Saturday, March 15, 2003

west on 47th street, towards home

It was right after I had stopped at the Mel-O-Dee. Under a streetlamp, minutes, maybe even seconds after midnight, right after I had gotten off from work. I was there in that Mel-O-Dee diner parking lot playing the role of doctor, doing a little emergency surgery upon my bike, removing the source of the annoying clinkity clink, the kickstand. And I fucking unscrewed that thing with far too much delight in stripping yet more of my bike. Bringing it back to the basics. The frame and wheels are all I need. The chain can stay too, I guess. Last week, in a fit of screwdriving madness and destructive glee, I yanked off the splash guard guarding my back wheel. And now, tonight, another piece of my bike was removed with that same glee, that same untraceable glee that I am going to be cocky and try to trace back, maybe to our desire to kill and burn, why ripping up paper and breaking shit and lighting things on fire is so much fun, why everyone gets a high from a punching bag, and I fucking want to tear it all down, and you do too, and that’s what I am talking about, that is why my bike is as of tonight without a kickstand.

And it was right after this, after this kickstand operation that I picked up speed on my newly improved bicyle, and felt the increased speed of the wind, of the sky gliding over me because of my own increase in my speed, and I was flying down 47th Street, down Sarasota, heading West on it. Towards the bay, towards my house. And the moon was overhead, over my head, half full, and head half full too, of ideas that should have been. I should have made the connections, but I just took it in, the moon, the speed, and my own glee, and took that as the meaning, failed to translate this energy into anything specific. I was just window shopping, I wasn’t really going to buy anything.

And now, or just right then, because it was that quick, like a motherfucking flash, and ew, it was so clear, so recently dead, the opposum on the side of the road, blood visible, and a life that was, that is no more. That means something, it doens’t, it means something is dead, and this sent me, a living thing, into shivers for my own state, for what will become of me, for the inevitability of also being a dead thing on the side of 47th Street. So matter of fact. The matter of factness about it being the scary part.

I biked home with this image, this flash in my head, and now my bike is resting leaned against my house, since it is without a kickstand and all, and it is holding up, standing upright on its two wheels because the kickstand was a piece of shit and unneccesary and my bike didn’t need it, and what else is there that I don’t need, and what is there that I do. As much as I know that I don’t need a kickstand or a splashguard, it doesn’t mean that I would not like these things. Because you see, tonight was one of those nights, I put on the high school music (Dave Matthews) and started skimming through books on our bookshelves, picking them up like they were new, like they might hold all the secrets, and picking them up like they were old, just as old as me and the first time I skimmed through them, thinking of adolescent moments and girls who had heads atop their shoulders and shared. And shared, when people wanted to share every amazing thing they encountered, when they got exctied about these things, and when I was still excited about hearing these things. Tonight, my hands found their way over the spine of my old Ginsberg collection, and there was all this old, outweighing the new. But maybe it was the old, the memories of being excited by the new that I was seeking out.

The poem, “Many Loves” was new, was one I had never read, a page I had always skipped over, and it was great, beautiful, so non-political, and so lovely - made me want someone to sleep next to tonight, my own Neal Cassidy, fuck, anybody really. The idea of cuddling sounding so nice. And then, “Supermarket in California,” one I have read a gazillion times because of it subject, my Walt, my Whitman - and sometimes randomly, in a song, a movie, whatever - you’ll pick up on a line you had never really picked up on before and that was the case tonight. We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possesing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier. That never passing the cashier part seems hugely significant and my failure to notice that line earlier strikes me as odd. But tonight, because it is that type of night, the type that dead roadkill and a half full moon can produce in you, because of this the line strikes a chord with me somwhere. Never passing the cashier is not a good thing. It seems easy to read it that way - that it’s a good thing - that Walt and Allen are no victims of consumerism. But no, no, no. They fail to do anything with these half-thoughts. And this itself is a half-thought that I am not sure how to make into a full one, how to verbalize this feeling that this, all of this is about how we all fail to articulate, or no, no, no, we do to much of the articulating, but how we fail to act on our desires. We are all Whitmanic polyanas, holding flowers to our noses, exclaiming how lovely they smell, how “beautiful” it all is, but failing to see something or do something, and I never pass the cashier either, because I don’t know how to resolve it either or what, if anything, needs resolving. All I know is that I passed roadkill tonight on a bicyle and knew that it was beautiful, my brush with something dead, and wanted to touch the oppusm, hug it, fuck it, eat it. I wondered about being eaten. And physical contact seemed the only imaginable way of reinforcing the magnitude of the situation. I want some physical contact, Allen, Walt, all of you.

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