EMPTY SPACE

 

You enjoy a wonderful dinner

You have sex with a beautiful individual

Maybe your mate

Maybe not

You walk the beach at low tide

Sun sinking into the ocean in a myriad of color

The sand and water also

A myriad of color forever in flux

Your arms are wrapped around someone you love

Your chin on their shoulder

Feeling their hands clasped behind your back

Intensely feeling…living the shared love

And then…

The other side

Loss

Horrific loss

A gaping hole torn through your being and soul

A hole you know can never be repaired

You are wounded

Forever

Or…

You are hit

Hard!

A few millimeters of fluid cushion and protect the brain

They say a good right hand will bounce the brain through this fluid

Bouncing it off the skull

The lights blink

Black and blue spots appear in your field of vision

Damage

Damage done

So what then?

Or more importantly

What is the context within which these events are taking place?

Context?

How about the Poet?

You know the Poet

A rust bucket of a freighter I was sent out to in Galveston, Texas

A bizarre set of circumstances kept me from leaving with that ship

I went onboard

Drank some cognac

Had breakfast with the crew

Then had to leave because inexplicitly two of us had been sent to the same job

And because they lost my luggage on the bus from Houston

And then could not find it!

The other had arrived first

The job was his

I walked down the gangway an hour before sailing on a bright sunny morning

The ship left the dock bound for sea

The ship and crew

Were never seen again

I think about this at times when I am watching my sons interact with the world at large

Think about this

And the name – The Poet!

Other times…

Three times in my life I have had a knife held to my ribs

The Ritz on Martha’s Vineyard

A middle age guy had come up behind me as I sat at the bar

Leaned into me and pressed the point of a knife into my ribs

All concealed by his hanging coat

He was babbling nonsense in my ear

I was smiling

I was not afraid

Maybe I am just stupid

But, I knew he was not going to stab me

He became bored with my lack of reaction and just walked away

My older boy looks at the button on the dash

What is that?

That is a push button stop and start

You do not need the key

Pause…as I turn to him and ask

You know how many times I have pushed that on 95 at 83 or 84 miles an hour?

He looks at me blankly

Why would you do that?

To see what would happen

What happened?

Nothing…it was disappointing and anti-climatic

A long pause

Then…

“You have fucking issues!”

Yes I guess I do

But I am trying to make a point

I am trying to speak about something abstract

I am trying to speak about the context within which all these events are taking place

Just as I knew that drunk was not going to stab me

I know there is something else

Something much bigger than the sum of all these events

The context

The organization and intelligence within the empty space surrounding these events

Within this space is where I now make my bed

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed

It simply changes form

The dry husks surrounding the ears of corn

Simply fall away

And become one with the earth

Sex is good

Or should I say, it can be good

Lord knows it is not always…

Low tide at sunset is now part of my very being

Part of my very soul

The words of Marvelous Marvin Hagler resonate with me

“I love a good fight”

And the seasoned trainer’s words

You really do not know what you have until seeing the reaction after being hit

It is the empty organized space in between these events

It is when things stop

When the clamor ceases

While laying still in the context of all and everything

While laying still in the surrounding empty space

I pull the shades on life

And leave everything behind

It is then I think of her

I become one with her

It is then

She allows me a brief glimpse of the other side

…………………………………………………….