I make it to the park across from the bar. One late night jogger comes by and some kids are huddled around a picnic table. Someone is playing a guitar and a girl sings along. It's nice. I used to play the guitar. A light wind filters through the Oleander bushes probably covering some large house. I hear a mumble of voices and I can smell barbeque. I lie down on the soft grass. I keep seeing large silver triangles outside my right eye. It's not unpleasant. I am hungry for pancakes with blueberries. My father used to take me to IHOP - it was his idea of a great treat. My hand hurts and looks like it is swelling. I broke it years ago, the last time I saw my father, I think. Two years ago? He came to help me in New York. Another failure. I just wanted an answer. "Did your father love you?" I had asked him. "Did - you - love - your - father?" I wanted answers. Horse shit. The guitar playing stops and I realize I have said this out loud. The kids have fallen silent and are looking my way.
Whither wilt thou lead me Ghost? Speak. Speak I pray you - and now the kids are slowly clearing out. "Jesus", I yelp when I put my weight on my bad hand and roll over on my side and laugh. Hamlet. Lost his father too. I slowly get up. Something won't let me rest. I am dead tired but my body is tight. Using my good hand I stand up. The bike sits across the road gleaming in the overhead street light.
I suddenly feel a surge of energy. My whole body kicks in. I run from the park across the street and leap on the bike. Fuck this moping around. To hell with my so-called friends including my family, no one is to blame, everyone does exactly what they do, and there's nothing that can be done about it.
I am back on the bike. I feel clean. I feel everything is possible. I kick the bike alive and away I go pounding through the gears and wonder how fast this thing will go. I gaze up to the sky. The stars are there and I am here. I laugh. I feel like a little boy. I start to cry. 'Tomorrow creeps in its petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time.'
I'm in a long tunnel. I shoot out into the night and the highway rises to a bluff over the sea, and then dips down to a little settlement called Makawmo.
On my first night in Hawaii, I found this bar with a porch that looks down and out across the ocean. I'd like to take a look at that again. They'll still be open.
Walking in, I touch the side of my face. The blood has dried. I sit down in an empty booth. I chuckle thinking of the fight. The way Phil tried to defend himself. And me.
The bar seems miles away down a long corridor of floating grass with large dark, angry faces lurking behind raging fires. A white shadow way off in the distance moving in my direction then I hear this woman's voice beside me. "What can I get you?"
It's the waitress.
Startled, I blurt out. "Small glass of rum please?"
"Forgive me," she says in a sweet voice, "but you look a little wrecked and your face is bleeding."
I can't make out her features, but she is so polite I don't know what to say.
"You sure you want to continue?," she says. I wait in an endless silence. Did she ask me if I wanted to continue? We stare at each other without speaking and I watch her morph into several shapes. She's Egyptian or Iranian from some exotic place. I am beyond high.
"You're right, I'm not sure I want to continue." I say finally. "Would you bring me a glass of beer? I think I'll go out on the porch. Can you bring me something out there?"
"Sure," she says. "It's last call." I get up and stumble, catch myself and go outside. I walk through the porch down some stairs into a garden that smells like earth. The white moonlight lies over everything. I keep walking. I am on sand now and the white trail of the moon stretches down over the water. At the edge of the sea I stop for a moment and then push forward. The water is soft and hardly moving. I go in further and stand up to my knees. The sky is immense and the water under me is laced with silver. I raise my arms and float right up to the moon. Then I am completely wet lying under the water. I lurch up on my knees feeling alive. I slap the water. Then I do it again. I leap up and crash down. I roll over and over getting up and falling down, crawling around like a kid. The more I thrash around the more fun it becomes. I finally quiet down and sit in the water thinking about Noah at Water World in the phony surf. I will bring my son here. That's what I will do. This is real. I see his laughing bright face so clear; its my face, its my father's face, it's his father's and on and on. I want to hold my boy. I want them all to hold me.