Friday, August 20, 2004

Twang, Twang, Twang

SScraweeaaallllll, Twaeaaeeennggg.

I'm just a kid in sweet shop today. She's coming along that road like a sexy tree in some warm, tropical wind, a blow of iris and orchids and sweet feet made soft in the salt-water of some sunny bay. Out in the road, someone starts their breakfast, a mix of chilli and eggs mixed up with something that western words cannot describe. This is just a bass line, no more to this song that this line and a few mumbled squawks from the old devil n charge. He she is, stopping by the windows to look at shoes or dressed, made real by all the men she must see in the glass, howling silently like the wolves in 1940s Warner B cartoons, tongues hanging to the dust and eyes out in front like shiny squash. This music sounds like it should be from some kids' show out n the mid-west, probably presented by uncle pappy and a puppet president called Cletus. The Spanish Moss hangs down, a curtain for her debut on this stage, this town of dust and depression. We all spent the night warm and comfortable but the blues had us then and we did not sleep. The blues had us certainly.

I thought I had the key that night, the direct line to God, straight up like an optical fibre with all that spirit bouncing around in it, up to the sky and out into the universe. I could choose to talk to God this way but what would I say? What do you say to someone with a questionable existence? This is a drugs song I think. Poppies and trash and moons. Yes there is some powdery stuff in there somewhere, some jangle and sparkle in that stuff he keeps wrapped up in his back pocket and doles out to friends in dark corners. He would take this woman with him if he could, some sort of control rod for the runaway reactor of his life, some brake to all this dark poetry that he thinks is the way forward. This might be a dire warning but I cannot do it to anyone. Live your life I say. It is not mine and as long as you choose not to hurt me I am happy.

Some blues key now. (Should that be capitalised?) And a twang or jangle for the rest of the day. We must be in the Netherlands now, in the Hague or perhaps some other town with 'The' in the title. There is some place, in Africa I think, with just one letter in its name but then again one letter, one syllable; what's the difference. All day long I watch this hourglass. Back in the spicy street, the chatter is of who dies in the bomb going off. The fan turns slowly in the ceiling and all this just seems like a search for images, of stereotypes of eastern streets and cheap boarding houses in those tropical storms. We could be in China, or Singapore or even some Southern part of America, North or South. The volcanoes rumble in the background, telling us so long beforehand how unhappy they are, how dangerous they might be in the next few weeks. They will die at their own hands, anthropomorphised out of existence and screaming as the hot rock burns ther throats. It's like some filmic lovemaking with all the clich├ęs of passion made into rocks and mountains. We slip away, hand-in-hand, down to the boats under the rain of pumice and Pele's hair. The rocks built up in the bay, rafts of white floating stone and we walk out across it to our little tug, fired up and ready to go on the edge. The sky is lit with the explosions from the mountain up above - angry swearing from the middle of the Earth. How many has this geology killed tonight?

The world spins in the inside reflection on the window of this flat, in this tower block, in this grey, rainy town. There might be a face in that reflection but who cares today? Not so manic now, we have a small incident here, a door smashed in with some big yellow lump of metal, the splintered doorframe. And then a calm trawl from room to room, trying to find the spark of life that might be left in this tiny world. And then, off-camera a mumbled call to the other searchers and maybe a gasp from those who have not been here before. The personal things are gathered and the remains taken and disposed, made to walk an aisle to the ovens and sent into the atmosphere without memorial. It doesn't take a miracle.

This is a long life, spotted with small crises, births and the other usual things worthy of marking with gatherings. But what really means so much to all of us is the continuous rush of experience, the ability to choose the nice things, the great music, and the attractive and intelligent friends who know you well and who you can't offend. We are dizzy with all this. The deaths are intense but rare in this timeline, this trail of a thousand billion moments, all stored away somewhere in the massive corridors that make up minds. What great music makes us all great? We have this on repeat. We have the world defined and tied down. It has no suddenness for we have everything planned. I cannot tell you any more about how this works for it is part of that great spiritual con trick about leaving everything to God.

This whole town has so much in it, so many deaths and births , all in one day. I love it and hate it at the same time. I don't want it to happen because it is just going too fast for me to know about everything, but if it didn't happen then nothing would be interesting. Think about this and you will be ready.

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