January 21, 2012

Explaining Phone Booths to a Nine Year-Old

That is how it was.

Now snow. Now Baltimore. Now early morning.

Now ten fingers. Now coffee. Now laundry heading into the dryer.

It'll be jeans today and boots and a sweatshirt.

I need some new shoes that'll be black and nice and last a long time.

I usually wear my black shoes until they blow out, scramble to make it through the day or the week with superglue, then get another pair.

Over the last 15 years I've accumulated three great pairs of black shoes that just need a little cobbling.

Walk down the "just need a little cobbling" path a little while -- metaphors and trite and whatever.

This is what happens when you have ten fingers again.

My across-the-street neighbor growing up back in Massachusetts. He only had two thumbs -- one on each hand -- no other fingers. I seem to remember that he'd lost them at work, that he was a mechanic of some kind.

Margaret asked how he got by -- financially. Me-at-ten hadn't really thought about that. Me-at-thirty-eight assumed he must get some kind of disability checks and is going to ask my mom.

I remember him working on his car out front.

I remember a little bit about how he'd hold things.

I remember him smoking, but I don't think that's real.

Just everyone smoked back then and t-shirts were tighter and the kinds of haircuts people from military families had or the people that lived near them and cans of Schlitz and cars the way they were and smaller houses and a basketball hoop out front.

Remember the gyms that had rubberized floors? Who thought that was a good idea?

I think my neighbors name was Jim and he never sweated whether Pluto was a planet or not.

Meanwhile my other neighbor, who may have been named Jim, too, seems to have started the astrophysics program at the Air Force Academy.

Quite a neighborhood, huh? Two people named Jim!

(That one's for you Adam.)

We are great great great great apes.
There are many many many many planets.

I'm going to put some laundry in the dryer and figure out what the hell I'm going to really sweat from here.

Total aside and in a totally different reality, I want to paint a picture of an iris and write under it, "This is not a rhizome" -- but I don't know if I should write that in French, instead. I was thinking about this while driving on 95 in the early early morning. I didn't write it down -- so I'm glad I remembered it.

Good luck other-reality-me.

Sweat what you need to.

Fuck a buncha everything else.