it had somehow turned to filth.
That the dream was over. Now?
It's all gone, and you can't find
a trace of it. The old stuff maybe
is still there, but it's dwarfed now
by these atrocious new crumpets
of way over-busy architecture.
Chrome and steel, burnished
aluminum, all that crap; no straight
edges, everything swirling and twisting.
They don't even use bricks and mortar
now. Little would Andy Bonamo
know, if and wherever he is now, how
it's like the whole entire world
now is suffering from some
brutal LSD trip, all on its own.
I used to sit and stare at the
General Slocum Memorial and
just try to think of tragedy, and what
tragedy must be like. But, I realized,
tragedy no longer existed. I was in
a curious, closed-pocket of time.
Especially about tragedy. Little did I
even know, but down from me about
20 blocks they were beginning the
close-to-final aspects of the
Twin Towers, which would
later, much later, be viewed as a
tragedy, perhaps in line with this
Slocum steamship of 1900 or
whatever it was. I didn't yet know
the future. I hardly knew the past,
but they were both there, out before
me; and I was trying to read both.
The Slocum disaster, right nearby,
had killed many Germans out for a
day-excursion. Children, and adults.
They just burned in the harbor, on a
blazing wooden ship. The community
was devastated, and after that most
Germans just packed up and left; giving
up the lower eastside entirely, they just
all went, en masse, up to the east 90's,
a section called Yorkville, and simply
transplanted themselves - free of the
awful memory and remnants of that
fire. That's still where you go now,
in NYC, for the German community
and all their foods and cultural
traditions. I was living in the ghost
hole of all that had been theirs. What
really can you do when one day
you're in some oddball smalltown
highway pit-stop on the way to nothing
and the next morning you awake on
park grass, in the heat, with about
10 or 15 other people doing the very
same thing. Indigent. Lost. Sleeping
on open grass. 'To be indigent you
can't be indignant' - that was another
one of mine. I was at the very same
park again, at sun-up the other morning
(that skatebboard kid day I just told you
about). Nearly the same time of year too.
Travelers around. School out. End of
June. And lo and behold, I walk
over to the Slocum Monument to
bid it a hello, and there again, on the
grass, some 7 or 8 bodies - bags,
blankets, shoes, hats - all asleep or
just rousing, on that grass. As if the
fifty years intervening had just never
occurred. Everything about the same.
That's what New York was like -
one little heritage-ghetto after the
other. The Germans left, and then
the Jews came, and then the Slavs
and Poles, and then the Russians.
I wandered about, at times almost
listless, from my concern and
my confusion towards all
that I was seeing.
before. Oh yeah, it's hard to put, and I'd be hard-put to put it. - I made some friends quickly. Some I've mentioned, others I've not. There were some quite a few characters, to be sure. I used to think about all that I'd learned, or tried to learn or had jammed down my throat, in high school, about civics and the American system. Too much of it was high-minded bullshit, and still is, with no bearing in truth at all. Like that leather-sandals guy would say, 'If you can't make a dollar one way, just find another way.' I think they could take all their civics and history textbooks, and just chuck them - because that almost haiku or zen-like saying better sums up 'America' for me. Make a buck, entrepreneur stuff, the unfettered, Adam Smith work of free enterprise, deals and money. That's all you need, and that's what it's about - make no mind about who gets hurt, what lands and waters get ruined and spoiled, how many die or get diseased or injured over your quest for a self-satisfaction that seems only measurable in the whore-like measure of money. Despoliation. Grunge. Dirt. Fire. Filth. and Death, Yes, always and ultimately, Death. Look at China. Look at Russia. Hell, look at us. Look at Andy Bonamo : the true American entrepreneurial spirit, setting' up a fee-enterprise festival, gleaning some profit, tickets, etc., all in the name of the grand American capitalistic spirit of selling drugs and poison to kids and being applauded for his courageous, business spirit. Ruination everywhere.
You can surmise all that I am from what it is you read about me herein - experiences and outlooks philosophies and viewpoints too. "For God's sake ! will SOMEONE please read this stuff - it's very important."