We were playing Mancala in Bozeman Or

March 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

We all had beards and we were all drinking beers and the lights were just low enough and I thought to myself that death wasn’t such a big deal.

Or somewhere in Montana when I had promised a God I didn’t believe in that I would be happy if only for a dry road, and when it came I was.

Or the night he visited me in the cabin after so many weeks alone and we drank mid-shelf scotch until the sky lightened to the color of jazz, the way it does before a Midwestern sunrise, and I was not afraid to sleep.

Or that goat that was decked out in punk rock, with the studded collar and the pink Mohawk, wandering down the alleyway behind the Magic House, because sometimes a goat in an alley is enough.

And I have said to myself, “this is what it means to experience the sense contentedness.” And if I don’t realize it and remind myself, then I don’t feel it. I wish sometimes it were more like a drug. I wish it took you along with it. Sometimes when you’re on drugs you have to remind yourself you’re on them, but you don’t have to remind yourself you’re on drugs to be on drugs.

It’s like when you love a piece of music and the music makes you feel deeply and so you wonder why that is. And you tear it apart and you analyze it and you find that Neapolitan or that odd but perfect voicing and you love the music in a new way because you understand its genius. But you don’t love it like you did before. Because somehow your “understanding” of it, if that’s what you want to call it, took away your feeling from it. It isn’t that one is better, exactly. But in a way it is.

I get tired of explaining myself to myself. Of making a night at the bar or a day on the mountain some sort of exercise in ekphrasis.


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