part 3

Word of the day: vacillate.

Meaning to be indecisive or irresolute. To totter and waver and sway between right and wrong, yes or no … between running and staying put.

I’m sitting here in the sun soaked kitchen, gnawing on an orange rind. It’s a nervous habit I wouldn’t question it if I were you. But I will point out for the sake of argument that that is how you get all the nutrients. I’m pretty sure I’ve got an oral fixation. But that’s another story. Back to the yarn on hand … a love song is playing in the other room. It’s not a woozy jazz standard like Blue Moon dripping with contrived sentiment, and vocals from a brassy broad. Nor is it really a dark, tormented Dusty torch song that’s always threatening to verge on the sycophantic. No, it doesn’t belong in either of those camps. It’s soft, scratchy, wistful and tortured. I didn’t turn the record player on – I had been sitting contently  in the four-o’clock sun eating oranges with a little placid Pepe Le Peu smile on my face. A lilac and bergamot scented breeze washing away the doldrums, playing with my hair, orange juice dripping out of the corners of my mouth, being alone and the silence was perfect. I closed my eyes and then, out of the living room and down the hall comes this rusty, haunting bluegrass ballad. Some postcard of a mountain song. A dust bowl mandolin fading up and over coal hills and into my heart.  Spiriting me away from the sun-drenched little kitchen on the 15th floor of my student ghetto. Up up and away to the slate grey skies of a world not yet tired of our petty antics. Rife with promise and extreme beauty ready to make the same fool-hearty mistakes over and over again. Up up and into the hearts of a whiskey stained, love-scarred land where you can taste the heartbreak on the breeze and almost reach the joy that’s on the horizon. An undulating horizon that’s sits on the shoulders of those blue hills, soaked in twilight, where the nightingale’s song is a haunting bittersweet lament for your deceased sweetheart.

My eyes pop open and I’m back. Shoe-box kitchen. Disoriented by the sun and sparrows. The mysterious twenty-eight a fleeting apparition.


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