I was always good at saying goodbye, because I was young enough to believe in infinity. Everyone comes back, I thought, somehow, some way. The right road rears its head like the Big Joker in a cut deck, only when it’s supposed to.
It was two lifetimes ago when a Friday came with a perfectly-rolled L and shots of Johnny or Jameson swallowed in succession, the burn reminding me that I was still alive as it brought forth my Tyler Durden, and the ghosts within my blood.
I remember the taste of her lips as the taxis bulleting down 6th Avenue, wounding unsuspected victims in wallet and purse. I remember the taste of shrimp dumplings and fried prawns at Sunday Dim Sum off of Canal, then walking them off on a stroll across the bridge to my city.
I remember the way her feet met my own beneath layer upon layer as the Old Man banged against my crib windows at 20 below. Fish roti and Maffe Yeun on opposite Fridays, my ass planted at the Prison Ship Memorial as I took in the sun falling and rising at the rally point out by EWR.
I thought she and I were forever. But I had no idea the stormtroopers were closing in, no clue that my life was a fairy tale wrapped in gritty memoir and sprinkled with the slightest dust of a fame that might have let me live forever, had it not been cancelled by Lord Vader himself. Had I been born a coward I might not have ever packed my bags. But ricochets were better served for Denzel and Lithgow on that tower in Watts.
These days the Dervish spins without me. The tall Haitian in the hat knows the man in his mirror a little better. The Taurus and the Aries make three instead of a pair. The jewel-encrusted Virgo has found love. Magdalene stands in front of a tomb, waiting for its stone to be rolled away, and a princess in Jersey watches and waits for my return.
It feels like I went out for the paper and ended up in the trunk of a band of gypsies bent on showing me the far shore. Little did I know that, in truth, it was they who had been robbed of me long ago, and thus wanted to remind my soul of that from which I came, a life as old as the days when Ford slipped Spanish Fly into Betty’s gin and juice.
When I come home I worry that it will no longer be the place I remember. But on that day comes there will be nowhere else to go. I only have one heart. And she lives in sunshine. But the sun shines high over all.