WORKING THE LATE SHIFT

Approaching thirty years of Aquarius, I consider what happens when the office finally hushes. Despite the line bells and the whine of an engraving machine in adjoining rooms, I’m the only one at a keyboard while the police dispatcher mumbles about deranged prowlers, unwanted guests, a prostitute overdosing with the hypo still in her arm (though she later claims she never uses the stuff, as they all say). Sometimes, pretending I no longer care, I sit and read as blue smoke swirls toward fluorescent tubes.

I wish Kokopelli were here, even with one of his stinky cigars. Or the pipe, the one he plays for music or the one he fills with leaf, either one.

Instead, I ponder ways this place differs from Long Pond and its Mafia hit men out of New York and Philadelphia visit to drop a corpse in icy brambles. A nearby restaurant serves poached venison year-around. Another hit happens near a stone mason’s hunting cabin above Devil’s Hole, on mountainside still fire-scarred where his father had built it like a dock. I’ve been both places. Two hits in one place out of many.

When I step outside for my dinner break, I observe a doll holding a cigarette at nose level, as if waiting for some night bird to perch. While she stares through smoke as if she desires me, I wondered how many have fallen for her tricks. I scan her hand and fingers and spot the glittering emblem. I buy a cheap cigar — for later, whether Kokopelli shows up or skips.

At heart, though, I sing for a restoration of America. A healing of fields, of fish, of human integrity, of Eden’s ideal. I want to live free in the Holy Spirit. “May we turn it,” I pray silently. Be it so!  Genuine repentance. Turning. Always turning toward what’s holy.

At breakfast, I begin: “Praise the hunger that brings us together.”

Kokopelli takes a second helping.

I meditate as befits a stone sitting in water.

I gain bearings in addition to the mountain. Some are also barriers. Nuclear reactors, to the southeast. To the north, Army maneuvers. To our west, the Indian reservation. All posted: DO NOT ENTER.

For more insights from the American Far West and Kokopelli, click here.

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