July 31st, 2010
We’re home now and the dog is glad to see us. The kid too. Tomorrow we are celebrating his birthday. Sushi. All you can eat which is the only kind of sushi we can afford to do with the kids, since they eat a lot of sushi.
Two tech whiz kids from Seattle are coming to stay with us for a few days and work on how to get the press to do a better job of sales, marketing and publicity. Tanya and Kelly Davio. I am picking them up at LAX tomorrow and now that I’m going to bed, I’m wishing I didn’t have to drive down there, but it will be okay. LAX is always a mess.
We had dinner tonight at Percival Everett and Danzy Senna’s house. Percival is a great cook, a salmon dish that was amazing. And they had friends over—a couple Adam and Marlena, Adam is a cool actor who reminded me of all the actors I met when I first got to LA, except he was very laid back.
Marlena just moved from NY and although some people move from NY and for a while are scared of their own shadow, LA being all heat and love and sex and white noise, I think she’s going to be fine. Percival and Danzy are almost cooler than people have a right to be. And their kids too.
I love Los Angeles for its palm trees and heavy golden heat, and the phony people and the beautiful people, the beggars and poster children for anorexia and the creative wildness this beach city spawns, we all have to work so hard to just live indoors. I too want to be a genius, we can all say, and then we work out some more and dream of the beginning or the end of the world, there is always an apocalypse brewing and if not, we can make movies about them.
I need to finish my book, Wild Horses this week. Here’s another piece from a section where I’m growing up in the cult and we get turned out in the woods to help us prepare for the Tribulation:
You are crying quietly while we walk along, so I promise to fix you something to eat the next day that you like. I have hidden food against emergency. Raisins. You’ll see. You don’t say anything when we get to our lean to. We unroll our sleeping bags and climb into them. You put your wet shoes and socks out to dry. “Rigel,” I say. “Saiph,” you say. “Bellatrix,” “Betelgeuse,” “Well that’s Orion.”
You say, “If you peeled the world like an onion and outside were the bad people and inside the good people, you know all the counselors at this place would be gone.” “And our parents.” “Would we be left?”
“I don’t know. I don’t even know if we’ll be taken up to heaven.”
“Why would we be?” You say. “God would be cracked to let us in.”
“We’re going to starve tomorrow.”
“No we won’t. I won’t let you.”
“Let’s do something,” you say. “Let’s tear open heaven and walk in. Let’s be the rulers of it, you and me.”
“Isn’t heaven supposed to be ruled by a man?”
“Not my heaven,” you say.
“Like this,” you say. You draw a long line across the lightening sky. “Now when I speak, you and I will raise our arms and tear open the sky. It will be like slicing through a sail and watching the wind come through and the whole boat rock to a stop. Our boat goes where we want it to. We walk inside heaven. And we rule.”
There’s a pause while I wait. I don’t know if we can change anything, but I can see you need this. Orion is still visible against the summer horizon as we lift our arms. We slice open the sky in one grand gesture and as we do so, the clouds fall left and right and blue appears between them. The white falling back as if our door were blue and open and into our own world. We conduct the sky then. We watch the clouds fly left and right. We pull in our arms when they are tired and cold.
“We’ve taken more interest in this planet and its weather than God has in two thousand years,” you say and I have to agree. We have shaken off darkness, brought in light and summertime. We finally sleep, and when we wake, I catch a few trout and find some flowers to make a stew, but of course, I go easy on the marigolds so as not to poison us. It is mostly dandelions. You like the stew. You spend the morning shoring up our lean to. You get enough branches laced together to keep out most of the rain. We swim in the stream in the afternoon and then lie out on the rocks. The New England sun is weak and pale in our leafy world. We go on like this for three days and three nights. When it is time to walk home, we pack up and fall in step on the trail down Blueberry Mountain.
When we come down off the hill I wonder about going back to the masses of people, the canings, the marching, the loud stillness of that moment between when George says, “Now,” and a beating begins.
“Don’t forget,” you whisper as the school comes into sight. “We control heaven now.” When I look back at you, you are laughing. We both start to laugh. It isn’t something we do much. But we are both thinking of the look on George’s face if we tell him that we control heaven, darkness, light.