It seems that those that embrace the world of following the impulse to foster their own personal sense of aesthetic self-expression doom themselves to perish alone as wholly unrecognized for any of the superlative achievements. That relative degree of recognition for which they strive always elusive and too often conferred posthumously based upon a false sense of prestige that has nothing to do with the intent of the artist’s inspiration int he first place. And perhaps those that are most ready to dismiss it out of a fear and a kindred sense of egotism that makes them a natural rival of the artist.
I seem to also be someone whose past periodically catches up with me at poignant intervals during rocky points of existence. Big dreams reverting to nightmares. Empty places that I fill with Déjà vu mixed with unconscious despair. But not being the crying kind, deferring to those proclivities of that once famous oeuvre of an Arthur J. Prufock. I would prefer to scuttle about my own private ocean bed in a blissful solitude. This dust barely settled from the last century being inevitably stirred up again by the conservation of its old stone edifices to serve as beards for the anarchy of repetitive structural postmodern monotony. The old being freely supplanted by youthfully ignorant echoes of this same trite scheme. And I being stricken now caught in a moldering frame with the curse of youth still vibrantly in force within.
Modern A-B-C’s of sine-wave modulation standing in for song lyrics. An anonymous machine-like mechanical chorus completely usurping the libretto of the singer who become a mere accompanist to his own star billing. Perhaps no one knows how to really draw or sing anymore and they must cover their tracks? They by rightful destiny that I so scrupulously avoided, might be an audience composed of my grandchildren traipsing about with the misapprehensions only successive decades of hard life experience can resolve and decisively put to rest. This hiatus suffered on the fringe of a roundabout of change for change’s sake posing as inspiration a reminder of so many of my own past confusions. And defeats.
Chicago, as that city on the lakefront. The main drag border of culture and commerce supporting occasional leftover halls of ivory and stained glass ceilings that by happenstance alone still serve to convey a lost era when architecture was imbued with civic personality and the soul of a future vision. The ebb and flow of errant humanity collectively motivated by common deceit to travel daily through ruts and familiar linear beelines being wholly ignorant of such purpose. Though their own previous namesakes long ago erased as a species. Something that might have served as a foundation stone for building their own personal identities now long ago been wiped out. This stasis of absolute conformity operating smoothy within an immovable continuum. Something all too obvious to the objective observer who connects with stark regularity the predictable quirks of commercial avatars too easily counted. All manner of vermin bustling about their immediate surroundings with similar missions in mind. The common behavior shared by all of deflecting all potential rivals in near vicinity at any cost.
Community now a vague descriptor left over from a bygone era out of date before computers and phone machines perverted the nature of time. Before cell phones robbed humanity of the ability to take int he muse of their surroundings at leisure and be overwhelmed with the majesty of the natural universe. Powered enclosed wagons and that natural friction come of portable interior spaces now far removed from the passing terrain outside. The palpable fictional illusion of a group identity carrying moral envy to illogical extremes fostering conversations with total strangers based upon brand names and socially supervised interests. The contingent all to happy to abandon their awkward individualisms in favor of the semiotics of outward appearances as governed in the moment by the latest styles commercially pushed by the corporate drugged culture of the most recent trend. A pantomime more likely a coverup to exhibit a silent strength in numbers as opposed to a pleading cry of weakness. A fatal irony cast by this plastic mentality that all will eventually decline into an amorphous approximate.
So anonymous at last! A passing act in the waking Hell of the eternal misplaced promise. Better to be unseen and fit in with the background rather than stand out and be an easy target solely responsible for their own highs and lows. Life eventually defaulting to a bitter brew of cheap beverage. A developed disdain for orally exercised distastes. Maybe the worst pricks in the world are the best judges of human nature? So many people want someone else to write their script so their tale comes out as a happy ending. But at this point even if they had $100,000,000.00 they would still end up swilling two-dollar beers. This era rankles at the sound of the truth being told and covers its ears until the comfort of the most specious nonsensical fiction drowns that out. So be it!
consider your progress or the lack same
compared to so many other ongoing locals in surround
some set upon a sure path to meteoric rise
all the rest plummeting too solidly upon hard ground
of course . . .
all these comedies eventually will go so tragically wrong
the fruit of youthful hopes will go awry from green to brown
each new identity lost to that collective dustbin of never known
having wasted all the useful tropes so as to clothe their clown
still one has to strive hard to be remembered thus
as the best of those few caught in a single moment known will heartily recall
it is you who have build your own castle’s grand out of merely mental sands
and neglect to note those ill fortune tides that daily reduce them one and all
strident in silence steady and true you continue forth in baby bits
holding to those many treads you step up by your own feverish pitch
and yet what sort of recognition in the long long last has this got
beyond servicing your own ignoble vanity’s ceaselessly whining bitch
so who will fill this building void that steadily lurks within
that one left by so many solitary years of constant failures known
what can you hope to find to fill it now that it has matured too late
vacant of all those things that mattered once now gone and petrified to stone
that same warm unhappy glow of a thousand times so of endless sunsets
the very ones that only your own rusting faded memory can illumine
those empty casts of characters gone the props and sets poltrooned
so perfect in the past flash of vacant instants within a mind’s dim witted tomb
a point too recently empty spent when your timelessness ran out
caught short found near naked almost in the street like any other country fool
so goddamn smart that you hadn’t built or hadn’t saved a cent
by seeking out that kind of emptiness where only other climates ruled
there found not a lover nor there a longstanding faithful friend
but just walked off blind further forward into false bravery farther afield
secured in a faith by this persistent madness of success in that empty path ahead
ever assured of what it could still one day soon eventually yield
and then . . .
the goal in mind finally in clear sight or so you think it to be
as once it was before young withered limbs began to fail
the life you once knew now fully dead and long left behind
persistence became its own reward and left you in this living jail
I T. Mordichai Mumsey, fifty-three years young, was a person that was born with a certain awareness of the world at large. Perhaps better said in mentioning a world beyond it. I was also born with an anger that seemed unquenchable. Something that had to do with all things female and being enslaved perhaps too willingly. Early one being forced by some anonymous power to have to forgo happiness for fear. pleasure for sadness and sorrow. A heaviness around the heart that seemed to keep the notion in mind that death and maybe something worse lurked persistently neat just out of sight.
Somehow I had fallen into the circle of the extremely wealthy and ridiculously famous. An internationally celebrated person who at face value lived an extemporaneous lifestyle that was inclusive of many different types of personalities as sidekicks all along for the ride. The singular primary star in their collective universe having chosen them passively without prejudice as to their backgrounds or peculiar quirks. Of course, he didn’t need to because the people in this circle, many of them, were more than happy to oblige him automatically in order to garner his favor to ensure their small part in a very dramatic and exciting lifestyle as part of his entourage. I for one had unexpectedly been inducted into this cadre supposedly by happenstance. Someone who had come by to fulfill a service after the brevity of a passing conversation that at this point could not be summoned to mind. The privilege of hanging about enjoyed by a variety of other people seemingly no different than myself of different stature and status. I knew enough to speak when spoken to and stay on the sidelines of the action but also made sure to be in attendance. One aspect that seemed strange was walking about the halls of the mansion always in the midst to change clothes from my paltry supply of pathetic hand me down glad rags all tattered and frayed that I had initially brought along. I seemed to have to be unexpectedly without trousers as the general chaos about the place made these transitions complex maneuvers around sofas and temporarily deserted hopefully remote hallway corners. Sometimes I would be caught with my pants down. All of this behavior as worse being the butt of some temporal jest but still tacitly accepted by the fact that it was otherwise ignored. Yet these encounters would still hover over me as a reminder that I personally was very very very poor in both wealth and status at the lowest end of the real crowd that could claim proper title to being acceptable. I continued with my act of easy familiarity not pushing myself too conspicuously on my host or the members of his informally royal court. This spoke to me that I along with most of all of the others was on the edge of deceit that disingenuous both to me and my more than gracious host. And I struggled mightily with myself now being under that role. It bothered me. And yet I couldn’t tear myself away and just walk out the door to get away from it. And in time, little by little, I was accepted. Another house pet? My ever generous patron was ever engaged in building the fame of his movie box office persona through action packed blockbuster movies sequels. Though he was aging he was ever more a force of nature in demonstrating a wellspring of physical endurance and dare devil regimen of stunt work that would have paled the complexion of the average army Ranger. Here and there he would deign to hold a short conversation or grant a nod of acknowledgement in a very democratic sense of total awareness of his own immediate surroundings. More and more the little tasks I assigned led to ever greater even more important ones. My status slowly rising within the pecking order of the general melange. The two orders of conversation existed, one being polite that topically concerned the events of that day. And another more salacious and gossip ridden as to who was on the outs or wheedling their way in a little deeper. More and more I was being considered as part and parcel of this scene. The fact of this weighing heavy on my private thoughts leaving me unsettled.
Deep in this crowd where I was literally camped out between a coffee table and a sofa with people milling in and out. Some for simple recreation from much larger suites while other going from one end to the other attempting to fulfill the master’s requests. I squatting there in my own form of silent self-loathing. Not liking the fact of an issue with myself and myself. Would I descend to a point like so many others where I would perform? Would I surrender myself to always being fully available? Or would it be more moral to maintain a remote distance? Or best yet, just to just unceremoniously pack up and leave? When evaluating the benefits that I was presently enjoying when weighed against all this what would I finally conclude? But then there was something else about this, a feeling of unease . . . one bordering upon fear. Something repellent and yet just equally attractive. The only analogy that seemed to relate being an animal in a cage whose only desire was wanting to perform for its master for crumbs or maybe a treat. I didn’t like that! I didn’t like the fact that this place and the people in it brought out thoughts like this about myself. But then I wondered if there was another aspect to this situation? That something much larger and more deviously subtle was at play lurking behind this scenario? Something that was beyond my own ability to perceive or easily pick up on. That in some strange unfathomable way my inner depths were being plumbed by an undefinable force and I was being used as a test case of a sort in a clandestine experiment. An undisclosed agency of some sort that was compiling information in terms of the boundaries and limitations of the human personality. That all the rest of the flash and performance was simply a front to set the subjects at ease and keep them unaware. Perhaps a sort of finishing school of a sort indicating that my entire life had been observed and recorded to such a degree that this mysterious ‘they’ could even reveal the identity that I had held in past lives. A thought that was mind numbing to the point of shocking to even consider. I felt like a rat trapped in a metal cage. I wanted to believe that all this mental anguish was simply my own paranoia dome of too many disappointments. That this situation was a positive turning point or at the very least a hiatus from the vagaries of the indifference of an intemperate society that cared little whether I existed or not. That bothered me. Yet to continue this way in this place would dissolve my identity. Something that had always been precariously in question. I wanted to be my own man but yet I also wanted to belong within this lap of apparent luxury that currently surrounded me.
And then, I had to admit that this brought out a Sadistic / Masochistic element in all this. Something that brought out a deeply held secret element from within that my conscious mind had always steered clear of acknowledging. I could only say that at some time in the past, despite sorting through all the experiences and various forms of actions that one customarily goes through in life , those short bouts of errant behavior, that I must have been a slave. Someone that was dramatically abused at will over a period of time. And then alternately pampered? And alternately enjoyed the abuse visited upon them. Enjoyed being humiliated and led around upon a leash. It was very sick! Venal to think that my psyche relished this sort of treatment and wanted to continue to indulge within. Further deep down I felt that I had been afflicted with a poison as if bitten by a snake. It’s venom slowly spreading through my body over the many intervening years. Disconnecting those cables to my independence and chaining me to something dark and unspeakable to be able to cogently imagine.
EYES CLOSED: The young director came to see me to offer me a part in his next upcoming project. Nervous, and to break the air I told him I had spoken to someone the other day else who related an interesting anecdote about the movie business at large. He looked back at me sternly and told me that he was that other person that I had this particular conversation with. I felt like an old ass! I risked annoying him further while I asked him to wait a bit while I went in the next room to rummage around for an example of my own work quickly realizing that this was a useless exercise as I had nothing that was that impressive to show.
EYES OPEN: How bright the light of wisdom burns upon otherwise cold embers at the approach of day’s end in a manner substantially far different than the approach of dawn. Those dim days of pride of accomplishment and hope of success at the time of one’s grand opening. That day of empty sorrow decades later to casually look out a window and see that great work now derelict and completely abandoned by all. How did I get to be a fool?
Wasting time hanging around those who were indifferent to my presence except as their own useful conveyance. Being worried about the quality of the impression that had been left in the minds of other strangers. Not committing 100% to those that I once had loved. Chasing after successive series of mental erections. Too easily a mark to be used by lifetime players. Wasting time treading water keeping the status quo in ‘going nowhere‘ relationships. Being unable to trust those who really loved me. Being so arrogant to always think that I knew more than everyone else in the room. Ever finding myself subconsciously chasing after material success and public praise at the latest milestone. Not crediting those around me with an equal access to sound wisdom and good judgment.
Detail orientated minor fact obsessive considerations of the caveat of inconsistent thought. Those oblivious to the true nature of their own surroundings. Do ‘grass heads‘ know the meaning of time? Or do they simply repeatably respond to stimulus in their own immediate environment with a built-in hostility. One could admit that the true definition of the concept of time is naught but an intellectual exercise in good record keeping. Or perhaps counting age old grudges? Is the simple fact of recording one’s perception of time through creating a palpable fantasies much the same as the creation of new words and terminology is the basis of science and the root of magic? Promoting simple distractions of thought into an appearance of reality is like hoping to catch a fast departing train and calling it consensus. Is the everyday ordinary actually affected by the discovery of the extraordinary? Or is it a trifling matter in a long-winded schedule of endless socially mounted debates? Does a fit objective posing as social guide exist? Or is it simply a self-empowered individualized personality demented mindset on steroids? Maybe, after all, it’s all about balance over the entire range of what one is still able to be conscious of?
EYES CLOSED: A field of burning soldiers, each one more infinitively more adept at throwing a ball demonstrable beyond that of any of my own efforts. The repeat of this experience making me feel paltry by comparison.
I looked out the window of the car I am riding in and noticed that another all too familiar building is now gone. It is as if a giant eraser is following in my footsteps perhaps a year or too behind busily eliminating my past.
As a child I could recall that methane smell of the Southside. Something that was ever present coming from the tank farm by the canal at Cicero. Going south of the newly constructed expressway meant that smell or occasionally smouldering potatoes. Now it’s Sitting on the main thoroughfare in front of a little bar. Two dollar bottles of beer on a pleasant weekday afternoon spending eight dollars in a six dollar world playing Siddartha. Recovering from a third world moral animatronic wet dream fulfilled by endless ghetto rangers asking what your sense of ‘better’ is? Neocon wrapper flavored Jooooz repetitively pulling their same old schemes. A sensation of expectation that has no defined rational beyond a feeling. Not so extraordinary in terms of so many times before experiencing the same. Need for the sake of arcane nerd speak. Reality being belief based upon the habit of belief. The consensus of belief. The need to look behind the curtain and take the left handed path. Not just to believe for the simple sake of believing.
The usual crowd of the mentally down and out. Petty political complaints fill the air. Set the boundaries of discourse. Who can find a fit topic to bespeak to strangers outside your immediate circle? Everything abounds in demoralized Ruralpeans and professional victims! Social destruction on an unprecedented global scale. And you wanted to hear about relief from same? The way that Society is currently configured is that everyone no matter how grievously misshapen who pitches in the shekels from weekly labor to purchase the latest glad rags on the customary sale racks get to expect respect from their circle of miscreants following the same regimen. No one asking question is allowed to awaken the the sleepers as that might hurt the otherwise perpetually fragile economy. But the truth remains that a pig is a pig and someone who is a self-centered self-empowered miserable human being who has nothing better to offer than the latest sports scores or who wa on last nights Late Show is damned to enslavement in Hell of this ongoing social fiction.
The measure of a person is their actions and their grit to be themselves in the best sense of same and not just another passive sycophant to the Kabbalah of modern online I-phone marketing. All the other products of the commercial empire are skin deep and don’t amount to a hill of beans when they hall your corpse to the bone parlor. The simple sense that we are all here for more than to work in the factories and provide new bodies for the meaningless wars of a society that do nothing more than find new enemies, defeat them, and then turn them into consumers to spend the rest of their existence buying useless crap. You are either yourself alone or a member of a runaway consensus that promises a feel good existence but never ever reaches the mark. All that counts is your family and those who really love you.
The growing weed patch of stoners wiped out spiritually by the proclivity of grass. A fucking passion play of suckers in a growing world of no self respect. No moral fiber or courage. As a child I took in the fumes of prosperity. Now I gag on the reek of despair. Absolutely nothing is out of bounds if it demeans the notion of a unified wholesome culture. Lets split the perceivable world into a rainbow of labeling and invite the imbeciles to cut themselves off from any hope of a meaningful consensus. Be fucking rude at every opportunity and turn ourselves into a half-breed fuck gutted Obama milkshake Neo-phobe. Loving everything so much that we are compelled to destroy it on a knee jerk whim hailed from above. World Socialism and the feel good of being part of the good people that all of a sudden have to think twice about sucking our beverage through a plastic straw. “Where are the paper ones!” Morons! What social fetish will it be tomorrow. ‘WE’RE KILLING MOTHER EARTH!” Well then why not just kill one’s self to make room for the Third World industrial baby makers? Sooner or later all of you that might survive will be carrying a sidearm. America the beautiful and the home of misandry.
“Back to those two dollar beers you old White Bastard!” How dare you speak the truth. You truth. And that IS true. An individual makes the world that they live in by the set of words they habitually speak. Society above demands that all popular music sound like an out of balance washing machine. “Simon Sez!” The ad nausem culture of deflection. You can’t shoot through a plexiglass ceiling! Especially when all you see is high heels above! Gather up all you self-empowered people and congeal your many petty tales of irritation in one smoking pot. Embrace your own self-created destruction with open arms! Medicate your undeniable urges with it as it it is a balm! A world culture where unseen Archons feed upon this distress! I can no longer believe in a material universe!
The man was found waylaid in an exclusively gay part of town, the streets of which were crawling. He was tagging along with somebody who was on their beat. In and out of shops checking on the general scene. While business was going down the other guy was hanging around making paper modeled doilies of the local architecture. Thinking that he was some kind of private eye in his spare time looking for needed to be solved murderers.
Somewhere by the old park near a further El stop next to where the Burger King drive in used to be stood a three-story building where the neighborhood’s oldest crime lord’s apartment used to be. Before it too had been torn down the same wanna-be gumshoe shared it with one of the Don’s younger gunsels. A big fella around that part of town who ran everything local. He and I would sit at the breakfast table with each of us pouring over our respective chores of the day to fulfill. His game plan for the day spread out on his side of the table and my own on the other end. Taking a look around the apartment in a judicious sort of way the border became familiar where knowing things were at. Occasionally the two would find themselves getting up together looking for something respectively important throughout the entire place. The younger finding it as if mentally connected with the object of the other’s thoughts. A psychic sense of power that had him calling out the exact location of the item quested for on behalf of the other. The Big Fella being appreciative of a suggestion as to where it might have last been seen. On and on this routine went forth ad infinitum.
Now later in the day on foot in a swanky well-protected suburb of the city located much farther west, the same young man was leisurely sauntering down a sidewalk past the many well-heeled estates. On and on he went as the terrain began to get tougher and the weather got colder. By the time the guy had made the turn towards the middle of town and the train back to the city the whole area was frozen with its the broken sidewalks now covered in snow. The amount and quality of the ice was amazing as if a number of gigantic snow crystals had melded together forming a complex filigree pattern. One spot in particular was more worthy of comment where the sidewalk had been upturned up by prior street construction. The weather had attempted an ice bridge producing a mad combination of complex patterns attempting to surmount the moat of a ditch. The collective impression suggested that of an explosion modeled in ice that had been flash frozen. The young man climbed up in gazing in wonder looking over toward the other side seeing at that point that any further progress would be denied and then got back down onto the sidewalk.
It was now evident as he stood next to this icy platform where the snow had been blown away that the pile that he had been standing upon was in fact a an old ice covered professional video projector. The upper portion of the plastic case of the device having been shattered by his weight as well as the subsequent load from another overly rotund fellow who had followed him up this parapet after he had jumped back down. Feeling a bit guilty the man impulsively threw three bucks onto the uncovered broken section and briskly turned back around the other way and began walking. Over his shoulder he could hear another new voice lambasting the heavyset guy for breaking his equipment. The issue of what it was doing out there in the first place never being explained in the subsequent verbal duel that erupted. A more authoritative voice boomed out the tenor of which belied that it must be coming from a bellowing member of law enforcement. “Did you break that?“, the voice sternly barked. The young man now in full speed retreat from the scene of the crime and its building altercation. So discombobulated was this initial perpetrator that he dropped his own camera and it shattered completely apart. The case splitting open like a ripe melon upon the ice covered hard sidewalk. It was obvious from the fact that most of its internals were scattered that there would be no way to repair it. Some divine form of justice having been dispensed for his hastily leaving the scene and not fessing up to his end of the situation. No matter however inadvertent it might have been. Pangs of nostalgia touched him as he mentally visualized the past times that he had used this same camera over the last two decades to capture all sorts of meaningful events pertinent to his own existence.
Further down the road stood a small one-story municipal structure. And within it was congealed a strange collection of offbeat items all adhered to the wall. Exploded artfully as if meant to be taken as some sort of formal artistic installation. One item in particular being a watch that had similarly exploded in a manner reminiscent as the man’s destroyed camera. Another marked similarity being apparent between the mirroring of the parts of one set applied upon the wall and the other set on the ground. To his further bewilderment a hidden projector was emblazoning a series of images on the wall that bore subjects and their compositions that were equally remarkably similar to those of his own series of same taken over many years. Somewhat dumbfounded he questioned another visitor some about the exhibit. The other person responded that the name of the installation was called, Broken Watches, and it augured the notion of time.
The next room through the adjoining doorway ahead seemed to serve a different task as a public shelter of some type. A number of people were sitting languishing on the floor to one side. One young black woman who was conservatively dressed woman had her attentions focused towards the opposite wall where a small wagon sat on the other side by an open exit. She sat there quietly and implacable indifferent to the few others withing. Some leaning back on the walls lazily viewing the general details of the room about them as if wholly unconcerned by any special detail of any of the available artifacts. The pull wagon was a kid’s model that had been roughly modified into a double decker. Another similar wagon bed supported by welded straps holding it a foot higher over the wagon’s original. The lower one was filled with various random food items that looked like they had been hastily picked off a grocery store’s shelf. The newcomer asked the woman if that was her wagon as she seemed so particularly interested in it. She looked back up at him and dreamily replied, “Yeah and it’s going to be delivered to my house soon after it is transferred to another wagon and that is why I am sitting here waiting!” At that point the young man spied two others in the far corner alone much further down than the group. One of them stood nonchalantly with his pants hiked down to his knees as he smiled. Another with his back to everyone else on his knees. His head swiveling up and down performing the act of fellatio. The impulse of the young man to approach this scene to explicitly witness more died. The novelty of the actuality of this type of occurrence daringly performed in public view with such abandon had quickly worn off. He turned back toward the exit thinking better of his excursion for that day.
The perennial stark guest of fictional personages that emulate people that were actually once alive. A giant of a man extremely powerful and impossibly large. Almost up to the limit of what people in general think is humanly possible. Someone with a temper but also intense pride. An another who was his rival. The two were always on the edge of fighting making nearby bystanders very wary of getting caught around them lest they get injured or worse in the heat of the former’s capacity for unchecked rage. People that he encountered generally played verbal softball with him so as not to inadvertently anger him. Quite frankly, the less they said the better chance for personal survival the would possess. But inevitably, peaked by this rival the contest would start soon on the basis of the bad blood accumulating between them. He would tear up the furniture and threaten others with mortal harm for the most minor infraction of his pride. Some fully aware of the consequence of such a meeting some neighbors had already evacuated the area going into hiding fearing the continuation of wrath that might ensue if he won the battle. Though no one would voice it out loud the smaller less powerful looking David vanquished the mean spirited Goliath making everyone who was still physically weaker to keep their joy to themselves. The nervous exhaustion of such an all out showdown had left him incapacitated which eliminated this possibility from occurring. So beaten down was the giant that some couldn’t help but feel a certain degree of empathy for the totality of his total defeat. His spirit had been permanently crushed by losing the title of the meanest and strongest bully around.
The final confrontation had been held in the yard of the house nest door. The owner had sent his wife to her mother and was going to sequester himself in his basement having turned off the lights and locked all the doors of his abode. The fight kicked off before he could get from his garage to the back door and he had to hide behind an overturned metal lounge chair. He knew that if the giant got a cross the fence that he would be toast. He might have been able to reach his own door but was stopped by a strange compulsion that told him it wouldn’t be right to abandon his neighbor if things would go against him. As mentioned, the severe beating that had been doled out had left the former bully with a degree of silent reserve that he had never before exhibited in the past. The man even demonstrating a degree of unaccustomed humility to the local neighborhood royalty, such as it was, in his midst. A displaced countess enjoying the pleasure of being the first. The giant seem to settle for the personality of a gracious loser quite opposite to that of his former self. Being very vocally apologetic for the violent deeds resulting from his past anger he soon became part of the group. Everyone glad that they no longer had to fear seeing anymore examples of spontaneous mayhem. Equally glad that the few having previously demonstrated mixed loyalties would not be hunted down and treated like a traitor.
He was in heavily occupied enemy territory in some place within South East Asia. Japanese soldiers were everywhere. The presence of the group scouting them was on the verge of being discovered by a garrison of the same traveling on sampan river boats. The few native militia members with the small contingent of British was barely adequate. Too often these ‘militias’ were neutral. Their loyalties bound to shift with to stronger of the two invaders. The native boys that we had were told to play dumb and stay away from any direct contact. But to no avail as the the Japs treated those that they encountered like escapees from the colonial rule and encouraged them to defect with gifts to find out what they could.
Someone had driven a school bus onto an ice rink and was attempting to perform tight circles causing the bus to start to slip around. The absurdity of this situation being that this very same event was taking place in deepest darkest Africa.
The old Jewish guy who owned the big warehouse had it filled top to bottom with aisle after aisle of junk. Stuff that had been picked up on the road or traded for in bulk. Too much of it appeared by virtue of its dilapidated condition that it wouldn’t travel much further than the scrapyard. Rows and rows of it piled high to the ceiling. Somehow the many had been conscripted along with a few other unfortunates to work for him. The man had a terrible temper and a bad habit of riding everyone without stopping. God knows, you didn’t dare cross him. The look of his constant beady eyed scowl telegraphing the message that you couldn’t tell what he was capable of in terms of unexpectedly pulling out a gun and shooting you. Not to mention that he was tied up with the wrong crowd. The sort that too often literally got away with murder. At least that was the backstory. The young guy made sure to butter him up as best as was possible to try to escape some small measure of verbal abuse. The guy playing a little game with him diverting his wrath by keeping him talking about trivial business matters. At the end of the day when the boss wanted to dive the man and another companion somewhere last minute at quitting time his battleaxe wife showed up. The old harpy was worse than he was with a shrill voice that over a short period of time could drive anyone insane. The companion talked to his fellow worker quipping, “Oh great, the old bastard is going to get all pissed off now and take it out on us!” “The shit will definitely hit the fan!”, the other man replied.
A little while later the two assistants were alone in the bosses’ automobile on a mission to get gas for the old S.O.B. One of them attempting to park out of the way of a gas station’s car wash exit. His partner getting out to use the restroom. The partner returned and standing on the far side beyond the rear view mirrors of it giving bum instructions. The other one attempting to park had to half back it out slowly to pull further over in order to get the car’s rear end out of the way from blocking exiting vehicles. The ‘traffic cop’ friend kept attempting to direct the driver while getting in the way preventing any positive progress. Two other guys from the station walked over and to the would be traffic cop companion and gave him a stern lecture. “Look!“, one of them spat out, “You got to let this guy back out of the other lane and let him proceed the fuck out of here!” Having been given the opportunity to finally pull aside without interference from his friend the exhausted driver went to the Car Wash’s men’s room. He was aghast when he opened the stall door to find the commode covered in shit. The man grabbed some paper towels from a dispenser to try to clean it off the best he could without choking from being sickened. “It’s no fun being a slave to someone else’s bad behavior!“, he said aloud, “But that is how this f’in life is.“