Statistics and crime map…
Mar 26 Published in Untagged by member178486
Chapter 2 -- Sing Goddess...
Sing Goddess, the wrath of Achilles...
--The first line of the Iliad
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course...
--The first line of the Odyssey
Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.
Kelly is lighting a little stone pipe. A dark resinous cloud of hashish drifts across the room in and out of the streaking sunlight. He shifts a bit, easing his sore back. “Radiolina” by Manu Chao is playing in the background.
Abe comes into the apartment's front door, lanky and sharp, blond and nut brown in both face and build. Ocean-rough face and hands, black dry suit glistening wet, with two maroon slashes across the black foam. He snorts.
"Morning Abe," Kelly says.
"7:30 and already toking up?"
"Son…Son…Relax. It's all good... I did the action straight. It's weird enough to do the whole jail thing, let alone stoned. I was up all night pretty much, just fell asleep when they kicked us out, and now I can enjoy some...Civilization. This is Amsterdam hash, made from their best hydroponics, this is the pinnacle of Dutch culture! Try some."
An indulgent smile overtakes Abe's frown. "I'm sure it is good but I hope for more from Dutch culture then just great hash. Can't anyway. School. Maybe later."
There is a silence that could become uncomfortable. Kelly blows smoke at Little Tiger, who hurls himself off the table grasping at the vapor, a twisting fall to scramble to the open balcony door, then he suddenly assumes a dignified pose in the sun and washes his face. They both laugh.
"I'm going to make oatmeal, want some?" Abe offers.
His father smiles. "Yah, thanks."
Abe takes a big jar of stone cut organic oatmeal from under the counter and scoops 1/3 of a cup each into two blue Mexican bowls, adds double the water. As the oatmeal microwaves he cuts up some early strawberries from Dirty Girl Farm and grabs a handful of roasted Los Gatos almonds. Watching the clock tick down he asks, "So, how was jail daddy-o?"
"Good...good." Kelly tilts his head in mild surprise. "Empowering" he says slowly, trying the old word out again on his tongue. "I almost forget why I used to dislike it so much."
"You were only in one night." The microwave dings and Abe adds cinnamon, the fruit, and the nuts to each bowl and hands one to his father.
"Praise the Goddess," Kelly mumbles irreverently, hungrily. He guides the oatmeal down from Abe to the table. "The shit food, the TV, the walls. It is a banal cement hell in slow motion. Only the company is ever any good. And it was good... I met this Alexander Shevek, the new histcon prof. Amazing guy. We're going to 'do coffee' as he said, enjoying the Americanism. I could tell. He loved saying it. It is weird...'do coffee'... The guy has been all over, Moscow in the 50s, Cuba, Europe in both the 60s and 80s, ANC from Mandela going to jail to the fall of apartheid..."
"Sounds great pops" Abe replies, edging off.
"Abe, a second..."
"I've decided to organize again."
"Cool. Mom says you were one of the very best."
"Nah, she was being kind. You know how ex-lovers can be."
"No, I don't. I've only had the one dad...And we aren't speaking now. But I look forward to... it.... to having admiring ex-lovers I mean."
"Don't. The nostalgia stage charms but the pain of getting there..."
Abe hesitates, "Dad, speaking of ex-lovers, Calliope was saying that there might be a ritual for one of yours, this Simone?"
"Not that I know of."
"So, isn't it like the anniversary of her death? Calliope was saying..."
"Next week... no big deal....hey, you know who else was in jail? Zack and his dad Crystal."
Abe accepts the diversion. "Normally, I don't care for boarders...I hate any bored sports... Just for poseurs...except that Zack kid from Montana... he's cool. He's real. Only snowboards. Sort of afraid of the ocean. He's part O'Flarherty too."
"Half the world is it seems... Also, I saw your sister."
"Was she nice to you?"
"Dad, reach out to her. I know she's bitchy..."
"I'll make nice. I'll invite her over and she can tell us what sellouts we are..."
"Good. I'm in. Let me know when."
"Any news from your mom?"
"She's still in Columbia. Her gig as an escort for the peace villagers is almost over... I think she is staying on down there. She says Uncle Ken is in Afghanistan now."
"Fuck, I hope the little bastard is all right."
"He's cool dad."
"I know, I guess." Kelly mumbles more to himself. Glancing at the wall clock he adds, "I'm going to meet Shevek at the Abby at 9. Wanna come?"
"No thanks, daddy-o. School. Remember?" Then, after a pause, "Maybe you should cut down on the weed."
They bicker without enthusiasm for a minute over Kelly's smoking. When Abe goes out the tension in the room lingers. Kelly isn't worried. Of course, he gets stoned in large part so he won't worry. "We’ve been through a lot," he mutters out loud. Getting up, he notices how stiff he is from the arrest and the cement floor all night. His back is particularly sore and there is an ache near his belly, in the lower left abdomen, some wall muscle in the fat somewhere...He pinches some flesh between his fingers, "What a gut! Where did this come from? Damn, I'm getting old."
Little Tiger comes over and rubs against him. He relaxes and rubs back. "Well little fuzzy, I may be getting old but I'm not dead yet."