Monday, September 28, 2009

Will's Drawers

Margaret and I were washing dishes one one afternoon. I washed, she rinsed the plates, dried, and put them away. I handed her a sudsy pair of strangely twisted plastic claws. She rinsed them, twisted the towel into a point and swabbed down the "fingers". Then she opened a drawer and started to drop them in.
"No! Not there. That's not where they go." I said to her, reaching for the claws.
"Why not?" she asked, waving the claws vaguely at the drawer.
"Because that's the silverware drawer. Flatware, actually. We don't have any silver, except Jessie's spoon collection." I replied. Margaret turned to open the next drawer over. She looked at me and down into the drawer. There was a rolling pin, some measuring cups and spoons, four different forms of thermometers, a wooden tray for holding yet another rolling pin, and a strange, round piece of white plastic with dozens of small square holes punched in it. Margaret started to drop the claws into the mix.
"No! Not in there either. I have a system, Margaret. I like everything in it's place. You're going to make it all higgledy piggledy."
"Hah! You have a system? It's chaos in here! I can never find anything in this kitchen!" She was waving the claws at the cabinets and drawers around the room.
"I have a system," I said, quietly, wanting to be the more mature of the two. I was older."Everything is set up in terms of how they are used. Flatware drawer has flatware. The towel drawer has hand towels..." Margaret pointed to the drawer with the rolling pins. "... and that is the mostly baking drawer." I finished.
"What? Mostly baking? What the hell kind of classification is that? Mostly baking!" she huffed. "Why is it only 'mostly baking'?"
"Because we use two of the thermometers for cooking meat and making soap. They have dual uses, so it's 'mostly' baking." I nodded my head and smiled, knowing I had proven my point beyond doubt. I had a system.
"Alright, fine, Mr. System. Where do these go?" She offered me the claws and I turned to a drawer across the room. Opening it I said, "These go in the funny tool drawer." She staggered backwards with wide eyes, making funny noises in her throat, apparently finding it hard to speak.
"Funny tool? Oh do tell me more!" She slumped to the floor, but I stayed on course. I reached into the drawer in question.
"This is a funny tool that cores apples. It's a very funny looking tool. And this tool, " I said, holding up a French curve shaped plastic thingy, "is for measuring pasta portions and serving spaghetti, only it doesn't do that very well. This drawer is for all the funny shaped tools we have that don't fit any other category. That's why they're away from the others. Reduces conflict." Margaret stood up, staring in disbelief.
"You're a madman, you've lost it. I'm, no, we're going to have you committed!" As she turned away to get a rope to tie me up with, Jessie approached. Margaret grabbed her by the arm. "Ah ha! I'll prove it! Jess! Where would these things go in the kitchen?" She held up the white plastic claws. Jess looked briefly at them and pointed across the room.
"In the funny tool drawer." Margaret emitted a silent scream.
"You've warped your own daughter!" She staggered back against the drawer for "things with plastic handles".

So now Margaret knows how to find things in the kitchen. She asks Jess. Once I found her in the middle of the kitchen, holding a stainless steel splatter screen and looking from one cabinet to another cabinet, like a squirrel in the middle of the street and a car coming on. I took it away from her and hung it on it's hook above the stove top.
"So it's close to the stove." I said.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

If you have been a thorough reader you know I do tend to favor Persephone over the other goddesses. I suppose in part Her story resonates because it is the same framework as the Hero's story. The genders have changed but the goal is really the same. When Persephone was under the shadow of Her mother she was rarely written about. Few adventures can occur with the virginal Spring. When as Inanna-Ishtar She traveled below to see Her sister on the occasion of the death of Her husband you should recall her position and status. Even as Spring she was not Eoster or Diana later. She was in a holding pattern, waiting for Her myth to unfold. So She travels below, to the land of Hel and Ereshkigal to attend the death rites of Her brother-in-law. The Consort of the Queen Priestess is sacrificed to ensure future prosperity. His blood is sprinkled over the fields. Nowadays the farmer sprinkles liquid shit on the fields for the same purpose. The liquid shit is from cattle, the symbolic animal of the Consort. So then, did it go from blood to shit as it appears? Or was the shit mixed with blood in the beginning? As Below, so Above the old saying goes, so we can assume that the not-consumed parts of the Bull-Consort were used and recycled, in the exact same way the Amerindian used all the smallest parts of the bison, a symbolic animal that was sacrificed for the good of the People.

So now we have Persephone in Her various aspects traveling down to attend a yearly festival in which a Chosen Male is sacrificed to create a flow of blood and entrails which will enrich the Earth, another aspect of Demeter. Now we should pay attention to another early situation in which a regular flow of blood signifies fertility and a passage to another personality and function. Non-technological societies have their young girls move to a secluded hut with the door closed as she has her first menstruation, and those which follow. She isn't being punished, She is becoming a woman. When Persephone returns to the surface She is a full blown Woman and wears Her hair up.

Woman's purpose in the Pantheon, the role Demeter and Inanna play, is to bear the child and nurture it. It is the Child's purpose to seek a greater purpose, to act out a ritual, to die and be born again in three months. So Fall is preparing for that journey into darkness, not in fear, but more in rapture, knowing that after death, after every death is life and life reborn.

Yet how different it is should the Hero descend and emerge again! Herakles went down to retrieve His wife, whom he sort of accidentally "killed". He always feels bad when He sobers up. He travels down the passage and meets monsters along the way, handles them abusively and makes a deal to get His wife back. Easy peasy, He does the work and goes to get His wife and ALMOST gets her back, but naturally there is a caveat to Her return: He can't turn to view Her until She is ALL the way into the open, out of the Cave. Being exceptionally horny after dispatching a few wild beasts, of course, He turn around as soon as he steps into the light, ready for a little post-death nooky. Poof! She's gone and He goes back to getting drunk and killing things.

Not much to build a religion on but somebody did. Dionysus slash Yeshua do a better job, except for the end where it turns into a bizarre cult that goes around killing people. I can never quite wrap my head around that kind of runaround, but I suppose it has something to do with testicles and limited blood supply. That situation was solved under Ishtar by sacrificing a bull at the last minute, rather than a Consort, or perhaps "just" a Consort. There's this statue of Her with a vest of testicles to show how serious She can be. In fact, when she got all het up once and started showing Her PMS side, they had to spike the blood with beer so when she drank a stadium load of blood she also got quite high, went to sleep and got up later feeling much better. Now recall that they did not have Genny Cream Ale back then and hops wasn't always the only herb in making beer. It was quite common to have the herbal equivalent of meth in beer, also Viagra, acid and angel dust. Beer was a sacred brew made by the Priestess and a select few. Hence the constant association with the Goddess and Grain, a living thing which is buried in the earth, only to rise again for the greater good by providing both bread and beer.

Alice doesn't take off Her jewelry and skirts as She travels down the passage to Her myth. She doesn't end up stripped of Her flesh and hung from a nail like Inanna does. Her symbolic companion is a Hare, a symbol of both fertility and associated with the moon, the "man in the moon" is quite often a Hare. She is accosted and held by cards, which in the period were as often used for fortune telling as games. Her future is told, She rises up shedding Her old submissive self, overturns Her enemies and emerges reborn. Or at least refreshed. Now we do not know if the bottles of "Drink Me" held blood or not, and the ocean of tears is significant because tidal waves are made by Pluto, the god of the underworld, who used to be Ereshkigal in Sumerian times. But there was no tidal wave, was there? Nope, just Her paddling along until a mouse shows up. Mice tend to do that when the myth is about a Woman. men get Lions and such, but Women get cats and mice and Men. Especially Heroes and Villains.

Well after all that climbing down and through the thing I think we can say that it was fun while it lasted, so far about 20 thousand years and counting. Autumn is here, the trees are starting a new brief but colorful show time. The air smells of apples and leaves.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aphasia Go Through

40 years is a long time, especially to a hamster. It seems more like it was far away, which it was. Actually, it was long ago and also far away. Damn. I was very thin, very thin. Not so thin as Uncle Don, mind you, but certain broomsticks or rails were obese next to Don. Nevertheless, I was thin. From what I can remember of those days I was also bright, or well read anyway. I remembered what I read, the actual words, sentences... entire phrases. It was fun with Teddy and Don and the rest of the group, going through Pyramis and Thisbe to the delight of all our friends. It was fun. But that was a long time, about 70 pounds, two wives and 3000 miles ago. I'm better now, different anyway. The internet has provided me with a chance to see a slide show again of those sweet young kids and another slide show of some old men, most with beards and some of those sweet young girls who captured my heart so long ago, but they'd dyed their hair graying, maybe to make the old men feel better... why didn't the girls age? Much. Why?

Well the simplest answer is right in front of you: look at what happened to Mike and Rick and Don! Gee Don looked so drawn. Maybe more woodcut than drawn, or graphic novel style, monochrome. The girls sucked them dry. All of 'em. Even the "Saint" had hardly aged a bit and oh, what irony. I've aged too. Not as much as a couple of those poor guys, I try to keep up with the chickens. No, but even from a distance they got me. I can't believe Margaret could be a vamp. But times are hard and strange and ya never know. I never would have thought that Jonoff would end up looking like Don Knotts.

So it's more complex. I can close my eyes and see them, see how they were moving as Larry snapped the picture, what the air tasted like. And there it is, the problem with the strange, locked in amber women and the strange, withered old men with the eyes and smiles of my old pals. Some of them aren't smiling, some aren't even there. They're missing and I see the gaps in the pictures where they all stand shoulder to shoulder, smiling at the camera. It's rare we see an early shot of Larry, because he was the cameraman, our eyes on our world. Weekend parties would go quiet and the lights go dim when the man with the magic lantern would begin to show what happened last time we had a tourney or a party or a war. Larry was a short man with a quick lense and you looked for your own face, or if you were in love at the time for nice shots of your flame de jour so you could get Larry to sell you an enlargement. For the cost of paper and chemicals. He'd develop them in our bathroom, the bathroom we shared in our apartment. Larry and I had one wing of a two family and Teddy and Cheri the other. Now Teddy isn't waving back as an wizened bagpiper sucking on a churchwarden pipe. Nor Larry, nor others who just seem to have been there yesterday, but it's been 40 years. I've lost them and I didn't realize it because in my mind, I seem to see them so many times a day. They cross my inner sight every time I see a pipe, a camera, a sword or a cheap bottle of red wine.

The thing is, I don't but rarely see those things without thinking of those empty spots. I worry that the young men and women might someday go away too, in my inner sight. So I drag them out with eyes closed so I might see them again and start a new memory. But each one fades, that's empathy. Or entropy. There is a difference but there's another term that describes it. This. Them. The editor helps me get past those times when a term gets away. I can look up and see what I was writing about, see if that jogs my memory. Empathy is a cleaving of minds, a synchronizing of souls, however briefly. Entropy is the winding down of Everything, the thinning of the Universe. They are not the same, nor are they not connected. There is a sympathy for empathy in entropy. As one goes, so the other shall follow.  But it's a Little off Everywhere, not big chunks, not people suddenly not being there. That would hurt too much. Even a heartless thing like Death doesn't take everything at once. It unwinds the thread of the carpet in your mind a little here and there, like a mouse crawling across the floor a little at a time. So you wind down until it's obvious and then it feels like a big chunk has been taken away. You just were preoccupied, distracted by another one so like yourself you felt an immediate bond, a merging of minds and bodies at times. At times it seems that all we did back then, back there, one bed one pair of bodies and sometimes under the stars, in pools or rivers and canals. I was such a hormone driven kid back then, two wives ago and 3,000 miles. I got better in many ways.

What do you call that? When one day you're riding skateboards everywhere and the next you're using the bus. There's a term for that and it's not entropy. I can't always remember a specific term or word and since I always think in words, when I lose a word I lose a thought and I can't always get back to it right away. I have to write everything down. Sometimes as I am trying to write it down I forget what "it" is called and then of course I lose the next thought and the chain is broken. Aphasia. When a word drops out of your vocabulary.

It's okay, not to worry. I just have to get a nap. It's worse when I'm tired. I'll get better. I'm just going through some tiring times, it's just a phase. Yeah.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

New Truck


Well, I got a new truck, or rather I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado. Wrigley likes it, Margaret likes it too. I haven't yet figured out a good name for it, yet. I'm leaning toward Gandalf because it's gray. For that matter, so am I. We hope to use this truck to carry furniture down to Jess in Brooklyn, to act as car #2 when the Volvo dies and for towing a trailer maybe with a boat on it. Yup, a man needs a truck and a dog. Now I just need an intact spinal column.
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