Monday, October 24, 2011


She walked in with trepidations. She was an hour and a half late.

But as she strained to conceal the click clack of her heels, she heard nothing. The swooshing sound of her rain coat that used to drive her crazy disappeared too.  She peeked up through her lashes to see eyes staring  toward the front of the classroom where she stood yet no glances stopped, as if she were a drop of dew evaporating in the rising sun.

Sunlight is streaming into the room, casting up glares on the whiteboard.  Steven and Megan who sat in the back corners, stood to close the curtains.   She jolted when she heard the sharp sound of the chain screeching against the rod, as if waking from a dream.  Their faces were blank however, when she tried to smile and wave discreetly in their directions.  Then she saw them smile at each other, and nodded toward a few other students who looked back.  She pinched herself, and winced from the pain.

The drone of the teacher's voice put several heads on the desks. But as she sat on the only remaining seat in the back, she straightened her back to stay alert.  A whisper came into her ears, so she turned around.  It was Zara, who wanted to clarify a question.  Dan was whispering back the answer now, but too far for her to hear.  She hadn't caught the question either.  She felt cold, though she sat directly under the sun, wrapped in a heavy coat.

When she couldn't come up with the answer herself, as she couldn't remember the question, she didn't panic.  Somehow she knew no one would check, no one would sneak a choked laugh like they were doing to Sean as he blurted out staccato phrases of confusion.  She scratched mindlessly on her notepad, too clumsy to draw a real shape, too distracted to write verses, and too afraid to pound on the paper as her heart pound into her chest walls, noiselessly but pounding nonetheless.


Thankful things

1. It has been so long since I wrote anything my fingers were shaking as I clicked on "New Post".  This button of anxiety feels like a comfortable old bike somehow.  I only had ten minutes before the next appointment so apologies in advance for what would surely be a post with more than the usual spelling/grammatical foes.

2. A frantic but life so full leaving me fewer moments to ponder and come up with words, but happy and cheerful nonetheless.

3. Supportive voices from the most unlikely places, making the occasional bad day less gray and damp.

4. Rain.  It may dampen the roads but I love how it makes the leaves out by my window shine.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


The trip down was as smooth and easy as a top grade tequila.  Why not?  We sat staring out into a span of ocean as blue and clear as the sky itself.  Our rides were comfortable, companies easy and our hearts open to possibilities of the week.

Rosarito was overcast that day. A band of clouds hang at the far edge of the sea where it met the sky like frost that crawled up the bottoms of car windows overnight, smudging your view.  I wanted to wipe it clean, so I could see the line where everything on earth seems to fall off, into perhaps what should be called a better place, though I would have no way of knowing.

The water seemed more turbulent and the waves more fierce here south of the border.  Were the waves rising as a protest against the housing projects and pellet board houses falling to the wayside and scattered between high rise hotels?  Perhaps not.

The swells danced nonetheless, between the sun and the wind, beckoning the clouds lower and teasing the heels of low flying pelicans, who flirted at the edge of the swells spraying like hair into the wind and rhythms of the dance.

As we stopped, unloaded and walked out onto the hotel garden standing at the edge of the ocean, waves splashed onto rocks beneath, making white fireworks of water exploding on impact.  I let go of my bags along with my thoughts.  Looking out into the mists blurring the edges between heaven and earth, I felt myself hanging at the edges of today and tomorrow, my hands and soul shook in symphony with the splashing rocks.

*  *   *

The group had danced the night away. Music banged on my wall, with chatters jumping in offbeat like broken staccatos.  Aged looking terracotta floors and delicate mosaics on the wall carried the sound well, so I could hear shot glasses slam on the wooden tables and bar chairs being dragged across the floor.  As consciousness returned and dreams faded away, whispers between those still standing traveled through the short hallway between my room and the bar, taunting me with secrets I couldn't quite decipher ceaselessly.

The clock struck at four.

I waited, read and prayed but sleep eluded me.  At the first ray of sun kissing the sky fish belly white, I got up to take a walk outside, bathing in the brisk coolness of morning fresh air.  I walked the grounds from one side to another, then back again, looking for what I wasn't sure.

The ocean was angry.  Gray clouds had taken over as far as I could see, smudged view a new reality erasing memories of blues and gold.  Pelicans lingered, mourning what they still felt was home but buried now, under turmoils of churning foams and breaks without directions.

I decided to return to my room.  That was when I spotted him, crouching between the smallness of a patio chair and table.  His red baseball cap lit up the gray horizon, like the tip of a match, darting only slightly but a presence of warmth nonetheless.  As I walked closer, I saw that he was indeed lighting up something - a cigarette. 

I didn't recognize the tall, lanky figure, even when he waved.  He had told me something earlier, something that took me aback but I waved it away as a inconsequential comment. I was just under the hotel windows and he at the edge of the water, enjoying a morning smoke.  I waved back but walked away, again, thinking he were just another early rising hotel guest enjoying a moment's solitude in the mists.  I wished I had known it was him, but it wasn't to be.  Perhaps I had been out wondering needing someone to talk to, perhaps he was too.  But it wasn't to be.

Later on he was to say goodbye, a shocking surprise, a pause, an earlier exit that expected, due to a move, a change, or a job we weren't sure.  But his earlier comment made sense in the light of the departure, giving context to a gray stroke of smoke dissipating into the wind otherwise.  Was it a clue written in disappearing ink?  Or was it just an air of swirling puff meant to be dismissed?  Regardless it was a sad occasion and he would be missed.  We all wish(ed) that there were time and a chance to know him better, but it wasn't to be.

I couldn't help wondering if we could have talked that morning, I would have found out a bit more.  I could not change what was meant to change, but I still couldn't help wondering, what was it to be.


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