how unfamiliar this place is if you’re not here on a regular basis.
i feel off-balance. i can’t explain why i stopped doing what has become as natural as breathing these past couple of years.
it’s like a hand quietly pushed my fingers from the keyboard while a voice deep inside whispered, “no…no…not now.”
next thing i know, i have a head full of…..i don’t know what i have a head full of, or at least i don’t want to know what i have a head full of at the moment.
i know the last time i entered text here i was “chronologically” a year younger than i am, not that i’m measuring time.
who measures time?
oh, right. i do, or at least i started to when i was living under the notion that my time was becoming finite, not that my time ISN’T finite.
since then, my opinion of time was adjusted to more like maxx (my dog) or his big brother and my buddy, (my cat) buddy’s sense of the moment.
they seem to live one loooooooooong day with a series of naps, meals and bowel movements, but this is another invention i’m foisting on them in my name. my animal friends are so forgiving.
oops. there i go again.
this past week, they were immortalized and set to miraculous candle- heights along with notions of, “if i were really crazy, this is a full-back panel tattoo,” by hannah, a member of the GBM’s staff….
yeah. i need to breathe…..slowly….and get back to basics with the glossary of mind and memory.
29. – Retrieval. The process of “finding” information previously stored in memory.
the act of “retrieval” my mind employed in getting back to basics regarding the glossary of mind and memory is a perfect example of “finding” information previously stored in memory.
there, i used it in a sentence.
it all seems rather circuituous…..
i find myself in a terry gilliam film…..
in all of this…notelessness, – if that’s not a word, it is now – i’ve been caught up in a number of personal fronts.
on this day – this eternally long day filled with darkness and brightness – i’ve been to the land of the grifting lizards for the first time since that shitkicker rainstorm, but later for my extraordinary meeting with who i believe was willie nelson and our three minutes of unassuming, government-regulation small-talk followed by the conversation i had with that lizard guy who sounds like eduardo ciannelli but looks like omar sharif about my meeting with this “willie nelson” (where i inquire if it was another one of those lizard guys “wearing” willie nelson), but that was today and i have five weeks past to touch on before i dwell on these currently extraordinary moments.
borrowing from the lessons learned from maxx and buddy, i will consider loads of things with glowing adjectives and adverbs as so much means so much to me these days…uh, these moments.
have i stated this with enough conviction?
much of my time has been diverted to posting notes to my dearest friend on the planet and when not doing that, thinking of what to say to her when not writing them.
this might be another way of saying, “my mind goes blank.”
no…no…it’s writer’s block, i say;
or is it fancy talk for stylized procrastination?
i fear, with me, it might be the case.
in the dark of spirit located in the dark of night i recall a mantra i heard a year ago…,”a writer writes.”
at the end of last month, that being march, i went to that place called “dead horse bay“, otherwise known as the beach of old bottles, but then again, that’s my name for it today, but you know how long today could run, especially going by maxx and buddy’s rules…..
this item below has since become buddy’s dry food bowl…..
but this is more about the bottles, and there are plenty……
in my previous venture out here during the winter, i hid a brown-glass, one-gallon clorox bottle in the high reeds that frames this “beach”
i hid it so well i couldn’t find it, but not to worry…..
there’s plenty more where that came from.
the tide was low, revealing a mucky bed of glass and history.
there were little things that jabbed the memory, making me unsure of where i was, leading me to stop and close my eyes.
when i did this, i drifted or so it seemed, to that part of the universe where i was able to walk – just-like-that – and approach my friend, my very dear friend and attempt small talk as if meeting in a park on a warm spring day, with casual repartee’…..
“nice weather we’re having,” kind of talk.
“tonight’s a big full moon,” kind of talk.
“funny running into you here, on the “the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension” kind of talk.
and it’s here i would dwell for moments that seemed hours - that being in a good way – as she and i chatted about all the things we word-processed and phone-discussed in the near-year we’ve come to know each other.
as we strolled beyond galaxy Tirius-B-109467-Hydrox-401, i reached out to touch her and she was gone.
i opened my eyes and looked to the shore and there was this tree….
i approached it, noticing in its not-just-yet-lifelessness that it was born of a land of glass. i reached in, under the tree where the roots were supposed to be, in that space between the shore and the tree and this is what i found -
dazzle was a liquid laundry detergent popular about sixty years ago. as i looked into the landfill that supported and nurtured this tree, i wondered how many low-level gangsters were packaged and processed here. having come from this low-level gangster neighborhood area, this made perfect sense.
with this in mind, i chose not to shop for another bottle.
i moved on to the ecosystem that lives in the 1920′s safe that lay on the shore.
while out here, my dearest friend and i chatted on the phone.
it was a wonderful day.
right this minute, right at this newer part of this long, extraordinary day, maxx and i went for a late-night walk.
because of this impending anniversary, i decided to take a stroll to evergreen and willoughby streets. it was where i was walking when i had my first telephonic communication with my dearest friend.
this conversation wasn’t a year ago.
i don’t remember exactly when that was but i do remember where it was exactly and that was here.
here i am, late this evening, looking at a street sign recalling a phone conversation, the bulk of which i recall me saying, “huh? hold on – a train is passing.”
this is where i found poignancy.
this is where i had walked in clouds of glorious air and angelic streetlight.
we take it where we can get it……
the anniversary i seem to be harping on has no “occurence,” to connect it to. there was no chance meeting, no poignant moment.
it was an online comment to something i wrote that she read and one day months ago, i seeked out the date of that comment and it was may first, hence this “anniversary.”
it was regarding scrap bar chronicle #28 and the dream i had while living(?) at the st. mark’s hotel around the new year, 1995.
“…..the beauty of dream states are they make every other temporary episode in one’s life more pronounced…or less depending upon the urgencies to make them so…..”
….that’s what she said.
and i said, “scrap bar…ever been?”
and it went on and on from there.
parsing this extraordinarily long and amazing day (as i continue to put words, thoughts and motives onto maxx and buddy’s behavior), i move onto to “sooner,” when i traded photos with my dear friend from when we were 18-year-olds. this is what i sent her – it’s a picture of me immediately after returning to brooklyn after a weekend at bridgehampton racetrack, something i refer to as the time of “the trusty pliers.” i was all about this stuff when i was a kid;
the picture she sent me made my breath stop.
i’m not gonna show it.
bear in mind, the “part-of-car” you see is a triumph TR3.
you’ll notice that the car door sits about as high as my kneecap.
if you’re wondering if this car had windows, the answer is yes – they were stored in the trunk and clipped onto the car with allen keys.
also, around this time, we had the bushwick book club where songs were written with dolly parton’s autobiography in mind.
there was even a skype performance by franz and maria held aloft by susan.
this is what that looked like;
and then lillie got dressed up and yodeled……
there’s a bunch more pictures put in the facebook and myspace universe from this show. there are pics here in our photobucket link, too.
a few days later, confirming to me that the fabric of the universe is chock full of unplanned and poetic coincidences, i found this on a bookshelf as i sat in my store….
that was my triumph TR3 owner’s manual from when i was that skinny hippy kid in the above photo.
my affair with british automotive engineering went on for some years. i ended up using that green car for parts as i patched together another one, this time red, and bought another TR3, one that a classmate in high school had gotten involved in a wreck with….
the photos above is that time in my life “as told by cars in a backyard.”
the wrecked one with the blue tarp is the subject here.
what is more than “cool as all that” and the absolute point of this “backstory” is what happened next.
last week (or “a pile of naps past”), i was writing a note to my dearest friend when the phone rang. carly, working downstairs, called to tell me, “some guy who says he went to high-school with you is in the store.”
it was that guy.
so, to sum up.
after arbitrarily scanning that teen-pic of me and my TR3, within three weeks i found my owner’s manual and reunited with a high-school classmate who i haven’t seen in almost 40 years and to boot, he’s the only other person i ever knew to own one of those cars.
oh, and one other thing.
he may have been my dearest friend’s english professor in college.
…..but life is…random.
the notion of an extraordinary galactic fabric is better kept at bed, bath and beyond.
this was offered up as evidence of miraculousness for no reason at all with my friend in our next conversation.
it probably had to do with the improbability of our paths without all this becoming problematic.
next, for a moment and maybe more, the sign above our store was re-illuminated again for the first time in four years……
it promptly de-illuminated after an hour or two.
which of course, had nothing to do with my decision to go to floyd bennett field some hours later with maxx and see springtime develop in and around the old hangars as well as find more airstrip numbers…..
i posted pics of bright airiness and sent some to my friend around the time i took them, which is still sooner than earlier, but not quite approaching “almost now,” but i’m getting there, i just know it.
i portraited maxx.
“portraited” should be a word, and should join “notelessness” in this new slang.
i find them both highly descriptive and if they were combined, as in “portraited notelessness” it would be a big, blank sheet of something, but you have already figured that out because those words work, right?
this was a sexy love letter i sent to my friend some hours ago, but not as “ago” as my time on the glass and bottle beach. out here at floyd bennett airfield were vaginas and penises every where you looked. this was becuase i had a sex-strewn conversation of casual innuendo and blatant expletives.
there was even penises and vaginas whoopin’ it up…
this may have had something to do with conversations we had, but then again, so many of my memories come and go like errant breezes. was it this current conversation or memories percolating behind what i’m thinking. like laughter escaping without thought.
my trips to gateway national park are good for me and especially maxx, but these trips were not to the beach, that place where maxx can no longer tread for the next four and one-half months. i would reason, as i do each year, that i should still go out there and at least try to check on the big tire (and i do, especially on rainy, inclement days), and to steal fifty yards from the dunes to the shore and make my call out over the ocean to my friends and the croupiers and pit bosses in the big casino.
this is the place where hope lolls in the missing sun and breezes pass notes to the likes of armand hammer, louise brooks, johnny thunders and sandy becker as they might trade industry stories on chaise lounges overlooking the silvery portal to the pi-squared demi-universe, southwest of the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension.
i would celebrate that birthday mentioned at the dawn of this.
drawing ever-closer to now, i traveled to fort tilden.
this is the trip where i walked on the path that runs parallel to the dunes and the shore beyond them. this is the same road/path that i was walking on last year when bernie madoff’s son whizzed by and i later witnessed the gruesome handiwork of the “meal and a suit-taking” lizard-guy who was waiting in the parking lot along with that eduardo ciannelli-sounding lizard- guy who looks like omar sharif who no doubt set up this rendezvous. yummy.
today i heard both madoff’s sons were getting indicted or something equally delicious. the one now being worn by that lizard guy no doubt is formulating a scrumptious-greedhound-criminal-farming plan.
if you don’t know what i’m talking about, you might want to start reading this blog from about two years ago and work your way here.
there’s loads of totally useless information you might need to know.
but i digress…..
i’m approaching “now,” inexorably.
i parked the car a shorter time ago than anything i may have mentioned earlier, except for those “now, this moment,” pronouncements which are fading into earlier moments all the time, just like me and everything and everyone around me.
this day that i drove to fort tilden had both me and maxx barking up a storm. it was sunny and breezy, though before heading out there was a greyness and threat of rain. i had planned on the rain to give me the anonymous sense of cover to get me onto the beach without federal interference.
with the sun, i decided that the path, dunes and the trails would be fine.
as i walked east from the parking lot where i first met those lizards (two years ago now) and headed toward jacob riis park beach, a white pick-up truck approached headed in the opposite direction.
as we neared each other, the truck slowed.
i thought to myself, “this is going to be some lizard guy reminding me that i’m not permitted to run my dog on the beach and to keep is leash on at all times. maybe it’ll be that woman trader-wearing lizard from last summer…” i was confident this would be a national park dress-down.
the vehicle stopped with the driver giving me a bright “hello”
“how ya doin’ today?” i asked. my eyes fixed on the face beneath the park-employee hat.
“holy moses,” i said to myself (and yes, i really use that expletive), “that sure looks like willie nelson.”
his head came out of the window and he said in a country-drawl, “sir, i just want to thank you for walking your dog on his leash and keeping that leash in your hands. we really appreciate when people respect what we’re trying to do here during the season.”
“well, that’s very kind of you to say that, sir,” i answered, “and, you’ll notice, i’m not on the beach.”
“well, if you were on the beach, i wouldn’t know that yet, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but just the same, have yourself a great, glorious day..”
“you too, sir,” i said, as i found myself grappling with the urge to blurt out something like “you look just like willie nelson,” or “hey, are you that guy?” or something like that. i bit my tongue and walked further along until i saw the truck disappear, making the right hand turn at the end of the path. i looked at where i was and tugged maxx along toward the dunes leading to the beach. reaching the top, i looked at the rocks that formed the jetty on my left and saw the bunch of yellowish boulders that told me i was right where i belonged if i was going to locate the big tire. it was under a couple of feet of sand, not more than forty feet from where i stood.
i was sure of it.
i thought about running to the water’s edge and calling out my dear friend’s name, but decided to do it from where i stood.
i had an oceanwide-shot that gave me a touch of the earth’s curvature.
this would be fine. why rile-up old willie?
he was so kind and friendly.
he didn’t-once let on that he knew what was on my mind. does that mean he’s really willie and not a lizard-guy wearing willie. besides, he ‘s never been a greedy man. he’s not part of their diet, i don’t think. on the contrary, he got in all sorts of trouble for NOT being a greedy bastard.
he was as bad with his millions as i was with my thousands. for a moment i felt like we were sympatico. i wondered if willie nelson ever wrote a song by that name or if he used that word in a song.
i thought about how he should or did or would one day.
sympatico – it would have that bit of an Elfego Baca beat.
i thought about my friend on the other side of america and how much i wished i could talk to her right now about this willie nelson experience. i thought about this as loud as i could, then walked down from the dune and back onto the path. i walked on a short while longer until i saw the trail that would lead to where i saw that great blue heron that i was totally unprepared to photograph some months ago. i hoped it would be there. i was camera ready…
this path would turn left sharply and end at a small marsh, so i took maxx’s leash and we walked quietly. i felt like elmer fudd.
i made the turn and saw a lone duck. i startled it. i snapped a picture.
i got it, dead center. i would’ve gotten the great blue heron if it was there, sure. i followed the path away and up an incline where there’s a bench. i sat and decided to wait. maxx joined me and after a few minutes, he rested his head in my lap and we sat……
maxx slept. i wished things. in a conversation with my friend some time earlier, i expressed the wish to get a conversion van with enough amenities to be comfortable and travel cross-country. not “living-in-a-van” sort of traveling, but “ok to nap laying down and there’s soda in the fridge” sort of traveling. “motel stop option” sort of traveling.
maybe we will.
maxx roused himself up. i followed and we headed to “battery harris east,” that place which offers the panorama of the surrounding area so well. i’ve posted many pics from this place over time, the last one being during our last snowstorm – you can find it here and compare the changes. pretty amazing, you bet.
i decided to send my friend a picture, so i set the camera to stun and ran across the platform -
i went down and found a trail i don’t recall having traveled. there were other paths branching from where we walked that were also new to me and i was excited about this. i never thought i knew it all out here, but i’m pretty familiar with a lot of the terrain. the dawning of a new season and new things i might capture with my camera was a nice thought. i found more sex-related imagery and posited that whoever blazed this trail may have the same thing on his/her mind as i did right when i clicked this…
or have i been looking for the womb again, that safe place where i can cease thinking and worrying and have my needs met automatically, something i’m not sure means life or death and if they are one and the same, the thought of which switched on a movie/play i recall seeing when i was what…? – twenty? entitled “steambath” that whirred and clicked inside my head for a few moments.
i’ll have to settle in a watch it again. it’s been half a lifetime.
and i clicked and walked some more, taking in the light and dark aspects of whatever is going on in my head. i sent some of this to my friend to give her a visual escape from the four walls she’s been confined to lately.
she’s got a bit more than a cold.
i do this to make us both feel a bit better.
it’s heart medicine.
drawing closer to now, some more meals, naps and and bodily functions later, we had a show with M.Lamarr, otherwise known as reginald when he’s behind the counter here.
i hadn’t been too good at documenting lately. shame on me.
i made it a point to charge the battery and slipped it in my pocket for that night. it was really great and my friend brendan from gigmaven even immortalized it with some video. me? i clicked away…..
which bring me to my last picture postings and closes out this game of catch-up i’ve been playing for the past hours interspersed with naps, meals, etc…
the stepkids played here the night before last and brought with them big white sheets and a projector along with pop melodies and harmonies that harken me back….never mind….geezertime will take over and i’ll never get this done…..
…..along with this visual goodness, it’s also wise to mention that one of the band members, dan along with clara who produce the empenadas we serve here. they’re quite extraordinary. the link tells you all about them and how they’re not what you find “just anywhere.”
they’re old-style, hand crafted, delicious, edible pieces of art.
we’re all about that stuff around these parts.
oh, and to my dearest friend, out there in the interwebness.
thanks. quite a year.
we are now, by the way, but that’s only gonna last a second, you know.