Day 27 – he talked for ten minutes

Sunday, September 27, 2009
Day 27
12:05 pm – 1:15 pm

he talked for ten minutes

an inside-out t-shirt over an inside-out t-shirt,
short, maroon shorts
a pale, pimpled neck

he introduced himself by commenting on my hair
and the first question he asked was
Do you write

it did or did not matter that my ensuing answers
were all of yes, no, lots of things, or

he ditched the questions because that was going
nowhere and he needed to stand there
and let words cascade

my body began to adjust and negotiate and wonder
about my capacity to really listen beyond waiting
for him to leave

this was a man who needed to talk and be heard about
Soundscapes, the Beatles, 14 years of studying
classical guitar and piano

Studying group piano with 25 other students
is never as good as studying at
the professor’s home.

Creating your own stuff is great and writing a melody
is a lot harder than just composing music.
he knows guys

he hums an example of a riff, that’s an example
of guys he knows and That’s just a solo
not a melody.

he apologizes when my phone rings and acknowledges
how he always rambles on when he talks

he buys a bag of chips while I answered the call
I might not have otherwise heard if i weren’t
listening for a call

he apologizes again for rambling and begins to enter
the door I hoped he wouldn’t open
asking if I like movies

his cousins make movies and One cousin edits films
and worked on so many films and
Can I take you to see a movie

he loves movies and he’d like to get to know me better
he’s not familiar with this area and It’s so hard
to meet people

Oh, well, i stall, and he looks at my travel mug
with pictures of Ethan
Do you have a kid

No, that’s my godson, but, i stall,
i have, a partner,
and i,

Yeah, No, he says, and we both breathe at the same time
it’s just he loves movies and It’s so hard
to meet people

i have nothing to offer except some lame suggestion
to seek out places where people enjoy
what he enjoys

he knows this, he’s thought about this, There is a Beatles
event that’s happening but I probably won’t go,
he says, he doesn’t know

i listen and say nothing useful, only Yeah, with nods
very useless

and his exit happens in a flash
after we exchange
Good luck

Of course
the next hour would still be spent with him
my mind wondering about his life and where he went off to

he spoke of spending days at home writing songs
on his keyboard, his
Very cool keyboard

he spoke like he’s that guy who dreams up hours of notes
that flitter somewhere between Strawberry Fields
and Comfortably Numb

Is his an apartment not too far from here where he lives alone
in a place that is small, dark and unkempt
like his clothing?

he spoke of songs he wrote about monsters or lanterns
or a child who doesn’t want to go
to school

he spoke like he was that kid who feigned fever
to stay home and play with the goblins
who were his friends

Was his a playground far away from here that was only safe
when he was playing

i can’t help but think, wonder, even wish for his return
and know i still would not have
much to say

traci kato-kiriyama


About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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