Spirits Go Through Me

1am on a colder than normal monday morning, the drunks are across the street and Dean the bum is sharing my stoop. Every other car which rolls by is a police cruiser and the air is thick with noise and chatter. The local ghosts are zig-zagging from one stranger to the next begging for "bus fare" for their next fix. Dean begins to speak about the silence. These rare half-minute moments of other-dimentional consciousness where all things take on a soft aura, all sound ceases and every visible light beams through his heart delight him. He wishes to never come back from them and asks why he must return to reality so abruptly. I theorize that perhaps it's a transcendental gift given in the same way that a person will pet and adore a cat. The cat will enjoy the attention, purr, perhaps roll over, but will never understand why it recieves the love it does. Similarly, perhaps Dean is simply enjoying a gift, and the whys and wherefores are not for him to know. Dean utters soberly "No. Maybe it's not for me to know." as if resigned. Dean and I share a long history stretching back over 16 years across the veiny streets here, and in the parks. A former English professor, Dean abandoned his life following an undisclosed personal tragedy, adopted the streets and parks of Albany as his new home, and began a slow and continuing process of alcoholism practice. While I was myself an upstate ghost, I would share his company on long pointless walks aiming to nowhere, from nowhere, from 2am until well after the late morning sun would warm our bodies, speaking for hours tirelessly on every subject imaginable and unimaginable. These conversations, these tireless, brilliant conversations, stay with me to this very minute. Dean was never short on imagination or, when the mood struck him, freestyle poetry which, by any standard, was a brilliant flash of genius, a few lines at a time, peeking through years old strata of filth and vulgarity. Years ago, Lark street was home to a used bookstore, Bryn Mawr. When I had extra money, which was rare, I would spend it on books. Typically Henry Miller, Knut Hamsun, chessic texts and the occasional odd title which caught my eye. One autumn afternoon I strode to the local health food store with my last ten dollars to fuel up for the day, my one allotted meal. I walked by Bryn Mawr and succumbed to the temptation to browse. I came across a rare Miller title, Obelisk press! First printing! TEN DOLLARS! Oh, they had no idea the treasure they posessed. I was faced with a choice: I could read, or I could eat. Shortly afterwards, I jubilantly walked right past the food store, book in hand. ... Later that night, well into the wee hours, I came across Dean on Central avenue, laying in the grass beside the street. I greeted him and presented him (hesitantly) with my new book, Black Spring. His rough and filthy appearance was offset by the way his eyes lit like those of a child and how he gently handled the book, and softly turned its pages as if the book were made of something most rare and fragile. I shared with him the story of my decision and he congratulated me on making the correct choice. This was all the encouragement and confirmation I required. The book sits quietly on my shelf to this day. Just as at this very moment Dean himself sits quietly on my stoop of my Lark street apartment, staying in his world of delta-waves and old bones, devouring the light and the silence when it comes to him. He sits, waiting in patience for the next gift. I wait with him.
WorldWarYou WorldWarYou
31-35, M
3 Responses Jun 18, 2007

Yes you were. That was a great, great day.

i was walking with you when you bought that book.

Love your style!!! Show me more...