Blood called me tonight. I missed the call. I was goofing off with my Uncle Tyrone and my Aunt Beverly at their big sprawling house in Charleston Heights, munching on pizza from Pizza Hut (sacrilege! but hey, it’s the sticks so whatever) watching some freakout violent maudlin Lifetime Television for Women movie of the week with the volume all the way down and having this long-winded and very very lively discussion about cremation in the Bible and burial rituals in Christianity, which shifted to black power, the one drop rule and jim crowisms in modern everyday society -- for which my friend would not give his two cents. (heh.)
When I checked my messages later on, it was really late and it was really early -- that time of night where moments collide and disintegrate into everything all at once. All of a sudden, it’s morning and it’s night time. All of a sudden, I’m relaxed and everything in me is starting to hum all over again. All of a sudden, I’m asleep and I’m way too wide awake. Like I was ever anything else.
His voice is a sonic blur. It’s a fidgety winding endlessly laconic sonorous lapse in a burlap sack, filled with gravel and soot and candy, covered with good intentions and gasoline. When I hear him say the name that he calls me – something that he made up a very long time ago – it tweaks something deep in my soul and I feel glowy, somehow. He’s rambling and he’s going on and on about me and how I never call him, how I haven’t called him in months and on and on he goes. And I am struck at how much he sounds like my father, before I promised him that I’d call once a week. Sometimes he still goes off about how I never come home, how he came home all the time, how he never wanted to leave home, never wanted to leave his mother. And on and on he rambles. Incoherent and clear as a bell. Desperate, bright and shimmering with pure feeling. My father, talking to me inside of Blood’s voice, like an echo. I know this voice very well.
I sigh and keep listening. But really all I can hear is so much love. It’s so immediate, this rush of love, that I almost blink back tears.
He’s afraid that he’s going to lose me but he won’t, unless he wants to. And he doesn’t. He can’t. It’s completely implausible. That offer was never on the table. It feels like we were always tight with each other, even before we met – because the time that we’ve had already can’t encompass our tightness. At one point, he said, “I’m your unconditional…” and he sounded like he wanted to say something else. But then I think he realized that the idea of being unconditional in and of itself was enough and he let it hang in the air and drift between us on that telephone line, like smoke and ash. It was as beautiful as a flower. I loved him so much in that moment, I didn’t have the words to say it. So I fell into the sound of his voice until he was done. All I could do was listen and smile to myself, like I had a big secret. And then I called him, right then.
It was so late and it was so early and we picked right up where we left off. I told him that he would see me on Monday night. I wanted to play him the new songs that I made. But one thing for sure held sway over both of us, right then. I made sure that I told him that I loved him very much before I hung up that phone. And he made sure that he said the very same thing to me.