My sister was seven when she first got the notion she could walk on water. She practiced on mud puddles in tinker bell shoes - pulling her skirt up, stretching her neck out and pointing her head down to get a better view. "Hmm, I can't tell. What do you think? "I can't tell either, maybe we need a deeper puddle." "What do you mean we, I don't see you doing anything." Then she pushed me down and walked away in search of another.
By age fifteen she had conquered all surrounding puddles and lakes - dancing in pure white sneakers over muddy monsters and leaving not a trace. "It's merely a matter of correct breath, feeling the proper vibration and stepping through the illusion. It's easy nothing to it, give it try." I would - breathing deep in old army boots stepping boldly toward a deep dark puddle splash splash splash along bottom gravel bed coming out soaking wet and pissed. "You're hopeless you big klutz." "It's just a stupid mud puddle!" "Mud puddles cannot be stupid, they, like everything else exist as neutral manifestations of this miraculous universe it is you who attach meaning to it and part of that meaning is your dirty boots. You created them and now you want to blame the mud puddle." "I don't want to play your stupid game!" "There is no other game to play little brother."
Soon enough, she left the junkyard and made her way to Minneapolis then Chicago New York and LA and like walking on water she left nothing behind - not even a mark on their busy bee ways so grounded as they are in their concrete abstractions to notice a junkyard girl sharing holy perceptions.
Lying down with mad men and women feeling them claw their way out of their skin and into hers. Just like back in the stick-thin woods of Northern Minnesota when on moonless nights the old man would: awash in an alcohol fever, bend a blues lick up the driveway, fall out of his truck, stumble out of time up the steps, crash crescendo against the door, work several keys in the lock, knock over the mayonnaise jar reaching for a beer in the fridge, slide up the stairs, enter my sister's room and attempt to fuck her. From my room I would hear a symphony bleed from her room in a cutthroat score; heavy beating breath, pig gut chorus, muzzled trumpet pain, the old man's crashing defeat.
She was going with it now knowing the price each one of them pays for their schizophrenic ways seeking freedom a few seconds at a time with a stiff cock or soaked pussy. Finding mostly shame and deception and self-hatred next to this giving little saint. The only thing they think to do is fuck it, bring it low.
She would have none of that, instead making love in deep ancient places. She recognized their vibration of pain as her own and sought to comfort and maybe guide it through moaning waves of gray. She was saving the universe one lay at a time: "Time is not a line but a point. There is no past or future. Everything is simultaneous and complete - unbroken - nothing is left undone. Life is beautiful, yet in your head you are the stranger and I am the prostitute and when you are finished, you will walk out the door and get in you car and stop by the flower shop on the way home to your (you think gullible) wife and kids. You will sit down and read the sports page while ignoring the innocent penetrating eyes of your children just wanting to play. Then you'll eat dinner in pregnant silence and reach for your wife later that night thinking only of me and her knowing will pretend she's asleep so you'll give up still believing you got away with something." And he, "Shut the fuck up!"
My sister returned to the junkyard in the early morning of her twenty-first birthday. Wild string hair, blazing crystalline alkaloid eyes bathed in heavy makeup. She was wearing a blue with white stars halter top, red shorts, and eight inch candy cane stripped platform shoes. She found me hobbling around smoking a joint and tending to my make believe. "Where've you been, you look terrible, still walking on water." She shook her head yes to my stoned relief. "You know I wouldn't mind getting that on video" "Take me to the river." I grabbed the camera and we piled into my car and drove to the Mississippi river just south of Aitkin, Minnesota. It was a spring river, raging high up its banks, pulling in whatever came to close but she just stepped out and glided on by - and she walked on the river, and she walked on the river, and she walked on the river all the way over to a boulder that rose up out of the water about half way across. She climbed up - turned around - looked at me - smiled - and let out a laugh that bounced along the water like ice cubes on linoleum. It was unusual in its usualness and she said: "Little brother, look around you. The birds haven't stopped singing, the wind is still blowing, there are no rainbows, no thunder from above, everything is the same just as it should be. This is no miracle it's only the identification of the nothingness that is already here. I've fucked ambassadors and hermits and there isn't a molecule that separates them yet they're locked apart through artifice and strive stuck in a place that isn't even real. They are doomed, for they have tied themselves to this world with strands of steel so thin they feel like silk so strong they cut through flesh and bone leaving only pieces of soul for the next Sotheby's auction. Dreamed, drugged and ready to collapse - and it will collapse - without revolution - you can't live forever on repetition and hope. You can be god, anyone can be god and everyone will be god and everyone is god. There's no button to push or invention to be made only to embrace the many vibrations of this world now - god is now. God doesn't seek revenge, doesn't give favors, won't strike you down. God is the vibration and you are the vibration you need only to recognize to walk on the water. Little brother you could walk over to me right now if you could recognize these words as true. Come, lift yourself up, feel the hum and flow and see through the illusion that binds you to the ground. Believe by doing and by doing believe." "Hold on, I need to get another tape."
As I turned toward the car I had a feeling, an inkling, of an infinitesimal glitch in the whole scheme of things. So turned back in time to see my sister step off the boulder onto the river and be struck down by a log that just happened by. It knocked her off her feet and she sank like a rock. She could walk on water but man she couldn't swim; and neither could I. I stood there in tape less silence as the river carried her away.
I followed as best I could in my car down hwy 210 cutting over to hwy 6 and stopping on a bridge just in time to see the bottoms of her platform shoes a bobbin' along like she was walking on the other side.
She was taking big Jesus strides upside down down the Mississippi. On down through Brainerd and Little Falls and St Cloud on down through Hasty and Monticello and Dayton on down through St Paul and Red Wing and Winona on down through La Crosse and Harpers Ferry and Prairie du Chien through every dam and concrete bunker and finally striding close enough to shore near Dubuque, Iowa where I grabbed her feet and pulled her out of the water a new born stinking gray pink two hundred pound corpse. Her arms were stretched out over her head and with both hands she was holding a smooth black stone - me thinking, I'll never get her out of here, so stayed there with her for three days so she could dry out in the corn fed Iowa sun - each night massive freak dreams of death and weakness and decay and my first vision of the future and the flying black death machine sent to hunt me down by a paranoid government - waking up haggard, scared, and empty, in dull haze. Poking her with a stick and watching the rivulets of water flowing from her tributary corpse back to the river. Rolling her over in the sun dry fiddling day, contemplating the smooth stone still clutched in her hands. "No flies no mosquitoes - hmm?" Eating the hard candy found in her hot pants pockets feeling a cold breeze blow down my backside from the passing of a wandering doom as I waited for less weight.
She obliged, losing 75 lbs a day and by the end of the third day rising
up in the wind and almost blowing away so pinning her down with her own
rock and waiting four more days because I had no idea what to do. Take
her home - wake the folks - show the tape - try to explain - bury in the
ground - watch them flail about on an open sea of empty emotional overplay
(all show - like a hollywood production). The old man in all his coverall
penis advances - relieved in sobbing wet face - the old lady in martyrdom
place glad-sad just another chance to endure, persevere, gain grief accolades
in this her tragic award winning life. Her entire feminine cosmic psychic
connection to her daughter short circuiting in each proto-pragmatic phrase
"she's in a better place now" "the lord works in mysterious ways" "she
was a wild one that one, makes you wonder." The gathered crowd of vague
name faces. Life and death of equal distant, uncomfortably spoken of,
never discussed except in head down tone-deaf gray dawn breath of re-visionist
history - "She was a delicate flower." "A good girl." "A virgin angel."
"Such a dear." Me at twelve paces yelling about her walking on the river
in platform shoes after a night of heavy drinking mescaline visions of
beyond possibilities for blue collar girls from Northern Minnesota. Well
beyond the one, two, three, four, five sense human form on its eye for
an eye bullshit carpet ride to new vibrating needs while walking on springtime