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City of Refuge

Sometimes when I wake up, things have been re-arranged. Like a week ago, after everyone got rearranged, the whole wall collage---it was several months old---came down. Angela, Bryan and I had all, all-of-the-sudden noticed it felt inappropriate; then, when I woke up, it was gone. To me, it had felt like an old skin; images that had become just images. The only things left were my "I ain't never scared" sign, a Christmas card from Tim and some pictures from me and Mollie’s trip through the desert. Some other things were still hanging out, but had been moved to other walls. This wall was almost bare.

Yesterday, when I woke up, things were different again. Above the alter and the dog-buddah was a gaffer tape octagon. It was open at the bottom by the alter and the things from the wall were now contained inside it, plus a picture of Sallie and Joshua. It was immediatly striking to me; there was a sense in which I understood. I looked closer, and at its bottom right, it was labled: "City of Refuge" and then an explaination: "peace and protection for all who enter". I felt inspired.

Last night, Bryan explained it to me. He said it related to actual cities in [ancient] Hawaii. They didn't have walls, but people respected their boundaries. If someone had commited any crime, no matter what---killed someone, or stepped in the king's shadow--or if someone needed protection or peace for any reason at all, they just needed to run into these cities and they would be safe.

This reminded me of "safe" in tag...something like "ollyollyoxanfree". I remembered running though a yard at church and catching a metal pole---safe. Screaming, "safe", and safe....so long as I held it.

Somewhere in the night I started thinking about the boundaries of this town. Thinking about how I felt I was between pairs of contradictory needs/desires. Wondering if mercy...peace...could ever be borderless. I was thinking of The City, of the Law of Jubilee, and the Law of Jupiter. Before I had gone to bed, I had gaffered a picture of Marisa, Jack and I in The City. Could these things be contained, could they be forgiven. . . how would they be reconsiled; could they ever be? Did peace extend beyond this octagon? And after all the thoughts and words of the last few days, the only thing that I know for sure is what first made her most mad, "I love you both".

Even as I say that now it feels both wrong and untrue. But still like all I’ve got.

Andrea asked me, “who makes you happy?”. That doesn’t help---they both do, just in different ways.

Christine asked me, “where are you in this?” “When do you get what you want?”. But, in a sense, I have been getting what I want, but it has not made me happy. It has not let me feel loved. At least not for more than a moment.

And I ask myself, “who do you miss more?”, “whose lips would you most want right now?”
And, the answer to that one is easy,

After we talked for hours. After I answered the wall and she told me to look at her. After the air buzzed thick with anger or fear or something hard and heavy that made it seem we both would die. After I finally found her eyes in the shadows. After there was nothing left to say:
She read each of my fingers with her mouth.

She didn’t need to explain anything to me. But she said that, to her, fingers have always felt like truth.

And that was all I had to offer her—truth. And maybe with that, a bit of herself that comes with knowing she was right. That she had always known, but she had been lied to.

To me, the mouth has always felt like listening, in its most simple and sensitive form. Like the way a baby knows its world.

The night before, we had been watching a movie at somebody’s house. He needed us to leave, so we took it with us. She scanned through the movie and started it. We were both messed up; it felt like a trace. Plus, it was “Fear and Loathing”, so it was trippy anyways. We had been almost at the end where we had stopped before, but we watched for quite a long time before I was sure that we had seen these parts at least once before. I said, “I think we are back at the beginning.” I heard my words hit the situation, and it was as though we were both ready to jump off this place and fly back through time. 3 years back, to the beginning. She paused the said, “kind-of”. But, no. This is somehow different for what has happened between and we were somehow unwilling to go back. Then she said, “oh. You were talking about the movie”. “Yes.” I said, “…I thought I was. But I heard that question, too.”


I think it's that I have been entierly vulnerable to everyone.
But I think that that's okay.
I'm feeling, now, that they can't really hurt me. And I don't think I'd do it any other way.

Constant flux is ok... the wall is just a metaphor for life, sometimes there's a lot of random stuff and images of crazieness and blah! and sometimes, you gotta simplify it and say what do i really need here?

you're smart. I'm stupid.

i need pizza.

and fresh squeezed orange juice.

and this remote control.

that's all i need.

please tell me when you are serious about the pizza.


yer lactose-intolerant.

though you could use a little more meat on yer bones.

All I need is this paddle ball game and this chair. That's all I need.
And all I got's to do is stay black and die.

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