Sunday, December 30, 2012

The sun came out but a little too late

Gonna listen to these blues until I fuckin go deaf. Death all around this joint like post-Sandy mold. Pull out the gyp board, shitcan the hall carpeting, get another dumpster, poot. But please let the good times roll, I ask you Jesus rescue me, I want some of that old-time compassion of yours, even though this is the end of 2012, and we're all grown up. Supposed to be. This show is all private now -- a hundred decibels of Witherspoon through little plastic white earbuds while riding the bus, reminds me of those disinfected booths they had over on 8th Avenue before the Republicans Disneyfied Times Square, turning this town into One Big Happy Tourist Trap. It's easiest to be private in public. Hey Drama Queen, Tom Waits got nothing on me. Handheld pocket machines whirring and vibrating, engineered to give us a little electric thrill in the solar plexus. It's all jerking off now, crotch music calling for paper towels, teacups, old sheets, Kleenex. Bobo -- you got a vacuum cleaner? The movies, the idiot box, the radio, the few newspapers left, all running the same stories, twenty-four seven. The same people doing the same things, trying to piece together a meaningful life. Is it any wonder they look so damn tired?

Gimme a knitting needle -- I'm getting too old for this shite. I'm tired. Of literatoor, of politics, of entertainment. Wanna go out into the woods, talk to the trees -- the ones still standing.

It's been another year slid under the bridge, the good times rolling away, the current heading down to the Atlantic, out beyond the Verrazano, out where the whales get sick and the hungry white-tipped waves gather strength before rushing the shore. All the gray-green shite washed away, all the human garbage, all the sentimental trash we were saving for a rainy day. Gone, loose ends and fake friends. The water topped with an oily scum, petroleum rainbows shimmering in the low light like snakeskin. You ain't gonna swim in that poisoned river. Hell, stubborn white people been trying to live here on the coast for hundreds of years, barely making it. The struggle goes on. Hard to tell if it's laughable or pitiable. If you need to say something, just say, "They did their best. We got to carry on." That's about all the celebration we humans can muster.

If my father had been a jockey I might've learned to ride properly. Lemme tell you, that's the blues -- all about sex and money. I ain't deaf yet, but I'm working on it, poot. It's all about sex and money.

I tell you one thing -- the old man understood that only people lied, not machines. That's why he lived among them, with his punch cards and tape drives. Machines didn't torture each other. They either worked or they didn't. Whichever way they were only following instructions. We built this world, we humans, and not our machines. We're the ones who put in air-conditioning and fluorescent lighting, we added rooms, bought generators, took out home equity loans, flaunted our upgrades. Plugged all the holes in the roof. We couldn't wait to invite our city-dwelling friends and poor relations to come out into the country and dance around the question of whether or not our expensive new things were good. Yes, they agreed, our things were good -- smiles all round, pour another drink -- but those good things weren't going to expunge the fear inside. The fear that we'll leave this world the way it is.

Been to Brooklyn, been to Berlin. I can't hear a word you're sayin. Those scenes are over, poot.

Get a grip, you're getting near sixty. You've already outlived some of your classmates. Your betters. Been up to Sandy Hook, too, back in the days when you could ride the Housatonic down from the old railroad bridge. Effin kids, smoking weed and swimming, playing music afterwards in the shade. There's no way to go back to Oakdale Manor, is there? No way to return to the woods and let the good times roll? Nah. No way. It ain't possible, poot. There's only one way you can go in this life -- call it "forward" if you gotta call it something.

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