Friday, February 3, 2023

Imagery and the Art of Self-Reflection

Pick a card.  Any card.  

I drank Campari and bugged my friends the way I said I wouldn't anymore late yesterday afternoon.  I can't help being silly, I guess.  That is at least one of the things I can't help.  As the therapist said, it is my mechanism for deflecting my anxiety.  No, that is not what the therapist said.  It is what the therapist might say if I were to go to one.  But if someone wants to take a crack at my skull, I'd rather it be a phrenologist. 

Lying in bed this morning, I was thinking about my fascination with these palmistry cards, Tarot, and the like.  It is simply intrigued by the imagery.  I hope that no one would take this stuff seriously, but the packaging is quite something.  If I could give therapists some advice, I'd suggest that they make a set of intriguing cards with beautiful imagery.  But they don't need my help.  They are doing just fine.  

In bed, I was remembering a book my father had.  It was a huge book of knots.  It may have been called "The Big Book of Knots."  I don't know.  But by gosh, its dimensions were huge and the pages plenty.  Could there really be so many knots?  I had that book for a long time after my father died.  I have no idea, however, what happened to it.  I will Google it later and see if it is still extant.  

Oh hell yea it is.  I couldn't wait.  You can still order it, too (link).  The mystery to me is why my father would have bought this book in the first place.  Did he really learn to tie knots?  I don't remember him ever tying knots.  He did, however, weave a cast net once.  If you are interested. . . (link).  I remember all these tools.  He never finished it, though, if memory serves, so he bought one from the fishing store.  Before we'd go fishing, he'd cast it in the shallows and capture our bait.  My father loved things like this.  We had crab traps and all the paraphernalia a fellow would need.  There was nothing dad liked more than lighting a Coleman lantern.  They were intriguing to me, first the pumping of the cylinder, then the careful lighting of the very delicate mantle.  And by god, man, if you don't think those lanterns were complicated, you might need to take a look at this (link).  Dad was a tool man, so this part makes sense.  

So, doc. . . maybe this is why picture books have always fascinated me.  I like arcane equipment, curiosity cabinets, etc.  Having never really learned to fix anything using tools, it is something of a mystery to me, but I am a very visual fellow, and it is that which intrigues me most.  My house is full of esoteric and arcane artifacts.  They are my fetishes and my talismans.  

But only in an existential sense.  Truly, they are merely visual decoration that I have empowered with a deeper meaning.  

What do you think it means, doc?

I just Googled that, too. There are personality types. . . 

"I am truly enamored with the shape of your skull."

Am I making any sense?  If you think not, you're just not trying hard enough. Go back. Start over.  Try again.  

Yesterday was very frustrating.  Perhaps it was just another version of Groundhog Day.  It was mentioned to me that I was remiss in not mentioning that in my Wednesday post.  I may not have mentioned it, however, but I may have (re)lived it.  I was full of that old "get it done" mentality, and remembering that I had forgotten to renew my auto tag, I Googled tag agencies near me and chose the closest one which was in downtown Gotham.  After the gym, after a shower, I was off, first to one place which wasn't the right place, then to another that also wasn't.  I was limping around on a painful knee on a very warm and humid day, sweating and irritated.  When I finally reached the right office, I found a small, cramped, overcrowded room that was very unappealing.  People sat around as in a gulag, faces hanging toward the floor, shoulders slumped, postures exuding misery.  I stood in the middle of the room looking about as a big, masked policeman approached me.  

"Don't taze me, bro," I shouted throwing my hands into the air.  

No I didn't.  I asked the nice police officer if I would be able to renew my tag without an appointment.  He just shook his head no, so with a painful turn, I limped back to my car in the parking garage, miserable, but not as miserable as those poor fucks sitting in the DMV.  When I got to the guard shack, a mechanical voice told me to insert my parking ticket into the slot, then informed me I could only pay by credit card.  

"Fuck you goddamnit sonofabitch motherfucker," I replied.  "You fascist asshole creep shithead Nazi ."  I was fairly yelling.  I went through all the contortions of trying to lean out the window which never works so that you have to pull forward and open the car door, twist and manipulate your body wrenching your painful knee to put your credit card into the ever so precise machinery.  I repeated my mantra.  

When the gate finally opened and I was free to move forward, I saw a sullen woman sitting in the guard shack.  WTF?!  Why?  I remembered seeing a scene like this in a t.v. show or a movie once.  She never looked at me.  I'm sure she had heard my litany of obscenities.  She was probably dialing 911.  

Since I was close by, I decided to visit a photo gallery.  I drove around trying to find parking on the street. I was avoiding the parking garages for the rest of the day.  Eventually, I found one and limped my way to the entrance.  As I stepped in, Peter, the gallery owner, was sitting at a makeshift desk working on his computer.  He gave me a startled look.  Oh, no, he said waving his hand in warning, the gallery is closed.  The show won't open until Friday.  It was Thursday.  The photos were hung.  There was no danger.  Again, WTF?  But for whatever reason, I felt embarrassed.  He could have waved me through with an, "Oh, it's you, sure, come on in."  

I nodded meekly, as I turned painfully and limped back through the door.  

Mid-afternoon.  I hadn't eaten.  What to do?  I decided on a little ramen shop nearby.  Again, it required driving around in search of parking.  And again, I limped the distance to the restaurant.  

I took an outdoor table and ordered.  I leaned my arms against the sticky table top and recoiled with the realization that these dirty little hipsters had never once wiped them down let alone cleaned them.  My forearms began to itch wildly.  I sat back away from the table and realized that I had rested my hands on the unclean chair.  There is sickness going 'round, I thought.  I will surely be miserable tomorrow.  

The soup looked good, but that was all.  I ate half the bowl and left their rest.  

Looking to see if I had yet developed a rash, limping painfully back to the car, I passed a Starbucks.  Suddenly I had a hankering for a caramel macchiato.  I haven't had one in at least twenty years.  You don't get more calories than in a caramel macchiato, but since I was probably going to be sick for days, I decided to indulge my yearning.  

I decided that I would go to my mother's from there.  It was earlier than my usual hour, so I called first to see if she was home.  My cousin, who is staying with her, likes to go shopping at the Walmarts and the Dollar Stores and their ilk two or three times a day, and most often my mother goes with her.  It is the hillbilly way.  I got no answer on my mother's cell, so I called her landline.  No answer there, either.  And so I drove home.  

Where I immediately took off my clothes, washed my filthy hands and arms, and fell into bed.  

When I woke up, it was late.  Oh, shit, I don't want to go to my mother's now, I thought, so I called her.  We chatted for a few minutes, but when I hung up, I fell into an unconscious limbo in the chair.  My body ached.  I could barely move.  The day's heat and humidity, the limping on my painful knee, the rejections and frustrations and hipster filth of the day had done me in.  

I poured a Campari and soda and limped out to the deck.  I grabbed my phone and my palmistry cards.  A few photos later, I sipped my drink, icy cold, refreshing.  C.C. texted me.  He was drinking the same thing.  It felt good to have a drinking companion.  In a few minutes, I was making a second.  The aches and pains and fatigue were fading away.  I hung out on the deck as the sun began to set, and looking up, I saw the moon.  

It was not quite full, the Full Snow Moon not coming until Saturday, but it was big enough.  I took a pic and sent it to my New Old Friend who sent back a nice note.  And with that, feeling oh so much better, I reentered the house and cut up an avocado and some garlic, garnished it, poured some wine, and searched for a documentary on Peter Beard that I never found.  I watched a few shorter ones for awhile, made a small plate of olives, cheese, and crackers, and turned on. . . are you ready?  

"Pamela: A Love Story."

Don't mock me.  I watched it so I could deride it, but you know. . . she was really sweet.  I wouldn't want her for a lover but I could definitely dig her as a friend.  She's funny.  Who doesn't like funny?  And. . . this is the big one. . . she seemed almost egoless.  I don't know.  I wasn't going to watch the whole thing, but it was like eating potato chips.  

I've never seen an episode of Bay Watch and have never known anything more than that she was married to Tommy Lee which was enough for me.  So there you go.  Everyone has a story.  Hers was good enough.  

This morning, as I write that, though, I am realizing all the things that were not said, all the things that were left out.  Selavy.  Just another selfie. 

I have been surprised that no one has harangued me for not mentioning that it is Black Awareness Month, but in my state, the governor has disallowed it.  If I even mention it, I am liable to be arrested, tried, and convicted, and I will never be allowed to teach again.  We all must bend the knee.  

I took no sleep aids last night and slept the whole night through.  Didn't wake up until 6:30.  The day is gray and the weather changing.  I'm in need of better adventures, but I don't think they will come today. 

"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid our time is up."

Those are some pretty ominous words.  I'm hoping not to hear them for awhile.   

No comments:

Post a Comment