Tuesday, October 04, 2005

When The Temple Fell

H. has been patient with helping me train but I know I'll never feel quite ready. Seeing his obvious feelings for V. makes me question, too, how much he is willing to sacrifice. What binds us together? The time is soon coming when we'll find out. I will, in a strange way, miss this neighborhood. I spend a lot of time walking at night and only get a few inquisitive glances. All my communication conducted in smiles and hand signals in this city within a city.

One thing is certain. They are frightened, and impatient. They don't know their weaknesses and I'm learning my strength.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Future Is Unwritten

Another cafe. This one smells vaguely of garbage, has falling-apart furniture with stuffing poking through the holes. Two women, sitting together near the door to the alley, each talking on cellphones and clutching paper cups. A man blowing cigarette smoke through the open front door. I am aware that I am being followed. I accept this. I have my escape plan, for now. I can't leave this city yet. It is too important, this peace and sense of purpose we have together. When I'm alone I notice hunger and hurt, and disturbing headlines. Last night I could not sleep and wandered through the park, practically daring an attack. I rested on a bench, under the violet sky, thinking of the Gandhi quote: "Be the change you want to see in the world." That I cannot be. Perhaps a destructive nature can be good, if it re-establishes balance. If. What if I fail? I thought about the desert community, those children in the school room. Is that what I want? I lack a utopian imagination. My mind fixes on individuals. An individual. I am, essentially, a servant.

The cruelest assessment I ever made about myself is that I cannot change. Yet somehow it happened anyway. How is it then, that I can trust my own strength?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

in the grid

The city offers its own escapes... a different route to take home at night, a different coffeeshop to pause in in the morning. This one has a row of nearly full-length windows stretching along the front, and as I sit with my back to a brick wall, I can watch the business-suited passersby lose their money to a broken newspaper dispenser. They struggle for a moment, then go on their way, already forgetting. When I try to tell people the paper is mostly full of distractions, I encounter the kind of resistance reserved for evangelists. There are certain things one cannot "joke" about. Even though I am not joking. These distractions are very serious indeed.

I don't know if the man who came out of the basement stairwell last night and grabbed me wanted my laptop, or was some kind of untrained merc. But in the moment that I broke his arm and left him howling on the sidewalk I felt, in the fullest sense, the days of my illness were over. As much as I have longed to be free of my burdens I could not live happily as a defenseless person, without the exhilaration of combat.

Sometimes it is better to fight than to run... fighting to stay here, for example. Fighting to remain back among friends. And as for the complexity those friendships, I could write pages more...

This morning I stood outside an Eastern Orthodox church, as the old ladies in their bright summer suits clustered outside after mass. I wonder what their god would think of someone who can only show love by bringing death to those who would harm the one she's sworn to protect? Is there a space in between the circles of hell reserved just for me?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

escape

I suppose our exit went rather smoothly, considering. When I am grounded for too long and that fear overtakes me--fear of my monstrous former self--sometimes I ignore the real danger. The life of a citizen has a seductive quality I always underestimate. This too, is part of who I am. And although I am distracted by this split, the ones looking for us never will be.

But when I heard the car approach I was ready. I awoke V., and all she said was, "What have you done with Oscar?" I told her I let him go.

For a second I was afraid she wouldn't come with me without the cat, then we climbed out the kitchen window and I waited beside the road, cursing my leg while she walked the rest of the way to town through the fields for a car. Now we are in a cramped city hotel room, tiny faded flowers on the cheap bedspreads and the stale smell of old cigarettes on clinging to the khaki curtains. The sound of sirens outside is amost soothing. V. watches old black and white movies on television while I examine the exits and wait for an associate to bring a doctor to look at my leg.

I feel calm. Strong. In control. Decisions made smoothly. What was happening to me back there?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

voices outside

I am restless in this room. I have not heard from my friends in a while. I am not sure what to do. Without G. it's hard to keep our purpose in mind. That day on the beach seems like a dream. I think I imagined a meaning that wasn't there. It's like two worlds have converged. That moment when I thought V. disappeared I realized... it's not simply that this can't be done alone. I don't want to be alone.

Why do I post any of this? Because I can. Maybe I am addicted to it. Mostly I like looking to see if anyone's thoughts match mine. If anyone else is struggling against the world as its been constructed. Looking for something else to believe in.

It's time to move soon. If you are out there, send me some sign.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

disappearance

How long did I think it could go on, the two of us, living here, undetected? If it were just me I could hide forever, but I think I have been expecting too much from V. I had only gone for a walk. Actually walking outside is like a gift in itself... V. had found an oddly-shaped piece of driftwood to help me get around. It looks like something that ought to be owned by a mountain man with a wild beard but it works much better than depending on the few corners and counters in our house to prop me up. When I returned to the house, V. was gone. (The cat betrayed its intelligence by promptly slinking under her bed). At sunset she had not returned and I took my sword and circled the house, not sure I'd return. No sign of her in any direction. I settled down to wait, away from the house, not knowing whether to be angry with her or not. What if she had been caught? How could I save her? I heard her approach before I saw her. She was sort of singing to herself. She looked ashamed when she saw me and said she'd gone into town. Did you talk to anyone? Did anyone notice you? Were you followed back? She looked ready to cry. "I'm going crazy with you out here!" she said, and ran inside. Of course she was noticed. Of course she was followed. I sat outside watching and waiting long past nightfall.

Monday, June 13, 2005

in the meantime

I do see your point... sometimes a cat is just a cat, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar... let me put it this way: I'd rather not be sharing my living space with this creature. I would have preferred if V. had not lured it in the house while I was sleeping and I'd feel a good deal better if her new pet were not staring at me right now, all wounded eyes and patchy, mottled brown fur. To V. it is just another hurt creature, one more appreciative of her kindess than I appear to be. I hate the cat because I can't look at it without seeing its potential as a surveillance device, but I know that I am not an insane person, even after everything. Someone, sometime, has to lead them back to G.

"You must be feeling better," V. said last night. "You're getting paranoid again."

Do I detect a trace of bitterness? I suspect we have been driving ourselves slightly crazy in this sweltering heat, and our tacit understanding that silence is the best policy. I stare at my leg, white and bandaged as if it does not belong to me. I feel almost perfectly well, until I stand and try to move and then I realize how slowly I am recovering.

Without the luxury of my usual habits, I've been spending more time on the internet, searching for some sign, some hidden clue, and sometimes just losing myself in the chatter.

Monday, June 06, 2005

visitor

Something woke me from a deep sleep early this morning and the first thing I saw was a pair of yellow eyes staring in through the window. I yelled for V. It was rather embarrassing once I heard my voice, like a child having a nightmare. V. peered out the window and laughed. "It's a cat," she said. She went to the door but the creature ran away. I lay back but didn't sleep. I was thinking about the splicers. I wonder if they've created new creatures for spying. If they know we are here.