Goodbye Blue Monday

three years ago was the last time i caught one. it’s not that they haven’t been here, but i hadn’t reached out for this manner of celestial assistance, sub-atomic aid, bosonoid beatification….

funny how similar things can be, earth and sky…from small and delicate to galactic and beyond measurement.
(not to mention, what a treat to use the word “boson” with “authority” for the first time in a sentence…)
i also noticed that, since i last googled the word “moneystealer,” the republicans have glommed onto the word, using it to define the democratic agenda.

the above photo is the last gasp of a dying star.
now, it’s seeding the universe.
where was i when this started? probably right there!

but i…never mind…

i was sitting in front of where i live when it – the money stealer – drifted toward me, making me stand to capture it.
it settled in my palm, my fingers, slowly and clumsily, forming a cup over it.
i closed my eyes and wished, but it was for something other than money, making me wonder if i was breaking the rules i remember following half a century ago.
this was because all i could do was think of my special friend who, to the best of my knowledge, still breathes and thinks and feels and loves.
i whispered to the money stealer nestled in my hand, “screw the cash. see if you could cut a deal with the martians,” (who might or might not be the same creatures who dispense the money they take from planet earth when making a feast from their farming exploits).
i wondered, like any articulate fifty-seven year-old, seven-year-old, if they were one and the same people (the money-stealer connection and the grifting lizards from mars) and if they might be able to trim the odds, talk to the galactic pit-boss or maybe run enough plays out there on the green felt that lies beneath the fabric of all universes, along with each and every dimension of every other dimension, that might tip the odds so i can make it to my most important luncheon date, ever.

children, even old geezer-children like me who latch onto a glimmer of hope, even if only for a fleeting milli-of-a-millisecond, understands “the moment” even if it comes and goes before it’s recognized. this is because it happens on a nuclear level. i know this like i know my own name, whatever that is at this moment, in this place at this time.

it’s “the little engine that could” that changes the game on a bosonic-level.
(yes, i’ve grabbed the boson by the horns and i’m gonna ride it as much as i can this first time out)

it’s a good time to go to, “the glossary of mind and memory.”

38 – Verbal mediator – a word or phrase that forms a logical connection or “bridge” between two pieces of information; used as a mnemonic.

when i so-gently cradled that floating seed in my hand, the verbal mediator buzzing and whirring inside my head, connected me not only to a childhood moment on the corner of coney island avenue and avenue S, but to “the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension,” where varied protons and neutrons mingled with millions of presents and pasts, nows and thens, heres and theres.
as always, i used it in a sentence.

if this all seems a tad, “what the fuck?”…i’m sorry.

everything you need to learn is in the previous posts which are right here.
there’s even more stuff in future posts, but you’ll need to learn how to really search if you’re gonna find them.
good luck.
that’s all you’ll need.

last night, in anticipation of the 99-degree temperatures forecast for today, i bought a big bag of “popcorn, indiana” butter-flavored popcorn, flavored with real butter…..

…that might or might not be micro-wave-warmable in its bag.
they’re touting such info on their website but i see no evidence on the bag.
i was going to watch “dr. strangelove” this afternoon and forget the heat.
instead, i fell asleep and woke up ten minutes after the movie ended.
so, i turned to the weather channel for solace (or solarce, what with all this heat) and heard about severe thunderstorms heading into the area.
ok. i will chase a storm and hope for a downpour.
i find peace in such things.
i made it out to floyd bennett field, drove around looking for a suitable place to park, then decided the better show might not be at the bay, but rather the beach, so i exited the airport and crossed the bridge to fort tilden.
the lightning flashes over the open ocean looked impressive, but that was all there was and after a walk along the dunes, we headed back to the car.
it was after 8pm. we drove back into floyd bennett and with the cooling air, i decided “what a perfect time to jog,” so there we were, running along runway 15 for a half-mile. around that time, i remembered that i hate jogging.
a few days earlier, maxx went to the vet for a complete exam and i worried about the ticks that i may have missed after our many visits out here.
as i sat waiting for his bloodwork i shuddered, remembering the pbs documentary i had seen about a year earlier about lyme disease and the medical profession, scaring the bejesus out of me. there’s times when i’d pick the ticks out of maxx’s hair and from his skin, then hours later find others burrowing into my own scalp, leg or chest when showering.

ticks seriously freak me out.
they are the rats of the insect world.
they are the corporate raiders of the human world; machines of single-purpose, devoid of morals or conscience.
yep – this is today’s indictment on humanity or part of it.
my gentle reminder that this planet will be fine or finer without us.
that we’re not so important as we think we are.
that our finer qualities will always be dwarfed by the louder-mouths.
that’s how conservative newspeak works.
that’s how christian-conservative spirituality is marketed.

bullshit mixed with crocodile tears….

…is just muddy shit.

i had a long talk with my friend a night or two ago.
i sat in my car as the engine idled and the a/c churned coolness on maxx’s thick coat while we spoke about everything we hadn’t spoken about in months.
she and i go back about thirty years.
we had been involved, uninvolved, reinvolved, disinvolved, postinvolved – all these words that get a little red-squiggly line underneath them the moment the cursor spaces past them, immediately letting me know that this computer’s “spell-check” is not pleased with the choice of words or near-words i choose to employ.
i mentioned this once or twice before over the years.
i will no doubt mention it again. it’s what i do.

the heat of the past days sequestered buddy and maxx in my room at the back of the loft i call home, where a small a/c unit makes life bearable for their fur-covered personages.
they lie motionless, letting the cool air dropping from above lay upon them like a blanket….or something.

i’ve avoided speaking about politics lately.
i realize that right now, i hate politics almost as much as i hate the samsung intensity II cellphone i spoke of in the previous posting.
i had been listening with a piqued-ear about news regarding the democracy movement in egypt and how it’s being played in certain news cycles, mostly in the american media.
without being much of an expert in “political fartery,” a phrase i just made up and googled, leaving me to describe as my own, the entire “arab spring” has become a gaseous stank of silence, mis-direction and lies, taking over the bloom of hope and freedom.
i remember muttering something to that effect the week it happened. the egyptians who were filled with joy were about to trade-off oppressors.
the egyptian military that rules (and will continue to rule) the land of the pharaohs was created and trained by the american government back before and during hosni mubarak’s rise to power.
what this means is that everyone in the military over there are “old-guard-american,” and have strong connections to the pentagon who are not in a rush to hand much of anything over to anyone, but would have sooner given it to mubarak’s errand boy than anybody connected to the muslim brotherhood, but it didn’t work out that way.
the guy from the brotherhood won and all eyes will be on him every day.
so, either way, the population of that country continues to live in a vice.

those guys – the brotherhood – were nazi stooges and regional enforcers during world war two. they were also hardcore religious zealots.
i read about them a decade ago, long before they started appearing in the headlines again. if you want to learn about this, don’t just google their name and read what’s on top of the list – there’s a huge amount of selective bias covering both sides of the story.
dave emory is a brilliant researcher and his work in this field looms large in my non-professional estimation.
i think you can still listen to his work on WFMU.

…but back to political fartery;
the google notified me that i am the creator of this phrase, as the innernet has never seen these two words strung together.
as a result, i will now give my/the definitive definition, making me feel like king of a very small hill – or maybe just a methane-filled cloud – but what the hell, it’s great to be king of something for a sec, huh?

political fartery;
the act of exploding a “gaseous fuff” of nebulous explanation about what any-who says about any-what at any-time in full view of at least one member of an equally cloudy press.

but i digress….
the fartery i wanted to initially discuss was about the affordable care act – obama care – and how it’s been generating gas since day-one and it shows how hollering by means of money and righteous indignation tilts opinion in the world of the emotionally-explosive, yet totally uninformed and keeps stupidity not only in the game, but provides it with brass knuckles and shoulderpads, as if such a lack of knowledge is something you gain in playing or watching rollerball.

most of the opponents of obama care don’t even know what’s in it.
they hate it because of the guy whose name is on it.
they hate it because they were told to.
just how STUPID is that?
it’s just that simple. the teabag party is a pile of old white trash organized by hateful conservative money.
there’s a few uncle-toms (i gotta call’em like i see’em) and self-hating opportunists of various races that give this pack of creeps an air of legitimacy as a “grassroots, big-tent movement,” as well as some bible-thumping liars who know the lyrics to “yes, jesus loves me,” harkening to the days when black people sang that shit in their own goddamed chapels and kept to their own damned selves.
that’s what “we want our country back,” means.
don’t get me wrong – there’ve been great leaps forward regarding social change because of the civil rights movement – millions of southerners had grown weary of the george wallace state of mind – but the republicans did employ “the southern strategy” for a reason – hate lives and breeds quite well where envy and ignorance has a firm foothold. the democratic party lost the white south the day president johnson signed the civil rights bill, forty-eight years ago today.
sweet home alabama, arkansas, mississippi, georgia…etc.
yeah, right. as long as you keep the coloreds in line.
and oh yeah – keep the women stupid, barefoot and pregnant and make all their decisions for them.
…and while you’re at it, shove the gays back in the closet and
teach the children who can afford it and fuck the rest.
america, just like you want it, you fascist douchebags.

uhhh, where was i?
the message about the corporate state isn’t where i’m going here – it’s plain enough in the film and even more leading in the behavior of the republican/conservative parties the world over.
what’s happening in europe is connected to what’s happening here.
what’s happening in the far east is about what’s going on here.
it’s the same greedy bastards work in concert as they billow the air with stenchous plans and run life-support lines from government to business while severing the same between government and populace. multinational corporations are concerned with nothing more than the bottom line.
can you imagine corporate slavery?
it’s happening incrementally and most of these fine, upstanding americans are just hoping to ride the coattails of the well-to-do.
they’re hoping they’ll be lucky.
again – that’s what it’s really all about out there.
like i said last year – soon, the only message from them will be this – “bring out your dead.”
didn’t mitch mcconnell say as much on fox this weekend?


about a year and a half ago – give or take a few months – my verizon plan was up and the technology seduction came-a-callin’ with promises of a great *new phone (*i was too poor for an i-phone or one of those droid things) for signing on for another two year hitch with verizon, i got this phone – a samsung intensity II – for five dollars from the verizon store as my two-year upgrade.

within an hour, i hated this phone.
deep and abiding hatred.
every day for months, i would look at the device as it lay in the palm of my hand and state publicly, “i hate this phone.”
i will not list the reasons, as there were too many.
i only know that if you get one, you might understand.
i knew just how much when i went to australia last year and was filled with joy at not having a phone at all.
when i returned, i toyed with the notion of not having a cellphone ever again, but understood that it wouldn’t happen. i know me.
well, it (the samsung intensity I) stopped working a few days back.
the screen grew black with a message “in USB download mode,” in small, white letters at the top of the screen and “verizon bootblock” and a bunch of numbers on the bottom.
i called verizon and somehow got hold of a phone tech-guy who confirmed this – “your phone sounds pretty broken,” he said.
a sigh of relief mingled with a sense of panic regarding phone numbers. this shook me up till i realized that my previous device (that developed a glitch that seems to have disappeared) had most of these contacts.
finding the newer ones wouldn’t be much of a challenge.
after turning on the older phone, i noticed this;
it held 248 photos. it had 51 messages under “INbox” it had 31 messages under “SENT.”
some of them had little, blue padlocks next to them.
they were dated from january, 2011 – back.
some of the ones i had “locked” go back to late 2009 and early 2010.
the locked messages involve my dearest friend on the planet.
i can recall where and when each and every message came to me.

some people remind you of life’s gloriousness.
my dearest friend sits atop this thought for three years now and these rediscovered messages jumpstarted an emotional torrent as i began to read them.
other people are the polar opposite this.
i keep away from them as much as i can.
gratefully, the rest – most of them – fall in the middle; a gray area of laughter, smiles, grimaces and tears, simmering in a broth of daily experience.
i’m all of the above, but try to keep in the gray area as often as i can, though at times, with my history, i’m no doubt a magnet for darkness.
maybe it’s genetic.
maybe it’s something with my math – you know, the numbers out there that scroll silently through every nook and cranny of every universe, here and there, now and then, underscoring the stats that reveal all the luck, unluck and no luck that is the velvet rope we stand behind as we await the eternity theater showing of “everything everyone ever said,” starring everywhoever who ever was.
when you watch films while traveling on the eighth-electro-plasma-ocean of the ninth dimension, a place i haven’t given much digitime to, but what lingers purposefully whenever i’m enveloped by dreams where my dearest friend glints in and around my consciousness while i stretch out and try to touch assorted nuclei.

the photo above is the nuclei of a butterfly wing.
my first thought was this;
“is it a monarch?”
it might as well be “futureworld of a berrybush.”

it might be a christmas card.

whenever i look skyward, for no reason i can pinpoint, my friend comes to mind.

from the end of a ben and gerry’s “pistachio, pistachio” ice cream run (not one of my better ideas since diabetes2 kicked in), but would have kept it going if i could find more product.
friends who live in other parts of the borough brought any they could find.
a supermarket in greenpoint had a container covered in ice.
i knew nothing good would come of this ice cream, but bought it anyway.
i told myself that it would be fine.
in my heart i knew it was freezer-burnt, but you know how we humans are…
we lie to ourselves for the silliest things, cloaking us in comfort and hope like the promise of safety as we walk off a cliff…, at least i do.
“the fall doesn’t look too bad…it’ll be fine…i’ll just tuck and roll….yeah…,” certain such words will buffer and bandage this body and spirit.
or not.

this is utter nonsense, but it’s mine.

these thoughts remind me of a scene from “butch cassidy and the sundance kid,” that speaks to moving forward, regardless of consequence, whether things make a lick of sense or not.
they lead, historically, to decisions made regarding situations and people who entered my life and how this process allows me to make the same mindless miscalculations…”one more time”…but more about that later.

this plays to paths inside my hard drive all the time.

last week, there was a guy on the “facebook” who blurted this phrase in trying to explain himself to either himself or everybody;
“i just do things,” and i knew exactly what he meant and told him so. he was unsure if he was “an artist,” a phrase to some that might be overwhelming or confining.
i find it to be both and i’m sure he’ll carry “i just do things,” forever inside.
hopefully, he’ll keep doing them.

the two appliances (or parts thereof) in the photo below were having a conversation.

i heard murmuring while setting up the shot.
the washer said (or so it seemed), “…but that guy, he’ll never get it.”
who were they talking about?
i looked around. i was alone…or thought i was, then heard the clipped voice of that lizard guy.
you know who i mean – the one that sounds like eduardo ciannelli and looks like omar sharif.
“that was me talking about YOU!” he chimed mockingly.
“i thought it was in my head,” was my weary reply.
i was so off-balance, “where are you?”
“oh…i’m around…and yes, it was in your head. i love dropping files into your hard drive. humans are so entertaining,” he marveled, then followed with, “…as well as utterly delicious if properly seasoned.”
i paused, allowing the horrifying image to recede from my mind before asking, “where are you? what are you doing here? aren’t you more about being on the other side of the bridge?”
(the bridge i was referring to is the marine parkway/gil hodges memorial bridge. it connects a smaller land-mass to a larger land-mass that is actually all the same land-mass called “long island.”)

weeks float by……

where was i?
before this moment…fractiousness in an aging carcass with a hard-drive filled with glitches.
yup, that’s me…
the other side of the bridge and the lizard guy…yes.
he never materialized but stayed in my head long enough mock my clanky humanness, sure he never crossed the bridge and simply plunked that appliance-conversation in my head like he said he did.
an easy mark, that’s me, but to a grifting lizard, humanity is nothing more than a steady diet of honey-coated chumps ripe for the picking.
i’d never make the cut, thank goodness (a phrase i’m googling right now, and yes, it’s what i thought it was…), because of our now-lengthy relationship that didn’t end up with me being a meal and a suit – something that, if you’re new or just a casual traveler here, could be explained at the link.
i’ll add the talking-appliance moment to our history and call him on it in our next meeting.


onward and elseward;

some of you might know the cartoon that is my life;

in the 1980’s, because of my direction (or lack of it), i was granted two books in two years from two women who were handing me my walking papers.
i’m sure they meant well.
the books were particularly painful in a comedy-manic way.
i put the books in my cedar chest, the one that held cherished moments, good and bad, and moved on with my life, but would recall those feelings again when cancer came to visit.
me and my past are cordial, with occasional hellos and acknowledgments, whispers and utterances and even an occasional humbling, red-faced moment of utter shame and embarrassment, but it doesn’t get time-enough to gain root back into my soul.
sense-memory can mug you, believe you me. (i already googled “believe you me” years ago)
every day, my history sails off into the void and at best, might visit in an occasional dream.

then, when the social networking happened, it got even more “interesting,” but more about that later.

last week, while laying in a wide grasspatch that separates runways 24 and 6 with 1 and 19, (each runway has two distinct numbers at either end of them distinguishing the direction a plane would be taking off or landing on or from) out in floyd bennett field, i took the above photo.
i won’t say i was considering “the facebook” when i took it, but i was thinking about those books and the women who gave them to me.
i ought to explain how i got them before moving forward.
maybe i should have started with that from the beginning of this electroscreed, but that might compromise my inability to do things in an orderly fashion.
i’m overwhelmed by structure.
or, i am underwhemed by it.
the jury’s out on that one.
imagine that.
somewhere in 1981, a beautiful young woman gave me this book;

maybe it was because…as an artist, i did not art.
as a writer, i did not write.
learn to type. ummm…yeah, ok.
i had a semester of it in high school.
the ancient underwood in my apartment would make short work of that notion, what with the dried-up red and black ribbon that would not offer a letter-image when struck by any key, nor would attempt to find a replacement ribbon to change this situation.

oh well. might as well go drinking.
i was most adept at that.

while i’m at this keyboard and in order to put a “timestamp” of sorts on this moment, let me say this;
much of the republican party is rife with stupidity and hate. this means much hasn’t changed since obama won the WHITE house. the scared, white republicans still take this as a personal affront.
“take back america” indeed.
hmmm, what else?
after 40 years and under the threat of shutdown, american auto makers finally build cars almost as good as the japanese, koreans, germans, swedes…and uhh, gee – who else makes cars?
but we can say one thing with absolute certainty – our cars were better than the YUGO

american auto makers were able to do this in three years after decades of substandard, planned-obsolescent crap.
following the curve on this braindense business behavior (the 30-year “duhh”), when do you suppose financial institutions might smell the coffee?
you see, it’s all the same.
it’s business as usual until it’s unusual, then there’s the battle back to sanity. (there’s little sense in banks who steal your money, but they do that, don’t they?)
it’s maintenance as opposed to cure.
it’s thievery until moral upheaval.
it’s “moral hazard” until morally hazardous and so on…
i drift into these waters and when i do, i become sad and weary, gluing my eyes to all-news TV and NPR radio, forcing me out the door…

…back to where i could communicate with my dearest friend.
and it would be songs i’d sing and words that i’d write while hiking with maxx and camera.
from out here, i voice-mailed my rendition of a “the way you look tonight, (written by jerome kern) ” from “swing time,” one of the best astaire and rogers films.
a day later, i got a text message telling me that i have an absolutely horrible singing voice but she loved the song.
i thank her for making me brave enough to sing.
i couldn’t begin to list the other things i thank her for.

…but i digress, or wish i could.
i need to talk about those books i mentioned.
the other book….

…and the people who handed them to me.

the typing book and the person who gave it to me reappeared some time ago. when she mentioned the book, a wave of embarrassment settled in for a moment, followed by an admission that it was suggested by a member of her family and she still cringes at the thought of it.
we made amends and are close friends.

the “computing in DOS” book and the person connected to it recently reappeared after 20-plus years.
thanks, facebook. (please use sarcasm here)
after explaining how she dreamed i was dead, but managed to have a conversation with me anyway about how i affected her lifepath (she became an artist and maybe it was my fault or something), i was presented with another book – this time, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey.

i wondered how and why this was happening.
in an attempt to be…kind, i explained that we don’t really know one another after so many years and i have a little much on my plate to comment on this book suggestion.
it was better than saying, “WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING?”
in the end, my entry into her dreams, she explained, was probably the result of too much northeast winter night.
i ventured to say that this was the first time i was considered the result of an atmospheric condition.
i said that maybe an “excuse me for barging into your life,” might be in order, but owing to this book debacle, nothing might be better.
sometimes nothing is everything you need.


there’s a hiss and sputter behind the humm that accompanies me everywhere i’ve gone since december 22nd.
the word melancholia jumped the line in my head, milliseconds before typing “depression,” in the note-title.
preparing a literal disclaimer;
at the risk of tipping my hand, i’ll say this glorious sadness, this magnificent weight – the color sunset assigned me by my dearest friend on the planet when her departure was imminent was here, in this sky, somewhere…….

…while christopher hitchens still roamed (well, maybe not “roamed”) the earth. i bring this up because of the interview i was listening to while working in my space. entitled, “All Of Life Is A Wager” (the interview at the link), he, in the gray-throes of chemo, could have been comfortable in a candid conversation regarding life and death with me and my dearest friend.
once you’re in the game, you really get the lingo.
and the interview crystallizes this point – luck – and makes me feel that the green felt that i continually imagine everything, everywhere is carpeted with (you need only to scratch the surface) is part of the biggest, grandest casino that stretches over time, space and all good parking lots.
i bring up parking lots because of the conversation i had with that lizard guy (who looks like omar sharif and sounds like eduardo ciannelli) the last time i went to the beach where maxx frolics while i looked for the big tire (i still do that) and spoke to my friend out over the green sea (of green felt), though i fear at times that the roar of the universe might be getting in the way of our words.
i can’t not cancer too often and can only not when dwelling on other pains.

i consider the pain in my right arm and say, “lucky it’s not my left arm.”
for me, that’s all i need to say. richard pryor explains below;


“ball of fire”,

January 1st, 2012

booted the now “double G-4″ computer to life as i-tunes settled on bill evans and for a while i sat here wondering if polished jazz fit my mental and emotional workspace.
the cluttered desk, the darkened television screen, buddy (my buddy) resting on his expanded computer-top real-estate and no longer in danger of falling off a computer tower in his sleep.
(this happened before and it scared the bejesus out of me.)
the terrible maxx is on the floor laying strategically behind me, his leash beside him at the ready.
if i shift in my chair maxx will rise, leash in teeth.
maxx is insistent (aside from being crazy).
ball of fire” will begin shortly. i’ve seen it before and i’ll see it again.
i probably mentioned it before, too.
it’s from the wonderful world of black and white i inhabit as much as possible.
a few days back, someone posted this article about current color films that are “better in black and white,” so it’s here to share with you.
but back to this film;

upon viewing it this time, i learned and retained the name of two gangsters in the film – one was “asthma,” the other, “pastrami,” though the focus of the film was the slang they were throwing around.
i love the language of the 1930’s and 40’s.
this movie is swimming with vintage language and hokey plotlines;
it’s inspired by “snow white and the seven dwarves.”

i had a long talk with a friend of mine.
as we spoke, i drifted into a sea of “discontentedness,” a word-not-a-word, but a word that needs to be a word, in my opinion.
i shivered when i gave myself enough time to consider my prospects at this age.
it’s no wonder, this need to escape into black and white.

what a perfect segue’ – i have to say this everytime i shoot and click out there in gateway national recreation area;

this place is in the new york metropolitan are, in eyes’ view of manhattan. imagine that.

you wouldn’t think i’d be walking through a blizzard when i took this picture, but i sure was.

it’s been going on for a while.
day or night, clear or cloudy sky, it doesn’t matter.
it’s sortalike strolling through tiny, magic snowstorms, the kind where snowflakes explode and tingle surreptitiously upon my cheek and eyes, causing my hand and fingers to search for these phantoms and wonders at points of impact, something the passerby might construe to be a “facial tic” or small madness on my part. i move slowly and casually to mask my anxiety which probably makes me look like a junkie.

i guess there’s no graceful way of straddling dimensions.

i consider these moments to be utmost magnificent windows into dreams and wishes, those places my eyes find each time i blink.
sometimes, i find myself in the darnedest places in the bat of an eye.
for a moment, as my fingertips searched for the phantom snowflake, i wondered if there was a game afoot being played by that lizard guy – the one who sounds like eduardo ciannelli and looks like omar sharif (or any of his associates) – and if my low-edged humanity, that which keeps me safe from being rendered a meal and a suit by these intergalactic gourmand hustlers, was being taken for a ride.

last week, in the blink of an eye, i found myself in a room in a house. i remember cream-colored drapes billowing gently at an open window as a radiant, dark-haired, petite individual sat in a rust-colored vinyl armchair, the kind familiar to hospital waiting rooms and state-run offices, next to it.
“do you come here often?” her gruff, whispery voice inquired.

i opened my eyes.
i walked forward, raising my camera and lowering myself so i could shoot just above maxx’s point of view. i had no reason to do this. it was a whim.
it was my homage to the canine-point-of-view.
i blinked.
“only when i masturbate,” i answered.
she laughed her conspiratorial laugh, the whispery kind akin to cartoons i’ve known.
a waft of peppermint drifted up my nostrils.
“yes. a hefty shower,” i said. “is dr. bronner a friend of yours?”
the sun was bright this afternoon of national parkery, a day when i went from airfield to beach to ruins to paths, all the while being touched by snowflakes from another storm entirely.
my mint-flavored friend, someone of near-legend returned to focus when i sat on a plank and listened to the breeze…

because time has its own rules in relation to these odd travelings of mine (at times), i felt safe in knowing that if i were to stay in this room with her, time would hold to its rules, meaning there wouldn’t be any.
the blink of an eye is the blink of an eye, as it goes.
it’s pointless to measure time when having these conversations.
i blink.

i owed beachtime to maxx.
i worked in the house all day trying to feel at home in my own space. this is not the same as when i’m not feeling, “at home” in my own skin or “at home” on this planet; besides, i have buddy and maxx to consider andi’ve been getting “visitoritis” because my place was becoming a “storagespacery,” two words not deemed words yet, though they’re fine with me, which brings to mind something i haven’t considered in ages – the glossary of mind and memory.
this decision was made days ago, but i can’t seem to get it together worth a damn.
i awoke this day.
that was enough for me.

39. – Visual imagery – The process of forming mental pictures of objects or ideas.
reading my morning e-mails and facebook notifications, i clicked a link about the federal reserve, a 7-trillion in bank loans at the time of TARP and dennis kucinich, triggering visual imagery unleashed in my head, remembering how the likes of kucinich, ross perot and “unsafe at any speed-nader,” were reduced – in astonishingly quick order – to caricatures of political buffoonery.
there, i used it in a sentence.

this is/was automatically-triggered by the two political parties, the press and media who give a skewed and distorted “critical look,” at “outsiders” when necessary.
i see this because i participated in it simply being here. i saw perot as a crackpot, after suggestions in that direction.
same thing with kucinich. i’ve been educated to believe that any third party is a crackpot party.
remember lyndon larouche.

before proceeding, here’s my disclaimer;
i’m as qualified to be leader of the most powerful nation on earth as almost every current republican candidate, with the exception of newt gingrich.
he’s as smart as he is evil and he’s very evil.

a dimwit like sarah palin (remember her?) and the current cartoon characters the republican party trotted out this year – bachmann, cain the minstrel (yes, he is), perry and newt the catholic – are considered “real” to an entire electorate when there’s absolutely no substance to them.
gingrich has substance.
he’s made up of cancerous lies and hate and right now, he’s top of the pops with this party of scared white folks.
it’s these same people, for the most part, who put george bush (the cheerleader) into office – twice. remember the perils of the independent voter who wants things fixed yesterday.
whether it was stolen both times is immaterial; the simple fact that it ever got that close is testament to ignorance and misinformation as well as the stupidity and collusion of the other party.
john huntsman, the sanest voice i’ve heard amid the propped-up beautitudes of the grand old party is considered not to be considered.

the occupy movement is getting it from all sides, especially by law enforcement and surreptitiously, by our own government.
there’s a massive game of “good-cop, bad-cop” going on here
and the good cop wants nothing more than to hold onto the status-quo or at most, toss them a financial bone, but keeping the population under the thumb of servitude and debt.
there’s no win here, least of all for the 99% percent, students or the OWS.

but i digress…

fuck it – this post is old

the Guarino home – and this is only part of it;

Augie Maurello died three days after Thanksgiving, 1988. He was found beneath an Otis elevator car, the kind they have in high-rise buildings on the upper-east-side with a 2500 pound capacity that was indeed, filled to capacity. In a freakish moment, instead of coming to a stop in the lobby like the illuminated button commanded, the elevator car slowed, but continued to the basement where it stopped on what sounded like a crate of cantaloupe. That was Augie.

Apparently, the human ribcage being broken up in its skin- sack sounds sorta-like unlucky cantaloupe, but that’s neither here nor there. When the elevator stopped, the door opened and the annoyed tenants left the building through the basement. No one would know they were standing on a dead guy until later when the elevator mechanics arrived and found him and called the police. When the tenants found out about Augie, they were no longer miffed. They shuddered and were sickened, once again proving the power of information.

There was a big investigation. This could have been a mob thing or a union thing or a mob-union thing or just an Augie thing. Mister Maurello, in addition to being an elevator mechanic, was a low-level wise-guy who lived in a neighborhood filled with low-level-wise-guys. He was not a nice man, either to his wife or his children, but a saint to his capo (or “mob-boss”), his peers and his “women.” He loved the film, “Goodfellas,” and knew some of the actual characters from the story.

Someone who knew the cops on the case said all they could do was scrape him up and hose the rest away. His remains were subject to official scrutiny by crime labs and DNA collectors for almost two weeks before being released to the family which consisted of Connie, his wife of fifteen years; his twelve-year-old son Augie jr. and Celeste, their four-year-old “surprise” daughter—a point brought up on Thanksgiving by a drunk Augie when his daughter refused to eat the raisin and sausage stuffing, climaxing in tears and wails at the table. “Celeste, you’re the mistake that keeps on giving,” he slurred from his chair at the head of the table while mixing C&C cola into another glass of red wine. Celeste turned to her mom who was wide-eyed and speechless. “Mommy, what does Daddy mean?” she asked. Augie Jr. howled with delight, pointing at his sister, “miss-take – miss-take – mom’s unwanted stom-ach ache!”

But now, everything was different. Daddy was dead and Christmas was ten days away.

The body was transferred to the Gaurino Funeral Home on Flatlands avenue in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Needless to say, it was going to be a closed-coffin. Gaurino’s is a middle-income, family-run funeral home. The owner’s house is located across the street and every December the front yard of the two-story ranch-style home becomes a winter wonderland of motorized Christmas vignettes complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a sleigh with reindeer (complete with Rudolf and his brightly-lit red nose), elves working in their workshop, Frosty the Snowman and more. You can’t NOT see this as you enter the funeral home.

The grieving Maurellos arrived and set up grieving shop. Connie ran out of tears days ago. She was grateful that Augie’s parents were already dead and his brother Charlie was upstate doing eight years in the Dannemora Correctional Facility. Charlie was also a low-level wise guy who wasn’t as lucky as his brother until now. He was still here, Augie was not.

Connie did a quick emotional inventory. She figured she was on the fourth or fifth stage of grief. She didn’t have them in any particular order. It was all too blurry. At 7pm, she was stationed at the chapel door, her children to either side, her mind hovering somewhere between “acceptance,” “glee,” and “please kill me now,” when the first guests arrived to offer their condolences.

The weight and gravity of the night needed to be recalibrated for everyone who came. Augie was gone for two weeks already and everyone had begun to move on. Because of this, people were less convincing in their heartfelt-ness regarding Connie’s loss, particularly her mother and father who, in light of whispers about their deteriorating relationship, were quietly delighted with these events.

At eight pm, Sal and Maria parked their Plymouth in the lot adjoining the funeral home on the opposite side of the building where the Christmas display was. The car’s back door opened, releasing their eleven year-old son Nicky and Louise, their five-year old daughter. Sal and Maria were among the Maurello’s oldest friends because of the the proximity of their homes (a block away), the age of their children and Connie and Maria’s high-school days.

Connie’s big secret was that her daughter was totally planned. When Maria became pregnant with Louise – something they considered “a wonderful surprise” – Connie orchestrated the “Celeste project.” Augie’s death was as much a mistake as his daughter’s birth, if you know what I mean. His death would end the use of that word regarding their daughter. Tonight, as they walked across the parking lot, Augie jr., at a loss for words, began to taunt her sister again with, “miss-take,” and was solidly smacked across the head by his mother who, through clenched teeth said, “call your sister that again and i’ll cripple ya’.” She said this while pressing his cheeks together until they almost met in the middle of his mouth.

Sal, Maria and the kids walked from the parking lot and were immediately drawn to the huge Christmas display across the street. A scratchy rendition of “deck the halls” came out of a set of old speakers placed atop a display that had a group of yuletide carolers swaying back and forth in mechanical meter. Behind the crackling music, you can plainly hear the whirr and click of mechanical gears and pullies. The Gaurinos put the same display up for almost thirty years with little change. It was charming and old-worldly. Looking at it made you think of music boxes and The March of the Wooden Soldiers.

Sal, a carpenter and contractor by trade, sized up the display to be in excess of one hundred feet long and over a thousand square feet in total area.
He silently priced out the job in wood, aluminum framing and plexi-glass. It was instinctive. It was what he did. He shoo’ed away this thought and before everyone could get too wrapped up in the window scenes, he said, “C’mon, not now,” and guided his family back across the street and into the funeral home. They walked across a large common area, glancing at the other chapel rooms—there was one other wake in progress—before seeing Connie. They smiled and hugged. The children bolted toward each other, finding comfort in familiarity.

Sal and Maria stood talking to Connie, asking how she was bearing up; this was more about how the gauntlet of death unleashed itself upon her family than it was about Augie. He was old news. I mean, he’s been gone two weeks already.

Connie recounted detective-talk and police interviews and questions and business cards from investigators and members of the organized crime task force. As she spoke, she looked down. She wanted to lay down where she stood—right there on the burgundy, thick-pile-commercial carpet—and go to sleep.

Maria steered the conversation to the future, and Connie became more animated because of the potential for a new life; a new page. She raised her eyes. Sal excused himself and walked over to a group of men who reminded him of himself. Augie Jr. and Nicky disappeared—probably outside—while little Celeste sat on a chair at the end of an aisle and stared at the flower-draped box while Louise sat beside her. They were silent. Connie looked at her and wondered if she understood the Augie-in-the-box-thing.

The night went on for another hour or so. People chatted. There was hushed laughter with the occasional squeak of children.

Connie thought about how “this was it.” This thing tonight, this funeral at ten tomorrow, this burial at noon. Done, done and done.

Gradually, the fifty-or-so people who had signed the guest book gathered themselves and their others and found Connie to say goodnight. She thanked them for caring and made half-hearted, “maybe” plans for the future. Maria’s words floated in and out then back into her head.

“Huh? what?” Connie asked, her eyes re-focusing on her friend.

“I said we’re getting ready to go, hon,” Maria chimed. ”You ok?”

“Yeah, I’m okay,” Connie answered. “Just worn out.”

“You want us to wait around? Want us to take you’se home?”

“No – I got the car. We’ll be fine.”

Sal gave her a hug while Maria did the same with the kids. “We’re gonna go ‘cross the street,” she said, tying her kerchief. They left. The other wake emptied, too. Connie and the director stepped into the small office in the main room. They spoke a little while. The chapel was emptying and partially dark.

When Connie returned, Celeste was asleep, her head on her brother’s lap, sitting on a couch in the main room. She stepped over and lifted up her daughter, her ringletted hair resting on her mother’s shoulder. Almost whispering, Connie apologized to her son for hitting and threatening him about “that word,” but asked him to please never use it again, because it’s hurtful and “your little sister might be hurt-enough right now, OK?”

“Okay, Mom,” he answered. She stroked his cheek lovingly.

Walking out, they passed the director who smiled sadly. Connie wondered if he had that smile down to a science…then guiltily dismissed her thoughts.

Exiting the funeral home, she looked across to the Christmas display. A couple was walking past it chatting and pointing.

Augie Jr.’s eyes asked and Connie’s answered. Smiling, they crossed the street to the big Christmas display. Celeste raised her head from her mother’s shoulder and awoke to a winter wonderland and a crackling rendition of “Joy to the World.”

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