Monday, November 27, 2017

hometown glory - from 19

There was the summer I turned 19. The sleek grand piano, black and shiny in the middle of the room, right near the glass doors which led to the porch which led to the sand which led to the ocean.

I remember how the piano looked when you played it, but (oddly) not how you looked. It went from non-living to living, inanimate to animate, lonely to powerful.

The way that song begins was always amazing to me. It sounds like the beginning, but you have no idea.

It’s just like life, I think.

I remember that summer thinking there were superficial reasons for why I liked you, but then you played that song on the piano and I knew there was more. Over the years I would learn that you had some kind of magic in you; it made things look nicer, taste better, sound prettier. Like you knew how to take the basicness out of the basicness of the world.

There is this quote I love – “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

It makes me wonder if there is also a time when you believe everything has begun, and that is the end?

That is how it was with you.

Monday, July 31, 2017

sun worshipper

The sun and I, we go way back. 

I am a water baby, born into a swimming pool somewhere in California. The consistencies of my youth are remembered by two glorious elements: Sun, and Water. 

I found rare silence and solitude in the depths of the pool. How long can you hold your breath? My long dark hair, bleached golden by the sun, the ends shimmery like a fish's tail in the water. My skin, a blonde-roasted coffee color which perfectly resembled the warm, caramel skin of my Egyptian father. My dad, a sun-worshiper too.

The water. The mesmerizing, serene blue, which, when uninhabited, was without a ripple in it, allowing me to manipulate its surface however I wanted. 

Now I have no swimming pool. My doctor says I better avoid the sun, because it can do bad things to my skin. I want to shake her and say, but the sun and I are friends, we go way back, I am a water baby, my father's daughter; burnt like coffee, sweet like caramel. I can't resist the sun. Its warm, seductive rays. My body vs. my brain. Which one do you think will win? 

This is not 1996. The halogen lights demean me, in a windowless room on floor 22. I will stay away from the sun, and I will wear sunscreen. I will go to work, I will get married, and live in a house with a welcome mat at my front door and an agreeable dog out back. I will pay my bills. I will go to Church. I will drive safely. I will stay away from the sun. 

When did everything change? I can't remember anything in between back then, and right now. 

I am full of fear. I am a water baby. 

No water and I am drowning.