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Forty-Seventh Sitting

It is night again, and I must push back the wrapper from my skull and do what has been written. There is an episode, or rather theme, that I have referred to but which has not yet been set to page for fear of my ending up too much like a Northern Exposure episode. But as I guess I have already blown this by bringing up Jung, I must state what happened, or rather started, one night about a week and a half into my stay. We attended... a cultural event.

God, no, I'm not going to drag you through that with ME, but I guess I can tell you a little: native dancers -- "Keepers of the Treasures" they called themselves, keepers of the tradition: they bothered to learn move for move, beat for beat, moan for moan, the extensive song and dance-marathons of their ancestors. Yes, I felt the jungle (well, tundra) beat and foreign chanting stir my soul. Yes, I was somewhat entranced by the bright costumes and beautifully-carved masks. But man was it long. Eons. I remember a particular dance toward the end in which a single masked dancer steps about to a droning melody for about five minutes, then moves to the back of the stage, at which time an ornament is stuck on the nose of the mask, symbolizing one of various animals: once a beak, once a snout, once a whole fish, etc. Upon receipt of the new nose the dancer proceeds to do exactly what he had been doing as the song repeats itself. This continues until everyone in the audience is dead.

So I was frankly in no mood for a religious experience by the time the audience-participation finale came, during which we were ushered into a big circle which one and all were supposed to walk slowly around wiggling their hips. This was capped off by a presentation by the performing group of many cans of some lard-like goop to their university sponsor. The cheers undoubtedly echoed back through the halls of antiquity.

The next day, the day the scary guy came up and talked to me while I was waiting for Her to get off work, I accompanied Her to the opening of a Native Arts exhibit in the university museum. While innocently mounching the complimentary refreshments We found trapped by a presentation of sorts which included, of course, the same dancers, who proceeded to do the alternating noses dance again as the crowd moved to block all exits... Until, that is, She observed that We could escape through the gift shop.

So She... WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Am I supposed to remember how happy I was sitting next to Her in that auditorium, my shoulder brushing against Hers, and cry? Am I supposed to say that getting in touch with one's Crud sure might be therapeutically valuable, but sure isn't fun to witness when it goes on for two hundred and thirty fucking pages! ...Dammit I can't take it anymore... I've got to tell You. I've been cheating on you, okay? I've been writing to Her quite frequently and at great length. I've probably written Her about three times as much as I've written to You, and that's where all the stuff you'd probably with your voyeuristic tendencies would like to read, where I have declared my love a thousand times and mused over every small detail relevant to Our possible futures. I'm only doing this... well, for you. And for me, I guess... trying to make some sense of it, trying to gain closure when nothing has been closed. She's just gone, that's all, and until He gets up there for Christmas, nothing will be settled. I'm just marking time in limbo, trying to keep what sanity I have... If I let up for a moment, if I let my spirits drop too far or stop writing as much, I will lose. I know this. But if I get over-confident, if I start making plans about where to go to grad school based on where She might be willing to live, if I assume everything will be okay, then I am deliriously happy but prone to periodically get my bubble burst -- and the biggest burst will be the End which I will not have prepared for. So I wait... I can't move forward; I can't move on. I wait and flail and consolidate. And I must talk to Her. Now.

"I need you to help me remember Wednesday."

"Which Wednesday?"

"The Wednesday before I left. I know that's when we saw the Aurora Borealis, and... oh, I guess I do have it written down... the open mike night and before that annoying Jungian classical guitarist guy. Oh, well. I was just looking for an excuse to call you anyway."

About an hour or so passes during which My spirits gradually lift.

"Don't you remember? Wednesday was the Spiderman Pez night. I had to draw."

"And I just watched you?"

"Yes. We were listening to music, and you were saying how much you liked the atmosphere. You just sat and watched me."

"And I was happy... Thank you. Thank you for helping me remember Wednesday."

...Which makes me think that maybe this kind of psychotherapy via relation of the event is unnecessary. All I need to do to remember, to be that past Me again, is talk with Her, be with Her. But of course that's what I'm trying to render unnecessary, or, let's say, less necessary. As She said in a note She hid in my suitcase, but which She had to tell me about before I found it a week and a half later: "Had such a swell time w/ you. Nothin's gonna change that." And it's true. These experiences must be mine. That part of Me must be Mine.

So then... In My words, not Hers: Wednesday night was wonderful. No, nothing graphic, nothing striking (well, except the encounter with God thing), just warm and wonderful. After We say a professional classical guitarist speak about how we should all think more from our hearts and how musicians need to learn more about business to take control of their careers, and I played at her for the second time at an open mike night at the local bar, We just went back to Her place and savored the fact that Her apartment-mate had gone out of town for the week, leaving us alone and quiet. We made cookies. We let some DOGS into Her apartment (for a while Queen!). We listened to John Denver, whom I was briefly very excited about in 1981 and who "taught her how to feel," listening until it became just too therapeutic to stand any more. And yes, I watched Her draw... an assortment of small objects propped up in a corner, among them, at my request, a Spiderman Pez, which may I say was another family heirloom, having been given to Me a birthday ago by My sister. We went out to look at the sky, and yes, finally it opened up with shifting color. First it was just far away to the side: a few stripes blending into each other and alternately into darkness. But then I looked straight above My head, and holy frigging night. And I did not even think of pointing at the sky and saying "It's a bird." Any savage knows, after all, that that was God.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]