20 May 2017

Lost postcard 2

The man begins to panic as he feels along the overgrown wall, rustles into darkness and back into broken light. Twice he falls, first in a patch of spilled soil, then into a pile of decaying and nail-filled wood, soiling and tearing his fine suit. The atrium seems barely to be an interior, barely to have a floor or walls, and only the barred glass of the ceiling lets him know he is enclosed. He again hardens himself against his fears. He finds a door as intransigent as the others and attacks it with violent brute force, tearing at the undergrowth and hitting the door with whatever is at hand. His hands and arms are bruised and cut, sweat befouls his combed hair, but he finally vanquished the door which opens with a creak and a bit of rusty dust, then swings as smooth and free as a flimsy whorehouse partition. Now he is in the real anteroom, thick carpeted and cove ceilinged, with a window in one wall that has a pretty girl behind it, then a man on a stool and behind him, another door. She is a coat check girl and he a bouncer. He has nothing to give her and the bouncer gives him no trouble, only an fake intimidating sneer. The door shuts behind him and he is in a grand and crowded ballroom. Everyone is chattering and drinking and smoking and dancing rapidly. All urgent and quick,  and every eye is restless and searching. The man is suddenly self-conscious of his tousled hair, scratched hands and torn suit. The image he has of himself -- a tempered and sophisticated man of the world -- trembles, but he grasps it hard and heads to the bar, muscles himself through the crowd and orders the same whiskey that he has in his flask. He ignores the bartender and turns to the crowd. Some girls try to catch his eye. Some don't. Some men catch his eye in challenge. Most don't. He feels the familiar warm burn of power and influence.

Lost Postcard 1

The man enters the building unimpeded. In fact, though it is large, heavy and foreboding, it draws him in as if its created gravity that obliterated other options. He is prepared as he entered. He has all the things he was told he would need. In the bustling neighborhoods surrounding the building were kiosks and stalls selling pamphlets, magazines and pinging his phone with guides, diagrams and evaluations, each informing him of a unique requirement that was of course, conveniently available at the same location. He was bright. He took these scams for what they were. But still, he succumbed to the atmosphere of caution and equipped himself minimally, but at great cost. Stepping across the threshold, he takes stock. He is trim and manicured, dressed stylishly but not at the expense of utility. His clothing is fitted but loose and durable. He brushes his hands over is pockets, reassuring himself of their contents: high-end multi-tool, unassuming pistol (very comforting), micro hygiene/first-aid kit, and of course his phone, uploaded with premier mapping, how-to, social connect and identifying apps. Finally, two flasks -- one hydration and one whisky, both high-end contents. No one could say he was unprepared,  he considered with confidence. Entering the anteroom, he is surprised to find it more of an atrium than a receiving room, or a hall. It's wild and feels vast, more dangerous and expansive than the manicured grounds. He moves through it, unable to determine where he should next go. Doors are bolted or rusted shut and overgrown. The phone offers no help and only says "seeking, seeking...". For the first time in his adult life, he man feels scared and groundless. He makes himself overconfident.

04 May 2017

Postcard 92

My son, so far away -- farther and further -- today you are a man.
Not really, but sliding along, away and towards. You are a being, wrapping yourself in the costumes and customs of manhood, and of yourself, your name.
(A human being is either: hummus - of the earth, or hu-man - of man/as opposed to gods [opposed!] Yet, either way, a being, a noun derived from a verb - 'be' [present tense!])
It is cold out in the present, striving in earth, in opposition to the gods, and easy to get hurt. And so we wrap ourselves in garments of warmth and protection.
My son, here is a hatchet, a tool as everything is -- your name, your family, your actions. A tool for driving and splitting matter. It is a sharp tool and a blunt tool. It is sharp and it is falling apart and will easily hurt you, like any tool. keep it sharp and free of rust and sheathed when you are not using it.
My son, here is a coat, stained and stitched, and more than warmth it is a shell. There is majik in a father's coat, each arm a daemon. There are pockets full of incantations. There it is cured in sweat and beeswax. The sergeants stripes are chevrons of calm and capable.
Approach life with tools at ready and coat worn with a journeyman's cool confidence. It is a cold and lonely world and you carry me on into it, lightly I hope, like a worn stone rune, or a slightly out of date, wrongly folded map.