1990.09

Saturday, 09.01:

Ganymede leaping straight into the air to catch a grasshopper.


Working in the garden: lazy fuzzy bumblebees tumbling over the blue sage blossoms.


Letter from Jim in L.A.: “He has the emotional stature of a six-year-old raised in a box.”


Again, from Jim: “Leaving religion—and my own personal religion of desperate activism—was like leaving an irresistible lover who beat me.”


Footprints on the soft ground of the new flower bed. Boots. Someone has been looking in our windows.


Cooking for tomorrow’s dinner: black beans in chicken stock bubbling in the crock pot, garlic roasting in the oven.


Sunday, 09.02:

Woke suddenly to the house alarm wailing. Thought the cats had broken something again. David stumbles to the living room to shut it off. Shouting: Get OUT! Sitting up in bed, thinking Oh, it’s happening. Unable to move.

The police officer is polite but dumb: Nobody could crawl through that window pane. Did you see anybody inside the house? David stamps his foot: Yes!


Finally shelving the box of John’s gardening books. Two months since he died. Looking for his handwriting inside each one: no name, nothing. Blank pages.


Undressing for bed: that familiar body in the mirror. Hello again.


Monday, 09.03:

No classes. I studied the whole day. No adjectives available.


Tuesday, 09.04:

Climbed up to the sixth floor of Agnes Arnold Hall. Looking out at the campus: green trees, red tile roofs.


The geometry of sidewalks: straight lines. And paths through the grass, short cuts where sidewalks should be: curved lines.


People walking below: shorts + backpack = student. No one looks up.


Workmen sweeping the roof of the science building: blue shirts, blue sky.


One-armed armchair in the hall, its padding leaking from the bottom.


Wednesday, 09.05:

On the bus. Building being demolished downtown at Fannin and Turner, collapsing inward like a sagging accordion.


Black man playing a shell game on the sidewalk with plastic bottle caps. People applaud from Metro bench. Hand clenches dollar bills.


Bus conversation:

            He treated her real bad, he don’t even care for her.

            Uh-hunh.

            And whus-his-name, David, he in love with his daddy’s girlfriend.

            She be after his money.

Soap opera? Real life?


Cutting my hair in the bathroom, watching it fall to the counter. Trimming my beard. Watching the process in the mirror, like peeling off a layer of myself. Conscious of the person I present and the person beneath what others see.


Bumper sticker on wheelchair at the student center: SO MANY PEDESTRIANS, SO LITTLE TIME.


Thursday, 09.06:

I am becoming more aware of my terrible obsession with rules. On Wednesday I was standing in line with Lynn in the cafeteria. There were no napkins in the dispensers. I immediately raised my voice (people turning): There are no napkins. –Yes, I know, says a man at the register. Are you planning to do something about it? I insisted.

Wednesday night in class, upset because we waited almost an hour and things were so hopeless, unorganized. This is not who I am, this arrogant person. Why do I behave this way? Why am I so angry?


Thinking about courtesy: When did people stop standing to let others out of a bus seat? Now most folks just swivel their bodies aside—not at all a clear path, lots of squeezing past, bumping hips and shoulders. So unnecessary.


More on this: In Washington, DC, the escalators have small signs requesting those who stand to stay right, allowing those who must hurry, even on an escalator, to pass left.


Familiar woman climbs into the bus downtown: pudgy face, small eyes, hair in a gray bun. Green stretch pants. Loose jiggling doughy arms. Sits beside a young black man, plops her shopping bag to the floor. Talking loudly: Sendin’ them boys over there. How the hell are they gonna fight a war in that sand? But he don’t care–


David reaches up to turn off the television. Large dark stain on his left thigh, big as my palm. What is that on your leg, I say.

Where?

Come here, I say. Turn around.

It is a large bruise, four inches wide, shaped like a horizontal check mark on the back of his thigh. David can’t see it.

How did you do this?

I don’t know.

It’s only a bruise, I tell myself. Bruises are nothing.


Saturday, 09.08:

Got the Honda back.

9:00– Delta Lambda Phi Rush, Missouri Street Station.

Honda fucked up again.


Sunday, 09.09:

1:00– banner painting @ DeWayne’s.

Honda towed from Missouri St.