What persuaded me?—It was the Word, alone…
There was a summer,
not the last,
the one before,
where it was decided
that my ignorance
should be no longer.
Fade out on scene.
I was taken prisoner.
More accurately, I was carried away in handcuffs to the San Diego Psychiatric Hospital because someone I had known less than seven days had thought I was “strange”.
I was abused, and I was amused—they were not.
It was fear, not faith that they sought in my face.
I had no fear: “What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6, Hebrews 13:6)
Fickle fuddled words couldn’t confuse me.
“Do you hear voices”, she asked?
“I hear them calling my name“, I sang.
Wasn’t this all a scene to amuse me,
to carry me from the boredom of insanity?
Indeed it did.
Man can cuff you,
rough you, drug you
and count the hours you lay wake.
Still I thought they did it somehow for my sake.
They couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t cower and quake.
I couldn’t understand why they thought I would break?
I felt my mind pull away from sanity
as the days lithium laden drew longer.
They wondered, ‘why won’t she sleep?’
There is no man
but the one
who came from above
who knows what it is
that is best for me.
only a dose of two
or three keep me awake
for more than a week.
What is meant to cause sleepiness,
sedation, to make the violent meek,
made me lose my mind
and left me with only my eyes
with which the truth I might seek.
Have you ever looked into your own eyes
knowing therein alone is the truth?
They’d sought to convince me
I’d never been there before.
You see, it takes quite a journey
to bring me to my knees.
The day I went in in handcuffs,
taken from the garden where I’d sleep,
three needles and they lay me asunder
in the authority of their keep.
I awoke to see a vision,
a woman whose eyes I needn’t seek.
What a beautiful moment of awakening—
Her eyes looked back at me.
I knew that she was Angela,
beautiful skin the color of
the nature of Peru.
I’m not crazy
Her name was, of course, Angela.
And Angela, yes, is also me…
But there is another,
as I am Angela Marié…
The other is Maria Angela,
or Angela Maria, as I knew her,
she explained once to me sixteen
or as many years before.
with the moment of sight eye-to-eye
she lay before me.
Only you must know that I am sane—you see?
With what it is that I knew,
I also knew it could not also be true.
Another moment of reality:
Sanity holds true.
Her name was Angela.
I’ll tell you her story.
I do not worry for her,
for in her I saw me.
Our brief moments,
or at least those brief moments
where consciousness was once again mine,
were interrupted by the authority
which told me I should no longer “be”.
They brought me in, condemned,
to 72 hours of detention
but now they didn’t want me.
I believe there was something
in all I had said the night before,
when they laid me to sleep
from which I wasn’t certain to awake,
that made their soul wonder, worry and shake.
“If you can call someone to pick you up, you’re free.”
Drugged, bruised. I had no family.
I called someone, and he came, and we’d leave in a hurry.
He didn’t ask about what it was that he’d seen.
Some people know you,
though they’ve known you not long,
I imagine you’d believe.
He drove me home,
and I asked
if we could not stop
at the coffee shop
on the way?
I tasted the elixir which became my sanities keep,
little did I know my body knew what it was I did need
—caffeine is the remedy when lithium dost thus leak.
Back home he left me, returning quickly to his life which he could only leave briefly.
My roommate, the Trojan, was surprised to see me. I looked into his Greek eyes and told him it’d no longer be.
At once he got out, and I had the day to open the doors wide and see what might come inside.
I swept his room clean, nice and empty, and there I prepared it for what I’d long since wanted it to be to arrive.
Girls came to help, friends like arriving like angels, children who’d come to play with me.
They helped me pitch my tent, safely where I could lay.
That night in my delight, I entered and slept on the hardwood floor.
As I closed the tent folds behind me, I had only that which I adore. I had carried in my bible, that one which I had before the day I was baptized, in it is still taped a hair, the one he taped the first time I considered sharing my life. I had my violin, it is a mere symbol, that it be that one or an earlier of mine, it was simply my red violin.
I suppose here I must stop to introduce the tall lanky weed with blonde hair, the child I knew was my grandfather before time thus upon him grew.
You see the night before after the free had been freed, I decided to take the light out which bothered my sleep.
It was three in the morn when out of my room and into the street I’d sneak. I stood there midway in bright as day, equipped with a step stool and coffee mitt in either hand prepared, there’s no wonder why it is that they’d stare. The lost then wandered around the corner, and they looked on at I, as I at they and we neither much mattered if the other so much cared. I asked if they’d see anyone rustling bikes in the night, they countered—”why?”—stiffening as if I was prompting a fight. Oh, I told them, some have gone—disappeared. Since they wander in the night, perhaps they’d look out from now on? What is it that you’re doing, not so innocent yourself? I told them what it was I was up to, with night as my only stealth. The one offered to take that mitt off my hands, and the stool he’d too take, and he promised tomorrow, from sleep I would awake. I offered my home for their slumber, they walked it off waiting to drive to their sleep. While one would humbly accept the offer, the other not accustomed to the kindness of strangers, would slink away after the good deed while I slept in his promised sleep.
I woke in the morning. The cat in hat on my couch did sleep! Oh, momma, oh my! How is it that wonder did not pass by-and-by?! Is this really, could it, would it truly be!? Did he hear the prayer that my soul groaned though my knees had never relented, never ever before meek or weak?
Truth I do tell, my heart did swell as the child like golden death did sleep. I slipped out the day for my plunder, and my routines to return to upkeep. I went to Harry’s, the 1960’s family diner that I adore, and Harry’s adored me as ever before. I stopped in Bird Rock for coffee, cappuccino in hand, I pressed on further beyond the border of my imaginary land. I met the mechanic, a good hearted man, he promised he fix it, “if he can”.
I set off determined to venture further, into the Pacific I’d determined to be, there was a bike for sale I’d ride back along the beach. But mere blocks later—who knows if it were the woman or the dog that I’d first meet?—there walked love, three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and their mommy who they lead. I asked her, who are they? A doggy I’m in need. She said, well here have one, I have one more than I can keep. She handed me the leash to the mommy, opening her heart to love to lose later and for love lost later to bleed. I said why don’t we walk the block or two towards the ocean, and when it we meet, you go the one way, and I the other—when she thus notices, she’ll turn back and toward my home we’ll walk whilst it is you she seeks? Thus it in my life full of wonder, that she did give me her child, in mere moments of meeting, and in mere moments later of meeting did part, her with love and me with her heart. Rosie was her name, a saucy red head more beautiful than anything I’ve ever loved. A red headed daughter of a black Irish man. Pure breed and with papers, she and I could ignore, we were a pair made in heaven, and heaven we’d explore.
We weaved and wove, wandering where the street drove, making our way back home. Along the way, as life would stray, Rosie became Roxie, and thus began what felt like the dawn of new day. She and I tired as we made our way, and eventually came upon a man who had decided he was too. He stopped jogging to walk aside us, and for a moment my heart arose. In childlike wonder, my mind did ponder, would I recognize my father if my father had aged and appeared before my eyes? He was a physicist, he taught Alice in Wonderland, and at night he wrote. He had a screenplay, of which apparently I was already the star. He stumbled and nearly fell, in a few blocks learning what was relatively little, but recognizing what it was in only dreams he had previously he’d saw. The only difference between her and me were the dreads upon her head, he said, and as he faltered it seems the sight of me nearly brought him to his knees.
I explained that he were going home, and she was going home with me. He marveled and stuttered, my life is unimaginable, or imagined by most to be a dream. He said he has a puppy, and he could go home and fetch food for her to eat. He left us at my corner, the wrong-way one-way dead end at the ocean where sky meets dreams, as he headed up the other way, climbing up the street towards the peek.
So it is that later that night as I climb into my tent content that my life is nothing like others, that which seems so bleak, there remained a child of flaxen hair, an abused spirit with a bored debonair stare, and with him in tow, suddenly, his only baggage—a guitar, and a suitcase bearing the cross marked for the Hell’s Angels, upon which a book of words to sound smart with worn edges darkened by frequent thumbing did lay. He kept Roxie, and made me a milkshake to end my day. I ate from the box, it made by some combination of who knows what but I’ll never forget; luscious, delicious and creamy with berries! I laid my head down to sleep.
It seemed he’d slumber pulled asunder, an escaped angel of death, I marveled at what length he dozed. Only on the third day from this arrest was it he rose. He wore my socks, Dr. Seuss striped woven warmers of toes. So happy was me, to finally be free, the Trojan having been disposed. Alas my mind’s sass should have held back for fast it was that the next wave thus goes.
As he sat at the table which sat by the window, the writers seat looking out at sea, he gazed aimlessly at the book which lay before him his eyes suddenly I worried would be deceived. Buddha sat fat and lifeless one of those epic idols of stone before the lost child who sat listless, lonely, dejected and alone. He drank a coca-cola, and I asked he leave it alone. He wondered what was wrong with it, and to reason at that moment I was not prone. Exchange exchanged in a toss and a throw its with shame I admit, first the coke soaked the cover, before out the door, um, well you know.
Anyone would be angered by the arrogant dismissal, oh you know, there’s no excuse for anyone to take someone’s possession and even out one’s own door take aim and throw. It seems somehow not much later with things much sedater that I sat on the couch, my lap Roxie’s throne. My feet up and resting, my sleep not yet recovered from drug’s dressing. Behind me a rustle, the police they entered in a bustle, no privacy no concept of domain or that it was my home.
They entered and stood over me, and their eyes I did meet, no wilting flower, what ever did they want to thus dare to interrupt my dear darling Roxie’s sleep and stand before and above and behind me?
Oh rile me Satan and I thus shall scorn, your work at which you weary is thus on my nerves thus worn. I say get behind me, and the serpent does seethe. Reject the devil and he will flee, but it isn’t immediately he’d leave me. They picked and they lingered, loitering and looking, until finally I was peeved.
What is it, I ask, that you seek? Do you have an address book? (For what should they need an address book, indeed?) I sent them with detailed instruction to where three lay precisely, though each would give them nothing but that which they said they’d seek.
Have you noticed, my nature, gone sour from sweet? Three days after my freedom would bleed, drugged into stupor and stupidity with an edge of a nicotine fiend, they ask will you go willingly or, proverbially, shall we put you on your knees?
I noted that that was no choice at all, and with a sigh I rose in dignity the last moment of peace I recall.
They had asked a myriad of questions, each one asked I answered as fast, precise and accurately as the last. Their questions amused me, how little it showed they’d know. For instance, who asks a girl geek for an address book, not asking instead to see her iPhone? Did I drug my dog, um no? Was it out the door his book I’d thrown? Yes, I didn’t want it in my home. Did you let this man stay here, yes? Does it matter if he had no place to stay? I offered him a place for his head to lay. “A homeless vagrant” though I told them his name and his licensed address no shamed claim to fame. Thus Roxie got fleas, Daniel Zechariah Rhodes took leave, and I’d lose my home.
There’s nine days in between, but at twenty-fours of persistent wakeful sleep speed, thats more than a chapter, and less than a dream.
Suffice to say its somewhere between Angela’s eyes and a tent wander’s dreams.
Though I took the Word into my tent and slept in a wilderness of my own, it was months later I read the book which told me my heart knew I had a home.
So either it’s something in that story, which is long from being done and told, or it is simply the answer.
“I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.”
It was the Word and the Word alone.