Monday, November 7, 2016


As a youngster, there are
many phrases heard that
perplex. I didn't always
know precisely what 
people were speaking 
of. One day, in the
hallway of School 5, 
probably first grade 
for me, when bending
over to get a drink of 
water from the kid's 
fountain, there was 
very little water 
pressure, The little 
splurt of water hardly 
cleared the spray nozzle 
piece it flowed up from. 
I said something
about it, and Mr. 
Cigatura, the janitor 
I've mentioned, just 
chuckled, and said , 
'Oh, Blue Monday, I
guess.' I honestly had 
no clue what he meant. 
I asked, saying
perhaps, 'what?'  -  
or  -  'I don't understand.'
He replied, in order to 
clear it for me, something 
of the nature that the 
phrase 'Blue Monday' 
(1956, anyway), meant
that, 'being Monday, the 
water-pressure was low 
everywhere because all 
the housewives were at 
home doing the laundry, 
all at once, and it drew 
down the water-pressure 
everywhere; and it was
'Blue' because it was
considered a dreary 
chore that no one 
really wished to be 
doing.' That was all 
very odd to me. I took
it at face value, yes, 
but it kind of hung in 
my mind anyway. A 
'blue' Monday, because
of doing the wash. A 
chore. What a strange 
world, and how odd 
that people get themselves
all jumbled up into these 
situations. It was also a
revelation of sorts, in 
that as a kid who ever 
wonders about where
the water comes from? 
Who ever would have 
figured that a bunch of
people, doing the same 
things at the same time, 
could affect water
pressure? How odd, 
all that. By this I was 
stumbled frontward 
into another weird 
world. Mothers, and 
water, and laundry.
School 5 was new then, 
probably three years in.
It was a long, single level,
job, as schools were then;
all looked the same. Now,
if they're still around, 
they're usually outmoded, 
or considered wasteful. 
One or two, in fact,
I've seen 're-purposed' 
and rebuilt, after being 
closed and sold, into
seniors housing projects 
and uses of that nature. 
probably just as useless, 
but with better water 
pressure on Mondays.
Adjoining it was School 4,
which used to serve all  -  a
large, multi-floored, older,
1910-styled school. Still 
standing too, and in use.
I guess one day Mr. 
Cigatura had one school
building to take care of,
and the the next day, two.
I wondered how that 
went down. It's funny,
but on that corner where
the new school was built,
and across from it too, 
where there was a 
hardware and lumber
store, there seemed 
no memory of the past.
I always figured school
was about the past  -  
all that history and 
lessons and the learning
that came from things.
This must have all, until
recently, been scrap woods,
or some cruddy excess 
weedy land, or whatever.
Yet, there was no one 
ever around who
remembered a thing 
of it. Everyone acted 
as if it all had always
been that way. I knew it
hadn't, and I was just a
silly kid. Why wasn't there
anyone around who could 
own up to any of this and 
speak up for the past and for
all that gone away or been
taken away. I thought, especially
in a school situation, there
should always have been
someone kept on, someone 
always around, who could
talk for the past  -  the real
past, like what's right outside
the window past. Not that
stupid King Arthur stuff, or
Mesopotamia or the crusades
or any of that crap. That was,
to me, just all illusion and
stage-set. The real world, 
right over there, beckoned. 
What had it all been? And 
who had done all this to it? 
And why? Those were kid 
questions, of the sort I had.
But I never had anyone to 
talk to, really. That's the stuff
kids want to know though,
that's the real world that
slaps you up. And that 
ignorance is how the 
same sorts of things 
recur, continue to happen 
under new and better 
regimes, until the whole 
place is messed up and 
spoiled for everyone else. 
While some shell-game
mongrels get to run off 
to the bank with yet some
more filthy lucre, stolen 
from the commonweal for
parking lots, buildings 
and pavement and roads.
It never ends. Blue forever.

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