Thursday…December 3rd….Lipstick…does not make the person….G. I. Joe’s…Missing______and Saint Thermos…..

“Reflection #2” 2009

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passion a quotation” – Oscar Wilde

some days everything can only be for a second….just a flash before maybe the sun moves…or the rain stops…or her shadow gets in the way…or out of the way…no guarantees….nothing assuredly is going to happen that hasn’t…at least made some little appearance…maybe not recognizable…not but a green shoot…poking though…the black loamy soil…on the hillside…she really could have cared less….must have been something she said…or maybe the way she held her bag…that made her unapproachable…her tight pursed lips…globed with some exotic named…lipstick…that somehow transfers over to the wearer….a distinctive new attribute….with “Flame”….or “Passion”…perhaps…”Subtle”…like using a detective novel to live a life by…who cared if it was Coach Leather…or Gucci….sand remained sand…no matter from Crete….or Arizona…still bloodshot your eyes…such a small little grain of nothing….wearing it all down to just….plain bones….

it was the fifth house…on the fourth street…north…from the first light….2 miles to the west of the 2nd biggest city on the map….and I still drove in circles in the cull de sac..laughing like the first big blue carnival ride…with the operator dressed like a Raggedy Andy Doll…smoking a cigarette…somehow we all knew he wasn’t a doll…dolls don’t smoke….except maybe G.I. Joe…with his jointed Hasbro body…and his missing genitalia…instead they put disclaimers and words…”Patent Pending”…but it never was about Joe’s testicles….was it….?

it was an old metallic green thermos…with a dark cork…rounded on the edges…missing a little of the stuffing…”The glass is the most important part of this…you have to be careful with it”…..it was like a god…the thermos god…with the glass insides….only he could wash…he wore the robes…said the incantations….bathed the mirrored body in warm soapy water..dried it carefully and placed it on the shelf….there next to the bleeding Madonna….crown of thorns… St. Peters foot bone….a piece of the cross….and the family bible…he would have wanted it that way…I thought….

I recall those cloud filled mornings there…there at the entrance….with all of the dusty white rocks….I’d peek just far enough out to see if they were looking for me….he was an old man then…kind of a Captain Dave…from the fish sticks box….brown and serve…sort of guy…from what I knew….but he wasn’t the captain…not even a sailor…now he was gone….I saw them take him away…under that flapping white sheet….I thought later about Hemingway….not then though I didn’t know who he was…he died that Wednesday…I guess…maybe Tuesday night….it was cloudy like today…but warm….I used to crush the bleached white….caliche rocks in my hands….and think of him…make a fire in the cave he dug…..sometimes sing those campfire songs he taught me….in my boy voice….and watch my shadow dance on the walls…like I was resurrecting him….calling him back….”There are greener fields young Robert”….he’d say….his white beard stained …a thin brown tobacco river….today though it was still….like pond still…dead air hung on even more dead air….. it was maybe how those highway songs begin….kicking rocks from here to nowhere…with really nowhere in sight….just the next few feet….or that weathered sun stained box…stuck to the fence…desperately moving to the wind….with no direction in mind….and freed…..”What the hell would you do if you were free?”…..he feel asleep on his bed of boxes……it didn’t make me cry though……I didn’t know I was a captive……..at least not then…..

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2 thoughts on “Thursday…December 3rd….Lipstick…does not make the person….G. I. Joe’s…Missing______and Saint Thermos…..

  1. Brilliant Oscar Wilde quote 🙂 We love Norah Jones over here. “a green shoot… poking through… the loamy black soil…” holds sweet meaning for me today. Thank-you for letting that little emerald come through.

    HahahahahaHA! “but it never was about Joe’s testicles…was it?” and I really enjoy this last paragraph immensely.

    Your writing is like your paintings, Robert. They are, simply, Places.
    Happy December, Captain of the desert 🙂

    Like

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