Monday, April 18, 2016


This is all by way of catch-up.
I read something once about
having memories, inside your
head, of people and places and
past, and how the writing down 
of it all goes and ruins it because 
then you no longer have the actual
'memories', but just the accounts 
of them instead and the act of
writing them down. I don't know
if I ever really understood that,
but that happened many times;
the not understanding, I mean. I'm
a pretty clear thinker, but on my
own terms and with my own stuff.
It's always clear to me, but I do
sometimes have problems with
processing the ideas of others  -
as in this case. I'm just not sure
what the person here means to
say. In addition, as I've aged it
seems I'm a bit denser  -  in that
I used to read everything, and
grasp it all quickly, without
problem. It's a lot more difficult
now  -  I plod on a lot more. One
of the reasons for this, and it's
troublesome, is that (I feel) I've
developed my own forms of
writing and reportage of place
and scene to the extent that things
are always flashing themselves
through my brain, and I have to stop,
hover to take it all down, or lose it.
That screws up my concentration
for other things or for what others
are tediously trying to get across.
I won't say I don't know who to
believe any more, but I don't
know who to believe anymore.
When we lived in Elmira, Mary
Kay, who then was living elsewhere,
would occasionally visit. (This is by
way of personal confession). She'd
stay the two or three days with us.
We'd find something to do, or to
go to, or she'd spend times with
friends, and return later. We had
a nice house, except that the only
bathroom was off the kitchen, near
to the stove. The kitchen was
connected with a larger sitting
area, shelves and counter space,
quite spacious, which I'd had
loaded up with books and at
which I'd sit writing or reading.
Sunday mornings, my wife and
little kid would trek off to church,
(because of the child, she was going
through a religious reawakening
phase, concerned for his proper
upbringing). This is going to sound
crazed and weird, but nothing ever
came of it - just read the account:
The bathroom there only had a
tub, no shower. The bathroom
door was only a louvered door  -
nothing of course that you could see
through, but louvered nonetheless,
and in the kitchen (everyone always
remarked on it, while visiting, as
awkward and way too public).
Whatever. It never failed, on
those Sundays, with my wife
out to church for two hours,
Mary, when visiting, would
come down for a bath. Usually,
I'd be sitting there, with coffee,
and a typewriter and some books.
I don't know what she was ever
thinking, but it was always way
too apparent for me, that she was
undressed and naked, on the other
side of the louvered doors, and
we had two hours of clear sailing,
so to speak. I'd usually just up and
leave, walk out or something, but
not always. She'd slosh around,
finish her bath, and, without fail,
come out in nothing but a towel,
messing with her hair, wet head
or not. Just like it was nothing
at all. I told you nothing ever
happened, and nothing ever did,
but damn if it was witheringly
crazy, hot and awkward for little
old me. It probably could be a
movie scene, or even a porno
flick, but it wasn't.
So, there, now that memory's not
in my head? That's what the guy
says? Now I can only recall the
recalling of it and not 'it' itself; I
can only remember the writing
down of it? Yeah, right. I have
a bridge I might want to sell you.
Wrapped in a white towel,
and quite cute at 25.
My life has always been a mass
of contradictions. At one end of
my scale, I was perfect and clear-
thinking in regards to all of my ideas
and work and goals. Hell-bent on
nothing but that. While, on the other
extreme, I think I was a pretty good,
clinical case for a lot of things. A
certain pre-occupation with sex, or
sexuality anyway, being one of
them. Rebellion, anxiety, flailing
about, revolting against things,
refusing to go along, being a wise
guy, opining about things and
then running off. Those are just
a few. I had, at one point in the
1990's, my ABATE office at 719
Main Street, Metuchen. Motorcycle
newspaper and motorcycle business
stuff. 'Bikers' on the loose. For a
short period of time the front of
the office area I was sharing with
the staff of a motorcycle riding
school, until they got their own
place. The girl running that, about
40, nicely tuned, one day brought
her daughter in with her. They
were named Judy, and June. One
time they were huddled with me
over a computer screen, as we
were going over something,
and Judy, the mother, says to me,
'Gary, how often do you, as a man,
think about sex? June and I heard,
on the radio over here, that a
study has found that men think
about sex, on average, about
every 4 minutes or so. Is that
true? How often do you think
about sex?' I have to admit, I
was flabbergasted by the
question, and found it difficult
to answer. To recover, (wittily)
I said, 'Oh, I don't know, maybe
that's about  right. For instance,
right now all I'm thinking about
is mother-daughter sex.' I think
I got them with that quip. Yet,
from that moment on, I was
dead  -  every instant of eye
contact or shared office space
only meant, again, one thought.
I was glad they finally moved out.
I think I've told this Elmira story
in some other form before. We'd 
bought that house from a lady
named Jeanne Bollen, a local
interior designer, who'd just 
redone the entire interior house.
It was all newly decorated, to 
her own style, yes, but it was 
nice nonetheless, and we accepted 
her taste. It was all a lucky find, 
and the deal came together 
fairly painlessly. Too bad for
Jeanne, after all her work, that
she then had to sell and move.
She needed the money to bail 
out her son, or something to do
with that. She had two boys, late
and mid teens  -  nasty buggers,
not nice at all. She was single
mom, a bit tough and brassy.
One of her sons, the older one,
had been out with a friend. In a
HuckFinn/Tom Sawyer fashion,
(oh that Mark Twain, again), they'd
canoed out to one of the islands in
the Chemung River, the river 
that bisected Elmira into Northside 
and Southside. There was a spot 
there they'd tended, and to which 
kids often went. In this case, they 
got very drunk, having brought 
booze out there with them. As 
the story went, the one friend 
passed out, from alcohol overload, 
and Jeanne's son, also drunk, 
panicked, thinking his friend 
had died. He got a shovel they
kept there in their little hang-out
section, and dug a hole and buried 
the kid. Alive, as it turned out. 
Then he canoed himself back 
home. His friend died, buried 
alive, it was determined, and 
Jeanne's son, a day or two later,
was found, and confessed to 
what had gone on. Anyway, 
that's the story she and the 
newspaper gave, and the 
reason, as well, for her 
having to sell her fine, 
newly-done house.
The story soon all 
disappeared, and I 
never heard another 
thing about it.

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