above is a portrait of a man and his dog.
i’m the block of wood.
if i could put up a cartoon balloon next to the block of wood, it would read, “uhhh…”.
next to maxx’s head, it would read “…sigh.”
friday started somewhere else…..walking on freight-train tracks that run below the kosciuszko bridge, next to one of those immensely polluted bodies of water that runs between brooklyn and queens’ industrial world whose heyday never envisioned the words nor the thought of “superfund sites.”
i’m walking perilously close to a place where a massive oil spill that was lying hidden for about thirty or forty years, but i’m not on my soapbox about anything here.
i’m just setting up a story, so it is.
last time i saw that soapbox, it was lying on the shore, mired in an oozing, slick blackness where all the old bottles were.
i’m comfortable with the notion that humanity is going to “hell in a handbasket,” but this wasn’t about that. i took this walk to revisit a place that holds oddly-fond memories for me. it has nothing to do with anything concrete, really.
it has more to do with a thought about someone, but sometimes that’s all you need. that and walking on railroad tracks.
…..and because of these connections, i can re-state that humanity will never survive its douchebags.
there’s just too many of them.
besides, if this happens, how are the grifting lizards going to eat as well as they’ve become accustomed to?
and how will those other aliens – the ones who scoop up big chunks humanity at a time and use them as batteries – going to replace their power source?
will humanity be rescued only to be farmed like veal and corn?
the grifting lizards from mars rely on the scam and the hustle.
they find that extra flavor in the greedhound’s arrogance and mock-self-assurance based in humanity’s carnivirous nature to its own kind.
they missed the boat on daddy madoff but did get the son who didn’t hang himself.
that lizard guy who sounds like eduardo ciannelli (and looks like omar sharif) told me that the other son was perfectly scrumptious, or so said the lizard who tore into him that fateful day when i saw him pass me and maxx on the beach road heading to the parking lot.
i still shiver when i recall the blood-splashed car windows that day. yikes.
that story is somewhere along this digital scroll.
either i’ll be right or i’ll be wrong and between you and me….i don’t give a hoot.
but i digress…
before i went on this memory-connection tear, i was walking on the railroad tracks singing songs by the kinks (to myself), occasionally looking back at my dog and making sure we were not about to be victims of a freight train accident; i have a fear of dying a freakishly-stupid death.
the song that played in my head was called “days” by ray davies. it no doubt was being sampled in my mind for a myriad of reasons. i’ve been listening to the kinks the past few days, particularly the “arthur” album – but that i’ll explain later.
from there, i ran through my audio history with them, recalling their show at the fillmore east. it was 1969 or 1970.
the opening band was “fairport convention.”
they stole the show.
the kinks had technical problems; then ray and dave davies had an argument onstage. they did that a lot back then and apparently still do.
i would end up youtube-ing “DAYS,” and sending it to my dearest friend.
…but back to my walk along the tracks with maxx;
i was carrying my cellphone like a camera-on-the-ready (which seems lame), shooting here and there, and began thinking about memory neurons because of something someone was talking about on npr or pbs or some other three-letter information source, then connected that to my three-year-plus-ongoing glossary binge, prompting me to do this here and now –
from the glossary of mind of memory;
35. Storage – The process of “putting” new information into memory.
because of the timely appearance of these radio and television stories regarding the brain, memory neurons and the universe around us, i found myself surveying the storage i’ve been compiling in my own hard drive both new and old, considering these charges and minijolts that loose themselves onto the layers and beds of time and space that link us together forever, i pray, as we surf cosmic oceans, hanging-ten, rolling and riding celestial quasars, living the slow-motion dream that’s settled in my head this moment, a flash of orange and reds appear inside my eyelids, a joining together of these points of magnificence, these loving wonders, these things that help us through the dark, these pains that never end, these arms that forever hold me in their grasp in the cold, the dead, the sweat and fire of unfettered dreams, this end to the why, this here to the yes…..
there, i used it in a sentence, i think.
maybe this caused me to remember a phone call from my brother probably 21 years ago to this day. i don’t know, i just know it happened.
it was a quiet conversation that we brothers rarely had and it came at an odd time and virtually out of the blue.
we were together a few months earlier, in december, something that no doubt influenced the low-key, uncharacteristically amazing words between us.
after the casual conversational wind-down, the “great to hear from you again,” part and the verbal walk to the exit door of our dialogue,…the, “take care and love to all,” payoff, there was a pause.
it was a sober pause, something foreign to both of us at this point in our lives. the sober part, i mean.
“i love you, stephen,” he said.
i don’t recall my brother telling me this before…not with such quiet earnestness.
there was another silence.
i returned those words to him and put the phone on its cradle.
i would look back on this day two weeks hence when i searched the universe for that “word of warning” i spoke about in a previous note.
i look to that moment, now 21 years ago, as a lesson i would just begin to start learning – that having love instead of anger, regret or nothing in particular inside me might not be a bad idea.
i also look at it as that “word of warning,” back then.
for a scant moment, i wonder if ray and dave davies will have their moment, but that’s their business.
in a few days i’ll be required to remember this day, this tragedy – when i became a kennedy – and i will have forgotten it.
it will slip into frame as needed or not.
hey, i can say…i got the right month, what more do i need.
we have nothing we need to hold onto. we have that last, verbal exchange that was full of love.
the photo above has maxx jumping over the tracks toward me. the tracks remind me of the footrail i had affixed to the scrap bar i built in atlanta, georgia seventeen yeaars ago.
it reminds me that i’ve got to get back to work on something.
duly noted, i thought to myself.
me and maxx walked about a mile on these tracks that seem to be headed north or northwest.
by now i see manhattan in the distance and hear woody guthrie in my mind. i promised to send cellphone photos to a friend, so i took one more picture and climbed into the space maxx inhabited in the photo below and went at it.
then we headed back.
maxx kept to the far outside roadpath and away from the tracks and railroad ties. the sharp-edged stones used in and around the tracks were no doubt making walking difficult for him, so by the time we got back to the car, he walked in old snow, mud, muck and mire.
his feet were dirty and had a case of “the marsh of the blue heron” aroma.
they stank in spades, leading to a new destination – the ocean and a game of fetch.
we traveled across brooklyn to fort tilden and the beach.
the day was still bright and sunny.
it was late afternoon.
the tide was in and the wind aided the ocean’s excited surf.
the air was rich with the salt. i breathed it in hungrily. i love salt and if i were served salt for dinner, i would add salt before tasting it.
i threw a stick in the churning waves running to the shore.
= dog bathed.
because of this springlike day, there were traces of activity left from earlier visitors.
as i photographed this, i thought about something i drew on a beverage napkin while flying west 21 years ago (in about two weeks).
they look eerily similar.
i still have it somewhere.
maxx and i walked to riis park at the other end of fort tilden and turned back in time for the sunset.
something deep within me strongly suggested that i called my friend over the waves.
i climbed to the top of a dune and let it out. it felt good.
i don’t know if i’ll hear from her again.
what i do know is that time lost its…..teeth..
i never held time in such high esteem anyway, but now….
everyday is a little dreamfilled and weightless
we walked a little while longer on the beach taking more shots at the setting sun, then hopped on the path where madoff’s son drove past us before his meeting with the lizard-in-waiting back when his dad was first arrested.
i thought about where i belong and came to the conclusion that out here would be just fine.
then i began to sing another song by the kinks from the arthur album.
i’ll be there in a week.