The old museum was on fire! Not burning in a conventional sense of the same, but being incrementally enveloped in a more undetectable smoldering sense. One where its unique one of a kind structure was smoldering from within. Some of my old friends and acquaintances with their pets still inhabiting within, I was anxious for their safety and tried to hurry along the progress of the evacuation of what they held dear before the entire wooden framework of its old eclectic five story structure might suddenly go from a slow charring consumption to burst into raging flame. A very strange feeling came upon me that I was trying to play a reversed role of savior. The task of bringing these people and their old world to safety, yet somehow performed in reverse. Acting like some backwards minded Noah shepherding these familiar others and their animals out of this place and over the small stream to find temporal safety standing on the other side of the superhighway. Yet, when it seemed all had been accounted for as having left this ancient edifice, now visibly being enveloped from within by smoke, I was compelled to return. I quickly challenged traffic to cross back over the buy six lanes of random cars and swiftly propelled myself back across the small bridge to re-enter this once all too familiar structure. The facade of the rotunda now having partially collapsed. Struck by a queasy feeling in my gut causing my lower limbs to tremble. Knowing that, all too soon, the entire store of my own long waylaid memories would be among the irretrievable casualties soon to be stolen within the building hazy atmosphere of the quickly charring timber. Compelled by some strange self-destructive force to crawl up a rough wooden ladder now before me irregardless of all consequences. My heart beating wildly as I mounted each tread into the oblivion of what had once been so painfully familiar. Now fearlessly disappearing slowly upward without hesitation into quickly descending cloud of dense smoke from those unseen flames several stories overhead right on the edge of bursting forth consuming all within the pitch black darkness. All just to search out what had so long ago been lost, yet up to then, had never been my priority to recover.
The sellout sat before his coffee shop cup doling out his own droll subtractive world view to a small collection of camp followers posing temporarily as anything but old white males. Old women the most pejorative sense of same one might have once been able to say without social censure. Proclaiming to this tiny surrounding inbred world his right to life by falsely posing as an icon of reasonability. When in fact all he could muster was a ego rich serving dish of babbling rhetoric that served confidently to his own mind as intelligence. His much deluded these followers so dimly aware of the import of his words! But thankfully approving of the tone of his in which they were being deluded.
On and on he went about superficial trivialities of the day that he had gleaned the night before from the electronically deliver clarion of typically self-serving parsimonious officialdom. These tiny tidbits of useless made-up theatrical events designed at the source to resemble poorly veiled politically Leftist truth bombs applied in a ceaseless daily barrage. One’ s that smacked of that sweet venom to the taste of unthinking agent provocateurs through the well-practiced ips of self-aggrandizing fools like him. “America has changed!” he said with some self-assured arrogant form of gravitas. “America is now multi-cultural! The old group that once controlled it is now in the minority. They are all racist! And their man in charge as the head of the country has done irrevocable harm with his backward thinking ideas. The Democrats have created the best Congress of Representatives yet known to date. And they have six separate bills on the table that could fix things. BUT HE won’t negotiate!”
The spareness of a surrounding audience resounded in emptiness. The smiling scarecrow expression of this two-legged weasel sinking back smugly self-satisfied with his performance to reveal two rows of time ravaged corncob teeth. Here was someone who most obviously a part of the exact same constituency that he was busily condemning. Someone in specific. One that was known within his neighborhood as a literal whore monger and long term useful tool of the region’s underworld establishment. Someone who would unhesitatingly sell out his mother for an extra quarter if it benefit him that day. A classic Norwegian Rat ever prepared to jump to the next ship to happily infect the next one that becomes available. A carrier of that fatal disease of defeatism. A member of that very group that former nationalist leaders of past had doubled down to their own lasting legacy in an attempt to expunge. The experience of seeing this two-legged vermin so blatantly exit from his hole to loudly boldly proclaim this anathema in public without fear telling me how serious the larger question of a full scale national collapse into total anarchy this land had currently fallen prey to. I shudder to think what is next!
“It is what it is! I am what I am! And Popeye rules this earth! I found myself chided for what I had unconsciously dropped between the chair and the wall. The rest was a bundle of claptrap that didn’t make a bit of sense. Mist over everything both inside and out. Not what one could call an auspicious end to a years that had offered no hope out of a three year slump. It felt as if it was almost planned that way? Maybe it was! People didn’t behave the same in a way that I was considered useful . . .”
From that point on the rambling script on the pages was illegible. The small journal having sat too long in a puddle of rye found by the body soaking away subsequent thoughts for the duration of the night. Two slugs from behind after the front door was forced. The guy never knew what hit him. His brains splattered all over the television’s fractured screen. Whoever did the hit was good at their job. Get in, ‘pop pop‘ and then get out. Probably walking down the hall with a scarf pulled up around their head so no one could make him out through the gauntlet of peep holes leading to the stairwell. In any case they had plenty of time to make their escape during the twenty minutes time it took for the cops to arrive. I guess they weren’t in too much of a hurry as this building had a local reputation for punitive domestic goings on and noisy neighbors. It sure didn’t help that poor slob tipped over face forward with half a head. But then help for him was no longer an issue.
The police muscled past the broken door past the two ambulance attendance and their bailey. Someone else living on the premises had obviously braved sneaking out for a moment to take a peek and then called an ambulance before these officials had arrived. Maybe the three officers felt a bit outstaged? But their lack of haste in performing their duty didn’t show it. Professional detachment being demonstrated in going through the motions of collecting evidence and dispassionately documenting this crime scene. The neighbors on the floor were all standing behin their doors listening. Those unspecified eyes lurking anonymous behind eyelets inset into doors trying to find out more gory details about the homicide. Some wondering how all this fit in with a tenant that they had passed in the hallway exchanging customary greetings with. Someone who seemed incline to go out of his way to open doors and sometimes engage in polite conversation for a moment or two. Dead? Murdered? How could this be! Yet to roll the clock back before the recent New Years celebration the answer was obvious.
So he was a son of a bitch. You could see if in every woman’s eyes that he ran into. The trouble was that he knew it. And worse yet at heart he really wasn’t a stinker. Maybe it would have been better if he had been one. Hearts being tough as nails these days he wasn’t going anywhere that he hadn’t been all along. All the good she’s were ago long forgotten in the dust. He had more than his share for a while. But after a busted marriage some twenty years too late it really didn’t matter. If women were booze he could easily swear off them. But deep within a shell was a molten core that hadn’t quite cooled. The band played its foxtrot Negro inspired rhythms throughout the night. It was new years eve any year! Or maybe, no year. One that seemed to go on and on with little or no hope of change. At least the building would be buzzing with some tasty morsels of gossip to spread. The speculation about the past of the deceased would grow and confident theories about the true nature of the victim’s existence would grow from the seeming bedrock of sheer fantasy. A poor reflection of trite Hollywood narrative currently playing on the screen
Society as it had descended provided the answer. All the potent signs were there in a final end that was coming and was terrifyingly imminent! The rebirth of a new Weimar sense of Democratic Sachlichheit favoring any and all things divisive, offbeat or dysfunctional was upon them. A second coming of industrially manufactured decadence descending down hard upon them all. This morally helpless generation that was born into uselessness institutionally learning nothing from the past. And being directed by ideologically minded criminals whose only ethic was the robbery for its own sake from these same faceless masses in absconding with more and more and more! An underlying cynical vindictiveness passed down upon the children of the former masters in a demented world view wreaking vengeance for the sake of superficial identities created out of this venom alone. It was easy to see why his apartment was the most logical target amidst all the others what would soon provide a similar opportunity!
Considering the constant reprise of past nightmares of Utopian societies subsumed by two-legged parasites naturally banding together to inspire perpetual havoc? Taking all the worst qualities of mankind refined over thousands of years of an insect based hive directed life and then see it infect a new host generation that has managed to struggle to some new peak of initiative beset by these age old poisons. The stilted hegemony crashing the system with a frightening regularity only allowing a small portion of humanity to remain to struggle up from the ashes once again to find some new further unexpected epitome. The essence of human life demeaned to cattle and transposed to machines with every detail surveyed, recorded and inculcated into lifeless technologically inspired inventions that at best could only imitate life but never be truly alive. The rote procedures of the Police were completely outside the province of determining the true cause of the murder. The motive had been one of the oldest in the book. The law of the jungle! Kill all rival thoughts! Or be killed by them.
It was obvious. And maybe painfully so? Obvious that my era and the perspective of the gender description that went along with it in terms of the critical theory that went along with its description was not in vogue. Rounding the corner into the classroom where I had been allowed to sit in was fraught with the usual combative possibilities of being set upon by both student and professor in consort who might at any point declare the zone safe by demanding the immediate exclusion of my presence. I imagine that just the act of opening my mouth aloud with a simple question no matter how politically correct or innocent was potential dynamite. So I sat through the lecture portion in silent bright eyed attentiveness seemingly accepting of any and all propositions offered. I showing no evidence of any hostile inner suffering in silence due to propositions advanced that quite expectedly demeaned my own sex as the price of the current currency of identity politics based truth. The room itself set up as if some great round table empty centered arrangement now where my position by the room entrance looked diagonally far across what instantaneously into an extremely large mattress with tightly pulled white sheets. My ideological adversary peering back at me with an inert emotionless as if prepared to be nonplussed by and of the expected responses that my outward cliche would no doubt attempt to pass off by way of awkward attempts of guile. Instead, I offered a full uncompromising acceptance of all the points of her lecture with the caveat that I pose a line of questioning about defining my own dilemma as an artist. Since the resultant silence seemed to suggest that there was no outward objection to this as it was assumed that I would hang myself anyway with the same old hierarchical male prejudices I began voicing my inquiry.
Considering that all art was functionally equivalent despite any sophistication of technique and reducible to the expression of the previous personal experience of uncounted numbers of those that had come before the notion of Post-Modernism’s ad hominum’s in service of a general group based dimension overshadowed the importance of the creator of the same. Did not this create a crisis bound situation with the ego of the artist that took on an ideological dimension that could not help reflect a negative individual based political reality that was too often predatory in disparaging a minority due to ingrained prejudices? Given this being a reality how was a given male individual able to offer their body of work as valid in the face of being seen as a potential insurgent to the grand sceme of a society that was attempting to adjust for the past ideological biases? Should I as an artist abandon my own progression as being same for the fact of this undeniable truth? The silence that my carefully posed question floated upon in slow motion making it across the wide gap of white damask lingered for a while. I imagined at one point that there may have been no intention of addressing it though it was obvious that it had been carefully posed in the context of the current politically Leftist perspective. Yet after a pregnant pause of what seemed a number of minutes of indifference my mistresses words in respose came back towards my direction. Though not kind to me directly as an individual in the sense of acknowledging my own individual stake in the conversation there was a larger narrative posed that took on a proposition that suggested a universality of purpose as being a predicate. A litmus test of values where self expression by myself was permissible if it acknowledged the source of my efforts intent as being respectful and no more important than the efforts of any other artist. That as long as I fully surrendered title to any dominance as a white European male showing deference before other group identities that my kind had proven a history of creatively overwhelming then what I offered could be considered as an acceptable artistic expression.
As I watched her in my own respectful earnest silence I could not help but feel a certain degree of worshipful eroticism coming forth from within. Something ad odds with her outward physical semiotics of dyed pussy hat pink faded coloring of her hair or the ‘uber’ hip resale store glad rags. Something that by the fact of her terse somewhat extended long response to my own carefully chosen words suggested some inquisitive curiosity. A characteristic unconscious animal attraction come of being petted and despite being naturally hostile to the owner of the hand doing so enjoying the nature of the verbal transaction. It seemed equally curious that her outer third wave Feminist demeanor that previous to this situation could have only been expressed in a dynamic of being lesbian now seemed indescribably softer. As she continued the classroom slowly transformed. The center portion of the room being a boudoir and the two of us now locked in a sort of coitus not so much expressed in the physical as a common didactic that was locked together within the sheets of this grand central mattress. Time like wine getting away from us both the two of us finding ourselves in a verbally compromised morning after of trying to silently reconcile to ourselves what we had respectively given up as opposed to what we had come to share. Thanking fate that the student body previously about the classroom had graciously disappeared before we became engaged thus in such intellectual intimacy. How odd it seemed that such ideologically diametric opponents could come to share such explosively joyous intimacy. Yet, that was, after all, the wonderful timeless magic of animal human nature.
Be careful of falling in love with your own success and the admiration that it appears to give you. It is the oldest of traps! The future self that you are daily making a pathway for may be wrought by an imposter. The clothes on one’s back may seem changed but those shoulders holding them up are just a tad bit lower. Yet you can be assured that without a doubt that the devil is always back at home waiting for your return. That animated ghostly wax effigy haunting the premises daily and at night. Humanity slowly becoming a distant echo behind your outside door that’s nightly barred. The vital notion of continued industry on your own behalf coming to a rusty halt. No need to throw one’s self upon that distant community’s sense of funeral pyre! It is far harder to believe in something long desired from one’s brittle heart than to amass the benefit of too many material riches. Though this society’s masters would have its member’s believe otherwise. The constant war of social mores of the current moment continuing on. All the soft shouldered seductive ideas leaning towards thoughts solipsistically posed as feminine an empty choral. Such mistrust may be unbecoming? But reliably formed from too many years of bad experiences. Yet it still is impossible to give up to the promise of the hunt! Or turn away from its persistently lingering dream. No confusion in continuing once again as before, in following along in the wake of that dimly lit flickering torch.
That five pointed star glowing in the distance of a dark horizon illuminating that tiny unsuspecting corner immersed in an unrelenting darkness of the night. Something wrong with its glowing singular presence lodged so solidly in the direct path of the approach of another lackluster holiday season. Out of place like an unwanted penniless interloper seeking to play it as a bad replacement for Santa.
A group of us gathered about the oil painter to watch him apply tonal grays to the shadows growing slowly in the foreground. The elongated pattern of a makeshift fence cast forth shadows caused by the inference of a sun projecting light from somewhere off camera just behind. The angle of view of the the imaginary audience resting on high as if taken from the top of a ladder. A sinister feeling of an unexplained drama taking place just out of sight above the top of the canvas. This simple area upon wooden stretcher frame white duck almost as tall as a grown man. The artist methodically applying more subtleties of shading while simultaneously speaking about the theory behind his own technique. Some in the surrounding throng of onlookers chattering respectfully quiet about these beginning expounding the own views of what the amorphous shadow’s metaphor really represents relating a mental landscape of brutal vengeance wrought by unnamed villager taking marauding mountebanks to task by sawing them in half.
“The religion of science, as well as those who are willing to sacrifice existing society for their personal glory, aiding its accumulation of the sake of an ever greater degree of power as fit substantiation. Demanding freedom in their demonstration of dangerous experiments taunting unseen powers without any consideration of the untoward side effects that might be summoned from the unknown in terms of an irrevocable unstoppable consequence.”, the artist’s voice rang out over the low drone of the surrounding crowd.
There was a fierceness about the artist. A hatchet-like sense of external continence elicited a stern coolness by others about his presence. Something that he had probably been meticulously groomed over the years as a defense from that persistent feeling of weakness that too many others had taken advantage of in his formative years. A hardness that cut through a swath of surrounding humanity like a dull rusty blade so that he might be safe from confrontation with any that thought themselves as natural predators. Though the dregs of the lower end of society that he struggled amidst still managed to throw themselves across the path of his ever watchful silence. These interlopers aware no doubt that their own faulty egos needed preening before harshly proclaiming themselves before him as gate keepers. This wasn’t the sort of man to take these experiences lightly.
The usefulness of his talent in portraiture in terms of common trade of accurately rendering a human likeness was acceptable. And on occasion even gratuitously acknowledged. But only as far as the tenure of his service would be required. Then from that point further on than the sketches completion he was promptly forgotten as more than another passing individual. An oddity that popped up unexpectedly and regarded as if he had never possessed a personality at all? The dreams he portrayed upon the canvass matched that same sense of suppressed wrath. Horizons of empty avenues and mile after mile of lonely travel through the vast stretches of flat land of anonymous darkened gray cityscapes. Time ticking away nightly in the back of a solitary head suggesting that a pending plane reservation had come due. And that in the course of some obsessive abstraction, the date of departure has been misplaced or more likely to forgotten. The resulting penalty weighing heavily over the dreamer’s head being left without resources to return to a nondescript location loosely referred to as home. A mythical place just as equally empty as the current one. Barren hollowness significant of a failing mind losing all its memories and connections to simple geography.
The great herd of humanity about him that the inferences of his image was shepherded along to a new horizons leaving him in his own derelict ruin. Their presence foreign to the evidence he presented to a resemblance of a world that his instincts maintained. The semiotic instructions forwarded by him as a final gift by way of his diligence. And duty wasted upon faces already emptied of regard for his craft. It had always been thus. He felt as if he was part of a strange species born in a locale that operated out of time and space. Other wanderers of a similar passing spirit attracted to him for a time. Yet after a brief sojourn moving on. Perhaps he was just unawares of perpetual habitation in some mythical place that the ancient Greek had conceived? Hades! A place where eternally shadows wander within dark scarcely defined circumstances. Unsure of any sense of earthly purpose. Entities that had somehow at the last moment recklessly squeezed themselves upon Charon’s barge and aeon ago. But now served as a fully spent unusable implement fully out of place? And yet someone who clung to a singular reason to continue the hope for the light of a vast eternal emptiness that lingered about surreptitiously in every place.
Society was an unwavering anvil where ever it remained. One earth or in Hell. A place where, blow after blow, one was hammered into something even farther than unfashionable and hopelessly distant from that type that one had been originally taught. Life’s experience being no reliable batten to deflect this rain of inevitable blows as they slammed down upon a meager existence taking yet another awful turn towards further diminishment.
“Scottish music!” That was the key in the dream. The identity of those held in custody that spoke in a tongue so foreign that for all intents and purposes it might have simply been grunts and groans. This discovery was not his own alone but broadcast upon the FM radio program as it rattled through cultural themes.
The narrator began again, “He began to suspect her. Suspect her of being not what she claimed to be in her overconfident self-serving tone.”
“Where will you look for love?
under the bed by your latest dream
in the eyes of so many of all those long forgotten or hurried past
or in the pockets of book jacketed ideas long past?”
Winter was coming in with what promised to be a ferocious bite. News reports made much of the fact of no Sun spots which in the ‘mumbo jumbo’ of Science purported with the usual confidence that the next months would be frigid beyond all records. The picture window betrayed little correspondence as the expected drafts from the Northwest were merely inferred by the text in print. Thomas was waylaid in another direction backward with his thoughts picking up on a distant conversation voiced some thirty years in the past. The broadcast of it silently proclaiming to him solely as if just instantly spoken in the voice of his aunt. “One day you’ll regret not being nicer to your father!” The tone of it reproachful as his father’s side of the family always tended to be. The lounge of their apartment that he now sat within being sunk deeply within upon the tattered remnant of the last remaining sectional looking foreign. Something more like an encapsulating storage space for his late family’s longstanding collection of personal artifacts. His mind being jarred again with a ghostly reminder. “It’s your home too!” His father’s voice instantly subsiding back into memory. The ornate Rococo era plaster lamp spreading a dim yellowish glow illuminating half the room leaving the rest mostly unrevealed. His long occupancy of almost two-decades filling in the semi-cloaked mystery by habit. So often now he simply sat in the dark. He hated to be alone.
He was past this form of fruitless nostalgia by this point some four holidays since the last of the two had filled their lungs for that recollection last low death rattle. He could recall, though he didn’t want to, that the light at those times had essentially been the same. Yet these recollections were curiously empty of any visual structure. A narrative of events that could be tallied but no images that correspond beyond instantaneous flashes that suggested them in passing. In fact Thomas could not recall much that happened in the tense of the present for many minutes before it was subsumed by the next thought or by the next observation. The reports in the popular press were of terrible horrific new afflictions come of both nature and man that could take such things away permanently and leave one potentially as a hapless vegetable completely vulnerable to the tyranny of a maliciously indifferent society. But then he also wondered if is all to quickly disappearing thoughts were a more pernicious form of his own hiding from the major conclusions of a ever susceptible tragic existence of many empty, cold and fruitless decades. Of an inability on his own part to accept responsibility for it. These headaches and pains in the head. The decline in an ability to see text upon a page in the dimness of evening light. Even the disruption of his gassy intestines as aggravated by an ever expanding hernia that too often became obstructed leaving him in hours of pain that took much effort to salve away in desperate experiments based upon intuition. All these things were unequivocally of his own making!
When was his last real adventure he reflected. When was there a sense of excitement that promised escape. Not perhaps from the pains visited upon his physical form. But escape from the brick and mortar that each day imprisoned his soul a little more. That over arching tomb that he seem so committed now to build over himself to acknowledge the pronouncement of an unyielding world that ‘they’ had won and he had not. And that it was time for him to get out of the way and make room for someone new. Perhaps a valid argument in terms of the necessity of the goals of maintaining society. But something that left him out in the cold. What after all was in it for him. Mere anger was of no use. He could be as resentful as he wished but it did not and would not change anything in this static paradise of all things past. A false generator of life of how it sort of once was now ever more fading. The color of the mind bleached to grays fading to blacks the garments tearing for overuse and mental over wash. What was death after all if it was not mental stagnation?
The morning light that greeted his eyes struck him as a prison gray. Homogeneous mist standing in for a sky as it had slowly come to be so over the last half decade more than not. His own two flawed receptors painfully taking the spill until they adjusted from the latent imagery of the dream world was fully erased by the continuum of his unchanging domicile. A sense of industrial gloom setting the stage for the realization of the holiday ahead. The lamprey of what had become a full out business tradition attaching it’s fangs into a much deflated national observance. The general purpose of still maintaining it upon the calendar as a convenient marker for the end of the year pitch to the population to indulge in fast and loose disposal of their year’s accumulated earnings, meager or not. The faux brown leather wallet that he had bought at a closeout sale two years previous at the demise of the neighborhood department store that went belly up after nearly a century emptied down the residual bottom of the last forty dollars that he had in his possession. Something that he should have been worried about but had resolved to himself days back that he would not. Determined to see this day as a life transition of a sort with an understated hope that things might magically take a turn for the better the following week. Certainly with no job or further change for a conventional income they could not be expected to from any conventional rational sense.The mental barometer being his own sense of Job-like faith that life was ever to be expected as infinitively challenging and that one was tasked with making the best of every situation as it was plain to him that you always ended up back in the same place sooner or later.
He was back and awake on the morning after. The dollar bill lay upon the floor neatly folded. A casual reminder of his inebriation from the holiday afternoon enjoyed before. No care to notice or apply any urgency for this financial sprite from flying from leather bound containment to the freedom of the floor. So insubstantial was the denomination of the note that it seemed to serve best as a reminder. A stern warning that all finances had come to full exhaustion and without some exceptionally clever solution no more of same would be imminent. A typical holiday precursor for the official commencement of another year end holiday spend down of bank accounts and pocket books all for some nebulous pseudo religious excuse. A payoff to children as recompense for enrolling them like prison inmates for the bulk of their formative years of development from infant to Liberal steered self-serving delinquent. Thank God for the cellular phone to keep their little hands busy and off the burners of the stove. That most celebrated no go zone for modern females who were stigmatized by its presence beyond the task of heating tap water for tea. The microwave on the kitchen counter being a more politically correct locus of nutrition for the family.
That modern saving grace of the credit card as financial instrument of turning future wages into debt engendering exercises in amassing compound interest being something that was beyond his immediate comprehention as a possible solution to his dilemma. He had ‘deep six’d’ his too own often-ebullient debt producing devices in his heyday of nearly a decade and a half previous. And in the interim had managed to hold his own in the hailstorm of constant new offers of incentives to take on other cards as plastic ammunition to expand his list of unnecessary purchases that were like most obsolete of any particular interest after the shine of their novelty in his existence had quickly worn off. Life since had become an ever descending staircase of diminished opportunities afforded by the overarching corporate hegemony that yearly demoted him to a lesser status based upon the wear of his advancing age, gender and race. There was no getting ahead entertained in the future some fourteen years later so much as trying to stay afloat. And even that was looking like a lost cause as of late.
Strains of an early twentieth-century ‘oompa’ music in fast jazz rhythms seemed to echo silently across the room. A distinctly Teutonic snarky gruff lyric sharply rhyming in syncopation with the brass section extending from a failed Wiemar hall. The inside of the head in the vault of the skull a chamber to echo foreign ideas that would have never occurred during waking. Not so much a protagonist but an observer. Someone with a catcher’s mitt picking up the wildly bounding missed pitches of other from the infield. Not quite sure of the faces of the other characters in the narrow focus of obsessive actions. These mysteries as they ever seemed to flying from the head as if the portal between waking and the unending promise of fantasy would reliably snap shut at every waking. The short snippet of the tail end having the only possibility of providing recollection of the place and the intended purpose in having landed there. If there had been a cigarette available he would have lit it in the dark so as to have the comfort of its embers as a less invasive ready light to steady his thoughts. Light being the enemy of these semi-organized ravings. Their scenarios pressing forth like an indistinguishable tapping on the other side of a wall by parties unidentified. A basis perhaps for speculation as to what actions possible that could be attached. But no clear proof of who or what and certainly no vindication of intentions. How could it be otherwise in this solitary convention?
The chime of the wall clock announced itself. The rusting reverberating melody laboriously repeating until it had counted out the required measures of strokes to signify the hour. But like all inventions of things long past it was wrong. Maladjusted to the present but energetic none the less. A deep breath and rough palms upon the face shepherding the blood up and down where its capillaries had welled up. No real attempt at waking so much as relieving the tension in half being so. What was he thinking about? Grown men in the shadows of a partially demolished long abandoned room filling out their fantasies with toy aircraft. Something still magnificent to the touch to hold these hulking air filled phantoms their outside detail defying reality to simply classify them as physically conjured mental spin offs of the real things. He had come to know the waking universe of the structure of man by such little giants.Now they haunted his dreams. An army green Jato assist powered transport still and silent. The glossy surface of the cockpit dimly visible behind the plastic glass block transparency of the insert. A legend of dials and knobs delicately inferred by a molded bas relief. Another inmate pacing about within the nocturnal fantasy holding an inverted B36 bomber its bomb bay converted to an emptied space to accommodate four C sized batteries tasked to power grain of wheat lights. Its holder saddened that this same space could have been left as intended to carry a brace of scale accurate lethal tonnage of th era it implied. Another similar craft with six small hinged doors below two larger hinged doors. The enigma of purpose by its anonymous designer unexplained beyond the fact of it.
The Greeks it has been said were convinced that the life after death was a place of shadows. A place where kings and heros and the common folk wandered not carrying on their usual activities yet existing within an earthly projection of their midst. The nightly muse of those unencumbered of companions and family seemed fraught with a similar extension of lost landscapes and long discarded urban scenes all in a jumble. There was often a journey that led to temporal resting places where a strange routine was carried on by characters that had a vague familiarity to the dreamer but in turn a solid connection of imposed role. Thus like a puppet this absurdist play of barely comprehensible situations and a fractured narrative of events carried on with apparently no rhyme or reason. Wherein was the distinction between it and contemporary modern life?
The man stood before the mirror and after a while then began to speak.
I have long had the idea in mind for some time that I could collect knowledge through amassing a collection of unread treatises. And that the act of gathering same from a multiplicity of remote happenstance sources that I would stumble upon provided me with a higher status of understanding. In truth of fact in terms of rational considerations the best this ongoing process could provide is a series of interconnected buzz words. A butterfly collector. The whole thing a self-delusional facade. My intelligence suspect as a pretense of possessing a lexicon of ideas by others that provided ammunition in didactic with others. Vocabulary versus comprehension. To find the self subsumed in a growing unconscious that demands the extinction of all thing past along for any continuation of it in the future. A nihilist! Caught up increasingly in a frenzy to supplicate the impossibility of a whirl wind of desires. A closed case long emptied of a fit cello to fake harmony upon. Unfocused desires obliterated in stagnation. Demoted by circumstance to an intellectual housekeeper. That unconscious death wish to suffer so many types of pain to justify persistent immobility. The world and being in it. And the world through an upper story window wholly removed from all but its persistent fantasy captivating one’s consciousness. No solid ground to rest on despite the illusion. Swinging past the handle bars arm over arm of vouchsafed quips and splintered phrases posing as knowledge. That dark ugly taciturn side within while resting calmly admitting nothing. Loss of memory an empty question somewhat like a half filled jar of sour milk.
It was dark. Somewhere between midnight and bewitching hour. Alright! I had to admit it, I couldn’t sleep. Who could sleep anymore at this age? You are more restless at night than you are during the day because you have to deal with yourself. Your desires and urges and failures. There is nowhere to hide. You can try to dive deep within a dreams but you know it’s only going to last for just so long. And then you are back, just sitting here, antsy and disturbed by what you cannot recall left with nothing to satisfy you. And so I found myself back once again. Resting up against that point of nagging fear of not being ‘right’ trying to propel myself forward. Loss. The loss of illusion with unerring fatal constancy. Perpetual whims followed up with momentary joy. Over ebullient words knowing a frailty from from those others that are no longer around. And how tenuous it is to know from point on that they can never be ever again. That was why I lived to complacent within this cold kingdom of stone and ice. Relying on the solidity of emptiness where nothing can be any worse. How can the seeds of a new love be found with anyone within this depleted universe?
Unfortunately I had been here before. And to my great shame shivering like a coward as before. I would not take up that challenge for fear of losing someone so wonderful. The silence spiriting them away into ether. To call it anything other than my own fault was ludicrous. It was after all my decision to not try again. All those kisses and the ocean of tenderness that had been missed. All the bliss of forming hopes that would not be shared. And the dreams that could have been enjoyed in mutual without grousing or grabbing. But now withering away somewhere sailing constantly along without me. I was a fool, and feared that I would always be such unless I could stomach change. What else is there in this world that has majesty but those feelings of being at peace with one? All things to all people. Everything wrapped up in asingular ideas, and desires, and hope.
I was a short unwanted misfit looking to love who he could. A Golem of sorts afforded rare opportunities that fell in-between. Too may fallow dry spells of periods of long solitude and being alone. How far from his ivory tower he looked down and wished for the warmth of the grass? For the sake of simple pleasure alone, what could have been? Brief in duration like grains of sand spilling from the palm of a hand. Only so long as one is note carelessness. Or as stable before an ill wind that will steal it away. Only empty sweaty palm memories of what might could could have been. “Oh dear! such passion and pain can be recalled!”, sez I. Passion is pain ever masquerading as happiness. Desire unsteady upon a tightrope always over a chasm of wait amidst mundanity. Things as they should be. But things as they never are. How can one find the tipping point of one’s sorrow? How can one suppress one’s temptation to joy? How is it possible to not float away from all this indifferent like a soap bubble? Uncontrollable and unrefined is there no solution to this shifting dilemma? Or is this walkway just froth upon a storm crossed sea? Battered up high in the expected conclusion. It seems a fair response to this dilemma that its experience known as involvement is an idea long devolved and totally disappeared.
How often those women I have known have frivolously tossed my affections into the grass! All those boyish enthusiasm’s often gone awry. That I have to sit upon this cold stone of sadness too long and then hoisted it up to rest it on my shoulder so as to carry it around. Then after so many years to complain about how to find a fit way to cast it off then begin again. This lodestone of love. This journey of a stubborn Sisyphus. Up the hill of desire for so simple a something as the brush of a touch. Some simple passing embrace. And yet that kind of warmth goes far beyond the ages! Sensation perhaps, but divine when meant? Shared molecules rubbing up against each other superficially exchanged. Yet, seemingly never lasting. No static implying stasis allowed in this universe! Only a want to drive forth, each in our own way, to bridge it again. Two ships scraping brusquely past, having collided unwarily within the empty night. Perhaps a full view of the deck of the other from the bridge? That single momentary instant surrendered to long memory. How sad, and yet how magnificent! No, I would not talk this sort of tragedy away, or try to explain it. But just hold on to it as long as possible. That is the beauty and genius of it all! To hold on before the freezing water pulls you down the surface disappearing slowly far above still posed up in that direction. How the moth loves the flame! And yet how the flame cannot help itself but consume the moth. Is this love? Yet, this is exactly how I have always lived my life.
A hand tightly clasped on cold stone. From anyone’s position on high to look up and down, and outward. The farther one sees the more one feels the majesty of the outside world. Yet one rationalizes the fact of how really small they are. How strange to be so small and yet see things so large? And then that desire to climb upwards ever further to attenuate that feeling. A need to touch, to embrace, to feel a blending into the other and then to feel that overlap within. How happy and yet so distant! For like everything, it is only a monastary desire. A momentary impulse. For one must ever move on. Perhaps we are all within an ocean of out own indeterminate proportions? And as we float by each era we touch and embrace and ever seek to find some stability. That, which of course, is impossible because like any other molecule we are all eternally destined to be bumped along a little further. One bump after another. Grasping at hopelessness and having it speed through ones fingers like froth from the waves. Again and again to rediscover happiness and then lose it in the next instant. Too damn hard a burden to bear! How solid one feels in one’s own arms? How solid one feels in another! And yet, and yet, and yet the story will go on.
This fiction of change layered upon that which one is compelled to learn and accept. Cessation and renewal. How wonderful to pass the torch and then realize that might well get passed around again. And all for what? To relive and live out yet another day of meaningless purpose driving one forth blindly to substantiate vague memories and loose impressions of a past that one has to struggle hard everyday to regain? Something to call one’s own. Something to stand beside and claim ownership of. How foolish is this man? How persistent, this woman! Of all things that one could have deigned to pursue within the mortal boundaries of this bi-polar world deferring to left and right, and up and down, and forward and backwards? Of cold and hot, and old and not, of few and many, and pinch and penny. And genius like pearls yet to be found. How silly and stupid it really is! I have to wonder what sort of bones I will leave in this strange amalgam of a chaos that I rest within?
The dream began when my ‘girlfriend’ of the time had asked me to take a short walk with her heading south down a major boulevard. We walked several blocks. After a while, the several blocks soon became a mile. Then the mile was a mile and a half. and suddenly we were south of the expressway by another mile or more. I began to feel queasy about the fact that given the persistent weariness that I had as of recently become accustomed to that the return journey would test what little physical reserve I had. I turned an eye to the neighborhoods now surrounding us. They were of a culture that I had experienced as a very young child. An ethic considered more stubbornly European especially in its residual hostility to outsiders. She kept up her end of the conversation without a pause or any regard for the possibility of unexpected random acts of malevolence. Now she was urging me on even further as she continued her one-sided discussion. I distracted from the ideas elucidated by her voice now plunged deep in the dilemma of how we would get back to home base as I had little money if any for a cab.
The sidewalk ahead was now old and broken large portions subsumed under muddy water. The largest swamp ridden depression carrying on for a half a block of sucking mud that would most assuredly ruin shoes or much worse. Instinctively I looked over to my left past the curb spying a gap where very small rivulet presented itself that was a mere step over to find solid dry asphalt. And without hesitation I made a bee line calling to her to follow me. I hopped over this insignificant obstacle expecting her to just behind me following suit. The dry pavement of the street was being ever more encroached upon by an ever larger puddle forcing me towards the median in the middle of the street where, my subconscious nagged, impatient traffic might recklessly come too close. Still believing that she was just behind with no traffic still nearby I crossed the street to the opposite sidewalk assuming that she was still dutifully in tow.
Paranoid of traffic overtaking me craned a glance over my left shoulder and darted across the street. All the while in terror that I may have led my companion into a fatal situation of being hit by a vehicle that might be a hair’s breath away from snuffing out me. A foot from the opposite curb I wrenched around just at the exact instant that she disappeared straight down into a hole into the sidewalk back over on the other side. She had been walking forward through the muck by herself and had incautiously stepped upon a clear plastic tarp that had masked an opening. I couldn’t tell from t he distance but I could envisioned her clearly in my mind somewhere in that pit so grievously injured that she couldn’t get out. My heart stuck in my throat I caught sight of another figure come up to help. The man first kneeling then flat upon his stomach reaching out to help her struggle out of the hole. With one mighty heave he hoisted her out. I ran back over to the other side and noticing as I ran that the opening was in the midst of a makeshift scaffold that was over a set of hidden stairs of a house. The set of same originally leading down underneath the street level. This situation suggesting that the adjacent two story frontage dated way back to the century previous before city streets had been raised to avoid constant flooding by lake. She seemed fine but now I sensed that because I had not been their there was now an emotional gap that had formed between us.
She pointed to a house across the boulevard and now she took off on her own expecting me to follow. There was a gravel driveway that led a short way back to corner angle of the one story flat where we entered. An informal party was in progress and it seemed as if it was a group of people familiar to themselves but still accommodating to our sudden appearance. My girlfriend sat next to a small table off to the side now somewhat aloof. I made the best of this development an was talking alternately to different members of the group yet always pointing my thoughts toward her. The more I did so the more she seemed less interested in the party and more indifferent to me. At one point I had walked into the next room to carrying on my part of a conversation briefly sitting upon a recliner. When I go up a few minutes later my girlfriend had unceremoniously departed. I felt a sensation of panic searching inside myself as to what I could properly say or do to get back into her good graces. But it became clear that she was gone for good. And I was here marooned in a room full of strangers and too soon become a ‘smelly fish’ without the fact of my girlfriends absence. So now with an ache in my heart and too extremely far south many miles away from my home with nightfall approaching. One less person that now knew me or cared the slightest about my prospective fate within an indifferent part of town. I felt crushed by a sense of profound yet very extremely familiar despair. “Not again!“, I sighed as I blacked out.
“I woke up this morning to find myself again still there looking in the mirror thinking, “When in the Hell will he get the fuck out of there?“