At night, alive in the room, there’s a dark blue feeling coming over me – it is here I make myself overwhelmed. Oh, my. You still haven’t shared any of your photos of Friday Harbor with the Others. You’ve yet to share enough of yourself. You still haven’t opened. Listen to Chopin and cry your lower back out of alignment. Continue reading
I let myself go. The last day of socially destructive night-work, I have developed a mantra of disappearance when there are awkward formalities of goodbyes to go through. True departures imply ambiguity, an uncertain future friendship. The same elements will never be formed in the same shape. There will not be these little pockets of passing hallway, stairway, freight elevator talk, jokes and all, about the squirrel in the living room, or the acupuncture gone wrong, or the crime novel section of the book store which I realized must’ve been a lead-in to the wrapped packages with a fiction trilogy with newsreel crime influences and two different sized bottles of whiskey to send me off into the oblivion of my own new machinations. They machinery of my life set into motion by a crankshaft of random opportunities leapt into at the speed of gerbils in their plastic running wheels.
I let it go. There it was, I peeled off my name from my cubby hole, where the sunflower seeds had been sitting for weeks untouched, the “advanced uncorrected proofs” of maybe-to-be released novels, some nonfiction, sit in transition between the bookshelves in the lounge and the general books office – to my apartment, my clutches, my shelves, my people. There are magazines without covers. Mostly poetry, some music and science. I stole entertainment out from under the noses of the daylight employees. I am there at night assessing their depressing cubicles with Jordan. I am there counting the greasy fingerprints on their computer screens (old dells). I count the neglected plants. The calendars stuck perpetually one month in the past. The plastic in the compost bin. Their plastic. The honor rule to drinking cups of coffee or tea that no one honors. The “salt-death” of the soup. The soup that David said would take “three years off my life.” I once had three of those little salty soup packets one after another in a feverish, bored, hunger. A hunger without the wallet to feed itself on the grocery store outlet world. A man comes up begging for a ride to safeway, a ten dollar bill, a hand-out of any kind, a buy back next friday, a woman and two children calling for dinner, an inability to decide a recourse other than denial and speeding off.
I have to let it go. I gave a man a scone out of the basket in the lounge at Tacoma. There are sometimes little candies or pastries left in there, probably for the morning crew with a pot of fresh coffee. I would eat them because my job was sad and lonely and sometimes a blueberry muffin glazed in poppyseed honey could help with the yawning windshield loneliness of driving three or four hours in the cold dark. The sadness of having to choose music that will keep you awake and from falling into the median with dreams of iridescent glass spheres. Inability to decide. Focus too hard on this song and I’m put in a trance. Focus too hard on that song and I’m put into a trance. Any song that has an ounce of “whimsy” in the lyrics cannot hold up to the tired, focused consciousness of my tunnel vision. The 10 months of driving never taught me more about how to do it better but probably just taught me how to completely tune out. I’ll have to think about it a bit more.
Wipers went swish swish when I bumped the lever reaching for the dial of the radio. 98.1 classical radio, Bukowski or the musician in me, desires to hear something more complicated or at least unique than the standard modern pop tune in heavy rotation through the other soulless channels. A toss up between the night jazz and the night classical. Sometimes I get sleepy. I’m out there for hours, retracing my routes, all cross hatched, tangled, like a children crayon-drawing on a map of Seattle. Sleepiness is confronting with music of my own decision. Plugged in AUX and only coming through the driver side speaker, yet I know the lyrics, they are important to me, and I can sing along and feel like I’m growing. This usually happens at 10 or so when the dark gets to my irises in a bad way, spectral light, dark shines, stars out there buried in clouds other than the sun, my god the sun! So at 10 these channels seem to switch into sleep mode and play generally the softest piano trickling streams or the jazz of elevators slinking into comatose. I take charge. I wipe the windshield again on accident. Turn the cold air on and aim the jets at my face and shiver. I used to shiver when you looked at me. Is it a cringe now? A shrug? I listened, from Tacoma to Bothell, to Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s newest album Slingshot to Heaven from Hello to a Wedding Song. This is subdued music at a level of high proficiency. Very sad, soft spoken Edward, sings sarcastically about love or space ships and tosses in abstract lines amid the exposure of the everyday in his other lyrics. “When you’re gone, I smoke more pot. I drink tap water and sleep on the couch, it’s nice.” and so on. Beautiful stuff, I think. Sad boiled down to a simple formula of soft picked melodies, breezy voices, and strange, naked, lyrics. I listened as the evergreens whizzed by in silhouette and thought about how little I know about the world, myself, my role in it. How I know the pain of isolation, of self-imposed isolation, the contradictions that follow the desire to be alone mixed in with the desire to be a part of a winning artistic community, with Basquiat New York free love, painting and jazz, or Hemingway café drinking bouts and bull fights, or some other era, earlier, meeting with Van Gogh at the asylum and giving him his medication, going on a road trip to Quebec with Hunter S. Thompson. Making them all meet together at your Gatsby mansion while you stare pensively out the window to the woods, brooding admirably, with the kind of consternation required of a white-suited man throwing a party in which he invited no personal acquaintances, yet the strangers make themselves at home and he doesn’t care because he is in love with suicide. To be at the radiant node of an arts explosion. To make a community of artists. An art house. This is the ideal. The basement is for music. Some bedrooms. The living room is a public space. No television. The kitchen is a mixology lab. The atrium is a makeshift art studio, overlooking the tree lined heaven of the arboretum. The closet bedroom space is to be occupied by a tentative poet. Master bedroom by a bass player and his lit theory girlfriend, everyone speaks a little French, and we can all create unhindered and have a miraculous output to share the world with.