Saturday, October 6, 2007

Smoke Rising -or- 'The Four Whacks'


this morning during meditation, Sasquatch's wife/sister came out from the house to get the paper. the incense wafting through the air made it seem like she was a gorilla in the midst. i slit my eyes and peered through the smoke and glass life a hunter in the jungle. suddenly my meditation became more than just sitting on a cushion counting breaths and swatting at thoughts--the emergence of mrs. Sasquatch made me Official Hunter P.I. Bhikku of the neighborhood.

meditation really is a kind of voyeurism when you get down to it. the observation of the mind as an outside agency is like peering in on oneself through a window. only it's not you you're observing, because you are not your mind. it's like trying to catch a crook or a cheating spouse in the incriminating act by gathering clues, staking out in the car with coffee and dunkin donuts, watching, until the slippery moment of the possibility of exposure presents itself.

The house itself is like some kind of architectural mind-structure, a brick-and-mortar cadaver decaying on an eternal plot of overgrown land. It is the kind of house that boys make myths of, the object of dares to ring-and-run. In an area where land and housing prices are at a premium, it could house at least five or six apartment units. The side yard itself could be developed to fit three row houses. But everything has gone to shit, and the old man continues to live. I'm sure at one time he was on the porch with a shotgun guarding against poachers. It just seems to fit the image.

since kate and i joke about the CIA paying Sasquatch's mortgage in exchange for the use of his basement for secret covert operations, any time we get a glimpse of Sasquatch or his wife/sister (which is much rarer), our senses perk up, hoping to catch either of them doing something incriminating. Usually it's nothing much. Sometimes Sasquatch will mow the overgrown lawn with his 1940's lawnmower, or roll trash off the porch and to the curb instead of carrying it down. Sometimes he will get pissed off at something and throw plastic lawnchairs around, then sit down and smoke a cigarette in the shadows; all that is visible is the glow of the embers and the faint hairs of his beard. He will sometimes go out, climbing into his white Dodge truck and driving off. I have considered following him when I have seen him out, at the Acme or driving on Ridge Avenue, but I figured that might be taking the Junior P.I. thing too far.

This morning when Mrs. Sasquatch came out, she didn't do much. But as soon as I saw her my awareness of everything--both inside my apartment and outside--rose like i had just been shot in the face with a vile of adrenaline. She stepped out onto the porch slowly dressed in loose white pants and a white tee-shirt; she was skinnier than Kate Moss. She made her way down the steps holding on to the railing and grabbed two rolled newspapers lying on the sidewalk. How could such a mundane event have me so raptured? She made her way back up the steps, but before entering back into the house, she beat the wall adjacent to the front door with the newspapers four times, the way a fisherman might swing a freshly caught swordfish against the side of the boat to knock it out. After this peculiar open-sesame, she opened the door and went back into the house, the shadows enveloping her silver hair as she closed the door behind her.

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Music: Malcolm Maclaren, About Her. One of the most surreal requiems I have ever heard. I've had it on repeat most of the afternoon. A passport through closed doors leading into blue-lit wallpapered hallways, edith piaf wafting phonographically through air stale with glue and wood ash. Time melts off layer by layer until the ethereal body is floating through corridors, peering in rooms as if on a historical tour. Dog-eared sepia photographs of ivory laced daughters sit on wooden mantels, wry smiles branding into memory. Innocent leaves wander in through the foyer and brush the skin of the naked wood floor. Upstairs, Virginia Woolfe pens her name for the past time at her mahogany desk and makes her way down the stairs with a stone in her pocket, seeking out her own ethereal dream.

My babe's got a heart, like a rock that's in the sea;
my babe's got a heart, like a rock that's in the sea.

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