Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Friend John

2Pac is Medicine!

Can you feel that?

I do.

But this is not about Tupac. It's something different. Today was strange. She came back.

A memory came back. I remembered...

You were my first love, my first touch, my first kiss.
To look at you was to see the world
To hold you in my arms was to be in the embrace of fire.

Your breath was my breath
Your sighs my sighs
Your laughter my laughter.

I remember everything we did together
From the first time I saw you
To the first time I could not love only you
To the time I discovered so far away I was still in love with you.

I can still feel your nose tip nuzzling into the hair at the back of my neck
I can still taste the Stoney tints on your quick, darting tongue in my mouth
I can still feel how your thigh cupped into my mine
After all these years I can still taste you.

I remember everything.

Tonight I will be walking the streets. Again. After forever.

I won’t be at this BHH, the next one, or all the BHHs that will ever come…I won’t be there… I’ll be the guy standing outside, opposite Mateo’s, watching y’all. I’ll be that guy.

No, it’s not because:

"I know how it feel to wake up fucked up
Pockets broke as hell, another rock to sell
People look at you like you is the user, selling drugs to all the losers
Mad Buddha abuser
But they don’t know about the stress filled day
Baby on the way, mad bills to pay"

Nah, it’s not like that. I’m not alone. I got a friend with me. A companion. A little stiff, a little formal… a bit shy...

But when he flows, he flows!

He’s going to tell me again the story of his family. The story of his life…

“To Forsyte eyes Bosinney appeared to have no habitat, he seemed one of those rare and unfortunate men who go through life surrounded by circumstance, property, acquaintances, and wives that do not belong to them…”

A little bit too about the woman he loved because…

“He had never met a woman so capable of inspiring affection. They could not go anywhere without his seeing how all the men were attracted to her; their looks, manners, voices, betrayed it; her behaviour under this attention had been beyond reproach. That she was one of those women—not too common in the Anglo-Saxon race—born to be loved and to love, who when not loving are not living…”

Maybe she loved him too well.

Admittedly, Galsworthy could have done more with a bit of more wildness in his writing. He was tamed. No novel of passion should be dedicated to the woman you married. It don’t work. Believe me. I have tried it. Wives are not muses.

The Indian Summer was fantastic to be inspired by the rueful memory of the woman you pursued, who all the time you wanted her, preferred to hang out, as
Eternal Bachelor would stridently put it, with the bad boys. You know, the ones with no morals and with so many notches on their belts, they were on their second dozen of belts! But not many people can stand the sweet that is in The Indian Summer and some days, even I can’t read that book without having a difficulty in locating my smelling salts. But when you’re in the mood and you know…

“Two days of rain, and the summer set in bland and sunny. Old Jolyon walked and talked with Holly. At first he felt taller and full of a new vigour; and then he felt restless. Almost every afternoon they would enter the coppice, and walk as far as the log. ‘Well, she’s not here!’ he would think, ‘Of course not!’ and he would feel shorter, and drag his feet walking up the hill home, with his hand clapped to his left side. Now and then the thought would move in him: ‘Did she come--- or did I dream it?’ and he would stare at space…”

Is one of the most moving passages you’ll ever get the chance to read in all literature and considering how long written literature has been around, it’s a bit staggering to consider that Galsworthy wrote it, an easy going man who did not have that much faith in his writing ability and needed his wife at the end of each ‘thoughtless’ writing bout to tell him he had spent the morning better than if they had called on their neighbour’s who had a standing offer for breakfast to have him over with her for breakfast and maybe lunch. Yes, it’s true! Galsworthy was that insecure. In spite of winning a 1932 Nobel Prize for Literature! Galsworthy might have written…but he was not sure…

“I can’t bear this part of it,” said Jolyon suddenly.

“Let me do it, Dad. He never cared much for me.”

Jolyon shook his head.

“We’ll lift him very gently, leaves and all. I’d rather not see him again. I’ll take his head. Now!”

With extreme care they raised the old dog’s body, whose faded tan and white showed here and there under the leaves stirred by the wind. They laid it, heavy, cold, and unresponsive, in the grave, and Jolly spread more leaves over it, while Jolyon, deeply afraid to show emotion before his son, began quickly shoveling the earth on to the still shape. There went the past! If only there were a joyful future to look forward to! It was like stamping down earth on one’s own life.”

was any good!

I know this is hard to believe, but Galsworthy nearly threw it out! So what you’re reading, Galsworthy was not sure if you would like it! And I was so sure from the beginning of!

I never told John this. But the day I first got my own copy, I wrote immediately at the back of The Forsyte Saga:

“I discovered this wonderful book in the Aga Khan Store room for unwanted books left to rot on Saturday 19, February, 2000, around 2pm. And my reaction was absolute incredulity, disbelief. Today, Sunday, I have read only bits of it but I can already say that this is the John Galsworthy I looked for in Swan Song, glimpsed in flashes.

The style is all here in its elusive magicalness; lyrical, lucid, light, profound, intoxicating, luxuriant; one of the best prose styles in the 20th century and in the history of the novel. Vastly better than Edith Wharton’s portrayal of the upper classes which is cold, impersonal, destructive. Galsworthy makes them human, understandable, a joy to read even if the pain is never far from the surface. The pain of the embalmed life. I admire the man.”

Let’s go walking!


nahjaj said...

nice post!!!

ish said...

damn, just when i thought i'd read every book worth reading, u go and put ideas in my head!

Cheri said...

The first poem up there just killed me. Sweet death!

QueenB said...

it kinda all adds up!nyc post

eddiie said...

2pac never stops appearing.You might be mistaken that the guy is still alive..

Rae said...

I love the poem! and yes... we girls have this "security in numbers" so we always bring a friend..duh

leos child said...

deep stuff sppill some more i will dedicate my time to reading this though i have never heard of the book i must say am now a believer

Scofield's mind said...

damn one word..this post is SMOKIN!