Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Bikini Wax & Upstaging the Bride

This morning a neighbour, Randy Camelus, was killed while out galloping with some companions over nearby hills. As Randy was on foot police are treating his death as suspicious. Poor devil. He had a weakness for bobbing canoes, earthenware products and impersonating a tram at rush-hour. In fact, he was arrested twice for carrying too many passengers. Randy always preferred the countryside to his home; less mud, manure, cows, nettles and flies. To be honest he got on my nerves. He felt the need to upstage people wherever and whenever possible. Once he pretended to be a hard boiled egg and turned up in my lunchbox. At his niece's wedding - held in the middle of a desert - he arrived as a camel wearing a straw hat. Most guests agreed he outshone the bride.

I remember Randy had trouble with his wisdom teeth. He had seven: three on top, two on the bottom, and one that worked and lived in Germany and never sent money home. However, it was as a salesperson that Randy excelled. Besides selling crystal balls to fortune tellers his most profitable venture involved selling bilingual individuals two of each product they wished to purchase, and had the audacity to make them pay twice. One of his greatest sales involved getting a bald-headed man to purchase and undergo a bikini wax. The man was last seen travelling eastwards across the desert with a bikini on his head shouting, 'Help! Help! I'm not what you think I am! . . . I'm not Lady Gaga?! . . . Am I? . . . I'm Madonna . . . Where am I? . . . . Boy, do I miss the stairs in my house!'

Randy maintained that the creation of prose, poetry, music, painting, sculpture, etc., is easy. This divided his world from mine. I wasn't surprised by his statement. In fact, it made me sad. I told Randy on one occasion, gently: 'All things seem easy that are created without talent.'  He didn't answer. His face became serious, pale, suddenly frail. His teeth left before him. As they scuttled across the street they collided with a car. The air was sharp, biting cold. How coincidental.  The only sound? Randy's silent tears as he lifted his shattered teeth. He looked at me, then began to soothe his teeth with the softness of his hand. I watched as he made for his home in a remote village inside an old shed behind a house close to a river in the middle of nowhere - a village called 'H'.

Randy's fate reminds me that "everything" and "everyone" go through phases of uncertainty, silent acceptance, indifference, economy of words, half-light, darkness, silence, oblivion. While he is no longer here occasionally I see his teeth pass my house on the way to the dentist. Sometimes they smile at me through the window.

Reflections: At the moment my attempts at writing lack focus and an elementary grasp of grammar. I've been aware of this for some time; since childhood, in fact. I spend 24 hours a day figuring out which project to work on and let my thoughts run wild. Finding them again, however, can present a problem. Once they texted me from Amsterdam. A problem with their passport; something to do with photographic ID?! Anyway, I must learn to "adjust my lens," so to speak.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Me, Me, Me, You and Me & No One Can Stop Time

My wife is a mistress of her career and radiates confidence, intelligence, energy, optimism, strength, tenderness, responsibility, and an uncanny ability to hold a 'high C' while eating Beef Wellington in her bare feet. Sometimes she makes me feel I peaked too early in life, that I should eat my dinner in silence and go to my room. I'm still waiting for the heavy mist obscuring my vision to head west. I have major eye floaters in both eyes which makes it difficult to drive on unfamiliar roads at night. Of course, it may be due to the fact I don't own a a motor vehicle.

I tend not to last long in traditional jobs. For a while I was employed as the dull silhouette of a banker. The worthless scoundrel took pleasure in making me stand outside on cold flooded pavements while he wined and dined for hours - at public expense - with fellow dead heads. It's a shame he's no longer with us; if only to witness the court proceedings. His funeral service was painful for all the wrong reasons. Fellow dead heads stood up and used words such as: 'A man of truth and integrity'; 'A man of wisdom and warmth'; 'A man of ...' I went outside and threw up. He was a dried-out runner bean, a misshapen pebble who liked young girls though he was grey at the temples. Fellow dead heads made sure there was a constant supply.

Sometimes when I am alone I think of Nicole. For one night I was employed as her 'discreet cough'. We attended the Opera. During the performance Nicole give me a mischievous smile. We never spoke to each other. The sensation of sitting by her side for the evening made me lightheaded. I longed to touch her hair, her mouth, her body. The closest I felt to Nicole was when she passed me her Opera program. It retained the warmth of her beautiful pale hands. It was a schooling, of sorts, in hidden desire and silent passion.
When one is truly deprived, one will do anything. I once underwent an operation for a friend, Gotthard Hydleman. He was afraid of being anesthetized. He promised me $1000 and I considered it worth the money. I foolishly had my gallbladder removed. Unfortunately, Gotthard died before I received payment. The cause of his death?  Wearing female Skinny Cargo Pants for longer than six hours without a breather. When I asked the surgeon for my gallbladder back he declared with a smirk: 'I am so sorry, I eat it for dinner last Sunday. On the up side, I believe it has improved my French.'

Reflections: At 82, my maternal grandmother, Gloria Tenderloin, believes she is beginning to look her age. May I burst one of the thinnest bubble's on the planet. No one - including Joan Alexandra Molinsky, aka Joan Rivers, can stop time.

Forget facelifts, hollow faces, age spots, staying out of the sun, copying hair styles of young emaciated models, wearing short skirts wrapped around withered thighs, grey hair, baggy knees, drinking forty gallons of water a day, taking supplements. Be thankful you are alive, healthy, not homeless, unemployed, a victim of physical or sexual abuse, a person whose life hangs by a thread, or someone who died tragically young.

Most forms of beauty depend on concealment, integrity, mystery and are veiled by a mist which one may pass through to meet the real person on the other side, if one wishes. Everything else is a performance: a denial of ageing, decay, life, death. Embrace and experience your true uniqueness, your true value to others, and your true value to the world.