Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Holiday: Day Two

Where is the spotlight this time? It began in many places, previous events that culminate up whenever the family is together. These tiny beginnings all coalesce and they are recalled in sequence depending on who is telling which story. Contorted crying faces, the gnashing of teeth, the pulling of hair. It is all so difficult and so satisfying.

Simple things become impossible, and oddly, the insurmountable seems illusory and perfectly doable at the back of the stage where all the sandbags and ropes hang waiting. At the front the lights play off emotional faces searching for sympathy from onlookers. At the front the lights shine off the sequins so brightly you can’t see the rips or loose threads. Instead of growing up, you grow out. Thin, bright and unreal.

She called me from the mountains the day after she arrived. “I’m here and so are they. They’re eating each other.” It had been easier apparently than cleaning out the kitchen to cook something more mundane. She ran on fumes for a few hours, a bulldozer in the china shop and dug a beachhead from which to make next moves. He called in from other mountain tops too far north for an air-drop, so we did our best and manned the cannons for a long walk back to the island.

A magic green dragon is bagged and carried from her cliff-face to the circus. She eyes the loud birds through white bars and coughs corrosive spit balls when the door is closed. Her breath could melt bars and the cement floor if she was home, but this place is wide, fluorescent and exhausting. She challenges each powerful squawk with her galactic eyes and waits quietly for a chance to stomp out roaring; to return home.

A tiny journey turns the spotlight from a quiet cannibal gathering to the desperate, the frightening, the complete shock of a rear-end run around the city. A small crash and red cheeks become the divas flailing hands and weepy face. The shock of it all, the thrill. A trembling lower lip as he bravely faces papers and schedules and phone calls. Big hugs in the living room, deep sighs. All okay, he soldiers on.

The light swings across the width of maps as a heart stops on a tarmac and a mermaid sardines in grey leather all night. Vertigo and dry air make static spark off sparkly scales vaselined and tightly tinned for the occasion. Tiny lights become rooms, squares of circuitry enlarge into roofs and doors and windows. We hug and stretch and stroke the cats hello.

A broken thumb picks out notes on a banjo. They float out from between mountain sides and find a road, a saxophone’s bell, a smouldering roar. She distracts the women long enough to take their teeth from legs and handy glasses. Her notes meet the winter fruit in the Rockies, and further to the family ham in a craggy, coastal suburb. The dragon calls and lifts our music. Until we are together again, you work stage left, I’m hauling ropes stage right. Leave the lights on him and meet me out back tomorrow.

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