Women’s charms hang about most often for too long like twin legends of the hanging gardens of Babylon. Ones that are talked much about ever leaning left but gratefully never seen. Men are balloons trying to keep themselves pumped up to compensate for that hole inside their constantly deflating egos. After he decided to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head he got the ‘hair-brain’ idea for cleanliness reasons to to employ several heavy duty plastic garbage bags put them over his head and wrap them around his neck so that it would be enclosed along with the gun. That way he could pull the trigger and keep all the bloody gore of his skull safely contained. Of course he had figure that the pillow of a steel plate just under his ear also within would catch the shattered bullet. All this effort so that when the staff came to pick up his remains there would not be a lot of effort or unpleasantness involved. Such regard for the work and feelings of other people being admirable though somewhat absurd.
When you think about it, all journalism amounts to is an answer to boredom. More specifically the task to cure the boredom of the masses to keep them on the straight and narrow so they don’t fall off their seats and go dead asleep instead of daily turning out those little cogs and delivering them on-time. I guess as a practitioner of same you find everything so arbitrary to the completion of your task that little things like the truth do not ever seem to enter into it. That’s not your job in any case. Yours is to spin and fabricate that cloth to slip over the top hat while the rabbit hops into it from the hole in the table just below. Those are just the set of rules posted out front that you supposedly work by. Something to seem to follow at least superficially so no one ends up too far off course.
Moon coming after sun down. It’s the nineteen-thirties! Not too much different than today save for a few pops and clicks and a bit of horse manure. Darkness shows up to punch the time clock on the money. Deeper, farther drifting past the bewitching hour I take the name Allie Andrews without a second thought. Then swim down into the dusty past staying just inside of the gold trimmed burgundy sign painted of the bar’s front window. The flooded stairwell upstairs suggesting that the interior is at the mercy of a great deluge. It seems be like being hell to be my age. It’s a desert now! Dry and empty. And I happen to have all the company paychecks on my desk back up in the office ready for signing. All the chronic ethnic complainers that would immediately accuse me of fraud if they knew that I was administering their weekly salary wait below. Instead, I wait down within the cyclone fence enclosed niche just a few yards from the bus stop out of sight to them. I hear them bitching about how unfair the world is specifically to them alone. Even though I know it’s not. I see the pile of bagged animal crap festering away just behind the fence that fumes its awful smell in their direction. It is some form of divine justice? Or maybe just another form of synchrony.
That Damon Run’ ,he pulled his gun
and crept stealthily towards the nearest open window
the noise from yon was from no ordinary Tom
but cinched a finger poised to spit deadly lead from its spindle
her toothless mouth like a steely maiden silently rose
from the darkened corner’s well-blocked hidden repose
and she answered loudly with a loud, “rat tat tat!”
leaving the poor guy unawares in a splat full of holes
so much for this gumshoe’s unfitting end
having somehow dropped dropped his gat
before he could into the shadows blend
now in his pine box plot to a stone field end
That damned frog that I had dissected as part of a science show in the classroom of Old Orchard Junior High in Skokie. One that I had purchased pre-killed in a bag of preservative with my parents at the hobby shop in downtown Evanston. A great show with all the proper forensic tools including bitumen tray and scalpel. Long after my celebrated exhibition I kept the specimen’s parts in plastic pill vials filled with formaldehyde and hid them cached upon the top of basement girders of the family ranch house. Thinking in some distracted offbeat manner that if I learned the secrets of life I could then reassemble these key portions of the frog and then bring it back to life. The casual execution of that vivisection’d grasshopper that I had cut in half but had escaped still on my mind. The spirit of animal revenge in the air. Death in general. Hovering next to us by our neighboring the Czyplickis. My mother always bought me lunch at the big box store and wore the necklace that I bought for her there as a birthday present when I was thirteen to her dying day.
A massively violent dream. Though as those things evolve, not so terrible at any point as it goes down. An elevator up to a higher floor of an old giant warehouse converted into artist’s lofts. Some form of chaotic political rivalry. Trump the man is there in body and spirit making a visit just passing through. The general enmity descends to physical mayhem and several unknown but suspected agents are killed. Their bodies rendered into smaller sections as if sections of beef in a turn of a century slaughterhouse. Then wrapped in waxed paper before shoved into small valises, ‘militaire‘. The escape recedes into large empty hallway staircases that are suspended by a red painted steel rods and an open framework that inspired little confidence of physical support. As our tiny group descended further the elements, side rails and vertical rod supports progressively disappearing until there is just the treads of the stairs themselves. I felt an intense fear building to one of vertigo soon convinced that I will tumble at the first misstep. When the ground level was reached, I was magically back home. But now I had to figure out what to do with all the spare body parts? Should I dispose of them in garbage cans”, No! Too obvious.
The dream consisted of some child’s play and the dilemma of asking for something. It was funny how coaching one’s self each morning was necessary to remember ever a fraction of these episodes? It was a strange ritual part exercise in reciting key incidents to list the points of action . The structure resulting from this jotted down in a scribble that in itself would possibly be indecipherable? The resultant structure one that perhaps only an architect could appreciate? Where then was the load bearing element supporting the entire tale’s telling fifteen minutes later that one’s accurate recall would be hinged upon? If you didn’t do this then you were at the mercy of being affected by feelings of having participated in something that you couldn’t quite recall but couldn’t grapple with. Sort of like being locked out of the bedroom when you here someone inside. Hearing the hint of a voice that you could almost recognize. But not quite! With the key of a single salient detail he could pursue it or simply choose to let it lapse and then be done with it. Did any of these mean anything? Some believing that it was a root rock form of elemental prophecy. But maybe that was taking things a bit too far? More likely just a post it note from your otherwise bored self-conscious. The note just a small reminder of the large more extensive tale.
The ad agency had called him back to revitalize an ad that he had worked on at some distant point in the past. Something that he had futzed around with but had never really found a way to complete. A charcoal thing that relied more on texture than form in the most technical sense of reproducing a sense of macroscopic reality. The flat file where he had long ago left his attempts was a jumble of acetate and partially finished attempt. In the back of his mind he knew that there was nothing there and he felt like a fool as the person who had hired him remained under the impression that there was something useful waiting there to be found and used. Something that would keep his freelancer hours billed to a minimum. Unfortunately my technique had suffered a cataclysmic loss of talent in the interim and he stalled for time trying to resurrect it from the dead by finding my best effort in the pile of previous attempts. The time dipped like acid as he tried to work the dirty square on the paper contaminated by charcoal dust into something reasonable to turn in to the owner. The right texture seeming totally elusive it became a big goddamn mess. He was a total failure! A charlatan that was pretending to be something he was not. Waiting there helpless expecting at any instant to be declared as same and thrown out.
It was a strange type of camera that I had brought along in that new place that I was unfamiliar with. Something that you had to place behind you and hope that it worked properly. Another suburban American community where to me everyone was a stranger. Though I had managed to make some acquaintances at the local college I was primarily alone. The mall was large and ramblings with both high ceiling atrium’s and one’s indoors that carved out semi-private public spaces that seemed empty save for predictable holiday rushes. If was summer and the inner atrium was near to deserted. The new companion I was with seemed a leaner version of me. Where I was jovial, he seemed beset by something that left me thinking that he might have had a splinter in his soul. Two of us caught in a solitary lifestyle no necessarily of our own choosing. At least not on my own case. There was something self serving and malevolent in his manner when he invited me to set up my camera behind the bench and then bid me sit down. Though we sat in close proximity as if we were emulating two actors I could not be sure if their was something homosexual and almost predatory in his manner. Something that made me uneasy as if he was inclined to stalk me by way of some ruse. What ever this inclination might have been he was irascible demanding that I check things to see that the recording devices were properly set up and doing their tasks without any skips or flaws. It dawned upon me in the course of this operation that as a newcomer my word would not count if this tiny little operation was shown up to be a dodge in some way for a bigger operation. Perhaps something criminal in nature. Whatever it was I parted with my distant companion, glad that the camera which was now in my pocket had never been in his control. Whatever the boys would say back at the dorm room I felt confident that nothing would come back to haunt me from this brief but odd experience.