Bonsai Love

One grand room is all I need. 

One part possibility, one part stage.  90, 10.  80, 20.  60, 40.  50, 50 days.  A day’s worth of downy air, downy quiet in downy light. A Bic lighter fuse to straw. 

An ebb whimper blend whirl of summation conflagration of you, me.  I, thou baby. When we pull the cage drapes, strike the tent, stow the chicken wire meant to keep critters out, tame our critter tempers, no stopping a rat’s lust for berries, give the day its take in filler flowers, every good arrangement mixed with precious, cherry blossoms and rhubarb and music. I will save the scene for a science reduction sauce to study the brain neurotransmissions, micro density weights trying to understand the importance of frozen rodents brains in a sausage slicer per the Sunday’s Times. Of mice, of men, of women. 

An idea I (and science) cannot get close enough. to see why weirdo rats pulse like we do.  Why we all ebb, flow, dance, weigh our thoughts, chemical feelings swabbed under glass, one column of unmarked territory connecting to another, the usual suspect constellations. Scientists in lab coats figuring formulas for the resurrection of sex, cashing in on a longer pharma forever, a Vegas flush, short, long, of temporary ecstasies, a better than sex sex with strangers substitute, some kind of bamboo bridge between species, as far as China from here.  Bottom line is: absence and fondness figure in on love, on desire.  An absence of fondness with too much togetherness. 

I wonder about my fondness for absence.  Ones requiring my being more absent with criticism, absent of self, my being less of me is more, more kind to you, my fullness of fondness sometimes absent, my being so full of my angry dad and mom. They, not so much liking your’s.  My tit for tat not fitting your tat for tit tattooed on our forever DNA codes.

to times like that I say, let’s break the fast fast baby, break the love fast and redefine love without borders like doctors do.  Let’s offer love to each other, others on the street, in the park, in the dark, on a train just the same, overseas, in the air, birds and bees.  Let’s see what happens if we let light tickle us awake as we learn the Swahili secret ways to tango in rediscovered love caves. Us spelunking, caving in, reading caveman/cavewomen graffiti paintings on the wall, learning the best way to float a kite in high winds under cerulean skies, staying away from the high blame wires, the high up trees.  The sooner we get okay with getting older, not so much wiser, tossing judgment, quitting that old habit, and feel the wind the better. Yes that. I want to learn to be like the wind more.  Smell the gold in air caressing fragrant hills, not worry about owning so much anymore.  I just want to get chill enough, quit the fence talking kind of thinking, quit the looking over greener hypothese scenarios, my flowchart on the neighbor yards.  I know, ditto.  Ditto.  Ditto.  Ditto for you too. 

Let’s quit the merry fairy go round running round the house outside.   Part of love the little lies we tell ourselves when we get quiet enough, reframing things when we see we’ve got love enough for the both of us and then some, enough for for all the world.Enough for the invisible people, the gasman, the grocery clerk, the teachers, nurses, cleaning lady.  Love the bonsai of love. Love the gaba gaba tea leave love, ignore the uptick regulators screaming something’s wrong all the time. 
Call the doctor, the medics. The technopyroannoyances between us, AC DC folks, leave the sex pantomines for others. Whatever.  Let’s forget the approach to the familiar, maybe do some porch sitting for a change.  Not use the bait hooks so much, look where its gotten us so far, instead let’s drag the fishing pole behind us in the stream from the boat until the trout says, “Enough.  I’ve had enough of seed, small fish, and algae.  I’m going to take that hook and jump in.”  Then we’ll eat well for the night.  We all got choices.  Fish too.

Fergus, the Dog

Maybe it’s worth the extra fifty. Extra sixty, eighty, ninety bucks. One-hundred sixty. Six hundred sixty bucks.

For three months of sitters, I mean.

For one month of therapy, I mean.

For the paint and play class of mixsters kidsters glue-sters, pressing discard plastic Easter eggs into corrugated and clay in a class of parachute dance and art, the tot mountaineers with Miss Sandy, I mean.

Worth it for someone to run new figure eights on my old kitchen tarmac. The 60s pebble limey linoleum floor or outside, on the black top line going round our house, up the neighborhood drive. the money it takes for fresh horses, a sitter, to run with someone unseatable, our five-year-old, S..

Someone magic enough, with bubbling energy, enough day and night to follow ’round my little guy, stem my “I wonder if he’s feral (insert here. Help me reroute panic about his acronym diagnosis menu kind of thinking). Someone to follow Mr. Nonstop to the trampoline out back, jump their hundred plus along his forty-three prone flat on the mat. Someone to jar his noodle preschool body enough so my kid feels alive enough, enough to stop, pause, wait, calm himself back to quiet hands. Back to regular alive.

Parents in the know, know what I mean, know what I mean. Someone alive enough, to keep up with the alives. A Buddha Knievel type of helper. Buddha Knievel — Christ — “hey, what the Hell is he doing up on the roof of my car? — Yeah, someone so alive to take care of that kind of alive. Someone above humanity alive, but, but, but someone realler than that.

Even if this someone is a dog.

Someone dog enough — so dog un-tired running out the front door round back, out to the mailbox, out to the vegetable garden out by our foothill road where we live off the main line of Los Angeles.
Someone nice enough too. Willing to go the distance. There and back. There and back. There and back. Again. Again. Again. Just takes practice. A lot. And a village. Thank you very much.

Thirty times seven times three hundred and fifty two times infinity times.

That’s how much practice, how many times it takes to get it right, seconds to count to cool, to get chill enough to deal.

I need someone who can hang on. With clamped teeth hang on. Hang on a Frisbee. Hang in with the yelling, banging, tumbling, head butt leaping and transition switch-ups. Okay with playing too hard scrabble through dry grass, thickets, mulched oak to slick parquet. Someone like — Fergus — our neighbor’s dog. Fergus, the dog. I need someone like Fergus the neighbor’s dog, a Wheaton terrier.

A dog so good at being a being, that my afraid-of-dogs-little man now calls him his dog that we keep at her place, and my dear neighbor does not mind.

So good a dog that Fergus is I call him Sir.

Sir Fergus the Dog, thank you, very much.

This, the dog I want to be when I grow up someday. This the dog I want to be when I wake from the nightmare gnarl of autism tooling, paring our old parenting ways. The ups, downs of autism. Even high-functionaries like S. leave no room for rest. Fergus doesn’t need the rest. Fergus says, “Bring it on.” This pup wants action. I want to be as good as this dog, I mean.

So good is Ferg, that if he pushed a grocery cart, slid pot pie in the microwave by six each night, maybe, could type this when not ‘sitting freeway shevasana’ in daily traffic, could take over my daily meditations of ‘ohm building,’ run my son to his special behavior camp, us stuck in the 405 traffic school twice a day, stuck in the carpool lane, two to four hours a day — I’d be out of a job. Quite the pair.

So good at being a better me that Sir F. pup is that he gets the better of me. I have to laugh and thank heaven.

F. and S. on loops around our place, in and out of our falling down early 1910s farmhouse and barn, kicking gravel into piles, making train tracks, tug o’warring, F.’s rope knot in the dog’s mouth, the two begging favors for treats that I beg too, sit too, sit up too, sit back, take notes, watch the all day puppy fun.

Fergus and S..

“Fergus’s my brother,” my son said two days ago running past into camp kitchen.

His seventeen-year-old brother knows, laughs it off, knows S. is right. The dog is magic, transforms the day. Brother love flows rivers between our first born and the two ‘pups’ by different Dads. With F., S.’s so easy to have around, his fun side flips onto sweet, manageable, he even acts his age.

I pray the sweet days stick.

Give me that cuddle boy we adopted five years ago at birth, give me the kid who asks without grabbing, without impulsing heedless vibes into streets. Days, I pray someday he’ ll come back when I call, will be safe from his too-forward hellos to strangers, safe from his tippy-tip toes to his head, gain the tools for a future, not dip so much into sad.

Days on end I want to run away too. Or, take a clue, go outside and run with friends, be the third silly pup in the picture to the right, maybe be Fergus the dog for a day or two, hang loose, and be Ferg, be like him.

Me, as Ferg. Me as F. with S.

My son’s small hands running through my Wheaten dog dreads, my Wheaton hair (not-fur) messy shag, my ‘I-see-the-big-picture’ now clear, unteary,now, unshaken, me as pup. Tail wagging, my ‘don’t stop now boy’ springing, ‘we’re almost there c’mon kid, keep trying, keep going, going, gotta keep going, up, up, up, and away. Cool water just ahead. Days, I can see the long run from here. And, it’s good, real good, puppy-boy.’

Days on end I want to feel my dogface joyface in my son’s, my dogface joy licking my son happy. Hands, arms, legs. For my son to see me. My regular Mom lady face like he sees Fergus’ face. See my ‘I’m too tired,’ but I’m still a lover, still a giver face, you can count on me, your Dad, your big bro. All of us next to S. and friend F.

That day, I’ll declare a holiday, say, “Somebody play me something with trombones, trumpets, something Aaron Copland.”

Each day it’s triumph.

The days, I watch and learn from F..

This, I’m told our best chance. Learn to play. And, so I observe the two and I start again. I play, we play.

Ferg’s temperament not undone like ours, mine. The dog, not undone by S.’s close-range screaming. Days, I reach for my Bose headset and go toss a ball. Fergus,’ not frayed in the least, by the five, six door slams — nothing emergency — unlike myself. S’s dysregs., stims, almost-Tourettables, his “I hate you, Mama, hate you, hate you, hate you. You’re not my friend.” Blade turn every time.

Fergus, the dog saint, doesn’t mind the yucks.

“Tell me about that again puppy-boy,” I can almost hear him saying, “I don’t believe you mean that puppy-boy. Get ready to roll puppy-boy. I am going to nip you, frisk you, bite you back to happy puppy-boy. If you go too far, I’m coming back anyway, puppy boy, you unshepherdable, unshepherded friend, my Snaggletooth will test your Little Debbie Snickerdoodle arms and legs. I’m a lyin’ dyin,’ open invitation eatin’ Wheaten greetin.’ Nothing matters when I’m with you friend, nothin’ but your puppy-boy sunshine. Play me friend, neighbor, eternal friend of the special sunshine kind, let’s teach your parents it takes lots of practice to be special, to be the parent of a kid with special stuff. I see you’re in there kid. Come out and play.

Rain or shine someone puppy, someone people, loves you, kid. Someone is loving you, me, the kid. Someone knows you need a shepherd kid, maybe a fluff-ball shepherd who needs the work, works for cheese wages, someone who knows It’s just the work we shepherds do.

eyes are bigger than….

Man goes out for a pack of cigarettes, finds himself on mainland China breaking bread, cleaning his plate with zucchini flowers…say what?

PICK

“your eyes are bigger than your stomach”. That was one of those things my father used to say when you didn’t “clean up your plate”. Last nights dinner falls into that category. I was with my friend Eric last night and he took me to a new Taiwanese restaurant in Dong Guan City, China. Eric is friends with the boss and we were meeting Eric’s wife and two children for dinner.

The owner is slicing salmon sashimi just outside the kitchen, next to the fish tanks. When you visit a Taiwanese restaurant, the first thing to do is select the fish and seafood. Eric introduces me to the boss and motions me to choose something. Everything looks fresh, except for the listless flounder laying on the bottom of the tank. So what do I want for dinner? There’s mackerel that they will grill on a BBQ, Calamari that would be…

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