die like a hero going home

I am charged and not sure what I might do. Nothing makes sense and this is more accurate than I’ve ever understood life to be. See, it does make sense. Which means the rest up to now has been half-watt. My body quivers and my heart rattles like a snake in warning.

I don’t hear them as they hug me and put a sweater over my head even though it’s sweltering. Watanabe acknowledges that I know and Kana nods while his auntie hands me taro wrapped in ti. Satomi hovers behind my left shoulder. She tells me to go into the fields and get away from all these crazy people.

Mt. Wai’ale’ale looms like an apocalyptic tidal wave and the moon is so bright the lawn's like a stadium. There’s a rustle and a squeal as a family of boar run away into the bush, startled by my footsteps through the grass. My heart is broken, on fire, singing, and exploding all at once; I don’t know how what she’s said is possible. 

Further and further into the orchard toward the cliff edge to the steep waterfall below. The river of the ancient royals--protected by the kapu--carves a cliff path on which I stand. I wind through acres of citrus, avocado, papaya and banana. I disappear behind a large lychee tree and a thicket of bamboo. Completely mesmerized, I walk deeper into the thicket toward the direction of the cliff’s edge, furthest from the house. Spider webs multiply in fingers of moonlight and the faint path hides in shadow.  I have just been face to face with death and I have learned that you don’t really die when you die.

I stop at the cacao fields. Their large yellow and red pods as big as footballs, some coming straight out of the trunk and hanging heavy, five pounds each. I see a machete leaning against a spicket and pick it up like I know all about machetes. I snap off a pod, whack it clear in half and sit down on the wet grass to eat the insides. Kana’s pit-bull has found me and stalks around in a circle before laying down near the cat acting as a guard in this wild darkness. Her eyes reflect the glint of the moonlight and I am happy she’ll stay nearby. I can’t do humans right now. I wouldn’t even want Esmé.

Even though the beans are bitter I eat the entire pod. Some people are convinced that eating the fruit raw is akin to taking a form of ayuhasca or peyote and that there’s a spiritual transformation that will enter one’s life after eating from the yellow pod, but I know if there’s any sort of spiritual transformation it will be from talking with my dead grandmother.

The theobromine and dopamine are flowing. I sit straight and cross-legged with the cat at my side and we listen to the river rushing below. I buzz with the night elements. Even though it’s been less than 24 hours my Los Angeles life seems as if a dream drifted out to sea and broken into fragments of driftwood, headed for a channel that will carry them into the deep blue. She was saying something in the guess what’s. Guess what, she was saying. Guess what.
What?
Guess what. You’re already dead. Guess what, you’re already dead! She is laughing at me now. 
Silly child.  You’re dead.  Listen to the night when it’s speaking to you. Remember who you are.
She’s whispering in my ears, all this way, she’s come and found me. She is in the wind and in the grass and inside of me.
Guess what, little mochi-cake? She’s inside my head.
I blink and become a half-sphere.
You’re already dead.



title of post from quote by Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Nation