An ordered disorderliness; that’s what it makes me think of, that story. The umbrella, dark blue, an inexpensive model, curved plastic handle, had much history. I had left it once in a man’s car. Face white and soft like dough. Old, long silver braid, drowning in nostalgia for a time that almost was, his voice etching out from the perpetual grief of his people, transformed into a blade of flaccid hope. Correct. He trembled once before Alan Ginsberg. I left the umbrella in his car, leaping out against raindrops to tumble down my familiar rabbit hole. A train station, yes. He returned it on a rainy night a week later.
Degrees of separation? None. All of the characters are the same character. I am Alan Ginsberg. An ordered disorderliness.
It was not my umbrella. Like a cat, it lived a secret life before it came to me for comfort. If you feed them, umbrellas come back. They are practical, opportunistic, but not loyal. Yet, as mentioned, they sometimes come back. I was given a small maroon car. Clown car chugging up mountainous road, sea swelling to my right. Pop! Pop! Fizz, fizz. No, no relief, instead a sad play called “Death Of A Clown Car.” But in her death throes I wrestled a delicate life from her womb, stick-like, melancholic in hue, but certainly the last and best she had to give the world.
What do they eat? Oh, tears, of course. Yours, or Gods, whoever breaks first.
The woman, a political refugee. Black hair, streaks of silver, crimson lips. Artist, professor, maimed architect, aristocrat, poet, latina, communista, intelligentsia, dilettante, withering well over her strange fruit. She held it in her gloved hand, hurrying through storms. From holy names to that car. That car.
What is it with you and doomed idealists? Don’t you like accountants? Postal workers? Security guards? No, no! Not you. You are a gourmand, feasting only on the finest tears! Who weeps more prettily, more passionately than idealists? Vampire, with your frail aluminum skeleton and delicate nylon wing stretched over my head, whispering of transience. Her name? Does it matter? She was friends with Pablo Neruda. Think of me as Pablo. It was her car I wrested the umbrella from, she left it there like an infant in a basket, or a sack of kittens destined for a river.
Why? Why did I do it? The responsibility was too much. It was a burden to carry that thing.
The truth? It crawled in there itself to find it’s way to me. Her tears had become… flat. Mellowed by age, reasonable comfort, and lack of expectation. She never married again, she maintained a healthy social life. Thus prospects for misery were poor. It was time for more tantalizing fare.
Foolishness. All people harbor secret woe twisted round their hearts like razor wire forcing them to wince thus, walk so, and flick their wrists laughing, “I never did mind the little things.” Clowns weep with the most intensity after the lights are dimmed and the grease paint is melting.
You have so much to say about the others. What about you? Stop, pushing on me that way! I’ll open up when I’m good and ready!
(Spoken by the author or the umbrella? Wait, is the author the umbrella?)
There, gently. As you said, inexpensive model, yet look how I’ve weathered (pun intended?) the years. Do you want to know why I like you so much?
No, I’d rather not. This is what makes rainy days gloomy.
Why did you get in that man’s car?
Because it was raining. But look at you now, dancing in the rain. You like it as much as I do.
Had you considered that I meant it metaphorically? It was raining inside of me.
What more is there to say? I was, as the song says, crying inside and nobody knew it but me. Nobody could see. Nobody cared.
Just like when you were young.
Tell me about that.
It rained a lot then, outside too. I walked home from school alone each day wearing my grandfather's long green coat. He had been in the airforce. I never knew him. The jacket made me feel a little safer. I could imagine that he was somebody who would have cared, that the jacket at least wanted to keep me warm and dry, wanted to protect me. Strangers hurt me every day and there was no one who noticed, no one who would help me.
How old were you?
12. It rained a lot that year. Record precipitation. I walked everyday. No one was home when I got there. There was never a hot dinner. Peanut butter and jelly or swiss cheese with mustard on bread that was mostly air. When they came home they vented their frustrations on me. We had lost our house, this one was a rental in a strange new neighborhood. It had maroon carpeting.
Well, is that all?
Isn’t that enough for now?
I don’t know. Is it? You brought all of this up.
It was Ginsberg, actually.
That’s a creative cop out. Lets be honest. You have projected all of this on to me. You began this dialog and you have disguised it as art, but you are using me (not the other way around as you would have the reader believe.) You are using me to get to the root of your own self.
Self is a transient thing, that is my point. There may be pain in this one life, the trick is not to mind it, not to identify with it, and to do something with it, to literally transform it.
Literally transform it. That was good. I like that. However, I don’t see how any of that supports your opening statement that self is transient.
Well take this text for example. I am the creator, but I keep changing perspectives. As above so below.
Are you really going to go there?
Why not? I knew a man who knew a man who knew Aliester Crowley. I am The Great Beast 666. Occultist, mystic, ceremonial magician, poet, mountaineer-
You copied that from wikipedia. You are a lonely frightened child.
Most of us are. An ordered disorderliness. Always raining. I had always wanted a car to get into, someone to protect me from the rain. A clown? Struggling, open, open, Ah! Here you are. My own blue nylon anathema pulled straight from a flaming blossom, exploding clown car. My heart. Prince charming? A thorn. A blue umbrella with abandonment issues. Degrees of separation? None. Who is practical, opportunistic, but not loyal? All of the characters are the same character. Skeptical? Because I am. In a world of sleepers, skeptical because I am, everyone is dreaming their own dream. Anonymous drops of precipitation. Participation? I am, a storm of organic lethargy, because skeptical. A vortex of desire.
Letters written, letters received, pleas for help, for love, acceptance, tossed from a wooden bridge into a rushing stream below. Young woman, head shaved, two black eyes, smoldering hole where a clown car should be, (Do you mean where a heart should beat?) her umbrella vibrating under the rain's incessant tap, tap, tap. Her journals too, poetry, there is no good in the world, “there let thy bleeding branch atone”, water under the bridge. Hairless, voiceless, always raining maiden. No one is coming to rescue her. Not ever. Not the painter, not the minstrel, not the poet, they will take their turns with her, cracking her bones and sucking the marrow in search of mother the abandoner. (All people harbor secret woe twisted round their hearts like razor wire. Smoldering hole, flaming clown car, vortex of desire.)
“I never did mind the little things.” But the umbrella? What color is it? And will it stay?
IT IS A BLUE UMBRELLA I SAY!
And it will stay, stay, stay.
Labels: car, choice, communication, contact, desire, dream, identification, language, memory