Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting real

June 22, 1980

This place has changed this world of rock and concrete, now adorned with bits of living green that glistens and gleams.
The park bench still maintains its lonely vigil at the edge of water, a stark figure against the moving black drop of white tipped brown water waves.
The water towers on the far side glint with a deep reflected orange of a dying sun, a sun that cast this same hue over this tiny park.
My last time here, it was all rock and crevice, filled with the sparrows’ nests and spiders, and webs that shimmered with drips of captured salt spray.
The water still splashes against and over the black stone and stains the chunks of concrete someone used to build this tiny, isolated knoll.
Slightly back from the shore, Willows took root long ago, and now rise up and hang over all like gently fallen golden rain or strands of yellow hair. Reeds crop up between the rocks, stiffly swaying in the breeze, their blunt heads bumping into each other like a pack of unsteady drunks, still tainted with thin slivers of green.
The brisk wind even makes the brown ducks wobble as they lift off from the chopping surface, near enough to each other as to seem almost like one living thing, husband wife, father or mother, lover and mistress, who share this secret place almost with the same lust as I do, for something that can only be found here.
Once, I sat here, a lone figure on top of these concrete blocks, a dreamer, writing about my life elsewhere in dark, smoke-filled rock and roll clubs fill with dark people I always thought of as mannequins, cold-eyed strangers filled with boiling hot desire, whispering magical spells by which they hoped to bewitch people, and about the changes I noticed in them as time went on that never amounted to real change, only the same repeated patterns with the same repeated results.
But here I am back in this place and this place has changed in a way I never expected, and so leads me to suspect that I have changed as well, and that I have become this place, this island floating amid new roots and spurts of grass, and that like this place, the cracks in me are filling up with debris and from this new growth, proving perhaps that change isn’t as empty a ritual as I once assumed, and that being this place, I attract new life, the terns and the turtles, the rats and the rabbits, the bats and the broken backed laughing gull, and that we all are filling in the pieces of our lives, and find ourselves changing into something we never believed we could become, built upon the same dismal blocks others have abandoned as trash, and here so long later, to sit on these same rocks and feel the same wind and the same sun, and the same sense of security, watching the swallows swerve in the air around me, feeling the grit of the sand blowing against my cheeks, seeing it cling to the cracks of rock near by fingers, we change, from mannequins to something much more alive, from plastic flesh without feeling to real flesh that feels too much, this mingling, mumbling rock around which the water surges, making something surge inside me, making me cling to this rock, to this life, to this fake thing that has become a real thing, a tangible thing, a thing I can no longer live without

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