customer surface……

it was like a journey to a friendly planet.
the excitement and joy of super bowl forty five was too much for my cable box. i know that it was super bowl XLV because i liked how few roman numerals i saw whenever there would be a blurb about it.
when the game was over, so was my cable box.
i can’t wait till super bowl fifty.
it will be the fourth single-letter-roman-numeral-superbowl in all of football history.
hey, sportsfans – how many of you can name the other three?
…..but i digress.
i didn’t watch the game, not because i don’t like football.
it’s because i don’t like football.
i stayed upstairs at my computer screen and wrote a note about “then,” then wrote another note to my dearest friend who is or isn’t here or not,
then watched, “amelie,” because i think of her in such terms at times.

it’s a story about a woman who does good for the people around her.
that’s what my friend’s about.
the character in the film and the character in real life wear similar boots.
sometimes my friend would write to me in french and i would decipher our secrets through google translate.
but that’s neither here nor there.
i like this film because it’s a straw to grasp…..
then there’s yann tiersen’s score.
the director(s) – Caro & Jeunet – made amelie, delicatessen, the city of lost children and most recently, micmacs – well, one of them, anyway.
i probably spoke about these films before.
super bowl forty-five gave me opportunity to revisit those trailers and film clips.
this got me away from the story i was trying to relate; the one about the broken cable box, fort tilden, customer service and keith olbermann.
the picture above was taken from the top of the cannon placement that overlooks the surrounding area at fort tilden.
i climb to the top, stand on the wooden platform and take this same picture every season of every year.
look back here – you’ll see them.
i also make friends with other images as i find them, as you see below…..

only time will tell if these are photographed seasonally, relentlessly and obsessively.
my post-super bowl journey was to take a ride and exchange my cable box. maxx sat beside me as i traveled there, but the fates, restaurant supplies and other ideas would come into play leading me away from the cable company office and onto cafe-table levelers, driving around a cemetery where i remember a friend was buried, reaching flatbush avenue and heading to the rockaways.
i would dial up my friend, tom.
he was headed out to the same place, showing the area to a fellow iowan (if that’s what someone from iowa is called).
like minds would converge at the parking lot at fort tilden some time later.
there would be no other cars in the parking lot.
i knew there would no eduardo ciannelli-sounding lizard guy who looks like omar sharif this day, but rest assured, the next time we meet he’ll pass a remark about it.
you can bet the iowan farm on that.
my tit for tat relationship with the lizard people now hinges on this and though i can’t say for sure, it might be considered “sport,” or “entertainment,” for them.
i won’t deny deriving a bit of enjoyment from it myself.
but they’re not here and i am.
i would take photos in the depths of the cold, concrete bunker beneath the hill, looking out.
as i took this photo, a voice inside me said, “don’t go into the light…..”

after leaving my friends, i had 23 minutes to make it to “my cable company” to replace the cable box. i made it with four minutes to spare.
i got home, routed everything together and turned it on, reading the directions regarding the next thing to do.
“after booting the cable box, which should take ten to fifteen minutes, call the cable company and request to have the signal sent to the box….or something.
when the cable box said “turn on,” i did.
then i called the cable company.
the representative was a soft-spoken woman. she instructed me to turn the box to channel 3 and the television to 23. i said “that’s uhh…”-
“msnbc,” she answered.
“right! it’s the only news i’ll watch,” i said.
“me too,” she said, “i’m the only person i know who tivo’s keith olbermann,” she added.
she didn’t know and i would have to tell her.
“uhh, he’s not on anymore,” i told her, then explained all that happened since last she recorded the news. she explained she’d been busy as hell the past two weeks and didn’t know.
from there, we spoke about politics, economics and whatever else came to mind. it was comforting.
we exchanged names but i forgot hers.
i wanted to tell her how grateful i was to be able to talk to her.
it reminded me of other conversations, most notably with my friend who i can no longer seem to find…..

About stephen trimboli

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