11 November 2010

Love, God and Philosophy, by Joachim Bajema

Joachim walked in and got right down to business. He whipped out a photo-copy of a cover of a book: Love, God and Philosophy by Joachim Bajema.
“I’m Joachim Bajema, and I wrote this book.”
I don’t know if he knew where he was or who he was talking to, but it seems like he did, and maybe it’s true, that philosophers can sense each other somewhere in their cheekbones. We talked some about Love (and so some about God by default), but mostly about philosophy, and his resume. He gave me three different addresses to put in his file: One in Switzerland, one in D.C., and one down the street, on the street. He came in every day, and we talked, and I asked about the strange, small silhouette of a dog on the cover of his book, and he dove into some crazy theory about the spirit of Love and God in Dogs (and yes, the lettering had something to do with it), and then left again.

Later that week, the FBI arrived (they come frequent enough not to scare us; infrequent enough to still clear the place out) with a large, photocopy of Joachim’s grinning mug shot.

“Have you seen this dangerous man?”

Dangerous man. I had seen him, yesterday and the day before, and we were talking about Love doggone it.
He had brutally murdered his father, his mother, his grandmother, the neighbor who tried to intervene, and the police officer who arrived later. They “WANTED” him.
I told him that he was either in Switzerland, D.C., or down the street, on the street.

Knowing I wouldn’t get to talk to him again, I tried to figure out how to get a hold of his book.

06 November 2010

The First Snow with LaTasha Roe

... and as we stood outside her new apartment--her nearly-empty, save a sleeping bag, new apartment--the first few flakes of snow drifted down, and around us. I have never seen her smile like that: her eyes so squinted (just like mine) showing both rows of teeth, the wrinkles around her eyes delighting in the chance to bear witness to the occasion. Because this time, this winter, as the snow continued to fall and accumulate, LaTasha could go inside whenever she wanted, to a place that was hers, where no one could tell her to move along.

Knowing that this was now true, that everything had changed, we chose to stand outside just a little longer to watch the snow, pausing to look at each other with memories of the last 2 years of her struggle in both of our eyes.

There was nothing for me to say to her, in all of the holiness of that moment. But LaTasha never lacked words:

"Damn, girl! I forgot how cold this shit is!"