Sunday, August 21, 2005

Landing in Seattle

FIVE


I wonder what percent of the population feels they have a life filled with difficulties? I’d be interested in knowing. Somebody I work for, who seems to be going slowly insane, constantly suffers under the yoke he daily affixes, hanging more to hamper his load as he trudges. It’s a potent reminder of what we do, to complicate our existence. You could for instance, simply stop trying to help people, and your life would be easier. It’s true. I basically choose to suffer. And yet, I know those whose last concern is others, they have no compelling aspirations to speak of, except to be lazy and rich, or cared for, and they’re miserable with what they’re creating too. It’s a state of concern, when the role models are so few and far between.


Life if full of deities conjugating tricks to confound you.


I had an extremely disturbing nightmare about home, how it was broken into and inhabited by murdering thieves who eventually cleaved my head with an ax. I felt the blade in my skull for some time, after ground back into the world, uniform torn and soiled from the friction of my ungraceful skid. The dream was so unpleasant I lay thinking, where did this come from? How can I turn its machinations to sovereignty from the problem I must be in?


A steaming-hot hour+ shower is like burning a few gallons of gas. Throwing away hard earned money on organic health food, while smoking a pack a day. Face it, we’re all fakes, choosing what to found as the principles we’ll justify our curvaceous decisions by. An old Peruvian man sits on a bench blowing bubbles with a plastic shark toy he appears to be selling, enjoying the winds’ play with the delicate hail of soap spheres he’s issuing to the world. His creased smile of a face is contagious.


At one fifteen, the evening sailed into high gear, as a dark figure down an empty street cupped his hands, and yelled my name. The shadow land character appeared to recede as I approached him, both larger and smaller than life until his maniacally gleaming smile rekindled my memory. Goddamn ma-man; where the hell you been? Oh, around. You know. As if I’d forgotten what life is, minus an address or phone. Well one thing leads to its other, before you know it four twenty blind sides us, now with a Pommie in tow, fresh off the plane. Kreeeiiist! How dat happen again? Boy, I never git any sleep ta say, ‘round you. I laugh. Yo the old pot callin’ whitie black, I’d say. Shit. Look at the mess we’re in. Organic grapes were crushed in the carpet, the place smelled of speed, and obscure music littered every flat surface. Did you have the whole of San Francisco here for after hours, or what happened? Was this just us, or did a troupe of circus monkeys trash the place? Hell if I know. The horizon frosted morning, and I had a flight to catch (minus a ticket) still drinking the evening’s mix of two dollar red wine and coca cola. Fuck man, where the hell did you find that saxophonist? Dude. Is he the bomb, or what?


The young lady who shacked with a companion of mine while she combed the streets for an apartment, jumped out of bed, and headed for the hour plus shower she was increasingly famous for. The puny one-bedroom met its downfall in people like that, as dirt-hardened poverty cases dovetailed in an unconscious synchronous dance of never needing the loo or the shower in unison. I noted her obsession with hot water, and how it eclipsed the outer world on many levels. It was a devious sign, of unseen complications to come. It reeks of someone hyper clothing conscious, who slinks off to scarf a burrito, then has to nap to digest, lamenting her lost time (and increasing bulge) afterwards. Purple makes me look fat, she declared. I can only weather certain colors. Careful, I told my friend, you’re in for a heap of trouble. Why? Dawn said protectively. She’s going to lure you into a trap of generosity. I’ve never heard such rubbish, she protested too loudly. Look, I said, I’m just reading the tea leaves. You do what you want; I’ll stand by our friendship, no matter what. Which seemed dramatic, but you know how these things go.


The moon rose of its own regard on one side, and the sun't straight razor sliced the horizon of the other. Obliterated on stimulants and gin, I rode the plane to the Northlands, flanked by cookie-cutter persons worried about their hair, or whether bags wielded coherence with wristwatch straps, ditto the designer belts and purses. The meteor trail of the actual matters we wonder why about, never referenced itself, as slack jaw snorers recovered from excessive mental activity, or highly caloric meals. The stewardess, bless her heart, seemed to acknowledge my plight, and saw to it my glass was freshened, on the airline itself. We need freaks like you, she seemed to say, although hidden, under her cloak and dagger of real-world work, busy subverting he dominant paradigm from the curtained off inside.


Fueling up the natural gas taxi hose pulling nearly 3000 psi, the soldier off to survival training haggard in sleep loss, tells me his life. The drama of leaving Japan, and its culturally-insulated base, was a palpable ring around him, busy to radiate release. He was raised in Gettysburg, home of a well-known, but less-bloody conflict that paled beside the place he left. I restrained my hidden impulse to ask him about the firestorms which preceded the nuclear blasts, instead, I queried him where his destination would bring him. Do you know where (-----) is? I sucked in my breath. Sure enough. He dropped my somewhat-shattered self in a downtown alley, and continued north. When I got out, two madmen spieling to unseen persons deep inside and surrounding them, conversed oblivious to each other not fifteen feet apart. Having seen them for eons, reclusive paranoid, and anti-social, at least in a flesh and blood sense, the interaction assumed the air of the diabolical, as arguments with other realities clashed when they also, peacefully coexisted, sharing the same piece of concrete street slab. It was a bizarre circus show, I dropped my bag and slouched against brick, to spectate. Slowly they realized another person was nearby, but it wasn’t me. They’s unwittingly knocked on the doors of each other’s manias, and surprised, opened them to say hello. I found myself filled with wonder, at how close, and distanced I was from their existence. The blazing orange ball of the sun ascended, striking century old clay baked in a hell-like furnace, and I snoozed against my backpack, which for long stretches in romantic continents, was all I'd had in the world. The next day, these two oddballs had progressed to the same wavelength. They carried on bizarre causal interrogations, to arrive in obscure places where round corners wrecked poetry. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it before. I reckon it to the sped-up invention of language.

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