Posts Tagged '20 minutes'

Considerations of a burgeoning trinity

The hermit in the cave has a funny bone. It is located somewhere between her elbow and her thigh. The funny bone connects the body, mind, and spirit of the hermit at unexpected moments. Some days, it occurs to Hermit that soup is like mind, all salt and broth and herbs swimming together, and she laughs until she is so thirsty she drinks it all down. Some days it occurs to her that sex is like spirit, transcendent and earthy, and she laughs til her thighs ache with wanting. Some days it seem to her that mind is like criticism, architecture and chemistry, sewn together in a complex and terrible quilt, and she laughs until her eyes shoot sparks into the dry forest, where she learns about the danger of mind.

The dangers of mind, body, and spirit coexist in the person of Hermit, who lives in a cave that is always 72 degrees. The cave of Hermit is full of shadows and hieroglyphs, old stories and maps to somewhere else. In one corner, someone has written cogito ergo sum. It is not known who wrote those words; they have been there since before meaning was a consideration. Hermit calls the writer “Anonymous”. Anonymous Bosch is the pseudonym adopted by Hermit when she puts on her widow’s weeds and wanders out of the cave into the blinding sun. There is ambivalence in leaving the cave for Hermit, who believes in cloister but also in compassion, which cannot be practiced alone. And so she prays, alone, and sings, in company, and serves the beans and rice that feed the brains that think the thoughts that write the words that live in the cave that thought built.

In the cave that thought built there are three Hermits who live in a single body. The body of Hermit is strong and brown, the mind of Hermit is calm and wild; the spirit of Hermit is sky, water, fire and air. Hermit thinks herself alone, feels herself in her body: skin, lungs, bowels, hands, the jittering synapses of sensation. Hermit feels her spirit ecstatic, expansionist, empire building across skies and centuries, knocking down the walls of time and reason. Hermit leaves the cave, Hermit goes back home, over and over and over again.

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Zuzu’s zippy hour

 “The martini special tonight is hot tangerine – made with fresh-squeezed tangerine juice, lime, vodka and ginger. Six dollars until 6:30. “

Zuzu orders two. It is 6:15 already. And the sweet potato shoestring fries. She likes the colors, she likes the sweet and salt tastes on her tongue. She wishes her friend would get here already, instead of leaving her on this crowded patio bar at happy hour, surrounded by people in groups, work groups, mostly, but also social groups. Social groups. She rolls her eyes at herself and swishes the tangerine juice at the back of her mouth, where it stimulates a little flood of salivary excitement.

“Good,” she says out loud, then looks around to see if anyone noticed. No one did. The volume on the patio is increasing steadily, exponentially, as the end of happy hour approaches. The men in the lawyer suits have their ties loosened or removed and they roar like elephants, heads back, trunks exposed. They must be funny, she thinks and puts a sweet potato fry in her mouth.

“Mmmm,” she says, and wipes her lips. The ladies in the floral dresses at the next table over are handing gift bags to the head of the table, a red headed woman wearing a pale blue sleeveless dress. They are all laughing.

“They are all laughing,” she says. The waitress, walking by, sees her mouth move and leans over.

“Can I get you another?”  She waves her finger at Zuzu’s glass.

Zuzu nods her head sympathetically, not really meaning yes, just acknowledging her presence. The ginger gives this martini such a nice zip, she thinks.

“Nice zip,” she says to the men at the table with their big laughs. They wave their glasses at her. Her cell phone, sitting in her purse at her feet, begins to vibrate, but the ginger is more zippy than the phone, and she misses her friend’s call.

When the man with the best figure and the zippiest smile gives her a ride home later, she talks him into stopping at the Sunflower, where she buys Chunky Monkey ice cream,  a frozen soy dessert called White Creation, and some butter and eggs. They eat ice cream and soy cream and drink whiskey and fall in a sugary haze into bed, where their relative receptivity is fair but not stellar, as Zuzu has found to be true often enough with stranger sex.

In the morning, she finds ice cream dribbled on the 500 piece puzzle she’s been working on every Friday night for the last six months, and the man with the zippy smile is in the kitchen, making coffee and humming a song that might be comforting in someone she knows well, but is irritating to Zuzu, who prefers to be left alone in the mornings, as well as most evenings and some afternoons.

“Some afternoons,” she says out loud, wiping White Creations off of her puzzle, an English garden that is heavy on lilacs and trellises.

“Coffee?” says zippy man, sticking his head out the kitchen door.

She takes the coffee from him and gets out her cell phone, picking up her message from Angela, an apology, an explanation. She doesn’t listen to it all the way through.


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