Tuesday, July 29, 2008

cyclical and sterile and credulous, all the same

i gutted fish in kathmandu, drinking wine and sunlight, listening to the wind make love to the ocean. higher than the stepchild of everest and k2, slipping between the past and present and future and everything between. yes, even between that. lights never more brilliant. sounds never more lucid. dreams never more real. i tell you it was something feral. that's for certain.

beggars find themselves drooling at the sight of oncoming traffic, listening for the sound of music or mouths pouring through a cracked window, staring blank, clean and empty as a new chalkboard, towards that opening which serves no further purpose beyound false hope for those who've slept where most have spewed, for those who weep while others wine, for those who dream greater than the lot of us all.

a squid. there was a squid and i remember kicking and splashing and yelling but i couldn't yell because of the water and i just remember seeing it in the back of my head. i saw it swimming fast and the tentacles reaching for me and the suckers grabbing my legs and i was scared. i was terrified. but i wasn't yelling. i couldn't yell. i don't know why i thought of it or what it really meant. i mean, people usually don't think of squid when they're about to die.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ephemeral, but not quite so. This is the product of the incomprehensible.

Your father found you on the boulevard three nights ago, lying in a pool of your own madness. You drifted not too far from home after your sister caught you sleeping in the attic. "You can't be here," she said, her voice stern and solid like a drill instructor. "He'll find you in the middle of the night. He'll kick you to the curb and take what's left of you." So you woke up from the dream, the one where you are flying through the star lines and you make your stumbled way towards the ladder. "Don't come back," she says, turning away before even finishing the sentence, leaving you to climb back down the way you came in.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Aqua(velva)phobia and how you dream in supply and demand

i dreamed this once. i remember it now. we spent five days on the southern tip, dipping ourselves now and again into the drink. sunlight met the shore, met the air, met the pore. in and then back and then in again. managing not the time of day but the time it'd take to ruin it. either me or her. i would bet her, secretly in my head, on the outcome. because even though there were no winners in the end of it all i still wanted to feel like maybe it were me. i almost died there. in the drink. the bubbles. the glassy abyss. swimming out to meet the falling waters. only made it half way. i think now that it felt like what being apart of the mob must feel like, only when you've screwed the mob and they encase your feet in cement and tell you your "swimmin' with the fishes tonight, saul." only my name's not saul. and i know nothing about the mob. but i know something of almost dying. of drowning. of struggling to breath. air: never a more precious commodity so terrifyingly scarce. sweating under water. yeah, it's possible. but i couldn't tell you how it ended. last thing i thought about was the bet. and then the dream ended.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

In Memory

My grandfather died one month ago. June 8th, 2008. He was 66 years old. His name was Esteban Raleigh Largusa. To us, me and the younger generation, the grandkids, we called him "papa". He lived in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, for the last few years. He was born in Kilauea, near the north shore.

For the last few weeks I've wanted to write something to him. Something that would express my feelings of him. My thoughts about him. My love for him. But I've found it to be more difficult that I could have imagined.

I can't express how much I miss him, how much I wish he were still here, and how upset and angry it makes me that he's not.

I went golfing a couple weeks ago. I never golf. But I went to the driving range with a friend and we bought some balls and hit the turf.

My grandfather was an avid golfer. He spent the better part of his time golfing. Always going to the club, to the driving range, meeting with friends, getting in that 18 hole round of golf before it got too hot (although, let me say, the heat would never stop him). He loved to golf. He took me and my brother and my cousin one time, years ago, to the driving range with him. I remember watching him drive the ball hundreds of yards every time. He'd say to us, "Choke down on the club," and, "Eye on the ball, and keep that arm straight." The only thing I could remember thinking was, "What is the appeal?"

But then there I was, two weeks ago, standing under a wooden awning at a driving range in Riverside hoping somehow that would bring us closer. That maybe, just maybe, if I could hit the ball hard enough my grandfather would, by some mythical act, reappear and tell me how great of a drive that was and then proceed to do it a thousand times better. How many times I looked toward the entrance hoping, wishing, praying, fooling myself that he would be there.

I saw him for the last time in February. We were having a Superbowl party at the house. Food and friends and talk of hockey filled the rooms. I remember standing behind our leather sofa near the table eating chips and salsa when he walked into the room. His smile, his charm, his charisma shone and radiated throughout. I remember thinking, "What the hell are you doing here?" and then actually saying it to him as we embraced. I hadn't expected to see him that day. He made his rounds, greeted everybody, and settled into his home away from home away from the golf course: the kitchen.

My grandfather loved to cook. I couldn't help but smile when, 5 minutes after he showed up, he was already helping my mom with cleaning or cooking the salmon she had bought the day before. He was a fantastic cook. If I had to pick his specialty it would be Pork Adobo, a Filipino dish. But that day it was salmon.

Today is July 6th. One month ago my grandfather passed away. One month ago I was sitting at the table, talking with family, about how, in Hawaii at the Marine Wildlife Observatory, he would pull the Opihi shells of the sides of the walls in the tanks and eat them right there. One month ago we were watching the Food Network as chef Sam Choy would win the Luau Cookout Challenge from Hawaii. One month ago I was among friends, at our hockey game, resting on a bench in Riverside, thinking about how I should call him and catch him up on things. One month ago, when we finally found out what had happened, I remember grieving in a chair by the door, trying to rationalize all the things that had happened that day, trying to comprehend why it all happened that day, and trying to understand why things like these do happen.

Here's to you, Papa.