Haibun 21

“two tears in a bucket, motherfuck it”*

*The words of Lady Chablis, in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, a novel by John Berendt

I was born in Detroit, Michigan in the morning of April 21, 1946. It was a good day to be born, it was Easter Sunday. Hell, I was a Taurus on the cusp of Aries, and that date gave me twin flows from the heavens into all my karma. I know about karma because I was a hippie in the sixties and we studied it from little paperback books on astrology. They were one step above bubble gum cards in terms of content. So I was pretty sure it was all true, afterall did they ever mess up Mickey Mantle’s batting average? So I felt important, not everyone has two astrology signs to live up to for all their lives. Your birthday can’t be changed. Once it makes into the county birth records you own that day for the rest of your life, you have something to tie all the shit that happens to you to something outside of you. Hey, according to the astrologists it is more determinate than anything a tarot card reader can pin on you later, and a lot less temporal.

january night
stepping out into the stars
i become dark

A lot has happened in sixty eight years. It won’t all fit in a haibun for christ’s sake, but this much can. I have had bad days, and I think they all have to do with my astrological luck, or lack of it. I don’t have the normal rules, can’t shut down the way I feel. I cry if one of my animals dies, and their deaths haunt me decades later. Could I have done something? Did I do enough? I wonder how I can often seem too detached from the loss of a human friend or family member? Sometimes it seems too easy. I can replay every death in my family from the time I was a small child. They all hurt, I cried a lot, and for a man that can appear to others as being frail and vulnerable, but when I am done crying I own that death. I make it my own. It is the loss of my pets that hurts and lingers, and I don’t seem to able to let go of my guilt, manufactured or real. They wake me, like a tidal wave in a dream that drowns me in my own tears. I long for those dead animals more than for my own flesh and blood. I think that my hippie roots, and hindu mandalas have somehow tied all those furry children to me, and bound them to my sense of family. Yeah, I really believe that, you know? I really see that one day I might be a fuzzy creature, having not really done human that well, and I want their love as much, or more, than I do the love of any human.

early morning
a toy mouse becomes
my kittens karma

First published in Prune Juice!

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