The vacuum barrenness eats only when the night breaks into patches of in-congruent loneliness; images of revolution cures by electric city sky in the after hour drives up canyons where sheep eyes were destroyed.
All this and more is in a box on the floor of someone’s bedroom. Equal barren patches litter the walls in between disconnected snapshots of our past selves and posters of influences we are becoming.
I’m in this room, and now it’s a little past 3am. I’ve smoked a few bowls, and I’m feeling calm. A red light is on in the corner, and when I close my eyes I see a fertile garden at midnight. A sad faced marble statue of a lady in plain dress looks over the souls of after hour sinners and I slide farther away from her until she becomes a pinprick in my vision and the surrounding garden seems grainy and compressed. I try to draw this on a piece of paper in order to cement the vision.
A full yellow moon transforms the cypress and poplar into silhouette and there’s no doubt the imagined night is humid, lush and teeming with life. There’s a strange southern romance attached to the picture, and the atmosphere is pregnant with the unspoken ambitions circling the statue.
A picture of the city hijacks my vision, and endless miles of streetlights and telephone poles come into focus.
I make my way back to the garden, where warm hues glow behind closed eyes and, take one last drink of the image. I breathe, open my eyes, and continue to draw at a million miles a minute. A satisfaction arrives with the outlines coming to life on the paper. The garden, a sacred place of peace, around which we all gravitate.
I think of the myth of forgiving and forgetting as I draw, and how myths are built into our design. Like the Phoenix, constantly being resurrected from its own ashes. I think of how all that it takes is one idealist and a spark, a catalyst for a small change in a larger structure. I think of the images of time and place framing who we once were. Not who we are now.
I remember being young and angry. We made sounds out of our rage, but now that same energy produces stifled silent screams, like white noise playing out of busted old radios in old garages where old couches that we used to crash on once were.
I think of slow motion nights spent waiting for nothing grand in the immediacy of cool intrepid youth. Maybe some obscure music and a black light and of course someone brought a camera to document the occasion and we all made believe in perfect for some future audience’s pleasure.
Of course the talk show host will one day ask about growing up and the reply will always be ready for delivery, with a serious expression, and long pauses will allude to hardships and impossibilities that send chills down spines and cause teeth to cringe. The comfort and easy truths will be played down, and epic twists will fill the plot, weaving a story that belongs to Greek Myth and makes us all out to be the glorious victors against all odds.
The spark was the idea that we might pull through or we might not, so we were sure to take picture after picture and erase the ones that didn’t fit or that caught us in the middle of a stupid grin with eyes half shut.
All events that end up in a couple of shoeboxes full of moments past alongside undeveloped film, letters written by onetime sweethearts, ticket stubs to movies and local shows, and always ornately decorated papers with lyrics to songs we found our escape in but never fully understood.
I try not to listen to those songs anymore, but unfortunately I’m still fond of the same movies.
I’m sure you didn’t forget them, I mean, how could you?