It also isn't helping that my bronchitis has been acting up again. I had a coughing fit when walking to Grocery Outlet this evening, and had to sit on the bus bench for several minutes until I could get my breath under control again. It has been acting up ever since the fire, and I think that inhaling all that dense, toxic smoke that day, and less intense smoke for several days after, set off a cascade of deterioration. I might end up needing an inhaler, and those things are expensive.
I'm glad I've still got my cricket chirping at night, since I can sit in the back yard after the traffic on the freeway dies down and listen to the relaxing rhythm, which is slower now that the nights are cool again. I'm hearing only one cricket now, which means either that the other one found a mate and is now chirping too softly to be heard, or something happened to it. I hope it's the former. I feel bad for the other cricket, who is obviously still alone, but if that one finds a mate I probably won't be able to hear him either. But I do hope at least one of them has a mate, so there will be more crickets to listen to next year.
Listen to me, talking like I'll still be here myself next year, when I have no idea whether I will or not. I might be living somewhere else, or I might be dead, probably from having coughed up an entire lung. Well, at least for the crickets' sake then, I hope they both find mates. Then, even if I'm not here to listen to them, crickets will be chirping for whoever is here. May they enjoy the music.
One of the many poets I first read in LJ's greatpoets community is David Berman. He is better known for his indie band, Silver Jews, who recorded six albums, but he did publish a book of poetry, Actual Air, in 1999. Last week Berman committed suicide, at the age of 52. I don't think I've posted any of his poems before, though I've enjoyed the few I read in Greatpoets. RIP, David Berman.
I remember Kitty saying we shared a deep longing for
the consolation prize, laughing as we rinsed the stagecoach.
I remember the night we camped out
and I heard her whisper,
"think of me as a place" from her sleeping bag
with the centaur print.
I remember being in her father's basement workshop
when we picked up an unknown man sobbing
over the shortwave radio
and the night we got so high we convinced ourselves
that the road was a hologram projected by the headlight beams.
I remember how she would always get everyone to vote
on what we should do next and the time she said
"all water is classic water" and shyly turned her face away.
At volleyball games her parents sat in the bleachers
like ambassadors from Indiana in all their midwestern schmaltz.
She was destroyed when they were busted for operating
a private judicial system within US borders.
Sometimes I'm awakened in the middle of the night
by the clatter of a room service cart and I think back on Kitty.
Those summer evenings by the government lake,
talking about the paradox of multiple Santas
and how it felt to have your heart broken.
I still get a hollow feeling on Labor Day when the summer ends
and I remember how I would always refer to her boyfriends
as what's-his-face, which was wrong of me and I'd like
to apologize to all those guys right now, wherever they are:
No one deserves to be called what's-his-face.