A maple leaf, a two-inch brook trout, an execution
That which you worship is the first thought that comes to your mind when you are suffering anxiety.
A Night On The Beach
To celebrate the arrival of the new year, Grace and I went to the south coast with our friend Pete. We stayed only a short walk from the beach, in a house that belonged to Andrew, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer who had flown home for the holidays.
That winter, after Betse and I discovered we were infertile, I became fascinated by pearls. My passion for them resembled an addiction, though I hesitate to call it that. There was a ritual aspect to it, a heady anticipation, an urgency I didn’t always understand.
One night when I was sixteen, my father got out of bed, went into the living room, and fell to the floor. He was a big man, and from my own bed I heard the noise and felt the house shake and heard my mother call out, “Roy! Roy! My word!”
As I listen, a finch flies by outside the window, its gold breast in shiny contrast to the black and white of its wings. My son rarely talks about that trip to Peru three years ago, during which he was shot and his friend Patchen was killed.
I was a daily drinker, a frequent opium user, and a bona fide cocaine addict. I was a devotee of Demerol and a dabbler in Darvocet. I was a Percodan-pursuing, Seconal-seeking, codeine-consuming, 100 percent, fully certifiable, equal-opportunity substance abuser.
The Mayfly Glimmer Before Last Call
Jackie was nineteen, a cocktail waitress in Niagara Falls, New York. She worked in a bar on the other side of town and would come into our place with the other waitresses after her shift was up. Jackie was something else, the way she shook her hair.
There is a theory that dreams predict future dreams. For example, if you buy shoes in a dream, that means you will be better dressed in the next dream.