Sitting at home. It is thirty minutes until midnight. Three candles and a paper lanter bathe my bedroom in a soft glow. My balcony is alit by a light-rope. My cat is cleaning herself. The soundtrack to Amelie plays over the cd player. Ihave just finished watching the movie yet again, loving all the little details of the movie that makes it great.
Earlier I had gone to the Allan Brothers Coffee House and had read, written, and thought. After a few hours I returned home and threw together odd ingredients into a dinner of sorts. Spaghetti boiling on the stove top, meat-tomato sauce in a pot. Sliced chicken breast and red and yellow peppers cooking in a pan. A few dashes of lemon-pepper, a dash of white pepper, some thyme and some cilantro. The spices help to balance the sweetness of the red and yellow peppers. I laugh to myself that I am constructing a dinner in proportion to a cocktail recipe (classic cocktails are two parts strong, one part sweet, one part sour). A glass of merlot is my guide for the night. The cat keeps me company and I give out liberal doses of belly rubs to her.
Dinner is done and I eat my meal while watching the movie. I have half a bottle of wine left (but another backup sits nearby) and I enjoy its grapey warmth. The movie continues to move me. I laugh, I cry, I sigh, I give calls of delight to the empty apartment around me.
The phone rings. It is one of my girls asking about her schedule. I inform her of the coming week. Back to the movie.
The movie finishes and I am listening to the soundtrack. Before me sits the journal that I carry around with me. I’ve opened it to tonight’s page, penned earlier at the coffee shop.
Sunday, March 16th
Allan Brothers Coffee House
Have read a couple of chapters of Don Quixote and have laughed often. My thoughts turn back to the movie Amelie, over and over. There are little scenes in the movie which strike me deeply. Example, when it is said that Amelie likes to look back onto the faces of movie-goers in the theater. Why does this intrigue me so? Because I go out to coffee houses over and over and a good portion of my time each visit is spent watching the faces of people, burrowing into their lives from my cozy seat. It is intimacy without the risk. Risk is the operative word. My open-ness on the web, via webpages and journals, is all a facade, an attempt to say to myself “see.. I reach out to people!” But the truth is told when I gather my cup of Sumatra at the counter and walk by the lovely woman writing intently in her notebook and the thought of saying hello to her crosses my mind, quickly doused by the realization that I do not know what to say beyond “hello”, and what if she is meeting another person, or has a boyfriend already, or is simply not interested in me at all? the embarrasment would be lethal… or the thought of such is at least. It is easier to sit in my corner window and imagine connections with people than it isis to actually attempt any. But I do love watching people, no matter the person, young, old, thin, fat, beautiful, homely (though beauty is often missed in people, and ugliness is also deeper than skin), elegant, coarse… I watch their mannerisms, listen to their speech patterns and word inflections, I wonder about what events might have shaped their lives, what influences they might have on the world around them, what interactions they have every day, what it would feel like to be them, to see what they see, to experience their world.
Why? do I lok to other people in the framing of my own existence? Do I look for some sort of validation? A reflection? I do not think it is this simple, for my moments of joy and deep contentment are many and quite common.
What would I say to the lady? Could I write hello on a note and hand it to her? Could I smile and leave? A quick escape, leaving no opportunities for negative (or positive) reactions seems common to all possible scenarios in my mind.
I has been quite some time since I have felt lonely, yet at this moment I feel so. I do not want a conversation right now… nor sex, nor anything at all… but simply the company of her, a mixture of breath, her scent, the inter-twining of arms and a peaceful silence. The embrace is the thing.
I recall about two weeks ago or so when I was walking home at 4:00 am. I was moving along the railroad tracks. A passenger train was moving alongside me, very slowly, while a line-man hopped off every now and then to change the lines on the track. I would outpace the train, only to be passed by the cars, only to catch up and pass them again. We played a kind of leap-frog, moving down the line as I had a brisk pace. I watched with interest (while walking) the insides of the cabins. There were no people inside save for the line-man inside the cars, walking down the aisle. His gait was slow and were we both walking on a path together I would easily outpace him. Being aboard a train as he was he sometimes moved along the tracks faster than I thanks to the added speed of the train. All of this had the unavoidable effect of bringing to mind Einstein’s theory of relativity. How I wish I had stopped there on the the gravel to write my thoughts down. For at that moment I believed Einstein to be incomplete. Yet as I sit here now, recalling Einstein’s thought experiments of riding out through space on a beam of light, I cannot recall the objections that I had to his theory.
Now that I’ve added tonight’s coffee house thoughts to the electronic journal, time to add yesterday’s.
Saturday, March 15
On the balcony at home
I have a round particle board lid from a large barrel of glue sitting atop three stacked milk crates. It is an impromptu table which is just the right height. Atop this table sits a vase with two roses within. A mocha keeps company with two books, Darwin’s Origin of Species and Don Quixote. A recently bought CD, the soundtrack to the movie Amelie, plays on the CD player. A gentle rain begins to fall. European starlings hop along the moss-covered branches of a nearby tree foraging for insects.
How happy I am. The day is brilliant, dark ominous clouds, brilliant golden light, rain, sunshine, all the elements that I carry in the suitcase of my heart. How content I am to sit on my humble little balcony and drink deeply of both coffee and air. Such deep sighs does my heart make that I can faintly feel tears behind my eyes. Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts…. many pass throught my mind. I sit, content to watch the scenery within such thoughts. As the scrub jay hops from limb to limb, so too my thoughts. Revelation after revelation, glimpses of larger connections between things unrelated, applications of theory, novel thoughts, romantic surges, poetic rhythyms with no prose… all these and more leap across the landscape of my mind.
BEAUTY! LOVE! BEING!
And Wednesday’s entry
Wednesday, March 12th
Balcony at home
Sitting on my balcony at home, a grey day with streaks of blue/grey in the sky. The air is restless. One moment the breeze comes to me from the north, stirring my wind chimes, the next there is nothing but I can hear the leaves of a tree around the corner. A new sound… leaves stirred by the wind. Small birds everywhere are chirping. There are no crows around (the neighborhood thugs are elsewhere and the kids are out playing).
Recalling last night’s activities… I am happy that I managed to keep from having sex, though I wanted to very much. But what damage would succumbing to those desires do? By not following the easy conclusion, I’ve affirmed two thoughts that are more important to me than getting my rocks off. Integrity and True Love. The integrity ideal would have lost the battle last night had not the notion of True Love been there for support, bolstered as it was by a recent viewing of Amelie. True Love? I think briefly on my philosophy, and I wonder at this great contradiction in my thinking, by what grounds can I believe True Love exists? I have nothing more to validate my belief in True Love, save the longing in my heart.