In Heaven Only the Angels Scream

The sun beating down, I ate a quiet lunch outside.  Contemplating a week of friends returning to Humboldt, a grandmother in her final hours, a friend lost, excellent nightly conversation with Night Nurse, a looming (unknown) deadline on my interview with filmmaker Larry Wessel, and a job that is leaving me more and more at odds with myself.  I had a NASCAR magazine in front of me, but I couldn't concentrate on it.  It seemed that the spirits of the dead and dying weren't hiding from the sun's warming rays.  Instead, they did their whisper dance in my ever-so-willing ears.

From my perch here with my laptop, I can see the wind chime outside my window.  My daughter picked it out at Eureka Natural Foods.  It is weaving slightly in a breeze not yet detected by the trees.  It is a comforting sight.  I can't hear it.  The cars outside go by too often, and the CD I'm playing is a bit too loud. Yes, the CD.

I went to get my taxes done today, and then made a few stops in the mall.  The Bayshore Mall is a graveyard of commerce.  It is like a functioning Monroeville Mall, the zombies able to finally make purchases.  I stopped off in the only record store in there: F.Y.E.  A ridiculous name, to be sure.  I did it on a whim.  Looking for some Death in June.  I figured I would not find any.  I was not prepared for the perplexed look upon F.Y.E.'s finest when he asked if I needed help finding anything and responded in kind.  He had never heard of it and suggested, ever so helpfully, that I "check the Internet."  Indeed, clerky, I will.  Thanks for pointing out a resource I hadn't been aware of until our brief, albeit intensely interesting, conversation.  "Little Blue Butterfly" has been stuck in my head so much that I've been singing it at work ... constantly.  There really could be nothing like pumping it from the Bose at full bore.  "Black sun dying ..."

I find that in times of trouble, and troubling times, that the best one can do to maintain is shut out almost every living thing around them.  Eliminate the noise.  Consign the din to the heap.  Keep those true and pure close at hand.  They are the constants.

I called my grandmother this morning.  Intent upon hearing her voice one last time.  It sounded familiar.  Like my father before he passed on.  Barely able to croak out a few words.  More gasps than sentences.  The moans as words tried to form.  She managed to say, "I love you."  She heard me say it back.  She understood.  I told her to go on in peace and not be afraid.  I did not know what else to say.  When I heard my father's final gasps on the phone, I was equally without the words.  I don't know if he comprehended what I was saying.  He couldn't speak anything intelligible.  And that was how my relationship with him ended.  Over the phone.  3,000 miles away.  I was in the garage.  When I hung up the phone, I closed my eyes, saddened by the fact that he never got to meet his granddaughter.  Never got to see just how wonderful she was and still is.  Dead air.  Nothing.

And people wonder why I turn my back...

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