Sunday, May 21, 2006

Home Valence

I look out the front door of our old home place on Liberty Street. My mother is in the front room collecting what we will take with us. We’re leaving. She has an old worn brown paper grocery shopping back, limp and open before her. We won’t be taking much.

Outside on the street, an auto cruises by, right to left, or south to north. A lady is driving, and I am in her line of sight, but she ignores me, makes no sign. She is turning into our driveway.

I am now settled in a new home, which is like a small cubicle or storefront along a public corridor, maybe an indoor shopping center. The phone rings.

It is not ringing for me. I live alone now, but apparently there is some party line arrangement for the complex. I pick the phone up anyway, but to do so, I use a public extension which is on the pavement outside. I don’t know why, but to listen into the call, I leave my phone off the hook and go to the one outside. Maybe I want to avoid being traced.

I hear the agent for my next-door neighbor. He is disparaging us all, and also planning some nefarious scheme which will affect us, not favorably. We may lose our homes and the agent and his client will profit. I am listening with great interest.

“Is someone on the line?”

Discovered! I gingerly hang up the phone and stride off down the corridor, as nonchalant as I can affect.

Wait! I still have my own phone off the hook! I hurry back through my open door, and also replace that receiver, again as quietly as I can. Done.

I turn back to my door … and see the agent standing there by the public phone, watching me, expressionless.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Khomeini inna taxi, honey...

I am standing by the throne of Henry VIII. I am there to co-write something clever over one page in the king's own book, and he is to furnish the authority while I the wit. I am realizing this is strange because he has command of several languages while I'm still working on my first.

But he is not that monarch of long ago; he is withered and old now, and his competence and faculties are withering - so much so that he resembles Ayatollah Khomeini . I reach down to his face to try and smooth his chin to more nearly resemble a royal for his portrait to go on the book jacket. He expects it, although he seems not altogether pleased.

Now I am waiting for a bus. The station more nearly resembles a parking garage, and this is one corridor on one floor. A van enters, and has great difficulty in turning around to go on out again. I should have known this, I think. How would a full bus ever serve this station?

As the van is positioned, I realize I won't be riding. Perhaps I will walk. Maybe we all will, all us leftovers. After all, it's not really that far.

We set out. There is a pretty young lady and an older man takes charge of her, to mentor her. I think we will not all remain together as we go forth.

One objective I have is to photograph my old home grounds, the house I lived in when I was about three to six on East 4th St. I want to film the actual position, as the house is long gone and there is a fast food joint there now. Where once the house stood at 719, there is a parking lot. I think it's important for me to have a memento of the spot where I lived when I was so young.

I don't have my cap. I always have my cap. I don't know where is my headgear. How can I have forgotten my cap? I always have my cap when I'm outdoors, but I don't have it now.

I stride off down 4th St, bareheaded.