Monday, March 15, 2010

Bees in My Fists

Just a few items from the past week or so. . . .

Jill and I like to walk, and up around Belmont Harbor a while back we came across two geese. One was doing the standard goose-in-the-water thing. The other, I will call him Jesús the Goose, was performing a miracle. He was, as you can see, walking on water.

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A couple days later I was riding the old 151 downtown to lead a tour. The bus was crowded, and I took the last seat. Slumped across both seats behind me a frail woman with blank eyes mumbled to herself, her mahogany hands twitching as she fought with some internal backstabber.

Her struggle remained under control until the bus passed the entrance to the zoo at which point the tormented soul screamed into the back of my head, “Don’t be trustin’ no PO-lice. I knew they come into that house.”

It’s this way in the city. Crowded bus . . . everyone plugged into their I-pods or thumbing away on their Blackberrys. It’s a normal trip downtown until the wrathful shadow of the anti-Jah swipes its fare card and barks for attention.

Usually no one looks up. At least not right away. That would be too voyeuristic, too public an acknowledgement that something in the predictable world had gone awry. But most eventually do look. On this particular day, they had to look through me to get a peek at her.

There were two more outbursts, one at Banks and the Inner Drive, one at the Randolph Street stop. There either was or was not someone in the house and the police did or did not respond. And NO ONE would ever be trusted ever again.

That’s a long story to get to the most poetically impromptu lines I have heard spoken, actually shouted, in a long time. In the midst of the last rant, concerning all that she had done to protest the break-in, real or imagined, the poor exile behind me screamed, “I told everyone they come into that house. I got knots in my hands and bees in my fists from all the writin’ downtown.”

Translate it into Latin and you could carve it in stone.

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Finally, this was the view from our living room most of last week. But we have jonquils on the dining room table, and abundant hope for warmer weather, sooner rather than later.

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