During her noon lunch break, she went to the local park, nibbling a sandwich while glancing at the actions of others. People sat harmlessly on benches, in ones and twos. Some guided dogs along paths, and off paths. Some listened to music with things stuck in their ears, staring into mini-screens before their faces, absorbed in their self-created world sitting there running away from any possible stray thoughts.
She came upon a young man who had staked a solitary place on a modest circular area of grass. He held four balls, and was moving them meditatively around with his fingers. A sack lay limp behind him. He stood for a moment looking pensively down at the four balls, weighing them in his hands, two balls clutched in each hand, now moving them slightly up and down. Without warning or obvious preparation, he tossed them up, one at a time, in an arc, ready to move them about through the air.
She observed the excitement, enjoying the circular whirl of balls for five, maybe six seconds. One moment they were in the air, trading places, then suddenly the next, with soft thuds, the three balls had landed at the juggler’s feet. He bent down from the waist, no leg bending, to pick them up, then straightening and without any obvious preparation tossed them up, began juggling, five, six seconds later, three balls, a simultaneous single thud, all at his feet. Again he bent, retrieved, made them dance in the air for their hopeful six seconds, before the three balls, always three balls, equally and at the same time, hit the ground as one at his feet.
The juggler did not curse, did not look around in shame, did not recognize any form of public humiliation. He calmly repeated. Picking up, tossing, the inevitable falling.
She continued looking from a distance, waiting, sandwich nibbling, half-hoping for a sudden miracle of artistic coordination, some internal click that would allow all the balls to remain in the air, like rapid satellites circling this young man’s head, a triumph, a break-through, foretelling a real true future as a juggler.
Three balls again thudded to the ground, and she could no longer take the pain and turned away and walked away and resisted looking back at the eternal hope of mastering a creative act fighting a clear lack of talent.
Thud, she heard in the distance back there. Thud.
Archive for February, 2011
Once in a while I do a short video on some matches. Usually memories a book of matches I’ve kept when going somewhere, doing whatever I did. Places that handed out matches, which they do less and less because of the recent horror of smoking, so matches are a sort of endangered species.
I never smoked, but I collected, haphazardly and without specific purpose, matches.
I got this one from the Grand Canyon when I first visited.
And here’s the LINK TO THE VIDEO I made and have fun. Thanks for dropping by. V++
She flew off her feet and landed on her butt when he pushed her out of his way so he could get to where he was going. She stood up slowly, brushed herself off, and gazed at his back as he diminished in the distance, hurrying away. She took a step toward him.
She landed with a hard thump and four red marks on her forehead where he had pushed her with the fingers of his left hand. This time he stood there, looking down. Her looking up. She stood, slowly, carefully, her eyes never leaving his. Took a step toward him. He put his fingertips right back on the same places on her forehead and pushed. Harder.
She was getting used to landing on her backside and seeing life from this angle. Or if not life, at least him. The guy who kept pushing her down when she approached him. She thought she should maybe sit there for a while and think over getting up again for him, but the feelings were too strong, too wild. She was up and moving toward him again watching his hands, both of them, getting ready to push her again.
For a few weeks now she had taken to wearing cushions on her backside. Her bottom had become so black and blue with this pushing down business that it was starting to hurt and could not be ignored even with this overwhelming instinct, need, passion, this desire. So when she fell, this time on gravel in his driveway, it hurt some, but not as much, because of the cushion. In fact, she bounced a bit, which was different.
Next time when she landed on her rear end in the parking lot of the liquor store, she put her hands down for landing stability and sharp-edged pebbles dug into her hands. She cried out. She looked up to see if this mattered to the man. But he had already turned away.
Again she fell, like a fluffy animal tossed on the floor.
Once more she fell and this time she fell into the ocean and a wave came and the salt went into her wounds and stung and the man stepped back, ever determined. She got up again, ever determined. They stood facing each other, her hands ready to grab him, his hands ready to repel her.
As she fell, she grabbed a bit of his leather coat and wouldn’t let go and as she fell, he lost his balance. He came after her. She landed hard on her bottom, on her back, in the dirt beside the bushes. He landed hard, on her, his front, on her front. It was progress. Perhaps a breakthrough. They lay like this in a public space until he pushed up and away from her.
Next time he pushed her away and she fell, she felt, or she thought she felt, his heart wasn’t really in it so much. Not like before. So she fell, more than ever, in love.
The next time, he didn’t walk away after he had pushed her down. He turned away, but he was not walking away. At last. Finally. She knew in her heart of hearts that now she was not the only one falling.