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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The People of My Town



You know and I know that there is an eternal something, an indefinable quality about this town. It’s not the brick houses, and it ain’t the names that we are called (though it (and we)must have a name (must have names), an epithet or appellation of some sort, something that, if we’re going to talk about it (ourselves) in reasoned discourses over dinner, must lend itself to use as a term of personal identification). We can say with some certitude that it ain’t the stars, and it, sure as hell, ain’t the planet earth. We all know it, deep within our burning bones: that the eternal something is human. And all best people, all the greatest humans live here, in my town.

Our Mayor once lived in a mental institution. Honest. He suffered a head injury (Bullet wound. Long story. Don’t ask...) that resulted in a desperate mental disruption: dementia and personality changes. His skull was measured and weighed by the doctors in their professional white coats in an attempt to make a full and complete accurate diagnosis. The bullet wound healed eventually and, with the help of the soothing sounds of opera music, he was fully cured. In 1952, during Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunist inquisitions, the Senator sans la morale made much of the fact that our honorable mayor speaks Russian. It’s not that he was a Soviet spy; it just comes in handy when we need to ask Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin for help.

Our honorable Mayor and Father Maynard at the Episcopal Church speak together on Thursday afternoons. Each week they converse with each other in a new dead language. This week, Gothic. Last week they argued for several hours in Etruscan about Marxist theories of art during wartime. Next week they’ll be speaking in Cumbric concerning the recent deaths of famous musicians.

Lisa Marie is a dancer on an invisible leg.

Grant Tildwilder served with the Socialists in the Spanish revolution. He just got back into town a week ago with a tattoo, nasty nightmares, and a collection of international folk songs that he’s been teaching me.

We are not afraid of ghosts here, well not most of us anyway… There are Party Girls in the Space Zone. They meet there on Friday nights. But don’t tell anyone (don’t tell Father Maynard). It’s a secret.

Billy Rider rides her dirt-bike through the woods; she hunts for mushrooms and fairy circles. She’s disappeared a couple of times in the past, but so far she’s always come back to us. The ronds de sorciers can’t seem to hold her for very long. It is long enough, however, to inflict a great charm on her. The last time Billy went missing, she came back 4 days later ranting about the seemingly contradictory positive arguments being bandied about the office. “It’s an argument from a distance, and not falsifiable,” she said. She went on to suggest that we should each one of us take a nocturnal adventure into our own personal hell.


“Is that correct?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she said that it is.
“Can you describe your experience?”
“ I certainty will.  Yes. But it will take time.”

Melvo was an IWW agitator. He wibble-wobbles, but he never falls down. He lives in a hobo jungle box car at the edge of town. “I’m a tramp. I’m a bum,” he says. “Bum, bum, bum da bum.” Melvo and Grant sing together sometimes on open-mic night at the bar.

Marva is blind, but she flew, solo, across North and South America in a hot-air balloon following the migratory path of irregular birds. She could, using a strange organ in her ear (the result of human/ avian mutation) “feel” the invisible currents that carry the birds across those vast distances.

As I said, all the best people live here; I’ve been saying that for the past several thousand years. I’m always surprised by how little people listen.



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