RUDIMENTS, pt. 27
Another thing about Vermont - back
then it was almost another country. A real
enclave, where a person really could just
dissemble and go back to the Earth. Deep,
lush woods, pine forests, running and gurgling
waters. Shacks and cabins. One time, nearly
in the middle of the night, (this time was
Summer), in the way-out middle of nowhere,
I got stopped for a seemingly ten-mile long
freight train just rumbling along. I shut the car
off, and simply got out, to wait. This trainman
guy, with a lantern and the whole bit, comes
slowly walking over to me. I was going to
be real friendly and all, just talk and go with
the flow, and instead of talking right off, he
puts his hand or fingers to his neck, or something
there, and out comes this weird, metallic, robotic
voice! I freaked! I'd never heard that before and
was completely taken aback - deep, dark night,
train rumbling by, this weird guy with a lantern,
high atop somewhere some fountain in the wilds
of Vermont. He made the softball-dent-forehead
hotel guy seem normal! As it turned out, some
sort of operation or throat cancer or other illness
had caused him to lose his voicebox or his larynx,
and they'd fitted him instead with this electronic
voice monitor set-up. Sure was weird. (I never get
these medical things straight very much, and just
hope none of that ever sticks to me. I want, thank
you, my own medical-free death. But, yeah,
I want to be late for it too.
There were any number of other cool places there.
Lake Bommoseen, I think it was called. That was
a fairly nifty hangout. Lose and hippie-ish, free
and easy. And then there was, besides Rutland,
these towns, or places anyway (they weren't
much of anything) called, as I recall, Florence,
and Proctor. Proctor had the Proctor Marble Works.
It was very cool - basically a marble-mine, there'd
be these huge slabs of dug-out marble. They'd, I
guess, rip off the first 3 feet or so of earth and soil
on the mountains they mined (pretty terrible actually),
and like a quarry does with rock and stone, they'd
have exposed these mountains of marble - talk
about infrastructure. The Earth is a winder like
that. Underneath everything are all these different
rocks, minerals, slabs of granite and marble,
gems and the rest, all depending on location.
This Proctor, Vermont place was smack-dab
atop some massive natural formation of
marble. Someone must have figured it all
out, years and years before. They'd expose it,
cut these huge slabs, and sculptors and
architects and builders, etc., would order, by
the tens of tons, marble for their work. Churches
and post offices, memorials and statues,etc. It
would all, eventually, piece by piece and slab
by slab, get trucked out to whatever the destination
was. Maybe some of it was even on that weird
guy's freight train, going out.
It got to be fairly funny to me, and a mental
exercise too, realizing the quite paradoxical
nature of all this. One of the more pristine places
around (Vermont countryside) riddled with the
presence of one of the more brutal forms of
extricating sub-surface, commercial, profitability.
Kind of, also, at the expense of anything Edenic.
Jeez, the way they treated it all it might as well
have been Bayonne. All these crazy hippies bopping
around, all the rich super-hipsters at places like
Bennington College (back then, I think, a real
babe joint), thinking they were re-living their
own Adan and Eve pastoral opera, while the
reality was that 'what they didn't see couldn't
hurt them.' Or wouldn't. The town of, half-baked
city of, Rutland, something like a glorified little
Newark or Plainfield (to my experience), just
sat there as a business center for the accounting
and banking of all this. The local marble-millionaires
lived on the hills. It had slums. I got hired there, by
some printer in Rutland, Tuttle Press, or Tuttle
Printing, but, stupidly but typical I never showed
up for the first day of the job and just blew it all off.
I figured it was just another trap calling my name.
Tuttle Company is still around - book publishers
now - and they've moved Rutland itself out to
some Rutland Airport Industrial Park. So typical.
Good-bye Eden, for sure.