become my top priorities. I secluded myself and wait for the sediments of my former self to settle; wait for the creative outburst. Waiting through it is key. Still very wolf-like inside my skin, I center in my feels, breath deep, sleep soundly, and hope to process all what occurred in the subconscious sometime, later.

A dream I had recently went against this urge to stay inside. In it, I thought I could handle social events under a full moon; went out with a few friends and end up ripping them all to shreds – blood glinting on large white teeth and claws, dripping from my matted fur, congealing under the indifference of city street lights. As a werewolf, I felt guilt, horror, and regret in strict conjunction to the lust of blood and murder. Hence, trusting ones intuition on a full moon night – also key. Mine said to go on a lone bike ride at dusk.

A light rain cooled the air, made the concrete smell fresh, damp; the skies were calm and welcoming. I pedaled down the river-walk and wove my way through people I trusted because they too were out on an evening like this, cleansing their souls under the same rain, the same billowy clouds lined in orange, pinks, and vibrant lavender. Never have I seen a more photo-esque sky, yet I’d chose to leave the camera at home. True experience can never be felt looking through the other end of a lens.

Stopping on the river walk somewhere near a view of the Renaissance Center and the sea green steeple of some distant church, I couldn’t remember the last time I starred at the sky or listened to the world around me free of digital devices or connections that never really connect. That sky was love, I felt safe under it. That full moon made the world new again and I felt blessed to be alone and noticing.

But I’m losing it now, the effects fading. It’s past noon and I can feel myself coming back, the me I carry daily, this heavy body, this over-thinking brain. The words are slowing. I’ll share this with you now, re-read it and wonder from what secret deep it came. I’ll miss the me I was only moments ago. I’ll miss the moon.

When there’s something to write, I never think about it, I just do. What I think about is when I’m not doing it, but it’s like I’m always waiting on the moon, my muse. Isn’t that life though? Like, I’m always waiting for something – this coffee to cool, my heart to stop hurting. It’s never going to change, is it? And yet, we all keep moving because cycles are ritual. Yes, I do see the value in ritual. I live mine by the phases of the moon.

Before I go, I’d like to share this with you, too.

The other day while snipping parsley for a salad, I snipped a lady bug in two. I had to sift through the salad to find its severed body. I’m still not sure why that made me feel so odd. Currently, I’m slicing the meat of a mango. Large pieces wiggle in my fingers and when I place them in my mouth they slide down my throat like an oyster. Thinking of mangos and oysters as one in the same makes me feel funny.

What do you make of these funny feelings? Sometimes I feel like I may wait forever to gaze at another and trust in love enough to describe how thinking of mangos and oysters as one in the same makes me feel more connected and severed than ever before. Sometimes I feel like I will never love or trust in another as much as I love and trust in the moon, or that another could never love me as much as that sky last night. I tell you I heard it whispering my name, kissing my forehead, telling me the universe will forever have my back.

I wonder who out there felt that, too.

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“And all of this stuff will break me, don’t break me…” Musical selection is my latest addiction: Litany – Flaws

Human

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The first impulses of the heart, sun looks so golden

Holding you here with me

In mind

Your body had to fly

Your body had to fly

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