Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I do believe that I am destined to someday scare myself to death.
This wisp of insight has, just lately, finally become apparent to me.
My calculating shadow is ever-a-lurk...is ever-alert...for the slightest opportunity to pounce upon me, upon me its lifelong victim...its too-often otherwise-occupied and unwary prey. That dark entity's frighteningly sudden appearance from its doleful den of ever-night into the glare of the light of day, its incarnation as it leaps with extended tooth and claw... it simply terrifies me.
When I unwittingly knock-over a nearby object, this action starts a chain of events that sets alight and sends to flight a veritable skyrocket of blood-pressure and heightened pulse-rate. And sparks a sudden sense of instantaneous panic.
It is then a matter of long minutes before the streaming pressure of the blood coursing through my arteries and veins returns to a relatively normal rate of flow.
The innocent pen or pencil or magnifying glass or unopened resting checkbook falls...
And when it falls it then so pseudo-serendipitously and seemingly maliciously dislodges other objects lying there...below it at rest near my desk...and they too suddenly launch themselves through the air and into my hyper-alerted consciousness...
And reflexively I jump aside and dodge and then dislodge another of those hidden scurrilous demons in disguise.
But wait, now.
An idea for a story of horror has come this instant to the fore. And it's tapping at the entrance on my imagination's chamber door. An idea yes but with it also something more. An unwelcome visitor is insistently knocking, persistently mocking, deep within my psyche's quaking core.
Hmm . . .
No, not now. Maybe later . . .
First things first.
Back to work on the story I was crafting just before I paused to scribble down today's blog entry. Let me see now, where was I?
Oh yes . . .
A Somewhat True Recollection
by Charles Gene Chambers
One summer evening in 1955 when I was a 16-year-old sophomore and reluctant male-virgin I was as usual playing slap-and-tickle with one of the loud and rowdy females who hung out at Bazz's roller-skating rink out on the edge of town.
The snack bar appended to Bazz's with its booming jukebox was a destination the rock'n'rollin' teens of the town had found to be sufficiently permissive enough in which to nightly congregate. To have something to do, you know.
This night my teasing playmate (Note: prey-bait? primate? prime-mate?) was Lanky Lucy, real name Lucille Collins, who was 19 and had graduated high-school the year before.
Lucille had been flirting with me all evening. Even though she was not the prettiest girl in town, she was kinda cute in a slim boy-ish kind of way with her short-trimmed dark hair and faded men's work-jeans.
But her deep and dusky eyes, shadowed coal-black and her wide and cushiony crimson-colored lips were not at all boy-like. In the face-painting department Lucille was one-hundred percent female.
(break here: the following are plot notes)
Dickie, Lee, and Paul complain about nothing to do and horse-play, pitching pennies, punching each other on the shoulder, and then ranking on each others' mothers, etc.(expand this) Lucille and I keep playing around, slapping at each other and ducking and running from each other until the other guys (hint that these 3 curiously-interesting characters: Dickie, Lee, and Paul, will have future roles to play) go inside and Lucille and I are alone.
When we are alone, she slowly reaches out and takes my hand and leads me down the adjoining alley into the darkness alongside the building and then wraps her arms around my neck and pulls my body against her own, and somehow she is no longer boyish or lean or hard.
She has become totally feminine. incredibly full-bodied, and achingly soft.
A little later as we creep hand-in-hand into the high grass behind the Wolfitz Lumber Yard down near the railroad tracks, we are joined by Lucille's best friend, Susie Ritter, who REALLY joins us as we become intimate in 'heavy-petting' (remember, this is the 1950s)
From behind me, Susie exhales a puff of warmth on my neck and then lingeringly kisses my neck and runs the tip of her tongue up and down and around on my flesh and presses her tiny pointed breasts into my back.
(End of Story Notes:)
Oh Good Lord! Such insipid mush. Perhaps I could introduce a fictional villain hiding in a nearby railroad boxcar, a mysterious character who...
No! No, dammit. Get back to work.
Friday, January 29, 2010
As a more judicious and experienced older man I found the story to be an excellent (but at the same time a mildly ho-hum) description of how the undeveloped mind of an American man-child can be (and usually is) so overwhelmingly wrong... and yet be so absolutely positive that he (and he alone) is intuitively right about so many things.
According to an EW news brief J.D. Salinger once said:
"There's a marvelous peace in not publishing, Publishing is a terrible invasion of privacy...I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."
Like Salinger, I too love to write and am fearful about the fame and fortune that successful authorship might bring along with it. But unlike Salinger I write not just for myself...I feel the need to know that others are reading what I write.
Here's what Stephen King had to say about J.D. Salinger, just after Salinger's death.
That's really about all I want to say about this subject at this time.
"What a wonderful life I've had!
I only wish I'd realized it sooner.:
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
What exactly is sensation?
Is it related to an epiphany?
I should think not.
The former is only a flash, a glimpse of a potential idea or concept, lacking the concreteness produced by weighty pondering and yet somehow excitingly memorable: a sudden stab of inspired feeling.
The latter is a seemingly instantaneous conclusion drawn from extended subconscious musings upon the former.
Or so it seems to me.
Jocular Jots and Titillating Tittles? Oh yes. Oh yes, indeed.
I found an old picture of the church I joined and attended in the early and mid-1950s. Being a member of the town's recognized in-group (doctors, lawyers, educators) seemed at the time a judicious and wise decision.
And there was a ping-pong table in a back room.
The minister was Joe Fitch. Most of the more pious members of the church called him Reverend Fitch, but I called him Joe. He didn't seem to mind. Not only was he my pastor, he was the father of a saucy young girl (a school classmate) that I admired from afar. And he was at one point (during my teenage hoodlum years) an understanding and lenient probation officer.
On a completely different note . . .
While searching for appropriate pictures to insert into this posting, I happened upon one of West Washington Street (the main drag) taken in Rensselaer back in 1910. There seems to be an electric light hanging from a wire above the intersection. Could be a traffic signal. Did they have traffic lights back then?
Speaking of roads . . .
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.
Looking back I now can see that I did that too; instead of the brightly lighted path I took the shadowed weed-grown road, the crooked, twisted secluded way, that winding back-road that is most often shunned. Because it seemed the right one, the only one, the one created surely just for me.
And from time's penultimate perspective I can see that, indeed, it has made all the difference.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
For the last couple of weeks I have been emptying my three closets in preparation for an upcoming move from Florida to another state. It is not a pleasant experience to realize that the biggest portion of my possessions are nothing more than mere baubles. The various familiar objects, commonly characterized as 'one-man's-treasure' are indeed another man's junk.
One closet contains mostly clothing, much packed in boxes but some on hangers, hanging in open view though not worn for years, lonesome reminders of bygone days when this raiment's purpose was not to hide but to enhance a body that then was hard and large and meaningful with its properly balanced and socially-acceptable distribution of muscle and fat. No longer of any use. The clothing, I mean. Not even suitable for the Salvation Army resale shops.
Another closet yields a trove of electronics parts: circuit boards, loudspeakers, microphones, plugs & receptacles & connectors & non-compartmented and uncategorized components. At least a thousand of them. Or so it seems.
And electronics books and manuals. And floppy-discs and software and blank CDs. And old radios, one with a pair of huge detached speakers and a built-in 8-track player with several 8-track cartridges.
Also four old computers, one that still works in its ancient Windows 98 mode and one that works most of the time, when it feels like booting up. Two that are dead but would work fine if only a person would take the time to do a component-level repair. And two old CB radios, one with 23 channels and another one so old that it is tunable through a vast spectrum of long-forgotten frequencies.
A third closet, supposedly a linen closet that contains nine towels, two wash cloths, a pile of old rags, and hundreds of boxed-up small hand-tools.The guest bedroom which is a combination computer-room and Ham Shack, with its HP Pavilion PC with a 21 inch monitor and HP LaserJet 1000 printer and DeskJet 895C printer and 2 HP flat-bed scanners.
Two working transceivers, 2-meters & 10-meters. Scattered remnants of old rigs. My framed FCC issued Amateur Radio license, KA9CWJ. Probably 50 assorted connecting cables and page-packaged displays of many, many QSL cards received from Hams from all over the world with whom I've conversed in both words and via Morse Code throughout the years.
And my framed but fading Associate in Engineering Electronics degree from (now defunct) Valparaiso Technical Institute.
The more than 100 hard-bound and that same number of soft-cover novels and texts on my living-room's large wooden book-shelf are of little intrinsic value, most having been purchased at yard sales, discount stores, or on eBay for a fraction of their displayed retail price. A few are quite old, but not collectibles by any means. All have been read and therefore are drained of their novelty, useless except as nostalgic reminders of what was once perused, absorbed, and is now mostly forgotten.
Almost all of this is to be sold, given away, or discarded at the curb for rubbish pickup. Another phase of my life is ending.
I am taking no pictures of any of it.
None is necessary.
I have read that in his later years Pablo Picasso was not allowed to roam an art gallery unattended, for he had previously been discovered in the act of trying to improve on one of his old masterpieces.
. . . 'nuff said?
Friday, January 22, 2010
As I attempted to begin today's posting I was horrified to find that my mind kept blanking instead of opening up to its usual panorama of brilliant thoughts, original ideas, and miscellaneous memoranda stored in long-term memory for use at times like these.
So I visited some of my usual haunts, Language Log, - Rensselaer Adventures,- Delancey Place, etc. But even these old favorites yielded none of their normal inspirations to stimulate me to remark upon, or enhance, or bring to mind a personal memory to shamelessly reveal.
What was I to do?
Then it struck me that I could use Blogger's "Next Blog" feature and visit some brand new sites. Surely that would solve my dilemma of mindlessly drifting through the doldrums and melancholy humdrums.
But, no. After clicking through more than 20 blogs I gave up in bleak despair. Not a one of them stirred my emotions nor my imagination. Most were a lot like this blog of mine: stiff, stilted, overly-personalized and boring as all-get-out.
Then I turned to poetry. A last resort.
I read By Dark a poem by W.S. Merwin in today's Writer's Almanack that did a good job of scaring the Be-Jesus out of me, although I don't think that was the poet's intention. It reinforced my belief that a poem has multitudes of meanings more than was perhaps visualized by its creator.
A reader can analyze only the skeletal structure of a poem through intellect, not its essence which is somehow absorbed by some mysterious emotional connection, and this absorption is colored by the total life-to-date of the hearer or reader of the poem.
That's how I see it, anyway.
Why am I now so sadly fallen down here into the depths of the dumps?
Ah well . . .
Not all of my days can be filled with wonderment and the thrill of discovery.
It is such a secret place,
the land of tears.
--Antoine de Saint-Exupery