Let's not be coy. I regret I have but one life to give for my country. As I now understand it, this statement, once attributed to patriot Nathan Hale who was hung by the British as a spy, has now been reclassified as apocryphal. Rubbish, I say, but ultimately it doesn't matter. Slogans are only wordsuck. Language itself is mere alphabet dirt, but from healthy soil we rise, and survey all that nature confers. But yes. These are perilous times. While I wish to remain strong, to steer my family through what I feel are dangerous and rough times ahead in a land of strangers, much like you described, I am not afraid to put it all on the line if the occasion calls, but until that hour I am just a writer, a poet, a painter, a husband, a farmer, and a friend to the friendless who seek just one.
Chin up Bonnie. I also hail from a family of shrimpers. I never knew that about you. I just observed you as a cute little blonde girl who was nice in class, and had all the right friends, some of the same ones I had. Seems I recall you hanging out with Colleen Kane a good bit, and the Anderson sisters. Your own daughters seem wonderful. Job well done. So indeed, let's continue to reach out. I am real. That much you can expect of me. Big Brother is a bully. I have faced many a bully blocking my path. Damn the stories upon which we as unique individuals are built...
Again, thanks for your kind words. My life gets very busy at times, but personal outreach is very important to my daily stamina, so have patience, be assured that I am never far away, but I will think of you often, and in turn, am always delighted to hear from you. If you have a solid email address, perhaps we can move our conversations off Facebook, for privacy and organizational concerns, if only a niche or two more secure.
Either way, I wish you the very best you can muster in your day to day. I have a few health concerns myself, so can empathize as a peer. Thank you for making me your friend. I still have to laugh that you thought I was homosexual, although I understand. I was quite flaming in high school, still am in many ways I suppose.
Also, have several siblings in the Stone Mountain area...
We had decided to launch a web design business. I had shown initiative and a certain level of flair as a designer in these early days of low bandwidth and high expectations. I needed a sales force. The always debonair Steve Taylor was indeed a force of nature, but the looming question was would he find this business partnership something he would take seriously enough to apply some of those "looking good selling ice to Eskimo" skills.
My own brother Clyde, a home and commercial roofing magnate in Atlanta, after six months of prepping me to run a new satellite office he wanted to open in the DC area, went silent, just a few weeks before, and I had sensed something was fishy, and that this "opportunity" was not going to happen for me. Clyde finally answered his phone that morning, and acted as if nothing was supposed to be going on between us although just a few weeks before this was to be a life-changing transition for both of us. Finally, I pressed, only to hear him say to me, wryly, without apology or irony, that he had just bought a boat. Yep, I knew it. Clyde is the type of person who obsesses and is always churning over the details of a new financial strategy, and was doing just that for months on end with me until the tell-tale silence two to three weeks before.
Steve, my closest friend at the time, was also given to similar mystifying behavior. I knew Clyde's to be pure selfishness, down to the last atom in a Heisenberg count like any achievement oriented American businessman because that's what it takes in today's guttersnipe environment. Mr. Taylor however, was apt to opt for degenerative spiraling for what seemed it's own sake, a nasty habit I knew salted my own basket of fries from time to time.
That background bring us to this rather muted exchange between Steve and myself, though the poison of past experiences was bubbling just below the surface tension of events real and imagined, traded calmly via email on Saturday, 17 May 1997.
GT: I know we can do this web design thing with great rewards, but there are things to work out and follow through upon. With the three of us wanting the same thing at the same time, the world doesn't stand a chance denying us. I am ready. BUT IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? (Moody Blues 1971), So your early morning enthusiam about getting together early this afternoon is already waning?
What usually happens is that I’m making a joke from frustration in trying to reach you, a joke you would probably volley in infinite jest if we were face to face or even voice connected, but be assured I’m frightfully aware the problem is mine, and that I need to improve my voice machine skills to a more Stevelike level since I do tend to puzzle you, or rather grizzle you with my sour messages from time to time.
[TaylorS] If I mentioned getting together early this afternoon, that was at a point when I thought that the Help Desk would pull me off Saturday coverage (a previous, months-ago commitment.) As is, I was required to work until at least 5pm today as you hint about games in the park, and suggest we can't brainstorm if I drink.
GT: Whoa! That would be a first. SET dropping by to pow wow without drinking.
GT: But I've been needy all afternoon thinking it would be great to have a confidence builder named Steve Taylor in my orbit, but as typical, I seem to be on my own with every personal tragedy always in some queue, while others seek out me as a close ear over and over again. Perhaps you feel I let you down the other day, but I didn't.
[TaylorS]I don't feel let down. Your work helped solidify a reputation I was already building with a reputable media contact. Maximum respect to you. Every thing you do at Howrey or wherever is your own autonomous call, but not every thing you do is self-edifying, gratifying maybe, edifying no, and that's all I tried to point out.
GT: Sue just called, and rushed in with consoling voice to comfort me in what she knew was an agonizing afternoon after that Clyde bomb. Very sweet of her. She was there this morning. She heard my side of the conversation and she knows Clyde first hand and why I had to finally tell him what I told him.
[TaylorS]To hell with Clyde.
GT: But I understand, Steve. If you don't want to come by, simply don't. You know, I'm too cynical to beg. Do drop by when you feel it convenient. Blah, blah, blah.
[TaylorS]My main concern with stopping by is bike time. I would rather not put my [currently] less self in the line of traffic fire for too long.
We all have to eat and blow great wads of money in places we think make us feel manifest, moxy, and maximized carbon-based lifeforms, but I am simply saying, let’s get serious, or else just simply quit this shadowboxing shit. It’s wearing me out, and going nowhere fast, uh slow? And now that the Clyde and Ricky show is floating belly-up, I’m feeling a little, no, a lotta sick inside.
GT: Okay I got that garbage out of the way. Uh, where does that leave me? Oh yeah, standing smack dab in the middle of your maybe. Bottom line? I think we can discuss formulative details if you leave you own neuroses at the back door, and I leave mine there too, and we talk real talk and real turkey without bombast.
[TaylorS]That could happen.
GT: This Clyde thing is synchronistic fatalism at its most timely. Let us learn from that fiasco, and invent ourselves properly. And another thing. Answering machines (despising my own voice) somewhat intimidate me, as does writing e-mail seems to intimidate not a few others. I know I come off rather sarcastic at times on the box, but I don't really mean to sound that way, nor do I wish to impugn your work habits, especially at the jobplace. What usually happens is that I'm making a joke from frustration in trying to reach you, a joke you would probably volley in infinite jest if we were face to face or even voice connected, but be assured I'm frightfully aware the problem is mine, and that I need to improve my voice machine skills to a more Stevelike level since I do tend to puzzle you, or rather grizzle you with my sour messages from time to time. I apologize for any and all.
[TaylorS]Thanks for clearing that up. understood.
GT: Okay you just called and it seems we are on for this afternoon. Great! Let's make it mean something. With all this defeat in the air, I feel like shit, real nasty run down my leg and up again shit...
GT: And I also realize I grow a little short and disrepectful of you at times, and really don't want to continue down that path, but indeed you should start measuring up at the plate, and I think all will be just dandy between. Let it be said you and I are not my brother's brother...
[TaylorS]Hey, I've certainly started to scorn youthful hubris in early-twenty-somethings, so I can see from where you are coming.
Earlier, this is what I posted to Sue:
What was not mentioned in that note to Peter was, no, I am not expecting SET to stop everything to focus on OUR project. We all have to eat and blow great wads of money in places we think make us feel manifest, moxy, and maximized carbon-based lifeforms, but I am simply saying, let's get serious, or else just simply quit this shadowboxing shit. It's wearing me out, and going nowhere fast, uh slow? And now that the Clyde and Ricky show is floating belly-up, I'm feeling a little, no, a lotta sick inside.
Yep, from the Albany Public Library on her cellular. Yesterday. Place was packed with Power Macs, with a minority of Wintels, which of course colored me pink with passion as I tried to waddle her through the surf. It's amazing how Sue maintains this mental block about the Internet, can't quite get her mind around it, but because I know what I know, my own level of expertise far outstripping what little she does know, it makes some sort of weird GT-BS sense. We tend to rush into each other's void. I still prefer to let her troubleshoot my OS when there's trouble but in the last few months of fixes, managing very nearly on my own, I've regained a confidence I lost to boredom even in that area, although Sue usually can instantly answer a system question and she still has the edge in local area networking savvy, while I grunt at such mundane interruptions to my more natural work.
She could quickly and maniacally transform into a mankiller on a nickel, in a wildcat hustle, clawing flesh and sheetrock leaving clumps of DNA all over any later testimony, especially when drinking past her stopping point. But on this sunny May afternoon we were merely romping through the city without restraints or vile poisons in our blood, enjoying ourselves at an Internet café on the softer side of rock and roll. I felt the spirit of Blumstein enter me as I said to myself, “Dammit, I felt like a rock star showing off my designs, the blueprint of my future victories over self-loathing. Thanks for noticing, you flatter me you clever girl.”
They were finally able to view the Peachmyth page with the Hedrick partial family photo. Aunt Lou was not in the picture, although Richard and I were. Aunt Lou tried out some ancient wit by proclaiming that the women in the picture looked better than the men, but who would ever declare otherwise? Not me with my upstart motto of "Give me women or give me blindness..."
When Sue was finally successful in loading a page, it was slow, slow, slow. My loads beat hers by a factor of four if not greater. She couldn't give me any modem or CPU details. Her first machine froze, so she moved to another. The second machine dazzled her with reload speed after each crash, but with a skeletal OS framework, there was no surprise there. I didn't even bother trying to get her to check the Navigator memory cache; the damn thing was crashing on that Lily Artwatcher page, a very simple, and hardly graphically burdened upload. I had her try to mail me from a Netscape/iMote link, but the library has no POP3 service, so THAT failed. All in all, a nightmare on Elm Street (is that the street the library is on???). Nope, a quick check. It's on Pine Street. Close but no cigar. Not quite the bohemian hip we managed at New York City's@Café last May with Jennifer watching and nodding favorably, carrying on in her own words "that my online work was sort of like rock stardom..." Always seductive, but dangerously frosty under certain conditions, Jennifer could spell the most charming kindness and come off as the most untethered supportive girl a man could ever want to know when she wanted, and she didn't even have to be chasing something at the moment, but I never doubted her sense of entitlement in the bloodsport of our agestar fucking. She could quickly and maniacally transform into a mankiller on a nickel, in a wildcat hustle, clawing flesh and sheetrock leaving clumps of DNA all over any later testimony, especially when drinking past her stopping point. But on this sunny May afternoon we were merely romping through the city without restraints or vile poisons in our blood, enjoying ourselves at an Internet café on the softer side of rock and roll. I felt the spirit of Blumstein enter me as I said to myself, "Dammit, I felt like a rock star showing off my designs, the blueprint of my future victories over self-loathing. Thanks for noticing, you flatter me you clever girl." True however, was the dumb fact that I had passively aggressively coerced her flattery by mumbling something to the effect that "Well, it's not as glamorous as being in a band, but I do enjoy creating pages..."
On the beachhead, check out the freshly ported Literary Chip pages, slighted overhauled from the GeoCities look. You can access them from the main page (the second one) by clicking on the Lily Artwatcher link located just under the wordslaphappy. Sue grew up in the house in which her parents, Wilma & Dermot still own and reside a single block off the old Albany family-named Slappy Drive, Albany's most notable commercial avenue? Hence, slaphappy.
Today's Sue's 47th birthday. She's still asleep. I ache all over with a variety of old age outa shape self-abuse seasonal change ailments. Sinus. Pinched nerves. Left earbuzz half death and in a state of perpetual ringing caused at the Zodiac Mindwarp show in London [in '92]. Brain tumors. Colon cancer. The works.
Richard is leaving today on his way to Philadelphia to visit an old friend berfore returning to Georgia. It's been a rather enjoyable three days, but I think we've gone as far as we can go. He'll be seventy in February, has a classical art fetish, and knows little about the 20th century other than what he can remember from yesterday's news, although he has recently redeveloped his fondness for the Beatles. He gave us a nude he painted. The model is a Southern Baptist virgin schoolteacher he likes to tell for the laugh, although he actually paints from pictures in magazines or photographs he has taken. In this case, the former method was used. His style is impressionistic much in the fashion of Renoir, whose works the two of us took in at the Phillips Collection earlier this week.
I'm rather peeved that my fancy monitor hasn't arrived yet. If it doesn't show today, Apple's three week delivery projection will have been proved bogus. Meanwhile, the 8500 just sits on the table unattached. Of course, I recall your PC sat in the box for quite some time before you developed the right combination of enough interest, nerve, and need to string it all together...
Appreciated your last letter as usual. Everybody's beginning to stir, so I 'll sign off and join them...
Friday's notes were written under the influence. Starting drinking about one thirty or so in the sunny after effects of too much joy, always a reel for meforgive the stilted demagoguery, the whining, and the bitch.
Yesterday the Dollhouse gang was spent in a Australian/punk rock retro-feast. First Perry Farrell's GIFT (a crippling celebration of drug mania and rock music), then two Australian flicks. Blumstein joined Tim, Libra and I for these last two flicks: the "skinhead is stupid" (no arguments here) film called ROMPER STOMPERS where this racist gang of onionheads pretty much self-destructs after picking on some innocent Vietnamese and carry forthy until they run the gamut of such a tiny war against nothing. And from the Dollhouse vault, DOGS IN SPACE, another look at the uselessness of it all, not that ANY lifestyles, alternative, square, patriotic, fetishistic, traditional, mail order, fuddy duddy or mistletoed guarantee anything less humiliating than the chaos and oppression of fighting the nature this planet reflects. But all this energy that goes into rebellion...
You'd think by now somebody would have figured out that revolutions of the masses is a stroll in the park in peace, not some flaming pipebomb in one's own pocket. Every backyard connects to somebody else's. Youth rebellion as fashion statement. Radical man, burning man...
Mimicking medieval fashion, mimicking God. Nothing seems to change the way arrogance, greed. stupidity, and pain work their generational black magic across every demographic slice ever evolved, calculated, or found in chains on their way up, or on their way down. The rich just USUALLY have a better back-up plan. The hope of billions is a hope based on a madness only the mirror on the wall seems to hide as each of us stare into it murmuring for old time's sake, "Who is the fairest of all?"
We ordered Chinese last night from the old reliable Sechezuan House on Eighth. Been ordering from there I reckon near monthly over a satisfying 12 years of whimsy and fortune cookie analysis. There were no surprises, just good dependable eats. Managed to track into Rio Grande's on Wilson Blvd. Saturday afternoon on our way to Microcenter to play the Macintosh fiddle plus return a German translation program I bought the week before but later thought better of the expense. This is no exaggeration. Rio Grande's is the absolute finest Mex American diner I've ever experienced. A jazzy colorful place with a killer ambiance meshing art and leisure, a winning combo which lobbies the nostrils and flotillas the eyeball for days! Most excellent service staff, handpicked smiles polite to the teeth. A wolf's rack of marinated ribs, fajitas, salsa, nachos...the whole enchilada.
The funniest part was we barely touched our entrees on site, stuffed to the gills on the nacho platter, but the pedigree of the establishment is no longer a well-kept secret. I loved it!
The Pennsylvanian YAST is on the wane around these parts. Both literarily and personally. Nothing I can do about that. The speculative prowl. The beckoning howl. Strong incentives to blow off the streets and into the wind of better things I figger he is thinking. Girls in pearls beat guys on sighs as any decade can prove. Friends are like coffee for two, or nostalgia in a bag. Cost more than you'd expect, and somebody's bound to be disappointed with the flavor of the month. Meanwhile, the aphrodesiac of appearances is a one-way street no prejudice can navigate without some measure of success.
After a week on the back burner avoiding a few web problems I'm back to the grind today.
Libra's grandmother was rushed to the hospital with internal bleeding this weekend, postponing her son Richard Waller's visit to the Dollhouse planned since spring for the upcoming weekend, indefinitely. She's 90 plus, 95% blind, and won't see her regular physician until today. Get well soon, Mommy Ethel!
"...Cos suddenly there was a flood of instant messages, and I discovered that I was almost the only woman left." Jennifer
Quite the norm, Jennifer. Men are such worms. Dirt is our life, say I. Eight hours a day, five days a week, years of clawing, spent in the dirt, clay, and mud rubs off on ya, and its cough gets sucked into the bloodstream where it pollutes the whole body, including the eyes, the nostrils, the mind. In the ever controversial Book of Genesis, it is written somewhere that God cursed the ground. Having spent more than a gentleman's share wallowing, hiking, muscling through the dirt and the mud, pounding nails, hubs, stakes, whacking brush, thorns, poisonous vines, yellow jacket hives, wading stiff rivers, armpit-high flood zones flooded, half-frozen creek beds, and the shitty bowels of sewage trunk systems, I came to believe it, too. Blue collar men who have remained holy are my heroes. The same for their women.
"So today I did some reading and went to a park, waded in a creek, and hiked to Taughnannock Falls. I felt restored enough to leap back online. Read your missives (by the way may I also say that i'm also amused by your notes and often sit here chuckling and grinning...LOLI'm learning the lingo)"
Cool with an asterisk. Re-read preceding paragraph of mine. But still wish I were there sharing the exhileration. Chicklet in wading boots, vroom. And perhaps I shall soon, if you really want me to be, there, with you, me, old ugly bulging me. Psychological exploitation is such a two-way street. Jen, you make such a big deal about bodily architecture sometimes it's like you are nailing a mouthful of piranha spikes into my brain.
About the comment I made in nyc about cybersex and communications....What did I say?....You know me, mind like a sieve...help me plug the holes and refresh my faulty memory."
That was it. It was a oneliner tossback. You bubbled forth with that typical edge in your voice indicating that, well, your exact words were: "Hey, you and I could go into the cybersex business together" after I was telling you what some folk were doing already with the newest Internet tools. Your software. My hardware. Thatsweetbones was a double entendre. Your body and sexual instincts serving as the software, i.e. the program matter. Tools and expertise to operate the technology of course would be mine (and Sue's, together with her bookkeeping talents no piss in the wind either). I didn't really respond beyond a hopeful facial expression because I hear so much throwaway promises out of the mouths of friends and would-be friends that I have grown cold to the hearing. Enter the Steve Taylor arguments. I am still a PowerMac away from exploring the teleconferencing protocols, but Sue promises one any month now, and then I will be eager to test that warm, metallic dream of George & Judy Jetson emerging. How justified am I in considering your words worth the air they rode in on...
These last few thoughts may help you, although I know you already do understand my insistence in finally shaking off that "go with the flow" attitude, and finally doing things MY way, THY way...and why Jack last February, and now Steve Taylor have been early inheritors of my refusal to suffer leisure idiots their pleasure as they invade what many have perceived as my good nature and fair household...
"Sorry that I can't make it down this summer...poss. in the fall (depending on school) or at least at winter break when I shall again be financially sound thanks to the great American pastime of accumulating debts which can't be repaid."
I will count on it. But then the years roll by, and still no Jennifer. You know Sue and I both love you with everything we have. Now baby don't take this the wrong way (is there a right way?), but we, okay, moi more than she, have long fantasized that you would eventually end up cohabiting with us, here, there, anywhere, the three of us, a sustainable family unit, the final solution to each of our unique problems, doing something, doing everything. Both general and specific prophecies encourage it, but nothing can or will happen until the situation, or any situation for that matter is ripe. This is the curse of my way of life. I am always seeking signs, knowing nothing myself except that which is given to my understanding through an intricate matrix of synchronicities and undismissable, unmistakeable directives. Meanwhile we all individually, and collectively go about our lives, sorting out ourselves from our enemies, our lusts from our loves, and our intelligences from our stupidities. I am probably overstepping the laws of fate by mentioning this to you even at this juncture, but you came through with such flying colors on that last note I can't help myself. Frankly I don't feel I have much more than a decade left. Whether this is a psychotic form of dementia or hypochondria on my part is uncertain. What is certain I am inner directed with an urgency I have never had before except in late childhood and teens. The mobius strip of life continues to echo with incidents I recall charging up those hills of time, and the dimming flush I feel in my ever-aching head inclines me to believe my assessments are correct. Now I am not relating all this to you out of some sort of feeble attempt for sympathy, for I know the opposite effect of sheer repugnancy would more likely be the case. I am simply saying things to you I have said to Sue, and I tremble as I presume God (whatever) has placed these thoughts into my being. These last few thoughts may help you, although I know you already do understand my insistence in finally shaking off that go with the flow attitude, and finally doing things MY way, THY way...and why Jack last February, and now Steve Taylor have been early victims of my refusal to suffer leisure idiots their pleasure as they invade what many have perceived as my good nature and fair household...
BECAUSE I SEE MYSELF IN UNIVERSAL TERMS. But I am here. Polaris is there. Neither slave nor executioner (Camus). American society forces most of us male and female into both roles in a wishy washy fashion without benefit of accreditation, and so most of us muddle through unaware of the implications as we dogpaddle through this soul-fracturing sea of emblematic garbage government, and frankly, its frisky twin sister, popular culture, have invested in us.
"As to a trip northward on your part and the needed promise on my part...let me come over all coy and noncommittal, voicing my uncertainties, my fears as to what such a promise would entail. Love. Jennifer."
The creation process is all I know, anymore. So much has been put behind me. I am incapable of well-rehearsed thrusts into the unknowable future. Could never memorize a poem or rock lyric or bible scripture as a matter of principle, but I do know I am fair and sensitive, good to the last drop even should the confusion of others brings pain and despair either to me or them, or both. I expect nothing from others, but I put much aspiration out there in the ether to be considered. By seeking to bring order out of chaos and sustain order on the social plane (and in this set I include home & hearth) does not necessarily infer that I endorse rigid thought processes when artistic inspiration is given to free us from the stasis of dry patterns and unbearable party lines. I seek to understand and harness cause and effect, purpose and freedom in all things for all concerned. All else is slavery of the mind, body, and spirit. Games have rules. I like games. I like rules. Rules are to be broken, only when those rules no longer enforce the better or best case scenario. I am not an asslicker of unbridled chaos or random rulebreaking for its own sake. I seek peace. Peace is different things to different people. Understanding the equivalence of eternity and its demands among the personality orders and disorders is the function of the artist who seeks to destroy the slavery in which both society and the individual mind conspire to shackle us. To become a willing slave in a fate-endorsed situation of inequality (name the game) is to loosen its bonds, elevating the slave to a level perhaps even superior to that of the taskmaster. Jesus the Hammer taught this. To be a belligerent slave runs the risk of failing on all counts that the slave has been inspired to corrupt in following his false hopes of freedom, and his condition is worsened by rebellion, not eased. Geez, where is all this going? I suppose I am attempting an analysis of why the S&M, B&D culture has adherents on both sides of the equation, and why I feel capable of playing both roles. BECAUSE I SEE MYSELF IN UNIVERSAL TERMS. But I am here. Polaris is there. Neither slave nor executioner (Camus). American society forces most of us male and female into both roles in a wishy washy fashion without benefit of accreditation, and so most of us muddle through unaware of the implications as we dogpaddle through this soul-fracturing sea of emblematic garbage government, and frankly, its frisky twin sister, popular culture, have invested in us.
Lastly, I do not apologize for going on too long. I dig writing to you, and still can't get over the fact how prolific and witty you have proven to be. Thanks for coming to my rescue now that Steve has lost his account through negligence. He could have saved his old AOL accounts if he would have tried. A source of great pleasure to him, and archival purpose, he simply junked it by not showing up to his post-resignation interview with his boss. That interview is an AOL concoction lending them the sense that they really care why people quit the company. However, if AOL boots you, it is certain you should leave them to their own devices, and seek instead a regular Internet account, although yes, AOL is quite nice for beginners such as yourself. Internet chat is slow & tedious. The AOL versions are still amazing with speed and easy accessibility. AOL have contracted to upgrade to better third-party Web browsers. But first you need a 28.8 modem. Maybe I can help accelerate that day for you...
You mentioned mum & aunt this weekend. I thought the NYC fiasco and subsequent family feud had splintered that auntie thing, or is this a different aunt? Anywaze, have you learned to flashsession yet? This way you can check mail without being led astray by manually signing on. Nevertheless, I won't get worried if I don't hear from you in a few days, but if I am coming up during Sue's hiatus, it's next week, OR NOT...
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""