Robin goes out and has adventures all the time. She was on top of Mount
Olympus with an acoustic guitar, she wrote me letters in Arizona. She said, on
a phone rooted in the sand, the ocean is orange, (she said that in
California). Then she was in Spain, her bracelets moving in the wind of a
window of a blue car on a road stretching North from Malaga. Robin goes to
Tokyo where she is the most beautiful person in a crowd of a million people.
She’s saving up her money to go to space on a spaceship. She stopped to
be with me in Philadelphia (she was passing through). I was busy staring at her
thighs (I don’t get to see them often). She was looking around the yard we were
in, noticing that everything was concrete, but there was grass upsticking, and
we had a view of the skyscrapers beyond, and the small stream and fountain
built in the yard was pretty for her too. We both had our beers, and
occasionally we looked up into the sky to wait for the next star to appear
through the light-dark clearing. Then we are talking about her adventures — she
leans in to me, her knees against my thighs, I’ve got a mouth of beer to
swallow, the Allman Brothers are doing Lord I Was Born A ‘Ramblin Man, the best
song to listen to while you’re moving down an afternoon highway on vacation or trying
to get the hell out of your hole and see what not being stuck can be like, and
it’s a guitar right now, and her knees are on me — she tells me when I go into
space, I’ll be a lot older. So when it’s time to go back, I’m taking over a pod and ejecting it and I’ll get to fly out there. I don’t believe her, of
course. I say Robin, nobody like us is going into space, besides you’re not
going to do that even if you did… I’m cupping the beer and the conversation changes.
I notice the stream very well, and as we talk and we become drunk, I notice
more things, like how everything is just made out of concrete and grass and
plastic. And it does not bother me, because Robin has told me: it doesn’t
matter what you make the planet out of, just so long as we can live here and be
happy. And she didn’t mean it literally (she was whispering) but she said
it, and it makes me feel happy. We go to bed and Robin lies with me. In the morning she is gone.
To Omaha, to the Mississippi River (Just like Huckleberry Finn!
she writes (with love)), to Alaska, to Russia, she keeps going up. Then she turns and goes back down.
She writes to us, all the old friends. She keeps up with the world,
with the neighborhood. She writes to us her adventures. Her life is in the
context of adventure. But otherwise she says It is just like everyone else’s
I do not think that is true.
I do not know what it is like to be what Robin is.
I imagine things are so strikingly beautiful that it has become much
like what music wants to be, what everything deep down wants to be.
She tells me, it is scary sometimes
But the end of her letters have so many exclamation marks. And now
whenever I listen to music — at the fondest moments I would only laugh — but
now when I laugh I think about what it is like for Robin to listen to it too
and laugh. And I always have this idea that we are on a train. And the train
has shot through a tunnel and is now shooting toward the sun. Racing it, the music is beautiful and
the window is flashing and we smile and our faces move together, and she’s so
beautiful, and so is this life,