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DRIVE-IN 5: Breathing Underwater

          It was when the dreams stopped,  that was when I started to get worried.  A rock looms before me,  still and silent and I’m back where I started,  alone. It’s tomb-like far beneath the surface, vertiginous, perched  and suspended time acts differently,  fluid, fleet and mercurial,  liquid time,  shifting,  falling away like a robe,  ribboning off down,  forgotten,  time a discarded husk,  I am flying.

breathing underwater

          Aloft and precarious,  little or no hope for return,  the water my teacher, my guide,  chaste, fickle,  one final gulp I return,  deep,  concerned a water snake,  a springtime ball of snakes, wresting, revealing itself,  a Medusa stare engraved like an embossed glyph upon the skin i return to my silent sanctuary tucked deep in the shimmering shadow home, submerged rock sun-suffused and flickering,  spooling the snakes unfurl somewhere deep in the forgotten woods abysmally down, ribboning slowly, majestically downward the abyss of homesickness ribboning away,  twin helix of Medusa's wraith a ball of discarded snakeskins for future generations to unravel, deep sea treasure hunting, I spoke very little those first twelve years.  It’s about loss.  I watch The Jetsons and Gilligan’s Island on repeat,  waiting for my return from Spaceship Earth.  It was perfect and safe in there if I breathed slowly enough I could filter out water and extract oxygen,  a loon shifts its specific gravity diving deep for fish,  submerging until sky blue transmutes to deep rich feeding green i would breathe slowly,  contours of the sunken rock the shape of a gently sloped undulating New Mexico horizon-line,  undulating gently upward at one end toward the Superstition Mountains until I made the discovery where it was safe to land,  toes touching down gently upon the New Mexico landscape invisible,  weightless, lightheaded, feet straddling state lines,  snakes swim only on the surface,  dad killed one with an axe or an ashtray that summer by Silent Lake,  a haunted house,  a dusty road, we climb the hill,  a perch up high looking back,  out and over,  an eagle or hawk soaring so high we weren't allowed to try the stairs we saw it,  slithering five feet in front of us,  silently glistening segments sliding right to left,  eye unblinking,  tongue darting it is gone,  the tail a taper our breadcrusts have no flavour,  flavourless I am alone and safe on my submerged rocky perch the others gone in I'd turn back and listen to the lunch being prepared I'd have to swim back for,  the sliced summer tomato and field cucumber,  mom's brown bread sliced fresh from last weekend's day-long outing into Perth along clicking summer fields,  gravel pinging the underside of the car,  we watched sheets of rain charcoaling towards us that summer,  the sound of saucers spinning on golden pine,  with dread ribboning away,  I taught myself to breathe underwater,  learned the language of a sunken slippery table of ancient Canadian Shield,  unafraid of snakes.  Peering down into the cistern, I see myself treading water,  ink black at chin level,  I dive deep.

          We are not so much shaped by stardust,  cosmic debris,  as the emanating of same.  We emanate the universe,  twin galaxies,  black holes,  dust:  all is reflected and refracted when we peer into the cistern of inner self.  Bottomless.  A forgotten world.  Slowly,  carefully,  I learn to breathe underwater.  I teach myself to fly.

DRIVE-IN 6: La Chasse-galerie


          The week i should have been sitting exams hitchiking on the 401,  somehow – impossibly, implausibly, thumbing a ride in a vague westerly Guelph direction,  a lift from a young guy with deep, pale blue eyes, Chevy brown van pulling over in a puff of dust moments later, we are sailing along,  flying past my old high school in Oakville,  flying west to Hamilton where he's basically open-ended-housesitting a mansion perched halfway up the escarpment on a sharp steep road,  it’s quiet in there as empty pretty much as his van and he’s cool and I stay over,  that works for me his eyes are so blue and clear and he tells me all about Eckincar,  the late afternoon sun tilting into dusk to night,  Hamilton lights twinkling through barelimb trees,  he tells me not to worry,  he’s not converting me,  we light a few candles,  it seems somehow we aren't actually speaking after a while,  listening to this empty house that is somebody elses,  it’s his blue eyes that tell me how he can find a needle in a galaxy-sized haystack,  blindfolded, or say take this escarpment-perched mansion,  his eyes explain:  if you hid a needle away from me in any room,  I could find it within five minutes.  I mean, it’s not some party trick,  but I could go straight to where it's hidden away:  such is the power of Eckincar,  Eck opens the channels of Third Sight.  I believed all this shit.  He’s cool if I want to stay over,  I leave in the morning.  That night seems suspended in time,  through and beyond,  our former selves haunting hallways.  The air cool, crisp and fragrant as my feet feel the steep road walking to the centre of town.

          The week we got back from Grampy dying I was sent to my room to think about UFOs,  reflect on how UFOs might be somehow something to do with my grandfather dying,  his passing inextricably linked with hand-mowing designs in the dandelions.

          That a UFO could be the voice of our ancestors.

          If there was anything taboo about Unidentified Flying Objects,  it was their empirical non-duality beyond reason and conscious thought,  the voice of ancestors filtering back to us from an obliterating future tense lest we transcribe even a handful of words safer they remain unintelligible that's the sensible thing to do in the face of the unknown,  one’s own mortality,  tune to another radio frequency.

La Chasse-galerie
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