The bottle’s neck smelled like sarsaparilla.A most annoying smell that transposed itself to taste when one lifted the bottle’s open end to the mouth to swallow it’s contents. As the neutral sensation of carbonated mineral water was tainted by that fragrance it despoiled the experience of the drink. At two dollars a bottle, its presence as a staple to his daily diet had become an expensive commodity. Certainly not detrimental to his general health. In fact quite the opposite. But fatal to his lack of income which at present was next to insufficient. How unthinking of the anonymous party who stocked the local store to bathe their skin in some eccentric offbeat fragrance that for them was some sort of signature of individual personality. An unwanted commercially available pheromone that may have provided them with a greater level of social accessibility but to his sense of smell and taste only signified annoyance. The efficiency of his senses had come down to the bare minimum over too many years of constant assault by city living with its proclivity of volatile industrial ether. Acetone’s, keytone’s and kerosene’s. Ethyl methyl’s, pollen’s and dusts. The smell of tainted canals wafting up daily from ten miles to the south. It all intermixed into a noxious stew the presence of which was ever on display on the horizon each night at sunset. The personal signature of the massive enclave within which the bulk of his mortal existence had transpired. A scratchy dryness suddenly appeared as he cleared his throat of the sensation of thickened mucous with low grating vocal scrape.
His custom at the small supermarket chain was regular but small in revenue. The fact that the state was picking up the tab not adding weight to any potential commentary he might offer as to a positive suggestion by him of how to avoid such unfortunate inadvertent situations that would steal away customer satisfaction with the goods offered by the establishment. After all if he had wanted some flavored water there wee certainly more sophisticated and tastier alternatives available. He could imagine the scenario in this current era of faceless commercial consumerism. A prompt refund might be initially offered with a customary apology at his complaint when the touchstone of a recent sales receipt was produced, Maybe the thin unsubstantial promise of promptly seeing to it that an internal inquiry would be conducted within the next day so as to bring the offending shelf ‘stocker’ into line with store policies on personal hygiene. Part of him was rankled by the thought of this. One one hand there would be a certain Patrician satisfaction if on the next purchase the product’s containers had resumed their former neutral lack of taste or aroma. Yet this would cast him in a group that he himself personally despised. Those pinch nosed egomaniacs that thought nothing of disturbing the usual fast-paced rhythms of efficiently stocking shelves by hard working low paid staff who would now be eyed with an even greater level of suspicion in an economy that already had too many working far below their potential earning less dollars than they were supposedly deserved of. This might lead to unintended consequences? By some odd stretch of his imagination he could conceive of a scenario where through the consternation of an underling his rare and hard to find preference of brand would be struck from the store’s inventory? Then where would he be able to seek out the key active element in his own personal daily ritual of mental solace?
It made him even more cross to think how powerless he was to provide one measure of constancy to a diminished level of bare bones existence that by all intents and purposes should not have to suffer such constant and daily privation. When would this persistent economic drought lift and a reasonable level of local prosperity return? It was so unfair! The neighborhood was not by any stretch of the imagination destitute. The ghetto of urban blacks and Hispanics at the municipal border stood some two miles East. A curtain of struggling tax challenged White Middle class homes standing as sentinels to the ebb and flow shift of ethnic distribution. It was true that the endless stream of peoples from outside the nation had not been stemmed but quite the opposite, had been increasing. The first and second generations of same now economically acclimated and relatively prosperous and stable. The spectrum of goods and services locally available bearing ever more foreign sounding names with strange characters painted in garish jarring color palates that seemed to contradict those that once was long used to. He could recall so many memories of years past where one could rely on local standbys that had made their reputations solid through providing old world service and goods that were significant of those golden years of easily obtainable living. Now their empty store fronts were slowly being bulldozed having sat too long in the eclipse of what was formerly the good old days. It made his blood boil to see that other neighborhood across the boulevard just South stand so unaffected by all this! Large houses with many more bedrooms than needed by the average family/ Well-manicured highly decorated parcels of acreage that required ant-like crews of immigrant labor to maintain that immaculate fairy tale untouched appearance. As if everyone who lived there was somehow an Olympian far above the cares and woes of the normal folk that did without so that they did not have to. That was the myth and backbone of the credo of Capitalism! Something that despite all the social cultural dislocation that most felt one was required to give reverent lip service to.
He took another sip from the bottle and wrinkled his nose. Things were not like this before his mind responded to the renewed annoyance of that strange offbeat scent. It reminded him of those odd smells that would be occasionally wafting past into the open driver’s side window of his sedan when he found himself driving through that over-packed noisy decaying urban sprawl that was thick with perpetually dissatisfied ghetto-dwellers who seemed always surly and ready to impose the threat of violent confrontation. The associations one had when traversing those areas was to keep the windows rolled up tight and maintain a swift and as uninterrupted progress down the center lanes of a major boulevard making sure that one would not be unsuspectedly blocked by hostile parties who might have violent intentions on their mind. He absolutely hated those places and could imagine setting foot on the Moon without a space suit easier than strolling down the sidewalk of any of those avenues either day or night. Their incrementally expanding presence ever seeping towards his own tiny kingdom being so very significant of how bad things were getting in the world at large. He hated that smell. It upset everything! It made him want to sell or even just throw out everything, sell his property and go somewhere. Anywhere! Just as long as he didn’t have to deal with those ever-demanding hostile forces. It wasn’t fair! He and his parents had worked for years starting up a small family company that when times were good allowed them to live well. The shift in technologies and the fall of fashion restlessly progressing away from the style and substance that the business offered causing it eventually to close before the passing of his kin. He had to supposed that given his own advance in age that he was to be considered almost a dinosaur? Someone from a bygone era that wouldn’t have the skill base or proper mentality to continue in society in a manner that was productive enough to hire. His generation like that of his own parents being the most reliable and easy target of eventual scorn. It wasn’t true he heard an inner voice protest. Alas a deeper more steadied voice seemed to respond, “Indeed it was!”
In a backwater border area somewhere near an African frontier a tiny mud brick box shaped shanty stood. Long abandoned. It now served as a covert military installation. A bunker serving as a forward looking enemy observation lookout post. Central Command had decided it would make an incursion through bombardment by using this location as the operation’s covert base and ready eyes. They set up a gigantic booby trap per their orders in the adjacent quadrant near the enemy. A killing field that the artillery barrage would subsequently drive them into. The well-hidden structure was manned at times by three or four paramilitary and agency types, half of them women. An unlikely combination of personnel considering the immense level of physical danger in holding such a position after the fact of the disclosure of their presence in the region. They had to attempt to make the second part of the mission look as if it was simply a happenstance occurrence that did not reveal the fact of their presence in near proximity within this structure on the ground. Theoretically the distance between them and the ambush they set up would be far enough. They prepared their end of this exercise from the cover of the tall grass that cloaked their location from view. When it came to initiate their end of it by setting off the explosives, much to their surprise and dismay, a woman’s frantic voice sounded outside revealing their position. Someone that had panicked and not followed the directive of leading potential pursuers away from their disguised base. Small fists pounding furiously on the outside of the structure’s only entrance. This fugitive’s opposite number giving her entry inside just managing to close the heavy wooden beam door before the enemy arrived to lay immediate siege to their structure. A contingent of troops that had been just far afield enough to manage to avoid being annihilated and now burning white hot for a quick and brutal revenge to be levied in kind. The rapid assault on the sturdy timbers saw them pried from their jamb and uprooted in an unexpectedly swift manner. The small room filling quickly with many sets of eyes bearing expectant expressions searching for victims upon which to visit their impending evil intent. Their festival of the application of vengeance would begin in a round of torture of the men and and build slowly to a crescendo saving the women for its finale. Tasking their imaginations to kill everybody in the bunker in the worst way possible. Their collective efforts seeking to provide a fit level of retribution for the ambush.
A Portuguese speaking backwater community in the middle of nowhere in sight of the coast. A haven for old burned out Hippies. A truck driver of a big box panel job doubling as a cab driver offering rides through the tangle of tiny causeways and dead ends that served as the town’s central sprawl. Navigating congested city traffic in the oddest of spaces. In one instance actually bumping up and down going up over the roofs then bouncing across their closely stepped flat cousins down finally into a bone jarring impact upon a dusty street. Smashing a large granite serpentine Augustine head with the back of the vehicle’s carriage. Revealing its true character as a faux stone maquillage for hiding drugs in their liquid form. The immediate result of such a spectacle finding the thoroughly rattled passenger now extent on the other side of town. The driver reveals a young adult daughter whose birthright has cost him his chance at fortune. But he is not a vindictive sort. If you treat him nice then maybe next time take the ride and you can have his daughter maybe as a wife? Maybe to prove yourself? The young girl being the next chapter of the tale being spun. That old story of a Tomboy tough exterior camouflaging an otherwise good heart. The mood of the scene set off by the transport of Italian architecture many centuries past. Though these people are not Italian they are living in an old town. The tourist comes back by the stable of the pensione eating a leg joint of chicken finding the young woman naked in the corral tending to the animals. A big brown and white Guernsey cow backed up against the rails where a horse formerly stood. He tosses the piece to her and she tosses it back on the ground. Then quickly picks it up and throws it back out of the corral at its sender with a look of disgust. “I don’t like chicken!”, she snarls. She’s a willful spirited lass. The man reflects as to what a strange, strange, strange world it is realizing he is currently amidst a dream of his own visiting other simultaneously slumbering people’s lives.
Fall descends! Displacing warmth with slowly biting cold kisses upon the cheek and over one’s extremities. Young Black sedan driven man’s Toyota music rediscovery ‘esplanade’ pounding out a decades old beat. The decades old constant drumming bringing back that other salt shaker in line when the inadvertent listener once knew that particular tune by rote. The volume pushed up so loud before the static traffic lamp that it buffets one like Jackie Chan kicking their ass! His thoughts have been laying down flat for the bulk of the week. A fucking living skeleton still aping human existence. Dead for all intents and purposes to the outside world. Chanting his Asian mantra barely audible. Nearly indiscernible. Trying to escape that ever tinier box called life. Strumming chords and PC chord progressions, trite and dated, having been forever played. In the shadow time of this era, it was not just the wooden puppets that wanted to be a real boy. Little girls trying to take that away too! Identity! Uniqueness! So fucking important! The more artifice applied like makeup to achieve it, the further into a faceless crowd one falls. Tourists in their own lands! Marveling at the falsehoods that they have been told. The magic box of elementary poisons. Nothing to wear! Not a single thing to believe in any longer. All used up! The empty cases discarded. These fucking ‘broads’ are all think they’re boys! There souls have been stolen and now they are just part of the furniture. A dead stick between their legs. Who will put this world aright? Certainly not its enemies that have been working overtime over generations to topple it! No longer that paucity of former friends on the other end of that warm piece of plastic blistering their palms. Hoping for the purring wetness bursting forth within the inert coldness of their extended hand. Modern Relationships. “Girls get what they want!” Boys get their unending frustration. CIVILIZATION? “Game Over!” Nothing left but King Rat! Jump head first into the bore hill and breath the shit into your lungs for a fast exist out. Who was originally accepting the proffer of, “Everything you ever wanted or dreamed of delivered to your door on a silver platter?” That yellow belly low down dirty rotten snake? Or the man who tended to the maidens? The world is your Apple TM. But sooner or later, it rots. That constant pound of jungle rhythms. Who would submit themselves to that? “You should!” You slave bitch! Both sides now scared by a rabbit.
Taking the long suburban road back to the ‘house’ that in reality has become a much smaller apartment through the emptiness of a semi arid landscape escorting my mother. One that is too far, knowing too late that we should have driven. Why we did not was a matter of forgetting for a while that the path back over open terrain always seems shorter than it in fact ever turns out to be. One’s age averaged and divided is occasionally put aside as a factor and the fiction of youthful endurance assumes a greater palpable fiction. A chain restaurant a block or two off the gravel path due east gleams quartz white as if it has just recently been built. A Disney castle mirage in the deep darkness of the mind. Salivation for the hopeful fantasy of plenty and tasty inside crosses the space between my ears within my own empty divide. I have grown up in the postwar age of advertising. The mental Utopia that the worship of everything new and improved allows you temporary entrance within. To conjure the mental picture is more immediate than to test the waters with your tongue and pocketbook. That is the actual realm of scant financial resources and the specter of starvation. The great kings and dukes of old along with their subsequent more modern social warrior imitators having forged a great mental trauma genetically passed on by too often playing too dangerously with the ship of state and so often running it aground. One remains ever mindful of their next meal hoping that if it be one’s last then at least it might be memorably distinctive as the best so far. This is progress.
Ron, the father, ends up on Johnny Carson as a guest. A failed entertainer from the ‘get go’ in his own mind. He rises up from the audience to follow the expected patterns of behavior on stage. His greatest secret dream. To be recognized as talented and out of the ordinary, and loved. What can any self-made man hope to find after he has found a knock off copy of the Philosopher’s stone and a deck of playing cards to gain a sufficient amount of ready cash? Money and all that it can buy is never enough. The ritual of an audience locked in their seats facing East towards the refresh of a hopeful morning Sun of the television is all too seductive. A crowning gift to the man who initially came up from nothing but for whom this persistent sense of the inescapable present provides never ever enough. this is the curse and blessing of his most formative era.
The two of us having wandered, end up waylaid behind a big strip mall on the bank of what is rapidly turning into a raging river rising up. The silt scraped from the bottom being thrown into the air like the froth of a chocolate milk shake. The building flood overwhelming the back access of truck supply lanes subsuming the loading docks. This apocalyptic chaos transforming dazzling cinder blocks from their intended task of securing items within to serve as a retaining wall protecting this unready location. The terror of the unexpected show of force of nature underestimated. A might deluge instantaneously conjured without a single drop of rain. Surely a figment of one’s pernicious imagination?
The awakening of these fictions in that other world of one’s former life precariously rewoven since the night before? Never to be believed but for the hint of a solutions that they pretend to offer? Should one play the gullible fool and volunteer their belief?
This quiet surrounding realm of framed photographs serving as dusty headstones embalming the past. Now long silenced.
Mediocrity has its own charms. Certainly it’s own following! Though not too many would take a step forward in public to advance that proposition. Old threadbare notions that are hard to release one’s grip from. The old car that needs some fixing. The job of painting the soffits of a house has gone over long. A job that won’t get one anywhere but that provides the confidence that it will still provide a ready location to go to the very next morning at 7:00 AM. A local store in the neighborhood where one can find some form of the basics of life at a cheap price. Even the upkeep of one’s own physical form in the form of some aches and pains that slowly seem to be becoming more acute. The safe harbor of little or no expectation for change has many phantoms hulks anchored anonymously residing within.
The need for food put off Jimmy decided on the spur of the moment that he was hungry. The Carter-Williams department store was an nicely location to admit to this condition as any sustenance that they could offer was merely a superficial accommodation. A traveling carnival setting up town to town having more substantial nourishment to offer. Worse yet closing time of five o’clock was fast approaching! The solitary clerk lingering about her department obviously had more pressing issues of her own flooding through her consciousness. Yet she took Jimmy’s order for the store’s house specialty with aplomb. In point of fact Jimmy had absolutely no idea of what he was ordering from the small flyer that he had picked up from beside the register. He figured like many that it bearing the name of “Carter’s Favorite Snack” it should be fast and reasonably satisfying to any palate. His own stomach was grumbling right now from inattention as the clerk walked off. Supposedly to pick up his order he surmised. “Service is our business!“, proclaimed a sign hung overhead of the store’s back exit. A reasonable proposition yet a curious one that one would be afforded the convenience of ordering food from any location in the store? He paced back and forth through the aisles nervously eyeing rows of lackluster items most of which struck him as particularly useless to his own conception of necessity.
Boredom dissatisfied, he decided to range farther afield opening a door to a patio and what appeared to be a lumber and lawn care wing. The light of the Summer Sun bore down with brutal efficiency convincing one that it was mid-afternoon when in truth it was closer to five hours past. Jimmy strolled down the lanes stocked full of potted plants, tall racks of two by four’s and quite literally found himself clueless as to how to mount a return journey. The light of the day was finally waning and Jimmy’s stomach had finally relented in its painful protest having rolled over and gone back to sleep. He really wasn’t interested in eating here at all. Besides it made more sense to just return home and rustle something up that wouldn’t cost him anything. Not being a regular customer he figured he could find a small exist far from his initial point of entry and slip away without causing much fuss. It was just past closing time and he formed a vision in his mind that the clerk had purposely forgotten anyhow. “So much for service!“, he mentally grunted ungraciously. He slipped out an open gate just before another store employee, equally hasty to close it, let him pass. The dusk was falling now as he walked alone across the mostly emptied parking lot. Here and there individual vehicles loudly exhaling that initial burst of exhaust after sitting silent since morning until by the time Jimmy had made the curb of the main intersection they had all flown off like a clock of crows.
What was it about waiting for a bus at night that seemed so lonely and chaotically vulnerable? Jimmy stood looking up at the weather beaten metal ensign of the route number static upon its old galvanized pole. The route numbers of three separate buses and an approximate range of time in small text etched in fluorescent ink. The traffic still seemed inordinately heavy even though ‘Rush Hour’ was officially far past its peak. No one else was in the vicinity beyond the many indifferent souls encased in metal and plastic passing indifferent to the world without. The only thing that Jimmy could summon was a reciprocal feeling of impersonal menace from the notion that none within this see of impatient ‘beetles’ would mind the distraction of running over him if he were so foolish to wish to wade in haphazardly before their paths. The equally taciturn sentinels of the traffic lights hovering high over over the intersection projecting their colored beams with a grimly efficient timing. No sense of a concern for the personal or the variance of individual human experience evident in this transitional wasteland. This was a place that humans might be tolerated to briefly wait but never inhabit. Jimmy looked about behind him at the thicket of bushes and the section of car exhaust inebriated forest behind it. What manner of dangers lurked waiting just yards within he could not fathom. A certain sense of unaccountable nightmarish terror that he did not wish to admit to. But he was very sure that he did not wish to explore. He turned back around to the inconstant sound of a sea of tires rushing endlessly past.
The long hulking oversized bulk of a breadbox congealed from the shadow moving towards him. The Route fifty-three rolled to a halt and bared it’s vertical fissure from two revolving door panels with an abrupt hydraulic hiss. The light brightly illuminating the passengers from within the closest thing thing to palpable civilization that Jimmy could now imagine. He felt instinctively inclined to step forward though the bus he was looking for bore the number fifty-eight. A darkened form trundled down the three steps of the entrance unsteadily onto the curb. The figure’s arms weightily encumbered with a large flat square expanse of what appeared to be a disordered pizza or cake. It was the same clerk from the store who with no hesitation she made her way straight towards Jimmy nearly colliding with him as he mechanically responded by bringing his own arms up to receive that large unstable surface that she was carrying onto his own. “Here’s your order sir!“, she commanded. Whatever this thing was it was not conventional in the sense of any identifiable foodstuff. The woman hopped back on the bus as Jimmy still confused by such an enigmatic encounter tried to take stock of what so precariously was sliding and leaking about. What ever this stuff was, good bad or otherwise it had need of a more robust container than just the soaked through corrugated square that barely kept it from sloughing off onto the ground. There being no place to put it down beyond the sordid junk ridden grass or gravel without incurring a hail of dust from passing tires and trucks. Jimmy was stuck with the dilemma of whether to let it default to destruction by unceremoniously dropping it straight to the ground? Or to continue the unwanted balancing act that the rankled clerk from the store had left him within? The general appearance of it just below his nose was one of an amorphous mass of something unidentifiable. It smelled strange and barely palatable as if its creator had be some store policy tried to produce something that would please everybody. But of course, would never satisfy any!
Jimmy’s stomach gurgled awake like some unfettered animal while his temper became short. The Route Fifty-Eight bus came to a stop across the street traveling the other way. And it suddenly crossed his mind that he was on the wrong side to get back home. The light was threatening to shift green and he hobbled across like some overly preoccupied sleepwalker, arms still fully encumbered. The bus driver seemed to sense the possibility of an unwanted complication heading his way and the rasp of the hydraulic hiss of the doors closing and the shiver of the vehicle as it edged forward had Jimmy in a steeplechase to gain the curb and race around the back of it. The driver’s conscious ridden face now staring back at him from the big mirror by the door reluctantly jamming the bus to a stop and the dragon-like hiss of the entrance yet again greeting Jimmy as he approached with his burden. “I can’t let you bring any un-boxed food on this bus!“, the driver warned with a scowl. Jimmy looked down his chin grazing what seemed to be some festering mess of hastily assembled dubious food products and frowned. It was not worth risking being relinquished any longer to these inconstant ‘moors‘. He nodded at the driver and turning quickly around he swung his arms towards the emptiness of the road’s shoulder leaving his unwanted parcel as an offering to the crow’s. The only evidence of his recent adventure a chin painted clown red with an oily tomato sauce like grease.
Roy could see it coming from miles away. All his life it was the same? Sitting in a movie theater by himself he felt normal. Once he stepped out intuit he light of day he was lost. It didn’t matter what the movie was a bout or the stars that were in it. Of course, like anyone else, he had his favorites. The world outside of that gave him palpitations. He could feel his heart pumping through his ears. The sheets would be wet from sweat each morning. No matter what he tried he was always back on the same old merry go round. He couldn’t hold down a job. Sooner of later he would get laid off. Not because he was a slacker! But perhaps, he took it so damn seriously enough that he would piss off his fellow coworkers because they didn’t. And that threw them off their game. But once he got back to the shack and shoved a VHS or DVD into the slot he relaxed upon one of this overstuffed threadbare ‘Barqa-loungers’ he was back in a pleasant limbo of another person’s life and not his own. Of course, that person did not exist. It was a very expensive patch of the collective minds and efforts of scores if not hundreds of others. It was always a strange mental calculation to add up the number of movies he had and multiply them by an average cost that was taken from sources that chronicled their making. If one took the number of films that a given production entity handled per year and multiplied that further against the result already arrived at then you might get an idea of what these characters were worth individually speaking. A useless mental calculation to be sure.
It had of late come down to a point of desperation as Roy’s peculiarities had been getting the better of him. Though he had never allowed himself to go so far as adopting the style and dress of any of the current movie avatars that came and went each half decade he would ten to adopt their scripted mindsets. It might be said this made Roy in line with a favored technique of getting into character. But society did not look favorably upon those who reached too far into the collective fictional narrative other that did not truly exist. The average employer wanted workers that were mentally uneventful, slow and steady whose greatest aspirations in life was to show up on time and work blissfully towards that day at the end of a week when they would gratefully received their paycheck taxes deducted. Those were the only waking dreams allowed by the current culture. All others were shown to the exit doors. That shared manifest destiny of the cataclysmic antihero might work on the page but stayed perpetually unemployed. The unintended consequence of this condition being that any lasting relationship with women was removed from possibility. The modern female too independent in her needs unlike the railroad track prone maidens of a century or more past. A solid home powered by a good steady paycheck was all the romance that most women sought though some considered that though all romance was dead in the current era it was no fault of their own. A fit male for breeding their fondest desires should come pre-equipped in both stamina to endure the most tedious of daily regimens and them return home reliably at the prescribed hour with mouthing more than the needs of his spouse predominately filling his universe. To Roy’s current mental mindset, another futile mental calculation.
The daily procedure of life degenerated into one where at a certain point the imagination of Hollywood having gone brain dead for the possibility of producing anything particularly novel that hadn’t been serialized in some was too many times previous had come to an effective halt. The invigorating feeling of stumbling back out into the light of day of old where one was fresh with plot heavy ideas posed in the corollary of the theme of the particular afternoon matinee needed no further mental energy. Too many of the same gambits explored by the big flickering of movie screen illumination. Where was the former bond of vision that he in the audience had once shared without he director in figuring out the novel plot line and being truly amazed or sometimes alternately disturbed by it stultifying implications? Now the cinema was merely a steady heartbeat of explosions on demand anchored betwixt hackneyed dialogue and a reliable twist int he end where the nemesis was reliably scheduled to by some incomprehensible means return back essentially unscathed bearing an increased amount of enmity for a go at round two of essentially the exact same thing. Imagine if in could bearing children that were cookie cutter copies of the first that you have born and raised but differentiated only by suspiciously similar names?
The rhythm of life for most was conducted by amazingly simple standards of routine behavior. There really wasn’t much complexity when one eliminated the inner workings of the assigned tasks each portion of society fell into. Each operated by he demands of inter connectivity to produce a complete organism of a cellular composition that heeded only the demands of the greater collective. Resources were doled out accordingly to a pyramid system in which those who took an active role keeping surveillance over their fellows in terms of monitoring the constancy of behavior and weeding out the deviants was considered of prime importance to keep the great worm of society inching forward rather thank stalling. The macrocosm of same mirroring any given particular example of the species that was in essence descended from successive direct parentage of a similar species over the eons under the phylum of plumbing dependent. The human body a maze of interconnecting pipes and open spaces where the balance of hydraulics reigns supreme. Any tampering with flow leading to a stoppage or inequality of expected pressure having to be resolved. Thus the ‘bread and circuses’ management of social diversion being key to the husbandry of the species. Where the Romans might have solved a problem on terms of the vitality of their empire by providing unwanted captives to die in the arena as a public spectacle. The modern era provided perpetual reliable boredom as an element of fostering both the flow of goods and the dumbing down of the aspirations of the viewer. By the sixth of seventh decades of existence given the perpetual burden of ennui, most were ready to fall away like dead leaves to make way for their children’s children to take up the dully flicking torch of meaningless existence. Given this reality, Roy felt that it was not unreasonable for him to demand a certain base level of entertainment on the fringes. The truth was that you could only bore everybody so far without occasionally adding a little spice to the same old stew.
The dark halls of public amphitheaters suited the nature of a personalized solitary enjoyment of common cultural celebration of the same old same old without endangering the whole with mutual contact. Isolation was after all the best way to hobble and possibility of deviating from the main game plan. So Roy felt as if he was being carried along in a great river of others that like the current of water of a great tributary was rapidly being him towards the inevitability of the falls. He had to wonder to himself how many others like himself in these auditoriums were as fully aware of this fact as he was. The big budget spectaculars were assessed with care based upon the likelihood of their trailers being too suspiciously as a blatant repeat of the same old well worn franchise waypoints of story and plot. Occasionally one might be surprised but the apogee of the reigning superstar too often leaked the fact of the ingrained repetitiveness to be warily avoided. Even the occasional foreign epic that could sneak through the tight network of distribution too often turned out to be a veiled variety of the expected pattern. It was inevitable that the only choice that this discriminating movie viewer had control over was the repetitive recitation of the lines of favored characters that were too often renewed again, and again and again. Roy sensed his psyche was unwinding slowly losing power like a windup toy. There was only this society to contend with or its total absence. Something that could not implicitly be shared with others because of course everyone had been crafted into the same state of hive-like mind. A consciousness that could only be escaped by the extreme poles of death or complete and total chaos. Not much of a choice feeling ones ever chained to that same old set in the twilight of the cave wall.
The last two decades of life have proven to me that I have lost a lot of my own long held naivete about what are now considered foolish notions. I have lost the magical ability to feel any sense of desire for current examples of contemporary women both old or young. Not that it matters to them at all as I know that all women in our time are perfectly happy that the tyrannical yoke of unwanted male interest in them has been lifted from their shoulders and now is permanently erased! Thank god that men can universally embrace their feminine side of demonstrating quiet passivity in public while women may freely strut around exercising their long suppressed aggressive inner nature’s at will without any dominant male society interference or censure. Misguided males have been institutionally exiled to watching dated mental masturbatorial Hollywood epics of women indentured by romance provided by men that only possesses an inherent ‘macho’ male paternal sensibility. The exterior world run be the strict rules of mentally inscribed institutionally governed and workplace enforced principles of dominant feminism.
Of course, this is not the type of world that has any attraction for me! That is totally my own flaw of advancing chronological age. A flaw akin to a previous penchant of being charmed in a way that only women from a long ago bygone detestable era could be. Charmed by the misguided virtues of inherent their care taken in sensual appearance supporting a flirtatious nature equal in overt interest in the other gender. One that inspired the rougher sex to bring flowers or open car doors or show up expecting a frequent unoccasioned kiss might fire up the emotions of that desirable female that fell prey to making him the center of her world. That bygone sense of natural symbiosis when, bereft of lurking LBGT Disney Corporation modern fairy tales, Prince Charming’s courted icy Snow Whites bringing life back to them with a simple passionate heartfelt kiss. Foreign Legion bound Gary Cooper’s could not erase dispossessed French cabaret singers who then might follow them across the burning desert sands in bare feet. All the old poppycock that took away from one’s future haigh paying job or career independence. And saw some men portrayed in the cinema as only wanting the lasting gift of once more wearing a pair of golden earrings to share their remaining lives with smelly unwashed Gypsy maidens as half ‘gadsi’. Foolish notions indeed!
Most contemporary women are unburdened by the lost art of attracting men, of course. Thank god it only now involves dressing up like once was referred to as a slut to ply easy drinks from the exemplary broad shouldered tight abbed man of their choice at the local bar. Ones from recent generations having been properly schooled in the preparatory scholastic environments of childhoods spent in daycare environments with ever commanding Politically Correct female ‘minders’ provided as surrogate ‘mothers’. The fathers far removed living distant from the singular parented household by some pivotal point in time as a lasting lesson that male female relationships were never meant to be permanent only convenient. All this while their saintly mothers enrapture daily existence with the fact of the burden of them them making the unimaginable sacrifice in somehow maintaining both career and motherhood. Young boys growing up properly mannered to understand that they are not important as their own female siblings in a world that values only the promotion of a form of diversity that does not include them or any of their ‘amle’ aspirations. Young men being so much happier now that any impediment to sexual gratification need not be burdened by anything more than demonstrating being handy to a desirable woman or readily available when it is time to pay the check. And of course, when the whim for intimacy strikes their female companion being amenable to the guidelines of sexual satisfaction that favor her. Things are so much better now than in those dark times of before when both sexes never were sure of where they stood in the thoughts of another! When they had to take the risk of exposing their true feelings in hope of some mutuality of life purpose that was not so easily reckoned or accountable to future security. Charles Dickens might have cast his darker tales like Oliver Twist or Great Expectations in a more favorable light if those times had been as equally enlightened as things are today. How far we have all come!
It seems so easy to not comprehend what is so obvious. The world as a whole is not a whole world at all. The glue that binds it is a matter of technical necessity. Survival is a matter of defeating overpopulation of social goods that take one away from their direct creation by making all interdependent and vulnerable to shortages. My exploits of the night stay hidden from me upon awakening. A dual dialogue that disappears conveniently from the mind’s access. Yet it’s presence remains. What seemed normal now is judged completely the otherwise. The sign of the present times taking it all in hand to re-spinning the spinner. I saw the clouds in their ether.
What a shock to find the depository of all one’s keepsakes reduced by unknown hands into a small stack of clear plastic containers housing a paltry amount of nothing in the stall of a leaky bathroom. This sort of mental event might shock one to believe that their own self definition has been grievously injured? Significant objects of status being important in many eyes as to the proposed eventual outcome of someone’s life. What a laughable irony that Dumas has his shadowy hero and Count of a nonexistent but an obscenely well-funded empire obsess and chase after one Mercedes? Can there be such accidents is the marketing of products leavened for public dispensation at premium prices? How easy it is to fall into a realm of narrowly posed obsessions? Does the society resemble you? Are your animal, tribal needs met in a healthy sense of positive inclusion and respect for your heartfelt opinion? Are you considered an irritant or an embarrassment by others within that framework no matter how you try to fit in? So therefore you mentally set yourself up as your own micro-version based upon the worst that society offers you and become critical of others to the point of cynical extremes?
The theater is always exhilarating from the fulcrum from viewpoint of the stage. To be accepted by an audience is always a heady experience. To challenge that same audience is always a dangerous proposition. But those who wish to remain in that sort of venue are ever challenged with that dilemma each night that they perform. That dual species of man and woman is enjoined to congeal itself upon an agreement of a singular viewpoint of perception of self. Something useful to the next industrial generation threatened of a proliferation of all manner of robots to replace and monitor the human species. Just to phrase this thought alone becomes a sort of insane anti-human rhetoric?
The isolation experienced in the public sense a results from the evolution of a social organism that invites one to peek out of their own cubbyhole and then buries them alive with the notion of self. One continues to float upon a Sargasso Sea of mixed up bottle cap notions whose origins and definitions defy logic or grace. The Capitalist paradise of the Socialist worker’s state of perpetual disarmament. A fully monitored prison of mental outlook for those who prefer to believe in globes and distant stars to wish upon, rather than eternally linear distances across an infinitely flattened plane. Pick your poison? The fantasy of ‘down to earth’ gritty reality? Or moonbeams and burning hulks aflame off the planets of Sirius Major? It is faux drama either way! Why are age and caste so damn important as the only thing worth living for? Or, is allowed in the moment?
A world of mobile machinations lived out in cart-bound lanes of slow traffic. Going to and fro to exercise one’s expertise in fulfilling otherwise mundane tasks cannot equate to animal survival. The current era seems like Chapter II of the previous Weimar era where the right response leads to becoming yet another NAZI hellbent upon one’s own survival. One that eventually leads to a final brave but unsung moment in the embrace of final extinction in the most current sense of an expected Gotterdammerung! A boy goes from past to present securing his place in the same old tired cycle. But all to what glorious and eventual conclusive end?
Summer warmth on a sidewalk before the tar beach of a parking lot. Back and forth, incessantly! The local humanity take up their daily habitual patterns of another day. I have only these paltry insubstantial wares to offer from my own precarious vantage point. Who is the ‘Eternal Jew’, now? Susceptible to death by sunburn of here-to-fore common knowledge unrevealed hidden truths.