Friday, January 30, 2009

more Key West

the show this time (again)

Meet Savannah:
Gumbo - Savannah! Savannah, what you doin' here this hour?

Savannah - Seems a certain royal prince doesn't have a whole lotta stayin' power.

Gumbo - Oh, you done been out on that prince's yacht!

JoJo - So how much he pay ya?

Savannah - Thousand dollars.

Gumbo - Oooh! For one hour's work?

Savannah - Five minutes work!

JoJo - I heard that! If I ever get a chance to be with you it gon' be over in one minute. Never have enough money to afford you, though.

Savannah - When's your birthday, baby?

JoJo - August 19th.

Savannah - I'll keep that date in mind.

Savannah - Alright, I'm outta here. Got a cherry waitin' in the morning – gotta keep my strength up. Oh my! Who are you?

JoJo - New newspaper reporter person.

Savannah - A writer?

Seamus - Yeah... somedays... sort of... no.

Savannah - Having a little trouble getting that first novel between the covers?

Seamus - How'd you know?

Savannah - You've come to the right place, you pretty thing. It's magic here. There are Angels in the Spray, Wizards in the Palm Trees, and Elves in the Sea Shells, and they all look very favorably on struggling young writers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the benevolence of place

Fortunately life is not just about politics and issues--

it is also comprised (if you choose it to be so) of sunsets and sunrises; the warm gulf breeze rumpling through salt-sea wet hair; beautiful music that balms the soul as will a perfect passage of poetry; holding hands and gentle kisses during the ordinary moments of the day; a glass of champagne with the sun's final breath; cuddling up in a blanket with a book you have waited to read with adventesque anticipation or heading out to a favorite spot-- a mountaintop or lounging under a palm tree; all gifts to the spirit of the heart.

When I feel the pressures of finance or the burden of survival too keenly, I pull up a glass of Sparkling Beringer and pour myself onto the couch to watch something special. Sometimes, as often as I can, it is my favorite show Key West. It contains not only the magic of a show that was remarkable for an unremarkable industry but reminders of the place that I call home-- though my residence is Denver.

When I am in Key West the waving of a wand to discover treasure that was not there before or the sprinkling of fairy dust so that I can fly seems possible. When I am there, the anxious and darkened past is stripped away. A newness is gifted to me, the possibility of leaving the dim shadows of yesterday in my wake and I am able to look to broader, wider horizons. When I am there, it seems that I can walk right out onto the horizon and keep walking into the wildness of the ocean, peering down at a corner of the world unperceived before. When I am in Key West, I find myself to be who I am.

It is a gift... the benevolence of place. Finding the place you belong, the place that strips away the old paint that was layered there by time... pain... wariness.. weariness... and takes you back to your brick foundations.

Monday, January 26, 2009

For example...

In an article in the New York Times,
the author pats Obama on the back for directing federal regulators to move quickly on applications that have been submitted by California and thirteen other states to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards. Once again, this is fine but in a few paragraphs later he admits, "it stops short of flatly ordering the Bush decision reversed, the agency’s regulators are now widely expected to do so after completing a formal review process."

He should be flatly changing... putting the breaks on... reversing... running away from Bush policies. They have been tried and have proven themselves to be a disaster. There should be no compromise and he should act immediately-- retroactively. And we should expect him to. The reason he won't (other than that he just may not want to)is simply because he doesn't want to hurt big business-- but on matters like the environment we cannot afford to poke around. Our environment is in peril.

Change NOW!!!!

Big business's interests should not come first!!!

here's a Tom Toles strip that hits the mark

Final thoughts

Having finished the final pages of Frank's book and spent time digesting the entirety of what he is saying, he is really sounding the alarm. There will be no change, beyond tummy tuck type changes if we ourselves do not bring it about. People in power do not change willingly. It is a fact of history. In other countries, it has led to war. We can "negotiate" and centricize ourselves into oblivion or we can stand up and say enough is enough! We want our air to be clean (so we need regulations that force corporations to clean up their acts-- which also means they HAVE to be enforced by the government). We want the ability to make a living from our jobs (worker protections-- which means support for unions and worker organizations-), the same kind of fair redistribution of wealth that was available in the 50s-70s. In short, we want a system that does not stack the decks against us and enable the wealthy to keep getting wealthier while we get poorer and poorer!! Time for change- real change.

Force the Obama administration to keep it's promises- don't let the mainstream media fool you into believing that we are making radical changes. Be aware! Educate yourself! Fight back!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

People power...

In my concern about politics today (and the Obama administration specifically) there is one hope which could trump the "business as usual" political engine-- the voice of the people. If the liberal and progressive organizations that have been oh-so-vigilant during the dark days of the Bush administration would continue with their wariness-- recognizing that the political machinery itself is on a dangerous course and will continue to corner the democrats on the right, sound the alarms when the democrats change things without really changing things, then we might have a shot at real substantive change. Even IF Obama has the intention of changing things in a real way (and as I stated in my prior post, there is more evidence that he will not then that he will)-- there has to be a real will from the people to bring it about.

Vive la revolution!!!

Where is Che Guevara when you need him???

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The boob tube

Generally so much of what is on television today is drivel and too many people watch it out of habit, out of... whatever, mindlessly soaking in whatever is on at the expense of getting outside, reading (exercising the mind!) or relating to their families. But watching great television can also make the evening fun (especially if you have a special show you make a fuss over!) It just takes a bit of searching to find those shows. That's why I recommend a show like 'Madmen' to those who are interested in seeing those productions that contain a bit more thought. Another one that we're excited about is 'Primeval' (a BBC production) that was being show on BBCAmerica over the summer/fall and will be premiering it's third season next month on BBCAmerica and OnDemand. In it Nick Carter, an evolutionary zoologist, discovers prehistoric creatures running rampant through the streets of London. Chasing them down and getting to the bottom of the time rift that has enabled the beasts to lop off a head or two of the Londoners they run across is the gyst of the weekly romp.

Also, from the BBC: check out the new season of 'MI5' (a.k.a 'Spooks')! Just released this week, the British FBI is always in the process of foiling the conspiracy of the week. Not averse to killing off their spies (all too graphically in some cases!), they are also not afraid to show the dark side of the agency or the weaknesses of their personnel. Little torture anyone?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A must read!!!

Having scored a high five on an opinion piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal I decided it was time to include a review of his latest and greatest "The Wrecking Crew". Frank is a progressive, not a liberal-- in other words, he stays away- far away- from the social (or "value") agenda of the liberals and looks at what the political machine is producing and HOW it has been produced. He scrutinizes the right but does not stray away from criticizing the left-- at all. And sounding a bell that is rarely rung (and definitely not rung by even the most "liberal" media outlets on television), he joins Naomi Klein ("The Shock Doctrine") and Susan Jacoby ("The age of American Unreason") in a bell trio that simply rings.

And the scenario is clear: We're in big trouble.

Frank gets that camel right through the eye of a needle as he points out that we don't have a Bush problem we have a system failure. The system no longer works-- well, it works for the corporations. In fact, it is a government for the corporations, of the corporations, by the corporations. Socialism -- the idea that the government should regulate industry and watch out for the best interest of the people is no longer part of the equation-- at least in the DC math-- the "new math". And this is where Frank hits the point so brilliantly. He weaves together the policies of the past with the consequences of today-- When Reagan said famously "government is the problem" he really set wheels in motion that resonate- even guide- today. And paradoxically He started something that he was then able to control (inept government officials then create an inept government)-- so proving his statement.

And it worked! If you take a look at the common attitude of the average American toward government today it's interesting that the mythology that government workers are lazy and incompetent is now so pervasive-- as opposed to corporate workers who are assumed to be so much more efficient and hard working. HA! But with that as a fundamental knee jerk reaction, the right then gives more and more money to corporations in order to privatize- privatize- privatize--. After all why hire government workers when you can pay corporations to do the "same" work (although as we have seen the last 8 years, the private companies do NOT do the same or better work). Thus, the left has allowed the right to control the argument -which is what Frank then hits on in his opinion piece when he lambastes the Obama administration for their dangerous mindset of centrism. We need change in ideology not modification to get us by!

But when Reagan set the tone, he cemented the argument. There is now no real "left" there is only less right-- and most of what is "liberal" about the left is concerned with "values": gay rights, civil rights, etc... And they (the politicos) are happy to keep the "little people" distracted with those "issues"... meanwhile the true agenda of the right is completely ignored (and, frankly, democrats have bought into it too): looting the public treasury.And that is what Frank shows over and over again.

With Nostradamic insight, Frank's omniscience is almost frightening! He point us directly to the "whys" and "hows" of not only the new administration but the actions of the entire Washington infrastructure. Listening to Obama yesterday I was struck by his continuation of a Bush theme-- this "volunteerism will save us" mantra. No! Sorry!! Government has gotten us where we are and government needs to get us out. The government has to watch out for the people. By refusing to address the core values of the corporate world where government is the problem and the free market will save us... and fundamentally change the way government itself operates, the disastrous road we're currently on will barrel us pellmell toward more crisis like-- well, you name it, the terrible "recovery" (or lack thereof) in Louisiana... Iraq... Afghanistan... and on and on.

Like Michaelangelo with a paintbrush Frank adds depth and detail to how the Bush administration was happy to have people think they were just bungling things because G.W. was/IS an idiot when the truth is that they don't want government to be a part of the solution- they, again, want to BE the problem so that the American public won't object to the use of public money to pay private companies to "fix" things: an attitude that has been prevalent since the Reagan administration (and was actually germinated at the birth of this country and furthered by the Nixon Administration) but which now reaches, oh so accommodatingly, across the isle to the democrats.

The real problem with political discourse today is that too many people don't understand that there is a real ideology that has carried us this far and it is the ideology that needs to be fought. The social agendas of the common folk are meaningless drivel for both parties- ways to keep us voting for them. They are like magicians-- watch what the left hand is doing so the right hand can do the magic of putting money in their pockets. And it's really easy when the media is pointing to the left hand too! (More regulation problems as the media outlets are controlled by so few and those few are corporately owned! And yes, the corporations DO influence what we see on television. Watch 'Madmen' on AMC!)

And Obama? Sure the public face on it will change. We'll sound much more compassionate! We'll appear to be "changing" things. We'll all sound smarter by having him as our Pres.! But the reality that government is still looking out for big business's best interests will still be at the center of how our government operates. That is what Frank is concerned about-- he does not see a new mindset about government's role coming with Obama- he sees more of the same based on what he knows about how Washington operates.

Proof of what Frank says lies in Obama's first response to the banking industry's failure-- he supported bailout rather than actively beginning dialogue about meaningful regulation over the banking industry (yes, I know there is some talk about regulation but all reports since the monies were released reveal that there is nothing binding and certainly no will for follow through). That reveals the ideology influencing the backbone of his policies--. Looking back at it, the banking industry clearly used the crisis to get government money-- they aren't using the money to help people make their payments or save their homes. They are not changing their business practices. They are paying their CEOs their bonuses and handing out more questionable credit to the American people (a superficial prop that allows us, the people, to spend, spend, spend making us all slaves to our mortgages and credit cards) so they, the CEOs and corporate heads, can continue on their way of corruption and greed. What resonates with me from his speech was his distinct lack of vision for what the government really should be doing-- his laying down the gauntlet, so to speak, on the people of this country to fix things, help the neighbor, etc. Compassion and helping a neighbor is not going to fix things! At least not that kind of compassion!

But the kind of compassion that requires real change is something we should all be focused on. We, as a people, can and should be pressuring the government to find solutions that are in the best interest of ALL people. We can and should be aware of how the corporations are taking over our government and we should be pressuring our congressmen and senators to drop the hand of the industries they support. We can and should be educated enough to understand the ideologies that drive our nation's leaders. But we can't and we shouldn't fix things in a superficial way that are really only intended to keep us from looking at the real solutions that are viable...

The solutions which make government accountable.

A must read for those interested in seeing true change come to America.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Declaration of Independence

I, the writer of this post, hold these truths to be self-evident: that all humans have been created equal, including me, and that I have been endowed, by nature of being a part of that which we call humanity, with certain inalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I reject the notion that other's happiness come before my own or that others have the right to define my happiness.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Death and Politics at the End of the World

The surreal surroundings confound my normal coyote-esque instinct to shrink from human contact. I comply hypnotically, my head settling onto her lap of its own volition. I watch the movement of my limbs with the bafflement of a mastered puppet. Alien fingers graze my forehead, leaving a cool, dry trail of unfamiliarity up the arch of my forehead, down the bridge of my nose, across my cheekbones, sliding around my temple. Her calves rustle slightly in restlessness, unmercifully jiggling the throbbing mass upon it. Her tinkly call for a glass of wine shimmies down- a circuit that flows down her spine, through thigh and arm to ring in my head. The gentle pressure of her palm briefly alleviates the nauseating nosedive into a sick sprawl on the deck that is one swell away. I grip her hand, pressing it onto my warm flesh and pray for a lengthier stay of execution. Six strands of hair flip into my face, wedging into my cheek.

Sounds, colors and dimensions rotate, echo, and slide off one another into a kaleidoscopic reality that defies attempts to focus. White sails and angling bodies lose focus, an antagonizing back-drop to my universe of frayed nerves, tumbling intestines and pulsing eyeballs. Elizabeth Kenny quickly forgets her consideration and pledge of healing, her replies to shouted queries pinging at my skull like a woodpecker in spring.

(blah, blah)

I slip into the corner, clothed in a darkness that makes sight useless and huddle next to naked boards, wary of exploring the unknown.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


When you read the posts from Death and Politics at the end of the World, there are spots where I have used other fonts that I have downloaded from various and sundry places in order to create an effect. As blogs do not have the capability of using multiple fonts, readers are not able to get the "full effect". I also use space-- having some lines drawn out throughout the page and others in different spots on the page in order to pace the reader. What is seen here is meant to merely tantalize- to pique your interest. I also have not posted the entire document as I don't want to give the whole thing away. Hope you find it enjoyable in spite of it's limitations...

Friday, January 9, 2009

The patron saint of butterflies

Agnus and Honey are best friends but really more like sisters. Raised in a Christian commune from birth, the story unfolds in alternating points of view, as one girl strives for acceptance by following the rules to try and reach perfection-- sainthood, while the other struggles for control of her own destiny. When Agnes’ grandmother arrives unexpectedly during a high holiday, her little brother is seriously injured and fate steps in, offering a new life to both girls. Taut drama erupts with their escape as the girls react differently to their freedom, the truths that are revealed, and each girl struggles to find the courage to make their own life.

While examining the extremities of religious thought- this story does not move beyond relevance for the mainstream evangelical or catholic. Although the author clearly has no intention of taking any hard hits at the garden variety belief in god or mainstream religions, the fundamental questions that believers have are still evident and faith is revealed to be as fleeting and mobile as the latest religious leader. In The Patron Saint of Butterlies, Emmanuel, leader of the commune, is the maker of the rules and it is he who emphasizes just which of the commands are the most important and reveals how they should be interpreted. The small community of believers follow him as though he were Christ himself but with no less zealotry than Billy Graham fans, Benny Hinn audience, or the Papal devotees. His hypocrisy is blatant and crystalline but no less pharisaic than the religious leaders that stand behind the pulpit of Smalltown Community Church USA. God in all these cases is being defined by a person or people (a brief look back at church history will make that clear)- the radicalness or randomness of the belief system has more to do with how accustomed to the belief we are then it's relevance or reasonableness. The abuse in the story is physical and brutal making the rebellion of Honey believable and understandable. But not all abuse is that overt- guilt and threats of hell having as devastating an effect on the psyche as any cat o'nine tailed beating, and the church in all it's stripes has mastered the office of emotional blackmail. Agnes's struggle and her reluctance to leave the community is most keenly understood from that perspective- she has been brainwashed into believing that the leader has the very ear of god. Her soul's destiny after death rests on god's grace which is defined by Emmanuel as well as her parents. She trusts them with the childlike faith that every child offers to their parents, and they, in return, give her half (quarter, one-eighth??) truths, press on her their own unwitting, unquestioning belief in lies and outright lies they themselves tell. She only begins to question her faith when the truth is unfurled before her like a tapestry. Although occasionally tripping up on the toes of how to describe the newness of life as they travel away from the only life they ever knew, this is an intriguing insider look at a hidden world as well as a provocative challenge that real life happens beyond the borders of religious structures.

Death and Politics at the End of the World

Hovering in Florida’s bastard equivalent of Cuba’s Bayamo, I pause, blinking at brackish blue skies that could only be produced by the production of products as I grip the pile. Bowing my head, I pray the violent wind burst won’t force the race into postponement. Another delay would take me over the brink. Nature’s sudden intake, undoubtedly pausing to catch her breath before the next onslaught, allows me to pell-mell it down the pier to the skipjack that shuttles to and fro the Straits of Florida. I board cautiously; ever wary of my tendency to topple, leery of the murky waters below.
The hollow husk bobs skittishly. Stowing bag and phobia, I stretch onto a cushioned bench, settling in for few breaths before being plagued with day touristers and crew. My hand tickles and licks at the water’s lapping surface an impromptu muted melody that articulates pensivity. The notes coalesce into composition. Schumann’s Albumblatter channels to fingertips dabbling on the brink of conscious thought, skittering on the elastic veneer that allows my water-skater-sanity to copulate.
Bits of sun pas de chat across the water’s ripples, then tour grand jete back to their source. Pillowed clouds partner one another past an azure backdrop from one horizon to the other. The gradually receding current a low rolling bass accentuated with the cymballic crash of blue liquid on gray rock. Water thumb-rolls the shell of the craft, cracking and vibrating the cadence of the tide. A feathered orquesta charanga winds its way through the palms, lulling me into a Christmas Eve truce with myself. The surface of the water winks and blinks, concealing the secrets of the darkness. A silver blade shimmies just out of reach, then flits into the depth . . . a tongue . . . down into the deep chasms, dipping and swirling, rolling, pressing . . . glimpse of cerulean eyes just at my pelvic bone . . . Deeper, down, sinking into cavernesial darkness. Innervated flesh, alit with sensation . . . A gust from the gulf tugs at languorous locks. The soft slurp of water seeping in and out, in and out . . . flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone. . . Rhythmic rocking up… down… up… down. Free falling among celestials, light bending (blah). . . A long, sustained ”caw” solos into the wildness, articulates life and joy . . .

I want you here,

I want you . . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

Death and Politics at the End of the World

“Don’t people go crazy? Trapped on that island? Water on all sides?”“No! It’s great. When you stand on the rocks at Taylor beach… it’s not very glamorous. It’s not a groomed beach, not for tourists … well, it wasn’t anyway. Could’ve changed. But when you stand there … There’s nothing but different hues of blue. Then you go out on a boat … you’re on the horizon. You look down and you could get out and walk … You’ll just love- I can’t wait until you see it.” I twist around to rub at the shades of auburn in his morning stubble. “You’ve got a white hair… right here.”He flinches away from plucking fingers. “I have several. . . cunningly hidden below the surface of my generally clean shaven face. I should get moving. Do you miss it? Want to move back?”
“I’d love to live there again,” too much vulnerability, a high wire act of unanswered questions about the future. “It’s expensive. I would need a good job.”
“You want to paint. Seems like the perfect backdrop.”
“I’m a cop…”
“They don’t have cars? No pickpocketers or jaywalkers in Key West, aye? A true paradise.” His catnip nibble on my breast had the same effect as his tone.
“You can’t just transfer. I don’t want-- Anyway,” don’t say it. Don’t ask. Don’t set yourself u--- “would you go with me????” A guillotined response, neck-out, blade-suspended-over-my-head silence . . . waiting . . . Escape hatch? “someday? You know, maybe on vacation or something?”
Head on an elbow, a raised eyebrow lowers, turns $25,000 Pyramid thoughtful, considering the “Things you can say to hurt your lover…” list, a handsome smile on the made-for-television face “Maybe.”
“Yes.” Ding! ding! ding! “Nicely done.” The host smiles charmingly into the camera and claps the shoulder of his contestant congenially as the co-hostess pop-tart pantomimes a Miss America clap in the background.
“You could meet my aunt and uncle” Ex-laxed mouth . . . Pe—pto—bi--smo. “But-- right. If you wanted to- it’d be a nice trip. Free tropical vacation . . . just our flights. Something to think about.”
“Alright, thirty seconds: Name as many possibilities as you can.” The forever young game show host flips the card in his hand and positions it professionally up and out at a 45 degree angle.

“Things that you say to let your lover know it’s over . . .”

“Yeah. Well, we’ll see. I’ve got a pretty heavy work schedule for the next couple of months…“

I turn away from the sparkling solar reflection and stare into turbid shadows of memory, the arpeggioing song of a mockingbird modifying key and mood, an incidental introduction to Ravel’s Miroirs. My fingers flutter over the surface of the water, “I have to work late tonight. See you tomorrow…” Pianissimo—hint of the melody “the boys and I are going to the game. Guy’s night. You’d just be bored…” hands cross “I’m going out of town this weekend…” a sensual bass is plucked while the right hand trills “One of the girls at the office is always hanging around. Smells like she wears a whole bottle. . . It’s probably her perfume” chords hover and glissade down the keyboard, mimicking a chorus of birds “You are just… driving me crazy… Stop smothering! Why don’t you get out and see some of your friends. . . “ delicate allemande in the upper register “Hi, this is John. Sorry I missed your call. Leave a message…” leit motif taken up in the bass “She’s just a friend. If you don’t like it, then do something about it…” cascading chords fade into solitude “I need some time, some space…” The codetta crystallizes. . .
I squinch into roiled liquids. The reflection of a child’s face lingers just below the waters visage, blinking blandly up, the brown orbs deeper than oceanic depths. Heartbreak as palpable as the water’s warmth spills over the child’s eye’s edge. The gaze that holds mine tenders narration
loss. . .
loneliness . . .
a subterranean ache. . .

Still there: just under the surface,

the little girl worn with sadness and myopic sorrow.

Pain upon pain covering a coffin of tears.

And more tears. . .

The quaking boat catapults me out of oblivion as the scant crew and day trippers plop onto the deck, gawky gannets preparing for takeoff. Words bubble, a carbonated conversation: “She bent right over” “with the open water” “between her legs” “You could see it gushing for miles” “in Key West” “So I told her” “watch your step” “You might fall into” “the dolphin research center” “He could just not get over all the boobs and naked women” “in the lovely public bath” “We turned the corner and” “Two men were having sex with” “a woman pushing a customer’s hand up her skirt” “ and watching the dolphins” “trying on swimsuits. I can never have too many” "I love a good" “snout in my crotch” “We had them over for drinks” “until he had his way with me” “Such a lovely night” “In and out, real slow” “I got totally screwed by that deal”

A headless Gumby's backside blocks my panorama of derrières, then swoops down, a hapless wrecking ball directed at my skull. I scuttle up and out of the way and into the periphery of the plague of pests.

"Where did you materialize from Dorothy? You're not trying to get to Kansas are you? Because if you are, you are REALLY on the wrong boat!" Oak bark trunk and limbs clad in too white tight shorts, a turned up collar and smooth-as-ice Italian leather clad peds nestle onto the bench next to me, clearly oblivious to the concept of personal space. "Well, aren't you delish, Sleeping Beauty? Did you come here for the nap or the ride?"

"Nap... I mean, I'm on my wa—yeah, Key West. I didn't intend..."


"That's terrif! We'll have a ball. Just wait 'til you see me with a little too much champagne. I'm a hoot then, honey! Speaking of... where is the booze, Mr. Boatman?" He yoyoes back onto his feet with a flair that would have made Liberace proud. "Oooo, look at your big strong arms! Doing anything later?" He blends back into the crowd, my "delish"ousness apparently as fleeting as cotton candy. I blink into the milling bodies, willing a novocained companionship committed to scientific observation.

The boat rock-a-byes away from the shore. My head oscillates on my neck- each ending point producing a tiny jolt in the back of my skull. I lean back onto the bench and close my eyes, hoping to ease the ache that is settling in behind my eyes. My interiors bob, out of sync with the boat. The echo of an invisible flashbulb interferes with the faces of the chorus before me. Lunging into my bag I seek relief before I’m overwhelmed with misery, swallowing like it’s my final gulp of water, then adjust back and neck closer to alignment. Eyelids close out of self-preservation rather than lingering weariness. If I caught it in time…

Time… metronomic and precise, calculated and mathematical yet interminable and endless, suddenly seems suspended, only slogging on to the next fraction of a moment with the reluctance of a child returning home for punishment. Tick, the nerve throbbing behind my eye, tock, veins pulse behind my left nostril, tick, ache at the top of the left eyeball, tock, light ray penetrating cornea, tick, head seems to expand- hostile takeover of the senses, tock, ti—i-ck…

“Are you alright, sugar? You don’t look so well.” Darkly highlighted eyes hang above me, adrift in a sky of blue.

“Mig--” igrainemigrainemigrainemigrainemi “graine.”

“Oh now, that’s miserable. I’m so sorry. And hours on a boat! Anything I can do?” The dark orbs flutter over me, UFO’s cometting back and forth between the extremities of my equilibrium. “I’ll just sit right here and take care of you -keep your mind off the pain. Johnny, this poor girl has a migraine; do you think you could keep it down just a bit?” She colonizes the end of the bench, a pilgrimage of mutuality.

Her sugar sweet artificial aura assaults my sinuses nearly resulting in a watery cliffhanger over the deep blue. “No, really, you don’t have to---. Please.”

“No problem at all. Just come over here to Savannah and I’ll just rub that headache right away.”

The surreal surroundings confound my normal coyote-esque instinct to shrink from human contact. I comply hypnotically, my head settling onto her lap of its own volition. I watch the movement of my limbs with the bafflement of a mastered puppet. Alien fingers graze my forehead, leaving a cool, dry trail of unfamiliarity up the arch of my forehead, down the bridge of my nose, across my cheekbones, sliding around my temple. Her calves rustle slightly in restlessness, unmercifully jiggling the throbbing mass upon it. Her tinkly call for a glass of wine shimmies down- a circuit that flows down her spine, through thigh and arm to ring in my head. The gentle pressure of her palm briefly alleviates the nauseating nosedive into a sick sprawl on the deck that is one swell away. I grip her hand, pressing it onto my warm flesh and pray for a lengthier stay of execution. Six strands of hair flip into my face, wedging into my cheek.

Sounds, colors and dimensions rotate, echo, and slide off one another into a kaleidoscopic reality that defies attempts to focus. White sails and angling bodies lose focus, an antagonizing back-drop to my universe of frayed nerves, tumbling intestines and pulsing eyeballs. Elizabeth Kenny quickly forgets her consideration and pledge of healing, her replies to shouted queries pinging at my skull like a woodpecker in spring.


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