the wayfarers that walked me back here as i found the phantom carriage


these are tortoise-shell rayban wayfarers i bought in the late spring of 1995.
i hold onto them like they matter very much to me, though there’s some kind of disconnect between why i got them and why i hold onto them.

when everything left, when everything went away, all there was was a knapsack and me living at the saint mark’s hotel (next to trash and vaudeville). i was there for christmas and into the new year. it was 1994.
i had gotten back around thanksgiving from the far-west coast (that’s hawaii) after being put on a plane in atlanta and dropped on the island of oahu with twenty dollars in my pocket and my black rayban wayfarers some time in august of the same year. some twenty-four hours earlier i was sitting in a backyard with a bunch of EMS workers in front of me.
i needed to be gotten out of this place, pronto, just like need to get out of this memory in much the same way.

i took some time to eat dinner and walk maxx and not come back to that memory.
instead, i found a long patch of TCM black and white to immerse myself in, films from pre-1935, climaxing with the phantom carriage, a film from 1921 directed and acted by Victor Sjöström.
the score to this film is what drew me in. i was listening to it (a 1998 restoration version with a new score, not that i knew the old one) and writing about that morning when the EMS workers stood before me.
it was like swimming up from the darkest of waters and as i saw the light, as i reached the air, one of the medics were saying, “…and i’m going to ask you three questions……”
but instead of listening and writing, i was drawn in and watched this movie.
a welcome distraction
the phantom carriage is an early horror film about a guy who dies and gets a job collecting death. there’s drinking, suicide, redemption and even a guy wielding an axe to get through a door to get at the wife and kids. (sound familiar?)
this movie was a safer place to be, but i found myself in the same place.
besides, this movie was better than black and white. it was sepia.
check your photoshop program if you’re unsure what i’m talking about.
i opted to leave the rest of the night to televisionistic adventures. i’m not going to see if “televisionistic” is a word or not. today, it is to me.
i watched a pbs story about an autistic author and animal specialist by the name of temple grandin. she said the autistic people and animals’ thinking operate on the same premise; fear.
after watching this i became mildly convinced that i’m passively autistic.
that’s ok.
i also have a passive case of swine flu.
when i heard about the presidential 747 and US fighter jet that “buzzed” the statue of liberty and lower manhattan, i got passively furious about how stupid it was to do that without warning people, but remembered that members of that gang probably knew about that last thing to happen downtown anyway….
that’s when it was time to get off the NPR and find music.
i can probably catch a buzz just walking past a liquor store today.
maybe my hackles are up because i had to go to a precinct this weekend and pick up a friend’s stuff who was “going through the system,” something i’ve experienced on more than a few occasions in more than one city. i’ve mentioned my “situations” in previous notes (in a tuxedo, in el segundo..etc).
while filling out papers and handing over my license as ID, for the slightest instant, i felt that my information was run through a database. (there’s that strip and those bars on the back of it, you know).
i might have a passive case of government paranoia to boot.
or i’m still swimming up from the place i was when the EMS workers were crowded around me in 1994.
there’s a few places i don’t like to visit from my past and this is one of them. actually, there’s loads of these places but fortunately, i don’t remember a lot of them.
this one, i remember.
29 days earlier was the thirstiest day in all my life.
i can’t recall anything else than being a crazy person demanding more cuervo gold on a sunny afternoon. a day or so later i would stop drinking and smoking weed.
i would not take a pill for any reason. i would become the designated driver.
i would be pretty astounding for 28 eight days.
the next day, i felt so good that when my friend showed me the bag of mushrooms i said, sure. i’m OK.
we cycled all around the slightly rolling hills of atlanta, georgia and we had a few beers and a few more mushrooms and a couple of slices of pizza and maybe a little weed. we decided to chill in a house that my friend had bought and was renovating for re-sale.
things were getting a little hazy.
somewhere, i put down my black wayfarers. sometime else, i picked up a a giant bottle of jack daniels

and a two liter bottle of coca cola

i need to breathe a little

About stephen trimboli

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