1970

2 Jul

When I wake up, I am sleeping in my mother’s eyes.
“What is it baby?”
“I had a horrible dream. I called you back from the train station.”
“What is it baby?”
“I called out to you and you stepped back from the train platform as the 12:15 Rapid was entering the station.”
“I know. You were barely one year old. I heard you.”
“What were you about to do?”
“You know what.”
“I do. I just want to hear you say it.”
“You know what.”
“I do.”
“I will tell it to you in thirty-five years.”
“Will I still be alive by then?”
“I don’t know baby.”
“Will you?”
“I don’t know baby.”
Timelines and history intersect and looking up there are bombers littering the sky. It’s 1944 and the Soviets have entered the country, moving west and south. Bulgaria. Yugoslavia. Grandfather takes a bullet to the head. It grazes his scalp. And my father is there. He’s a boy. He climbs upon an abandoned Nazi radar panzer with his brother and cuts his palm on a rusty wire.
“What is it baby? Why did you call?”
Everything becomes amalgamated into an elusive subconscious which transcends space-time.
1969.
My mother is holding me up in front of the television screen, watching Neil Armstrong put a foot down into the dusty surface. And then she moves me up to the window, to see the full moon. A witness to human history at three weeks old.
“What is it baby, why did you call out to me? Why didn’t you let me go?”
Must this be?
This must be.
And Father is playing Beethoven’s 9th. The fourth movement. Chorale. I get a lecture on why masturbating is unholy and sinful. He is preaching from the bathtub, lying in there like a floating corpse, laden with self-importance and infinite wisdom.
Everything becomes amalgamated.
“What is it baby? Why did you call out to me? Why didn’t you let me step in front of the locomotive? I was so unhappy. Why didn’t you let me step up?”
I get this after thirty-six winters of wondering what I’ve done wrong. I get this while sipping a coffee in the old district of this small, southern town.
I get this.
“In 1970 you were one.”
“I know.”
“You didn’t know how to talk.”
“Didn’t I ?”
Close the gates.

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3 Responses to “1970”

  1. Anonymous 02/07/2007 at 4:17 PM #

    Wow. What an interesting concept, or line of thought here. I am getting the sense this might be what it’s like when you teeter on the brink of death. Or introspection? That’s what I get out of this. A seemingly random pattern of thoughts or events from life, that connect to a central event. You always seem to experiment with styles and themes. I love this piece. So short and so meaningful. Say hi to the Canadians for me. You know I’ve still kept my Canadian citizenship, right?
    J

  2. slyboots2 02/07/2007 at 5:33 PM #

    Excellent form here! The Anna K thing especially- I always wanted to save her- those 19th century moralists pissed me off by killing off their most interesting creations.

    Funny- my dad did the same thing with the me and the moonwalk- only I was older and remember it very well. Ah, parents…

  3. Maritza 03/07/2007 at 12:25 AM #

    So great. I need these in book form!

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