A Short (Not) Story
Friday, March 13, 1992
On this morning at approximately 5.15 a.m. I was dreaming away in delights that are considered the forbidden fruit. As usual, what I consider the forbidden fruit is actually non-existent and, of course, only the things we don't always allow ourselves to enjoy. Since, then, it has nothing to do with religion, one might as well dream away, until one wakes up in total ...bliss, right.? And one hopes that this is not the wrong kind of bliss ... like a cold that stumps you for a few days.
What could be thought of as the forbidden fruit? To most of us, this is the definition of the thoughts which are a waste of time and not defined by the 'church' brethren as blessed thoughts. That means I can think of one person or two, but have to keep the lustful department on vacation most of the time. Now, since I can't control the ways of my wily subconscious mind as well as that which is called God or the Univ(hear)erse I have to accept whatever comes and appears, and defines itself as a dream. This time it was about Ingrid. And even though that time is quite gone, dead and buried in total disgust and amidst thoughts of much creativity, she still appears once in a while...the last time, she requested that I leave her alone. Which I did,... except for a neurotic minute or two which I undress as a poem or rhyme ... as if it would soothe the troubled spirit of my soul.
I loved Ingrid, and perhaps more so than I really cared to admit, or better said, cared to understand.
If it wasn't pure, at least it was honest and caring, and I made a strong effort to keep things alive and active. I had dared to dream. About a future, with her which might have bothered her a bit ( but I always considered that an extension of her family's thinking, much more than hers or ours ), or a few other unusual thoughts. I know it didn't make her feel comfortable, and perhaps righteously so, because her chart showed a certain lack of incongruities and actions for a period of ten years. The chart also showed a 'return' or 'visit' to the type of feeling which she was sharing at the time with me. I presumed this meant a visit to me. It has not happened so far, and as time goes by, I think the chances diminish so much that I don't believe it will ever happen. I have not been able to share any quality time and space with anyone since then, though I never, lost what I consider a very serious honesty on my part, the desire to share on a vision, or two, with the one we love. I have always called that the Romeo and Juliet syndrome,...and if it wasn't that, at least the movie by Zeffirelli, was an incredible example as to how love could be shared, and should. Without the commiserations of the Capulets of course, or any other family. The emotional upheavals we all can do without. At any rate, I was sleeping away in splendor, it had been a restless and quiet previous couple of nights. I had been 'tired' without explanation, even though I had been averaging more sleep than is fit for human consumption. But it certainly speaks for the emotional state that I was in, which required incredible amounts of sleep, just so I could face the next day with some sort of intelligence and ability. When your inspiration is down, one can at least find some satisfaction in a dream state, no? Yesterday, was no different than the previous few days. I only had energy for a few hours of work. Got home at 5 p.m. in the afternoon. After relieving myself of any hesitancies of the past few hours, I at least tried to get in front of the computer and type something. A small battle with Tri-Peaks won out. I'm already champion of that anyway. Need to conquer some new areas. I went to bed. That's an area where a little conquering could still be done....you know.... all the dungeons and dragons. And slept a little. Lightly. At around seven or eight, a loud crash noise woke me up. Some of the furniture upstairs was doing its usual daily movement. I have always joked that the ghost of Mr. Brown still walks the house every now and then, and he occasionally crashes into things. Either his sight was poor, or he was so busy in his 'sights' that he couldn't pay attention to where he was going. This noise was not too loud. But was enough to shake me pretty good.. Somebody was up there?...Gosh, I don't hear a thing. And as usual, I tucked in harder in bed,... maybe no one will notice that I am not here. My heart pounded like a son of big ben and every little sound was bothering me like it was the last noise I would ever hear. I suppose, it didn't help matters, that I was a bit dizzy, and didn't feel specially well. Somehow, all that went by, unheeded, amidst my clamoring of prayers, chants, and every other thought I could come up with. How one debases himself in times of need, hey.? I don't remember much more.
Oh, you liar. How dare you. You mean you don't remember that you went to bed thinking as usual, about the women you met and saw today.?
Well, that's true.
The actual line that stood in my mind a lot was ...' trust mom ' ... which of course, I have never done, and still don't do. This time she was right. After a little talk with the new robin on the block, the only think I had thought of after the computer class, was much like I had done a few years ago, her benediction was a source of pride, not love. And I happen to think that is wrong. I have no problem with anyone's celibacy. I do have a problem when they speak of it with pride. And that pride surpasses their caring or understanding for 'love'. That, my friends, is wrong, and bitterness of the highest order. I am sorry that a person has been hurt so badly that she can not reconcile the rest of her life, love, and body. Where is the forgiveness.? Where has the beauty gone.? The lifelong dream of a young girl got lost in the reality of life.
Well, yes. I am guilty.
I have fallen prey to this same problem.
After all these years, I still love Ingrid. And though the chances are that she will not show up, or ever read these words, at least I still have room to wonder, what if.? I don't think she can even do that. I wonder if she is trapped.? But I have said to many friends, that if she did call, she was the one person I probably would give everything for...except my writing and feeling. She had no quarrel with that, though she thought that my screenplay ould have used a better ending,....like death, I suppose,...I made sure that the woman in my screenplay was alive, and doing well enough to be able to make a decision for herself, and follow through on it,...and you tell me that's a flake ending...? We should all learn and see, that the triumph of human spirit and desire, IS above all, the one thing most of us ever wish we had,...but don't. You'll see that if you ever come to touch me, or my work,..again. It's not as painful as it is beauty....and you would do it again, too...It feels like I have one of those vindictive styles, ...though one day a movie will be made, the character will be called Catherine ( or Marie ) and she will do exactly what Ingrid did, and I wrote and directed it, and dedicated it to I.F. and won a few awards for it. Ingrid will see the movie, and cry. That was her part, too. The one I had promised her. But she wasn't here and I didn't know where she was. I had often told her I would write a part for her. And there it was. And now all she could do was cry. Because it was all gone,...forever,...it may be unfortunate for her, but it is my only way of thanking her for her beauty and being at a time when there was little of it, ...and in school the scene was whose butt one could score...and it didn't matter what kind, or whose, it was. Typical. Her and I stuck through it pretty good. Laughing a lot and having some fun. I can remember moments when her reactions went south for the day, only to learn later we were having fun at it. You see, I already trusted my instincts. On one particular wintery season, she asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Knowing that I was actually,....I mean,...can you believe it,...going to have a day off work and no school to worry about, I said very simply,...YOU,...the whole day, without a break. She didn't get it, and in her childish pout, vented some anger. After I explained it all, it didn't sound so bad. As it turns out, we had three full days of quiet, no one around, unplugged the phone, and enjoyed every moment of fun, music, sex, you name it, non stop for the whole time. I felt more married to this woman than anything. And it meant something. And it was pleasurable for both in that , I knew she was having a good time...except with her family. Well, they didn't care too much for a smart ass kid with a little education, who was screwing their little girl silly, and was afraid of getting married and taking care of their little girl. And she was the baby of the family. While I didn't care for this part of the story too well, I managed to keep the story going as far as I could. All was well until the next season, when she didn't pass her acting exam into the advanced class of which I had been a part. She was a part of the attrition of the program. Of the forty five or so students only fifteen, plus two alternates got to go into the advanced acting class, including transfers who would have to try out. Since nearly one hundred people try out every year for this year long class, her chances were about the same as anyone's... twenty percent at best. While Ingrid's demeanor on stage was fairly good, and her ability was better than fair, her vocal chords were in the process of changing, thus giving her an unknown quality for her ability. It could change for the better or sour for the worst. Thus, with a failure to pass one test ( she still had an A to show for it ), there went her grades ( an honor student until then...an agreement we had made amidst ourselves so as to keep our parents at bay...and we both kept at it...) and the relationship which meant so much to me. It took me six months to get over this thing with all of Ray's help, card readings, and finally a new direction.
By summer, I felt I needed a change. Ray and I took off in the Fiat for three weeks all the way to Mount St Helens by way of Tahoe and Stateline. It was the escape which changed my next turn, away from all the harsh memories of my recent past. And with it all the schooling and theatre work. I was tired. I had survived all the vultures while I was inspired and with Ingrid. The work had meaning and we had fun. But a new chapter had to be written, and though I knew that anything I wrote was really another section in my ultimate book, little helped in keeping my spirits up even though I had met someone nice and she wanted a future. And she ends up marrying my younger brother because I had an indomitable and independent spirit which she felt she couldn't keep up with, ...and their two daughters have me fuming....they are so beautiful that I can cry...I passed up the part of life which is often dedicated to domestication.
Oh yes,...as I woke up, Ingrid and I were standing next to each other, about to be married. She was wearing white, and very long, too,...and I was wearing black. She wasn't much for wearing white,... even her nighties were not white, whenever she wore them... and I think she only did it because it pleased her parents and family !?!?. Even when it is our turn, we still turn to anybody else's ideals, instead of ours, don't we.? I still don't think that happens to be a good way to start out a marriage or a family....( oh well ..) except that I had designed my suit. I had only the pieces of clothing over my black birkie's. The inner piece was much like a 'nightie', knit, with an incredible design around the neck and chest area ( it forgives the lack of bow and tie, you see...) and it went the length of the body to my feet. It was a robe. Over it, was this massive, perhaps velvet, black coat which also went to the floor, and buttoned down the front with gold buttons, set in a streak designs which covered the chest. It wasn't a coat. It was a real dressy design disguised as a robe. It looked like one of the robes ( but with style and class ) that some catholic priest might wear, but it was double breasted, and it fit. And it was beautifully done, unlike the plain ...( next to the pope robes mine looked a bit overly glamorous, if not downright pretentious, but then even the Borgias indulged in creating outfits that only Fellini could outdo ) , and above all, it was my design. And I had just walked outside the church building, to meet her and ask what she thought of this piece of clothing. She never really knew how to react to my surprises because she didn't quite understand them, and she was nervous enough on her own. I was beaming. I was ready. I had planned all this, my gowns, her gowns, I had written the marriage ceremony in poetry form, had commissioned Tangerine Dream to be here and do all the music live and in person with a hell of a party afterwards, and I chose for atmospherics the music, from a bit of Zeit to the climatic moments in Phaedra...and all the rest is open to them....gosh, if Beniamino Gigli were here I would have a song for him to sing aloud for all ...unfortunately Pavarotti won't do...too noisy...the rock band for my second party ( the last bastion of individuality before domestication takes over ) is Amon Duul II and they are so stunned by the invitation that they had to put a band together just for this affair, and, be brought to America, not for the glory of their creativity and tour, but for a wedding , after all their rock'n'roll dreams,...a wedding....life is like that, isn't it?.. so said the wise sage of the bonzoes. One's ideas go out the proverbial windows and into ... the gutters of the romantic, and reclusive, idealists....and I guess I was ready to go through all this and die afterwards.
I noticed Ingrid wondering what her parents would think of my outfit,... a bit outlandish, ... I modeled it for her, including unbuttoning the front main to show the inner nightie. She liked it and made a statement that she sure wished she had one of those instead of one of these , an obvious remark to her lack of comfort in her dress, not only in dressing but in real life. She loved the showing off portion of all affairs, but the discomfort parts she could do without. Never fear my dear. I should have asked, hey.? I'm sorry my dear, but If I had asked you wouldn't have had a surprise. Anyway, before long you can put on your jeans or shorts. While it does look nice, it probably isn't exactly the most comfortable thing to wear. I stole a kiss and had to move on....had to look for Father Huerta. This aberration of Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian, American, Catholic, and tennis player, was somewhere in the area, and I had to check if he knew his lines. Ever the director, was I. Even at the last minute, I had to check if the actors knew their little set of lines....That is one thing I often do not like about myself,...I don't contain my nervousness very well,...busy, busy, busy...and have a tendency not to trust the many actors involved.
But it didn't matter. The stage was set and the show was definitely going to go on, unless the unimaginable came to happen.
Father Huerta was in the Rectory, reading his lines once again. I sneaked quietly to the door and watched him reading the lines. I couldn't quite decide if his look was of total disbelief or merely disgust for my total disregard for the liturgy of the church. We had agreed he could use some of it, but in the poem I had covered almost all the angles which the catholic ritual mentions, and I think he was having a hard time figuring out how he would fit his own words.
...and as these two rays of light
meet amidst all your love, might,
so too shall all witnesses seek,
here, the truth, the love I speak
of with colored words of feeling
which send our hearts fleeting
today, it is to be known and felt
that from this day forward,
(Date Anno Domini.)
have come together in my presence
to establish their inner residence
amidst the halls of my house
that what is meant and studied
is here...my promise to us all.
( To the pair )
Our Father insists that you must
love and carry each other's trust
as He does his children on earth
lift each other spirits the most
and express the joys of the host
forever, you must
share the learning with all
and less fortunate in this hall
be it joyful or hurtful
until we learn to forgive
and understand,..then give
as tokens of our earnest heart
your prayers, a thanks in part.
It wasn't exactly Shakespeare, though I wished I could write like that and command people's attentions to feelings of the special kind, but it had a quality which I couldn't exactly explain to many. It was also a part of my eccentric behavior, if you will. I had writted before, poems about the woman I loved when I was in my deathbed and gone...had written numerous other love and baptism poems which go unheeded by human ears ( it's a wonder that I could stand them... ) ... but I have never felt that the lines used in marriage ceremonies nowadays meant anything at all. If it did, I think people would make a larger effort to stick together... I mean, it's almost over before they can even enjoy their first orgasm... My hope was that a good poem could change all that in some way or other.
" How are we doing..?" . I heard my inner voice,... just what I needed. "Oh,...have you been here long.?"
"Enough to catch a few of your expressions about the poetry. I'm not exactly ready for this sort of thing, but since it is for a poet,...and son of an even more famous poet, it has to be done. It's not bad. It has unusual things in it. "
"I consider that a compliment."
"Well, since we are not doing most of these things inside the church, the fathers won't mind."
So that's how they did it. That it was all very fine as long as I could get the satisfying results. I was planning on having the majority of all events done outdoors near the river, where there was a park, full of greenery and trees and the flowing water could be used as the real holy water. Father Huerta didn't seem to mind that at all. He had learned his lines well enough that his own concern was actually more on the final he had to take, than it was in his ministerial duties which were now not full time, but spare time... like taking care of the overflow and so on... the church leaders loved the thought of an educated priest, and so they let him play the role of sixteenth century Jesuit minister of Portuguese literature and good will.
All was well and ready.
I was excited.
We gathered in an large station wagon and left for the place where it all was to happen. It was one of those days when one just loves to be alive. The clear blue sky, seemed to speak to you in all its splendor and beauty. The spring flowers shone brightly, as if happy that they were also going to be a part of something more than just plain old nature landscapes which no one notices.
And we were ready.
I requested some time for myself. I wanted to walk the grounds quietly and absorb some of the serenity which it shared with all its visitors. I could see at a distance that a couple of tables were set and that things were ready to roll. I was a bit less nervous, but something was bothering me just a little bit. This dream had a spot in a corner which I didn't like, and I had not decided what this was or would be about. The more I noticed this spot with my invisible eyes on the back of my head, the more it bothered me. I tried to dismiss it as a bit of distasteful thinking by Ingrid's parents, since I knew my mom was happy for me. I had waited for many years for this moment, and had suffered tremendously in between if some of my writing had anything to show for it. I didn't quite admit it, for some of the poems were written for someone else.... but the fact that Ingrid actually did exist, made all the differences. I would always return to the thought of her when I could not make it anywhere else. It was a safe space in that one could sit and wonder what went wrong and at least compare what went wrong with what could have been right. And admittedly, I haven't really had a meaningful relationship since, at least one that grew enough to make me think I have learnt from it. I can't really find my mistakes, in so far as they are not true errors, except in judgment. And none of them seem to have gone so far, as to prevent the relationship from developing.
The spot was a bit on the darker side, in that it still had all the details of the background, but the spot would distort its appearance just enough to be noticeable. For example, if I looked at a tree, and it was there in its entirety, somehow a portion, a circular spot, of the trunk was out of focus and distorted. The color would have had a faded area where it wasn't as well defined. I have had the indication that this is a 'perceptual hole' and not a defect on the perceiving eye, which is to say that it isn't a distortion on the tree as much as it is an incompleteness in my vision, or most likely, an interference by my mind, which distorts the clarity of the vision. I didn't think this had anything to do with the marriage dream or Ingrid for that matter. I really thought this had to do with my lack of complete oversight, if not overbearing heaviness on the part of brain. I had decided by this time that something had to be done about this spot. I went after it. And just as I felt it get closer it was simply disappearing from the view, sort of like the heat on the pavement routine in a desert.
Well, that's nice.
Here's my best moment and it is about to be bothered by a small ... whatever. It is either an omen that there are spots in my moment, and I am making a mistake, or there really are such things as black holes not only in the sky, but also in the immediate atmosphere, and it is always visible when and if we care to look for them. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to see, and neither was it what I wanted to admit, but one has to live with what he sees and either bear arms or give in. I am not the 'give in' type unless the romance is better than mine. And I am occasionally known for being the argumentative type, which means that spot doesn't make perfect sense until we have a good talk.
I decided to check things out. The spot and I were going to have a conversation, even if it meant I would be late for the wedding. I walked closer to the spot. It looked ever more invisible. I'm mad. I thought, here I am, chasing spots in the air,... all in vain.
" Chicken ".
I kept on walking. Do you think it is fun to put up with your games and not get the chance to play at least once?. I mean, what else could I say.? The spot disappeared when I got a foot or so from where I thought it should have been. I didn't see anything specially different or weird, so I took another step. Nothing. Son of a bitch, always flighty when we need you. I said that, knowing darn well that it wasn't totally true, since I don't always fess up to the situations. A voice spoke back:
" Oh, yeah, sure. "
And I turned and hit my head in a tree. There. A little conversation with a tree never hurt anyone. But the bang in my head wasn't exactly a lot of fun. I had forgotten everything, and didn't even know what was really going on when I noticed this funny looking thing sitting on an invisible branch of the tree smoking what looked like a pipe. Now that's living. A nice load of tobacco and a care free life.
" Well, who the heck are you.? "
" A friend."
" A friend. What does that mean.? "
" It means we are friends. But you would rather not notice me or my advice until I play games with you, which by the way, I do not enjoy."
" You are not exactly making much sense. Games.? "
" Sure. You don't pay attention, so I have to walk the tree over here, just so I can get a good laugh at your expense. "
" Don't mention it. Want some more.?"
" No. "
" What are you smoking. "
" Tartall de Boodenick."
" Smoke of the Gods."
" What for.?"
" Making sure we meet."
" Oh. I suppose it's time for another lesson. "
" You got it."
" What is it this time.?"
" Just a question. Ok.?"
" I know you like her. But what are you marrying, and why are you marrying.? "
" Well, ..."
And my voice trailed off into oblivion. I really didn't have an answer to that question. I guess she wanted it and I abide by it, not really thinking about anything in particular. It seemed like the right thing to do and we were getting along pretty well. During the day we went our ways, her to school, me to work and then to play a little tennis, and then go home to her, where, I might have cooked a little, and then she did her home-work, and then we cuddled up and had some fun or had a race to dreamland. And I told the bedtime stories which have become the set of short stories in my repertoire. Things seemed so good that we never stole the covers from each other...well maybe once on a cold night, but with a warm body next to yours, it was never a problem. Somebody knocked on my head.
" Oh. Yes. Huh."
" Your answer, Sir.?"
" My answer."
" Ohh. Ingrid. Well, she was nice, and we had a lot of fun in bed. I guess that made us ready. And we were pretty good at fixing things up and talking them out. It was nice to have a little support, and enjoyment. And she encouraged my writing, in fact even demanded stories once in a while. I don't know what else could one ask for."
" Was it all more in you head.?"
" I didn't think so. We did last almost four years."
" That part always lasts, doesn't it.? "
" Yeah. I think we all consider that a big part of the compatibility. "
At 6:15 A.M. I went back to bed. And slept fairly well despite not being able to reset the dream and restarting it. When I woke up, I went to work. The portion of the dream I could replay kept me really high all day.
Late that evening I went to bed not feeling very well.
That night I had a major hyper ventilating experience, that still has me in occasional pain all over my chest and near my heart. And I still wonder if working Ingrid out of my head and body was the right thing to do at a time when one really needs the inner support. I was able to finish writing this story, though.
But I still have both pains.
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