Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So I am going to get to more substantive posts soon. However, in the meantime, I just want to provide some more signs of life that I, and this blog that lives off of me, are both alive. So I am going to link you to a website of a man(boy? kid?) named Christoffer Delsinger who comes through Kittens Ablaze, one of the bands who played the Brooklyn Invitational. Mr. Delsinger took some fine photos of the event and you can see them at HIS WEBSITE. Rich Lee and I both thank Chris for taking these photos and perhaps we will even meet this legendary person someday.

In the meantime, the NBA Draft comes up this Friday. The Wilco album is released next Tuesday, June 30 and then we have the Fourth of July weekend. Summer has definitely kicked in. Stay tuned for the Acoustic Rooftop Barbeque and the End of Summer Ice Cream Social, which will be coming your way from the two guys who drove to Washington D.C. and back in ten hours to pick up art for this man and who brought you the Brooklyn Invitational.

Shill, shill, shill.

Now, the next installment of "From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt."


I feel a little drunk but I’ve been drunker. Taaake and eaat. I wonder if Liza can smell the church on me. She asked me if I was like dad and I said no. I think that is the right answer. No, it definitely is. I’m nothing like dad. If she was asking me if I was a drunk then the answer is, “No, I’m not a drunk.” But then again, dad wasn’t a drunk either. He was and then he wasn’t. Now he was again. Rather he is again. What does that make him? What would he be? I think that is a question we’ve all tried to get at.

“Have you been packing?” Liza asks me as we release our embrace. She smells like lavender, or what I imagine lavender to be. Flowery, soft, like rainwater maybe because she’s been soaking and marinating in the scent standing outside so strangely. I feel good in this warm wet afternoon. I stretch my arms out again and Liza looks at me strangely. My pants are damp.

“No, not really. I guess I should before James yells at me.”

Liza smiles at me.

“Sorry, Jimmy-boy,” I try to say like a gangster but I feel a little foolish. I don’t make the jokes. Dad does or James will sometimes or Maggie skewers us with her sarcasm and wit. That is the formula, that’s how it works very simply.

“Do you think it’s a good idea to let dad go ahead with leaving the house behind?”

Its not a good idea and I know that. I mean you can’t just give up a place like this. It’s more of an investment than a house. The finely done stonework here around the pool, the little waterfall that falls from the hot tub into the main pool itself. Also the landscaping around the front walk and the stone patio in the front. I watched those Mexicans do it. They weren’t really Mexican. I talked to them and gave them beers. Dad told me to do that. They were from Guatemala some of them, others from Ecuador. No one is really a Mexican; you have to find out the truth, the real story about where someone is from. I think that’s something dad always cared about. Maybe he cared about it too much when he was younger.

You look around this backyard and at the big white shape of the house itself with the black shutters. They’re really navy, though, I think. It is an investment. That’s what people do when they get older, they make nests, nest eggs, they put their money in something. Mom believed in that, putting your money into real estate, your real estate, something extremely personal and I bet they did make a lot of money from when they first moved in here years ago. Things only get more expensive as time goes on. I think its because people forget about how things originated and keep guessing at what everything costs until they become lost in values. That’s not true. Its all based on markets, demands, supplies, loans, mortgage rates and freezes. I’m just thinking the way mom would. I look over at Liza and mess my hair up at bit with my hand.

“No, it’s not a good idea. But I think its what dad wants.”

“I know that, but I mean if he’s going to lose money on it or mess up the plans mom had then maybe we should stop him.”

I look past the pool to the corner of the house where the blackberry bushes are. I could go for a handful.

“Let’s pick some blackberries.”


“Blackberries.” I nod my head in their direction and slide my hands into my khaki pockets feeling debonair. Feeling like George Clooney feels.

In the darkness of my eyes I see the flashing of the train in the sun. I see Christ on the cross and the priest in white and black with his purple Lent sash. The train is silver and it streaks blue. The wire and antennae above strike for a moment and sparks leap out and rain down around me. Just a chance encounter or are things planned like that like tracks everyday? The train is moving down the line and its night I watch the red lights on behind. The gap between the platforms is a gaping hole that wants me to step down into it one way or another. Where am I? Who will save me?

“No, I want you to tell me what you think.”


“I think that even though it’s wrong, its what dad wants and he’s entitled to it after all of this time. After spending most of mom’s life with her, loving her and doing exactly what she wanted of him.”

I realize that I’m breathing sort of heavy. Liza seems satisfied with that answer. She looks over to the blackberries too and nods. Rain drips off the gutter and a breeze picks up a strand of her hair on the side of her head, lifts it, drops it.

“You are a little drunk aren’t you?” She asks me.

I laugh. I can’t help it. “Maybe.”

“Let’s pick some.”

We walk alongside the pool. There are leaves and silver reflections of the trees and the grey sky on the surface. We pass the back windows and I can the light of the den on and dad’s shape seated in the recliner. It’s so hard to read him. I think we connected sitting at the table. I can’t know what he’s feeling. Is trying to wrong?

We step down the little hill by the deep end of the pool and walk to the gate. Liza lifts the latch, we pass through, and it clanks. So many times that little piece of metal hit the other pole of metal and made a noise. Time passes and it becomes memory, routine and music. But it’s just a sound. Is it special because I have pictures in my mind to go along with it? Because I see a slideshow of us growing up. I see Liza tiny in a neon pink one-piece bathing suit her hair whitish blonde like it used to be. Now she slides along the wet grass next to me.

“What are you doing here?” I ask her.

“You’re so strange, Tom.”

“You should be at school, you don’t need this.”

“I do need this. I have to be home for this. What are you talking about?”

I shake my head. She shouldn’t go through with this. She should be away, be having fun. It’s the beginning of school. Things never get more beautiful or more optimistic than at the beginning of a school year of any school year. You dread going back, but once you are there the first month is like no other feeling, no mixture of emotion anytime else. At least that’s how I always felt. But then, I never went to college.

We walk up to the berry bushes. There are many dead and rotten ones on the dirt below the bushes. There are some confused one’s that still aren’t ripe and others that look just ripe. I reach out and pick a few. I look at them in the palm of my hand – five. All of their little circular pockets of juice. It’s my favorite fruit. Liza pushes her palm up to her mouth and chews the berries. She shows her hand, its purple black like a scab or more like that sweater mom got me for Christmas when I was thirteen.

“Still taste good. A little sour.”

I look down at the berries.

“It’s something simple.”

Liza nods and reaches her hand to pick more. She grabs one that is full. It looks ripe, delicious and perfect. It even shines a little bit like cartoon fruit. She holds it between her forefinger and her thumb regarding its shape, twisting it, trying to see it from all possible angles. She extends her hand to me and I look at it.

“I’d eat it in a second.”

She looks down at and spreads her fingers out. She flicks her palm and the berry pops up. She catches it in her mouth like a child. Like we all used to do. Chewing, she spits a bit of purple on the ground.

“A little sour.”


She swallows the rest.

“Why didn’t anyone tell me about dad’s accident, Tom?”

“Because mom wanted to spare you the knowledge.”

I have a tendency to spit back immediately when I am offguard. I couldn’t help it. She wanted to know.

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