photograph by Carmen Winant
Forrest Lewinger is a San Francisco artist and musician who makes really amazing, inspiring, beautiful music. He is also my boyfriend, but I'm not just saying the music is good because he's cute. Here are links to Forrest and the Birds of Paradise and Wanda and Wonder, his two bands. Hope you love it like I do.
Birds of Paradise
Wanda and Wonder
On certain days of the week one walks under the freeway bridge. The shadow of the bridge makes a cold place and a shaded rectangle. Under there it is third world, packed dirt, all the swarming, loud and angry, Mexican, starving, windy, hollow, weeds, beneath, cement, makeshift, built upwards, pushing into blue sky gray. One does not know why one thinks of this freeway bridge so often, even when one is not beneath it.
Other days one finds a calla lily to devirginize. One puts two fingers in and removes its silk. One is looking to make oneself feel a certain way. In this case, soft.
One becomes deaf, dumb, and has not yet learned sign language. One flails about. At work, one cannot tell the man in the next cubicle what the percentage of what is. One cannot say one loves one’s spouse. One must write everything down on a pad of paper one carries in one’s shoulder bag. One writes: two cups of coffee, please. One writes: I’ll have the salmon. One writes please please please.
Under the freeway bridge, one sits on the dirt in one’s work clothes. One cannot hear the cars humming above on the freeway. This is a relief, since the sound is deafening and wind-ridden. It is also a relief that one does not have to explain oneself to the people that pass by. One would not know how to explain oneself while sitting on the dirt under the freeway bridge in one’s work clothes.
Because one cannot speak, one is dismissed from one’s job at the office. Although one is mortified at first, one soon realizes this too is a relief. One does not have to explain oneself with words to anyone, calculate the percentages of anything, or send electronic mail to people that are within earshot. People within earshot. People within earshot. When one cannot hear there are no people within earshot.
One thinks too often about the calla lily. One sees a red balloon. One writes calla lily and one writes red balloon.
One writes many things on his notepad. One writes notes to oneself and notes to others. One writes gray sky gray sky gray sky. One is tired of writing gray sky and so then writes dying sky. Dying sky dying sky dying sky. When one is tired of writing about the sky one begins to write about the freeway bridge. One writes wind tunnel dirt scraping hollow Mexican starving place. One feels relief when one writes this, because he had never been able to say these things before.
One gets struck by a car while walking across the street under the freeway bridge. One falls to the ground like a weight and lays there. One gets carried away in an ambulance that smells like turpentine, but because one cannot speak one cannot describe how one feels to the ambulance doctors. One tries to pick up his pen and his pad of paper to write: pain in heart, pain in chest, but one realizes one cannot move one’s arm. One cannot move any part of one’s body.
In the hospital bed, one thinks only of the freeway bridge, of the space in the shadows with the wind from the cars rushing above. One realizes that the hospital feels almost exactly like the shaded space under the bridge, a space where one is not meant to stay very long but rather to pass through. One thinks of when he was young and healthy and could move through these spaces fluidly. One thinks of an airplane to Chicago in the winter. One thinks of his cubicle at the office, of cold coffee and leftovers in Tupperware. One longs to make metaphors, parallels, and plans. One longs to document. But one can only nod or shake his head at the large colored cards that the doctors hold up. No to yellow, no to green. Yes gray. Yes brown. Yes black.