I turn on something Baroque. Somehow techo just doesn’t seem right . . .
She says, “Well they can’t arrest you for something you only thought about doing . . . I mean they can’t take you in for just talking? Right?”
I put on some water for tea and search the cabinets for some reminiscent trace of the flax-seed cookies I bought last week.
She says, “That whole clipper chip thing that Bill Clinton wanted, it failed didn’t it? Like they would want to hear what I am saying half the time . . .,” She is examining my potted palm plant as though I had captured it against its will and forced the poor thing to live under these abominable conditions. As though free range potted palms live more exciting lives, running free in the sizzle of an unfiltered sun, dancing gently with an untamed breeze.
I consider Chinese noodles . . . She hated them the last time. Hmmmmm, maybe an appetizer of pitas with hummus? Toaster? Where is the stupid toaster?
Just before the pitas are done, she chuckles and says, “The price of freedom is vigilance. You know, I don’t really understand the relationship between unelected thought police perverts invading my privacy and the continuance of a free and democratic nation.”
I get sidetracked, wondering if the founding fathers might be pleased with our current state of affairs. The tea is ready.
She says, “I am a poet, and who can be a poet if the government is constantly second guessing your every movement? Poets dig for dirt and sing like caged birds when they find it. Poets run through the woods like wild animals but scream like babies when you catch them.”
She has a lovely, wicked smile. Her eyebrow raises (the left one).
She says, “We poets are Magic. We get it, get the beat. We dance with the constellations even when the night is overcast. Dance like snakes in silence. We bear an empathy so cancerous and hurtful and we never see ourselves for what we are.”
I watch her, watching me, watching her . . .
She says, “You, on the other hand, have not noticed the passage of time, and like Matsuo Basho, you are older now. You invited August and now complain about the chill.
The flickering candles dance her eyes. Youth has the power to swiftly pass, half the hours I have, have vanished. Pain and knowledge are a wisdom of sorts. Yet something dances in her eyes, something that has never faded.
She pilfers my best bottle of wine and digs in the drawer for a cork screw.
I cook spring onions in rain water with yellow millet. I cook with soy, sesame oil and ginger. The meat is browning nicely.
She offers me some of my own wine, saying, “Drink.”
I drain my wine-cup two times over, trying to satisfy the beast in my chest, that wants to eat the world and having that, eat the sun and moon and stars, and then . . . nasty beast.
She says, “The bright flowers have gone from the world, but they are only sleeping.”
Says, “Poetry unfolds the heart like an ever opening flower, Prose is the language of Reason and dead old men. Poetry is a language of the heart.”
I am leaning over the sink and she comes up behind me, puts her arms around me and places her nose on the back of my neck. I have never known a more awkward or deliciously intimate moment.
She says, “You know . . . I am a less than perfect girl, but that’s OK. This is a less than perfect world.”