Green, sweet melon. Take a bite and you are greeted by juice running down your chin, down your neck, and into your shirt or lap. I fill up my plate greedily. Knowing if were to eat this whole melon it wouldn't be the end of me, but an affirmation to summer fruit and living off the land I have never seen where this melon grows. But someone picked it for me. They removed it off the vine and now it's come into my home and onto my plate and it is heaven. And thank you, farmers and pickers alike. To the truck drivers and supermarket workers. This was a good one. This was a success. Knock back the juice that pools at the bottom like a shot. Nature's good ol' sugar rush to keep our eyes open and the grass growing. Honeydew cucumber face mask mojito. Night time lotion where when I go the mall I just want to root my feet and grow up, up, up, and up like I am an extension. Like I am part of it: Guardian of the Food Court; That intersection in Willowbrook where The Body Shop overlooks Starbucks, the landmark where the Court begins. The only reason why we stand guard, the only reason why there is order is because there are choices, options. We are all hungry, but able to choose our meal and sit, on a hard plastic, fake marble bench and plot our next Christmas shopping move. It's never been fun for me. No one's taught me how to do it. We throw out the rinds and the seeds and take a towel to the mess made on the table. Bald-headed man Muppet. Mr. Honeydew. Mr. Melonhead? Melon is so great because of its hydrating properties. I was thinking the other day of proscuitto and melon and my high school graduation party. It makes me feel lonely and unsure of many life choices. It makes me recall how different things were then and how different I am now. Of course, that melon was cantaloupe. And every time I have proscuitto and melon (which I not often at all), I think to myself this isn't going to work. How can these flavors work together? This is so strange. Who would have ever thought of this? But I take a bite, and it works, and the saltiness of the proscuitto mixed with the juicy sweet creamy texture/consistency of the melon just - work. I take another bite, and then another. And before I know it, I have to stop myself before I get carried away, wanting to experience the flavors again and again. Avant-garde project. Baseball with fruit. But who cleans up the mess? Do we play in the compost heap? What sort of hippie project is this? It is the dew of honey, which actually is a pretty apt description of the taste: Sweet like honey, light like dew.
Painfully pulling out branches from an old, wiry tree. It stands immovable and motionless. What can I learn here? We gaze upwards and our eyes rest on a waving banner. Patriotic sentiments barely stir within me anymore. The pit of my stomach is moreso laced with dread, weighing the pros and cons of being dead or alive. Reckoning. Grappling. Pleading. Shedding the skin of naiveté. Snake-like knowledge slithers up and binds us in chokeholds. We turn blue and pass away to the old ways. Raspberry Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and extra whipped cream. This is no ordinary supermarket-purchased pie. This is homemade from scratch, I mean scratch. With care, with love, with songs sung, and honest, decisive movements; Kneading that dough and needing that dough. Delayed reactionary. Delayed revolutionary. American militia trudging through swamps, the swamps of history books. Bibles are heavy and weigh so much. Finding our true path, our one true path to contribute to society always feels like fitting a square peg in a round hole of equal size. Fluttering flag, saluting the brave, saluting the scared and innocent, and frightened. Saluting those who brought it all back with them and don’t know how to let it go. How can we better let each other know that we are love and valued? Why do we draw lines and build up walls, tapdancing around eggshells and unmarked graves of past traumas we do our best to lay to rest? Somedays everyday is armageddon. It doesn’t matter if the sun is out and the sky is blue. Somedays a stapler is just so loud and familiar. Folding flags in the traditional military triangular formation. Soldiers stand at attention. Marvelous parades tearing up the road. I don’t know what it all means anymore. I don’t know what it means to not be constantly distracted anymore. Putting out thought-bubbles like little anchors and fishing lines. Seeing what bites and what sinks the ship, holds the ship in place rather. It’s easy to get seasick. Too easy to look the other way. Complacency is a quiet, pervasive devil. We put so much faith into a symbol that’s supposed to identify our bloodlines. But I don’t know how I feel anymore about it. I have taken too long to say my name. I stand here spiritually hungover.
Wicker basket. Someone call Moses from the wood, from the water, through the reeds. There he say, there he lay. In his basket. Crying. There a little shifts of ripples that find their way to the edge of the basket, creating mild turbulence and little rain, little shift, little waves. It is soothing though and he settles. Wicker baskets carried on the heads of strong woman who go to the river to wash their clothes and linens. They are regal queens with turbans and headresses whose strength knows no bounds. Gaia-incarnate. Simplistic to no overture. Their biceps and triceps and thicker and stronger than mine every will be. They could knock you out with one punch if you overstep the line. Honorable samurai code. Total separation. On this evening, dusk scene there is incense in the air. Perfumed frankincense. Perhaps there are also jasmine flowers growing under the window of some home, and there is a woman in her kitchen sipping tea and she is living in now, living in the present, smelling the jasmine and thinking “What a good life this is that I can sit in my kitchen in the dark with the lights turned off with an open window and hear the crickets singing, smelling this jasmine that grows right underneath my window”. It’s all about syllable placement. It’s all about getting it out. Temper tantrum hurricane, because maybe the Earth really isn’t that hold, that old. I’ve resignedly accepted that I cannot will myself to do everything. The tales the backstory holds. Watching television. Numbing out. Do you remember what it’s like to be floating in wicker baskets, biding time, and twiddling your thumbs. Some authenticity quest having to do with finding your stream. Some big empty vessel, pour your life into that somehow. There are women etched onto the walls of some Egyptian tomb, painted on with gold-flecked paint. Hieroglyphics and pictographs depicting life, a life that we no longer know and can only imagine to the best of our ability based on the texts and pictures and tools they left behind. For every honorable king, there are at least three narcissistic scum bags. To root them out, we must be better parents and teachers and humans and teach them to not be and not value those traits that make them so. Basket weaving circle. Women sitting crosslegged in a sacred shape, singing and smiling.
Cassette tapes! The hum and hiss of magnetic analog audio. Rectangular fragility. Sometimes see-through, sometimes opaque. Recalling middle school vocabulary words. Tapes, so integral to my education and upbringing. Music on different media do truly sound different. Rumours on cassette is different from the CD, which is different from the record. Billy Joel, Hooked on Phonics, Raffi. Fascinating how this information is stored. Voyager - Sending the record to space - How will the aliens know how to play it, how will they know how it works? Tape deck in the car. Soundwaves to outer space, playing somewhere. Like maybe a beam of light, flickering out before it dies (but it being years before we can even see it burn out) will hit the golden disc. Or maybe it will by shot by meteor schrapnel Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley style. And that's that. Plastic little tapes holding memories and ripped radio songs. Tapes are fragile things, easy broken and destroyed. Tapes sometimes get eaten. Sound washes over like a body glove. Blanket holster. Plastic melts under desert suns. Conniption spasm heart attack. Snow ice sheet wall glacier coming, crashing down at night in the dark, care barely make out a shadowy silhouette. I used to have this green hoodie. It was a zip-up. And on it were little doodles of boomboxes and cassette tapes. I liked that hoodie a lot and miss it. I'm not sure whatever happened to it. It was one of my high school mainstays. Tape threads through plastic cartridge. Long car rides. States and Capitals Rap. Sides A and B. Compact, transportable. Why is the answer here and now? Streaming is great but it is not tangible. I cannot hold it. I cannot put miles on the songs I play. I can not hold the streams to my heart and weep.
The first track on Say Anything's '...Is A Real Boy": "And the record begins with a song of rebellion". Utter classic. Powerful introductory riff full of rage and resentment. Of course I've worn belts. When I used to take martial arts, I remember when I got my white sash. But I think after that the studio switched to belts. I still have the protective equipment and bag. The white sash still exists somewhere in this house. Sweat has probably become dust by now. I got all the way up to purple stripe - Three belts away from a black belt. I'm very proud of that fact. I was thinking the other day about sparring and how at such a young age I was fighting other kids and other kids were fighting me - more boys than girls from what I remember because that was just the make up of the class. And I wonder sometimes that what if I didn't physically fight on a regular basis at that age? What if I didn't spar or take karate at all? How much of my personality would be different, my confidence? Would it, could it be for better or worse? What negative things have I brought into my life or become by sparring? I remember the headgear. White with black protective plastic lattice at the front, I think. Like an umpire. I remember the gloves were so worn they were falling apart and showing the foam inside. The "boots" or foot coverings were made of the same material. Velcro straps to keep them tight. It all smelled like nasty sweat. There was also the big chest / torso protector; White with a red dot on the front. There were some days I loved karate, some days I hated it. A thread throughout my life has been socially awkward moments trying to fit in and failing; Failing to figure out how to do so. Occasionally being bullied or picked on by older, attractive boys. Their laughter was demeaning. They never saw me as an equal. I knew it, I felt it. I would sometimes fake sick so I wouldn't have to go. I remember our belt tests, early in the morning. We also must have a VHS tape floating around somewhere of one test or other. We were taught combinations.