All godly love on full display. Breaking our faces in the Viking melee. Then Richard Cory dispensed medicines to himself and the words of the mind stopped. He dropped into the grass and rolled himself up for any passing Cyclops.
A Cyclops did pass, it was ol’ James Joyce clad in eye patch and he was already smoking away on his pipe at ten in the morn. He passed Richard at the same time he always did. He spoke: “Richard don’t kill yourself today my dear friend.”
“Someone will be by to smoke me soon. I will be out of the way shortly.”
And Mr. Joyce kept a-strolling finishing the rest of their conversation in his mind. It was always the same when the ink dried. “Thanks a million Richard. You were always a charming man and friend.”
He looked to his left and saw two twins. They were old. Just like the pictures said they would be. There were a thousand pictures. The twins were locked in heated discussion. In eardrums it sounded like this:
“Where you are born has no bearing on the kind of writer you will be.”
“I disagree. I find testicular fortitude is more apparent among the likes of Herman Melville.”
“I vaguely knew Herman. Certainly of him. His fortitude existed only in the sense that he kept writing in his time. If he would write now he could be the belle of the ball. What did you think about when you wrote Jailbird?”
“I decided to think about not having any testicular fortitude.”
“You thought you were old. Didn’t you?”
“I thought that for a long time.”
When James quickened his gait he could have predicted when and for how long he would, instead, he listened for the call of a bird. His apprehension in longing was broken by a bird strumming a guitar and singing.
Broken rhythm, it came out like this: “Ezra Pound… Maya Angelou… Sat in Captain Falcon’s tower….. Calypso singers live and learn and I’m jilted holding flowers.”
He always had it right, the beginning is important, everything else is a flight of fancy. James thoughts were drowned out by the birdsong.
He continued his walk into the wild-west part of town. He saw a man with a big mustache talking to a donkey by the livery. James said this:
“Zarathustra! You’re merely wasting your time, he doesn’t need you.”
To which Zarathustra responded: “Consider the lilies of the field. They don’t need me. Yet I stand before you.”
James waved and kept walking. He stopped by a store stocked with all manner of spirits from all manner of eras. He looked unto the laudanum and next to it the absinth. The proprietor stepped out from the back and said: “Welcome back to Vision in a Dream James. What can I do for you today?”
“I’d like to try some of this Will Shakespeare strand.”
“Hitting the reefer heavy I see.”
“Well it’s heaven, I won’t write anything ever again, so I can do to myself as I please.”
“I pass not judgment. How much can I put you down for?”
“I’ll take this entire jar.”
“Alright James. I hope you enjoy.” He then walked over to his writing pad and added James’ latest purchase to his tab.
In heaven you never pay your tab. In heaven you never have to write again. In heaven it feels like heaven.
James stuffed the mason jar in his coat pocket and made his way out to the rocks by the shore of the sea. He looked up and down the beach. In the distance a solitary figure sat staring out at the endless bounding waves. James began to walk toward the figure.
He tapped his pipe and stuffed some of the Will Shakes into it. He sat by the dark haired figure who never broke his gaze of the sea even when James asked:
“You never will.”
“I only care to dream.”
“This stuff takes my dreams away.”
“Even in heaven?”
“Et tu heaven.”
“I thought heaven would be as it existed in my mind.”
“You looked for those images stored deep in there. That’s more than most dream of accidentally.” James reassured.
Silence except for the ocean.
Then Ti Jean said:
“The ocean splashes me with salt water. I taste it and I taste the death of the planet as a gorgeous living organism. It will turn into a sepulcher soon and the scent will fumigate heaven.”
“If the world ends in the name of saving a dime has anything changed? If our descendants destroy everything the earth started will they be any different than our ancestors? I say ‘No’.”
“That doesn’t relieve the pain of watching it happen.”
“If there was no pain in the heavens then god wouldn’t have been inspired enough to create the worlds.”
“It’s something I cannot stand to witness.”
“I believe it was you who said: Accept loss forever.”
“I didn’t realize how much I believed what I wrote at the time. It seemed I had found heaven in that and I was way off the mark. Now I wish I could die and go back to Big Sur even.”
“You must refresh my memory.”
“It doesn’t matter. Heaven is filled with people much smarter than you facilitating your continuation of learning.”
“You best go far in the world lest you be left behind in heaven.”
“I was hoping to lose everything I learned on earth. That was the loss I was hoping to accept.”
“If that was the case what would you’ve done for all the people who died after you.”
“Given them the keys to the car. The kids were disappointed by my stories often. I was stretching yet I only did what I knew. And I only knew the truth.”
“You came closer than any have since Homer. Even he acknowledged that when he finished everything you wrote.”
“I didn’t know Homer could see in heaven.”
“You can do anything in heaven at the end of a pen.”