Richmond VA, 1992, the height of grunge, flannels, Doc Martins, punk rock colored hair, GenX zines, Kurt Cobain is alive and MTV still plays music videos.
November, the month of voodoo. The prelude to the conclusion. A standstill before the end. A month of fates where anything could happen to twist the plot of what was to come in the new year. Part of the now before the future takes place of our present and anything could be come a reality…
She was awaken. The squealing, screeching, humming, buzzing of the alarm clock was relentless. Being blinded by the light of dusk she begrudgingly lifted her body out of bed to turn down the shades. Taking a minute to peer out the window, Lis soaked in the visualite of what she believed to be the purist moment of the day. The dusk, the time right before the tantalization of the night and right after the treachery of the day’s light. The daylight, a time she had to be present, in order to secure her future. The sky was a light velvety grey with lavender coloring, holding, enclosing, enveloping the candy orange sun that was fading for the evening. A time to count the moments, separating the change and the change of separation. For this time was the percussor, premonition of the night’s journey into life…
Lis looked to the right of her window, there laid the campus church with it’s beautiful kaleidoscope stain glass with white arches. A place she was always told and should have symbolized sanctity, worship a safe place to be one with God. Lis’s belief in God had been tainted with childhood memories of hypocritical priest preaching their sacred slanted view points. Her god if she believed in one did not follow the doctrines of people without technology or those who didn’t even know how to pasteurize milk. To her the only thing that church symbolized was a big building with pretty windows.
She then looked across the street at the park, Monroe park. Earlier today it seem so inviting to all those who loved her beauty. Trees with leaves falling in a fall palette of orange and brown lining her walkways with the quiet chirping sounds of birds. A non demanding melodic array of nature, soothing the students that laid peacefully on her lawn taking in the today’s lessons preparing for tomorrows challenges. While the November air’s awareness was the perfect setting for discussing the philosophies of the world’s need to be in sync with it’s creator. In Lis’s mind this was a more fitting place of worship, sitting amongst all that was worth giving thanks too.
But now, as the light dimmed and the birds were retiring for the evening there was a different forum brewing. The air would become just a little more biting as the evening came upon them.
The park’s invitation would still be extended but it’s invitees were those spirits that lurked in the night, Be not a trespasser in this selective gala. No signs were posted, but this party’s hostess will let it be known just who was on her list. Lis was always on the list. But she often slighted the seduction of it’s privilege. She new the double edged sword that laid just beyond the entrance.
Lis gazed into her full length dorm mirror as she brushed her rustled strawberry blonde shoulder length hair. It had been auburn just a few days prior. But as always the manic panic had faded out leaving her hair in a state of identity crisis. She painted her eyes with black eyeliner. Black, it was an art to make those lines define her dimensions. The Egyptians believed that dark liner instilled supernatural sight a view into what was not seen by the naked eye. She knew this from Dr. Defalies western studies class. Supernatural power, Yes.. that would be nice she thought. She often wished something could help her understand her world around. ***
Why it was the way it was, why she had seen what she had and the mystic that always seemed to keep her safe. A lot would be nice in this world she thought and I ask for so little. She took one more look in the mirror. Her outfit black tights, black skirt, navy blue wool fitted pull over sweater, she was ready. Down the stairs Lis went four flights to the lobby of her dorm, Johnson hall. The night was young and so was she. An important factor in who she was and what the night meant. A party on Grace tonight, she remembered. Well what type of minions might be out this evening? Her presences of course was requested and expected , but not yet. The night was still in it’s naive state.
Lis walked out the front door of her dorm. The air was calm, a slight breeze rising, though not one that shook her or made her shiver. “ Yo Lis, what up angel, “ called a familiar voice from across the street. It belonged to an indie pop boy wearing vans, cut off army pants & a burgundy v-neck sweatshirt sitting on a park bench. .
It was Thorne, her trusty playmate and partner in crime. She met him at the bench that stood on the outline of the park. This was their meeting place before every adventure. He leaned over and gave her a hug as his sandy blonde hair, that hung around his face, touched her cheek. “ How are you? It seems like an eternity since I saw you last, “ Thorne said with a warm smile. Lis returned his affection with sweet gaze of intensity and said,
“Ready to trollop and roam?”
” Always, ” Thorne replied mesmerized by Lis’s mysterious allure, ” But first a moment to take in the night’s early peace as you’ve finally reappeared into existence.”
“ Tell me about it, but you try taking three inanimate objects, putting them together, connecting their dimensions, while excepting their “ beings”, finding meaning and their need for each other, creating balance in their planes of existence. All the while sculpting for sculpture. “ Lis said sarcastically referring to her AFO studies.
She had come to college to study art and found herself bogged down with one class concentrating on the technical be-comings of the color wheel and how it pertained to shape and form, to her sculpture class that basically taught her, take all the shit in the world, attach it and find it’s unaffected, presentational , peace and harmony in three days. Art, she always thought was an expression of her soul that’s why she loved it so. It was something that she needed to say to the world around that meant more than just words. But it seemed like the only thing she was expressing these days was the deadline of all of her stock projects listed on her class syllabus.
“ Very interesting Ms. Van Gogh. But, if memory serves, tonight brinks the beginning of a three day weekend. An adventure of time and a possible journey while we materialize in space. As we are animate objects it should be interesting to see how we connect on this plane, I don’t know if it is harmony we will find but I do thinks it’s time for a little balance and understanding. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Lis smiled with a bit of a giggle. Thorne’s words came out so gingerly it was as if he were composing a symphony of satire. The two sat on the bench watching the cars roll by and sharing a smoke. A moment of relaxation earned and much needed. Recalling and putting into perspective the week that had past. ****
“ Oh my woman, she left me left me left me, on one knee in the alley. Oh my woman, she left me cause I couldn’t give her no dimond dimond dimond
ring, “ sang a voice from the bushes. Lis and Thorne looked over to discover a middle aged man in dirty blue jeans and a ragged sweater worn by the time. It was Perry the Panhandler one of the few brave souls , lost souls, that roamed the interior of the park. He like others of his disposition, had no fear of what laid within her. He poked his head out from the bushes to see if there was a spare cigarette he could partake of. Thorne gave him two and Perry was on his way.
Lis watched him as he went. She was always quite taken with panhandlers in the park. It wasn’t that she pitied them, but she couldn’t understand how they came about. What could have happen in their lives to make them end up here? Walking around aimlessly, talking to themselves, dirty and hungry. Lis would give them spare change if she had any. They were people too. They just seemed… to have a run of bad luck. Well, that’s what she like to tell herself….
But something deep inside said something else…
“ I wonder, “ Lis pondered aloud, “ How long Perry the Panhandler has been here? Do you think when he was young he dreamed? And if he did, did his dreams consist of well…?”
“Trees?” Thorne smirked referring to his wooded refuge.
“No,” Lis laughed a bit at Thorne’s smart ass interjection, “… Well yeah, kinda… the whole homelessness thing…How does that happen?…” Lis said speaking her thoughts as she watched the broken soul man scurry back to his singular solitude. ” Where is the world in his reality?” she continued as her sight was drawn to the lost lines within the park.
“ We could ask him. But, I don’t know if he’ll be able to provide the prophetic understanding that you’re looking for, “ Thorne said bringing her back from the daze of the oncoming evening. Thorne knew the wayward wonder of Lis’s world, the questioning vision in her eyes and undying need for understanding. He found this quality about her endearing yet odd as he knew it’s reasoning resided somewhere deep in a darkness…
Such as, Lis was taken with the idea of crosswinds. She believed that one thought or happening could blow a whole whirlwind catharsis of feelings that affected everyone within its breeze. Whether it pertained to them or not, they would respond. Was it a grand plan or just coincidence? She didn’t know but was always aware of the trace-like reactions in those caught in the aura. If one could bridle this black magic the power might be boundless..
Also, November Lis believed to be the month of fates and voodoo.
The prelude to the conclusion. A standstill before the end.The waiting room of the now before the future takes hold of the present and turns it to past.
Where anything could happen to twist the plot of what was real and what was to come…..
“ Do you think the last thing he was stable for was the night that he proposed to his girlfriend and she left him?” Lis asked returning her attention to Thorne.
“ Well, either that or a bad hit of acid, or you know, it’s possible he had one to many glasses of our fine Richmond water. Lead poisoning can do scary things to a young mind, “ he answered in an authority on the subject tone.
“ I think you could be right. Might I interest you in a glass of water before we go out tonight. We’ll call it an experiment into your psyche,” Lis replied a little more lighthearted.
“ Funny and as appealing as it would be to be a guinea pig in that precocious experiment, will you look at the time? We’re expected. “
In an instant Lis and Thorne picked themselves up off the bench and were on their way down the road to the Village….
Check back next Thursday for the conclusion of
This Slanted Land Chapter 1. ” And So It Begins”
Then on to chapter 2 ” Rewind”