Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Sky Fit For a Redhead

One of the best things about Marcie and my neighborhood was the close proximity of lovely viewpoints along the various segments of Mountain View Road. I saw the sky and raced home to catch it reminding me of her with its brilliant color and complex depth.

Click to enlage the shots and get a better look at the gallery...

Sunset kisses are another thing she was very good at giving me. I miss that almost as much as the warm softness of her body bundled up and wrapped in my jacket and my arms as she watched the sun set with me on blustery evenings like this

I recommend a chilly, stormy sky sunset if you can, alone or not.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Chrissy's Dream

I loved hearing about Chrissy's dream because it shows the side of Marcie that was more concerned with her loved ones and friends than herself. This held up through her illness, to the very end.

Marcie's strength and empathy were always in play, and even if her patience wore thin and she grew tired of some problem she saw a fix to, her heart could only be sweet.

She might grouse later or point out the silliness of the people she comforted, but her consoling touch, which I miss most acutely, always shined. At times, i think she only complained to keep her tough image up.

We who loved her saw right through it, I know...
Chrissy shared:

"Shortly after Marcie passed away, I had a dream that she was picking me up at the San Diego Airport. When I saw her, she was dressed in a beautiful long, white, flowing dress. She came up to me I walked toward her. We were so happy to see each other. She had come to pick me up, and I knew we were going to her memorial. She put her arm around me and she said, 'You're going to be ok.' It was so special, because in my time of sadness she was comforting me, only she was already gone."

Thank you for relaying your beautiful and very telling dream of her, Chrissy. What a wonderful moment to share.

Much Love,


Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Dream with a Message

All my thoughts and signs of Marcie, as well as a peek at a friend's personal blog, triggered a dream last night. But it seemed like some little bit of Marcie was coming through with a purpose, and not the random synthesis of imagery drawn from our lives.

In the dream, Marcie and I were making out in an airport lounge, sitting in a little round booth with some hors d'Ĺ“uvre and glasses of wine. A beautiful lilting voice came over the loudspeaker as we kissed.

"Flight Three for Mbingu now boarding at Gate Seven," it crackled, interrupting the music in the lounge, and our kiss.

"Mmmph... mmm," Marcie said, her hand on my jaw as she stopped. "We have to get to the gate or I'll be late."

I nodded and grabbed her bags, admiring her sleek form in her little aqua camisole and long but clingy white skirt. She was wearing white heeled sandals of some kind, and I remember thinking that they showed off her toenails' little flowers very well as we walked.

When we arrived at Gate Three, children were playing and clamoring around a few smiling adults. A young man stood in a white uniform that looked an awful lot like an Army uniform in Navy white, I noted. Everyone was dressed for summer.

"Marcie," a beautiful Indian (or perhaps Pakistani or Bangladeshi woman, I could only guess) said, beaming and taking her hand. "I am so glad you made it. Why don't you take these four and take them with you?"

She gestured to four little girls, one of them a redhead who immediately attached herself to Marcie's leg, the other three African, dressed the same, in little white gowns, one wearing her hair in hanging braids, the other two, smaller girls wearing little cloths wrapped on theirs.

The taller, braided one showed the other girls something in her arms, "It's my baby," she said. "I saw a brilliant glow in her hands and on her forearms, cradled but translucent, the faintest outline of a baby's form visible.

They murmured and the girl slipped her arms under her gown, smiling a moment at me. I smiled at the smallest girl, who looked at me a little confused, and she came over and took my hand, pulling me. I started to go, but the woman took my arm with a warm and gentle but firm grip.

"No, Serena," she said. "Francis is not going on this flight, but you will see him later, okay? Now go with Marcie."

"Sorry, Serena," I said, and before I could ask why I was not going, Marcie spoke.

"I call him Frank, Niyati, " she interjected, smiling at the women. Marcie stepped in close and her face slipped into a little sad smile. "Honey, I have to go now. I'm sorry, but they said you can't get an entry visa yet."

I suddenly realized that Marcie was seriously going without me, and that is why I had no luggage of my own. I began to protest and Marcie kissed me. I felt a strange electric jolt down my back and opened my eyes, my throat hard and pained as understanding dawned and I remembered.

Niyati rubbed my back as I listened to my little bride and the tears flowed.

"We'll have our second honeymoon, honey," she said. "But not right away. I have things to do, and you have things to do, too. I won't leave you alone. I'll call you, okay?"

I could only nod and then kiss back. The four girls hugged around us until Niyati took their hands and put them in Marcie's or on her skirt gently. Marcie pecked my cheek and Niyati took her bag.

"Okay, ladies," she said. "Time to go now. Marcie, I will see him home after everyone is in."

"Bye for now, honey," Marcie said. "Come see me when you can."

"I will," I said, hoarse but determined to sound strong, which I was not nearly.

They walked into the gate and were gone. Niyati rubbed my back and smiled when I turned to her.

"She waited for you in the terminal so you could see her off," Niyati whispered. "She is very stubborn. But it was okay to let you come here for her. You have been very good to her."

"Why can't I go?" I asked.

"It is rare for people even to come here," she said, "You have been here before, and you knew your way back, and you will know your way here when you don't get to go back again."

She sighed and smiled, stroking my cheek and smiling. "You may have been waiting for your gate call once, but this was Marcie's. Your ticket is expired, and your reservation is for a much later flight, so you can't board yet. You also need an entry visa to fly, and yours is not ready yet."

I nodded. "So I don't get to board until I die?" I asked.

"You will not die, no one really does who comes here, but you cannot be responsible for anything when you do come to depart," she said. "If there is something not yet done, you cannot board."

I was calmer but sad. I stared at the gate and sighed heavily, wondering how I would visit if I could not fly yet.

"Stay here a moment," Niyati said. She walked over to the confused soldier, who waved as she guided him into the gate. I waved back and nodded. I envied his luck.

Marcie walked backto the edge of the gate and beckoned to me sneakily. She bit her lip and looked at Niyati, who was greeting a young woman and a couple.

My heart surged. I smiled and ran to the gate on my quiet step, sneaking rapidly and leaping at the end, but a huge wall of a man suddenly stood before me. The gate slid back from me behind him.

He put his hand on my shoulder and Marcie came over as he spoke. "I know you can't help it, and I know you think you want to take my wrist, and you want to slip by, and you want to go, Francis."

I nodded and looked up at him. He may have been seven feet tall or so, but I didn't care. I considered the best course for a moment but my thoughts were scrambled as Marcie kissed me.

"Honey, you are very brave and I know you want to be with me, and I am so happy you ran to me for one last caper," she said. "But just run to me when you see me somewhere else, okay? We'll have our time together."

The man let go of my shoulder. "Thank you, Marcie."

I had one last kiss before the dream ended. As we kissed, i felt her mischievous delight with me and her passion. I woke and felt her hands on my cheeks and her lips on my own, phantoms of her again acting as company to me.

Sometime this weekend, I will share Chrissy's dream of her. I have been trying to digitize the wedding video. We will see. I may also get the archive of messages from Tanya, and I have found more little notes. Good night, friends. If any of you have dreams to share. please let me know.

Extra note: The name I heard was "Natty," but this is as close as I found from theplace I think the woman was from or supposed to be...

A very difficult project

So, I am calling it off and going to bed. I have been trying to digitize a very special tape. You'll know when I get it finished up. Night, folks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A very tough day

So, todays was a day that, no matter what I did, was filled with Marcie. I imagine my dreams will be quite hard to put away when I wake up tomorrow.

First was the lady with her redheaded child who crossed the street in front of me at Park and Adams. The little girl, very "Natalie Wood" in her jacket and gloves, save for her fiery red curls, waved as she walked by and smiled.

A block or two later, Lily and Christine crossed the street from Cream, a local coffee shop. Lily is a pug, and Christine is her mom. I'll get pictures next time.

When I got to work, I was clicking through my old emails and came upon a nest of Marcie's. I read them and had to go for a little walk. I am waiting for Tanya to send me one she discovered, too... that will be hard as well.

On my way to the post office for my passport appointment, a song came on by Stevie Nicks. Marcie loved Stevie Nicks and I have always been bewitched by lady songbirds. It was "Changes," loaded with parallels and pain, and an acoustic version from one of my favorite all-decades rock channels, KPRI.

So much of it is so very relevant to our last months together that I had to pull over and sit for a bit:


I took my love and I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'Til the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Mmm Mmm... I don't know... Mmm Mmm... Mmm Mmm...

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too


(Guitar solo)

I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I, I´ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too...
I'm getting older too...

So, take this love, take it down
Oh if you climb a mountain and you turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring you down, down

And If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe... The landslide will bring you down
Well well... the landslide will bring you down

Every time I hear it, I hear her singing to me, though I am well aware that Stevie Nicks sang it for her father. Marcie and I once had a long cry to it after her first surgery, the removal of her breasts.

It came on as I tended to her 4 separate wound drains. I thought I was hurting her, and I asked, but she just crumbled again and shook her head, hanging it away from me sadly. She said, "No, it's the song, honey."

I really listened to it for the first time and knew she was singing it about herself to me in her heart. I guess my heart sang it back, and now I am the one under the landlside. And man, did it bring me down.

I miss her more than I ever did, but I guess she is calling me more strongly than ever, too. That, or I am just grabbing at every single chance to stay connected and on track.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chrissy's visit

So, Chrissy finally made it by today, and we shared a very Marcie-memorializing Rubio's meal. Chrissy had the taco combo while I had the mahi mahi combo. It was nice. Chrissy divulged that, since she's now living in Rockford, Illinois, fish tacos are far from common fare.

We went through a couple of albums and I, of course, let her pick out a few pictures. I let her take a very precious one from Terri Dambrose's wedding, of Marcie getting drunk with them, drinking straight from a bottle, her drss off her shoulder on one side.

God, she was so hot. Marcie definitely outshined the bride (sorry, Terri).

Back to the visit. So, Chrissy was a good sport and looked through Marcie's things, taking a few scents and creams, which I hope bring her joy and good memories of my baby. I also, since they shared a Lucy love, gave her Marcie's Lucy monopoly set.

She also selected a Matisse book for her coffee table and one other. Marcie would have been very pleased to see her take them, and I know I am.

The visit was over all too soon. However, I will be trying to make a trip to Rockford sometime soon, when neither mosquitoes nor cold bite one overmuch. We'll see how life unfolds.

I'll post some pictures of Chrissy and Marcie over the years when I get a chance. G'nite, folks.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Little Things She Might Have Liked (pt. 2)

So, today I took a big step in my life that touches on Marcie and my relationship on a number of levels. Marcie was a little paranoid about me. She was protective, true, but paranoid nonetheless.

I did give her a few reasons to be cautious. I was fast to the sword, so to speak, when I felt she was being slighted (or picked up on). I wrote for "underground" newspapers and fanzines, and had a very adventurous social set to run with.

I did not always show the most prudent judgment. I liked to do little feats, walking on my hands or balanced on handrails around City College, where I was the AS Senate President, or standing on tables in the cafeteria to emphasize a point or a joke.

Extra money came from working doors at punk shows and concerts. My whole approach could be called, "risk management be damned." So I understood to a degree.

I remember the day she let me know that I was going overboard. I was carrying a full load of A's at City, plus AS, running a side business, putting in late nights working doors and writing.

She took my hands, and stood very close, wringing them with her own and nodding, "Honey, you have to slow down," she said. "I am worried."

She gave me a tearful list of concerns, admonishing me from hugging her, as she had a lot to say. In the end, I reassured her, mostly by letting her know we would talk about initiatives before I launched them. I stuck to that.

Motorcycles were one of those risks she just set her foot down and refused to budge on for me. I wanted one, she couldn't see it.

"No, I would be worried sick about you all the time," she said. "Frank, just let it go. You bring it up like once a year and it just freaks me out. Just drop it."

And usually with a harrumph and an abrupt exit, she would go somewhere and close the door. She would remain tense and stern until the requisite apologies and placative gestures were proffered, including but not limited to gifts and some concession to her wisdom on the matter.

This ritual continued until 2004 and her cancer ended most of those ritual discussions. But the issue did not go away, though I had forgotten it.

It might be easy to magine my surprise to receive, during one of her trips to San Francisco to see Jane, an email from the aforementioned friend with the following contents:

Motorcycle Mamas

I quizzed Marcie and probed, then told her, "I guess I'll get a motorcycle and take you out into the hills on it from now on, won't I?"

"Sure, honey," she said. "When I am better. I think it would be fun, but I don't think you should go buy a bike, because I don't want to worry when I am sick like this on top of it."

Today, I bought a Harley Davidson Sportster from Buddy Carr, a former professional skater and businessman. His wife Tracy reminisced that he had caught her eye with the bike. Son Tosh came out and joined us when Buddy turned the engine over. Nice folks.

My Uncle Tim and I looked it over. It's Beauty. We both agreed it was 1989 Sportster with a belt drive, cam kit, lots of chrome and plenty of good maintenance. Here's Uncle Tim, with it as we prepare to unload it from his truck .He seemed pretty delighted:

I had worn my leather jacket, gloves and biker boots (all but a helmet) for the pickup, and immediately took the bike for a short spin down the block. Immediately meaning "shortly after I was browbeaten by Uncle Tim and Neighbor Jim."

It was awesome.

My plan is to take my time, get to know the bike, get a learner's permit and the registration changed, working on the bike as I go. When I have my license, I will, for my first freeway trip, take Marcie out to the mountains on it, as we said we'd do.

When I go, I'll find someplace pleasant and gentle, or a place she had loved, and leave a little of her.