His penis pulsated unexpectedly hard within the tight grip. It was cold but the determined firmness of the phantom grasp made it even harder. The fingers had settled along its rubbery shank. At first delicately then compressing in firmness as the embrace of the member became incrementally even stronger. That same old feeling of a heavy emotional displacement from below spread upward from his belly towards his heart. He could almost feel that same old vortex of building warmth rekindled from that now ancient youthful vitality. A companion tugging sensation encompassing the region around his anus. Like an old car too long in storage revived by spark of a new battery he felt feelings and emotions that were hard to recall since the last sign of their age old disappearance. It had seemed like ages since his organ has been touched by another. He felt as if it was being resurrected from a long period of death.The sharp edge of the scalpel caressed the base of his tight scrotum as the hand still in tight embrace of his shaft used it to lift the package of his testicles skywards tugging them tautly away from his pelvis. He could not seem to account for the occasion that had invited this renewal of a taste of forgotten sensation of anxious animal desire. The incision slowly commencing around its base with a long studied circumferential cut around the base of his sexual apparatus. As the blade cut deep he seemed to sink back into the stupor that he had been found in before this unanticipated episode. A deep and unchartable period of rest that he felt would be hard to awaken once again from. After much care and professional ceremony, the organ was fully detached and lifted away from the cadaver. It was laid carefully into a clear container of Formalin to be studied at a later time by the student for her examination of the male reproductive system the following week.
“Had I known ten years before!“, the expression goes. “Had I known?”
Life now so hopeless
and yet too incomplete.
The ruins of it laying
about my two feet.
Something called marriage
gone so far awry.
Something called family
starting that old long goodbye.
It’s all in the past,
and it is empty right now.
Death after death
the potter’s field’s been plowed.
The days that are a’ spending
and I don’t know how.
All to some noble purpose
that I cannot explain.
Pissed off away on dozen’s of Sundays
that I can no longer name.
Empty, empty jest
the same old thing.
This damnable emptiness
in hollowness bring.
The gray on my temple
and the ache of my bones.
The change of the desk set
to a little hand grab-able portable phone.
The old places closing
all once known.
The clothes safe for delivery now
by robot and drone.
No place for the wicked
or the likes of me.
What remains of new life when finished
to the bottle cap sea.
Dumped far out in the ocean
you file and forget.
A trail of incidentals
you pitifully net.
It’s all for the young now
and those who want ‘free’.
What it took others like my forebears
hard years to foresee.
The old places dwindle
and I’m barely alive.
That last of my lineage
to barely survive.
This new world supplanting
it’s made me a jerk.
For try as I might
this is no more work.
So float like the jetsam
and travel the web.
Nostalgia in miniature
A visual ‘eleve‘.
The exercise of existence
an empty ‘cœur creve‘.
The process of life
an eternal door.
Dragged over a ditch
Interred with in a plain.
The castles I’ve built
to start over again.
Looking over my shoulder
at a lifetime of failures so earnestly meant.
A cold heart full of good wishes.
My feet in cement.
“Had I known“,
as I’ve said when I started this war.
I wouldn’t be standing
where I was long before.
It was late in the middle of the night at bewitching hour that I awoke once again prodded by what I suppose by the usual animal urge to relieve some needful urgent pressure from below of bowel or bladder declining slowly into middle-aged atrophy. The temperature of the time of year was not in line with the expected though frankly speaking little expectation remained of it being normal with the people of my area of the country. The last decade or so seeing uncustomary shifts of same. This time leaning towards a feeling in keeping with late Fall. The sweater I had worn to bed had done its job along with the bedcovers and the t-shirt and cotton cloth jogging pants were now clinging and damp with sweat. The ceiling directly above me bore a faint hint of the most available light that was available inside the room. It being cloaked by the usual shadows and darkness. The apartment overall was dead silent.. But the memory or two other voices still rang in the lingering hollow chamber of my own slowly draining unconsciousness.
I found myself accompanying my late father yet once again in his large Lincoln Continental automobile through the streets of a small town located on the periphery of that greater more well-known Midwestern metropolis that had provide the hub for out mutual existence. A place that we had grown up in our respective eras. He initially on its mean streets during the awkward period of the Great Depression between the two great World Wars. And myself in the era following where he and my mother had taken advantage of the new prosperity to make a reasonably bountiful existence from the living his career as a salesman provided. He ever cognizant of how precious life was after so many undeserved hard knocks both before and in-between. I having been shielded from direct experience of them by him for most of my childhood and early adult life. The solitude of being the solitary offspring compounding the dilemma of ever defying our close relationship by an attitude of condescension towards his views on life. And chronically offering evidence of this cynicism to him on too many occasions that were later regretted in hindsight. We both in some strange was too ready to take advantage of the other. He in vouchsafing my the uneasy silence of my company despite my affliction to too readily offer pesky judgement. Myself in reluctant succumbing to a need for loving companionship from that same old man whose health and vitality were forever in rapid decline. The men of his era characteristically afflicted in too many cases with coronary infarctions of the heart perhaps as a result of having endured the sorrows of seeing too much pain and suffering visited upon general humanity in their experience of life? Being privy to want at an early age to constant hunger and slim pickings. And then being thrust into a chaotic world far afield demanding his unhesitating participation in constant killing of other distant species of human beings. Something that I had always sensed but like an unbreakable taboo demanding absolute silence had never dared to violate with my inquiry. His feelings about it ever demonstrated in random acts of giving to complete strangers as well as a healthy disdain for harboring most things of a material nature once the purpose that they served had gone past its useful life.
He had me for his chauffeur on this occasion as we trolled the main streets of the old long economically leached downtown that decades before had been one of the myriad of locales that he had actively plied his wares. The familiarity of it clear in memory as it once had been closer to its heyday still lodged in childhood glimpses. Locales many of them where I had been with him so many times before coming along for the ride to wait in the car while he made a sales pitch at some merchant’s place of business. Offering them a way to get their business’ message on track to reach new customers with hundreds of thousands of ‘eye impressions’. The same local establishments now significant for their absence by displacement or dissolution. Something that mutually offered both he and I the experience of melancholy of common knowledge of being inducted to the special feelings about how this world once was against the way that it had ended up. The side lanes approaching the vicinity of the town’s most major boulevard along its most celebrated main drag still several blocks ahead, he bid me to pull over and park before an old movie theater and wait while he got out to visit a store across the street. The old ingrained reluctance within me to protest stopped short by the now constant weight of knowledge that as this man was nearing the end of the trail of life no request simple or otherwise could be easily tossed off. I sat alone with the motor running instinctually watching for the approach of a parking ticket happy cop or meter maid taking in the effects of urban blight on what must have been an exceptional movie palace in its day. The neighborhood at close view had descended like all place from that era tended to into a local for whores and druggies that seemed to collect wherever there might be the opportunity for quick and easy pickings. The constant lack of opportunity and financial collapse that hounded this modern time evidencing a bumper crop of same. A tall thin frousy looking female appeared just ahead of the Lincoln eyeing the possibilities for plying her trade as what I assumed by the cut of her clothing to be a somewhat burned out streetwalker. My father returning at just that moment from the other direction crossing just ahead of passing traffic that drove his progress in her direction. I felt my insides sink as the evident collision of the immediate fact of her youthful appearance and his insatiable desire to relive his youth would occasion an immediate conversation. It had been so typical that he had been quick to ever engage in these sorts of connections with a menagerie of types that I from the times as a child had assessed as losers. Something that irritated me as some sense of natural defense against loss seemed to be triggered in me but apparently not in him. He in my opinion too often serving as an easy mark to their avarice. His invulnerability financial and otherwise now dissipated by the advance of years I felt hard pressed to imagine what sort of mischief this chance encounter would bring down upon us?
Sure enough, after watching a scant few minutes of a pantomime of him warning up to what I assumed to be her pitch the two of them turning back towards me and the car’s doors to let her in. That usual sense of immediate choking protest rising up within and squelched by the fact that it was his car and ultimately his decision. Something that I could not take away from him though something inside me felt so alarmed by as if I had yet again failed to judge his foibles and left us both vulnerable to some inevitable loss. My inner protests running along the lines of any number of implicit violations of trust in terms of marriage, finances and of course my own patience with such self-deprecating behaviors. The doors slammed shut from without and within he announced that we would drive the lady down the street just on the other side of downtown. I felt like a clam that had tightly closed its shell amidst my own building steaming anger mechanically acceding as I always did to his command to drive ahead. Something within now ‘on guard’ as it always was in these sorts of situations that would drag me down into some demeaning pawn in a larger scheme that would inevitably lead to permanent loss. I parked down a side street and without the necessity of any direction on his part to me we all got out of the vehicle. The two of them actively engaged in a of conversation that had her playing the role of humble ingenue simulating the ersatz of an aura of youth that had long past her by. I walked behind the pair my attention rapt upon assessing any sign of weariness that his heart condition might unexpectedly summon. Concerned but tolerant of his involvement ready to jump in to interrupt her pitch when it began to endanger his immediate health.
The street in the middle of the block was under heavy renewal. Barriers that impeded any vehicle from further progress across pavement or sidewalk that had been stripped down to dry dusty red dirt. The workman assigned to ward off casual traffic seemed indifferent to our progress in attempting to navigate this zone. The woman pointing out a point of entry at the side of a three-story commercial building just ahead. I paced along behind the two as before watching her sympathetically offering her embrace of his arm to steady him as they past by a series of deep excavations just to the side. The building might have been first built before he was a boy and had that aged lurking aroma of old dry desiccation so characteristic of wainscoted walls and generous use of heavily varnished wood. It was obvious format he first floor that it had formerly been a hotel but over the years but had recently succumbed to other varied uses when the interest of tenants and potential guests had wained. Now it seemed a place as much for haphazard storage of an odd collection of items that may have seemed useful but were evidently past utilitarian value. The upper floor that we ended up upon was dim within the columns of dusty light that imposed themselves from the tall windows to the side. The arrangement of the large room looking more like a intermediate banquet hall too filled with the flotsam of random discards to be anything but derelict. The girl spun her own tale of romance wherein cancer and its accompanying misfortunes ushered out her young marriage to her lifelong love escorting him too quickly to an early grave. The subsequent long depression occasioned by her loss and a lack of family support sending her ultimately to a life of dissipation and daily regrets. So much about the darker parts of life that she had heard about and once found abhorrent that now was now simply part of her daily existence. The ‘topper’ being that she had now been visited with the news that now within the midst of her fourth decade she too had contracted a form of cancer that she had no hope of addressing having no financial resources to put towards its cure. I could see my father’s face throughout this tale. The way that it so customarily transitioned into a grave but tender sort of empathetic expression the sight of which suggesting his need to seek some measure of peaked with an inner penance offer generously offer his unreserved help. The silence ringing loudly with the ned of her tale he turned to me with a look that I knew that sought both council and consent on my part. Something that we both no would be hesitant at best but more than likely not willingly offered.
It was between two situations that offered only three choices. And I already knew exactly what he was going to offer aloud to me without having to hear a single word. He could make the sole decision himself pay for her operation and treatment with the remainder of the limited amount of monies set aside and make himself vulnerable to the inevitability of his rapidly progressing heart problems. He could ask me to advise him aloud in so many words why he should not choose to become involved in this stranger’s dilemma in that same manner that I always did. My role being one to deter him and subsequently play the ‘bad guy’ as I always seemed to do in these sorts of situations. Or, we could simply excuse ourselves and just walk away indifferent to this woman’s pitch or possible plight. The gravity of this moment striking me as the summation of all the previous encounters when against what he thought was his better judgement, I had tugged him away from acting. Adding in so many cases to some inner sense of hidden guilt. Something that was bound up in a deep dark corner of his life experience before I was born. This Hobson’s choice was not a matter of his dodging a decision by laying it off onto me. But a long held desire on his part to be recognized at long last by his son for the virtue of an abiding sense of charity that he wished to be acknowledged for. The visitation of his spirit in such a scenario was overwhelming. The worth of my own soul seems to hang in its balance as I lay here in silence as the full moon outside dampens its decent into the oblivion of a nearness to the coming day.
It seems incongruous that the funny feeling in your chest is seemingly the portal for old sensations the harbinger of echoes from past life experience. A tiny little invisible finger inserted deeply in a hidden fissure in the midst of tour breast bone tickling your heart when you open a dusty cupboard to pick up some implement of once everyday frequent use now deposed to its current long undisturbed stillness in place. It’s imprint revealed upon the wood from intervening eras gone undisturbed. That electric feeling that lights up the mind to a past instant. A casual glance from a long gone buried experience cached away for such a moment as this. That missing presence however, causing the sensation of electricity in a mental spark. So many such objects about this longing area held in memorandum. Curiously ignored in plain view. In part, out of an avoidance of an unwelcome final truth! In part out of a fundamental need within to be able at will to defy that same proposition. Caught in-between in a nether world of refusing to move on and just forget the whole thing. Perhaps a dank and musty fragrance to jump start one? To rekindle the impulse to push past the ever lingering sadness that marks the graveyard of the past where you fear to linger too long?
In the past there is an answer for the present. Like books on not unfamiliar topics by unfamiliar authors that remind one of their own once familiar likes and dislikes. Certain question never probed out of old family taboos never violated now revealing answers in clues never expected. The face value re-explored and what once seemed inflexibly arcane now being all to obvious. A favored dish. An old yellow solitary cup. Porcelain jingle bell follies of bygone aesthetic value. Stupid little worthless things purloined from the places unknown regaling a singular epiphany of another’s privately hidden moment. Keepsakes that at their time captured little parts of someone else’s soul. The must haves that once enclosed dwindled in importance replaced by others of later experience. Now an incoherent jumble of inexplicable artifacts each bundled into their appointed place crammed solid till even in their heyday, there was room for no more. This museum worthless to the outside world an odd mix of those long recited family incidents still remaining familiar in their constant telling. Yet entirely enigmatic past the boundary of those few recollected words. The trick being to carefully assize the event tied to the possession of each one in turn. The era versus the source of that unnamed one who was the facilitator of the remembrance. A holiday, a birthday, an anniversary. a trip! What occasion that might shed light on the effect it had on the receiver. The echo of comments well cemented in chambers down long abandoned corridors of contemplation providing a hint. The focal point of one’s own constant play as a child and certain items enshrined in memory under the vast dark gray ceiling housing the the many rows and rivulets of dormant long untested brain matter. That slow parade of a once and former life parading back again after a brief viewing to its appointed spot lost in time to once more to await its place in limbo known as forever.
All of a sudden! It all went away. Any hope of getting anywhere. Gone. Perhaps the body of a human is but a chrysalis? Something that wears thin. Does the caterpillar fear its own transition?
For some unexplained reason my old aging Lincoln Continental sedan was the only car parked in front of Sears completely covered with snow in the dead of night. It was contingent upon me to move it or risk having it towed. The fact that I was there to begin with subjected me to the vagaries of the unexpected. Some form of violence by parties unknown. Predators perhaps looking for just such a situation where a motorist is alone within the confines of a vehicle their perception of outside events interrupted by the thick covering of snow blocking vision. Transported almost instantaneously to the bed in my own apartment laying totally paralyzed beneath the covers unable to move. Trying again and again to roll out of it as if some impending harbinger of doom was approaching but frozen in place. Tugging and pulling at the sinews of my extremities tangled in covers that seemed to weigh a ton. but receiving no response. That was until I finally woke up and realized it was a dream. Now awake basking in an amazingly uncustomary degree of clarity in the recall of this experience as well as a building list of classic symptoms including night sweats and occasional shooting pains in the chests wondering how much more time in this material plane do I have?
What ever the drama of the night though I cannot recollect the narrative I live in the wake of that experience throughout the morning. Does it matter? I catch instantaneous glimpses in odd corners of the day.
I cannot surrender to a world that is a prison. Run by fools for the behalf of criminals. What happens when regular people realize that they based most of their lives on the lies that they have been told since childhood? Belief collapses and the population begins to hate everything that they once held dear. A sort of emptiness appears. Live a corpse without entrails. A cleaned fish. The only satisfaction possible being in returning to the myth and reliving it like a movie. A rerun of one’s life imprinted upon its context. That is a very angry was of being! There can be no worse jailer that someone who was formerly imprisoned by their victim. Who in this world knows more about someone ha has robbed them of their innermost self through debasing them. The ‘boreau‘ then becomes a form of recognition of an intimacy that is unsurpassed in relationships that have conventional boundaries. Producing pain in those circumstances becomes the most exquisite form of pleasure. To torment those who have tormented you without mercy becomes a high art. An ultimate high. That is the real danger of this sort of mental violence that is advised against in New Testament virtues. It has nothing to do without he misfortune of the victim of retribution but the addiction of the party initially offended by the transgressions of that person who they will later take great pleasure in debasing.
If that sounds more than vaguely familiar then consider that those who have remorselessly taken power again and again are cut from the cloth of these sorts of persons. People who have no connection or conscience for those whose lives they affect. People that after a while realize that they have become totally reviled for their efforts and now become ruthless and uncaring for the unintended consequences of their ministrations. Nazi’s and their much more terrible counterparts in Marxist revolutionaries who drive their ideologies through conventional society murdering and traumatizing rather than administering competent rule. The only offering being leveraging nightmares through hatred’s long evident and deep seated. Waiting like rabid animals for a chance to sink their teeth in deeply in the arm that beats them. At that point, any arm will do!
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.
Women’s charms hang about most often for too long like twin legends of the hanging gardens of Babylon. Ones that are talked much about ever leaning left but gratefully never seen. Men are balloons trying to keep themselves pumped up to compensate for that hole inside their constantly deflating egos. After he decided to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head he got the ‘hair-brain’ idea for cleanliness reasons to to employ several heavy duty plastic garbage bags put them over his head and wrap them around his neck so that it would be enclosed along with the gun. That way he could pull the trigger and keep all the bloody gore of his skull safely contained. Of course he had figure that the pillow of a steel plate just under his ear also within would catch the shattered bullet. All this effort so that when the staff came to pick up his remains there would not be a lot of effort or unpleasantness involved. Such regard for the work and feelings of other people being admirable though somewhat absurd.
When you think about it, all journalism amounts to is an answer to boredom. More specifically the task to cure the boredom of the masses to keep them on the straight and narrow so they don’t fall off their seats and go dead asleep instead of daily turning out those little cogs and delivering them on-time. I guess as a practitioner of same you find everything so arbitrary to the completion of your task that little things like the truth do not ever seem to enter into it. That’s not your job in any case. Yours is to spin and fabricate that cloth to slip over the top hat while the rabbit hops into it from the hole in the table just below. Those are just the set of rules posted out front that you supposedly work by. Something to seem to follow at least superficially so no one ends up too far off course.
Moon coming after sun down. It’s the nineteen-thirties! Not too much different than today save for a few pops and clicks and a bit of horse manure. Darkness shows up to punch the time clock on the money. Deeper, farther drifting past the bewitching hour I take the name Allie Andrews without a second thought. Then swim down into the dusty past staying just inside of the gold trimmed burgundy sign painted of the bar’s front window. The flooded stairwell upstairs suggesting that the interior is at the mercy of a great deluge. It seems be like being hell to be my age. It’s a desert now! Dry and empty. And I happen to have all the company paychecks on my desk back up in the office ready for signing. All the chronic ethnic complainers that would immediately accuse me of fraud if they knew that I was administering their weekly salary wait below. Instead, I wait down within the cyclone fence enclosed niche just a few yards from the bus stop out of sight to them. I hear them bitching about how unfair the world is specifically to them alone. Even though I know it’s not. I see the pile of bagged animal crap festering away just behind the fence that fumes its awful smell in their direction. It is some form of divine justice? Or maybe just another form of synchrony.
That Damon Run’ ,he pulled his gun
and crept stealthily towards the nearest open window
the noise from yon was from no ordinary Tom
but cinched a finger poised to spit deadly lead from its spindle
her toothless mouth like a steely maiden silently rose
from the darkened corner’s well-blocked hidden repose
and she answered loudly with a loud, “rat tat tat!”
leaving the poor guy unawares in a splat full of holes
so much for this gumshoe’s unfitting end
having somehow dropped dropped his gat
before he could into the shadows blend
now in his pine box plot to a stone field end
That damned frog that I had dissected as part of a science show in the classroom of Old Orchard Junior High in Skokie. One that I had purchased pre-killed in a bag of preservative with my parents at the hobby shop in downtown Evanston. A great show with all the proper forensic tools including bitumen tray and scalpel. Long after my celebrated exhibition I kept the specimen’s parts in plastic pill vials filled with formaldehyde and hid them cached upon the top of basement girders of the family ranch house. Thinking in some distracted offbeat manner that if I learned the secrets of life I could then reassemble these key portions of the frog and then bring it back to life. The casual execution of that vivisection’d grasshopper that I had cut in half but had escaped still on my mind. The spirit of animal revenge in the air. Death in general. Hovering next to us by our neighboring the Czyplickis. My mother always bought me lunch at the big box store and wore the necklace that I bought for her there as a birthday present when I was thirteen to her dying day.
A massively violent dream. Though as those things evolve, not so terrible at any point as it goes down. An elevator up to a higher floor of an old giant warehouse converted into artist’s lofts. Some form of chaotic political rivalry. Trump the man is there in body and spirit making a visit just passing through. The general enmity descends to physical mayhem and several unknown but suspected agents are killed. Their bodies rendered into smaller sections as if sections of beef in a turn of a century slaughterhouse. Then wrapped in waxed paper before shoved into small valises, ‘militaire‘. The escape recedes into large empty hallway staircases that are suspended by a red painted steel rods and an open framework that inspired little confidence of physical support. As our tiny group descended further the elements, side rails and vertical rod supports progressively disappearing until there is just the treads of the stairs themselves. I felt an intense fear building to one of vertigo soon convinced that I will tumble at the first misstep. When the ground level was reached, I was magically back home. But now I had to figure out what to do with all the spare body parts? Should I dispose of them in garbage cans”, No! Too obvious.
The dream consisted of some child’s play and the dilemma of asking for something. It was funny how coaching one’s self each morning was necessary to remember ever a fraction of these episodes? It was a strange ritual part exercise in reciting key incidents to list the points of action . The structure resulting from this jotted down in a scribble that in itself would possibly be indecipherable? The resultant structure one that perhaps only an architect could appreciate? Where then was the load bearing element supporting the entire tale’s telling fifteen minutes later that one’s accurate recall would be hinged upon? If you didn’t do this then you were at the mercy of being affected by feelings of having participated in something that you couldn’t quite recall but couldn’t grapple with. Sort of like being locked out of the bedroom when you here someone inside. Hearing the hint of a voice that you could almost recognize. But not quite! With the key of a single salient detail he could pursue it or simply choose to let it lapse and then be done with it. Did any of these mean anything? Some believing that it was a root rock form of elemental prophecy. But maybe that was taking things a bit too far? More likely just a post it note from your otherwise bored self-conscious. The note just a small reminder of the large more extensive tale.
The ad agency had called him back to revitalize an ad that he had worked on at some distant point in the past. Something that he had futzed around with but had never really found a way to complete. A charcoal thing that relied more on texture than form in the most technical sense of reproducing a sense of macroscopic reality. The flat file where he had long ago left his attempts was a jumble of acetate and partially finished attempt. In the back of his mind he knew that there was nothing there and he felt like a fool as the person who had hired him remained under the impression that there was something useful waiting there to be found and used. Something that would keep his freelancer hours billed to a minimum. Unfortunately my technique had suffered a cataclysmic loss of talent in the interim and he stalled for time trying to resurrect it from the dead by finding my best effort in the pile of previous attempts. The time dipped like acid as he tried to work the dirty square on the paper contaminated by charcoal dust into something reasonable to turn in to the owner. The right texture seeming totally elusive it became a big goddamn mess. He was a total failure! A charlatan that was pretending to be something he was not. Waiting there helpless expecting at any instant to be declared as same and thrown out.
It was a strange type of camera that I had brought along in that new place that I was unfamiliar with. Something that you had to place behind you and hope that it worked properly. Another suburban American community where to me everyone was a stranger. Though I had managed to make some acquaintances at the local college I was primarily alone. The mall was large and ramblings with both high ceiling atrium’s and one’s indoors that carved out semi-private public spaces that seemed empty save for predictable holiday rushes. If was summer and the inner atrium was near to deserted. The new companion I was with seemed a leaner version of me. Where I was jovial, he seemed beset by something that left me thinking that he might have had a splinter in his soul. Two of us caught in a solitary lifestyle no necessarily of our own choosing. At least not on my own case. There was something self serving and malevolent in his manner when he invited me to set up my camera behind the bench and then bid me sit down. Though we sat in close proximity as if we were emulating two actors I could not be sure if their was something homosexual and almost predatory in his manner. Something that made me uneasy as if he was inclined to stalk me by way of some ruse. What ever this inclination might have been he was irascible demanding that I check things to see that the recording devices were properly set up and doing their tasks without any skips or flaws. It dawned upon me in the course of this operation that as a newcomer my word would not count if this tiny little operation was shown up to be a dodge in some way for a bigger operation. Perhaps something criminal in nature. Whatever it was I parted with my distant companion, glad that the camera which was now in my pocket had never been in his control. Whatever the boys would say back at the dorm room I felt confident that nothing would come back to haunt me from this brief but odd experience.