A Life (For the first part of this five-parted series, click here and for the second installment, click here.) This past August, while visiting my mother and step-father along the Lake Michigan shore, bounded by the funeral pyres and sublime celebrations of Varanasi and anticipating a shock of a ground-breaking round in New York City, read more..
This past August, while visiting my mother and step-father along the Lake Michigan shore, bounded by the funeral pyres and sublime celebrations of Varanasi and anticipating a shock of a ground-breaking round in New York City, I learned that Bryan Higgins – a force of an aura from a yearned-for, bygone era – had been brutally beaten, then taken off life support. There was no sense-making of the taking of his luminously lived life.
Bryan, who I used to call “Kalamazoo’s It Kid,” with his fluid movements and airy manner – who had fiery fits that interrupted his all-embracing, down-to-earth approach to every One and every Thing. Cool as could be, he would warmly breeze through a room and shake things up – this shambolic wonder who would, after his K-zoo exodus, accept the Radical Faeries of San Francisco as his tribe – they who encompassed his affinity for the revolutionary. And a self-conferring “Feather Lynn” would – all joking within and aside – jive in gender pronouns in (un)reliably bipolar Facebook posts, year after year, of Timelined lifetimes – poking fun at the patriarchy in deconstructing its binaries in playful, broken prose – amusedly collapsing the dichotomous in crippling depressiveness and co-opting the so-called this and/with the self-called that in manic musings. “Her” and “Him” at whim, she burned as brightly as I remember him in her frustrated effusiveness in prior times. Rapaciously, desperately desirous – more random in her actions the more in tandem they were with his causes. Absorbing a given minute as a God-blessed bidding to others with an appetite that appealed to a continuance of connectedness.
Feather – who I first met, and only ever knew, as Bryan – at the Zoo Bar that jubilant July of a zealously pursued 2001… both barely legal, dancing imitation twinks, his ears pricked in melodiously precocious recognition, with our God-awful under-21 wristbands on… then, at Brother’s Beta Club, crooning karaoke-style, craned necks to cruise and serenade and wink at applauding patrons with stamps on our hands, spirits committed with wry smiles on our lips, hip at untamed 18 to unlawfully-snuck sips in the men’s room. Off and on, as it goes…
…To those years – 22-24 – of smoking weed, as a CD of Sufjan Stevens’ Michigan spun, and we were somewhat seedy in a sort of torrid torpor, his humble beginnings laid low as we lied over the sheets on his bunk, unlikely hunks of humanly shared Beingness, side by side, lit up to push into the night, shirts pulled, blazing bong and grazing organically in his bedroom in his mother’s basement… maturing as men – as though truly unsung Sons of God – slowly, in piercing spite of it. He would poke my slender side, mistrustful of my thrusted sincerity.
Bryan Higgins. Ever-alluring, forever-liberated in the heated middle of a moment he needed – me, then, pomp-filled and past-opposing, existing in an occasion’s commencement and conclusion. His prettiness and his presence, his ease in the fleeting incited joy in me one instant and inflamed pettiness and jealousy the next – fascinated as I was in my frustration, with an irregular chemistry I cannot quite comprehend in the same ways I flounder in recognizing myself. We were compelling – carried in a numbed panic, puffing to parry our potential. So I grabbed his fibrous thigh, doubtful of his desire.
One twinkling in this hallowed space of inner tremors, sprinkled time fagged like glittery stars on my mattress pad in my apartment, veil torn, body-snatched, behind locked doors, fully clothed and above the covers, taking turns toking – choking on smoke to take in THC – we talked about our overall estrangement and around a trifecta of absently disenchanted fathers. Sufjan’s and James Allen’s son’s absolutely in Alanson, Bryan’s resolutely some elusive elsewhere closer to an alleged home.
Man, in our fallowed waste, I would awkwardly touch his cockscomb of hair and he would help himself to an unfastened dong-drop – flopped! in mid-air – to show off his leafless, hairy hung-ness before groping my behind, shaped afore gawkily girlish giggling ensued so as not to consume what might mean something and to neglect reflecting on a presiding paternal rejection that we kept from passing ourselves into an openness to all the unprecedented acceptance we inspired in our eclectic community.
Tortured momma’s boys with tormented mothers and nurtured daddy complexes, hounding our own distant, cock-blocked foxes – silver and contrarily, we wore the feminine as we emasculatedly bore our respective crosses – boyishly dragging out a minute as he flitted through me and we lackadaisically flirted in our drawn-out, drugged-up foolish hardiness. This gentle man and I merrily, verily lost our genuine selves to lose our genius minds – more present to the moment we were in in our absence of motive – only to fumblingly connect to invaded cores while stumbling upon a bumbling Bryan and an adamant Adam in the innermostness of instances, past and pervading.
Digging our growing up as underdogs, we unknowingly belied our gayness as designating us within society’s underbelly. On this wavelength, a someday-Feather would take me under her wingwidth and father me as he did folks from all walks of life as we talked up what required fixing and discussed what called for finding.
Strung out as we’d string out with disappointed tails and swelling mid-sections – hung up in a swelteringly resigned hostility as the one to the other hung around this slight city we were designed to flee. HAHA! “Write that one down! You nailed it, girl! That’s pure fucking poetry!” Grounded, stoned in our sky-highness, we’d roll away into a toking and joking and riding the night into days of hazily, lazily journeyed-to nothingness.
We were everything to one another in our touch and go, go – gone-ness.
We were dirty-stuff-to-star-dust, eternally a shooting of time and space as we, spaced out, shed our timed selves – sniffing each other out, mounting an existential axis, sneezing and sniffling, slapping asses that smacked – half-way – of a flash! – nosing the cracks and holes of the whole, wholly devoted to furry, fuzzy flashbacks. “Dammit!” Blast it!
Volatile, short-lived Feather, who came to be in a time evidently not his own in a world she could only float by in. Vague, uncontained, an agile wounded-soul-of-a-willing-spirit – she came to juxtapose a posing me – and this beautiful smattering of beings was beginning to believe she boundlessly belonged when the buffer was battered off and s/he burst into All That Is!
Now, with heavy lids, the living who love him wear the weightiness of mortality. But in re-acts that awaken consciousness from short-sightedness discouraged by reactions which unearth – I get back to that sparkle in the plumage and feel the featherweightedness of immortally cosmic kinship. How the passed on live on so we won’t pass over an under-lived life!
Yes – Feather, thus embedded in my mind, imprinted on this spirit, is Bryan freely embodied in Life as it’s fully lived in vigilant, joyous attentiveness!
Every now and then, amid slumber and this lumbering wakefulness, I trace his transience and hold electrifyingly healing hands so holy they send currents from my hole to the crown chakra (“Chi! He! Me!” – write that down too!) – small-headedness obliterated in this full-bodied, heeded soul-wholeness!
Higgins met Death like Daisy did – harbored among the arborous, then whisked away the way of a byway – headlong and heartstrong. Unceremonious as unsuspecting as animal inclination to automobile and animated confrontation to fists and kicks, the dignity of the enthusiastically authentic lives that foreshadowed such a hasty admittance into AllThatIsness ensures that these figureheads remain in the foreground.
In my most alive moments, their absence is a painfully present reminder of those very minutes’ brevity and a call to bravely, painstakingly strive toward an animist transmittance of their essence through a humble, humanistic acceptance of who we are in accordance with one another as a lingering mental retention of fur between fingers and a featherlight feeling up points my attention to the Almighty Now.
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