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Strange Days
By Rowan Wolf

The morning hesitated by my window.

Her enemy and brother remained in many places long after sunrise. Along the floor as cold, in the unlit hash pipe as memory, in the lava lamp as illusion, on the table as a story. But she made up her mind and pried herself through the heavy curtains and onto my face where she settled and with the help of hunger and duty brought me up.

I opened my eyes and saw the story and at first could not remember writing it. It was broad ink on stiff paper in my scrawling barely readable hand. It was a single exhaling under the influence of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D-Moll. I picked up the sheet and began reading. Her brother came back to embrace me.

He was cold and dark despite both gas burners hissing heat into his heart and the little kerosene heater that could, doing its part in the corner. I had smoked a very potent pipe across an ocean and a continent to Los Angeles and the Doors and Strange Days and urged to respond in kind I replaced the Doors with Bach and lowered the stylus.

I have a theory that Bach is God. I think it will survive scrutiny if you follow and allow it. If not "God" God then at least of the same substance. Of that I have no doubt.

Of sounds there are none as God-like as those first measures of the Toccata and Fugue in D-minor, or D-Moll as my German pressing said. They arrived through the ceiling, lost somewhere up there in the darkness, descending whip lashes to kill the silence. I slowly reached for pen and paper as would a photographer for his camera when stumbling upon aliens unseen, hoping not to draw attention. I knew I had to capture him. God. Bach. Would I not allow him to flow through me and out as ink I would satiate and drown in beauty. Not a bad end mind you, but I was young then and not ready to go just yet.

Those first measures saw me, rushed me and wrestled me to the floor. Waves crashing upon Santa Monica sand but this was here and now and all of me was in Stockholm as I began to take down what I saw.

Those first measures entered me like so many lovers. Through my ears, my eyes, my skin, embracing me each as they entered. My body sang. Then the vision.

It was the dawn of the north wind. It was shimmering pipes sparkling in the winter night making the snow sing. It was God coming down through the ceiling as the aurora borealis and I knew then and there that Bach and God are one and the same. No kidding.

Then the world erupts. It starts somewhere in the engine room of time, his feet on the pedals farthest left, hands too to the far left as he begins the lifting. My room vibrates with the effort, with the strength of that rising. I am water I am ink I flow onto white frame after frame of captured aliens or no one will believe me.

The lifting convolutes and crescendos and is done and opens the door onto spring. I follow with the tip of my very costly fountain pen which I bought knowing full well I could not afford it-- the wonder of checking accounts before the days of suspicion and instant verification. But no matter how it got here into my hand, it is here and it is too late to take it back and I write.

The doors to spring are flung wide open, these are crystal steps I see, narrow, dancing, rising too on the dawn. No more brother north wind now, just dawn and dew and those little lakes of silver that form on your petals and leaves and do to smell what Michelangelo does to rock. I wish I could cry. Matching tears.

But for whose benefit? I am overcome, yes, but not beyond control. I keep writing. I know no longer exactly what I say or why really just that I know that this is a moment and I am having some sort of epiphany here and maybe just maybe I'm a genius that someone is waiting to discover and make immensely rich and warm and move out of this cold room where there is no ceiling only darkness and cold and this immense music.

Now arrives a wall. The sound is solid. Physical. And I confess I lose my way. In Him. I reach the end of the paper and there is more to write as I sail on, cast about by waves a soul in blessed turmoil. And then the cresting that lets me sprout wings and out and over I glide. He does this to you, you know, God does. Bach does.

I have taken leave of Stockholm of winter of snow and Boreas' Light and now there is only ocean reflecting my soul and I cannot comprehend how anyone encumbered with arms and legs and fingers and toes could possibly have captured beauty such as this, wings such as these and again I remind myself that I am in His presence and that all is possible.

I turn the sheet over. I only have one sheet? I turn it over and continue this dance and I hope that at least some small vestige of what enters actually exits and I race on over one Swedish word after another and turning I see a path that perhaps can be followed or I will never find my way back.

What goes through God's mind when he writes music like this? What could possibly inspire Him, source of all inspiration? But something does and did and am I really the first to hear this? To hear what He meant. To see what He saw.

There are islets below. Could be Greece could be California could be our own Stockholm archipelago I don't know and really don't care as long as my wings carry me and I don't get too close to the sun.

My speakers make a faint hum from the inverter that chops my direct current up into little AC bits but God doesn't care and I no longer notice. Only space and the tapestry of pipes as I approach the edge of the second page and there is more to say but nowhere to say it. I turn to the wall and now I have sheet to last me. We sail on, Bach and God and I for the final measure.

She sees all this of course and hesitates. She pries her way past heavy curtains and settles on my face. I sleep the sleep of hash and frost and though I know her upon my face up there on the surface I choose to ignore for a while. But she doesn't leave and soon she has dispelled her brother to the nether regions, to under my bed where he will sulk till the sun sets again and she tugs gently at my thoughts and tells me to wake up and go to work.

"So what do you think?" I ask.
My friend turns the sheet over and says, "Amazing."
"You think your dad will publish it?"
"I think so," he says and keeps reading. "Surreal," he adds.
He gets to the bottom of the second page and says, "Does it end here?"
He turns the sheet over again looking for the ending. "Where is the rest?"
"On my wall," I say.




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Document last modified on: 01/06/2007

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