IMAGINARY LETTER No. 8 (“Leap Day”)

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2/29/16

IMAGINARY LETTER No. 8 (“Leap Day”)

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Dearest K,

        This is how I handle these epileptic fits. I have locked myself in my office so that I can “fall on” your letter.

        Your anxiety about my haunting you stabs my heart. I would never hurt you in any way. I didn’t just “simply write you directly” because I could not find you! I was sure that someone as intelligent and as gregarious as you would be found through deeds or opinions (no Facebook? So you remain ahead of me to this day).

        “Between the Letters” was about you, make no mistake. I repeat that your 17-year old incarnation had volumes to say that resonated, as I knew it would, with male and female readers, but especially women. I assure you that your casual “adolescent ramblings” smite sparks of truth to this moment. For God’s sake, the numbers of “views” for that posting are second only to my Index, and closing fast since I reposted a link. LOL, I am still second to you in intellectual illumination and interest. What could “I” be between those letters except a geek, OK, say “dreamer”?

        Ask your lawyer friends if the US Post Office, a department of the US Government, doesn’t recognize me as the owner of those letters (LOL, remember the movie “Miracle on 42nd Street”?)

        Forgiveness is in order: those stories are the best of what remains of me, love ‘em or leave ‘em, and I would forgo gladly every other moment of my life except the extraordinary time I spent with you. You must laugh, but everyone soon annoys me and I really am a typical guy when it comes to tolerating the oblique talk of women. But I always could listen to you endlessly. I have never met anyone like that since.

        I feared being thought a stalker. That would align with all the disappointments. I thought by being humorous / goofy / light handed / deferential / cautious (chose one?) I wouldn’t kill the gossamer creature inside me that I return to more and more.

        That shows how lost in time I am, right?

        I could not find you anywhere in cyberspace except at your high school website. I could not “enter” there but I was able to leave sad little messages.

        I even sought your old fiancé. By the way, I got even with him in one story in particular “I Have Never Been”, but I was just jealous.

        Finally, only recently, it dawned upon me that you discussed your older sister at great length and she was the thread that lead me to you. She took me to the funerals of your parents, and I am so sorry, K, you have to know, I really liked them the one time we met.

        Anyway, in the obituary I deduced your current situation. Please ask you husband to forgive me as I honestly tried to approach him through LinkedIn. I would not have responded to me, either!

        My letter caused you a “myriad of emotions”? I have wondered when your prophesy would be fulfilled:

Promise me you’ll never stop writing – please Allen.

Some day we’ll be together again.

We’ll probably be embarrassed and not know what to say at first.

But everything is so worth the effort.

..and fearing that the truth in this world would crush the pearl in my oyster.

        Your initial trepidation and remorse about my (supposedly final) attempt to connect with you is causing me aftershocks of sadness. Were you truly angry? Did you actually think I would mock you, or for God’s sake, exploit you??

        You said good-bye with respectful affection once before. Did you really expect me not to write back? I am certainly not hiding anything. I understand how odd this is and I wish I could assure your husband that this is just a chemical imbalance in me (“perhaps a bit of undigested potato”, LOL). You are at the very least a Muse.

        I have thought about this moment for so long I am not sure how to assimilate it just yet. Thank you for caring enough to write back.

        Au revoir

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THE GOSSIP OF ATOMS

THE GOSSIP OF ATOMS

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        I didn’t know James that well.  I never met his family.

        I was in high school.  Like most of the people with whom I made acquaintance, James was a friend in my best friend’s vast net of contacts.

        James Davidson had dropped out of high school and he was working as a salesman in a furniture store.  James would be part of our group at times, such as when we went to the beach.  We all would laugh when he galloped down the shoreline like an ape, splashing, and shouting, “It’s the Wooly Booger!”

        Not only was James fit and athletic, he had an old mind somehow misplaced into a young man.

        James would visit me at my house on days during the summer when I was not at my pre-college summer sessions for high school kids studying physics.  He preferred those weeks when my mother and father were gone on trips together.

        My mother had decided that she didn’t like me associating with James because one day, when he and I were in my room together, my mother entered to speak to us and James just sat there stroking a piece of string that he held up before his face.  I didn’t know it then but he had taken LSD.

        When James would show up, unannounced, I would heat up two frozen individual pot pies for us and then we would play slow games of chess while we talked philosophy.

        James was reading Dialogues of Plato voraciously and it seemed he was consolidating his understanding by posing to me questions in the Socratic dialectical manner for debate, such as “What is the purpose of life?” (I recall that after the series of questions asked which were not only to draw individual answers but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand, we concluded that the purpose of life was “To be happy”).

        One day, that day, we had eaten our pot pies and we were playing chess.  James moved his Pawn to the center.  I moved my Pawn to the center.

        I said to James in a manner of provocation, “Today ancient Greek physics is just a curiosity.  It is not useful.  Yet we still invoke ancient Greek philosophy as if it could provide us with useful answers.”

        James advanced his Bishop and replied, “Your beloved Sir Isaac Newton said ‘God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done’.  The Bible is more ancient than the Greek philosophers.”

        I advanced my Knight and smiled, saying, “An apple must have landed on his head while he sat under that tree.”

        James withdrew his Bishop and mused, “Funny.  Newton supposedly sat under an apple tree and a falling apple enlightened him to discover gravity.  And supposedly, in the Garden of Eden, an apple from the Tree of Knowledge enlightened Adam.”

        I was amused, and then I suddenly remembered, “Oh, yeah, I almost forgot.  You’ll like this.  In class today we talked about the sound an atom makes,” and I watched his face for the pucker of skepticism that I anticipated.

        James raised his eyes to me and asked, “How big is an atom?”

        I replied, “If an atom were a marble your fist would be as big as the planet Earth.”

        James puckered, “What the hell does ‘sound’ even mean to an atom?  Isn’t ‘sound’ a wave of atoms in the air?”

        I replied, “Atoms vibrate.  That vibration itself makes a sound.  The softest sound possible.  It’s called a ‘phonon”, like the smallest piece of light is called a ‘photon’.”

        James said, “Cool.  But if the Greek philosophers aren’t ‘useful’ how is the sound of an atom useful?”

        I quoted enthusiastically, “Because sound moves more slowly than light, we might be able to more carefully probe and influence the quantum world if we can use sound.”

        James thought a moment and then smiled, saying, “If atoms can make sounds, are they like flocks of birds?  Or crowds of people?  And if they’re like crowds of people then what are they gossiping about?”

        I laughed, “Your atoms probably are asking ‘Do you think we’re part of a Greater Being?’.”

        I found out later that after leaving my house James went to my best friend’s house.  My best friend wasn’t home but his mother was there.  She was couch-ridden with cancer.  She later said that James had talked with her for a couple hours.

        After that James went to the big beautiful park nearby.  He sat under a tree.

        People at the park said they heard a loud sound.

        With his father’s gun in his fist James had blown his brain into atoms.

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (7)

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Chapitre VII ~ LES ACOLYTES

(The Devoted Attendants)

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rotocol on behalf of my Wedding Entourage is left to Etienne the young Captain of Our Guard.  Etienne is officially chagrined because I, Giselle, a daughter of the King do not properly represent the King.  And yet I carry Etienne’s yearning eye as I ride away.  Chanson my beloved horse needs no urging to pursue poor Magge into the Monastery courtyard.  The four acolytes who had been signified by the commanding finger of the Thirteenth Monk lead poor Magge away.  Together we arrive at the Infirmary which is a separate house.

        The acolytes gently dismount Magge from her horse.  A tear is forged by me for each of poor Magge’s sharp inhalations.  As they lead her inside they remove from her the hooded cloak that is heavy with dampness.   Revealed on the back of her garments is a dark cloud of stain.  The wounds from her whipping are exhaling her very life.

        With shocking boldness the four acolytes do conspire and then do remove all of Magge’s attire.  She is being held naked and barely conscious next to a stone pool of gently steaming liquid.  There must be a furnace below or within the stone.  The acolytes remove their own clothing while balancing Magge in a skillful ballet.   They step into the pool, lowering Magge in a cruciform pose.  Magge starts with a gasp as the warm unctuous water slowly submerges her body up to her neck.  Her eyes are rolling now and do not seem to focus.  Her eyelids descend slowly as my own eyes yet widen in anguish for her.

        The acolyte who steadies Magge’s head against his shoulder and cheek speaks to me soothingly, saying ~ These waters are a medicinal concoction.  They extinguish putrefaction and bind the skin. ~

        Another, younger, acolyte is steadying Magge’s legs and he speaks enthusiastically, saying to me ~ These waters also preserve the dead for burial. ~

        The first acolyte glances at me and then he glares at the younger acolyte and he hisses, saying, ~ You mean for Resurrection, Quattuor!  I am sorry Your Highness.  Quattuor is young and yet unenlightened.  Your Highness, I am Tredecim, and we are all servants to The Incorruptibles, servants to Your Highness, and servants to God. ~

        Quattuor, whose pride is now injured, speaks, saying, ~ But servants to Tredecim first of all! ~

        They laugh gently at Tredecim’s predicament.  I speak to them, saying, ~ Are all of you named as Latin numbers? ~

        They all nod and mumble affirmatively, saying, ~ It is a Rite of Humility, Your Highness. ~

        The acolyte at Magge’s left hand speaks, saying, ~ I am Duae. ~

        The acolyte at Magge’s right hand speaks, saying, ~ I am Sedecim. ~

        I now watch Magge’s face slowly transforming from death mask to sleeping maiden as her body imbibes the warm medicinal bath.  For the first time since her excoriation I have a whisper of hope for Magge.

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<for previous chapters, search “whisper” on my blog>

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ON THE FLY

ON THE FLY 2

ON THE FLY

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I’m Skip

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I ride

A fly

Named Zip

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Kinship

Astride

The sky

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We flip

Wing tip

Upside

Awry

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Sure grip

We whip

State wide

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Nearby

We slip

A lip

Applied

Your pie

We sip

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Bean dip

We tried

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Bye-bye

No tip

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WHISPER YOUR NAME INTO MY HEART (6)

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Chapitre VI ~ LE TREIZIÈME MOINE

(The Thirteenth Monk)

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H - RESIZE1 - 500eartsick am I, Giselle, the fourth daughter of the undisputed King of France my father, when my inferior wedding entourage arrives at Le Monastère de l’Incorruptables.  Magge raises her pallid face and her watery eyes embrace the graveyard beyond.   Terror impales my heart as with ghastly optimism I whisper, saying, ~ Defend your faith, Magge.  The Incorruptables will intervene for you ~

        Etienne, the young Captain of Our Guard, rides around the wedding entourage, guiding the straightening of the ranks.  He smiles encouragement to Magge and then he salutes me, gazing into my eyes longer than protocole allows.  Etienne finally assumes the point of the spear.

        The Incorruptables stand outside the Monastery gates, bearing a solemn monolithic greeting.  They include twelve monks in hooded robes of dark vermillion, each of these with a golden sash.  A thirteenth monk, in the center, wears a hooded robe of violet with a vermillion sash.  Each of them has a young man in attendance who wears a coarse loose chemise and a cullote of white.  Only that thirteenth monk speaks, and smiling with ceremonial ennui, says ~ Deus nobis arridet. ~

        I reply, to the gasps of the wedding entourage, ~ Yes, God may smile on all of us, but can he stop smiling long enough to tend mercy unto Magge? ~

        The thirteenth monk is taken aback for a moment because I know Latin.  Magge taught me well.  Yet the thirteenth monk is not offended by my request.  His eyes hold me and then they follow my trembling finger toward Magge’s apparition.

        At once, the thirteenth monk mutters and snaps his finger, pointing to Magge.  Four of the attending young men hurry toward Magge’s horse and lead her into the Monastery courtyard ahead of all of us.

        To that thirteenth monk I speak, saying, ~Mihi complacui. Benedic vobis.

        The thirteenth monk replies, saying, ~ Thank you, your highness.  I am well pleased with you, too, your highness ~

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SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 14 – Fire is Born

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SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 14 – Fire is Born

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            I looked over at the decorative carved blocks hanging on the wall.  I knew now that they were Arturo’s copies of Mayan hieroglyphs.  One was a depiction of a lizard standing on its tail next to what looked like an undulating snake.  I knew without effort that it signified “Fire is Born”.

            I heard myself think “What is happening to me?” and then I turned to Arturo.  Arturo’s skin was glowing with a blue-white light.  He turned his head toward me.  His eyes were no longer ethereal pink; they were yellow and cold like the eyes of a jaguar.  Something was urging me to become hysterical but I didn’t.  I had a vision of a tiny worm writhing under a pin.  I heard myself think “That is where I placed my fear.”

            Arturo was thinking, “I need your help.  Watch what I am doing and do not turn away.”  Arturo then appeared to plunge his big hands into Garra’s chest.  There was no blood, just a ripple in Garra’s skin.  I started to laugh because it looked like Arturo was washing his hands.  I heard Arturo think “Don’t be a dumbass” and I became silent.  Arturo removed his hands without blood and began to move his fingers into Garra’s face as if molding clay.

            Arturo finally stopped and stood back.  Garra began to snore.  I was suddenly exhausted so I got off the chair, curled up like a dog on the floor and fell asleep.

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BAUBLES UNDER THE DOME

 

BAUBLES UNDER THE DOME

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        Bitterness is a distance your expectation falls down to reality.

        I quit my wife.  I divorce my job.

        I file early retirement.

        I take cheap flight to San Jose, Costa Rica (my father is Macedonian but my mother come from Costa Rica as little girl and my family goes back one time there when I was a happy ten years old).

        I take bus to Playa Chiquita in Puerto Viejo Talamanca (that translates “Little Girl Beach” in “Old Port” and “Talamanca” is word for language of native Carib people of Costa Rica).

        I choose Costa Rica to finish my worthless days.  I have trance willpower that comes only when nothing matters anymore.

        I arrive with only what I put in my old back-pack.

        I hike around until I find hidden cove I remember finding as kid, where jungle stream meets beach.

        It is not touched.

        I find shade.  I put up tent.  I set-up water-purifier.  I set up solar battery charger.

        I go down to edge of soft dry sand and I sit down, close my eyes, and I listen to the ocean breathe, feeling weight of sunshine.

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        Old reflexes come and go.  My mind twitches.

        I want cigar.

        I feel echoes nagging “get busy”.

        My thoughts become like shining decorations behind my eyes.

        I am seeing my thinking:  all this, everything, will one day, too soon no matter when, not be here for me.  One day too soon no matter when, I will not be here for myself.  It is the only thing we all know for sure.  I try imagine after I die.  I try imagine before I was born.

        My friend Fǎ “Bud” Ha told me when we die we are going home.

        Was I worth my life?  One day too soon, no matter when, it will not matter.

        Memories break and hiss and die on sand, to be taken away into the Caribbean, into the “great stream encircling the earth”.

        I fall asleep sitting like Buddha.

        I dream I have fallen asleep sitting like Buddha.

        I dream I wake up at my job as Union Auto Mechanic for State of California.  I wake up naked.  Workers clap.  Bud laughs, “Ha!  Nice tool!”

        I wake up and there is a puppy dog scratching himself happy beside me.  I turn still sitting like Buddha and face to him.

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        I say, “Hi, little boy, how do you like this place?” and the puppy dog sits and he blinks at me.  I pet him.  He licks my hand.

        I ask him, “Do you know your name?”

        Then I hear young woman’s voice, “Chuchería!”

        I turn.  She is naked.  She comes from the ocean, sparkling wet with long dark hair.  She holds spear.  She carries pouch net full of fish.  Puppy dog runs to her, bouncing.

        She asks puppy dog, “Chuchería, you are being a good neighbor?”

        She smiles at me.  She comes closer.  She asks me, “You buy fish?” and she holds up her pouch net of fish.

        I smile and I say, “My kitchen is not built yet.”

        She says very quick, “You buy fish.  I cook in my cocinita.”

        She is standing in front of me and I am still sitting like Buddha.  I am thinking “I like her cocinita”.  Then I think I must be Buddha still dreaming.

        She walks away to jungle.  I am not Buddha dreaming.  I am Buddha rising.

        I say, “Hey, excuse me, please.  Who are you?”

        She looks back to me and she says, “Clarita.”  Then she says, “Come now, Chuchería.  Let your new friend…”

        She turns away to jungle again.  Her little dog hurries beside her.

        I say, “I am Agustino!”

        I hear her say, “I hope so.”

        Very strange.  But I’m not complaining.  My expectations have risen to new reality.  That is sweetness.

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