(whispers) Are you ready?
The microphone is extended over the crowd, I can no longer sing the rest of this song, a song I've been singing for a long time, long enough for you, the crowd of mixed ages, genders, and races, you that got into me yesterday, today, back-in-the-day, and never heard me before, I need you to help me, lift me, raise me, across this stage, and across this place, and dump my body once I'm there, where is there, there is there. There there.
Cooling out by the beach, if I smoked cigars now would be a great time to smoke cigars, instead I keep my head down, looking at my shadow being cased on my notebook. I am writing. I think of the many memories shared this past week, I whisper to myself, "oh boy...what a time". Yes, what a time indeed I reinsure myself. If I could I'd pat my back, I'd sing a song worth singing, but I don't know anything that go beyond just the chorus lines, nor do I know how to sing. I used to rap, but now I write. I stripped all the gimmicks out of my life, I rest bare, naked, hairy and hairless, I am a boy, I am a man, I call to no one, I call to you. I ache from pain, yes I do, I feel hollow, sometimes I do, today, I say, "Today", yes, "I am alive". I tell myself this every morning, I am alive, just to remind myself I am not dreaming. Carlos once told me he made a girl pregnant, he said he told the girl he was fine with that, he was old enough, probably too poor, but he was ready, the girl never ended up having his baby, nor did they end up together, having a happily little ever. No, instead he realized he was an adult, for the first time in his life he knew that his carelessness had a limit, his vision reached beyond just the horizon, and that he was happy. Happy for what I asked Carlos, he replied, "oh, you know, life". The words, l.i.f.e, rolled off his tongue with a slight mexican accent, it stirred and echoed in my mind, I wondered the deeper meaning to his subtle and sample words and dug for something hidden. His demeanor left me empty, thirsty for more, but Carlos never goes too far with his words, he's the sort of meet-you-half-way fella. To think of him now, with his two sons is to think of a boy in comparison to a man, they were once the same person, they are two different people.
Sandy came to me in a dream. I knew her before we met. And those first moments of seeing something you've seen before but seen with a different set of eyes take something away from you, you're watching a previous image be replaced with a new one. Slowly everything I would knew of Sandy would be replaced, and replaced again, with almost each day, each moment a different shade explored, a new face. Now, in this moment of contemplation I think of that sunset from high up above. We stayed at the top of a volcano once, we felt the rumble of the earth rage beneath us as the sun fell beyond view. We could see the entire world from up there, along with a hundred tourists, with the occasional flash firing off in the distance. I grabbed a blanket from the car and put it around Sandy, I whisper something like, "cause I like you hot", into her ear, and disappeared into the darkness. I sat there at the edge of the earth, the sun was now gone, and I felt alone for a moment. I remember thinking to myself how beautiful she looked with that sunset glow on her face, and then I thought I better remember that site for sorry eyes because it was one of those things you can never photograph. The chill of my shirtless back froze me in spot, I wondered if I could freeze time, I wondered what Sandy was thinking, knowing that for the first time in our lives we were looking at the same sunset. The tourist slowly disappeared with the light, I approached Sandy and told her we had to stay, that the best moment was about to happen. She stayed, we stood watching something beautiful transform into something even more beautiful, the darkness of space was fading to the orange of light being bent and slowed down, the deepest of violet took the sky, I held her hand with fingers crossed and folded within each other. In my heart sang a song of a silent heart beat, I didn't know at the time but this heart beat was an ancient rhythm of times long past my very own existence, the beat carried on for days to pass, it would dance blood throughout my body.
The night came, we found our campsite, and I started a fire. It was the first fire I had ever made, I struggled over it for twenty minutes and knew with each and every minute I could lose, I could lose real bad, and then there wouldn't be a fire. Something so simple meant so much, I fought as quietly and peaceful as I could with those embers, I wanted to see them grow, to burn brightly, to have kids, to build a house, to burn it all down, I wanted fire to engulf us all, only for a moment, only in that little campfire just so we can have the glow in our eyes, only to feel like a real man. A real man. We drank whiskey with the stars, we listened to horrible jams coming from the bros across the way, it would've been impossible to shut them up, we felt sorry for the foreign family camping beside them. I pictured myself dressed in a fur suit, face painted black, with red glowing eyes, I wanted to bark at them from a distance, let them catch my silhouette in the moon light, only for a moment long enough to stir up myths of creatures that roam these legendary woods. I knew I wouldn't stop there, that I would keep on returning to their site, just before my legend faded from their consciousness, I'd return and take one of them. One by one they'd disappear into the woods. Sandy would tie them down as they came, knocking them out with a large log or a rock. Soon with only a few left they'd try calling their pickup on their cellphones, but they're no reception, no one to save them now, not even the pissed-off foreign family, they want your blood just as much as we do. But we leave them there, just the three of them, with their radio off, sniffling, crying, calling for their mothers, yes, Sandy and I tell ourselves, we sure taught them a lesson of camping in peace. We rest, and have the best sleep ever.
In the morning the ranger wakes us up, she sits me down and tells me about the law I just broke, that there's no campfires here. Somewhere in all that talk I could already tell I wasn't going nowhere, getting into no trouble, I had this feeling, it was there when that fire first started to grow, no, it was there long before that, it was this feeling like there could be nothing that stands behind us, I rose up from my seat with the ranger, I told her my name, where I was from, and she told me everything is fine, that there was no trouble here, that I and I alone was allowed to start campfires here, and then she left, disappearing into the woods where she came from. I went back into the tent and said nothing. I wanted to close my eyes but I was too awake. I just grabbed Sandy and held her, I knew that it was the beginning something wonderful of a day. I knew the feeling, I was the feeling, here we go.
(In the far distance a faintly glowing pair of eyes wonder off, they are the same color as blood, they were hunger, they were gone, gone, gone. Fade to black.)
[Fade to Black]