Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sloopy Hang On

Isolation is vital for deep writing, but man does it fuck with your head. Relation to space fluctuates, time has no meaning, sleep comes when it comes. The only schedule is the page.

Remembrance feeds the fire. Dredging up emotions seemingly lost can surprise but also sadden you. Moments and events accelerate. A kitchen scene cuts to a Catholic school playground then to a driveway at night, a frightened boy in pajamas staring at stars, wondering where his parents are (you'll have to wait for that ending). Out it pours. And I run after it all, laying it down in longhand, filling small notebooks with nonlinear bits. There's a certain joy in this, but it's brief. It feels more like a long-delayed duty, if only to myself. But it's on now.

Proust's madeleine is an overused reference to memory triggers, yet it remains apt. And while food/aroma/taste triggers are in play here, much of what sends me back is media-related.

The music my mother played and danced to in our living room (Motown, Streisand, The 5th Dimension, Herb Alpert), cigarette commercials, local TV stars like Sammy Terry and Cowboy Bob (still around via YouTube), 60's sitcoms, Hanna-Barbera cartoons, any show where characters wore capes (Batman, Superman, Captain Nice, Mr. Terrific, The Mighty Heroes), early masturbatory images (Julie Newmar, Diana Rigg, Tina Louise, Nichelle Nichols). All this and much more merge pop crash in my mind. If the younger tenants mind the older guy cackling at 4 AM, they haven't shown it.

It's weirdly appropriate that I'm writing this volume on campus. Michigan is a hyper-study school, so the atmosphere is right. There are few diversions. I know a divorced guy my age is expected to slobber like a Tex Avery wolf at all the young women, but it just isn't happening. Sure, there are some beautiful women here, yet they live in a different world from me.

I get more stares from guys when I walk down the street. I don't know why that is. Maybe I look like a dork to them. Or perhaps they're mentally measuring their dicks against mine. This is the age when that shit blossoms. These guys are at the beginning of their adult lives, which must frighten most of them. I understand. It never really goes away, but you learn to mask it better.

To the young women, I'm invisible. Just as well. They're focused on their studies while I'm spinning through time. I will say this to the student downstairs who gets laid on a regular basis: What's your hurry, dude? From the sound of it -- and trust me, I can hear everything -- you're fucking as if on deadline. Slow it down. Switch speeds. Mix it up. You've got more time than you know. Take it from the traveler upstairs.

(Above image: "Sonia Face through Time 2 (with Face)" by Sonia Landy Sheridan, 1970s.)