And now I know Spanish Harlem are not just pretty words to say
I thought I knew
But now I know that rose trees never grow In New York City
Until you’ve seen this trash can dream come true
You stand at the edge while people run you through
And I thank the Lord
There’s people out there like you
I thank the Lord there’s people out there like you
While Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
Turn around and say good morning to the night
For unless they see the sky
But they can’t and that is why
They know not if it’s dark outside or light
This Broadway’s got
It’s got a lot of songs to sing
If I knew the tunes I might join in
I’ll go my way alone
Grow my own, my own seeds shall be sown, in New York City
Subway’s no way for a good man to go down
Rich man can ride and the hobo he can drown
And I thank the Lord for the people I have found
I thank the Lord for the people I have found…
All right, you chipmunks. Ready to sing your song?
- I’ll say we are! - Let's sing it now...
You wanna be Atticus Finch. Good.
- I like him. - Why?
- He's honest. - Yes.
- He stands up for the right thing. - Yes.
- And he's a good father. - He is.
- Did it all by himself. - Did what all by himself?
- Raised his kids. - He didn't raise them by himself!.
Who was the woman that came to their house every day?
- Calpurnia. - Calpurnia. He remembered.
- And what about Boo? - What about Boo?
Boo Radley is the most interesting character in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Boo Radley is the most interesting character in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Mom, tell me more about Livia.
[Richard] Powers is especially effective at illustrating the way the story of the girl with “the happiness gene” spreads across the Internet and, only slightly less rapidly, the traditional media. Thassa’s mailbox starts filling up: “Strange people with Hotmail accounts want me to make them happy. One woman wants to hire me as her personal trainer. She thinks her soul needs a professional workout.”
… This review was written by Jay McInerney (“How It Ended: New and Collected Stories”) and published in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, October 1, 2009. … when I first stumbled into this story the other day, I did a double take… it read like my life…
“Meanwhile, Kurton’s research team is on the verge of publishing a study that correlates specific genetic codes with emotional well-being. But despite the large sample on which the study is based, Kurton is holding back on publication, looking for some missing datum to confirm his findings. When Thassa’s story comes to his attention he thinks he may have found it. …”
I remember listening to a Nobel Prize contending researcher detail his observations of my hyperthymic temperament…
“Kurton persuades Thassa to undergo a series of tests, and when the results are finally published — the ebullient Thassa’s genetic material having confirmed the initial findings — media interest in the Happy Gene Girl goes manic, culminating with an appearance on a Chicago talk show whose host, known to all simply as Oona, “is, by any measure, the most influential woman in the world.” In a canny elision, Powers gives us only hints of Thassa’s triumphant performance, by way of its echoes on the Internet. … “
“Digital and electronic technologies that act as extensions of our bodies and minds are changing how we live, think, act, and write. Some welcome these developments as bringing humans closer to unified consciousness and eternal life. Others worry that invasive globalized technologies threaten to destroy the self and the world. Whether feared or desired, these innovations provoke emotions that have long fueled the religious imagination, suggesting the presence of a latent spirituality in an era mistakenly deemed secular and post-human.”
That night in my delight, I entered and slept on the hardwood floor.
As I closed the tent folds behind me, I had only that which I adore. I had carried in my bible, that one which I had before the day I was baptized, in it is still taped a hair, the one he taped the first time I considered sharing my life. I had my violin, it is a mere symbol, that it be that one or an earlier of mine, it was simply my red violin.
I suppose here I must stop to introduce the tall lanky weed with blonde hair, the child I knew was my grandfather before time thus upon him grew.
You see the night before after the free had been freed, I decided to take the light out which bothered my sleep.
It was three in the morn when out of my room and into the street I’d sneak. I stood there midway in bright as day, equipped with a step stool and coffee mitt in either hand prepared, there’s no wonder why it is that they’d stare. The lost then wandered around the corner, and they looked on at I, as I at they and we neither much mattered if the other so much cared. I asked if they’d see anyone rustling bikes in the night, they countered—”why?”—stiffening as if I was prompting a fight. Oh, I told them, some have gone—disappeared. Since they wander in the night, perhaps they’d look out from now on? What is it that you’re doing, not so innocent yourself? I told them what it was I was up to, with night as my only stealth. The one offered to take that mitt off my hands, and the stool he’d too take, and he promised tomorrow, from sleep I would awake. I offered my home for their slumber, they walked it off waiting to drive to their sleep. While one would humbly accept the offer, the other not accustomed to the kindness of strangers, would slink away after the good deed while I slept in his promised sleep.
I woke in the morning. The cat in hat on my couch did sleep! Oh, momma, oh my! How is it that wonder did not pass by-and-by?! Is this really, could it, would it truly be!? Did he hear the prayer that my soul groaned though my knees had never relented, never ever before meek or weak?
Truth I do tell, my heart did swell as the child like golden death did sleep. I slipped out the day for my plunder, and my routines to return to upkeep. I went to Harry’s, the 1960’s family diner that I adore, and Harry’s adored me as ever before. I stopped in Bird Rock for coffee, cappuccino in hand, I pressed on further beyond the border of my imaginary land. I met the mechanic, a good hearted man, he promised he fix it, “if he can”.
I set off determined to venture further, into the Pacific I’d determined to be, there was a bike for sale I’d ride back along the beach. But mere blocks later—who knows if it were the woman or the dog that I’d first meet?—there walked love, three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and their mommy who they lead. I asked her, who are they? A doggy I’m in need. She said, well here have one, I have one more than I can keep. She handed me the leash to the mommy, opening her heart to love to lose later and for love lost later to bleed. I said why don’t we walk the block or two towards the ocean, and when it we meet, you go the one way, and I the other—when she thus notices, she’ll turn back and toward my home we’ll walk whilst it is you she seeks? Thus it in my life full of wonder, that she did give me her child, in mere moments of meeting, and in mere moments later of meeting did part, her with love and me with her heart. Rosie was her name, a saucy red head more beautiful than anything I’ve ever loved. A red headed daughter of a black Irish man. Pure breed and with papers, she and I could ignore, we were a pair made in heaven, and heaven we’d explore.
We weaved and wove, wandering where the street drove, making our way back home. Along the way, as life would stray, Rosie became Roxie, and thus began what felt like the dawn of new day. She and I tired as we made our way, and eventually came upon a man who had decided he was too. He stopped jogging to walk aside us, and for a moment my heart arose. In childlike wonder, my mind did ponder, would I recognize my father if my father had aged and appeared before my eyes? He was a physicist, he taught Alice in Wonderland, and at night he wrote. He had a screenplay, of which apparently I was already the star. He stumbled and nearly fell, in a few blocks learning what was relatively little, but recognizing what it was in only dreams he had previously he’d saw. The only difference between her and me were the dreads upon her head, he said, and as he faltered it seems the sight of me nearly brought him to his knees.
I explained that he were going home, and she was going home with me. He marveled and stuttered, my life is unimaginable, or imagined by most to be a dream. He said he has a puppy, and he could go home and fetch food for her to eat. He left us at my corner, the wrong-way one-way dead end at the ocean where sky meets dreams, as he headed up the other way, climbing up the street towards the peek.
So it is that later that night as I climb into my tent content that my life is nothing like others, that which seems so bleak, there remained a child of flaxen hair, an abused spirit with a bored debonair stare, and with him in tow, suddenly, his only baggage—a guitar, and a suitcase bearing the cross marked for the Hell’s Angels, upon which a book of words to sound smart with worn edges darkened by frequent thumbing did lay. He kept Roxie, and made me a milkshake to end my day. I ate from the box, it made by some combination of who knows what but I’ll never forget; luscious, delicious and creamy with berries! I laid my head down to sleep.
It seemed he’d slumber pulled asunder, an escaped angel of death, I marveled at what length he dozed. Only on the third day from this arrest was it he rose. He wore my socks, Dr. Seuss striped woven warmers of toes. So happy was me, to finally be free, the Trojan having been disposed. Alas my mind’s sass should have held back for fast it was that the next wave thus goes.
As he sat at the table which sat by the window, the writers seat looking out at sea, he gazed aimlessly at the book which lay before him his eyes suddenly I worried would be deceived. Buddha sat fat and lifeless one of those epic idols of stone before the lost child who sat listless, lonely, dejected and alone. He drank a coca-cola, and I asked he leave it alone. He wondered what was wrong with it, and to reason at that moment I was not prone. Exchange exchanged in a toss and a throw its with shame I admit, first the coke soaked the cover, before out the door, um, well you know.
Anyone would be angered by the arrogant dismissal, oh you know, there’s no excuse for anyone to take someone’s possession and even out one’s own door take aim and throw. It seems somehow not much later with things much sedater that I sat on the couch, my lap Roxie’s throne. My feet up and resting, my sleep not yet recovered from drug’s dressing. Behind me a rustle, the police they entered in a bustle, no privacy no concept of domain or that it was my home.
They entered and stood over me, and their eyes I did meet, no wilting flower, what ever did they want to thus dare to interrupt my dear darling Roxie’s sleep and stand before and above and behind me?
Oh rile me Satan and I thus shall scorn, your work at which you weary is thus on my nerves thus worn. I say get behind me, and the serpent does seethe. Reject the devil and he will flee, but it isn’t immediately he’d leave me. They picked and they lingered, loitering and looking, until finally I was peeved.
What is it, I ask, that you seek? Do you have an address book? (For what should they need an address book, indeed?) I sent them with detailed instruction to where three lay precisely, though each would give them nothing but that which they said they’d seek.
Have you noticed, my nature, gone sour from sweet? Three days after my freedom would bleed, drugged into stupor and stupidity with an edge of a nicotine fiend, they ask will you go willingly or, proverbially, shall we put you on your knees?
I noted that that was no choice at all, and with a sigh I rose in dignity the last moment of peace I recall.
They had asked a myriad of questions, each one asked I answered as fast, precise and accurately as the last. Their questions amused me, how little it showed they’d know. For instance, who asks a girl geek for an address book, not asking instead to see her iPhone? Did I drug my dog, um no? Was it out the door his book I’d thrown? Yes, I didn’t want it in my home. Did you let this man stay here, yes? Does it matter if he had no place to stay? I offered him a place for his head to lay. “A homeless vagrant” though I told them his name and his licensed address no shamed claim to fame. Thus Roxie got fleas, Daniel Zechariah Rhodes took leave, and I’d lose my home.
There’s nine days in between, but at twenty-fours of persistent wakeful sleep speed, thats more than a chapter, and less than a dream.
Suffice to say its somewhere between Angela’s eyes and a tent wander’s dreams.
Though I took the Word into my tent and slept in a wilderness of my own, it was months later I read the book which told me my heart knew I had a home.
So either it’s something in that story, which is long from being done and told, or it is simply the answer.
“I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.”
Mom, I know that I’m scaring you. And I’m sorry for that.
I don’t know how to explain with words what I’m going through.
I can however share with you what I’m fascinated by, and perhaps you can judge whether or not I’m “okay”.
I’ve been studying the Bible for months now, and I’ve perservered despite the fear that what I would learn might mean that I would separated from my family. I miss you guys so much. You seem nearly as a conceptual thing to me as “daddy” is. I understand what that relationship is supposed to mean, but it’s not something I’ve experienced. Likewise, I don’t really know how to be a sister or to be a daughter, it seems so long ago that I was a part of a family. I’m not sure I ever knew how to interact like I belonged.
Here’s a night in the most recent nights of Angela:
I’m an experience designer, so know that it’s an “experience”. I’m giving you my recipe as it were. I could send you the “Notability” file for instance which recorded me and the background (music in this case) while I studied the Watchtower. You can go along as I highlight and respond, and can hear the music that I was listening to and how I interacted in my study with God.
Well I spent the day bumbling through my daily Bird Rock walk. The 3am walk with random neighbors brought me a philosophy student from Oxford and his two friends. We walked the darkness towards light as I wove the stories that keep the memories bright. Ever haunted by the corner where you turn left, inevitably to miss the home of my charming Chandler and the woman he loved.
We walked to our cultural center, known to the outside as Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, or just “Bird Rock” to us. I told the story of the families memories that haunt me, the jukebox that should be and the future that seems unsought.
Back home, I slept the rest of the night, as it seems I’m on a 4 hours on, 4 hours off schedule. I think about all the Microsoftie’s who brag on the few hours they can live on. I miss my eight solid hours. It seems the culprit may be the intense bright light across the street which shines in on my bedroom… well, until last night when a stranger took to removing the bulb leaving me to sleep in peace. I think of circadian rhythms and how my sleep cycle was affected by the lack of sun living in Seattle.
The day? Well, that’s the usual stuff you know. I went to Bird Rock, met and talked to the new people, the by now old friends. A potter chose a bike for me, as it’s obvious to all that I need a bike rack. Off I went in pursuit, first leaving my car to have the convertible repaired, on foot.
That’s when I ran into Loni and her puppies, and Rosie became Roxie as our bond formed in the serendipitous sunlight of the day.
My walk home (the bike abandoned, what would I do with a bike and a dog?!) was long but a labor of love. I wanted her to feel as comfortable as possible in transition. It’s so easy to see the “humaness” of an animal. Their eyes tell all, their body language. … I think of my own body language and wonder what it is that makes some so afraid of me while others so delighted.
I met the brains behind an outfit on Bird Rock’s main drag. I’ll leave that to later, as he may wish to introduce himself.
Rosie (not yet Roxie) and I crossed paths with a jogging Physics teacher from Bishops, and the day progressed into kind of intelligent conversation on which I thrive.
Here I am, 10pm and tired. A amber colored silken Roxie by my side, and thinking of how much more of the day I’ve failed to recount. I’m sure it’ll be fine, as tomorrow begins anew with more stories.
I’m looking forward to working my crew tomorrow. Plans are exceedingly underway. Larry comes in about three weeks from LA. Ori and Tara likely sooner. I go to San Francisco (oh, how I hate to leave my little stretch of Windansea/Bird Rock) to meet the founder of Burning man on the 19th. (Heads up you SF’ers!)
Time seems so short between now and Nicaragua. I can’t wait to see Gaia though. Turns out the physicist has the same plan, long term.
Most of all, I can’t wait to introduce Roxie to Kingston.
“If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumber’d here While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend: if you pardon, we will mend: And, as I am an honest Puck, If we have unearned luck Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue, We will make amends ere long; Else the Puck a liar call; So, good night unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.”—Dead Poets Society
My spirit carries no bruises, though my skin tells tales.
Tonight I lay my head down in peace, and Roxie lays her next to mine in a symbol of her humane love. I wonder if she misses her babies, as I adore mine.
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.”—Lord Byron
One Saturday night I accepted a date from a stranger, a man I now refer to as ‘the Boo Radley’. I had already had plans to go see Gregory Page play at the Westgate, and so I met him for wine, and he joined me for the show…
When you fall in love, you can’t eat, you can’t sleep. But it didn’t happen quite like that, then again, this isn’t a story about falling in love. I love food, I love my sleep, and for the moment, I might have thought I loved him. Alas, while I ate with a passion, as I usually do, loved like it was for only a moment, as one should, I did indeed miss my sleep…
We’d met that weekend, a weekend of fireworks—hey! don’t judge—I say that with only a touch of corniness, it was July 4th, after all.