Monday, July 9, 2007

Then the Wind Blew Her Home

My beloved Oleander came to visit her DC and to see how I live in it. I believe she may have come to see me as well. I believe I am her beloved too. We both have wicked senses of humor, voracious appetites. We are self-centered, unapologetic.

We drank wine, martinis, watched things, ate cheese and vegetables strangled with oil and herbs. We fought about two things: religion and me talking forward as I walked ahead. She got a lot of stomachaches. I complained incessantly about my skin and my past. We spent time in some of the most marvelous parts of this city, ate lots of things prepared by hand, laid all over—on grass, laughed at people, ourselves, spent more time together than I've spent with anyone for a long time, rode the bus.

Oleander had not seen fireworks in years, she claimed it with little care. I see a plethora every year, especially surrounding the Fourth of July. I've seen them in many cities, over many bodies of water, for many things. Last year I saw them over the Huron River. It's best to let your feet dangle, to take it in like an orgasm, like life—the crazy kind that's delightful but there are people all around. I also saw a show over the football stadium of Bowling Green last year. I wasn't expecting them, clear as day, from my porch, with a glass of wine.

This year, Oleander and I saw the fireworks over the Capitol together. Only we were in Dupont Circle away from the crowds and maneuvering. One grand tree was partially involved with our view—a great Oak, just beyond the circle, purging tentacles of fire. And Oleander and I watched while drinking martinis and eating chocolate cake at a glass-ceiling cafe. And she had the best view of them all and I got my magic…

(I found this poem under the sun and the leaves of my local Oak on the dawn of my summer vacation - Excerpt from the Ninth Duino Elegy, by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell.):

Oh not because happiness exists,
that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss.

But because truly being here is so much; because everything here
apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way
keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.

…Ah, but what can we take along
into that other realm? Not the art of looking,
which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here. Nothing.
The sufferings, then. And, above all, the heaviness,
And the long experience of love,—just what is wholly


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