BEFORE I think how to respond to a stranger, I feel them; the gestures, expressions, tones of voice, movement, conversation, mannerisms, and the eyes. I acknowledge feelings first, then I think.
UNMANNERLY I can improvise a dance to any music, except ballet and tango. I don’t feel rigid and life’s burden lifts when I dance. Lately, at dusk my day ends with vinyl soul and rock and roll music. It works wonders for the dinner hours on your own.
THE sense of sprite or gloom in the city reaches me when I’m driving. I feel a whirl of sensory perception from the drivers faces. To witness the joyous reciprocal ink of friendship between shop keepers, cops and other cops, city workers, and service technicians trying to fix satellites, and cables in a city of inconsistent infrastructure.
SOME of my principles are unsupported with experience, but more with GROWING UP WITH GANGSTERS training that I cannot erase. My theme is unbalanced, I take the extreme path instead of the path with arrows. It is why writing settles my sea-saw. As I sit in my antique wooden chair looking out, a feeling leaps to the clouds; creamy linen-white like parasols floating through the radiant royal blue sky. A tiny thread of blush pink ribbons the outskirts of Santa Fe. Beneath this canvass are the stick branches of winter trees, then a gust of wind blows the last leaves into a dance. The sedate and quiet surroundings relieve my spinning head and I just continue to sit and not fidget. Every pedestrian that passes becomes a source of study. There is a woman who walks weekly with a Parrot on her shoulder. This draws attention to her and she relishes the conversation with her Parrot, who appears to love to sit on her shoulder. The old man with the bent back that walks with his chin resting on his chest is a storyteller. I have a difficult time understanding him.
HE’S told me that he knew Elliott Barker; who owned my house for fifty or more years and was the distinguished New Mexico game warden, environmentalist, and author who coined Smoky Bear. After the cub was rescued Elliott took him to President Roosevelt and asked that the bear become the mascot for preventing forest fires. Men and women with legacies like that leave some presence in their residence. I think that is why I feed the twenty-five birds, six doves, white-tailed hawk, and Homeboy, the squirrel. I live in Elliott’s office. Maybe even wrote where he did.
THERE is always commotion and a raucous of human emotion coming from the hotel across the street. Staff workers chatter into laughter, truck loaders shout and spit, deliveries stop traffic and sometimes a bad boy yells out obscenities. Cops are always dropping by to check-on some hotel hiccup. Dog walkers tug at their dogs and the Santa Fe street vagabonds dart by staring at the brick sidewalk. This street activity is in slow motion pumping along with the beat of my heart.
SOME people appear to drag their bodies rather than the other way around. I wonder if all the global google news has weighted us down. Young bohemian gals walk by and turn towards the house when they hear the music. Facial strain and deadness erase their youth, even when the music is pumped up jam or rock n roll. This nonchalant detached behavior bothers me because I am an aloof! The exchange of human voice and expression is our background symphony, along with the birds, crows, power saws, blowers, and sirens. This street is part of my theme; a juxtaposition of affluence and simplicity. I am a 21st century flapper clinging to the roar of independence, self-expression and breaking rules. If we feel the chord of festivity, we should not hold back. I am going out now to see if I can feel Christmas.