Once I was a bit slender and maybe just a little bit handsome. I was a dreamer, a wanderer. A smoker. I wrote when and wherever I could roll up a cigarette and sit still long enough. I had the euro-bang and vest thing going on. I remember how my little body felt contained in the familiar and loving confines of my old blue suede coat, curl of camel smoke and my beloved ash gray vest.
I suppose I have held up ok for someone that has worn his soles/soul thin in all of the wrong places. Handsome has been replaced by wise
. Thin has yielded to healthy
Of course with the unending ease and steadiness of my current middle aged life come occasional bouts with complaisance. This has always proved quite a deadly fog for the would-be mariner within.
Regardless, most of the gaping holes that my catchy, unhappy light poured through -magnificently I might add, like a cheap Turkish lantern in a brothel- have been mended by the sure love and almost foolish patience of wife, child and a host of gullible friends.
Maybe an angel
or two should also be thanked. Which is why I watched Wings of Desire
How many times can one person thank you Wim Wenders?
Thank you for giving the German George Baily a cynics version of It's a Wonderful Life
to sniffle over.
"Ich weiss jetzt, was kein Engel weiss."
There are too many tyrants in this little palace.
Since I had no bunker to crawl into this evening, I did what I always do when I have absolutely had it. I drove around with no destination in mind, with only my blackest of moods to guide me.
I turn where the shadows are thickest, where ruined warehouses loom beyond the long rusty tracks, where pale halos of distant street lights bleed themselves white onto the tall dry grass, burned out barrels and broken malt liquor bottles of vacant lots. I pass the dingy little mill houses, endless dirt roads and yawning dead ends of my town.
My town is a necropolis. Sun up or sun down, this is a city where life nods behind drawn yellowed curtains, rocking slowly in front of Warm Morning heaters and cheap radios. Square beige houses that smell of overcooked canned beans, stale cigarette smoke and gas. Hovels that straddle empty train yards, silent factories and wasted fields. Stagnant drainage ditches, carpet scraps and abandoned earth movers tear into the few lonely pines that hold the spent horizon back from collapsing.
A girl I went to school with in the 7th grade was found beaten to death in one of these fields. She was poor, quiet and had a crooked smile. I remember she smiled a lot.
A policeman raped and killed her. She was a prostitute. He had done this before, to some other poor, awkward forgotten girl that was also a prostitute.
I always think of her when I drive through my old neighborhood.
She was just a buck toothed girl that I saw in the library every day, and then somehow she became a whore, and one day was murdered with a flashlight.
My mother is always quick to remind me that no matter what mannerisms I have adopted, no matter what kind of wine I choose to accompany my meal, that no matter what kinds of choices poor, tired wife and I make, that I am from a dusty, hollow place in the world. That I will always be a child of this ugly, desperate and sinister town. That once, I was happy to play in the junkyard and by the drained pool of the abandoned Salvation Army Hospital deep in the woods behind our small house.
There were always dead animals in the empty pool. They fell in and couldn't get out. They just starved there. Patches of matted fur too close to the ground. Mossy bones poking through the dry leaves.
I remember there was a well near the pool that a dog had fallen into and drowned. It floated there in the dark oily water until there was nothing left to float.
Nothing terrified me more as a child than the sight and thought of the animals.
Today they invoke the same fear in me that the girl with the crooked smile does. There is no way to comfort them. No way to pull them out of the field or the swimming pool or the well.
No way to protect them or love them back to someone's side.
They are forever lonely, dying things trapped in darkened amber.
Things that somehow got lost.
No matter how I have tried to escape the trash heap, I always come back to it. I drive to it every time I get lost, and I will always carry it's stench away with me each time I leave it.
I suppose I am stuck in amber too.
You can brand me with a huge "P" if you wish.
I am rather pretentious sometimes
My shortlist of pretentions/affectations:
freshly shaven head
several shoulder bags
won't drive it unless it's german
little silver rimmed glasses
often use the word "dreadful"
also use the word "savage" from time to time
wino -but it better be from france/germany/austria
artisan made meats and cheeses
truffle infused anything
peter handke poems
sepiatone nude photography
the architecture of albert speer
the great depression
giant metal objects
Should I go on?
As you may have noticed, I have not posted in quite some time.
I have an excuse, really, I do.
It's not because I am LAZY, I promise. I loathe the lazy! Please read a little Ayn Rand if you don't believe me.
It is because I am trying to spend that certain hour which I usually post with my family that I have grown silent.
That's love goddamnit!
And anyway, by the time they are off to bed I am not far behind them. I am almost 40 mind you!
With the above in mind I offer the following:
For the next two months -both of which are the busiest for my lowly profession -a grocer!- I will post four times.
That's twice a month!
Not bad for someone that has no time to spare and refuses to give up!
Too bad Leni Riefenstahl isn't around to film my heroic efforts.
But, with the turn of the new year I will re-emerge, guns blazing, warm brioche in hand, pale and full of trivial complaints (about my place in the world, and the holiness of precious little princess pink, and of course, poor, tired-of-me mama- and Pompeii and Amarna and whatever else it takes to suck you into my web) to post with the predictable rigidity of Teutonic bowels.
As I type these last few words I think it's important for you to understand that flowing into my headset is:
Tristan und Isolde
prelude to act 3
Bruno Walther conducting
Don't bother listening to Wagner if Bruno Walther is absent from the helm.
Good luck! And, godspeed you black emperor.....