It was a subject that he didn’t like to talk about anymore. He’d been in love with her in high school. His first love. Or really, he couldn’t make that claim. She’d never been in love with him. Never in the mood to reciprocate the assumption of passion that he felt duty bound to perform. Too many Saturday afternoon Hollywood scripts! In any case he played the good companion and bit his lip through all of it until he had had enough and couldn’t take anymore. He could still remember that night when he had obliged her with his car. Taken her on a trip to north of the river at the center of town. And she got out on a corner by a hotel and yelled and screamed and raged at the indifference of her absent father. He would only care to recall that last impromptu ride with her across the state at night with his dwindling hopes renewed only to be dashed when the final destination brought her to the bed of what had once been up to that point his friend. It wasn’t long until he put two and two together and realized some things about divorce. Thirty years after. Some nine years after his own divorce to that bright flame that quickly burned out. Now he wondered what would have happened had his first infatuation had indeed thought about him that he very occasionally was reminded not to indulge in thinking about her. Solitude was its own disease. An addiction that one picked up when it was just too damn tiresome to connect anymore. It wasn’t her. But all the others in-between that he continued the thought with. The ones that in some masculine way he replayed the that ongoing disappointment. Something along the lines of being denied the opportunity when it really meant something. And piece by piece getting small parts here and there when it no longer could. Those movie scripts came in handy after the fact. He became so addicted in the intervening years. A mental closet to keep his emotional Pyhrric victories. But now there was no love left. No fiction of love like an eternal flame to fan. His moth knew enough to keep close on certain occasions but stay clear. What if he realized that those women who were so skilled at overlooking you in youth might at the end of their year be capable of wanting to know you once again? Know you when it was safely too late when they had felt that they had lost everything else. Devalued currency. Confederate money.
“Worthless if not damaging!“, he thought. He couldn’t believe in the emotions of women anymore. They seemed to have no faith in conviction themselves. There physical beauty that once suggested some mighty universal power of creation and constancy abrogated by the fault of being just as human and just as lost as he had turned out to be. Two minuses not easily making a plus when forced together contraposed. That linear function of being linear and male not wanting him to go off the highway of what he supposed life would be from this point one and risk more rocks and gravel. He could not imagine the terror he would face if two of the earliest showed up pen night at his door? How hard and vulnerable it might make him. Crazy enough to contemplate murder? Or some form of emotional suicide to end the past. The worst part being the realization that he had given up and he was just mortal. That things had not gone anywhere since. In fact they had descended into the convenient desert of emptiness. The story that lingered on after the greater story of “One day!“. “One day.“, when he would finally fine that perfect one. The one that if he could have been honest along the way he would have known never existed. And for that fact, never could. It was all a crapshoot. People died on you after letting you down in every way possible for years. It didn’t lessen that time bomb of fidelity and attachment that ticked on within. So . . . That other world of the emotions that he had left in others. All the unrequited hopes that he had generated by the promise of his indefinite presence in their lives. Their fantasies and not his . . . Who’s fantasies meant more? How pathetic to think that any of them, especially the first one in that long line, might be thinking of him this very same night and wondering how it might have turned out otherwise? One day long overdue and now judged D.O.A
“Thank God!“, he thought in that empty room with all the lights turned off. Thank God that he was now buried in the blanket of failure. As if that would have made a difference either way to one or two that might have had some real heart behind the effort. How sad and pathetic was life. Is life! Fire and brimstone! “Did cavemen and women have such convoluted existences?”, he thought? It was dark and he lay on his bad hearing the fading melodies of the old melodrama making its way from his mental auditorium back out to where such things go when they seem long forgotten. It told him that women were not clowns or villains or even emotional refrigerators that waited patiently at one’s pleasure. It remind him if that which he did not want to know. That he daily avoided. That all were pathetic or vulnerable whiteout that other. Rusty wrecks with engines, cars without wheels. Going nowhere for yet another day farther past where they should have been. With that someone that they so successfully avoided but should should have been with. The irreparable lesson of life.
Lost on the rough roads of a cartoon forest. Bumping along roads my old luxury sedan was at jeopardy of failing at. Large gray paper mache color pits in intersections to be avoided. Resolved to be brave if the end was to come. I bumped, bumped bumped over verdant shoulders past tall straight trees possible only in the imagination to avoid these traps. All this travel through strange enigmatic territory to enact an internecine rivalry in a wooded glen at a ridiculously short distance plunking Glock ammunition back and forth. Two against one. Plink, plink, plink upon respective barriers that both parties had to stay crouched behind. Why? What was the purpose of this battle? Some minor point of meddling angst or petty aggravation to be settled in a grievous wound that neither of us wanted. The foolishness of it descending upon us after the offers of chivalry in periods of reload aloud for time away from each of our barriers. The ammunition of each of our small arms cannonade growing short in supply. A newly found felicity built on the realization that mercurial bouts of futile exhaustion makes the best of friends after all.
On, after all, I have supped the broth of futility so often. Come up dry in a desert of my own making that should have been a glen. No why’s or wherefores to explain that well-incarcerated desire to simply destroy myself and get the whole damn thing over with poste haste. The dust of the ages fuzz accumulated in my navel. Ceaseless pleasures forlorn for the sake of a constant and long enforced love of solitude. The world absolutely perfectly the way that I want it. Ego maniacal franchises that have no endings. No time outs. The world is awash with television Socialism of false Utopias of simulated universes where paradise has no conclusion only stay tuned next week’s. How in the Hell of one’s own created eternal fire could one succeed in such a place without the descent of perpetual ennuii? Plnik, plink, plink! The shooting contest continues again. The ring of copper and lead on steel failing to lead to produce a mixture of bronze. De-evolusion to a state of perpetuity shooting at the shadow of one’s self. An effigy taken from times past. A straw man. A wicker man. Set afire with old unsatisfied dreams struggling for continued life within.
Each time I rise I find myself back in this same darkness wandering and wondering about an all too familiar space so high above the pavement. Mount Olympus my prison cell. The proferred trade of tat without tit. A mental chess extravaganza with my own failed impatience. I have become naught. Some old husk shocked forth by the winnow. This game of shadows past ever present in a tiresome lexicon of well-determined defenses against that which is desired so deeply. Hamlet’s rant! Killer bee magical conclusions of hive like propositions promising results through constant stings of inconsequential results. Sequestered in this chair stairing at a lighted screen. The sounds of the mand-made mechanical universe deverting me from my calling with the stars. Porpoise play in the eternal celestial dust of immense gaseous nebulas. I lay back and drift but encounter a wall. The inner dimensions of this rectangular manmade configuration that I will not leave. Horse in the burning barn. Too tired to think. Bump, bump, bump! The neighbors next door threaten my sleep. I am done for! Good night.
My fantasy of a French girl. Somehow the topic of love got lost in the bargain. My fantasy of being adept at understanding French but not so well that they catch on because I don’t want to know too much. Just enough. Nothing to spoil the illusion of white skin beauty and madness. It is her craziness that I love and respect. Respect like I do my own. You have to be crazy and alive to last in this world. When you lose that you die. Ia am currently dead! All these impossible affinities with dolls safely out of reach. Atonement for the major fuck ups of my life. A long career of bumps in the road. Of bumps in the night. Of losing my fear of too much and therefore not respecting anything anymore. Sad possibilities of serving an infernal sentence. I want to be its master and not its slave. But I am afraid that that is not possible. No longer possible.
I want a French girl! Because I know that they know how to suffer regret. Sluts all of them at heart! Ready to sell themselves to lost causes and arrogant about it. Crystal glass playthings that fracture so easily and need a lifetime of patching up. So fragile and delicate. France being the endless journey looking for what. Lost little shanties full of wine and bead and lust. Disappointment abounding as with the rest of the world for things not coming out right but just being there. For daily operas containing too many words. How I wish I could understand them all! No, I don’t. I would rather bruise my knees bloody at an altar at San Sulpice. The ritual being a way to attract my Madonna to climb down so we can go catch a drink. Those eyes so lively. How can a man not want to drown within them?
Two expresso’s! I need to talk this out. I can’t come back later. I haven’t been there at all! I want the fantasy but the woman comes along at no charge. That is the tough part. I don’t know if I am able to walk down the gangplank and never see myself again? To wake up right now and not see the same old cracks the ceiling. To turn over in bed and find a scrunched up face that has turned into what it has always been. An indifferent stranger who I have no possibility of ever getting to know. To be able to feel comfortable with. I want to marry a French girl. I once did. But, alas, as I recall now, that didn’t work out.
The security agency had recruited the two of us to carryout special missions that would require the retiring of persons of interests. The common interpretation of this euphemistically speaking was that we were to be assassins. It was common practice to secure pairs consisting of one man and one woman. This allowed for a greater level of flexibility in all types of missions where to be innocuous within the foreign environment would require quickly switching the facsimiles of identities. As every section is instructed in special skills unique to that division our specialty was to center around the use of a knife. The quick deploy of what would be considered a common everyday implement found everywhere on the planet that was essentially untraceable by any local authority was considered as strong an asset as a platoon of special op regulars. Part of the discipline involved being to detect threats that bordered not he supernatural and fend them off with everything from a butter knife to a scalpel. Out trainer was a wiry older gentleman with a neatly trimmed mustache whose general appearance might have fit into any colonial barracks found in the previous century. With a steady low voice that one might have mistaken as being significant of his being beset by slow oncoming rot of age he provided us with a credo that promised the pair of us naught but future bumps and bruises. Maybe a lesion or two?
The best way to learn this business to his way of thinking was learning how to detect a threat and promptly intercept it. Something that one had to revive in their dormant animal skills. To treat their environment like a jungle where any hostile threat was possible at any time forcing once to be ever vigilant on even the slightest anomaly that might present itself in passing. Thus our training began being the proverbial targets of the most dangerous game that mankind has forever pursued. Man and woman we both were pursued by our teacher in a regular environment bearing no arms or physical protection beyond our gift of sight and our wits to preserve us from attack. Something that might be a blow to the chin or a tackle. But more likely a form of sharply incise cut. A form of dueling scar unique to this profession that was sharp, tight, superficial and assured to heal quickly most all the time without scars. The commencement of each day in this training park was to say the least a maddening exercise when one considered that it was near to impossible to detect one’s aggressor whose level of skill was such that one literally could not detect his movement until his blade was on you.
Though the female was perhaps the most constantly aware of danger in general to the level of her entering into a constant emotional state bordering upon a constantly agitated form of paranoia. Her most general method of dealing with the assurance of this threat being to whip about twisting in a manner that resembled an energetic childish participant playing hide and seek who violently struggles to surprise another potentially nervous contestant. The more effective method that came to mind was to calmly use one’s powers of observations after quieting one’s inner being. The notion of surveilling while realizing that inner animal sense of being watched leading to some interesting results. After a series of bumps and sharp edge scratches it became obvious that our assailant had the remarkable ability to transform himself through long experience into what appeared to be thin air. With careful study of what might have concluded to be empty air a smudge or a blur would be detectable. Something along the line of the use of better trained hackles. Something in the way of slightly yellowish like some small portion of directly reflected sun became more easily detectable. The vector and speed of travel recorded in a flicker one could prepare one’s own angled of attack and mount a reasonable defense. After some weeks my partner caught on and we were both soon able to foil any incoming assault. This new ability becoming natural and signaling the end of that phase of the training.
The last incident encountered bringing a sense of chilling immediacy as to what our roles would now often frequently entertain. Having been in the general vicinity of a wagon of straw my guru had attempted to assault me coming down a narrow corridor of varied obstacles from behind. The senses now finely tuned to the point of becoming seamlessly automatic I had spun around to focus my own blade’s tip at the Adam’s apple of his neck before he could even raise his own. The expression incised upon his face betraying sign of an uncustomary frustration that I had up to this point never suspected from a customary quiet sense of fatal resolve that it had usually embodied. His voice now trembling in part from the rigor of exhaustion but equally from having his best efforts tripped up spat out a last command. “Stick it in!!“, he demanded! “Put it through my throat!” The shock of this unexpected demand took me aback. And though I did not relent from pressing the point of my scalpel into his flesh I pondered inside if this was all a case of emotions on both sides having traveled too far down the path of what was considered professionalism in this trade?
I felt the palm of a hand softly press my right shoulder and heard an authoritative voice from behind of a presence that seemed to have congealed behind me telling me to accede to my former master’s request. Though the propriety of my emotions as I had once known them were conflicted , I realized that this was the equivalent of a final test as to whether I would carry out my mission or fall short of the stated goal of it at the last instant. It was quite literally him or me! Even though I did not feel an expected pricking of sharp steel against my own frame, it was evident that only one of the two of us would walk away from this encounter. Saying goodbye to all my former notions of God and morality garnered since childhood I transcended this final threshold jamming the instrument through his rubbery thin neck till the blade struck hard into the weathered wood of the wagon gate’s edge. I was now officially birthed as the new regent having taken my teacher’s place as the reigning sovereign of this dark art. My own position in this dark art as equally secured by of my continued competence demonstrated in overcoming all comers. One day just as surely someone else eventually arriving one day within this unsure future with a greater adroitness to take my place.
The crash had come in the midst of night. It was late and he tilted his head forward from the covers that rode up as far as his chin. Another loud bang and his mind raced to find consciousness again and he vaulted from the bed into the play of shadow and vague streetlight that rested about the doorway to an equally unlit hall. The heart in his chest racing several feet ahead of him as he raced to the small gun safe and played the long practiced melody with his trembling fingers. The motor coughed as the lid jolted open and his hand rummaged for the hilt of the .45 caliber automatic that he had mostly held but never fired. He caught the shadow of a large man restlessly turning its head to orient itself in his lounge. He felt the grip of his own fear holding back the utterance. “Halt!“, he managed to rasp dryly. The short barrel of the weapon now waist high pointing towards the intruder of its own accord. The sharp report of of it barking twice as the target crumbled and collapsed as suddenly as a tree felled. “Oh my God!“, the man yelled to himself repeating it mindlessly several times as he watched the figure before him tremble for a second before falling permanently asleep. An unreasoning terror buried itself into his chest as the thought of his fate now cast to one of eternal damnation struck him. He had killed someone. The realization brought the sulfurous sting of cordite immediately fully into his nostrils. He gasped as he pictured himself in handcuffs behind bars. The automatic still hovered unsteadily before him. The guilty forefinger having retreated from the fast start taken upon the trigger. The terrible gravity of the instrument pulling it down to his side. He found himself trembling as he looked about where he could set it down but not your lose sight of it with the dun of shadows. He could still see about the room as brilliantly illuminated by those two sudden flashes. Two frame from a movie frozen in his mind’s eye. One of the figure in the overcoat in the middle of the room slightly bent hands clenched. The next frame torso twisted and reeling backwards from the force of the hollow point slug. He had thought he had heard the sound of broken glass?
Had it been several minutes? Or perhaps an hour that he had stood frozen in place not quite sure what to do. The first step forward seemed to take him from what had now become his entire life wrapped up in the sense of past tense. All his experience as who he had thought he had forever been and would have turned out to be had been swept into a refuse bin. He was now someone else. The figure lay collapsed face forward buried in the shards of what has been his large round glass coffee table. Though it was impossible to make out details his mind still could imagine the flesh of what had been a face torn and bloody and near to unrecognizable . The insinuation of the corpses presence and the destruction of its fall a grievous form of undeserved insult. He noticed the intercession of a column of light coming from the door ajar off to his left. The possible stigma of stranger eyes surreptitiously falling on him standing before the corpse culpable and condemned propelling him to close off any possibility of outside intervention. The front door of his unit was still upon its hinge though the area surrounding where the lock had met the jam was shattered. He took two steps forward cat like carefully peering down each direction finding nothing more than the same dimly lit causeways routinely illuminated as always. “The holiday weekend?“, he thought aloud, “No one might have heard because everyone was away!” “Goddam it!“, he barked furiously to himself. He was already thinking like a criminal! How could he explain and unregistered gun in a city that was hysterically insane about their simple fact of their possession? He didn’t even know who this stranger was or why the fool had blundered into knocking his door down in the first place? The notion of an inflexible municipal code seemed to weigh more heavily than any responsibility to vindicate the fact of this interloper’s unwelcome presence in his domain. It was not enough to say that the man had broken in and he had shot him.
He looked down to see his own hands passing across each other in a wringing motion. The door knob of his entry was bent slightly sideways above the battered crescent where a partial imprint of a man’s foot had left its mark. “How to erase that?”, the man’s mind rushed! He swung the door carefully back and forth examining the jagged edges of the portion of the splintered jam. He slipped inside and tested the fit of the door clearing away some splinters to set it as tightly closed as he could. A kitchen chair was dragged over to leverage itself underneath the doorknob to secure its closure. Not secure by any means especially as it had been at the commencement of this whole incident. The mind of the man began to turn in stages to the reason for this scenario and possible explanations as to why it had been visited upon him? He trundled over to the crumbled figure looking to see if the hands had dropped anything. An unregistered weapon of some sort that might betray an equally enigmatic mission to explain his presence in the tenant’s world. The man did not feel safe enough to turn on a light but went to the desk drawer and pulled out a small flashlight. The term generic seemed most fitting for the deceased’s attire. A gray wool overcoat covering a plaid wool worsted sports coat. The trousers completely nondescript the evidence of their age being the shiny reflection of the seat of the pants and knees. The Oxfords scuffed and worn each sole evidencing a the degradation of overuse. Though he stood hunched over the corpse directing the flashlight to these various details there was a gulf of hesitation to touch the corpse. Carefully he nudged the body with the ball of his foot. Then he kicked it still not eliciting a response. The mass of the thing resting totally inert and unaffected by the man’s irreverent gesture. What to do? Call the cops? “Yeah sure!“, he spoke to himself cynically. Was there anything he had to hide? Drag the corpse out of here and dump it somewhere! “Yeah?“, his voice chimed in as if in the role of his own adversary, “And if you get caught in the process?”
A wave of disgust came over him. Anger clouded his vision. He took two steps back and collapsed in his easy chair staring at the freshly deposited lump of clay in the middle of his living room. “I have to think this out!“, he repeated to himself. A stillness about the scene that defied time and eternity providing the mental amphitheater within which to hold court for the decisions that would inevitably remold his future existence in a manner that was so totally unexpected. The mystery of the motive of this stranger in picking his doorway amidst all others coming to mind. What secret enemies did he unexpectedly possess? What splinter group considered dangerous to the underlying powers that be did he belong to? Was this a simple mistake? A chance mistake on the part of the victim who may have transcribed an address wrong? Had he given an unpardonable slight to another? A man? A woman! The impetus of the motive now lost from the figure before him might provide the key to unlock the dilemma of how best to proceed. One by one the mental picture of each of theses shadowy presences cycled through his head. Repeating and repeating until his head began to ache. He looked over to a side table and saw the central instrument to his dilemma? The .45 lay upon the flat surface with its barrel pointing towards him. The sound? The sound! Why had it not brought anyone to his door to inquire? Some entreaty to the police to investigate? How long had it been? Minutes? Hours! Would there be a knock at the shattered ‘presido’ of his front door and a unsympathetically gruff voice demanding entry?? Should he call a lawyer? he could hear his own heart beating in his ears. How could he erase the evidence? There was the body and the challenges of removing it without anyone noticing. The shattered glass of the coffee table and the blood. The carpet would never look the same. A telltale stain leading immediately to a suspicion of wrongdoing by the unit’s owner. He looked back over his shoulder to the front door. The first rays of morning light reminding him that there was an undisturbed top lock. If the incident had gone undetected by the outside world thus far then perhaps there were alternatives?
If he waited and simply did nothing sitting there and was discovered there were possibilities as well. The body undisturbed the crime scene untouched. Would he even have to be here? Perhaps, if no one had seen him he could cop to have not having been home. The gun could be left here cleaned of his fingerprints. Maybe impressing one of the corpses upon it? Make the bed and leave the apartment through the back stairwell and go somewhere for a day or two leaving the door ajar! But who could wreck that plan? He had no apparent friends in the building. Yet could there be someone that he might not been aware of who would have kept mental track of his comings and goings? He opened his eyes looking up from the two sets of finders that had been furiously rubbing them deeply into their sockets. It was all so, “If this or that, then the following!” All of it leading back to the same conclusion of that crumpled interloper. Would that he could singly open the window and tumble his frame outside to the pavement below! He looked over to the windows that stood opposite over a block a way. The same ones that were now blinded by the rays of the early morning sun. The reelected brilliance suggesting that no one format hat direction would be able to notice much in his direction. The mad idea gripped him that he had nothing much to lose in any case. Immediately he was on his feet going to the gun and wiping it thoroughly within and without with a cleaning solvent. The automatic now expunged of its owner’s fingerprint identity, he shoved it in the back of the corpse’s belt and throwing the window open as wide as possible. The holiday weekend had left the street deserted save for a couple of distant taxis passing indifferently on the next block over. Summoning some deep level of unholy obsession he grabbed the body around the waist and manhandled it forward head first over the sill. The inertia of his effort powered by the built up rage of his despair sending it over the edge to tumble down arms and legs flopping into empty air. The window of his apartment was down and shuttered as the impact of the thing sounded far below as a distant dull thud. Seven stories up his blinds were now drawn as he bagged and boxed the remnants of the table’s glass. He decided that he would shred the rug into small pieces dumping bleach over it then sealing the box up with packing tape. The two packages could be taken down to a remote location and dumped in the trash.
How might he explain the door? He wondered? Then it hit him. He would make up the bed to be on the safe side and report an alibi for the damage to the management on Monday morning that he had gone out the previous evening gotten drunk and not finding his key broken in himself. It was only in the light of dawn had he realized that he had acted too precipitously and provide the compensation for the damage. It might work he thought. At this point it didn’t matter. No one could directly prove anything one way or another and any inquiry format he authorities would like any other stormy incident in his life come and go. It was up to fate and destiny anyhow if he survived this mess. It was better to continue with this craziness and see it all the way through keeping his mouth shut and saying as little as possible. The boxes under his arm he walked to the stairwell and proceeded down the seven flights to the ground floor and back entrance out into the alley carrying his parcels. By the time he returned some half an hour later walking slowly down the sidewalk and working mightily at looking as unconcerned as possible a small crowd was gathering. He continued up to the front entrance of the building carrying a paper cup of coffee munching a half-consumed danish before the melee. A couple of squad cars were haphazardly parked in both pointed in the wrong direction on either side of the street the occupants of same various tasks of fending off pedestrians from the crumpled mass on the pavement. The wail of a siren of an ambulance approaching from afar building as a man in plain clothes was scribbling down an account by a middle aged woman. Her tiny barking dog endlessly at the end of its leash. “So you say you were walking your dog and you came up on the body laying here and there was no one else on the street?“, the detective droned as he recited from his note pad. The building’s doorman greeted the man inside as he walked unaffected to the elevator. “Bad business Mack!“, the burly man scowled shaking his head before the controlled feint of his opposite’s blase expression. “I told the management that too much has been going on in the neighborhood with gangs and shootings!” “Maybe this character on the roof?” “I hope we don’t get sued!” The man nodded with vacant sympathy as the doors to the elevator opened. “Yeah!“, he turned and offered! “You can never tell what someone will do next!”
My mother loved to watch, Gone With The Wind. It was her favorite movie. I can’t say that I ever understood what it meant to her. That was my failing as the perennial ‘late bloomer’. When I have seen it as of late it seems so blatantly obvious now. The frivolous nature of a young desirable girl. A seen of love based upon a foolish seen of infatuation. The fear of being left vulnerable and alone. The building of an inner resolve as a maturing woman to steel herself against any challenge. The opportunity that life provides her to prove her abilities and worth again all odds. Making her own way int he world despite the criticism of society. Discovering the true nature of love and friendship even if it seems too late in the game. And the value of home and the legacy of family that one has come from. All these qualities having their effect upon a young girl looking forward to the transition into womanhood.
She was nineteen when it appeared in theaters in 1940. I have to wonder if she viewed it first in the last preeminent movie palace still extent in the midst of the loop in Chicago? What disappointments and discoveries that lay ahead of her one might wonder if she expected? A world where war stole the possibility of finding a lasting love. The rise of career seeming to interject itself betwixt the chance for finding a home and raising a family. A brief and incidental marriage to a selfish boy that pretended to be a man leading to the disappointment and despair of never achieving the goal of harmony in motherhood. The tragic death of her mother and the subsequent loss of her father due to his grief and despair. And of course my father who in so many ways was a fit stand in for the real man in O’Selznick’s passion play. That special someone who had all the faults but at the core of it loved her and held her as the center of his universe. The most significant big budget extravaganza of her coming of age predicting in so many ways what became the challenges that she faced in the subsequent progress of her later life. How she must have viewed herself against the foil of the drama’s lead character at those many decisive junctures of her existence?
To view the film now is to catch sight of her at that tender age in the flickering darkness of the audience. A sight one rarely finds as a child of a woman that to them seemed the eternal archaic goddess known as ‘mother’. “January 17th, 1940.” To think of the date that she may have stepped into the lobby of some baroque movie palace fresh with anticipation to encounter the fresh celluloid telling her the tale of her future and destiny. How clever in hindsight for the doyens of Hollywood to fashion their plans to come within such clever intrigue. To show how a well-planned world conflict would affect the aspirations of the then contemporary iteration society coming of age and hint at how it would soon be transfigured. And in considering the subsequent ‘strum und drang‘ of this current time deposed. The players in the drama provided with both highs and lows and revealed as heroes or villains by their building legacy of reactions. The controversial aspect of the social incarceration of one and the effect of their inescapable lot in life ever-present as both tool and warning.
I have to wonder at the double edge sword the genius and the diabolical nature of those that power society so frivolously without the art form of painting the prospective progression of human life upon a screen? And then hangs it over the heads of the viewer by a thread for the rest of their existence. The audience aligning their lives to a mass hysterical narrative as opposed to finding their own way unassisted through the tangle wood of everyday chaos? Sitting here alone within the fading limelight of my own passing existence being the sole keeper of the long but now extinct narrative of my own kin I can only wonder further what the true natures of my own local players were? Their true identities reflected by the unspoken hopes and dreams that never were revealed . And somehow remained elusive never to come to pass! And how I might somehow in some small way further get to know them as they really once were.
If one writes for the simple pleasure of it then that is one thing. But don’t write for the sake of a profit. Then you will find yourself hitching your cart up to a delusion of riches and notoriety to come. “Opinions are like assholes!”, it has been for so long restated. Maybe the discussion would be less polemic if one juxtaposed ‘mouths’? To simply ride along the soapy bubble sliding into common popularity betrays any trust one might have had with their own truth. Why challenge someone else’s posthumous longstanding success? Posthumous authors remain ever the most popular! Even if their physical forms are not quite dead yet. The act of instilling a ‘knock off‘ in the covert sense of same of working around the edges searching for a slightly different hook is no better than selling your soul to the market. Fame and riches are not for everybody! Especially if they come up short in disinterest for another unrepentant individual. Dare one tell their real fantasies and dreams and see how long that any readership for their thoughts would remain? Yet it is the unbounded animal within that lurks without care of opinions that fascinates the most in the long run. The rest is artifice. A convenient cage of words to contain the latest rare attraction and keep it from consuming the all too willing flesh of the envious public. How the endless futility of murder and horror warms the heart of millions. To see a wolf’s head soaked in blood fresh from the carcass of its last victim suddenly confront one’s favorite avatar and then marvel at the incongruity of his unbelievable escape. Vicarious thrills in the underworld of Hellish unspoken dreams! To be both victim and perpetrator in one breath but then be redeemed by the last stanza of the last paragraph. The order of the universe as reflected in the current underwhelming mismatch of society once again restored. The reassuring imbalance that all of society reflects one because they are simply weak vessels.
So many lives undisclosed living innocuously rotting slowly within acme longitudinal nineteen-thirties vintage Manhattan apartments. You’d never know that they were there! How do they survive but in the best way that they can? Taking on the roles throughout a lifetime without complaint that are handed out much as they are given. Struggling mightily to succeed until one day they are too infirm any longer to try. Deposited upon a sofa near to unmoving peering out that same picture window to the new building across the street. Their partners rough and tumble type cut from a savage cloth that you would not expect. All roles reversed in this age. A bantam weight woman slugging it out in the ring. Her manager just some guy from the neighborhood that looks like he should be selling drugs on the local street corner but does not. Short deals transacted by word of mouth in dark hallways before old building elevators. The carpet bruised beneath them by a hundred thousand lifetimes of anonymous footfalls. That feint smell of human urine in the vicinity of a far off corner. Some aging interloper that has lived here forever but has not yet been thrown out. Clinging to their borrowed birthright mentally incompetent when it comes to no where else to go. Cystic fibrosis and the remainder of their dead parents investment portfolio to sustain the rent. That old dried out hope in dark plastic pill bottles labeled by the old drugstore that used to be several blocks away on the boulevard amidst all the honking car horns of day. No one goes out anymore at night! The urban grid along Broadway filled with cabs their inestimable number of headlamps breaking past old blinds and curtains providing a light show upon many an empty ceiling. That same showy figure gazing at the opposite wall inert and perpetually taciturn as an ancient sphinx. The flicker of youthful follies playing across the weathered stone. The quiet rush of nighttime. The sound of the external a quiet comforting sea of perpetually restless regrets. Humanity swelling threading to all exhale synchronized at once. Several more no longer moving every once and a while police called carried out by attendants in the dead of night. The barren emptiness of musty presences refusing to so quickly fade away. No route to an easy Heaven there. Or anywhere . . .