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Posts Tagged ‘paradise’

Have you ever attempted to write something you so fortuitously named Xanadu before even starting the thought, “What the frog am I going to write with a title like that?” Well here’s a tip: think that. Because otherwise you’re certainly going to go jaunting off into the mountains with snowshoes made from tennis rackets. Is there snow in Xanadu? You don’t know. You’ve never been, You’ve never even seen it on a map. But you do know it’s some rare kind of paradise so, now that you think about it, you can leave the snowshoes at home.

It’s possible, you fathom to no one, that Xanadu is some far away place in your imagination and that in order to get there, you may have to do some terrible things. It’s kind of like the “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” mentality except much more… dynamic! Because if it is indeed paradise you are seeking, then it is indeed paradise you will find. Just don’t expect to keep your morals in check. Not entirely, anyhow.

Or maybe Xanadu is a mid 70s band you are remembering. Yes. Didn’t they perform at the hippest rolly dinks? Wow how great did everyone look in bell-bottoms back then? Sweet Marie.

A damsel with a dulcimer.

Or… no there was your Xanadu. Back there before time ran out on you. Ah you young son of a bitch. Kissing the girls and making them cry under the whimpering willow tree on the hill. Had that truly happened? An exceptional breeze never lies; it also never leaves you.

You don’t know from Xanadu. No one can. But to be candid, who even cares? Why go there? You haven’t heard much word of mouth about it. Can’t be all that great. Besides, you’ve already used up all your vacation time and cashed in your miles when you went to Nevada last month to visit your 19 car pile up, wreck of a brother. Miles well spent. Did some blow. And oh shit now THAT was Xanadu. That was also two black nights resulting in two blacker eyes, a skull fracture, and a wife. Yeah, oops. Funny now though… almost.

Down to a sunless sea.

What was the name of those ball pits you used to jump around in as a kid? Were those damn things just called “ball pits?” How unfortunate if that’s true! But there was the once upon a time when you stayed under for what was, in kid time, akin to an eternity. Completely oblivious to mother’s profound worry. Hardly able to contain your usually robust giggling. And when she ran out of the Burger King play scape area to look frantically for you out in the parking lot, you swam comfortably under your multicolored plastic ball water, able to breathe, able to create, able to be transferred to a different, unbelievable place. To Xanadu.

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Was that there where you saw it? The impossible light and shadows? Did these perfection anomalies envelop you, merge with you, become part of you? Because that is what happened to me. That is where I first was there. And that is when I last was when. And do you know that it was the damnedest thing because I knew. I mean, I really knew at that time that this was a never again moment. And the real treagedy of it is that I was just a dumbshit kid, unable to fully appreciate it. Fully grasp it. Never let go. … That is what it was like and how do you like that? All of these years traveling to the just beyond that is not quite right out of realms; all this time knowing it could never beā€“this fruitless, thankless task of yours. Yet you never stop, do you? Tell me, why do you think that is pleasant

To be forever drunk on the milk of Paradise?

——————

For Samuel.

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I’ve waited so long. I’ve waited so long. I’ve waited so long. Waited so long. At some point, the pinwheels stop spinning. The gusto of the day falls away in a bluster of shallow leaf piles. I’ve waited so long. I’ve waited so long. I’ve waited so long. Waited so long. On the corner in the bookstore, they have a smell you can only ascertain by walking all the way through it, to the back, and out the rear entrance to the alley in the back where the air flow ends. You’ve waited so long. You’ve waited so long. You’ve waited so long. Waited so long. The prepubescent child, whether boy or girl, male or female, black or white, tall or not so tall will be awkward in whatever state he or she may impose. There’s no stopping this phase. It is as awkward and terrible as apple pie is not but you have to let it run its course. Like herpes, I suppose. They’ve waited so long. They’ve waited so long. They’ve waited so long. Waited so long. The construction worker’s hard hat is busted and he doesn’t have dental insurance. Those two idiosyncrasies (or whatever) are unrelated. But they exist to serve a point. This man, who’s name could be Oscar, has to stop work to go and see the foreman about a new hard hat. First he checks with his immediate supervisor and he says it’s ok. So he’s cleared as far as management is concerned, but he still feels guilty for leaving the job, even if it is strictly momentary. Regardless, he has leave and he goes all the way down to street level where the boss lives in the shack and he says, “Excuse me sir, sorry to interrupt but my hard hat broke as I was welding the steel beams on 46. Would it be possible to get another?” And his boss, he looks the man who could be named Oscar up and down in a seemingly judgmental fashion. Though his visual estimation of his employee takes but a few seconds, to Oscar, it seems like ages. At last, he speaks. “Of course, of course. Help yourself, there’s a stack of hard hats in the back. Grab some for the fellows, too, won’t you? How are conditions up there on those pillars in the sky, anyway? Is there anything else you need?” And he leans forward at his desk in a sincere and helpful manner as a good mogul should and actually fucking LISTENS! But you’ve waited so long. You’ve waited so long. You’ve waited so long. Waited so long. Until you’re just about almost perfect. And you believe that all of your life has been one grand opera with no triumph or finale to usher you to this point where you think you might be now. Scream for the fat lady to relieve you, it won’t matter. Because you are coming to see yourself as a medium rare individual (with a flavor for sporadic spicy seasonings) and sometimes, very quietly in the dead of evenings you can almost know that no one else can sense you, can see you, can ever even know you. … And with that thought, the waiting, at last, comes to an end. In horror.

“When have I ever been ensconced in paradise?”

<Air rushes out.>

—-
For Maya.

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