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They CAN Take the Sky From Me - Salvador Dali in a lawn chair.
I'm invisible without 3D glasses.
They CAN Take the Sky From Me
Six years ago, on a cool autumn night, one of those short weeks of reprieve from the thick heat of early fall and the wet chill of winter, I sat on the hood of my car, Elvis, with two friends of mine to watch the Leonid meteor shower.

I'd parked the car at the end of Mimosa Drive, a short shush of a street that dead ended into a giant sweeping sea of kudzu. It was the only place right in the middle of town that was dark enough see those streams of light, shooting stars that streaked across your periphery but blinked out if you stared them full in their radiant faces.

We sat in front of a house that Jason Wilkins, Brad Aldridge and Chris Thompson had rented for the year, the last house in a line of tiny budget homes in the heart of the hospital and its hangers on of gynecologist and dentist offices.

I think CDave and Steve Berg were there with me. The night is a little fuzzy, dreamy and surreal and flooded with hazy images twinkling with sky glitter. It was hushed and sleepy, and we felt so special to have had the place all to ourselves. We shared it with no one while the rest of those sky gawkers drove out to Sardis Lake to be harassed by Park Rangers on a mission from God to kick out the teenagers.

I write this down, because that beautiful, special, magical place is gone. My stormy kudzu sea has been ripped out and the earth looks like the scalded skin of packed red clay. Jason's, Brad's, and Chris's house is gone now, uprooted and overturned to make way for an elite condominium subdivision called the Hamlets.

A real estate firm and development company has stolen my memory so they can sell me $473,000 of custom cabinets, eight-foot ceilings and contracted interior decorated space. Not that I can afford it, but some yuppy can. Some guy who never sipped crown and coke from a solo cup on the hood of a snaggle-toothed 1989 Pontiac Bonneville and felt like they owned the entire fucking world because they got to share those brief glorious moments when hunks of burning rock turned into shimmering angels before they blinked out of existence.

I keep telling myself that the memory is still mine. Pragmatic, practical, life moves on. They took the setting: the house, the sloping hills of kudzu, the empty blissful quiet, but they can never take the memory away.

But they can. The memory is already faded a little, and I used to drive to that house every couple of years and sit in the dusk to burn the images into my head again. But now even the setting is gone, and all I can cling to is this hazy memory that I clutch like beloved but sad and crusty teddy bear.

And within the quickest of moments, I feel the passage of time, death creeping as each memory blinks out of existence. The brightest of shooting stars, when our hungry eyes turn to focus, is replaced by the emptiness of space.

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mood: empty

3 Voices in a Chorus | Lift Your Voice Aloft
stephaneyney From: stephaneyney Date: June 14th, 2006 02:06 pm (UTC) (link)
When I read this, Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" comes to mind. I think anyone in Oxford with a soul bemoans the condo conspiracy. Basically, the town is saying "we don't particularly like poor people, so pony up the dough or move."

From: spiderknight Date: June 15th, 2006 05:21 am (UTC) (link)


Actually, this kinda bothers me because I'm putting some work into actually BEING one of those yuppies who can move into a place like that...

But I console myself with the work I've been doing recently on renovating my soul. Like I told a good friend earlier today, change sucks. No human transitions well, neither the three year olds nor the fifty-three year olds. But if you wait it out, bad stuff fades and good stuff pops up from time to time.
danilia From: danilia Date: June 21st, 2006 03:27 am (UTC) (link)

a thought in which you might find comfort

First off, keith and I haven't died. We're just internetless more or less until august (other than occasional wireless we pick up from neighbors). On to the matter at hand: take courage. Memories do eventually fade, but at the same time, they cannot completely remove themselves from this world. I know that I often speak in odd circles, but those circles are what helps me understand, or at least get through times like this. You are who you are because of these experiences. These memories all build up to create the wonderful person that is in all of our lives. In this way, you pass those memories on, without necessarily knowing it. Each life you touch in a positive way passes the spirit of the memory onward. When you stare up at the sky with your friends today and find wonder in the twinkling cosmos, that spirit is even more active...and then that person passes it on as well. In this way, it continues. They can take the physical things away, tear them down, and think them done. The memory as an image in your mind might blur from sight. But it's the spirit that they can't take from you. Nothing can break that from your soul. It's forever a part of you, and through you, a part of the world. They can't take the sky from you...you ARE the sky, and all its brightest stars.
3 Voices in a Chorus | Lift Your Voice Aloft