Lost & Found – Not Even a Steel Guitar

On the day when love is new, you drive along winding avenues lined with elms and cherries. Van Morrison sings on the radio about the glories of love. He sings just for you. You drive around, directionless, your mind a quiet, deep pool filled with silent ornamental fish. You are amazed by the beauty of a sweeping lawn sprinkler and the ethereal wonder of uninstalled windowpanes leaning against a white fence. You bless all drivers of BMWs who cut you off and all cyclists who wobble in front of your wheels.

On the day your heart is broken, you sit in your underwear on the futon staring out your apartment window. There is an empty bottle of Crown Royal lying sideways on the hardwood floor. The delivered pizza tastes like ash in your mouth. You plot a secret and bloody revenge against the man upstairs who disdains carpets and wears his work boots to fix himself a midnight snack. David Bowie mocks you from the speakers in the shadows.

On the day when love finally arrives home after wandering about in the wilderness, you are a newborn child. The Goddess lifts you up in her arms, sends you spinning around and around, laughing like mad. At night, she holds the stars above you between her great deity-sized hands, a cat’s cradle decorated with shining beads of light. The sound of a trumpet, rich as honey on a hot buttered scone, comes drifting in from the distance, and brings a wave of gooseflesh.

On the day when love departs with a suitcase in each hand, you are withered and writhing. You are pursued by invisible hags. You are the thirteenth son of a thirteenth son, cursed beyond all reckoning. The wings you were so proud of melt like dollar store birthday candles in the heat of the electric side table lamp. The night stretches out before you, wide as a bicycle trip through the Dakotas, and tomorrow is Sunday, with nothing planned. If somebody, an angel or whatever, were to whisper in your ear at this very moment in time how soon it will be that you once again wake up laughing in the night, you would never believe them, no sir. Because experience has taught you well, and this time life won’t pull its shabby parlour tricks on you. Tonight nothing, not even the sound of a steel guitar, can save your soul.

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