09/02/2022 0 By BuddyCushman

Someone presented me with a jar of mustard. They said, “This is your jar of mustard, and yours alone.” I thought I heard the word “divorce.” Hearing mustard. Tasting loss. Swimming out into emptiness, which is just the water in front of Tower 4. Always was.

Someone turned the light on. Someone turned the light off. Mustard shines while not connected to the electrical grid. There’s me carrying my bench over my right shoulder, down the road, balancing, I forget it’s there and then its weight says, “Snap out of it.” I’m flooded with the sharp taste of mustard. The jar of which I’ve hidden in my sneaker on my towel up on the beach. Out in the waves I can see my colors – the light green beach towel, the faded red t-shirt, two worn orange running shoes. A spot of yellow.

I still feel hope. Please let my mustard be safe. Carrying hope until I’m sitting on the warm, out-from-the-ocean grass – a brighter green – a teenage Bodhisattva stops by, grinning big, and says, “I’ve always found no one’s interested in your shit. Towel, shoes, hat, shirt, mustard, car keys. Who cares?” And here I’ve long believed helpless and hopeless was a bad thing. I hope no one takes my mustard. I hope no one takes my marriage. Here’s hoping for some righteous waves.

Which, remember, my bench is up there on the beach, too, right in front of Tower 4, fresh out of Oregon – like the Wu Tang Clan – there for the asking. There like the first cup of coffee in the morning. There with the early evening wind bending the eucalyptus trees. There getting a phone call from my son.

Mustard mustard everywhere.