In this steamy East-Coast week, my heart is delighted to share A Winter’s Day, a Guest Post from writer, muser, and soul-life sounder, Larry Moffitt.
A WINTER’S DAY
by Larry Moffitt
It’s late July, early, early in the morning. Slightly post pre-dawn. The sky only appears to be transitioning from dark purple to the lighter blue range. At this point, whether the horizon will ever actually brighten, whether the sun will rise, is anybody’s guess. I stand in front of the window sipping coffee. If I hold the cup right under my eye and peer over the rim toward where the sky meets the horizon, I catch the purple in the steam.
Honey Nim comes out, “What are you doing?”
One eye closed, keeping the cup absolutely still, I focus like a Shaolin monk. “I’m steaming the purple.”
“Go put on some clothes.”
“I made you some coffee. Sugar?”
“Not today, and just a little arf-n-arf. Thanks. So what are you doing?”
“Look… steam. And dark purple sky… over there near the ground.”
She sips her coffee, looking thoughtfully where I’m pointing. “Yeah.”
I switch gears, sing softly, “A winter’s day, in a deep and dark December. I am alone, gazing from my window to the streets below, on a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. I am a rock; I am an island.”
“Song… Paul and Artie… You know, ‘…and here’s to you Mrs. Robinson, heaven holds a place…’ those guys.”
“Oh yeah… tall, curly hair, sings the high part.”
“The song is about isolation and emotional detachment.”
She knows I’m headed somewhere with this, or not, and she has this nice habit of not rushing it. It’s a survival trick for when you find yourself in an international or interracial marriage. Our conversations can drift rudderless for minutes on end without anyone requiring a “point.” Until one of us gets it, we usually wait it out in the middle distance. She moves past me, closer to the window and gazes, squinting, willing the deep purple to dissolve into sunrise.
I stand behind her, talking into the back of her neck. “Which do you think is better, to give yourself freely to loving another even though you could end up broken-hearted, or to carefully protect your heart, but in doing so, never feel the roller-coaster thrill of love?”
She turned, puzzled. “What?”
It’s not a terribly complicated idea, and I knew the gap was mostly technical, so I explained it again, in more or less similar words.
“It makes him crazy,” she said.
“Love makes you crazy?”
“Yes,” she said, “know what I mean, jellybean?”
“I know what you mean, crocodile.”
I put my arms around her, drawing her in. Our cups of coffee mutually encircled one another. I sang another snippet. “I have my books and my poetry to protect me…”
“Go put on some clothes.”
The final, and most difficult, seeking of my life is to find, and become, my true self. To genuinely become SanViejo (Saint Old Guy), not just have it as my email address. I was born in Liberal, Kansas — the most misnamed place since Greenland — in a breech birth. I have been on a cattle drive in Paraguay, I have been to a cockfight and I got kissed on the mouth by the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Kazakhstan. I am good at growing tomatoes. I am driven by three unmanageable forces: a meaning of life gene, an art & poetry gene, and a humor gene. Not necessarily in that order. I want to live by the side of the road and be a friend to man.