“japanese clouds” (from memoir “whitegirrrl”) short chapter

He pulls you into his arms as the mist rolls over the city inside the shelter the two of you are making, or know how to make with each other.  All of this has to do with the silence of mist, watching the clouds together and he plays Satie, because it is raining on and off that day, and there is nothing to do but breathe into each other.  It makes the loneliness go away.

The clouds roll over the mountains like banks of waves, and the two of you are nothing but a universe of skin and light and warmth together.  The bed is like a sea, where you tumble falling, rolling like the stones in surf, in the breakers, in the whisper of the waves as the raindrops fall.

“What?” he whispers at your ear.

“Like that,” you say softly.

“Like this?”


“Warm enough?”

You nod your head and snuggle closer into him until the two of you are one.  He’s moving again, at the back of your neck, parting your hair until his lips make surprising contact.

“You better stop.”



“Because why?”

“Because falling in love again is too hard.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I know you don’t.”

The large glass windows look out over the city and the best that you can do is watch the clouds roll because you know that everything is only temporary.

“Do you like my new sheets?” he asks.

They are flannel and covered with tiny snowflakes on a field of the clearest blue.  Like his eyes, you think to yourself.  And you nod unable to go further with it.  They look like stars.  They look like the bed has become the night sky itself as if the cloak of that is going to hold the two of you, and it does, because it wraps itself around you like that — in the kind of comfort beds that bachelors make, all down and flannel and scented candles burning.

The clouds peel along the surface of the purple hills, lifting, breaking apart between rain showers.

The body is an inn.  And so is the heart.  For wayfarers.

* * *

“It happened so fast when I met him,” your mother tells you.

“I took one look at him and I asked him whether or not he had a alarm clock.”

You smile at her.  It isn’t often that she tells you about her love for your father, but today she does — maybe because the rain is pouring down.

“You were just a tiny little baby in a basket.”

“I took you with me wherever I went.”

“How did you know?”

“I just did.”

She tells you about his tiny apartment and the sleeping bag he had and how the two of them curled together inside of it and it wrapped itself around them like a universe.

“When you are in love nothing else matters,” she says.

“Nothing at all.”

You find this out later yourself, because it happens again and again.  It’s like some kind of roller coaster ride that the soul has to take, and yours does.  Your generation is different from hers because it searches, endlessly, aspiring higher and higher to cloudsources.  Those are the realms where you want to go.  There are layers of things that you do so that when you arrive it is in the sweetest purity as if the whole past lives you’ve lived no longer matter and they cannot color anything.

Up there, the sky will be full of zen flutes.

Up there you aren’t going to have to say anything at all.

The rain sends little droplets against the windows and you follow the rivulets with your eyes.  It isn’t possible to be this alone any longer.  This is something you have come to about yourself, after everything.  After so much that you have lived and so many pairs of arms that enfolded you like so many angels.  They wanted everything, and yet you were remote.

What was it you were saving?

The grace of things, is what you answer.

Actual grace, as if that is a state of being and it is because you know that, and you have known it all your life.

Yours is the tribe of wayfarers.  You carry small candles that you float into rivers.  The candles move downstream ensemble like little lamps.  This is how we find each other in the dark.  His skin slides against yours and it is blanket enough.  There is nothing you have to say or to do.  It is only a matter of time folding and bending a thousand lotus petals of satori and these things sweep across your vision in the rain full of japanese clouds.

It’s like a key that fits a certain lock and then a door opens into a room full of stars.






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