(working image for, Otherworld, 2011)
I once. There was once. I remember. Back in the day. Everything, (silence)...
Everything was crowded, full of crazies, black & white stripes, flashing red bulbs, and clowns laughing, I remember running away, I remember the taste in my mouth, it was fear.
Since then I haven't been the same, the kid who saw all that, that kid is still in the room, looking at me in a mirror, I'm trying to tell him sorry, he can't hear, I'm trying to tell him he'll get over it, nothing.
His father flew planes until the day he flew one into another, mid air, there was an explosion.
That child would grow up, fatherless, his mother would grow dim, and his sister, well she would just look out through her window, pointing with her mind to every passing plane, there's father, there he goes, (she says goodbye, but the pilot can't hear, he's too far away).
Today I am twenty, I got my first car, it's a Buick, it needs some work, a new coat of paint too, but that doesn't matter when me and my sis are cruising down the coast. I'll have my Ray-Bans on, my sister in her summer dress, the music is on loud, and all we can hear is the sound of oceanwindandpassingcars.
Today they dropped the bomb. A man yells at me to turn down my music, I do, I'm shocked at his tone, but then I listen. His radio is telling me that there was a giant explosion, there are many dead, and that it will soon all be over. My sister asks me what will be over. I tell her, I. Don't. Know.
When mother remarried, I left the house, it was under mutual terms, I liked the guy, I didn't like leaving Sal, I knew she was going to be alone, with that new man, and that new look on mother's face. I had to get out of there.
I remember my first joint, I remember Ricky Trufeld's face when he was stoned, it was a face you naturally wanted to punch, I never did punch him that day, I just sat around his dorm, getting high and listening to Miles. I remember thinking that everything is good, things were really good, and I felt my cheeks tingle intensely like new born baby stars in a blanket of pure black.
Once upon a time long ago, I wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to look for my father's body, it was still floating out there, where he exploded, I cried to my mother the day he died, they never got his body, it's still there!
Sal grows up, she becomes a woman, goes to college, marries a nice quiet man who sells bonds, they buy an old church, and raise a family in there. I'll never see their house, nor their children. No, I'm afraid I won't be there for any of that.
Carol, my mother, she will live the rest of her life happy, with Thomas F., she took his name, and I wrote her a letter just before I left, I told her I was going and that I loved her, and inside that letter there was another one, this one having the words in all capital:
DON'T OPEN UNTIL A REALLY SAD DAY
(she never opened it)
(but my sister did after Carol died)
The words were,
if not for you, for me, if not for me, for him
[picture of an airplane with a small man standing on the top wing, strapped in, with his goggles there is a smile, his scarf blowing in the wind like a wild animal, and where his hand is is a wave, he is saying ADIOS, I love you.]