Tuesday, November 8, 2011

With Love From Immy

Susie is horses and riding trailers, hair done just so, blonde under black velvety riding helmets, a room with flowery wallpaper with the names of high school boys written carefully into the petals, she lives in a different time zone, a different world, Big Sister World, years in the future, horses and friends like Sarah, friends who laugh and hang out and then disappear and seem to know everything I don't know and surely never will, and she is off to college wearing preppy innocent college clothes on the day we drop her off, only to return home on what seems the next day with a truckload of hippies who blow the very lid off of my go-carty and basketball hoopy mind, Big Sister's college friends, so many friends, how does one make so many friends, down for the Kentucky Derby, sleeping all over the floor downstairs, sleeping on the Living Room floor, even, where none of us is ever allowed to live otherwise so that the sickly green chairs and couches and ashtrays and coasters remain forever readied for Mom and Dad's grown up parties, yes, these thousands of hippies sleeping even on the floor of the Lifeless Living Room, long hair and crazy clothes, dressed for a collective performance of Something Very Different, with Big Sister in the midst of it all, no, that is really her, along with some guy who looks like Joe Cocker, I swear to god, Johnny, look at those sideburns, and one of these hippy friends teaches me to braid leather without cutting either end, and I live and breathe and dream of opening a leather goods store in Oxmoor Mall from that day forward, and then she disappears again, and then she and Joe Cocker, who turns out not to be Joe Cocker but is in fact named Bill, are getting married in storybook fashion, and my hair doesn’t seem long enough yet to be playing guitar, there is love, and then I'm driven to the desert by Mom and Dad to see to where she and Bill have fled, and there are cool adobe houses and Big Sister framed by a teller window, and there is a mountain cabin that is freezing and beautiful and surrounded by scary javelinas, and somehow my Big Brother shows up here in the mountains after disappearing himself, a smoking hippie with Nothing But Now all around him, welcomed in from the cold and the road by Big Sister and Bill, and there are geodesic patterns and an open and loving house across the river, if the bridge isn’t washed out, Big Sister's house, where I am welcomed in by Big Sister and Bill, and some guy who is writing a novel though I never see him near paper or pen, and an Indian man who rides a horse down from Somewhere Above who might well have slept on the Living Room floor the day before the Kentucky Derby in another time and another place, and there are classrooms and books and a dark room to coax out the shades and contrasts of yearbook dreams, and there are little beautiful girls beginning to appear, here's Eleanor, next time out it's Sarah, and then is the miracle of Amanda, resonation and reverb, it seems like Big Sister is being subdivided like the farmland in Carmel with each of her little girls so much like her, 1/2 acre lots of Susie with room for growth, and here are Mom and Dad sitting by their pool all the sudden, welcomed into a new chapter of living by Big Sister and Bill, embracing the change that Big Sister and Bill have brought to our family by simply being themselves, and the girls, they grow and sing and learn and swim and marry, and the dogs and cats and fish and horses and chickens and god knows what else weave patterns around these growing girls, and the years lose their definition to the flow of love and work and marriages and loss and grandchildren and desert flowers, and Big Sister, our Big Sister, is still out there, standing next to her very own Joe Cocker, like a 60 year old saguaro with plenty of time yet to grow another arm or two, and to love, and to be loved, in a world and time that she has helped to make.

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