Arrival

Glossy eyed he looks to the window where daylight spangles the green growth of leaves across the parking lot. The early morning birds mock him and he rolls over to go to sleep, waiting for relief from the troubles of his life, waiting for the right moment to hit the big time in a world where everyone else has done what’s already done.

The sunshine has been extolled, the games have been made, the thoughts already thunk, nothing remains for him. His hobbies remain as augmented jewels in his crown, the sweat on his forehead is for his garden alone and his misplaced dreams stalk the fields of his mind like whistling stone titans in the dark rain.

Were they dreams or expectations?

All the while a calm voice eternally tells him, too softly to surmount the churning wash of intricate internet data and jabbering movies and maddening music, and fear. It is too soft to hear until he quiets his mind, faces his feelings like a stalwart rock in the ocean surf. Only when he lets the ride play out can he hear her in his mind…

And he finds a kind of peace. A small kernel of what cannot be touched, cannot be beaten down, will not yield to the pounding waves, the moving birds, the thunk thoughts. Each day he finds it harder to find, each day the weeds grow taller and he forgets to make the journey to the place of purity where the titans never walked. And in clarity like a gong, his body relaxes and he gets out of bed and makes coffee.

Balcony

He looked out from the balcony of his apartment and drew from another cigarette. There was not much to look at at 2AM, each of the cars in the parking lot had frost on them, the streetlamp flickered between the two trees that looked like brooding gods, everyone else was asleep in the world except for the diligent ones, the insomniacs, and the drunks. At best he was two out of the three. The languid vapors of gin shivered like heatstroke in his head and the dizzying combination of nicotine sent him clutching against the railing for support, but he could not take his eyes off the night sky, even as the roller-coaster of sensation made his body feel as though it were on the undulating wave of some impending time on the far side of a blissful oblivion. What could be captivating in this world if not the night sky.

He could hear the music from the end credits of the third movie he had watched in a row wind on from the other side of the sliding glass door and he wondered if he was keeping his neighbors up. The chase scene and the dramatic death of the climax had only been a few moments ago, gunshots and yelling and emotion that had captivated him so thoroughly the rest of the world ceased to exist and there was only the world of dreams and possibility that film brought to him. He wondered if that kept anyone up, that the music now might be calm and soothing. After the end of movies the real world comes rushing back in so fast, and the thoughts of neighbors and the wasted day pinged against the walls of his meandering mind.

The details of it all, of life and everything returned like a storm that circled around him and he hated himself for having nothing to show for all that brooding and wondering and hoping and wishing, and noticing. He hated how he had not done something with his time, that he was letting his days slip by with no advancement, no achievement beyond his own self gratification. Drink, movie, masturbate and make food. The couch, the balcony for a cigarette, his bedroom. The work he had to do sent away and the obligations that weighed his soul down unfettered for glimpses and grasps at fantasy before they ended and it all returned like a stone.

He had spent some time trying to separate used cooking oil from water. Two chicken breasts had spent the previous night and day marinating in spices and some kind of glaze.  The taste and scent of cooking them still lingered, but the oil had bubbled and burnt in the cast iron pan. The used cooking oil he had tried to distill into something that could be burned in a lamp. Heating it to get the water out, straining it, letting it separate, freezing it. He wanted something flammable to feel like he had done some kind of science, even going so far as to read online about the qualities of water and oil. But, it never got to that point and in his failure let the opaque brown fluid sit in a jam jar on the shelf over the kitchen sink.

The detail in which he went about this was only the minutia of someone very alone. Someone who was pining for something but afraid or too lazy to do it. He was fed up with the games that people play. Primitive games. But…Nothing deeper now welled within him, he was not at a loss, not regretful, just alive and between sleep and a living dream. Regret could wait for when time was no longer on his side, even as he lived the life of an old man, he was young and voices telling him to get out and enjoy life all sounded tired and played out, predictable and overplayed. What good were other people when their words and actions and emotions and thoughts were so easy to decipher.

Perhaps it was just him. He presently thought, that the reason the world seems so predictable, suffering through what he already knew or thought he knew was because of his own actions and trust and games that he played with the world. Perhaps that was why he was so alone.  Perhaps it was all a big game played on him or he was playing the game with himself. It was so easy to break the 4th wall of his life, and the shuddering waves of reality surrounded him quite suddenly and the brick walls of the building, the parkinglot and the night sky and the passage of time became quite real and yet surreal in their appearance.

He turned his back to the clear stars and looked down at his last puff of cigarette, and then focused on his robe and scarf and then on the concrete floor of the balcony, the ashes tumbled away from him in the cold wind, ashes like days of his life, ashes from his once full cigarette.

He leaned back against the balcony railing.

He tilted his head back and felt his chest rub against the inside of his sweatshirt. He took the last puff. The music repeated itself over and over from within, it was sweet and beautiful and the feelings of that last movie lingered on him like the breath of nicotine and the fullness of his stomach and the scent of oil and the haze of gin.

The dizzy spell continued then, overcoming all the previous sensations and the railing pressed into his back. He felt like he was flying.

Then it ended. He flicked the butt behind his back and over the side. Stumbled forward and re-entered his apartment finding that the TV was too loud for 2AM.

Unbridled

Where does the wind go?

Where does the time go?

When will the sun stay,

always in the sky?

I feel that there’s a rhythm,

and the song will never end,

but I know that there’s an ending

I just don’t know when.

I hope that one day then,

when it all comes crashing down,

I can see the lands where all that time had gone to,

and where the winds are all around,

where the sun shines every morning,

and a song.

If there should be a higher dimension to go to,

and more dimensions below,

am I still in the beginning,

or am I near their height?

I must be somewhere in the middle.

Living out this strange life.

 

 

Resonance

“Well you know she stepped up to me- had on these boots, like you know, like they were they were from the 1800’s, but there were skulls on em’. I’m rollin’ a jack and I watched her come up and she steps right in front of me, and BAM lands that pointy thing right between my legs.”

“She stepped on you?”

“Nah no no, on the stoop man, like on the concrete, like she was just out to scare me. All the tobacco in my paper goes flying and I get pissed off, I’m like “WHAT WAS THAT FOR!” and she leans in at me right up next to me and she says “whats the best part of life?”

…and that would be the kind of thing she’d do, just to get a rise out of people, you know rile em’ up, get them out of whatever, like cruse control they all act in. I mean I’m in it to, I try not to get stuck in it, but now I feel like my cruse control is just being paranoid about being comfortable.”

“What’s wrong with being comfortable?”

“Well it’s not real is it? Being comfortable isn’t being happy or sad, it’s being content, its not quite all there isn’t it. Maybe that’s just how I feel, I feel like I’m never comfortable. I’m always trying to get away from it, being content, cuz if your content you’re alright with nothing. Like if your content you are just fine with death. Letting time past with forgotten dreams. ”

“oh.”

“Yea, but I still love just laying down and I used to just exist and it’s a hard gear to get away from. It’s easy now with it all, all the TV programs. I guess being comfortable is just not getting anything, not reaching. People wanna be comfortable. I do to, but If I was  comfortable I’d never get anything done. But then I don’t know what I need to get done anyway. If it’s alright to just keep going and hope you end up somewhere. I’m just all chopped up and divided, and I don’t know if I’m the only one or it’s just a human condition. You know?”

“So you have doubts?”

“Shit yeah I got doubts. I’m a hypocrite. I’d like to think everyone is.”

“So what did you say?”

“about what?”

“When she asked you what the best part about life was.”

“Oh when she slammed her boot between my legs.”

“Yeah.”

“I thought about it, I had nothing to say. If you’re put on the spot like that its hard to get it out. Now, I just shoot out the first thing that comes to mind and damn the consequences. Not very responsible, but forget being contemplative. It’s just a god-damned Hamlet complex. ”

“So you didn’t say anything?”

“I thought, and it was a sunny day so I said sunshine. And when I said it, it didn’t feel real, you know, i was just trying to put something out there. How the hell can you- there is a whole world out there. Just pick one thing out of it. It’s all too much man. It’s insulting, and why should I be put on the spot about it.”

“You got upset.”

“Yeah, she riled me.”

“Like you said she does.”

“Yeah, that was how she got a rise.”

“Give others a rise?”

“yeah.”

“So what did she say?”

“SO I said sunshine, and just sat there. Like a dope, and she didn’t do or say anything for a long moment. She knew how to make a moment…significant. She looked at me for a while, she was right up in my face, and then she closed her eyes, she took in air through her nose… deep deep in and her chest rose and her stomach filled…And then she held it…and slowly she let it out through her mouth…and I got the smell that a close breath has….you know when it’s more CO2 than regular air…. And she let it out and she said : “BREATHING.”

“Did you agree?”

“I did after she said that.”

 

 

 

Gateway to the Distant Stars

The ship glided effortlessly through the inter-space traffic. Cruisers, frigates, saloons, two seaters , and a ponderous dreadnaught were all moving along digital pathways towards Ganymede and the hyperjump gate in orbit there. Jupiter loomed behind Grivo’s ship as he moved his furry hands across holographic buttons on the dashboard. The low red ambient light illumined the little alien  as he steadied the wheel and operated through the spaceway. The smooth jazz from the radio passed away as a steady electronic beat came in with heavy synth and drums. A voice came over the radio, the frequency and waves were from a dead time.

“This is Double-you Ex See I, college radio at 91.7 on your radio dial. Keep Kickin it.” The music then went into an 80’s style overdrive. The lights of the space-lanes passed seamlessly with the beat.

Grivo looked from the traffic to Lynda, watching the window in the passenger seat. The human woman didn’t move, but in the reflection of her face on the window, a liquid seemed to be pooling in her eyes.

“Is she sad?” Thought Grivo as he focused back on the road.

He looked back. “She might be sad.” Thought Grivo. Yet he said nothing for some time.

“Ahem,” He said, clearing his throat. “You know, your Earth music isn’t that bad. that jazz smooth stuff was ….nice, but I like this, it reminds me of Telphi in the Sergardi quadrant:  fast thrills, amazing food, hot dancers in every club and…um”

The 80’s overdrive faded into The Guns of Brixton by the Clash.

Grivo looked back quickly to see that she had not moved and the liquid was slowly rolling down her cheek.She wiped her face with her sleeve, sniffed and attempted a resolute demeanor.

“Yea.” said Lynda. The neon lights of the spaceway and the thrusters of passing ships moved across her face. “you know we aren’t that far from earth…well, not relatively far.”

Grivo looked back over. “Oh yeah?”

“Mhmm” said Lynda, “Same solar system.”

“No shit.” Said Grivo looking back forward to Ganymede and the swiftly approaching hyperjump gate.

There was a long silence as the music of Steely Dan’s Asia flowed into perspective. Grivo gulped down excess saliva that seemed to be building in his throat.

“Ah, more jazz smooth. Does earth have different music, or is it all just this stuff down there?”

“We used to have a lot of types of music on earth.” Said Lynda looking away from the window, into her lap.

“oh.” Said grivo looking back forward. “Right”

Another long silence continued between them, the space was filled with the keyboard skills of Donald Jay Fagen.

Grivo watched the road, ships weaved and sped through the lanes.

“There was Metal, and pop, and rock, Jazz of like a million kinds, opera, beroque, blues, BLUES!, motown, and funk, and disco, EDM, punk, rap, hip hop, and fusions between all of those things!” Said Lynda suddenly talking. Grivo watched her continue. It seemd as though she was trying to yell at space to hear her more than participate in a conversation.

“It all started with folk musics. Little tribes of people on our planet crawling out from whatever cave or rock they lived under. Wherever we came from, people made sounds. We did it to keep us happy, to remember sad times, to help us understand. To keep us from being afraid of the dark…”

She let her head hit the glass quietly, looking down into the vastness of madding space. Her hair trailing down around her as tears began to flow silently from her eyes, blurring the stars.

Grivo was focused on driving. But his ear was cocked towards her.

Lynda spoke into the glass. “Music was everything. It said what words just never could. It gave feeling to that which you never experienced, opened your eyes and reached into what made you what you were….and it was ours… it was our soul. And you didn’t need to be from the same time or place, you didn’t need to speak the same language in words to know how they felt or who they were and learn something new about the whole godamned experience of it all. It was…it was just human.”

The space between the next song lingered. As the Hyperjump gate neared a longing song by Vera Lyn warbled it’s way onto the radio in a rising crescendo of wistful pain. “…I’ll be looking at the moon,” Came over the hi fi as Ganymede passed slowly by the window. The gate loomed before them. Dominating the view from the cabin. A structure made to whisk the two travelers across time and space with imposable science and technology. A second existed in silence until Vera returned with her chorus. “buuuut I’ll beeee seeeeeinnnng youuuuuuuu.”

Lynda stood up. “AND THEN STUFF LIKE THAT WOULD HAPPEN!” She yelled and left the pilot’s cabin.

Grivo glanced back as the door closed with a hydraulic hiss. He looked back down to the instruments. At the gate before them. He sighed and pressed a few buttons turning the wheel and shifting the ship into the exit lane towards the moon of Jupiter.

A few moments later. Lynda came back. her face a little more loose and stretched.

She looked over the instruments and course.

“Where are we going?” She asked

“Earth.” Said Grivo.

part 3—> http://bit.ly/1yNqdEa

 

Here We have Myself And mi Amego Fast Fingers Fitch, The first song was written by yours truly and sung by Fast fingers. This was The Dog’s Meow at the Collabrative music project at Green Mt Collage. Band’s were randomly chosen and had one week to come up with a set. The Dog’s meow made up of Jason “dragon harp” Pratley and…George fast fingers Fitch.
(wammer jammer jam) (Right angle sleep) (Long Grey Mare [Fleetwood mac]) (Bring it on home [Led Zepplen])

Mozart Melting Over Pt 1

hp-little-night-music

In where I Dresden Howard tell of the first part of my night…(or well, closer to the middle, the first part involved a lot of driving and waiting. )
Yet now, a duet, an bloody finger, and scotch

 

So I just saw this classical-type orchestra-deal (http://mostlymozart.org/).

 

It began with a duet appetizer in which two wiolinests played a virtuoso of two regular songs and then seven quick numbers that showed their talent.   Now, I seem to have this empathetic ability to feel possibly what someone else is, I’m not sure how accurate this is, but I’m slowly testing it to see if it is in fact a superpower.
But, regardless of my potential supernatural abilities, the silence of the huge room and the two lone musicians brought to me that moment of tense fear, that lump in your throat as you are about to jump off the high dive or about to kiss someone. It filled the room and it emanated from the student of the two musicians, a young girl of about 21 or so. She was the one I empathized with, finally performing at 50% solo status. Next to her was this dude who seemed as though he was a god among violinists come down to earth for a fleeting moment. If you search violin god, that old dude the second row down is sort of what he looked like. (not iCarly). It seemed as though the young girl next to him was under his tutelage and I could feel their excitement. (I really wanted to use that word since I heard it this morning).

I sat in the balcony as the silence drew raw I could feel the musicians’ energy as the took their positions. The acoustics were so that the faintest shuffling, the scratch of fabric, the ever cleshe drop of a pin (although the floors were carpeted It could have been possible to hear a pin fall on the armrest or on someone’s bald head in the lower level). the moment hung on until they raised their bows and in a flash the silence was whisked away by a smooth crisp note of pure radiant love. The notes of the student complemented by her teacher soothed the butterflies I had for them in my stomach.  If you have never heard the faintest noise of a violin dancing with a partner in a silent room of five hundred people, I suggest you attempt to make it happen once.

They were astonishing, moving from songs that brought me to different worlds: a desert chase, an old man in is study dreaming of the cosmos, A cascade of faries jumping through the deep woods, and a battle between eagle riders and flying serpents. Yet just as swiftly as they began, the music stopped and they bowed and left to a low applause.

And that was just the free show at the beginning.

A scotch or two later on the veranda, I returned in a rather coming up psychedelic-style inebriation. I was aware that far more people showed up for the actual orchestra than the duet. Makes sense, but the duet certainly had me in gear for what was about to happen, I pitied those who had not felt what I did. I scanned the people who filed in and were sitting down. The crowd was far from the hippies I usually tango with up in Vermont, and they certainly were not the rap and hip hop enthusiasts from my home town. I don’t think any of them listened to metal in their life (except the one dude up front who’s spiked hair made a visible outline against the stage lights). No, despite the 25% who were classy young individuals with nothing to lose,  they were all mostly 40-60 year olds, married couples who decided to go out to Lincoln center (there was a veritable mountain range of balding heads).

However none compared to the couple sitting next to me in the balcony. There I was, about X scotches deep, sweating and feeling like I’m on the verge of a trip with all these people around and and the two most ancient people sit next to me. I slouched leftwards in my chair and begged  for them to say nothing to me.

I think a curse that counterbalances my possible superpower is that I cant help talking to people, and I’m good at it. What? not a curse? Even if I have nothing to say, there I am saying something, spouting bullshit. Oh look there’s someone I’d rather not speak to, but once they initiate a conversation, I’m done for for at least fifteen minutes. (I also am bad at ending these conversations usually which is why I avoid them)

The guy who sat next to me.

The guy who sat next to me.

But of course, the woman, who looks like a janga tower, turns to me over her husband and says to me. “Do you know who Mozart is?”

This was immediately the wrong thing to ask. With my conversational curse and the fact that alcohol removes that fine layer of my mental process that determines what you should say that’s honest, and what you should say that’s “polite” (lie). I have no real problems with older people, in fact the majority of them are awesome, funny people who lived in a time I can watch about on the history channel. Yes, they were there in those messed up camera recordings. They listened to phonographs and lived in a world before shit got complicated.

Well at that moment I forgot all that and took her remark as an insult, just because I was the only younger person here that I wouldn’t be as cultured as her.

And so the conversation became very one sided “Of course I know who Mozart is,” I said “Why the hell would I be here if I didn’t know who Mozart was!? look, just because I’m not decrepit dosen’t mean I don’t understand the finer points of classical composerey- ” I belched the taste of scotch

Well she retreated and at that point her addled husband turned to me and put his finger in my face. “Don’t talk to my wife that way.”

He had a napkin that was stained with blood over his finger and it was three inches from my nose. I was about to remark when some merciful deity sent the musicians out from the realm they had been previously kept in, and applause ended that phase of the interaction.

To be continued….

Dresden—