a return to memory

Scale model of piece that I’m working on for a June show at goC. The piece will consist of 50, 4’ T8 florescent tubes using the wiring as the foundation for the form. The piece will measure 12’ high, sitting on two custom goC tables that when pushed together measure about 5’ x 12’. 

The Dog and The Macaroon

There is an inlet to the north where rocks rush down to water carrying trees that leap on spindly rooted legs. The tides come and go whispering secrets to the waves that well in their pregnant stomaches; waves that are collections of thoughts like seashells staked neat in rows, full to their peaks in knowledge. 

A small boat with oars, named The Macaroon, drifts on these thoughts spread between continents to find this small place; this place with water deep with words. The moon is sliding up over the curve of the horizon, the inlet's opening a gunsight to a spotlight for this moment. The Macaroon sits near the western shore, her oars tapping lightly on her chest as the waves bob her about. The tapping is excitement and nerves: teenagers fingers knocking on their first loves window, trying not to wake the parents. It is the tapping of feet running in woods after bedtime. It is the tapping of rocks being kicked down the middle of a deserted road, while two faces can only see each other. 

A small dog appears on shore, his tail straight and precise behind him as he comes quick from the woods, carried by the trees that have all leaned in to watch and listen. The Macaroon floats nearer, and the dog springs to land in her bow. There is a rocking and lapping as the waves bow their heads and bring The Macaroon onto their shoulders. The lapping is a thousand dogs in hushed tones watching a new moon rise. Their eyes are fixed and faces drawn serious as this day will become one of many. The weight of the boat with dog, bring the waves to think of their birth; they talk of how they came to this place, a silent hurricane of mist laid gently down on this large rock looking wistfully towards a distant sun. The trees bend closer still, giggling and passing notes of pine and damp earth, and the waves sigh with their thoughts, and the air is thick letting the Macaroon and the dog drift up into the sky. 

They are alone for this moment to feel the gentle pull of the world on their bodies. To see the trees like grass below. The dog curls up in the bow with his head resting on The Macaroon’s worn wood edge. He sees the stars placed around him with a careful precision that reminds him to hope for soft ground under his paws and an awareness of all those thoughts buried in league upon league; thoughts that do not end, but are simple. 

The oars tap gently and the dog and The Macaroon, together, watch the moon rise.

Alone together, alone

The first time we killed spiders together we thought we were alone. We were riding the 11 bus from downtown to the valley. I sat at the front of the bus in benches meant for older people or those with canes and legs in plaster. My surroundings were lost as I starred transfixed on a small spider making its way from under the bench just a few inches to the outside of my left shoe. Maybe transfixed is a poor word: I was alone with that spider. I pushed my weight into my heel, lifted my toe, and pivoted my shoe so that a treaded ceiling loomed over those 8 spindly legs. The muscles around my ankle twitched as I waited a second before slapping my toes down. Each of my toes was a tuning fork struck by the crunch they felt below them. A crunch that blossomed and rose into a moment where all was definitive and I sat perfectly alone. A crunch that I realized was echoed about 3 feet away from me, where on the opposite bench I became aware of a pair of Hunter boots. One toe pointed straight ahead, the other askew, matching the angle of my marauding foot. Above the boot line peaked accents of bright argyle socks all belonging to a woman whose face had thoughts like mine, a face revealing a moment thought perfectly alone. We locked eyes and both slowly lifter our shoe to reveal to each other the small world that we shared with no one. 

This is how I met Whitney.

On our first date we went to a restaurant that occupied a basement of an older brick building. We drifted through most of the dinner, swimming along in the eddies of waiters walking by, and the swells of a maitre d' fiddling with the lighting. It was a background to a small moment, a prologue to the beginning of some story, until the moment where Whitney's eyes fell to the wall spotting a small spider following the masonry lines and my eyes cast downward to what looked like a black bean erratically crossing the floor. The sound of her hand on the wall and my foot on the floor almost sounded like a small symphony; rising tones and a violin trying to create innuendo. But if you could pause the moment and zoom in to those sound waves erupting like so many kids running towards summer, you'd see that they never mixed and dissolved, only touched and moved on. One was the conjugal visit to the other.

We killed spiders often. Over drinks. In the park. As we laid in bed listening to the neighbors tree tap the side of the house. 

Time passed.

The last time I saw Whitney was on the front porch of a house we rented for a weekend in order to get out of the city. My hands were limp at my side and I was out of words. She pressed her cheek onto her shoulder, her body trying to be small and warm at the same time. Her eyes swallowed up the deck; dark clouds with too much time. She slowly turned and walked towards the stairs. Her exit was swift, except for the one quick step she took out of tempo. 

The sound was small and brutal.