The Procession

A night of fitful waiting, passing the time by finally unwrapping the shrink-wrap off a months-ago purchased copy of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. This cream-papered orange and white covered one emblazoned with the publisher’s Penguin, touted as the unedited version of the mythical, single-paragraphed, singular holy tracing paper scroll. My lover, my man, raven long-haired solid soul that he is, walks barefoot on the streets of Quiapo fulfilling an annual panata. Modern link between boy and girl (seems too youthful, final, exuberant to be man and woman) of mobile phone communication severed for five hours.

If he goes home stinking vomit drunk, I would give him hell. Then my mind hovered to, “If he would just call me, all would be fine.” And he did, and he was starting on the journey to sober, alcohol all sweated out from wrangling with the rope, the believer and the mysterious pull of the Poon. In this prayerful madness he invited me to share, but I was in sick with exotic laryngopharyngeal reflux disease, and I was this delicate hothouse flower with this sheltered colegiala past who dreaded crowds and stampedes. And I haven’t been to church in ages and to participate in the revelry would have been anti-climactic. But I would have gone anyway, but for the first reason, because I loved him and this anachronism of black-metal-Satan-worshipper-music listening drummer non-committal churchgoer Simon Necronomicon-reader imbued with a mystical compulsion to serve at the feet of Holiness and Thank God.

And it defied logic, and I wanted to clutch at this madness of faith, because I understood in my stomach that this was deeper than the quaint conservatism of modern Roman Catholicism. This was primal deep orgiastic crowd birth energy, and because I was a vampire for living because I had grown too safe to LIVE I drank it through him like blood, or water. Because we thirst. And because I was the bundy-clock-punching mouse-clicking double-faced being, I read Kerouac and felt the inner pain of mad life, wanting to share the madness, latching on to someone crazy enough to exude firecracker life with every enthusiastic eye gleam. And so he was my Neal, but in some ways only. He did feel deeply, and yearn, and love, and smell so real he could materialize into flesh before one’s eyes. And he listened, and talked, and fought, with always the same spell of righteous wildness. He was old and naïve. And safe in the way a mother’s womb would feel, all-encompassing and nurturing and warm, not the safety of traffic lights and traffic cones and padded walls and walkways with railings. Nature-safe versus cold man-made safe.

He was my antidote to my destructive urges, the destruction that tiptoes to a cliff’s side and ponders mechanically the plunge and the rending and the picking clean by gulls of flesh from bones. If he did destroy, it would be passion leaping off into the roiling ocean, all love and hate and sensible human emotion; I would be suicide by painstaking numbers, imitating fury, mimicking gore, carving out a mimicry of life by shocking the soul with ending.

But now, again, I feel. And I analyze, but the prime directive is to gloat and breathe and get the blood pumping and ask not why, not now, maybe later.

Life that leaves you weeping in the night for no safe reasonable sane answer to the muttered question of why; not tears of sadness but of wonder, at the indescribable beauty of life and death coagulating into one point of wholeness, a focused laser you can feel in your bones, and leaves you buzzed to think of more, and less. And with the thinking comes silence, when it all boils down to feeling and breathing and awareness locked in one’s body, on one’s bed, under one roof. And above that roof, the night lights and the electro-hum of a city dying down in petit heart flickers. And above the city, lights.

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