Tuesday, September 20, 2016


182. STOP NOW!
Some are the times when
things just seem to come
to naught or to crash-land.
I've had any number of
these times myself. First
thing to be done is to figure
out what just happened, or try
to anyway, and then get up
and get back to it. Down
in the lower west-village.
one night, about 1978,
over by Canal Street and
the Holland Tunnel area,
maybe about 9pm, I was
walking along, on one
of those elevated stairs
and overpass things that
take the pedestrian over
traffic on the roadway,
and all of a sudden some
huge explosion went off,
the kind that has enough
repercussions two blocks
off to, say, blow your hat
off or otherwise unsettle
you but cause no damage.
The blast resonates and
startles. There was a Spanish
and Puerto Rican newspaper
down there, serving the NYC
community, 'El Diario La
Prensa', and some Puerto
Rico Liberation group, as I
recall, named FALN, whatever
it meant, was responsible,
as an early act of terrorism,
for blowing the news office
up because they'd come out,
editorially, as rejecting claims
for Puerto Rican Independence.
Listen, liberating Puerto Rico,
or the status of Puerto Rico,
or its people and place and 
the rest would certainly not
even have been on my list 
of concerns, quite honestly, 
at that time. Yet there I was
as the bomb went off, an
unwitting bystander to what
could have been anything else;
death or mayhem for me,
because of someone or 
something else, another
cause. I figured, what if I
had seen this guy, running 
with the bomb to plant, 
or whatever. Would I have 
had a personal right to 
smack the guy down, 
smash him around - not
for his 'cause,' of which I 
had no care - but for the 
affront of what he was 
attempting, in this case, 
to do to me. The whole
'anonymity' of it galled me.
Self-Preservation stepped in.
What if he'd, quite simply,
just deafened me, blown
my eardrums out - which 
was quite possible by the way 
this canyon blast resonated. 
My ears rang but good 
for some twenty minutes. 
First off, who would 
have believed me, that 
my hearing loss came
from that, and then how 
long would I need to be 
participant in all that to 
prove and make my case
and get recompense? 
What's it all like anyway?
and how difficult is modern
life, when you think about
it. Faraway struggle and
strife, with local repercussions
that end up harming people 
with no concerns or knowledge
of the issue. At least in the
year 1200, when old Lucius 
Pie-Matter and his pals of 
that day went off to the
Crusades, to fight and
slaughter for their version 
of truth, justice and the
Indo-European way, you
didn't hear any more of it
for three years, or at least
until either Lucius or some
poor, soiled part of Lucius, 
and/or his pals, came back 
in a box or walking. As it 
is now, and in this case,
everyone around is always
at risk for someone else's
pet cause or firepower with
a grudge. Be wary; which
later became our word
I never knew what to make 
of anything, except - as 
was said back then - to
'keep on keepin' on'. As 
long as you've got some 
forward motion still 
underway, it's cool. Each
minute I'm in NYC these
days, besides being 
constantly on-guard
around my own space and
being, I remain watchful
for the deadly pratfall 
anywhere that could end 
me up, quite soon and
quite nicely. The funny
thing, as I walk and mingle 
with a million dweebs, and 
cops, and dogs, and
undercovers, and cameras,
it hits me : none of these
people know of me or my
long New York story, my
personal history, my 
feelings. As it appears to
any of them I actually AM
the enemy, or could be. I
see people stiffen. I see the
nonchalant security-people
types always sidling up around
me or even initiating some
off-putting, and annoying,
small-talk out to me so as 
to gauge who and what I 
may be. I understand, and
I guess they do their jobs 
and that's that. I don't exactly
look 'normal' to them.
Problem is, they're all about 
25-30 years old, often real 
dumbos, and I could
surely tell them a thing 
or two about the sort of 
threat they're looking for.
In fact, I could tell them
how it goes; but no one
asks; youth being wasted
on the young, so to speak.
There are nasty signs 
everywhere too : 'If you see 
something, say something.' 
First off, no one is in their 
right minds anyway, no one 
sees a thing, and for God's sake 
anyway, what they maybe 
do see all gets represented 
wrongly, anyway again! Shut 
the Hell up for a minute. Say 
nothing. Try that. The darn
signs should read, 'If you 
see nothing, say nothing.' It
would, for once, be nice and
quiet. See what it's like. 
Nowadays, all I ever see are
cops, machine guns, Homeland
Security guys (which is, let's
face it, actually 'Homeland
Insecurity', or why have it),
patrol dogs, DEA people,
FBI people, etc. The entire
fabric of the city is coated
now, like some exterior
Scotchguard for moisture
repellance, with all these 
people - plus cameras on,
under, over, and next to 
every third object. Now 
they've got - besides these 
stupid 'pedestrian malls' in
all the once most-vital 'city'
spots, places which gave the
city is grainy vibrancy and
grit - charging kiosks
for cell phones, laptops 
and all that, and these 
things are everywhere. 
Security? What's it bring? 
Look around and you'll see 
- buttheads with lawn chairs 
now, who park down
for the afternoon, with 
their laptops and the rest,
and use a charge hook-up
for the afternoon, either 
pretending they're 'at their 
office' (good, cheap rent),
doing business and deals,
or watching porno, flagrantly 
and in public, while, of 
course, painted naked 
ladies are prancing all 
about anyway for photos 
and tips, their naked 
everythings (supposedly) 
concealed by only the 
most clever of eye-trick 
paints and cover - while
families from Dubuque, with
their kiddies, actually line
up for photos. You see 
what I mean? What's 
being protected, basically,
is a huge pile of shit we 
now call home. How 
did any of this occur?
And why? 
When I lived in NYC, 
everything was sooty, dark,
dank, dour, and grimy. Men
meant business (is that how
that word got started, doing 
what 'Men' doing what men
do? - 'men' 'meant' business). 
You knew, and you accepted,
that it was bad, and that life 
itself was the same way. 
You survived, and the 
manageable parts of 
everyday life became
practiced and understood -
the rest, the good stuff, 
the dark and dirty and 
mysterious, the 
psychological and 
the crazed too, was 
kept tucked away as
a private possession. 
No one needed, or 
wanted, or accepted 
some grinning stupid
Minnie Mouse character, 
or Spiderman geek in 
costume, let alone 
naked painted big-ass
women begging you off
for a few dollars. It used to
be that all that other, dark, 
stuff got worked in, it became 
art and industry, not leisure, 
catcalls and garbage - 
which today is all 
protected, instead,
with great zeal and at 
enormous expense 
everywhere. Everything, 
it seems has come to 
naught and IS about
to crash-land.

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