The second installment inspired by Tuesday’s outing.
Lurching gently up and down the block we danced around our options: too much grease or too little booze guiding our eyes from door to door. A mystery lurked behind the tinted windows of a restaurant which beckoned us in.
Of the three already seated we were fractions smaller than microns and treated so as the well-oiled waiters reluctantly greeted us. Freshly built steps and our love of heat carried us to the roof coated in splintering chairs and wafting curtains of white linen for fruity drinks. Here, in the high and abandoned warmth of the rooftop, we dallied with the bartender over our newly acquired potions and treats. Upon his departure the disappointment rallied in my companion’s eyes and rested heavy at the corners of her mouth turning down her words in gentle discernment: this was not magic. Inspiration fluted through the alleyways and chased the sun from the pavement as we descended to the street. Inspiration whispered in door hinges, oven exhaust and the weak pleas of homeless men.
My friend and I are endeavoring to write more. In an attempt to inspire ourselves and each other we are undertaking “inspiration challenges” to local sites and attractions. This is the first installment of the first writing after our first challenge outing. Enjoy.
A mundane Tuesday greeted our cheeks with oppressive heat goaded forward by the low-hanging sun. Slowly we crawled forth from the hollow porch and dragged our heels across uneven slabs of cement, the drops of sweat matching our pace as they descended from our knees. With words belabored by summer air we busied our minds as the distance clicked beneath our heels: a wrong word, a giggling flow of carnal words, an awed word for trees. As we lost ourselves we found the entry to our destination. Favored by cats, the door rested slightly below the earth and complained of a faulty foundation as it scraped open against the ground.
We entered with a cat underfoot and basked in the pleasant greeting of the attending clerk. She was a friendly soul who floated throughout the shop tidying and assisting all while herding cats. Our senses delighted in the onslaught: walls covered floor to ceiling with goods, trinkets and magical accoutrement waited for our novice sight and touch. We searched, as though through a seed catalog, for things which called to us as strongly as we to them. Through candles, gemstones, oils, pendants, books, herbs, teas, incense and altars we delved hoping for a connection guided by something greater than our curiosity.
With a bag plump with periwinkle, honeysuckle, oils and sage I happily waited while my companion packed her bag with blessed candles. The promise of an impending ritual occupied our minds while our tongues wagged about skeletons and fake black cats.
A snippet inspired by my drive home the other evening.
Sometimes life feels too easy: driving home with a belly just slightly too full with indulgences well after dark and your legs tingle while your feet float away from the pedals. You’re a sliver of waste in a river and in its entirety you become nothing; your doing and undoing go unnoticed and unclaimed. Here, in this vast flow, your end does not make you a martyr, it simply marks that you once were and now are not.
A brief weightlessness, a frightening reprieve from life’s cement yoke which seems always to ride heavy on your shoulders, seems unreal. You don’t feel this way. Life for you is a pulpy affair that clogs and stymies its own flow leaving you little energy to do even the simplest things.
Of a friend’s passing, I wrote:
The evening lulled into me hulking chills and a blanket of deep, grey lead for my heart. An odd sense of disconnection and guilt dusted my synapses as my thoughts stretch through the clouds to pierce the sky as though a flame, gently flicked by turbulent wind, grew from my ear.
I forget to speak to the dead sometimes.