Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I am interviewing for my newspaper. I am thinking to myself, once my trade was considered romantic albeit scruffy. The Front Page. Stop the Presses! Get me Rewrite! But now just look.

My subject describes himself as a Brandy Snifter, and he has no patience with those "heatherns" who confuse him with a drinking glass. "Can a glass detect acidity from Akron?" he demands. That's his prize achievement. He reported the brewery in Ohio which did not clean the Windex from its vats.

He's an athlete, as well as an aesthete, he tells me. What he does, all day long, is open select brands of brandy and sniff the contents. He asks if I want to take his picture. He weighs nearly four hundred pounds, and I'm thinking maybe that artist for the Wall Street Journal might make him presentable. He guesses my reservations. After all, he says, some pitchers and many defensive linemen aren't exactly svelte. He wants his story placed in the sports pages, with the liquor and firearm and Russian wife ads.

"Tell about Akron," he says. "Like that Julia Roberts movie. I nailed 'em on Windex!"

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Shortly after moving into the Villa Seurat I had begun to record my dreams. And not only the dreams but the associations which the act of transcribing them induced. Doing this over a period of several months, I suddenly began to see. "To suddenly see," as Saroyan says somewhere. - Henry Miller; Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

I am to be arrested, it seems. The officer is in mufti, with no identifying cop regalia at all. We are, after all, in Mexico. It's a bother, but I'm not overly concerned. I walked away from an arrest by this guy only this morning.

He stands behind me and takes my arms in sequence and fastens them with a combination of string and wire. There is no other restraint. We are in a large lobby, like a hotel. I sit down. I'm conscious that I have to mime being tied, as the bonds are loose and the "Deputy" may do a better job if I flout his authority by loose limbs. I make to bring my wrists together, though I'm sitting with my hands in front of me now.

A voluble and animated lady sweeps into the vicinity. It becomes obvious she is a realtor, and she carries with her a book of illustrated snapshots of properties.

"Just look! Only $1,330!" I take it that's American dollars. I don't mind telling her I'm under arrest when she notices my loose bindings. You can be arrested for anything in Mexico. But she ignores me, as I might distract from her business.

I am ready to walk away again. The "Deputy" is away somewhere, probably with the realtor. I stand to go to the john. But there is a group with dogs by the restroom, and I don't need the confusion.

I walk out of the hotel. I hear over beyond sight what sounds like small-arms fire. There is a bright halogen light right where a street goes over a hill in a tree-lined suburb. I move down off the road, into a culvert.

There are strange vehicles, myriads of them. They are arraying themselves all about the neighborhood. They are trucks, but they look like narrow apartment complexes on wheels. Two-storied and with stairs up the indented side wall.

I see a couple of canines where one of them has parked, and look closely.

Are there dog teams in all the odd trucks? Will they sweep the neighborhood? I note that the immediate region is a gated upscale community. Perhaps the revolution will reassert itself. Maybe I am a counter-revolutionary. After all, alone in a foreign land, you are as you are defined.

I kneel in the ditch beside the road. I'm hidden, for now, but if they're looking for me, I won't be hidden long.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

It is a prefectly spendid cord. Nine feet of it. We have now completed weaving the last of a twenty one foot towline which will allow access to a trail. (What's strange is that...the trail does not seem to be steep. The line we've woven is now a cabled rope, and it lies along the path. But it's a great job we've done, and we're proud of it.

We (Niki J and Casey and I) visit a Buick dealer to "sponsor" our roadway. (It's no longer just a path.) He's a big guy who walks in a rolling swagger, and he asks how we're intending the road be built. We thought "sponsoring" had a sort of passive role for us.

He sighs, and steps out with a speaker. His shop is jammed, like a junk dealer. Maybe this is to announce the new road to traffic?

Next he comes out of the back with a huge front end of a '53 Buick!

It stretches gigantic, and it's almost flat, like a drawing for an ad. The big man steps up on a rope scaffolding resembling the support for the masts of tall ships. I understand we are to assist. I am very nervous.

He says, "It's all right; it's much easier going down." This is not encouraging, but I try and remain positive. I try and consider only my steps on the rope network (Reloj gave that as strategy for climbing the water tower back home in a night of misty rain), and not where I am in the universe of gravity.

It's done. The Buick frontend is suspended now all along the upper ropeweb. I can go down now. I step lower...

...and find I am already on the floor!

I have no idea how this happened. It's a long way up, and only a step down. I am so puzzled by all this business of building support for a path! I wonder at the Buddha and his eight-fold path.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

General Grant while advancing along the Ohio pauses to limber up a field piece and fire a round of gallant salute. He has with his keen eagle eye spotted the ramparts of Fort Donaldson just rising above the morning mists down along the river.

However, as the smoke clears and there is no reply from the fort, the mist rises further and it becomes manifest the structure spotted was the turret of the SS Missouri, bound as he was for the Mississippi and Vicksburg. Whereupon the General ordered his artillery back in line and proceeded, and the event never made it into his memoirs.