Monday, February 27, 2006

Wing Nuts

I observed my plane through the terminal window at Reykjavik and noticed that the tips of this particular jet's wings bent upwards in vertical fins six feet or so tall. What is this, a hundred years of manned flight and suddenly the engineers say, "Um, about the wings? We're gonna make them stick up at the ends. It's better this way.'' What?! People, it's not rocket science. Uh, actually, I guess it is rocket science. Which is the point, come to think of it. It's science. Can ya just do the math please? 100 billion hours of passenger jet travel, of takeoffs and landings and crashes, of turbulence, bad movies and barf bags, air rage, terrorism, screaming children and magazine tales of Tuscany and profiles of Renee Russo and now this? What will they think of next? It's a goddamn tube with people in it with wings attached so it doesn't crash into the ground, for fuck's sake. Make up your minds.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

At the Phil Lesh show last night, right up near the stage, a tall, twenty-something guy fell right over. He went completely limp and collapsed backwards onto the floor, and lay sprawled and perfectly still as the music floated and hung above. Someone immediately knelt by his side and made gestures of attending. Others waved their arms in the air in wild crisscrossing patterns, as though signaling an oncoming train. We formed a solemn little pocket of concern in the midst of the dark crowd of thousands of drunk, stoned Deadheads.

Then the guy got up. He stood up, but I mean right away – not coming to his feet groggily or in the least unsteadily but becoming vertical like someone just blew reveille. He stood right up the same way he fell down. His friends, onlookers – gazed into his eyes with wonder and a fair amount of worry. He was taken by the arm. Asked questions. He looked around a little puzzled, the way anyone would be if they were suddenly and inexplicably the center of concern. He seemed like, What?

Then two security guards approached, not urgently but purposeful. They looked at him for a couple of seconds and led him away, and he went placidly, betraying only a trace of perplexed dismay.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The turnstile and the stairs, the thousand strangers and the stores, the streets and snow and slowly turning spheres.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I'm Still Tumbling Through the Air, 1,500 Feet Over a Train Trestle in Rockford, Illinois, in March of 1974

I'm still tumbling through the air, 1,500 feet over a train trestle in Rockford, Illinois, in March of 1974.

I'm sort of in suspension like I'm not descending but the wind is beating against my face. Against my head and balls and chest. So hard for air. I'm at about 1,500 hundred feet and below me is the train trestle and the track winding away between fields ochre, yellow and brown and the road a ribbon of gray and there, another road. The river below the trestle. I'm still tumbling through the air in 1974.

I'm still in a villa looking out upon the sea. I believe the villa may be in Italy. A cliff climbs up out of the surf at dusk. It climbs a hundred feet or so to a terrace where headlights occasionally pass around a corner in a road in front of darkened homes and a hill that rises higher yet again, and higher still with buildings fading into formlessness into the darkened clouds.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Eat Drink Fuck Sleep

Eat sleep drink eat eat sleep eat drink sleep fuck eat sleep eat drink sleep drink sleep eat eat fuck sleep drink drink eat fuck eat sleep eat sleep drink fuck drink sleep eat fuck sleep fuck fuck eat sleep sleep drink drink fuck eat sleep fuck eat eat sleep drink eat fuck sleep.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I looked out the front of the commuter train from S's this morning, the length of a car away. The opening at the front seemed so promising: unexpected light, a window onto something rare and precious. I wondered how the backward-facing commuters could be so oblivious, with their New York Times folded into halves and quarters, the sports section and the crossword puzzle. But the truth is there wasn't much to see out front. Signals and trees and vague debris. Tunnels and walls and every surface painted in graffiti. Weeds grew in between the tracks. A uniformed figure waving from the platform of a bypassed station. I was so glad to see it.