Archive for October, 2009
Stuck between a gravel road and a backyard
Staging my own sit-in
for a ticket
When, the obvious question
Dream: I hold a bag of rice. Rustling noise, a mouse or a rat ( I prefer both) bursts from the bag, granules of rice twirling in its wake. Imagine a grain of rice spinning clockwise in the center of an atom. Each grain spun thus. I wake. Here is for closed eye dukes and dirty ducks.
Abdul and Ramone
Construction Paper Hallucinations
We stayed with Sarah in her Western Case Reserve University dorm setup after attending the Heartless Bastards show in Oberlin. Sarah was handing out boxes of colored condoms and that was how we came to meet her. She is a transplant from St. Louis studying international relations on her way to becoming an advocate for rape victims.
We stayed up until 4 am exchanging stories, discussion following the line of couchsurfing, roadtrips, the DIY house scenes in Madison, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Duluth and complaints about the assholery of the band Highlife. There is a nourishing positivity about Sarah and we can only hope she stops by Minnesota on one of her travels.
After hanging out with Sarah, we explored some of the thrift and antique stores in Cleveland finding a few rolls of undeveloped film and some eeky backalley beer toughs selling stained glass ripped out of churches.
The Detroit leg of the trip was cancelled which meant a 15 hour zip to Minneapolis on Interstate 90/94. I drove, consuming a cold can of Red Bull every three hours. Emily drinking what amounted to a jetpack cannister of lollipop flavored fizz which seemed to keep one awake by keeping them on the edge of nausea. Joe passed in and out of consciousness in the backseat.
We picked up hitchhikers Abdul and Ramone in the early a.m.’s because they had been pulled over by traffic patrol and forced to abandon their vehicle. We brought them back finding that they roamed the same neighborhoods in Minneapolis that we did. We wished them luck on their drive to Chicago.
The energy drinks make for chatterbox conversation. Why did we do the work we do? Chuck Close. The fascination with lines and image and context gradually swaying over to our own lives and the stories in the roots, in the veins: why our parents are the way they are. Money and breaks. And finally to love, what was it, what defined it, what made it feel so important and how something could feel so defined and undefined at the same time. To be at a loss for one’s self. The duality, the reality that everything is both alive and dead, fast and slow, real and unreal, human and inhuman and that the passions that govern all of us are within and without us, in our control and without it. Finally, “I don’t know.”
And somehow behind all of this some element of elegant guidance, like the tilt-a-whirl at the amusement parks round and round out of control but it sure was fun. And the roadtrip was certainly an element in it, a drive for something older, film, people, real people who shook your hand and listened and got drunk with you and pointed out constellations they thought were there.
And after four or five hours of conversation like this of things only understood in the shadows and the strange alignment that shadows allow, passengers curl up in their blankets sleeping on their hands. The driver is left to explore the wordless bands of am radio. These tunings sounding like wounded robot birds droning up and around what one imagines Venus to sound like in its canyons.
After fifteen hours of driving the only boundaries one has is the speed of the vehicle and the chattering white lines. Between the lines there is a dull sense of comfort, outside the lines small pangs of anxiety. Eventually the distance ahead tears into scraps of construction paper, light fuzzed edges, layered on each other in hues of black and blue-black. This until the realization that this wasn’t Tomah or some other fill station town but Minneapolis itself, in words, some part of home.