Points In Between
Morning. Scattered. Unsettled. This day. Reserved for special
thoughts and natural reflections. Moments and times and progressions.
Roads traveled and roads forgone. Revealing themselves in distant
clarity. Standing far enough away to get the full effect...or
at least to cushion the impact of a wayward revelation. You know the
feeling all too well -- the cold hand of a passed stranger gripping
the back of your shoulder...turning to find only emptiness.
Take your seat. Start the show.
A young man journeys through the lost hours in a city he has
temporarily claimed as his own. A few souls drift on the
edges of his perception, scattering with drawn attention.
Wandering through the Zone -- all boundaries laid bare...all
the forces of influence keeping an easy distance. He moves
freely with scarce thought to destinations. He feels a
lightness in his shoes and in his heart. He wouldn't call
it happiness. But you might.
Following along. Down a madman's path toward the waterfront.
Taking streets that lead nowhere, if only to pass beneath the
wondrous glow of a 19th century street lamp. He does not
linger at its base or dance around its luminous perimeter.
He simply moves through its light and continues on. As so
many have done before.
Listening. He knows he is approaching before any obvious
landmark can offer simple assurance. The sea-lions sleeping
on the docks. Well, not all sleeping. Some are up and about.
Bellowing into the dark bay, their pre-dawn barking echoes
through the structures like an old friend calling your name
from across the barren canyon of time. Drawing you to their
location -- or as close as you can safely get. Taking a seat
on the bench of an adjacent dock. Leaning back to see the
stars and search for the first traces of light...hearing the
waves crash into shore. Just another audience member catching
the last set from this grand ensemble. Comforted by the thought
of tomorrow. Knowing they'll be back. They've got a regular
gig. But nothing lasts forever.
Maybe nothing lasts at all. Maybe everything changes. From instant
to instant. And we're just too slow and stubborn to pay attention.
The tender bones of the new day begin to crack. Trucks are
arriving, dimming their headlights as a flurry of aging
fishermen go through the ritual motions of well established
routines. Carrying bundles, buttoning jackets, shouting
words and phrases that do not exist inland -- all accompanied
by a generous collection of profanity. Best to give them
their space. Too many sharp objects and bitter sentiments.
Wait until the breakfast truck arrives -- its shiny steel
hull glimmering in the hushed sea air -- and make your break
to the north as the tattooed arms rush toward the smell of
coffee and sweet rolls, searching pockets for loose change
and small bills. A long day well under way.
The young man climbs the paved walkway into the cliffs that
overlook the ocean. Reaching the top as the sun peaks over
the horizon. Stretching arms. Lifting up for all to see.
Yawning into all that exists. Raising a voice for all mankind.
Letting go. As the years wash up on the beach. Waiting to
be claimed upon his descent. With the patience of a summer sky.
Images repeat themselves on an endless and growing loop. Over
and under exposed. Fading at the edges. Their definition becoming
less and less clear. The dark recesses, the spaces between, the
murky background -- all commanding more and more terrain.
The mysterious narrow side streets of Chinatown. The smoky
grogginess of a corner coffee shop. The sketchy hallways of
a midtown hotel. Words scrawled on the sides of buildings.
Messages for anybody who happens to be looking. A carelessly
tossed handbill in the back room of a dimly lit saloon. Two
bit reminders of brilliant groundbreakers. The enduring profile
of a girl at the jukebox, making a selection that will resonate
through all tomorrows. A gentle smile. An awkward laugh. An
overlooked discovery. The embrace of a dearly loved person.
These...and many others.
Stopping briefly to gather bearings. Setting off in all
~ ~ ~
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