(a title that needed to be illustrated, and a page from my current portfolio, images of The Abandoned Island, 2009)
After they found his remains, they took his house apart, chair by chair, dresser by shelf, and book by book. The cops walked with their eyes down, as they carried away all that remains of my uncle. Eventually that house would be burned down, they'd say it was faulty wiring, but we all knew the only thing keeping his curse at bay was him dealing with it, in that house, and now that he's gone, that house is too.
I went searching for him. I waited twenty years before I was ready enough, and spent years looking. I wasn't always on the road, I ended up staying in a few places along the way for a few years too. I thought by the time I get a clue, it will be too late, I'll be an old man myself. Will my uncle even be anymore alive than he has been after his disappearance? One life will be worth two. And two as one. And one plus one is the loneliest number there ever was.
In the summer, I'll come find you, I will know you and that will be that. I'll talk to you like I spent a lifetime at your side, and that will be fine, because you're talking the same way to me, which only makes it true, we did spend a lifetime together, doing God knows what, in places I can barely imagine.
But right now I see a grand open field, sunk in-between two mountains, and a bay with a sea breeze that blows all the sycamores. I think I'll call you Sycamore, it's a good song too.
I can't remember what I wanted to be when I was younger, I can't imagine what I will be now. Perhaps I'm too afraid, because I'm close enough to something that if I didn't pursue it, then I'll only be giving up. I am not saying it is too hard, I am not giving up, I am simply being, exactly and always, in a center, in an orbit, around the world, in one place, at a time, for a moment, until then, and only until then I will say I am being there, and I am being here, for a while, now, I can say, I have.
It feels like years since I've last seen Thomas, I think these days are thinning out, like alcohol in my blood, I roll with a strange crowd these days, where friends are strangers, and the crimes I do are legal. I wonder if my kid self would be unimpressed at how normal I turned out, I wanted to rob banks and throw it all away, now I'm saving and working full time, I cry to myself, what does it all mean. In a world of double rainbows, I ponder the thought myself, and I am blown away at the portion. Against the grandness of grand, where limit is just a word, and an ever-changing and evergrowing landscape makes the strongest and biggest of men and women feel like single grains of salt. We're all part of one thing, one really big thing, that encompasses everything, and things we will never know. We can reach to the edge, but that edge doesn't exist in the real world, only in our minds.
Lastly, whoever you are, tomorrow you'll see, Sycamore, that this will all fade, that all this is meaningless, and when you see, I hope you understand, it has been years, it has been long since you've last been here, and all that remains is the shadow of where a house once stood. Where memories were made, and where memories were are forgotten, but since you're here, I want to tell you something, I want you to know that those memories, those moments, and that everything that was in the air, in our eyes, and in our words, will be great, or will never happen. What we have here, and what we are left with is a brim thought, on the edge just before falling, and just before flying, and that this moment, right now, is no longer. By then, it will be a sunset that has faded, and now the stars are all that remains, with dreams, with possibilities, and reflections upon a calm sea.
(and if you look close enough you can see the stars in your eyes, I know I have)