Saturday, April 23, 2005
There was a girl once, but that was in the rain, and anyway, it wouldn't have worked out. But it rained again now, sharp and spitty on layers of grey, layers of grey like you can't get outside the city, layers that seem to fold into one another, slide and drip. Depth starts to mean something, rainy day, thinking about that girl that once and the smell on her neck. The smell that would have ruined it all. He could have gone back, Om, could have gone back to that very place and that very smell and all the world's vibrations, Om, on his neck, Om, walk by the Loew's and the lights go on forever.
Just who was D.T. Suzuki, anyway? He remembered a lecture about Buddha's will, Buddha's will power. People, especially Americans and Germans, tend to think about the zen and the yin-yang and the nothing that is everything in intellectual terms; indeed, Buddhism was a thinking man's religion, an air-tight head trip with a fat jolly god figure you could really fall for. But Buddha, Suzuki said, couldn't get to be Buddha just by thinking about shit. He had to will it, he had to push on through, to -- he hated to say it -- transcend. According to Suzuki, Mr. D.T. Suzuki, as heard on muffled audio cassettes purchased from a group of Chinese ladies in Union Square (because they were Chinese, he felt a certain intrinsic authenticity to the recordings, forgetting for the moment that Suzuki was Japanese) the Buddha was a spectacularly powerful individual before he became the Buddha.
This, this was where things got challenging: anyone with a courduroy jacket and a They Might Be Giants album could consider the sound of one hand clapping, but it takes a great big fat man to get to the golden light. The dedication, man, the actual loyalty to the thing is where so many fall off the wagon. Take our protagonist: low-willed (what was that Don DeLillo, DeLeeyo, Don DeLillo quote, about the low-willed, "trapped in the perturbations of an anxious mind..." or something like that?) forever distracted, tugged by pangs of altruism but ultimately gripped by pettiness, fear and a pathetic arrogance that swells in his mind but never manifests in the social world: the man who thinks he deserves it all but feels too timid and too embarrassed to get it?
Humanist - Hater
Philosopher - Gossip
Kind - Unkind
Ah, duality, both of you, he loved! The only thing remarkable about our protagonist, in his mind, was how particularly unremarkable he was. Though his interests were many and his ideas high, he could rarely muster enough hrrumph to get past the fear of embarking on something that may not work out. Peace Corps, film school, a job on a boat catching lobsters in Alaska, hell, he had a hard enough time walking into that little shoe store in Soho, what with the mod-haired boys glaring suspiciously and the girls, the women, with their sidecast eyes and their boots, egad, egad. And then the mind slips, and the ideas fragment and that which could have been real smokes off into wherever.
Lying in bed, though, tinny raindrops overhead, he and D.T., Mr. D.T. Suzuki, would consider the, Om, would consider the transience, would consider the great expanses, would consider the meaninglessness in a meaningful way. He could grasp it with the best of them, see it -- yes, yes! -- in his mind's eye, and the idea of it, always the idea, seemed so very simple. But, like the darkness that is light, moving that is unmoving, it would always slip away as soon as he got out of bed. As soon as he woke up, ironically enough.
But: looking at the ceiling one evening, after a weeklong intensive course with Suzuki (in bed, on the subway) there was a moment, a vision, when he looked into the overhead light and began to twist and open -- can you understand? -- and a spiral of ants wound its way from floor to ceiling and he knew, he said, he knew it all. In a telescopic tunnel he saw the ants up close, and, like an Escher design, he flew through them large and small, large and small, a camera fixed on a television showing the camera recording the television. There was nothing, really, not a thing in the world but soft ticklishness and a kind of a hum. How could you, how could he worry about anything ever?
But then, the crash. The guilt about not worrying about anything, the guilt about worrying about everything. The fear he would never get those ants again and the acquiessence to a low-willed spin through perturbations and anxiety. So, smoking. So, sleeping. So, bad light beers. So, that other thing. Inside, inside surrounded by walls, why bother?
But there was that girl that once. It was, as we said, raining and smelling of rain. A little bit exciting, a little bit quiet, outside by the wet walls of a large stone building. How could you know when the girl who you would immolate yourself for, for whom you would accept destruction, the girl that would crush you, how do you know when it's her? Is it when you stand in musky air and breathe in the smell of her with open mouth off the back of her sweatty neck? When she wears a skirt that waves like a tissue paper mobile? When she looks at you and it slows down and there's a sort of hate in her eyes, an absolute, and you fold in two and think, maybe the ants will come back again?
But the ants aren't coming back, he knows. Distracted again, the streets are a blur as he goes over and over in his head the decisions the finality of nails in wood, calls unmade, dirty dishes. Now, with a pocket full of change, considering and then deciding not to attend a lecture by a live Buddhist philosopher in a real hall filled with actual people, about the only things he has are the lights that went on forever. Streaking, Om, streaking through grey vibrations that are heavy and low.
Found, this morning, on that grand digital stage, craigslist's missed connections. I am fascinated by this particular entry: a love triangle - nay, a love quadrangle - with all sexual orientations seemingly involved. Just who is E? Just who is "the family"? And, most interestingly, just where would they ride together in that future life?
You know she's fuking around on you, why don't you slap yourself in the face and wake up. As far as we all would go. You would be part of a alot of love to go around here and have a great place to live. As well as two very caring respectfull people. I know I could love you and I know E loves you (I see the way she looks at you) when you came over and layed down on the couch, I just want to eat you alive and I'm sure E did to. Your Beautiful, educated and honest. You would be a refreshing addition to the family. But you have put love aside and realise this woman is not gonna break loose from her other love/ X, my ass! E realy cares for you,I can tell by the way she pays so much attetion to you like a mother hen, I think she Loves you and doesnt have the nerve to tell either one of us. Wake up and smell the coffie, I make it fresh every day.
She slept on the couch but nothing happened, BULLSHIT! I have a bridge to sell if your intrested. Come and be with us, you will be loved forever here and unconditionaly. I think you would look great riding with me to, I would be proud to have you with us.
You know who I am and I will be more than happy to talk with you about it.
I plan to create a scenario, a narrative, to fill in all these gaps. I welcome my hordes of readers to do the same. Let's hear what you think this all means.