b r e a t h i n g   r o o m

11 Mar 98

I almost can't believe what's transpired in the past week. A week ago, on March 4, Sarah finally got to see Zero live for the first time, at the Hawaii Hut in Oahu, a show I considered trying to make it to (along with three more shows this past weekend on the big island), but had to admit I could not afford, even before the reading was re-scheduled (based on Levi's coming out here for the Webby awards) for this week. There was no way I could even have made it to the Wednesday show a week ago and still have my act together for the reading on Saturday.

Then, Thursday, she still high on Kimock's unearthly guitar dancing magic, sex still astir, full fill more, our deep and stead flirtation ever constant, we trade the pleasantries usually reserved for lovers.

On Friday, B, in a fit of unabashed jealousy reads mail from Sarah, reads between the lines, reads longing and intimacy, familiarity and desire, reads my replies, fears the worst: recent secret infidelity or impending declaration of love to another, abandonment, and a hell of recriminations about lost opportunities. (She has corrected me since, in discussing this and tells me she did not believe I had betrayed her but that I was beyond my own control falling in love with another, and more importantly, falling out of love with her. It's in the latter that she was completely wrong.)

Another way to tell the story would be to say that I printed out all the mail and put it in a binder or book and left it around in plain sight and put a sort of Bluebeard voodoo taboo on the book: I ask only that you not look at it. And finally she did.

She flees, drives north till the road itself gives out, sliding down cliffs over the Sonoma coast. So no ma.

You may have to wait for the novel for me to tell it all out right, but she left me a note, telling us not to wait for her, to go ahead to the awards without her. I left a note telling her to come anyway when she got back, hoping for the best. She did come, afraid that all was lost. I saw her face and feared her wrath. She confessed her transgression, looked to me for forgiveness, me! I offered her a kiss, she accepted, returning ardor for ardor. We danced. Later that night we all read more of our work. Levi read about snow in New York, I tried reading some of these journal entries, Briggs read "Sirens," a prose poem she and the landscape had collaborated on at the end of that road.

all fear but eyes open -> instant reward! unbelievable blossoming, let 3/6/98 stand for the beginning of something, a new anniversary, clarity still undiminished since quasi-dead show.

Saturday rolled on like an impending, heady blur. As noted elsewhere, the reading turned out intimate and exhilarating. Sarah saw visions, still has not told me all of them. Zero played the big island. Around this time was an eclipse. We are now approaching the full moon, upcoming on the second Friday the 13th in two months.

Yesterday I told Sarah the story. Sarah told me it's the story, the missing piece of Only Way Free, my perennial novel-in-progress. I get the plot last. She points out that we knew this going into our intense e-mail correspondence, and she starts sending me old messages we exchanged that predict what's been going on lately with eerie prescience. I'm beginning to feel like I am involved in a personal relationship with a character from my own writing. Sarah seems to live in the world that I write (sometimes). You must write it, she say. She is still my muse. Crying, she insists I use the bridge photo (on the splash page) for the cover. Shit, if it comes to that, I'll insist. She points out how the title is perfect, how the theme of driving away recurs. As always, I have to trust her. I am weirdly excited.

Today, thinking in terms of sorting out plot details, I jot down this rought outline of recent events. Some days I almost need to go through hour by hour. If much of this plot twist fits into my existing structure, I've got not just an ending but four or five chapters worth of climax and denouement in the can.

yester morrow
day one
first lines

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