Now’s there’s nothing that’s quite so peaceful as the two of us just watching people gamble in the Sky Tower, in Auckland city, after hours. So we stand discussing silly things, like the neural role of dopamine and the need for all us human beings to find the patterns hid in everything. But despite the lights that flash above the Keno and the craps, and the way the dealers dance behind their cards at hands of blackjack, with the two of us both knowing in seven hours I’m headed back. Still we stay to bet emotion—that’s the most amazing trick. Like the day we drove to Bethels Beach, climbed a cliff and sat atop a tree, watched the waves and wonder at the sea, “Is it deep or shallow? Blue or Green?” But the sun set sooner than we planned, so we stayed and sat upon the sand, ate a picnic dinner in a cove, watched the full moon rise right up above. But this rumble-roar is some sure sign the tide is coming in, and a billion clockwork bugs are biting burrows in my skin. Still it seems that I can’t stand or stretch my legs to walk or run. And this path I planned to lead now seems to be a silly one. So we hopped a fence and headed South, toward the waiting Whanganui’s mouth, and our sleep was filled with delta dreams from our memory’s tributary streams—like the night we spent in Kowhai Park sharing stories in the shimmering dark, weaving words of love both false and true on a slide inside a woman’s shoe. But these Mother Goose constructions they’re all made of fiberglass. And this telltale fairy forest--they all offer slight release. But if we did kiss this minute, we could break a witch’s spell. But regardless of this, Pumpkin, I can’t keep you very well. So we spent a sunny afternoon in a odorous alchemist’s room—scented candles and these French perfumes smelled like stars and nearly made us swoon. We felt like rakes and libertines, spent our pennies on these pretty things. We rationed out such grand expense, citing “Modern need for Modern scents!” But these fragrant trails are bells that ring and summon up new dreams with citrus peel and rose and jasmine, musk and ambergris, and vetiver assurance seems to blossom from your skin. And these hands that clasp in friendship, well they’ll surely meet again. So I offer you a parting bow, with three gallant words: “Farewell, for now.” And a knowing sadness sparks the air with unspoken hope—somehow, somewhere we’ll come across each other soon. Or if not, we’ll both remember when we did chance to meet and then to conjure a score of small and sweet adventures. But I’m never one to leave without first offering a treat, so I’m quick to scribble lines upon the back of this old bank receipt, and I place it in your palm and say, “It’s an atlas of the clouds between here and Old Seattle. Feel free to follow where in leads.”
from Drawn Onward
released September 1, 2011
Jordan O'Jordan: vocals, banjo, percussion.
Recorded and mixed by Bob Schwenkler.
Mastered by Mel Dettmer.
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