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I have not the slightest idea on earth why anyone would want to read this. I am not immortal. I do not possess the wisdom of the ages. I am rather a really tiny person struggling to get by in a massive world full of lies. Is it perhaps that other people are curious? Perhaps there are those who read this of great compassion, to whom it would occur that, by communicating with me, they might bring color and light to my life? Yes, that must be it. At the least at a subconscious level, I'm hoping to be saved.
While subconsciously, this might be so, I strive in my conscious workaday world to keep at bay anyone who would actually save me. I'm a pugnacious fighter apparently only recently overboard, as my pummeling the waves-and anyone else who comes near me-would observe. Oh, well, I guess I'm not drowning yet. And I have a winning personality. Therefore, I'm not in danger. Except to the laughing Gods. No, come around me, well-seeking citizen, and I'll be off! But wait-perhaps I could bring my subconscious above water! I could make it-or it could make me-see! Come!
Ah! I'll call him Kiddy. Kiddy, come on up. Take the waves and swim! Swim to shore and if you flounder, I'll save you (I hear the voices). OK. I'm Kiddy. Take that you ingrate! I'll teach you to flummox up the works! There! And bam! Now stay down. You, you with the whiskers and winning smile! Ah! My name is Kiddy. Kiddy this, Kiddy that. Ah! Now who was that masked man? Ah, Kiddy. Me, Kiddy. Kiddy Kiddy Kiddy. Come here, God. Ah! My friend! Let me caress you. Come on in. I'm free. My arms are for you!
Who indeed was that masked man? Going into the sunset with that honey? (I hope they feel good together, caressing each other's flesh until the cows come home.) But, alas, enough! He's gone. I'm here, above the waves, with my secret signal caller. Halt! Who goes there? In enemy waters? Oh, it's a fish. Soft soapy salty waves! Rubbish. Carnage. The sea. The shore! There! Sandy, filled with bikini-clad svelte tight bathing suit fitting mommas! Little kids playing. Hot sun, sticky sand. Hard things to step on. I'll go on shore and see what the city's doing. Maybe Times Square.
There, coming up towards me, in the crowded streets-who is that? A muscular, beefy, tall, Kansan? White, milk bred, blond crew-cutted kid. And with his girlfriend, another milk-fed, sandy-haired ex-cheerleader, it seems. What do they need? Ah, directions to WWF! Sure, it's up that block, no, yeah, cross the street, see that blackish, under the scaffolding, yeah, that's it. Yeah, I've been inside. They have nice figurines, a restaurant downstairs, t-shirts. They're expensive, but it's part of the really big WWF experience. OK, good luck, y'all. They walk off, into the mass crowds-and the swirl of noisy Times.
Ah! There! A tall, balding-former rock star? I think I recognize him. Was in the Masters of the Universe. Ginger Baker! Yeah, God! He was so amazing in Cream. And so wasted (or so it seemed). "Hey, man, hi. Ginger! Over here!" At which point Mr. Baker approaches and we chat on a corner. He tells me he's visiting New York and asks what I'm up to. I tell him nothing and we look up at the amazing neon and bright flashing lights advertising various products and the whole swirl of the city streets fades in a comical sigh.
We walk together a half a block. He suddenly tells me he has to meet someone and we part. He tells me a phone number-I barely remember it-and think about possibly calling him to get an autographed copy of some record I might like. But as soon as he's gone the swirl and massive crowd returns. I look up in a second-floor window, over by MTV, and see some people-official looking-standing near the plate glass facing the street. It's bright, though nighttime, and cool, crisp, on a day approaching the beginning of spring. TRL on now?
It was TRL-I think that was Carson Daly. Sure was a lot of midwest teen honeys, corn-blonde hair, screaming and yowling apparently in sexual abandon, a seemingly less controlled version than that evidenced by the dancers accompanying the pop stars on the major award shows. There's some celebration of the body, and I am out here to celebrate it, too. I walk, laconically, the first to get out of the way if a Mack truck is skittish on the uneven tarmac. The bumps, the axle breaks, the whole darn thing can careen into me-unless I move in time.
So I pass this one blonde, she about 26 and looks me in the eye. I'm in a fabulous mood-I have no hidden agenda, I just enjoy looking with my enjoy-as-most-of-the-moment-as-possible stare-and she and I connect, if for one third of a second, but it isn't startling, just deep, and our more cursory visions take over and we slide, having hardly ever "bumped" back to my--& her-separate lives. But at least I thought about her afterwards, thought it would be worth dedicating a "communication" to her: Sandy, hi. Would that this weird, man made barrier dissipate!
Even many hours later-the next day!-I've thought of "Sandy." She's plunged back into her life now, of course. But when she stumbles across this writing, or writing from someone else who might have been so motivated, this is what she'd see: we have never met, we have never gone to school together, we might never have lived long in the same city. We may never have read the same book or have liked the same song. But we're soulmates. Somewhere, somehow, we connect perfectly. We're one, in a playground. Maybe it was on the monkey bar? That's where!
Still, Sandy. Sandy it was the monkey bar. We held hands and played and didn't care. Then.. Then.. Then.. A powerful hormonal explosion played into the whole psychosis, and unresolved neuroses "played out" culture-wise, and suddenly all the things amusing or unknowable or disgusting that we'd grown up seeing in the background made sense, or began to click, causing confusion, alienation, enormous pleasure, considerable pain: welcome to grownuphood. Then when we see each other, Sandy. Oh, we're suspects. Questionable. The enemy. Or maybe, maybe not! (We weren't for that darned second!). That second which, if frozen in time, could have...
How many days later is it? Years? Millennia? Sandy! Alright, you're gone. Hey, in some way you're thinking like me, I know it: where are all the good people? How come I can't connect? "We're all stranded, and we're doin' our best to deny it." And yet the hilarious thing is, we're all together. Osama and Nancy, Tommy and Phil, Adolf and Cherry, Savior, saint and murderous clown. But Sandy perhaps we're "supposed" to stay cloistered to work things out. Mix only when we "should." But we all know there are certain things that help knock down those barriers. Wait!
I had a fantasy. Sandy is writing to me. She might say: Oh dear Woody, who am I? I liked seeing you. I remember you at the prom the night you came to me and asked me to dance but I was sure you meant more. So I-to be nice!-made up a reason not to, and walked away. But was I really nice? But what was I to say? I was scared, I didn't know what to do, how to dance, how I smelled-and yet I yearned for this upgrade! Upgrade? Oh, the senile sometimes seem unencumbered!
A crisis boom, and Sandy and I might well have fallen into a momentary symbolic embrace. Black and white, we would have at that one alchemical moment embraced each other without regard what had previously thought to have been differences. One spirit would have grown separate bodies, perhaps, or one spirit's body would have been extended. But more! A growth, vertical, substantial, powerful, would have increased the worth of each of our "separate" beings. The earth would have an new ally. The enemies would have a tougher time. But can't we imagine the crisis boom? Always learn the hard way?
As I said, it's a stretch that anyone would-or should-be reading this. Assuming people read writing to help their spiritual development, or perhaps to learn how to swim, or fish. As an instructional manual, I guess it's worth reading others' writings. So what can I instruct on? How to live? Posh, not even close. How do you write a check? That I can teach. OK, you rip out the check, write the name-but, you see, who is this for? A Graustarkian? Hey, I got it. I can teach you not to brag. Just be yourself. How brag?
New York's now quite a time since the September 11th attack. You would like to think the entire populace has profited with an increased awareness about problems the future could bring. At some technical level this is probably true-at least for the short-term vigilance at the official level seems on the upswing. But the broad widespread terrorist problem--now that it's in the consciousness of would-be criminals that you can incinerate parts of cities if only you are willing to give up your life-is with us for a while. It's biblical, in that prophecies are aligned with reality.
I watched a movie from 1978 where a couple was breaking up, and the backdrop was Soho. It was eerie, in that I could feel the consciousness of the times through the actors, and knew-solidly-that world-wide terrorist attacks such as September 11th were not even a blip of possibility in the collective consciousness. At the time, our enemies had other practices in mind. Now, such horror is fair game. Is it the beginning of the end? Only to the extent the end is said to have occurred many times in history. Obliteration of major places. "History" wiped out.
If that is true, then, for example, when I go to Spain for an extended weekend at the end of April, if I am to be spared the next "holocaust" it is possible New York would be incinerated and all my loved ones-or most of them-would be killed in my absence. My home could be destroyed. The very life as I know it would be mortifyingly changed. Double or triple what effect WWII had on a generation-except, no doubt, if you lived in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. All writing, all acting, all would be colored-by this horror.
Our society: cling to that strange comfort. A comfort that, as soon as the rules are changed, becomes a comfort for you no more. You will be ostracized and outcast, thrown away should you start "preaching" that you-when you do!-actually know better than many others. Then where will you be? On the outside, looking in. That's fine, right. So long as you realize that it is no piece of cake. You who think you're on the outside-are you really? I mean, really? I mean, really? I'm not, right? Because I'm still too much "of this world." Sure.
A baby is born-the world is at his feet. He trusts without knowing he trusts-and somehow survives. He is not a threat, at least most babies are not. That is why they are spared. We make "important" rules for their safety. But what if their DNA-our knowledge of it-yields the fact that they will probably one day kill? Then perhaps we should have the death penalty beforehand. Is that thinking, as a possible piece of legislation, that far off? How would I know? But in the meantime, good DNA evidence would allow us to ID criminals.
On my street when I go out at a decent hour, many people are walking. They are often the kinds of people whom I think about as similar to victims of Sept. 11th: I imagine their being incinerated and think, what is the loss? What if one is talking obnoxiously on a cell phone? Would her incineration be a loss? Or what if the person to-be-incinerated is a grievous nincompoop? I realize this speculation is possibly a horrible thing in itself. I just find myself thinking such things. I would never consciously hurt anyone, though. I'm a good guy, basically.
Spring came. The man on the news let us know. There was, apparently, a debate as to the exact minute of its occurrence. Both sides' opinions were aired. Some people wondered. Perhaps it was fodder for discussion at some level. Some peoples' opinions were sought. Opinions were given, in some cases, while the opinion-giver was "tidying up." Others listened, with varying degrees of interest. Dogs heard the debate but, at least as far as I could tell, feigned disinterest. Though they looked for any excuse to be there for their masters. A dog also is very interested in smelling urine.
The Oscars are coming. In my whole life, after being around if not exactly watching the ceremonies, I have had varying degrees of interest. This year my interest is at the lowest possible. Whoopi Goldberg is host. I was asked why I seem not to like her. "Is it because she is boring? Because she is Black? Because you don't find her attractive?" I was asked. I thought. I decided: because she is not funny. Because she does not hold my interest. Because her jokes are predictable. I thought of who I liked. I thought Jon Stewart might be good.
"This weekend in hell is making me sweat, but true love tends to forget." When I think of all the time I've spent walking around the incinerator room, dumping garbage that, in its original form, was once so dear to me, I can't help but meditate over these lines. I do think that no matter the trouble I've seen, there are moments when, suddenly, all the "bad" fades away and I'm left with a loving vision. It is then I don't regret not having acted precipitously to shuck off that which briefly enranged or enfeebled me. Now I'm sinking slowly.
Into a pit of ill repute. Why? Wherefore? But rather than meditate too deeply-and possibly discover what idiocy I'm up to, I swim out into the rapids with Margie and practice drowning. Oh, that Margie. So svelte and bosomy! No, really. It's just in my mind: my travails and notice of the "weaker" sex. They're fine, all of them. Just more attractive, in general, in a physical way. I see a definite need to take a break-I was going to say "drink." Have got to monitor my outrageous silliness. Could fall off a cliff. Like I did before.
Bone weary. Walked in the rain for hours, it seemed. Wet cold inconsequential rain, really. But finally have destination reached-Barnes and Noble-and didn't have the energy to shop. To look around. But found a stool in the awesomely crowded cafe and just sat. Family found me and soon we moved on. Across the street to Tower, where we went up the stairs following the sign "cafe"-go upstairs-only to find none. "It was here until 3 months ago." OK, good. Kid wanted hot chocolate. Bought a Hershey's. "I have matches." With parental permission, he accepted. Soon said goodbye. Warmth of home.
A celebratory cigarette. There's a vision I want to focus on. It's one of mystery and light. It's one in which the whole world is encapsulated in a leaf. All becomes easy, a thing of wonder. Awe. Growth. Depth. Death? Life? A mere flicker. Sound. My son's late for school? A pretty lady plunges a dagger into my heart? A teardrop is held in my hand. I wind up, and toss it. It flies over all our heads. Wets the universe. Our jeans, shirts and skins get soaked. Luckily, we don't have to breathe. Music is playing, sonorously. Finished today.
You have beautiful blind skin. Therefore, I imagine as I look at you, if we were to date, there'd be many instances--countless?--wherein I would do or say something which, in essence, would point to B and you would think and respond as if it was A. Do I need this confusion? Even though your skin is as soft as sweet melon's, and you kiss---obviously--like the sweetest beaver. I would only take you if you were mine. (And how many of you are there?) Then again, if you insisted, you were drunk, and you were leaving tomorrow...
Reviewed my life in the pre-dawn hour. As I traced my existence, I keyed on relationships, locales, job shifts, changing habits, mental states. Went through six years while walking 15 minutes with my dog. Did the last twenty years while riding up the elevator. Rarely did my reminiscences touch on historical events (touched on Nixon, Ford and Carter), not at all on the state of mankind. There was a life to review, at least. I remember looking out the window once, in Shirlington, Virginia, over a period of months, and seeing a girl sitting on a couch--all the time.
New York was invaded by aliens last night. Spokesmen for the New York Paralytic Association couched their denial of such event with a smarminess that led acute observers to understand the real deal: we were now going to drink coffee with a new boss. "Oh, Jesus," Miss Minerva Beltstrip proclaimed. "New York's finished. It was such a goddarned good capital. Now what can we do?" The aliens moved into Times Square and proclaimed that the Disney era is over. "It'll all be gravy now," one wag opined. And another: "Oh, mercy. I hadn't had time to take out the trash."
I'm so sick and tired of writing down my thoughts. I never have anything to say. Why would anyone want to read what I write anyway? No one loves me. The world is coming to an end. I've got to go out and do exercises tomorrow. My mother's coming to see me. I'm ugly. Johnnie thinks I'm stupid. My clothes don't fit. No one respects me. No one loves a whiner. But I got laid last night. I can dress up real well sometimes. And a guy looked at me. I saw lust in his eyes. My dog loves me.
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