It’s okay. It’s why we’re all here.
God keeps me alive because I have questions for “after.” Serious questions. Questions I know he can’t answer. Like: Why is my nose crooked? Really? You couldn’t give me something straight? Anything STRAIGHT? And why not save us from ALL of the Falwell’s — let’s go further — all fundamentalists? (If you say Free Will I swear to you I’ll throw Crohn’s Disease in your face. Free Will. Shit.) They’re ruining the world and my upstanding view of pool boys. Please! And as long as we’re here, not that I’m complaining, — I’m totally cool in that department — but how come skinny-skater Bodie was given that dick? Can you just answer me that? Was it a reward? Maybe recognition for his Exceptional Contribution to Human Progress? I’m sure he’s saved hoards with his Board — it all seems just a little… peculiar. More: Did you have to let America have the nukes? You knew what we’d do, and there were Canadians nearby. And why did you let Republicans happen? Why are people in Bakersfield so proud? Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond? (Free Will, again, right?) And there’s this skater named Bodie, maybe I mentioned him? Why? Just why? See you in a bit.
“Upon Seeing the Hollywood Sign”
“Did you ever notice,” Tate asks as he pulls down his shorts, “that when they ask, ‘What’s your dream?’ like they do in that stupid movie —” he turns around to face the tall white letters — “about the prostitute with a heart of gold — what was it? Oh, yeah, Pretty Woman — that they never — camera ready?” I say yes, the camera is ready. Tate opens wide his arms to The Sign, hefted cheeks glistening, reflecting the sun, flexing newfound freedom, a bounce… “ — really let you choose off-menu?” The phone makes the sound cameras make, a sharp click, as if something real just happened. “Know what I mean?” he asks as he pulls up his lucky shorts.
Library of Memory, finger on the spines that hold together me. Oh, I do not like this book! (Though I’ve read it a thousand times.) I was too young to understand. How was I to know? (I knew.) One night sags the shelf that ought to be in the Restricted Section (like the old days, when you had to ask for the books with drawings). These spines are warped. Horrible! I move on. My, this one is beautiful. Just look at its golden cover: “Full of greeting cards and fairy tales.” Here, I learn right from wrong and begin to build My Best Self. Things work out in this book (just like a Hollywood movie). Grandma really likes it. I really should read it someday. But they said I could take out only one. Maybe this one? Bright and Sunny Days? And there are other rooms, futures I’ve never visited, a place for faith. Philosophy. I really should… as I bow my head, reach for Mistakes and turn to you.
He didn’t give me his name. Just a question: “Are you sure?” And as I quivered, arched a vibrating spine, thought “no contract would be legal now, you have to be sane, prostate unfluttered, bliss-less” — You don’t even know who he is! (Every safe voice.) I do. He is Unseen. Unbodied mechanic. Quantum god or prisoner, jinni or egrḗgoroi angel-demon foreign-world alien — because, really — Oh, my god! “Yes!”
Those gray mornings north of Sacramento when Mormons came around seeking future Mormons and I hopped the fence to escape and to play: Thanksgiving was coming soon, and there would be no turkey, but I sat in that wicked tree, blessed, watching the missionary’s ass bounce.
What turned me into a whore, you ask? Courage. I said yes to need.
Listening for remnants — ear to plaster, voices carry — muffed and past far too quickly. (Dude, I don’t think she’s finished. But you are.)