My guru in a tutu. Pretty girl. You are always the pretty damn girl with brains to boot. That’s always how I see you. Maybe not a tutu. Maybe a tutu covered up with a long very worn-thin Levi’s long-sleeved chambray shirt, the kind with the snaps, with a couple of frayed hems or holes, with a tutu rather like an ethereal garment, “apparitional clothing,” as A.M. came up with not long ago when we were waxing all things godspeed and fairydust….I see you with a head springing with coils of corn silk and silver tinsel, both adazzle and mauve with dust-rose aura glinting with gold flakes like you see when you pan for it and do it all the live long day like a gambler pulling a slot machine arm one more time one more time, waiting for that flake that the sun makes sing surprise arias, you the tall blond who claimed to be the gawky awkward girl to my mother’s square-shouldered, vixen-slices of brown slaps, cutting you and or shutting you — that’s how you made it seem, which I was amazed to hear, terribly shocked, assuming you had been the superior taller blond leggy princess whose perfection must have caused my mother as a teen to rock back and forth in her room when no one was looking….you say not, how could that be?
My mother was not a deep woman, and she plainly admitted as much with no apology or shame; her idea of God was that of a bowling ball that spun round and round and as it spun it threw off these sparks and when she would recite this vision – and she must have at least a dozen times throughout her life with me – she had that “faraway look” in her eyes, the same look CP told tale of her having the day he burnt her clothes, was never the same, tried to pay her, tried giving her a whole three hundred as I recall, at the most five, and she was gone, those jabbing darts of chocolate no longer milk but dark and would never melt again for him not nary another day, not another tear, and he knew….
She was a cold person, although she was most definitely my mama and I never left her side as a child, would hold onto her for dear life, I remember the smell of her matches, the sound roughly striking and singeing the air around us with what she said was “sulphur,” a smell to this day that comforts me, before lighters, before seat bealts, car seats, before DUIs or rules against standing up in the front seat of that old blue Mustang next to her as she drove with my left thumb in the wet bed of my mouth and my ravaged perfectly aromatic knot of a blanket smashed exquisitely in the rest of my paw smashed against my nose suck suck suck goddam i loved that thumb, so much, that blanket, too, a love as pure and holy as any love can ever be, I can attest with certainty. Once I was riding in the front seat, mama was driving, daddy was in the passenger seat, I was straddling him and facing him, must’ve been three, maybe four or almost, and had my blanket, hadn’t gotten down to the smallish knot I usually worked it into – still a relatively young cotton pelt I’d yet to break completely to my will…and daddy was laughing, we were all laughing, don’t remember what was being said, if anything, just windows down, air blowing in, maybe summer, just wind, and I had my left hand holding that foot-long graying rag out the window happy as happy as happy the happy of buddhas and kittens at play and I was somehow convinced without thinking that if I let go of the blanket I could close my paw back over it and it would be right there but when I opened it it was not there, it was gone, and I immediately experienced the piercing sensation of shock and loss, heard a horn blow, or maybe mama and daddy did, I remember the mental totality of my senses giving way to being disconnected from the umbilical of my being, thumb abandoned as was I, and mama and daddy both looked grave but not grim and they stopped and we walked up and down the highway up and down, but it was lost to the blanket passage, we always assumed it had wound up upon the windshield of an alarmed, perhaps even concerned trucker, the mystery forever unsolved and that loss never truly replaced so much as continued as a lineage…
All that blanket talk for Dee in her Hugo attire, a vision I’ll never get out of my mind, seeing you plumb their depths and feel their dark deepness love you down inside them because they knew blessings when they got blessed, too rare and alive to not feel all the way into the soul’s own soul, the bittersweet ache of being loved in a way only few even realize is real or possible…I know how hard you pushed yourself and I know how they must have hurt inside for you, hurting for them….I know that kind of wizardry of flesh and life and color and smell and god and truth.