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The General: World Goes Round In Circles

June 1, 2013

After surfing, I was sitting on a bench at Pleasure Point rereading Philip Roth’s “Goodbye Columbus,” then The General sat next to me, a local guy in his late sixties, and we start talking.

“Check out the way these women carry their boards, instead of on their heads, they carry them angled on their hips, sideways like they’re waitresses carrying service trays.”

“They do that because they want to be seen,” commented The General. “They’re not here for the real thing. Out in the water, you see them too.”

An SUP guy rows on his board standing up and catches a wave.

“You know, I had cancer and every excuse in the world to use one of those boards and I couldn’t do it. To me the best part of surfing is taking that drop and standing up and driving to make your turn.”

The General nodded, “I call that defying gravity. I’m somewhere else, in paradise, and then they drop in front of me and take paradise away. They’re out there, wanting people to see them. They just go forward, they don’t go to paradise. Some do, there are a few out there and you can see it. WIth SUPs if they roam instead of staying in one place no one gets mad, but if they stay in one place people lock in on them and get mad. I saw a couple wearing helmets and gloves standing on boards and paddling. Helmets and gloves! They were out on a flat day and came in laughing and smiling, it was like they had a honeymoon out there. They had bought boards and had a great time.”

“I’m not saying SUPs don;t have a place. Flat days, lakes, rivers.”

“I’ve had a chance to do it, but I never would,” said The General.

A woman comes by who smiles and says hello. I know her. She has dated and slept with just about every other guy. She’s carrying a friend’s board she borrowed. She worked for a computer company, had an affair with a top guy, who broke up with her and gave her a Porsche. Lately, she’s tapping a TV weather guy who lives at Pleasure. She dated a close friend of mine for awhile, and broke his heart, along with a few other guys I know.

“She’s an angry lady. A lot of anger in her,” I said.

“You were pleasant, she can take that and maybe it will help her later.”

“Well, I have a hard time with her. She knew I was going through cancer, and she was on facebook, and she could have just offered some support, but not a word. And when I got better, and I was at a friend’s party. I had short hair. She’s acting all pleasant like she was there for me. And I gave her a hard look that jolted her into silence. I couldn’t let her get away with that. There’s this circle I have and it was filled with all the people who loved me and all the things in my life I valued and it had to be pure for me to fight cancer, I couldn’t bring anything false into it. I couldn’t allow her in there. She didn’t earn the right to be there. She would contaminate it. No, she can’t go there.”

The General’s eyes widened and he said, “You’re so clear about what you’re saying and it excites me because when your walls come down, you’re going to have an amazing experience.”

I laugh and say, “Walls? My circle overlaps with others. But you have to stay true, close to a curl.And the circle isn;t concrete it’s porous. Is  a campfire in the darkness giving out light a circle, or is it light in the darkness. I see it as a light.”

“Well the shamans all believer in circles, they made them. When aliens landed they made circle. You have a circle. I’m in it. She’s not.”

“Well, the circle of pretending she was there for me. I’ll keep a safe distance. ANd like I said, there’s an anger there. One time someone asked me my email. I said FP Reiss. And she said, ‘what’s the F-P for? Fucking Prick? You see, I know why she’s mad. She was dating a friend of mine and made a play for me and I laughed. And she never forgave me for it.”

“That was control, she was trying to get control of you, and if you probably went for her, she’d have pushed you away. We’re all God’s children, when you think of how some of us move on and others don’t, and thousands and millions of years for all of that to happen. When he looks go and she has to see herself she’ll have her chance to go somewhere else.”

“Yeah, I think of all the relatives I had as a kid. The barbecues. Them laughing around the table, drinking beer, smiling. And they’ve been erase. All gone. I’ll never see them again. But the way I see it, if you get out of your own way and accept all the influences, let them take you for a ride. IU believe in propulsion. When I’m walking around I feel they’re behind ,e looking through me and seeing what I’m seeing.”

I started coughing.

The General said,”Lift up your elbows, raise you arms, loosen up your ribs. When people cough they close it, the ribs press down. Open up, lift the arms when you cough.”

I think back about the day before.

Moments. I stand and feel that warm air, feel the heat, the sun beaming down. There’s a thrum and I stand equal to the trees and everything growing around me. I’m there with them. Where the hell did that come from? These connections they come often, overpowering, humbling, and inspiring, giving me hope that somehow others things will come together for me and be a force field to keep cancer away from me. I have to believe this, otherwise, I’m letting The Big C get ahead of me on the count. I wanted to tell The General about that. I don’t see my circle as a wall.
All I know is, I have to go for a CT scan soon. And I need to bring the force of that circle in there with me. Everything around me isn’t temporal–it’s tentative, and I want to stay without suffering to =alleviate the suffering of others.
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