In the afternoon I learned my middle/high school teacher Cara Esquivel died.
In 7th grade she made us all run around the block when we were being rowdy. In 8th grade I went to Oaxaca with the program she started: “Chapulin.” This is what inspired me to start my first job when I was 14 – since I was too young to be hired anywhere I made and sold burritos from a basket to office workers downtown.
In 9th grade I took Cara’s literature class and reading Night by Ellie Weisell ruined my year in an important way. Cara emphasized Native American literature and started an inter-school program with Santa Fe Indian School. High school wouldn’t have had such a multicultural perspective without her influence.
Khadija wrote on Cara’s timeline about the time our class had to memorize poetry. Cara said that we would remember our poems for the rest of our lives, that this was some kind of sacred-lineage passed from one English teacher to the next. I forgot that I remembered mine.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The Falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
The blood dimmed tide is loosed
And everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned
The best lack all conviction
While the worst are filled with passionate intensity…
On the darker side of twilight I looked at the blossoms emerging on the lower half of a neighbouring tree, thinking: “I’ve got April sadness, and it’s only March.” What is April sadness? Right in the middle between hopeless and hopeful. Malegria
My dad, Sarah, and I were hiking through illuminated snow to the caves for new year’s eve. It was either someone’s ephemeral new media project that was creating light patterns on the ground, or the northern lights.
The caves were large and well lit. We sat on the ground and watched the otherworldly dancing. Oliver and Corvas were among the performers, wearing sheer capes over naked bodies. They flipped around, holding their weight on their arms, wiggling their torsos like they didn’t have bones.
Corvas noticed me watching and we made vivid eye contact: he was showing me this secret. It was the best dancing I had ever seen.
It became one of those days where I never fully woke up. The dream colored my day. Now all I want to do is dance like that.
Adhit was going to come visit, across the world. I was so excited. I planned to show him as good of a time as he showed me in his country.
He messaged to say that his mum was in hospital, he couldn’t come. I replied that we could meet as international babes in 2021, age 31.
Adhit messaged to say his mum had died. I started crying at work (don’t check facebook at work). As I was driving home I thought about telling my mom about Anna (Adhit’s mum) and sobbed.
Anna made interesting and emotive art. She was a pisces, and when I met her I thought: “She would be a great mother in law.” Not that I would ever get married, but some moms make that a temptation. One morning, after feeling sheepish for making Adhit moan so loudly the night before, Anna showed me her paintings.
She was timid to show her work, but the subject came up and I asked her about it. The paintings were neatly organized and she gave thoughtful, dreamy context for each one. They all embodied a subtle but forceful psychological space. There was one in particular I remember, which had a grouping of figures like ladders and people. It was in a series of planes with this interesting non-linear dimensionality.
I went to a show. Sarah asked how I was, I told her I was very sad for my friend. Later she asked how my interview had gone, I said I was going to Italy and we drank celebratory beers in the parking lot.
Christian said he loved mine and Sarah’s friendship. I love mine and Sarah’s friendship. I love Sarah.
Angelo said: “How are you? Tell me everything” and walked inside before I said anything.
But I told you everything, didn’t I? Dear blog.
Dion and I were going to visit Hoku.
“How can we visit our dead?”
People were eating other scaled-down people in a pool. It was spooky because I could identify with the eater and the eaten, it referenced pools of collective consciousness, structures of oppression. It’s a very me image because of the pools, the implied genocide, and the stated veganism.
Everyone was worried about Hoku. I found him in a cave, head between his legs, in a trance, unresponsive. It was something his dad had done to him.
Fire fell from the sky and onto our bodies.
At an event on a boat, Hoku approached, dressed in purple, apparently drunk, singing inappropriately. Everyone avoided him but I went up to hug him.
A week or two ago my dream also referenced Hoku.
Torrential rain. On the phone with Frey, who asked if I had had any dreams about Hoku lately. I read dreams I had written over the phone as I draped my body over my pregnant wife.
There was silence on the other end and I asked Frey if they were still there. They said yeah and excitedly asked if I wanted to get a “Euro six-pack,” which it is okay to drink in the day or at any time because it is “mixed and matched.” Frey said they wanted to have “brown and blacks.” I got Black IPA.
The back yard started to flood.
Waves crashed over the house.
A jukebox played perfect running music and I ran – away from my pregnant wife, my long lost friend and my long dead friend. A fat woman with a brown braid and dark blue polo shirt walked by with a cigarette and started dancing. She put out the cigarette, donned an apron, and went inside to her cafe.
Just now I caught up to the perpetual anniversary of sadness that marks itself subconsciously.
On Hoku’s Facebook are sparsely-placed months of posts from parents, occasionally disrupted by a friend. Today I wrote: “A feeling!” Not even an inside joke with the dead.
My ~Temple Sit ~ dogs woke me up during a REM cycle and as the cat clawed my chest I went back under that golden-lit archway thinking “ha ha ha ha, Mcdonald’s uses subconscious multichannel-marketing to make me feel nostalgic about the dead!”
But you know it was a serious and heavily-symbolic dream about Hoku’s death, and now I remember that the anniversary is eminent.
So I wrote on Hoku’s dad’s wall about the dream, you know… hoping to make him cry, if that’s not what he was doing already.
“I had a dream you, Hoku and I were walking to the airport. It was the golden sun of evening. You told Hoku to go where he was headed, and that we needn’t know where that was. Giant concrete arches demarcated where we would part ways. Hoku went through the gate to the left, you and I went through the gate to the right.”
I named Angel Pie when I was 3 and we have been dear friends ever since. Angel Pie won every battle with a coyote, like the time she stared one down through the glass door, or the time she was in a coyote’s mouth and escaped.
When I was a little kid, whenever we drove someplace, Angel Pie would follow the car down the street and meow for us to come back. Growing up, I worried about Angel Pie and our other beloved cat Hobbs being hit by a car. When I thought in their direction they would come and find me. Angel Pie and I would have sleepovers beneath covers, which she was always fascinated with. Some years ago, when we got a modern couch and there was no arm to sit on, Angel pie leaped and awkwardly sat on Will’s shoulder.
Angel Pie outlived several other friends and last Thanksgiving, in the cadence of a little kid from a 30’s movie I said: “Mama, Angel Pie is immortal right?” She was around 22 when she died.
For the last few days of her life, Angel Pie followed my mom and me around the house, lying down wherever we were. There’s a sublime sort of communication kitties can have with people, Angel Pie had that with us.
I want to plunge so deep
that I see dead friends,
punch a waterfall
through my stomach
“I love you”
with every cell
(Photo by David Louridge)
February was hard, as always.
My mom had a nervous breakdown. She and Dion then talked about philosophy and sang along with Johnny Cash while I made 64 kimchi/shiitake dumplings in my usual Saturday sleep-deprived state.
I awoke some nights to loud crashes and Dion sobbing. Eventually he became immobilized by depression so Noah got in touch with his parents and took him to the emergency room.
I worked with a pointy head toward a deadline, editing for 18 hours straight, going to White Sands twice, and then missed the deadline by 16 minutes, because I am the type of idiot who does cannot read the words “eastern standard time.”
Angel Pie went from killing mice to near-death. Then she died.
I’ve been stomach in-love. Sleep-deprived. I am a big grassy man. Maybe it’s the placebos I bought from the witch doctor.
I embroidered the ancestral Coyote 101.5 motif, given to me in t shirt form from late-great-uncle Paul, onto my premium-preemie-primo’s newborn quilt square while working the “Your General Store” piece at SITE, and looking smart and hot in my sunglasses. I thought: “It is okay to die.”
Walking as a part of the overexposed afternoon I thought about sex. A woman with blue eye shadow told me about the sales at the consignment store. I didn’t find any tapered slacks.
Floating in the next store-zone, a supremely cute individual smiled at me and I did a double take – wording I only use because I was at Double Take. I walked around the block and texted Bea about potential pick up lines. She offered: “I was thinking of leaving a missed connection for you but figured it might be more productive to talk to you first.”
The attractive tall and skinny person had long dark hair. I thought about how Hoku was tall and skinny and had long dark hair once. Probably I will fall deeply in love with this stranger or else not see them again.
I ran into a woman at the next consignment store without slim high waisted tapered slacks. She looked at me lovingly and with sad eyes. I said: “Where do I know you from?” She said she was Hoku’s friend. I said I was just thinking about Hoku. We talked about Hoku’s style.
A few days ago I was thinking about how Hoku would like some thing and then I thought: “how would I know?” I don’t want to project things onto dead people, but there’s no other option.
Guess I’ll just continue to project everything onto everything because perception is reality and also holographic.