A journey into the defile . . .
The Old Legacy Northern European: “How easily one succumbs to the worship of their own inert desire! One’s own mortification becomes a series of failing capabilities progressively detached from the coherence of a whole. Life no longer set unconsciously into free motion. Each impetus limited by the diminishment of rationed thought. The degeneration of each a self-inspired drama of a coming Gotterdamurung of fears heavily descending upon every one of your own longstanding hopes.”
The Contemporary AfroGhetto: “How ass kick’n! When yo’ shit be droppin off! All dat good shit be locked up in da slammer! Think’n you can play tag with da man. This same old shit keep playin you day after day. Dumb Country Nigga MuthaFukka!”
I live in a personal museum. A legacy that two strangers bestowed upon me for the simple reason that I was someone’s only son. I knew them from that classic distance of parent to child. And I recall a few of the many of their own instants having accompanied them or been at home when some of these artifacts of this museum first arrived. Some purchased. Some, without the pedigree of a sales slip. Yet all serving as a marker in time to myself as their sole remaining chronicler. Phantom faces dimly lingering behind the moment in some lasting persistent way.
My own face having often become clear as one who was an instigator in others. Some reflecting badly on my own influence upon them. Items that to recall as I too often cajoled, purportedly on their own behalf. A curio cabinet to stand as a housing for a decade and a half of gifts to my mother on her birthday. She in so many ways being my best and longest confident. My father on the other hand often distant but ever my biggest supporter.
Hindsight offering a view of a perpetually young solitary man that was not independent nor a match for this world. A personality engaging worlds of the mind that he took for granted were synonymous with those of the strange faces around him. The distance between them and that former ‘him‘ a matter of years both light and heavy. And yet a well-studied guide for my parents in a n all encompassing world that eventually raced past them, One that now seems to have left me behind?
The stacks of articles gathering a dusty patina behind glass. Chronicled in part within the convenient chapter markers of decades. The absolute last record turntable that I was driven to purchase. The audio receiver on the wooden shelf below and the CD play below that. The complete ensemble reckoning the end of nearly two decades of frivolous purchasing of the most technologically savvy symbols of prestige from those bygone eras for those of a class such as myself. Castoffs at a certain point ceded to my own kin who otherwise would have been completely satisfied with much less.
The custom cabinet above same serving as roof to odds and ends of idols, images and self-deprecatory sculptures. A derelict farm of an overstock of otherwise unused glass, plastic, and ceramic. Bronze and plastic effigies crowding hand-carved Asian cats, Oriental monkeys and red and black two-legged dragons. Some of them marked with names or dates or places celebrating their most popular era of fascination before they were relegated to a back row of neglect. Some recounting years of effort by one or the other within our small family. While others meaningful to recall the apogee of ecstasy of the revelry of a single day in an extraordinary locale.
What sort of chorus could their ensemble provide to strangers cold to their presence? A list based upon outward appearance? Mexican souvenirs, 1940’s, penny banks suggesting analogies concerned with dwindling wealth, a taste for the exotic, recognition for objet d’art, boxed stars and stripes in light of posthumous military service, photographs of key points of existence on the parties involved. Set before the wall’s face hung with antique Japanese prints and the better examples of the talents of these same residents. Bountiful collections of obsolete types of bygone entertainment technologies. Ancillary items that have now fallen out of currency and become enigmatic as to the reasons behind their use.
Favored personalities en-registered versions of the songs that uniquely enlivened some part of the long lost identities that occasioned their purchase. Moment over disparate moment the collection of the same a complex saga explaining the motivation towards periods of disaster and success. The meanings of which succeed more in hinting truths that revealing long undiscovered secrets understandable only in a lifetime’s total review. This private treasure trove of your own Troy at risk of the unknown barbarian hordes. For you can never know when it is your time to be retired to dust. All those formerly in league with King Midas turning what appears to be well-harbored gold turned to old dirty straw. What is their to build on? This stolen wealth of faux status having been traded off long ago for the leaden currency one’s vainglorious ego.