Statistics and crime map…
Mar 19 Published in Untagged by member178486
Chapter 1--Santa Cruz, Alta California
April Fools Day
The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.
-- Buffy Summers, the Vampire Slayer
Right before her second death
Freedom means the capacity to know something about oneself, and the desire to live according to limits imposed on oneself rather than by external powers.
-- John Lukas
"When Democracy Goes Wrong"
Harper's, April, 2005
Never use epigraphs--they kill the mystery of the work.
The memory came to him bright and clear: They were huddled under blankets (it was a cold December) smoking some very nice Ben Lomond sinsemilla in the little cottage they called Pandora's Box on Paseo, when the KZSC DJ suddenly sobbed that John Lennon had been assassinated. Kelly walked with Nancy down to Pacific Avenue. Numb. Unable to cry. It just seemed better than sitting stunned in their living room. As they went down Walnut they heard faint singing. At Pacific the words came clear "Imagine if you try...." in many voices. Hundreds of other mourners had gathered and now they were singing John's songs up and down the street, weeping and smiling. That was Santa Cruz, as radical as any little city in the world but it was Lennon instead of Lenin and Groucho over Karl, and the religious were as likely to worship our mother of the moon as our father in heaven. Many bowed their head to neither. Kelly knew that moment he heard the singing that he would never leave.
Lennon was dead more than three decades now, but Kelly still lived in Santa Cruz. Loved it still, he supposed, but not as uncritically as the day Lennon was killed. He didn't love anything that way anymore. Or anyone. Even if the love for his children was sweeping, it was definitely not blind. One couldn't be a good parent and a fool both, in his view. Not even a holy fool. But he missed that, he missed being a poet. In italics. Pretty much a high class fool, a poet. As for lovers, he'd lost any illusions years before after a decade or so with Nancy, Abe's mother. The little guy was only three then, fat-faced and almost always in bliss. A Buddha baby. That's when Nancy now says she realized she loved Kelly, but wasn't in love with him. In italics. Definitely in italics. It took her almost ten years to let him in on the revelation. A few more years to disentangle and then...
Abe, Cruzio, disc golf, Abe, friends, goaltimate, Abe, friends, Coast Watch, Abe, Santa Cruz, a fight with Kirsten, Abe...maybe a little Calliope. He stretches in bed and smiles, then looks out the window through the bamboo at the sun on the trees. He tries to remember his first morning thoughts. "Ah, why do I wake up thinking of Nancy?" he mutters in irritation as his mind tracks. Then... "oh, yeah, I was thinking of Calliope." He smiles again, forgetting he started into consciousness this day actually reliving singing for the martyred Beatle.
Like so many Santa Cruz mornings the thin night mist has burned off quickly. The blue sky, occasionally decorated with white clouds, already aches towards a perfect turquoise; the blue sea beneath it is bottle green flecked in white foam in the shallows or in the soft throat of a breaking wave, but deeper, fundamentally, it bent to darker hues of cobalt blue, purple, and black.
Kelly is up a half hour before he remembers. Just as he is letting in the cat, a sinuous Little Tiger (II), and changing the CD... amping it up a bit from ambient to Everything But the Girl....not dance, not yet. Only an espresso into the day. But something with rhythm, with energy. That's right. He wonders, try out that hash from SF, straight from Amsterdam? But then he remembers,...remembers... the Strike! A big action and right here in 'Cruz. Could be good. But how many day's off did he get? How many days without six to ten hours of virtual hand holding for Cruzio Internet's newest, unluckiest, or most incompetent customers and their ailing computer connections to the wonderful wide world of the interweb? Could be worse but... it wasn't the ocean, Delavega, the field, Abe at home hanging out, the forest... friends. Some good friends at Cruzio, actually.... Oh yeah, the Strike. "Should I stay or should I go now?" he sings at Little Tiger, who looks back at him wisely.
He puts on The Clash. He goes.