Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Just a Follow Up

I was rereading my post from yesterday and it didn't seem to have come out as well as I had hoped.  The idea I am trying to convey comes out a bit shallow and more generic than I have it in my head.  Maybe using sports to set the example is not the best means of expressing what I want to.  In any event, I'll get it all out there at some point for you all to read and smile at in amusement while thinking, "Jesus, this guy hasn't figured these things out already? Why am I even reading this? I should be watching Lost."  Well, I heard that Lost sucks this season so the joke will be on you.

But these blog posts don't even matter when we get mudslides to go along with more and more earthquakes.  Everyone is talking about how this latest earthquake in Chile caused the earth's axis to alter and shorted the length of the day.  I trust the scientists, but this theory comes awful close to Daylight Savings on March 14 (OK, I know terrible joke).  The whole earthquake situation has me thinking about Voltaire's Candide, that amusing little book full of the mockery of Liebnitz.  "Everything is done for the greater good."

I wish the Chileans the best.  I used to work with one or two in my dad's warehouse.

In recent news, I an my writing partners have finished writing all of the sketches for our first episode of the comedy show and will be doing all the filming as the weather gets nicer.  Fueled on by The State and plenty of hangovers and coffee, I think you will be truly inspired by the stupidity.  Believe me, your patience will almost assuredly not be rewarded - so, if you like being treated badly, then your patience will be rewarded.  See how that all works?

Oscars coming up.  Maybe I'll do a play by play of those things to brighten things up around here with a little comedy post or two.

Just finishing up Look Homeward Angel and Family Album so I can do my little recent reading recap.  I finished up A Fan's Notes already.  So, of course you will get my thoughts on all these things. Why? I don't really know.

I'll be thinking as always of the next music piece to write.  I'd like to stick to a newer album or band, but I may have to jump back to a "classic" album.  I may even tackle my fathomless feelings for the music of Gram Parsons.

Also, I couldn't help it and had to start sketching out the beginning of my Third Novel.  I've got a plot set-up and I know what the last scene is going to be, but of course this will all change as it goes along.  Right now, the main knot to untangle is how the story should be told, as in from what perspective.  I've had the plotline for awhile and once you have a story, you need to look at it from its varying points of view in order to heighten its character, shape and effectiveness.  I'm telling you, I've got ideas.  I'll sell them too. Gotta get that green, man, so I can buy some green - Charlie Sheen.

Finally, a new blog recommendation to follow.  This one is close to the vest.  Too Bad I Like It.   Alright, its my mom's blog.  So show some respect. 

Always new stuff coming out. So stick here to read, laugh, laugh at, send to your parents, send to your parents' parents, and send to your uncle who you only see at some holidays but who works for that big studio in L.A. and who is looking for that kid with the good movie idea called "Reverse Major League."

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

Maggie sat down and Tom gave his father a pat on the back.  The girls had gone youngest to oldest, so it seemed appropriate to him, as though it were a tradition or ritual, for him to go next as the youngest male.

    “My turn, dad.”

    Ben nodded.  Tom felt that his father’s gaze lasted a long time on him.  It was only a brief passing of seconds, but Tom’s attention extended the moment and he turned to the casket and kneeler.   He approached with his hands held piously locked right in front of his groin. 

    The hymn “Take and Eat” was stuck in his head.  When his body was posed piously the way it was, this hymn always came to mind.  The hymn’s tune had a murmering quality, it bubbled along and even the high notes did not reach so high.  He’d heard women sing it high in church, but it didn’t suit the song and it did not suit him.  The refrain was most appealing to Tom; he enjoyed the simple repetition, the actions of the title.  “Take and eat,” he could see that very clearly in his mind.  In fact, it reminded him a favorite poem of his.  “Love (III)” by George Herbert:

        Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
                    Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
                    From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
                    If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
                    Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
                    I cannot look on thee."
  Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
                    "Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
                    Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
                    "My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
                    So I did sit and eat.

His mother used to recite that poem to him; his mother smelled like roasted beef and garlic. When Tom saw himself as a child that is what she smelled like.  That odor association was him then, but Tom was not him then, he was him now and his mother did not smell like meat in the oven, she smelled like nothing.  That smell was new to him.

    Tom kneeled his right knee into the cushion and kept his left one bent.  He wiped his face with his arm.  Then, placing pressure on the wood bannister with his forearms, he lifted his body slightly up, the way he did when he was a child and not who he was now kneeling. He let himself drop.  He placed his forehead to his knuckles.  He thought of the words of the poem instead of how it looked on a page.  His soul was drawn to the phrase “yet my soul drew back,” because he always marvelled at the idea of a soul drawing back, because he often felt something similar in himself but could never give word to it in that way.  It seemed to him that this was one area where he was not alone, that many people also felt their souls drawing back, receding from themselves and the world,  but not knowing it – not knowing what to call the sensation.  Tom imagined Liza sitting behind him in her chair smoothing the black skirt she wore.  There was something meek about her.  He imagined her smoothing and then crossing and recrossing her legs, a faint white on her kneecap.  He saw himself the way he used to look, sitting on the floor of the kitchen, listening to the stove click and rain fall on the skylight.  He heard his mother’s voice. “I the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear, I cannot look on thee.”  It was the flatness of her vowels that he remembered.  He heard the words, saw them collect their strange shapes in the darkness and he saw his sister, as she was then – a little girl, who knew nothing about guilt or shame, but who now carried it with her, if only vaguely. 

As Tom saw his sister’s childsbody and his as well, he could see no connection with his kneeling form and her sitting form.  If a stranger saw the way he looked now and the way he looked then, there would be no recognition.  However, those he knew, connected the two distinct objects by a thread called time - he wasn’t inclined to call that memory.  Yet those two people were two different people: him then and him now.  His father, when looking upon him,  held his gaze because of this.  Because Ben felt that the two different objects he saw were the same thing when known and seen from a certain perspective.  Tom tested himself with this sensation.  He did not know himself so he was a stranger to that other self, which time told the world was him.  He thought of the bubbles in the club soda he had drank the night before with Natalie.  The smell of the tuck of her neck came to his nose.  What  remained constant so that he was the same thing last night that he was today? It was not just the passage of time, because the passage of time meant that the object was the same thing seen from a different moment.  However, that object sitting on a screened in porch looking at a girl with a pointed chin and sharply cut brown hair, drinking club soda, was not the same object kneeling, looking at his mother in a casket.  The boy on the floor who smelled roasted meat was not him.  Yet, Liza was still his meek, blonde sister.

    Tom rubbed his knuckles into the space between his eyebrows.  He smelt the moistness between his fingers – it reminded him of envelope glue.  What also disproved his notion was his mother.  In the moment, her life was complete. Every time from her life was now frozen and wrapped by the cool body that lay in the casket.  Even though he was not the boy who sat and listened to her feet step lightly on the kitchen throw rugs, she was the same woman dead that she was then.  She was the same woman who, earlier in July when he had come over unannounced to weed the gardens in the middle of the night, wiped his brow when she found him sitting, sweating on the back porch at seven in the morning.  Tom turned back, he looked past his family.  He saw quickly his Uncle Connor, Aunt Erin.  No one would see Rose as a procession of times any longer, she was now all times.  There would no longer be a then and now, there would only be this – the culmination, blackness, completeness.

He hummed the tune to “Take and Eat.”  He didn’t know how his father saw his mother.  He had an idea, but there was nothing in him – nothing that drew his soul – to feel the confidence to say “This is how my father sees my mother.”  Then, after turning the idea and feeling his knee grow numb, Tom felt he could understand the mystery he felt towards his father.  While anyone looking at his mother saw in this one moment all of the moments they had known her, his father never needed a moment to draw up all of the substance and outline that made her the presence she was.  For him, there was no moment; how does a husband look at or remember his wife’s funeral?  Tom felt his father looking at him. He heard his mumbling, “My strange son.  My strange boy.”  However, they were both strange.  Their strangeness was in the way they saw things.  At that moment, Tom was as close to and as far from understanding his father as he’d ever been.  His eyes watered slightly and he felt tremors of coolness from his neck to his ankles.  He opened his eyes, closed them and opened them once more.  What Tom wanted was to feel Natalie in the room, feel the electricity of her walking on the red carpet with the white vacuum lines.  But he knew she wasn’t there.  He crossed himself and said “I love you.”  He rose.

As Tom returned to his seat, he looked at James.  The few steps Tom took seemed to elongate in their duration.  He saw his brother and he saw Eve.  Tom was tempted to laugh when he looked at Eve.  It was amazing, to him, that he could have believed that he loved her.  He wasn’t sure if that emotion he had was truly a romantic longing in direct relation to his want of love and of the warmth of a body, or if it was something more mature – a vision of her true character and true beauty, that even though she was beautiful to his eye, it was more the way she sat in relation to other things which made her beautiful, the way she moved and fit into the world.  He let that thought run along the edges of his skin.  It made him tingle, and once again he thought of Natalie.  He thought of the curl under her neck, the way her eyes were moist in the dim porchlight and how he wanted to curl her hair behind her ear and did.  The chair eased his body to a stop and he crossed his right leg over his left knee.

No comments:

Post a Comment