Rain for the past three days. The small coffee shop I frequent appears more and more abandoned. If it were not for the exceptional quality of the café mocha drinks I would otherwise not give the small corner shop my business, but I like the growing quiet, and the transient sanctuary from the gray shadowed weather.
As I get my five dollar coffee, I stare past the yogurt parfaits and turkey sandwiches of the display counter, looking at the young girl who bends over behind it. The inclement weather has led me to believe that all my harboring doubt and grief about life is not my fault, and maybe it isn't. The pictures in the corner shop are all black and gray portraits of the city in its heyday. They make me hypothesize about my father when he was young. And they also make me feel nostalgic at the thought of wandering backward through time like some drugged apostle watching the chaos of a saint's eternal punishment, or the aftermath of his swift resurrection.
The rain seems to have a constant state of upheaval over the downcast sky. The cars on the street are always present, like false American novelties or second-grade knock-offs that came after all the great wars. In fact, everything these days in America appears to be representing a state of clashing awareness and false spectacle, especially of Hollywood, in which things look inanely strung together by puppet strings dangling below a pair of tired, restless hands. Everything feels like it was made just to keep our weary hearts still beating. The industrious railroad yards with landscapes leading to New York, New Jersey, and anywhere else-every place else I'd rather be.
The tired rain keeps me like a reluctant vagabond sheltered away from the gathering storm, pent up, struggling to make sense of the tumbling vortex and cloud-lined horizon of a dream--a tree of life outside each stream lined venue and home, each blossomed facade and brick lined alley. Each hungered clockwork of our own momentary want and need. Each desire that can be bought with every new taxation and ingenuous new solution--the soul of the engine of America fading from the edges of its own turbulent and tranquil canvas. The years like a temporary madness washing the streets clean of both their salvations and sins.
The storm comes and goes as if no new territory could ever be formed in the streets, as if apocalyptic Polynesian angels dangled fruit from the saint's yearning tongue of solitude. Saint Anthony in his Roman fort, crying out to villagers for water and food through the growing systematic approach of a wakeful decay of hallucination. One day I wish to make a covenant with the sky and all its gregarious prayer work. The same goes for America and its habitually red, midsummer twilight of evening. Its highways as instrumental as the sidereal maps of collapsed stars and unstructured narratives, the lunar procession of the unkempt spirit.
The only time I saw my father truly free is when he took his black Ford Shelby Cobra on the interstate and fed its intake until the speedometer climbed to one-twenty. His squinting eyes glaring past the phosphorescence of jaundiced light, milky and fogged by rain, like today.
I wish I could say I foresee some violet colored rapture entering the dusky atmosphere of America today, and transforming all of our ashen voiced expressions and signals, but all I see is a car careening out of control, and whiskey on the breath of the driver behind the steering wheel. The dashboard nervously shuddering into an engulfing storm of reckless endangerment. I wish I could say I knew what my Father was doing when he pressed on the pedal like it was the only reward of a life of debt and bills, foreign terrain opening up past the roaming short-sidedness of his own intoxication. A child-like wonderment as he gripped the wheel with nothing but glee in his emancipated features.
Sitting in this coffee shop while it rains and the storm gathers more strength, driving home, I find myself just like my Father; corrupt traveler in a box of aluminum filled with radio static and oxygen. The tremulous light of spring above me, and below me the road and passageways of the nation, which took the pioneers, prisoners and politicians decades to interpret and navigate. Both the fleeting kingdoms of their isolation, and the intervals of their incantatory distance.
Maybe it's the coffee in all its amphetamine-fed rush of sugar to
the bloodstream, coursing its way through my tired veins like an IV
drip full of saline solution, except my heart beats as if it were a
foreign object in the center of my chest. My mind like the ecstatic
turning of channel after channel of dead air on the radio, as if all
that held me in that moment was the sound of a terrible love song traveling
through the ether of the luminous city at dawn.
Waltham-born Daniel Giardina became serious about writing while attending college, first cutting his teeth at local spoken word events around Boston. Giardina's subjects deal with solitude, paranoia, and personal relationships take center stage. Noted author and professor Steven Cramer, said, "Daniel pens sophisticated, fresh, and sculpted poetry." Recently, the versatile young author co-wrote two screenplays with Jean Paul DiSciscio of Overdue Films and edited works for Flag Day Productions. This publication is taken from his first memoir, titled, The Weight of The Earth Is Killing.