Saturday, March 16, 2013

Running Only Helps You Escape

He writes "I would like to tell you a story, one that is mostly true, and to the extent it's not true, it's only because having never once told it I'm a little out of practice. What it is, I saw two angels once in Saint Louis. It was like seeing a rainbow - a really bright clear rainbow that was right there within arm's reach.

"I was still drinking in those days and the woman I was sharing a motel room with had some wine so we were drinking that and listening to the radio - Chopin, I think, and then Debussy - and I was writing poetry on motel stationary and some blank pages torn out of the Gideon's. Every time this woman said something I would hold up my hand for silence which I now regret but I wasn't trying to be a jerk. Poetry has always been sort of hard for me in terms of sustaining my concentration.

"It was pretty late and it started to rain and this woman finally said she was going to get a drink at the little bar next door where people were at least speaking to one another. Probably that was supposed to goad me into tagging along but instead I said I was going for a walk which didn't make her happy. It was strange how badly at that moment I wanted to get out of that motel and be alone in the city.    

"Anyway, it was raining quite hard - much harder than I expected - but I refused to rush. I decided to be the one person in Saint Louis who wasn't running on account of rain. I had this idea I would stroll down to the Mississippi river and listen to it and maybe even taste it but I got lost. I was cold and wet and started to run but of course that didn't help. Running only helps you escape something, it can't help you find yourself.

"I ended up in an alley, vomiting and shivering like crazy, and when I looked up I saw them. They were very pale but also full of light and they were watching me. They were shaped vaguely like human beings but they didn't have recognizable faces so I don't know how I knew they were watching me but they were. We stayed that way a long time, the three of us in that dark smelly alley, not speaking or saying a word, until some decision somewhere got made and I wiped my mouth and walked straight back to the motel as if I'd lived in Saint Louis half a dozen lifetimes. The woman was gone and she didn't come back but I stayed up until almost dawn having a ball of a time writing poems.

"It's funny what you remember and carry with you and call a life, isn't it?"

No comments:

Post a Comment