Sunday, November 27, 2022

Marginal Man

I am foul tonight.  Foul.  It should not be so.  Today (whenever that was in relationship to when I am writing and when I am publishing), I was determined to stay out of the house.  I can no longer stand the house.  I have, or other forces have, turned me into a shut-in.  I either escape or perish.  Thus, I left the house early to make photos.  Stayed out all day (without making pictures) only to come home in time to get ready for dinner with my mother.  And now (whenever "now" is in terms of writing and publication), I am home.  

It really wasn't much of a day.  

Dinner with my mother was as it always is.  

"I need to get away," I said. "I need to take a road trip."

"Do you want to go to (insert the town on the Gulf Coast where my cousin lives)?"

I have spent almost every day for the last three years with my mother, but apparently it is not enough.  She talks about how good her neighbor's daughter is.  Oh. . . she doesn't come over every day, but she does such things!  

"Sure, ma.  I'll check and see if I can get a room for us on the beach."  

My irritation has become palpable.  Some days, I feel like cutting my throat.  Most days, really.  

"Truthfully, I just want to sit on the couch holding hands with my own true love," I tell her.  

"You need to find someone closer to your age."

"Sure thing.  I've been thinking of going up to Walmart and finding a greeter.  Someone old and fat with a couple of teeth.  We can sit on the couch and hold hands while she passes gas.  Oh, I'll say. . . she sure is a good companion.  We like to go up to the Hungry Dog and get the All You Can Eat Buffet on Wednesday nights.  Old Sal sure can pack it away,"  

This got me a snarky laugh.  

"Maybe I'll get someone who looks like one of your relatives."

I needed to go home.  

When I got there, I lit a little cheroot and poured a deep glass of scotch and sat out on the deck to think.  Maybe I'll just hang myself tonight like Tony Bourdain, I thought, because I don't have a shotgun like Hemingway.  But wait, I thought, I do.  I have my father's shotgun that has sat unattended since he died in 1980.  It is right there in the back corner of the closet.  All I need are shells.  

I sent the photo at the top of the page around to some friends today crowing about being out and about.  I got back a number of snarky comments.  I just scratched those people out of my book.  Done with them. The list grows slim. 

"I'll get new friends," as old Brando used to say.  I don't know if he did or not.  

"I just need to get out of my house," I told my mother.  "I just need to go somewhere." 

"You can come over here.  Do you want to come here?"

Arsenic.  Is that a good one?  

"You have lots of people who like you," she said.  "There are lots of women who like you."  

God, I thought. . . a trip to Mexico.  I can get phenobarbital there.  

I've checked the flights from here to there.  Christ on a Cross--it is a joke!  $1,200 for the CHEAPEST flight.  I used to go for $200!  Still. . . phenobarbital.  

I mentioned going to Q.  He asked if it was o.k. to bring his kid.  

While I was sitting at the Cafe Strange this afternoon trying to write, two young girls pulled up in a big, white Ford van.  It looked perfect for turning into a camper.  It wouldn't take much, and I don't think they are terribly expensive.  That's what I should do, I thought.  I'll just get a van and drive away. 

Maybe I will fly to Mexico, though.  Right after I take my mother to the beach.  

As I sat on the deck, I thought about how much a studio would mean to me right now.  I was happy with a studio, as happy as I've ever been in life, I think.  A night like this is perfect.  Nobody would be around.  I would go and open up the doors and make a big photo transfer on the back loading dock, then cover it with matte gel and a piece of translucent tracing paper.  If I had one that had dried for a day, I would get the paints and colored pencils and begin the coloring process.  I would have my best music blaring.  I could walk out and see the stars or the ghetto neighbors who were alway out.  I'd pour a drink and think, or I'd walk the few blocks to a favorite bar and have a drink.  When I went home, I'd feel full and ready for bed.  

I gave up the studio for Ili.  She didn't ask me to.  I just did.  It seemed the right thing to do.  

I hate her for that now.  Deep down.  Lots of sacrifices in love, of course, but that one was the most horrible.  Yes.  The hatred is deep.  

Too long in the tank now.  I live in the margins of other people's lives.  I am a Marginal Man.  

"We could just sit on the couch and hold hands and then we could fight and I could come to your house and then she would drive over and bang on your door."

"Yes. . . you were always good at that."

"Good to know you are on my side," I said.  

"You know I'm always on your side," said my mother.  

Right.  Right.  

Mexico seems better all the time.  I want to leave people alone now.  I want to disappear into a foreign land and spend all my money on my personal End Times.  I'm sick to death of living in the margins.  I'm not that guy.  Never.  

One of my mother's neighbors told me the other night that John Belushi did a month's worth of opiates and cocaine the night he died.  

"Probably beats hanging yourself by a long shot," I said.  

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