All aboard. People I very much appreciate:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Let's begin with a picture of me and Frankie around 1957:
I was pretty sure my big brother was really just me closer up and I was an optical illusion, but Norma recently found this snapshot of him and me dressed alike and standing together in front of the fig tree. It is typical of '50s photos. The cameras were excellent but the world was black and white under sepia back then and blurry. I was there. I remember.

Also, things went slower, like our brains. We were generally outdoors all day wondering, very slowly, what was to become of us. If the atomic bomb didn't fall on us, we knew we'd grow up and be in color some day --color was part of puberty-- and have to do work. We didn't exactly know what we were suited for. If we wanted to become politicians in the '50s, we'd have to develop powerful handshakes, learn to smoke cigars and talk real loud. If we wanted to be service station attendants, we'd each have to run at cars from all directions and check dipsticks and tire pressure before they rolled to a stop. If we wanted to be doctors we'd have to find out where they got those special black bags and blue bicycles that they rode out on when we got sick. They were Schwinns. Our doctor rode a Schwinn.

It's been three weeks since an episode sent me to my doctor and began a series of probes and tests to see if my innards were ok and if I had any brains left, but he didn't ride over here on a Schwinn. I had to go see him. When we were kids, the only thing everybody was certain of, in a time of great uncertainty, was we all wanted Schwinn Cruisers. Didn't matter if we became doctors or not, we wanted Schwinns. I am not a doctor. Frankie is not a doctor. He is in color now and still bigger than I am, but I now have something he has not. I went shopping this morning. Bought a Schwinn Cruiser.

Monday, April 14, 2014

O, Beauteous Gladsome Season!

First, here is a portrait of me from this weekend:
It is artwork committed by one who loves me, so I will refrain from critiquing it. Admittedly, it possesses a resemblance to my inner self, my homonunculus, who was not born into captivity and ignorance as I was. He is wild, canny and has fierce orange teeth. I am working to cultivate these virtues into my corporeal self, except the teeth. I like my real teeth, made of hard white tooth stuff --a scientific dental term-- and not carrots, which are no good for gnashing, rending or any fierce articulation of wild canniness.

Only once do I recall looking in a mirror and seeing an approximation of  Veggieface. It was many years ago, when I was a child in college, after an evening forum that covered all known but unknowable subjects and made everybody fall down. My roommates and guests had overtaxed their brains and underestimated the refreshments. Chief offender was a local red wine, available at the time at 75 cents per gallon to connoisseur oenophiles of all ages, which turned out --upon later suspicion and consensus-- to be a coal-tar derivative. I survived that intellectual insurrection firmly resolved never to resemble bunny food again.

This brings us to our next picture:
It shows the southwest field purpled in redstem filaree. Cottontails and jackrabbits often bounce and kaboingulate through it. These are normal, natural, free bunnies --not born into captivity but not bothered by homonunculism either-- who are unencumbered by psychology and metaphysics. Although joyously brainless, they do announce the advent of Springtime, not like the Easter Bunny --who doesn't resemble his Biblical description at all-- but just by being their bunny selves. Although they are phenomenally athletic and quick, I don't know that they set much of an example to young people, human or not, or help them pick careers --except maybe, those who aspire to become flyherders.

Flyherders must be nimble enough to drive flies to market where they are purchased for turtle feed. This is the job all those little soccer players in elementary and preschool are being trained for. They view the world, even into adulthood, as a big gym class or field of filaree. They are quick like bunnies, perhaps quicker. But nature has its stabilizers. More and more flies are developing canniness, pretending to be bees, hovering and landing on blossoms, communing with their irreducibly dinky houseflynunculi and escaping the turtle food abattoirs. There's one now:


Monday, April 7, 2014

L'Heure Bleue

I'll begin with a washtub full of toadstools.

You don't see many examples of great literature begin with the sentence over this one, so I'm off the hook. No pressure. Norma paints things "bleu", like buckets, buildings and old beloved rusted tools, and they become hers. I don't let her paint my 8-horsepower wood-chipper bleu, part of our marriage vow 45 years ago. Consider:
                                         My old shovel head!

                                           My little ladder!

                                                    My field-gate!

                                               My sainted grampa's bunghole borer!!!!

I find I am to blame, at least for the toadstools. I miscalculated the kindness of extraterrestrials. They came not as full-grown entities but as spores, not to save us from Atomic Destruction and politics of idiocy, but from being crushed by billions of trees falling over billions of years and not rotting away. My wood chipper provides cellulose material for toadstools to thrive. How did they get to earth? I have composed a palpable theory. Observe:
Here you see a toadstool from outer space preparing to dust our planet with spores and spare us from smothering under fallen trees by eating them up. How did I develop this theory? By observing the clues and silences on the subject in this girl for nearly half a century:
Is this the face of someone who'd paint things bleu for no particular reason? Decidedly, she is trying to tell us something, something important. Funding of education may be made impossible, the plug may be pulled on our internet and all human knowledge since paper books prove electronically written in disappearing ink, but paper made from trees will always be available. There is an intergalactic initiative to keep this planet producing pulp. It foments in the reader's heart, the cosmos and comes from out of the bleu.