Thursday, February 18, 2016

7821. BELOW THE WATER LINE (pt. 166)

BELOW THE WATER LINE
(pt. 166)
Years later, as I lived in Elmira, I lived down
the hill and only a bit away from the grave-site
of Mark Twain. Talk about resounding forces
and memories from the past. Many times I'd
just sit there, sort of stumped and stunned
together, and just think. How many revolutions
of some cosmic globe had it taken to bring me
to that moment, that conjunction of both place
and time? For me to be there, many years
after the fact, and to be sitting atop the spot
wherein his mortal remains were  -  as well
as all his energies and the mass of his words  -
well, for me, that was massive and a cosmic
force-pull, a bold transfusion, each time, from
the distant space-ship the energies of which I
could source. And I'd still think back to those
other places, all of them, that I'd come through.
Thinking that  -  and then the stop of time to
start anew, and my theory of the moment
of adult-explanation  -  I'd understand the
fallacy. What if it occurred? I would have
to live the remainder of my life without any
memories of my own past? What a bad idea.
I knew that those things are always with us,
they flavor and color all that we do.
-
In Avenel, I'd never have conceived Elmira; and
in Elmira it was difficult to conceive of Avenel.
One place was rock, the other was muck. High
ground versus low ground. I'd grown, as a kid,
to be just what I was; nothing more. There used
to be a cave, over in the back of Roosevelt Park;
a real cave, on you could walk into. It was in
that far corner where the free water always
flowed out from the fissure in the rocks  - wild
and unclaimed spring water -   people would
line up with containers and take it with them.
The cave is long gone  -  covered over with
countless condominiums and even a
county-school for diseased kids or something
right there. A billion weird little yellow
schoolbuses, twice a day, all lined up. Even
the buses can't get near the place unless
Security first dispatches them in to pick
up their kids  -  wheelchairs and attendants.
Everybody worried about everything. I tell
you, it's a weird world. The spring is still
there, and its waters and its stream, but there
are posted signs now saying not to drink,
health danger, at your own risk, and all that.
It glows reddish-purple all night, in the dark
(OK, just kidding on that one); but people
still come anyway, not in any numbers like
before, and they fill up their jugs. Everything's
plastic now, the jugs, and probably the people 
too. They worry and fret about those kids, 
but no one gives two shits about what's
been done to the land right there. Like it 
was some expendable crap they can just 
someday replace. Yeah, good luck. I hate 
County Government, and it really should 
be abolished. It's just another layer of 
pandering so that fat-cats can live
off tax-salaries and do nothing except 
pretend they care about things while they 
build golf-courses and destroy parks.  
This is all the run-off from what Avenel 
has to contend with, my own memories 
notwithstanding. Nature all but gone, 
except for the fake places the County has 
kept up. Like this park  -  wasting away 
bit by bit with nothing but more new stuff
everyday  -  stuff that has nothing to do 
with the natural things the park is supposed 
to represent. Franklin Roosevelt's crippled 
ghost would roll over in its wheelchair if it 
knew what was occurring in its name. 
Buildings and paving mostly.  There's no 
one to answer to  -  it's all entrenched 
freeholder stuff; bogus elections brought
to you by cliques of insiders. The trouble
with it all, and the reason so much of our
local world is ruined, is just that layering,
one atop the other. 'You want a job? Sure, 
we'll get you one, even if we need to make 
one up for you. Just don't get caught 
sleeping on it. Stay the course, your benefits 
and pension set in, you're set for life and it's 
not even 'work.' Shouldn't even be called 
that.' It goes in such a manner. Poor old 
Avenel, gets suckered and sold down the 
river. If 'time' stopped, you see, like
I'd had doing in my mind,  it, all those 
memories would have been erased, nothing 
still there from being a kid, and I'd have 
recalled nothing of what I just talked about. 
Some adult would have just stopped 
everything, told me the 'way' things were, 
cleansed my own mind of all the past, and set 
me running again. That's how they'd love 
it to work. Glad I was wrong. Instead of
being called 'Freeholders', they need to 
have to run for 'County Freeloader' positions 
while they wreck things. That goes for the 
towns and boros too. They're all useless 
shits making problems which then only they  
can solve. Of course; that's job security.
Come walk with me someday, 
I'll show you a few.
-
I grew up with absolutely nothing but 
my mind in place. No fancy names, no 
fancy drinks or dining. And I'm still like 
that, mainly because it's the corner I 
painted myself into. But I'm glad for it. 
Because I wouldn't want any part of their
creepy world. Too many erroneous 
definitions. I only wish that Mark Twain 
was buried in Avenel. My own kid-hood, 
with all my really unassuming kid-friends, 
Mark Twain would have grasped that, and 
understood it all. Each one of those stories
and adventures of his telling, they all came
out of the same stuff I'm telling. We had our
little shopkeepers and people in place; except
instead of the smithy and the farm-guy and
blacksmith, we had tire guys and junkyards;
down around the great old bend in the 
Rahway River, we had all those blacks 
and their Masonic Lodge. Instead of horses
and riverboats and barges, we had trucks 
and trains. In certain  terminology, it was 
all the same. I worked from my memory-band
for a really long time, after heavy observation,
all those years, which loaded it up good. The
Rahway River is another good instance of local
governance  -  in those earlier days, business
right on the river were MacLac Shellac, and
there was a place nearby too where they made
what was called 3-in-1 Oil. These places were
built RIGHT ON the river. It didn't take a kid
genius to realize why. They dumped in the river!
It was their own, personal drain! None of those
county guys or Rahway people were caring 
enough to interfere. The river tanked, and 
Everything died. Now they have something
called Rahway River Watch  -  an environmental
and watchdog group. They claim to have done
things  -  but not really. They've planted some 
trees and made a river walkway  -  right along
the trash incinerator that's been built on that
very same land on the riverside. The marina's
long gone. A garbage-plant with a zillion trucks
in and out of it all day. With drainage pipes, 
right into the river. My dog and I, which I'd
sometimes like to call 'Mark Twain', some nice
days we walk right there and just watch. I
guess I'm the Rahway Riverwatch too.
-
Well, that's my cleansed memory for this chapter.



2 comments:

Martin Kloess said...

Pleasurable thank you for your time

gary j. introne said...

Thank You, Martin. I appreciate you leaving the note, and am really glad you're reading this. Thanks ever. gar