Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Gauntlet has Been Thrown

Today tastes like chicharone burritos--flour tortillas full of refried beans, cheese, and pork cracklin's. It's the flavor of sentiment, of homesickness, of nostalgia.

I'm missing the land and the people I grew up with. It's not that I would trade what I have here in the Salt River Valley for a trip back to the Rio Grande basin. I miss the specific TIME that I was there as much as I miss the SPACE. The space has changed, the time is past, and there are new things now in both places. But while talking with Li'l Brah this weekend, I was reminded of how we heterodyne with each other and feed off the other's cool projects. We don't get that so much anymore, and I miss it.


Li'l Brah talks about NaNoWriMo and limited time and his solution to both here. Essentially, he has more on his plate than will allow him to do what he wants with NaNoWriMo (a Lovecraftian horror-fest with a final italicized ending that blows the roof off the top of your head), and perhaps more importantly, he doesn't want the whole 50,000 word sundae. He just wants the last three paragraph cherry on the top.

So he wrote his ending. Boom! And then he challenged anyone who was up to the task to do the same--the last paragraphs of a Lovecraftian story featuring shambling horrors that surpass description, the final sight that precipitates the meltdown of our hero which takes place off the page, and Things Man Was Not Meant to Know.

I mean, how can one resist such bait?

So, here's mine.

Walking along our beach once again, I thought of Silvie. A year and a month, it's been, since that awful night. We would walk here, watching the fog roll in. We made love at the edge of the tides on our honeymoon, and each summer after that. Our own midsummer ritual, under the stars.

"Like salmon," I'd said once. "Or turtles, coming back to the hatching beaches every year to spawn." She'd smiled that thin-lipped smile, and laid her long graceful fingers on my lips. Her hands would have been pretty save for the depth of the webbing that nearly bound her fingers together.

One night, I'd woken and she wasn't there beside me. I went through the house, calling her name. I'd gone outside to look for her, turned on the lights by the pool. Nothing. Silvie was gone.

Now, I walk our beach along in the dark, playing on the pennywhistle she'd loved, its silly tuneless piping an insane bird's twitter under my untutored fingers. "Anyone can whistle," she'd said, often. "I'm not just anyone," I'd reply.

I look out into the surf, watching the tide retreating slowly. A patch of moonlight--no, phosphorescence--glimmers in the deeps where the waves are born. I continue my duet with the ocean.

It's coming closer. I can see her. Silvie!!

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