Friday, February 02, 2007

Morning in autumn is how he awakes, early, and after ensconced in the bottom lip of a leftover dream world....

Morning in autumn is how he awakes, early, after less than four hours of aspirated nerve-rattling sleep, trying to anticipate, trying to stay cool, trying to leave to the place—a place he feels like he has already left. Her smile. Her face. It is autumn.1996. he is a freshman at the community college shaped like a russet brick ash tray across the river. He is all alone. He is leaving. His bedroom adorned with pictures of vaunted writers and tattered manuscripts and books. He has just given his best friend copy of Herman Hesse. He quotes the rote Autumnal fallen leaf shaped verbal tithings of Leaves of Grass. He fells all alone. He feels in Love. He feels as if he is leaving. He feels as if he has already left.

The coffee pot in his room makes a sound as if it is yearning to be petted. He has showered the night before. He looks in the mirror, swipes the crusty flecks of sleep from his eyes. Tries to smile. Tries not spend more than what seems vain getting lost into the mirrored slate of the Vanity frame.

And he is leaving.

He is taking one bag for the flight. A red duffle bag. Inside he has packed two shirts, one gray and one black for long sleeved comfort. He rolls and extra pair of jeans into the size of a papoose and wedges it deeply into the side of his carryon. He stuffs a row of fig bars, two inside out pair of black socks that a wrapped in a fashion suggestive that they are humping.

He is leaving.

His hair is cut short and fashionably coifed. His mother has done the best job she has ever had cutting his hair. He feels as if he is trying to reclaim something. He feels as if he is trying to discern something. He feels as if he is trying to shout out, to pour out the contents of his overtly caffeinated soul into the eyes and ears of a young seventeen year old girl. She is a senior in high school in a city in Wisconsin. He is a freshman at a community college in a city eight hours south of where she resides. Six weeks ago he quit his job at Barnes and Noble to be a full time college student. To arrive at he brick fortress of the institution early. To indulge in the sentences, the stories, the narratives, to wend his heart into the locomotive swerve of the page. The sentences he wishes to compose.

He smoked cigars. He indulges in healthy summer nights jaunt, watching the sun as it spills it golden late august rays. Watching the exact moment the globes of street lights illuminate the side walks on Moss Avenue. Watching. Seeking. Yearning.

And he is leaving.

It is going on 7am. The leaves in front of his house on Sherman always turn late. The sweet gum tree his grandfather planted when he was three months old. He puts a razor and shaving cream and a tooth brush and a comb and hairspray inside his red duffle bag. He is wearing the pair of velvet Doc Martens he bought in Munich six months earlier. The pair he bought only two weeks after he first met Megan. The pair his ex-girlfriend Kristina Rock accidentally dropped and egg on last summer so that now, the top of the right shoe has a stain and looks like it is permanently crying. A peninsula shaped smudge that, upon closer inspection, grants the top of his shoe the melancholy semblance of a clown doused in loss. A sadness. A tear.

He is leaving.

He packs deodorant. He packs his contact solution. He packs a light beige jacket. He packs sunglass. There is one-hundred dollars in his wallet. More than enough for the weekend. For taking her out. For holding her close. For conveying to her through the green-leaf world of materialism just how he feels.

He is leaving.

He misses her. He wants to be with her. He wants to reel her shoulders into his body. He desires to sputter out meaningless verbal drivel; hermaphroditic sentences, in an endeavor to make her laugh. Make her smile. Make her come to him.

He is leaving.

He draws the navy blue comforter over his bed as if he is reeling back the polyutherane sheet over a corps and then tucks it into the corners. He looks at the bed and wonder s what will change in his life between this exact moment and the next time he looks across the horizon of his nightly continent. He slaps splashes of acidic cologne onto both sides of his cheek. Takes a swig of caffeine. Notices the morning denim; the stunning atmosphere of autumn, outside his bedroom window.

He goes downstairs and feels the gruff follicles of his father beard and he gives him an embrace, His father tells him that he will be there Sunday night, at the student center, at the Bus depot, to pick him up. His sisters have already gotten ready for school. Beth is a senior at the high school he graduated from just three months earlier. Jenn is a sophomore and attends a Christian Academy across town.

“Girls have an amazing weekend.” He says, not registering to hear their volleyed hi-pitched confetti response of “you too.”

He is leaving.

Shielded in front of his immediate vision are notes for his pending Speech midterm. Prof hahn has allowed him to take the exam earlier in the morning so that he can catch his bus. So that he can catch his flight. So that he can catch his heart.

He feels good. This girl is good for him. He has not had a cigarette in over two weeks.

Back into his bedroom he has little more to pack. He wedges a small bible into the bag to feel that God is on his side. He opens the third drawer from the bottom of his mahogany writer’s desk and brings out the envelope with his tickets and flight itinerary. He places his copy of LEAVES OF GRASS in the top of the bag. The bag is fraught with relics of his life. He packs two spiral notebooks with pens. Zipping up the red sports bag as a bride trying to fit into a corset, the last item he places in is his notebooks of poems; inky linguistic scraps of his heart he has composed for this autumnal creation over the discourse of the past year.

He sets the red carry-on in the center of his bed and stares at it with wonder. He will pick it up after his exam before he heads to catch the bus 10:30 bus. The red duffle bag is bulbous and still life and a slight breeze sips through his bedroom window. Without pause or hesitation the man drops to his knees. His body contorts into the mattress, humped over in reverence, his chest concave, his fists a clenched fetus of supplication and thanksgiving. His Clef note shaped body, his wild heart, is now thanking God, asking God for safety. For protection. For the perfect weekend.

Briefly he wonders if it is going to rain.

He exits his room shielded with only his midterm exam notes, taking copious swigs from coffee cup. His sister Beth has already left for school. It his job to deliver Jenny to her classes across town before he arrives to his own institution of edification.

Arrive only to leave.

He enters the earthy-linoleum scent of the kitchen and kisses his mother on her cheek. His mother informs him that she will be praying for him throughout the weekend.

He saddles his scholastic backpack over his shoulder and peruses over notes. His sister Jenny follows him into the Buick. It is autumn 1996. Limp placards heralding the arrival of Dole/Kemp or Clinton/Gore arch above the manicured lawns like eyebrows. The air outside pulsates and thumbs with tilt of the planet slowly being brushed into the winter of another year.

The car door rattles shit with a thud. He twists the thumb shaped nozzle to the radio on full blast. With rote orchestrations of his wrist and hands akin to that of a dance, the car jilts into life and skids into the road, into the direction and discourse of another day.

He is leaving only to find out he has already left. A long, long time ago. In a different world.