cafe scene/new

I think I might have missed something, or I might just miss something, but I'm here again at the Cafe Ambos Mundos, and there is something missing already, even though I haven't been here for more than ten minutes.  I can tell already there's something missing. 

It might be something somehow connected to me not being here for a little while, I guess I haven't had a reason to travel on this stretch, or maybe I haven't really needed to, for awhile.  Things must be settled, then, and that makes me feel very unsettled.  But I know there are things coming up that will draw me here, and I will even live here for a little while, in this space between desert and ocean, and I want to check in first to see if there are any surprises.

It is surprising, then, to be noticing that although it's entirely populated with figures, none of them are particularly moving in any discernible direction, and most of them are covered with dust and the things of spiders.  I didn't know there were so many spiders here, I guess they come out at night. 

On the far table, there are the figures of a Copper Witch and a very eager and confused child of the God of the White Cloth, and they've both been frozen in time, ranch dressing still covering their bottom lips like a seal.  Something very important happened here, but it doesn't mean so much to me right now, because I can't hear the music they were hearing when they got frozen.

On other visits here, I've been coming in covered with leather and a need to wash, and smoke, and drink something powerful for the road ahead, and sometimes I've come in feeling powerful and mystical, like I come in from other worlds, and sometimes I come in feeling ridiculous, smelling like hard men smell when they take themselves too seriously.  I would like to think I am an iconic figure, but my Hunger Games boots and denim jacket make me feel like I'm just another survivor, one who wishes he were a little less tall and a little less visible. 

It shouldn't matter, because no one is moving, so no one can pay any attention anyway.  Except.

First, before the except.  I see two figures out front, caught in the middle of rolling cigarettes and about to tell each other something very important.  This couple, I love this couple, and it makes my throat feel full when I see them here like this.  Anything they admit to each other will be something that they will need to hear from each other, but the seaweed at their feet seems to have stopped them in their tracks, stuck here somewhere in between spaces, sometime long after they both stopped waiting.  But I sense that something in me is still waiting, waiting for these figures to come back to life and say the things that heal each other in other times, but this must not be one of those other times, and maybe no one really needs anything the way they once thought they did.

There's also a white suv parked out front, and that couple is frozen with their hands on each other's backs, underwear balled up on the dashboard next to photos of their daughters waiting for them at home.  I hear them, almost, can almost hear them, telling each other stories about dead priests whose spirits are caught in trees, making future plans for nights in hotels that are lined up in circles somewhere closer to the sea.  There is salt crusting over on their lips, and it doesn't stop me from noticing how beautiful the scene is, and how their eyes are still on fire for each other.  It's a nice place to be trapped.

And I know that there are signs painted in chalk on the walls of the abandoned and never-constructed house in the field out in the back, something there containing a spell that worked to seal doors with the same salt of the sea.  I wonder if I walked through the house if the spell would be broken, and they might find their way back to each other, but I think I have other things I'm supposed to do here.  Instead, I'm distracted by movement, someone starting to shimmer in the sun through the windows of this dead cafe, and she's heading in my direction. 

There's something about her that suggests she's working, and something about that tells me I need to be paying attention, because I'm probably the only customer with a pulse.  The side of her head is shaved, and I recognize her right away, only it's not right away really, because this has been in motion for awhile, I just haven't noticed.

"Now I know everything there is to know about you," she says.

"I don't think that's true," I say, "because I don't know most things.  I mean, I'm just finding these things out, and apparently I'm finding out only a small part of it."

"If you are interested in this small part, then I might very well be the only one who can bring it to life for real," she says.

"I kind of doubt it," I say.

But that's not at all true, because here, in this place, she would be one of two who could do that, and really, the only one I would allow it to happen through.  I recognize her.  I've been looking for her for a very long time, and inexplicably, I'm playing it cool even though that's never served me very well when it comes to anything with her. 

It strikes me suddenly that I have things back home, that there are things that move me through the days of heat and dreams, and it also strikes me that I feel at home back there for the first time in a very long time, and it also strikes me that I'm not at home here, but I like being not at home probably even more than being at home.

Something about her always lets me let her try, to do whatever it is she has in mind, because even though it usually hurts for awhile, it's something more important than what I had on my schedule before she came into the room.  So it's not surprising to find myself lying on a table, where she is standing over me with a needle in her hands.

"I'm not wearing gloves," she says, and this is somehow more exciting than anything I've heard in a long time.

There are seasons for dogs, and seasons for wolves, and somehow I imagined the dog world had come to stay for a very long time, and maybe it has been a very long time, but I hadn't really noticed until just now.  I'd been distracted by the metal by her mouth to notice that her teeth really have gotten a lot bigger than I remembered.

"I miss your teeth," I say to her, because it's important now not to be cool, to say the things I want to say, just in case we get frozen and I don't know when that might happen, but I want her to know just in case that's immediate, and just in case she forgot the things we say to each other when we get the chance.  "I miss thinking about your teeth, I miss the nights I would watch you sleep, your face changing even while you were dreaming, but the thing I miss the most is the thing I never saw, that transformation that happened after your body turned blue, the thing you changed into right before the ocean came in through my window and you slipped out.  I never did get to see what you turned into right before you slipped out."

And she's preparing the needle, and preparing her teeth, and I get the sudden not at home sense that I'm about to learn something very new and important, and that the season has turned utterly, and we are still children of the ocean, no matter how far away we might be at this very moment in this particular place in time. 


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