Wednesday, August 31, 2016


162. LET'S EAT
I was never untrammelled
or disjointed. Odd words,
right? I tried walking straight,
even when the woe of the
roads was all crooked. Some
things I'd just notice, and
they'd strike me funny, or
as a pose, or they'd stay
with me. It sill happens:
like Tom Wolfe noting,
'It was said that a British
Gentleman could steal your
underwear, your smalls and
skivvies and knickers, and
leave you staring straight
at him asking if he didn't
think it had turned rather
chilly all of a sudden.' See
what I mean  -  a general
tone of nonsense and
nothing, but something is
actually there as well.
You do get the picture.'
Like some old Laurel and
Hardy routine in my head:
And oh how I used to dislike
those guys; I could never
find anything funny in their
humor, and that skinny guy,
Laurel, I guess, the with long
look and that wretched face
and expression, things always
going wrong  -  helplessness,
neediness. No way funny. It
used to drive me up the wall,
much as did the chubby guy's
smug superiority and triumph
and slow burns. Ugh. At ten
years old, I'd be going to see,
like, 'Rocket To Mars' or some
other movie, and I'd have to
sit through, first, one or two
shorts by those two monkeys.
Enough to rip up the seat in
the dark. I'd be wrankled :
'Everything you don't want
to be; dumb, stupid, etc.' I
had to look that up, thinking
maybe I'd coined it or something,
but evidently the word exists.
When I got to Pennsylvania,
the entire world was different.
Number one was the fact that
there, in PA, everyone looked
at you, or in this case everyone
looked at me, not you. I'd never
been in a place where, as in a
dog-pack or among wolves, the
interloper, the new face, was
immediately under suspicion
and scrutiny. It was, yes,
annoying and awkward at
first, but then I realized that it
was, actually, great, just what
I'd want. Like the mob guys,
always out front guarding the
clubhouse on Mulberry or
Sullivan Street in the city,
nothing got past. Of course,
all I had to do was work my
way in, among these people,
and I did that, starting right off.
First night I got there, I arrived
with my car about to blow up
and running on a bare three
cylinders. I went right to work,
asking about, and got a neighbor
guy of mine as a preferred
reference for quick-repair 
mechanical work on the car, and
right there out of his home
garage too. I just knocked on
his back door, said 'Willard
Brown sent me over,' (he was
the guy I had bought the
house from and who had
told me to go 'see Kenny'),
and hit it off with this guy,
and his rather nicely tawdry,
very dry-witted, wife. They
were like, maybe 39 or 40,
to my 24, say, but it hardly
mattered. She was still
'hot' and playful, as they
say, and the guy Ken, he
was an amazingly astute
mechanical wiz, with a
gift for just homing onto
the task at hand. Had me
all fixed up in some three
hours, mostly which had
been spent breaking the ice
and mentally moving in among
them, to be part. I knew my
stuff and what I had to do to
get packed in  -  play a little
dumb here, a little worldly
and wise there, a bit nasty,
a bit nice. It was all falsity,
but I knew what was up. I
was passing muster, and I
guess I did; two days later,
everybody around was cool
with me. That meant, first, I
could be left alone as needed,
but, second, no one would
really hesitate to come my
way either  -  I'd get offers
of help with this or that,
trade tasks. I started hanging
around Warren's barn, learned
all about Ken's family and kin
(they too were mostly all still
around there, in the hideaway
spaces, houses way back
somewhere, ekeing it out).
Warren was great too, about
everything  -  neighboring
farmer, etc. Use the tractor,
take the truck, whatever. I
started playing a real good
L'il Abner, and no one
laughed me off again,
New Jersey/New York
City or not. That might
have been cool, but it
was all important too.
The less to chance, the
better. It was only to
my imaginings maybe,
but I figured still that
at any minute some
'federale' or FBI guy or
 State Police could be
pulling onto my dirt
road in his dusty black
car with some paperwork
in hand to take me back
with him. Now I had a
frontline defense, at least
- or so my paranoia-thought
went. Yeah, a little too
much drama there, but
I wasn't about to be
going with no one.
Uncle Remus, Song of the
South, all that. Everything
began to be represented in
my outlook. I was in new
land. There was so much
richness and so little of it
was taken in by those who
lived there. I go back there
now, sad to say, and at the
top of what once had been
'my' hill  -  wasn't of course,
but it all ended at my dirt
road   -  was a small, fenced
cemetery, from Civil War
days and before. It had been
unused and sort of closed
off long ago by a nice,
spiked, iron fence.  However,
right there now  -   much to my
surprise  -  it's been re-opened,
widened, even, and put back
to use  -  and all these guys
I'm talking about are in there.
Buried. First time I saw it, I
near-abouts wanted to cry.
And I did some, at least
teared-up. Names, wives,
and some sons and daughters
too. Newer style stones, some
even with the crazy, modern
graphics on them  -  etchings
of sun-rays onto barns and
onto tractors. Pretty crazy;
but they're there; including
Kenny, the wrench-wizard
guy I just wrote of.
These people all ate well too,
there was a big, mid-day meal
everyday, plus breakfast and
some evening meal when they
could get to it. Farm-chores are
on a schedule all their own,
and sort of can't be altered or
pushed off. If the cows aren't
properly milked, two times
a day, like 6 am and 6pm,
roughly, there can be real
consequences. They can
develop mastitis, which
can be deadly. They need
to be milked because they're
always producing milk and if
the udders are not drained it
all backs up, hardens, the
mammary gland, bag, bloats,
and some real sickness occurs.
Miserable, sad, leaky cows,
wailing in pain. So, food
and the regular idea of
food-time for people
takes second place. The
big meal is in the center
of the day, like 1pm,
because that's the time
between chores, when
there's a tiny space
for something. Big meals
were never anything I
cared about; still don't. 
I'd rather eat in tidbits, 
whenever, or not. One 
thing I learned from
the streets is how 
engrained by habit
eating is. It's really 
not needed  -  to the
great, bullshit, extent 
it's pushed now, I mean.
Whoever started that 
'three square-meals a
day' stuff is full of shit 
(literally too). I think
they just heard it all 
wrong and, like idiots,
carried through on it 
all under wrong impressions 
and erroneous information. 
Because of it? Just look 
around you  -  everybody's 
way over done, chubby 
and fat all together, pasty,
and always prowling about
nervously for more food.
Instead of 'three' meals a 
day', it's really more like  -  
and I speak from experience  -  
every three days. That's 
pretty much it. With some 
training and mental discipline, 
you can bring yourself  -  
anyone  -  down to that. Eat 
something every third day, 
you'll be fine, and happier 
and lighter for it, and thinking 
more clearly too. Trust me. 
I've done it, and still try to 
now, but mostly don't. It's all 
mental  -  you can train your
body to live on anything , 
and draw nutrition from it. 
Everything is in everything  -  
all that dietary stuff is crap. 
Again, it's all mental. All life 
is.  Get over your attitudes 
about it, and live. All this 
eating just taxes your system,
way overworks organs and
things, becomes expensive, 
and turns into style and 
pride anyway. Every five 
months it's some new, 
stupid chef, some trendy
new food or 'diet' (anything
but), or some super-saturated
crap supposedly ancient and
great for you. Don't be stupid,
just shut your pie-hole, don't 
eat, don't fill with toxins and
factory chemicals, don't be a
fool and, for God's sake, get
away from sugar, in all its
evil, corporate-food forms.
You really ought to eat like
a cow (learned that on the 
farm)  -  masticate, slowly,
standing in one place, like
it's a big, boring chore, staring
straight out, and make it last.
(Learned that on the farm too).

No comments: