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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thinking, always thinking

Tonight, I don't want to write about problems. I don't want to appeal to anyone's senses. I don't want to ponder anything from any angle. I want to try something I've never done before. I am just going to write.

Maybe it's time to start a different blog - something more personal - something where I can just write the thoughts that come to me; no analysis, no History, no Sociological concepts, no Psychology, no Politics. Just words. I do have another blog set up, the "Atomic Adobe" (what the hell kind of name is that?).

We’ve just finished dinner.
Mario's is a cozy Italian restaurant located on San Pedro across from Coronado Mall. Judging from the pictures, it started out as a Mom and Pop operation. Now it's the family business. It is friendly and inviting. I surmise our waitress is probably just old enough be at the University of New Mexico; it’s against the law for anyone under age twenty-one, to serve liquor in this state. I'm betting she’s barely that. It’s just a thought and I’m always thinking, always figuring, always analyzing. Tonight I don’t want to analyze anything. I don’t want to think. Really, I don’t even want to eat. I’ve ordered a beer – it’s lukewarm so I ask for some ice. She brings me a glass brimming with it. “I got you a chilled glass too!” She cheerily announced, “that’ll make it nice and cold.” I thank her and pour the beer. I hate drinking anything with ice. My teeth are cold-sensitive. The beer is not pleasant at all.

I just picked up a new book, “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien. I decided to pick it up on recommendation of a friend I have recently made - thanks to the Internet. He is a person who is kind enough to indulge my ego. He drops by fairly regularly and reads what I post on my blog.

O’Brien’s book, near as I can tell, is about Vietnam. This author is quite accomplished in that he has drawn me into the story completely. In 18 short pages, I have already established a connection with Lieutenant Cross, a twenty-four year old kid from New Jersey whose love-struck musings about a girl he is profoundly attracted to have him in danger. She doesn’t feel the same for him but that doesn’t matter. He is obsessed with her to the point of distraction. Frankly, I am scared for the kid and I can relate to his angst over a woman who is so far and yet feels so close.

Bummer - quite often, we feel closer when we are farthest apart. Why is that? Is it the absence? Is it the reality? I wonder, how must it be to miss someone from afar knowing you may never see her again - especially in war time? I can fathom such a thought because, to know death awaits is incredibly sobering. I am familiar with that thought. It definitely clears the mind of everything but what is important. It puts you right here, right now. What does surprise me quite often is how most of us rarely think about our own mortality. Back to the story: So, what is important to the young Lieutenant is this woman he has fantasized – not the real woman – someone more powerful. Someone unavailable, inaccessible and distant but, not by miles - by emotion. She doesn’t feel the same for him. Why should she? How could she? Why would she? I suppose I better keep reading. Maybe O’Brien will relent.

At any rate, my beer is too cold and doesn’t taste quite the same. I never realized how I drink beer until now. After this rather painful experience of feeling it contact my front teeth, I have become aware that as I drink, I keep it on the back of my palate. I never swish it and I taste it on the back of my tongue. How odd. I asked for a straw: Completely unpleasant. I wonder whether it is true or not that drinking beer through a straw really can increase it’s intoxicating effect? My entrée arrives, I’m not very hungry these days so, I just ordered Lentil Soup. It is tasty – comfort food – warm; perfect for the languid soul.

I’m looking out the arched window at the mountains. The sun is setting so the pastel hues range from purple to pink with strokes of lavender everywhere – all of this set against a grey sky. The word ‘mordant’ comes to mind. I don’t know why and I cannot, for the life of me, recall its meaning. I wish I had a dictionary. I always carry one but this time, when I need one, I want one – I don’t have one. There is a slight breeze so the trees across the street with their yellowish-green to dark green leaves lazily flutter as the wind alights on them. What is it tonight that makes everything seem to fade into everything else? Mine is an impressionistic perspective this evening. I'm thinking I could use a little definition.

I eat a little. I read a little. I look out the window and I wonder, ‘what’s in store for tomorrow?’ My beer is too cold. I hope Lieutenant Cross is going to be alright. I’m anxious. I’m done with today. I’m done with yesterday. Lately, I've been arguing too much. It's weighing me down. I’m tired. Okay O'Brien, what gives with the Lieutenant - what do you have in store for him?

View of Sandias from Isleta Pueblo, just south of Albuquerque
color of the sky is close to tonight's.

For those of you who read to the very end:

Mordant: [MOR dnt] adj biting; corrosive; scathing. n substance that fixes dyes.
Interesting word - I wonder what I was thinking to pop that thought in my head?


At Thu Jun 16, 12:23:00 AM MDT, Blogger Lisa Ganda said...

I can't turn off the analyzing...though I often wish I could.

It sounds like you've been able to get away a few times: a relaxing meal and an enjoyable book!

At Thu Jun 16, 09:49:00 AM MDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lt Cross pops up throughout the story ... and soon you do find out more about his love for Martha. Much more.

Glad the book has drawn you in - I always get nervous about that when giving a recommendation on something that has had a powerful impact on my life ... will it have a similar effect or will the person wonder how weird I am for recommending something that has little impact on them? A silly concern, really, but we all have our own silly concerns I suppose. Good to know someone else has been drawn into the writing the same way as I was, though.

At Thu Jun 16, 10:17:00 AM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...


I am half way through the book already! I stayed up until 2:50 AM reading. It kind of violates my standing rule to not pay too much to any one author. This the second book in two weeks that absolutely has my undivided attention.

Thanks for the reccomendation. It is all you talked about and more.

It reminds me of that saying my future son-in-law told me a couple of days ago; "You had me from 'f**k you!"


At Thu Jun 16, 11:00:00 AM MDT, Blogger Legend In My Own Mind said...

That was quite refreshing my friend. For you to get away from your norm and relax, think from the right side of your brain, letting folks know a really great part of you. The "Voice" that I've known for over 30 years.

30 years! Damn, you're getting old. That's weird, I've known you for over 30 years and yet I'm only 27, how did that work out?


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