Friday, December 11, 2015

7570. BELOW THE WATER LINE (pt.99)

(pt. 99)
I used to wake up in the mornings and look out
my upstairs window  -  hearing the Springtime
birds, I'd see three or four of the pheasants in my 
backyard. With their funny noise they always
sounded like rusty clotheslines. They were around
for years  -  back when the cornfield from the prison
farm there was a steady source of food, I guess.
'God is love, and he who believes in Love believes
in God, and God in him.' That always startled the 
hell out of me  -  as it turned out, it was actually a
poor translation of something said in 1 John 4:16,
but how was I supposed to know. This is what tears
kids up. I could have screwed up my entire life by
getting the dredge of this wrong and staying with it
anyway  -  does 'God in him' mean God has to also
believe in me, but won't unless I first believe in Love?
Totally baffling  -  who is this God thing that so decides
that I should be acquitted or not based up a belief in
something so amorphous as 'Love'? Anyway, I thought
Love was something between two people, like what you
were supposed to fall into. What's that  got to do with it?
And then, later on and to top it all off, billionaire lamebrains
like the Beatles start singing goofy stuff like 'all you need
is love, love, love is all you need', and people got even 
more stir crazy over it all than me. So, what you end up 
with is just people following directions, even for stuff
about their souls, which really they know nothing about.
In translating the varied feelings and hunches of Being, it
seemed, as I grew up, they were always bumping up, being
found incorrect, against the more accepted ways of thinking
which were being taught  -  it wasn't tragic, just more of an
annoyance. I seldom knew what to do about it, so it was just
often ignored. It's a such a point where the factors of a life
crash up against reality, and a growing kid has to say  -  what
do I do for the rest of my life? Where do I go? It's usually 
about that time that the crazies start jumping you anyway  -  
guidance counselors, aunts and uncles, parents  -  with all 
that 'college preparation' stuff, checking out various schools, 
what do you want to do, where do you want to go? Mostly, by
then, it's become the last thing on your mind  -  for any kid
with fire, I mean. The cool thing about arts and writing and
even revolutionary politicals, for pity's sake, is that it doesn't
require any of that stuff. You just put your ass out on the line
and get it going  -  the rest falls in place. Most of higher 
education now has become indoctrination anyway. Being
sized up and fitted for 'roles.' There's little relation any more 
to what you 'are', to the solid core of your being taking
precedence over the pestilence of the rot that gets peddled.
In Avenel, most of the routes were direct, and if they weren't
we made a shortcut. In all of my own experiences of this life,
one of the most warming and indicative things is  -  and one I
love  -  when you see a well-worn path through the grass or the
weeds which goes directly to something, cutting the angle, so to
speak, between two destinations. It used to happen a lot more
when things were more unkempt and weedy, corners cut, paths
past billboard and power-relay boxes, just the regular short-line
worn paths made by people. It means people are alive. It shows
a people who live and breath a direct reality; it's the touching
human 'touch' visible and put on anything and everything. When
those sorts of paths and places disappear, it's time to watch out. 
Most people think of them as seedy and unkempt, but the
opposite is true. They're proper and basic and very humanly 
real  much like the math sums that I used to hate doing,
previously mentioned in an earlier chapter, wherein I got to
the end-results, the sums needed, but usually in my own 
manner  -  hard to explain and unacceptable often to the
'teacher'  - who just a career numb-nut anyway, who
wouldn't know a 'human-opportunity' from a sluice pipe
beneath the ground he walks upon. Life is full of mysteries.
Walking those railroad tracks each play day, as we did 
when young, brought us a constant inflection of a danger
inherent. There was less than a quarter mile curve on those
tracks, at the Rahway end, away from us, out of which any 
train could come flying at any time. That didn't leave too 
much scatter time for us. The other direction was easy  - 
a long straightaway our of Woodbridge, with the Avenel 
station in between  - most of the trains stopped there, 
though not all. But, it little mattered because that 
straightaway gave us plenty of time. We were maniacs,
but we were always sensible maniacs; as if that paradoxical
statement itself doesn't open up a roomful of problems. Like,
'then why be a maniac if you're to be a 'sensible' one?' Again
that crazed dichotomy, duality, double-depth stuff inherent
in life's 'mystery' rose up. Well, for one thing, a 'sensible' 
maniac stays alive. Doesn't get killed by that train barreling
through. Now there's an allusion worth a million, a metaphor
of gold : how many people did I already then know, other 
kids' parents, and then later kids themselves, who had, in
the metaphoric sense, been slain by the train long ago?
I often wondered about contractors and construction workers.
Did they take their wives and families, years later, on little
drives, to places like Inman Avenue, Clark Place, Doreen Drive,
Chase Avenue, Cornell Street and Dartmouth Avenue, and say
'see this stretch of homes, Billy, I built those. See that house,
Honey, that's where Eddie Fray fell of the ladder that time
he broke his shoulder and was out of work for the Winter, see
that house, Princess, that's the one they told Bob Skrump, right
in the middle of our shift, that he was laid off and this was his
last job - had had just gotten married to Helen then' they 
drive along looking at the weird clutch of wild kids beating each
other's brains out playing what was supposed to be touch football
on the schoolhouse lawn.

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