Dirt pie


train12-1.jpg picture by pemerytx


I met Sal at a friend’s rockin’ New Year’s Eve party.  We got in the habit of showing up at places together, exchanging glances at parties, and making breaks for it, breaks to train stations, to dives for cheap drinks, to cafeterias for coffee and pie with chocolate ice cream.  I went along with it because I knew he wouldn’t go for the trendy places I liked.  I enjoyed his company, so I went where he went.


Then one Saturday night things went a little differently.  Some smashed NYU jerks crashed a rent party Sal and I were at and we made our usual run for it before things got really bad.  We flew down the stairwell of that building so fast we piled up at the door to the street, laughing.  He busted out first and started to run.  He got so far ahead I could barely keep him in sight.  He ducked in somewhere and I just focused on the door of the place and getting there, thudding against the door, pushing in and catching my breath.


I looked around.  I was in an agitated sea of fake plants, fancy woodwork, etched glass, and brass rails.  I stood there like a lost idiot searching, craning, uptight, looking for him.  Finally I saw him, waving at me from a set-up far removed form the ripped-cushioned seats and tiny, tottering bar tables that we usually ended up at.  I walked warily to his table, one big question mark.  He stood up.  I started to speak.  He put a finger on my lips and signaled the waitress.  He ordered a bottle of d’Arenberg Shiraz.


We drank the whole bottle without a word.  It was uncomfortable.  He just stared at me.  I couldn’t take it so I watched all the people and tuned into one superficial conversation after the next.  Finally, his eyes burned such a blazing hole in me that I gave in and let my eyes meet his, and he locked them there.  I couldn’t look away.  He opened his mouth and said that I was like three people, not of one accord.  I recognized the truth in that, but I didn’t say anything.  I just looked at him and thought about it until he let my eyes go. 


I wanted to get out of there, to go to our cafeteria for pie and coffee and then I didn’t want the night to end.  I wanted to cling to this phase of life.  But I knew I couldn’t, I knew it would end, was ending, and dread crept around the back of my mind.  I didn’t want to be somewhere other than where Sal was, and thoughts of events coming up, places I’d have to go, they all bore down hard and pressed me, panicked almost, into a corner.  I squirmed.  He waited.


He waited for the thoughts he’d triggered to do their work.  He waited while I realized why him, why I went where he went, to the dives, the cheap dives and diners with their drunks and bums and tired, poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  It’s because I felt a stronger and truer pulse there than on the surface of life where I existed before him.  I felt this pulse was the pulse, of humanness, of all of humanity, of the universe, of the creator of everything, and I felt this pulse in me.


And I knew if I could stay in that place, that was no place but more a way of being, that I could speak the language of the soul, the language that grabbed at the innards, at the very core of every human and spoke to the center of their tears and dying and dancing and working.  And I wanted so much to do that, to be that, to be real and true, one being of one accord.


But in the next moment I felt myself curling up, wilting with Sal’s pulling away.  I felt the stupid, ironic fear moving in, the fear that the other parts of me, the old images I had of myself, couldn’t sustain the great pulse.  Hilarious as that was, in that moment I couldn’t see not needing him to show me, to keep showing me how to live in the very truth of existence.  In that moment, I stared at my hands, my knees, my shoes. He waited.


He waited for me to work it all out.  But I’d lost touch.  The pulse had slowed and I’d grown cold.  I gave in to the old way and looked up at him and asked the stupid question, how?  How can the smallness of me do this or any big thing?  He smiled and took my face in his hands.  And his answer was just this:  open yourself to it and the rest will happen, like it’s been happening.  I told him not to go.  He told me I’d be alright.  Then he kissed me and left me there with the tab.




New York City’s lady of the lake found at the Bridge and Tunnel Club at http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/brooklyn/gowanus/smith-9th/index.htm and “greenified” by me.  The photos at the B&T Club site are spectacular.

14 responses to “Dirt pie

  1. Good morning, Ms A: The last three posts, though different situations, still seem/feel of “one accord.” “…not of one accord.” I like that very much, and your greenification project. Lady of the Lake your title or theirs? Sal the true Zen master, stiffing “I” with the tab, though I’m assuming she’s doing the dharma for both herself and Sal: he did, after all, know how to order the shiraz. How long since he made the “descent”? Has he fully climbed down the dark ladder himself, or is “I” helping him clarify as well?

    Okay, okay: maybe the fern bar is the precipice.

    Questions aside, I like these voices of 2009 a lot.

    Although I’m tempted not to, for a time I’ll leave a sacred space around the dharma assumption, for readers to find their own ultimate dirt pie reality ; ) Heck, your own dharmic words as always give rise to the most marvelous thoughts and concepts that present pathways to ideas, ahas, truths! Perhaps we can compare notes after the thoughts slow : )

    I agree these last three posts are of one accord. I’m truly glad you like the voice but it’s all one because I’m stuck in one place, not the place I’m aiming for. I’ve hit rock. It’s time to change drill bits. There’s so much I don’t know… It’s like Joseph Conrad wrote, “To have the gift of words is no such great matter. A man furnished with a long-range weapon does not become a hunter or a warrior by the mere possession of a fire-arm…”

    The “NYC’s lady of the lake” thing was a thought that popped into my head when I looked at that stunning photo. I’m not aware of it being NYC’s term, but the thought sure did make me smile. Like “fern bar.” I’d forgotten about that, else I’d have used it here ; )

  3. Everything seemed to be humming along just fine, and then Sal made a left turn. Not only did he dump the dear gilr, but left her with the check! Jerk!

  4. BJ ROAN
    Hey there, Moon sister! That certainly is what it looks like, isn’t it? In fact, it might make some wonder if he’d upgraded. LOL! But that’s just what it looks like ; )

  5. Release the Buddha…She found the knife to cut through illusion, if only briefly.
    I love this, “that I could speak the language of the soul, the language that grabbed at the innards, at the very core of every human and spoke to the center of their tears and dying and dancing and working. And I wanted so much to do that, to be that, to be real and true…”.
    You’ve touched the pulse of that desire with this piece.

    I just hope she got a corner piece. Corner pieces have more frosting. And I’m glad you came by and found a little tidbit that you liked. I always like to hear your take and get a corner piece of your encouragement : )
    The Tower, eh? Don’t you love it when you’re forced to jump from a burning building? Zen says this is a good thing and the amoebic will to live thinks Zen is crazy. LOL!

  7. Wow, this is an amazing piece of passion and desire. Just to have had those moments before the energy shifted and Sal left might have been worth being stuck with the tab. Gorgeously written!

  8. ANNO
    Thank you dahling! I hear that it was worth our nameless girl’s while, for she had another lesson under her belt that helped her move to another stepping stone on her path to her destiny : )


    From such the good and true writer that you are, I thank you. I’ve not been published for I am too small for such a big thing ;-)

    In a whisper, though, I would like to be, and I’m taking a class in March to get big, to do it finally : )


    I do love to make you laugh! And it is so mostly unfortunatlely true about the different sides. I’ve felt it, watched it like I was out of my body, me being all weird with someone when I don’t see a reason why I must be that way! Oh but when the good side is brought out, it absolutely negates my complaint :-)

  9. as in all things, small/big is a state of mind. i think we both have the abilities.. i would love to get published myself! blog is a small start to that bigness… (still feel small though!) good luck! remember the secret ;)

    Hear, hear! I agree and likewise and all of that great stuff.
    I especially loved your secret reminder, btw :-D

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