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Turn of the Circle

When a human stops believing in love, it is a hard and lonely space. The first time that happened to me, I was only a child, about seven years-old. I remember what I said at that point, but not the context that prompted me to say it, or rather scream it as I did towards my mother. I only remember that I felt there was no love. “I want to die,” were the terrible words. I was completely disappointed in the whole world, and I wanted out.

            Just after that time, the Johnson boys moved in next door. The one collective talent these three brothers had was an unlimited variety of cruelty. They hit and hurt each other as they also did to every living thing around them. I heard them speak of setting cats on fire with lighter fluid and laughing. Once I saw them ritualistically stab a pigeon to death. It made so me curious about death that later I decided to murder my pet lizard with my mother’s hat pin. The experience left me with guilt for years.

When I was 18 I fell in love for the first time and lived in a state of euphoria for almost the whole school year. For the first time since the point of personal history when I had wished to die, and then shortly after I murdered my lizard friend, the feeling that life was not so bad came over me. I could believe in love and love believed in me.

As it turned out, this first love was the first one to stab me in the heart. The result was that for the next 40 years, I took out my reborn disbelief of love on all of the women who came through my life. One day I woke up and realized I was nothing but an ongoing emotional reaction and I needed to get over it. I decided that if another woman ever came into my life, I would stop the wounded pattern of disbelief and give un-conditional love.

Life is always much bigger than we think, and if there is a God or Gods, irony is the central theme that is promoted as the message and the lesson.

Naturally when the next woman came into my life, she was not only the most gorgeous and fascinating woman of them all, but also the most unattainable.

After a year and a half of being totally under her spell, she drove off in a cloud of dust. Where she had packed her belongings into her car I noticed that one of the little magnetic strips she had on the refrigerator— words on magnetic plastic you can randomly create messages or weird poetry— had fallen on the ground. I picked it up. The word was “Love.”

I placed the magnetic “Love” on my motorcycle gas tank, and everyday I meditated on the meaning of that love. I decided I would not give up loving the woman who had driven away. I would prevail with my un-conditional love and one day she would return.

The day came a year later. I drove my motorcycle 500 miles overnight with that word on the gas tank compelling me to try one last time to win the woman back.

When I arrived at her house, she was even more beautiful. I told her about my undying love. She told me to forget it, because it was not only dead, it was buried. Neither tears, groveling or inspired poetry could convince her differently.

I walked back to my motorbike and looked at the word on the gas tank. For the first time in a year, I thought about removing that “Love” and drive back to the cold psychological land that had once embraced me. I reached to remove the tag and it was almost as though I heard a voice that came into my mind— “Love is not Dead,” is what it said.  I knew what that meant, was that sometime, somewhere, I would find love when it was ready for me because I had gone through the turn of the circle.

1) excerpt from PARKING METERS

2) excerpt from ASSASSIN'S ANGEL

3) excerpt from THE CRYSTAL TIGHTROPE

4) short story, MASSACRE AT HAPPY VALLEY   

 5)   short story, CAFE LUNA

6) short story, THE RIVER SONG

7) short story, TURN OF A CIRCLE

8) short story, THE BEACH HOUSE

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