In the midday heat of any yellowish June's summer day, back in 1948. Touching the steering wheel and power ran to my fingertips. Driving west, then south, in search of the old highways. All of a sudden I was out of the lot and on the turnpike next to the mountains, flying. I put my hand out the window, and then I put my head out; a million smells along this road, both old and just born. I felt my hair blow behind me and the air rush into me, and I forgot for a moment to worry about how I was supposed to be. Most of life is driving somewhere and then driving back wondering why the hell we went there. The roadway seems to stretch for miles in a straight line as the fields and farms give way to a more barren landscape. All that space, waiting, so easy to go sailing off this road. It was like hundreds of roads I'd driven over, no different, a stretch of tar, lusterless, dusty, pitted, bumpy. The broken center line of the road reflected itself in the windscreen and became an endless pulsing ribbon. A town or village straddling the highway; street signs peer out here and there among the trees. On both sides were telephone poles, tilted this way and that, up a little, down, threaded together by wires. I counted one, two, three ... one hundred and nineteen telephone poles. Along them I drove like a drunken butterfly heading to its next fermented flower. The indicator on the speedometer started to lose ground and I was miles away from my real life. Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia, everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated.
The air is heavy this evening, thicker than usual for this time of year. We expect a hint of crispness when leaves start falling like the wind’s telling us secrets about days to come. But all I feel is muggy. She’s projecting again, despite my chagrin. How I’d give anything to go back in her history, to solve the mystery. What fool could have played so loosely with a hand like this? And now I follow behind, ready to pick up the pieces should any break free. My only purpose, to save her from another carbon copy scene. I’ll know it’s time when I see the chill set in, when social graces raise goose bumps on her ivory skin. That scarf, the white one, she wears it like armor when forced to do battle on the fields of society. I watch as it slips lower and lower. A glimpse of her shoulder reminds me of the delicate flower that lies beneath. Despite the hard edge she’s attempting to display, I see only soft curves and her womanly ways. I know in mere moments, we’ll be on the open road. I’ll reach to her hair and let it flow, the pardoned cascade setting her free and just like that, she’ll be back with me. ~ Francesca
Detroit's mummified sculptures, frozen behind my back. A vision of human industrial empire keeps passing before my eyes. In my ears, I hear the wonderful symphony which came from factories where metals were shaped into tools for men's service. Motown Blues. A new music, waiting for the composer with genius enough to give it communicable form. I think of the millions of different men by whose combined labor and thought automobiles were produced, from the miners who dug the iron ore out of the earth to the railroad men and teamsters who brought the finished machines to the consumer, so that man, space, and time might be conquered, and ever-expanding victories be won against death. Machinery for its own sake and for its meaning to man, his self-fulfillment, and liberation from drudgery and poverty. Detroit's motor-cars were the ultimate symbols of the 'American Dream' - the reward for travelers towards luxurious existence. But we lost it all; wealth and beauty are buried deeply under this coating golden cold. I have memories, but the images have lost their vividness, they seem dead and desultory. Nothing but glimpses of faded past which Miss Liberty tries to mask by slipping into the photograph’s sepia. And yet the city is not dead. After a long exile, the wild animals have come back to occupy the territory wrested from the forest. Foxes and martens wave their soft tails over the control panels starred with manometers and levers and gauges and diagrams. Badgers and dormice luxuriate on batteries and magnetos.
The land and the water make numbers joined, through the endless night the earth whirls toward a creation unknown; a poem written in flesh and stronger than steel or granite. For years I went about, day and night, with only one thing on my mind. Her! She rises up out of a pond of faces and embraces me, embraces me passionately. I could see only eyes shining through; eyes so big and bright, as if they saw more than they could comprehend. One can wait a whole lifetime for a moment like this. The woman whom you never hoped to meet now stands before you and she looks exactly like the person you dreamed about. But the strangest of all is that you never realized before that you had dreamed about her. I sit down beside her and she talks. I hear not a word because she is beautiful and I love her and now I am happy and willing to die, but she even wouldn’t remember that at a certain corner I had stopped to pick up her hairpin, or that, when I bent down to tie her laces, I remarked the spot on which her foot had rested and that it would remain there in Perpetuum, even after the cathedrals had been demolished and the whole Latin civilization wiped out forever and ever. I loved. And I lost.
Three o’clock in the morning. The highway is empty, under a malignant moon. The oil drippings make the roadway gleam like a blue-satin ribbon. The night is still but for the engine’s humming noise. The road is straight, the way is long but the night is short. The humming burgeons into a roar and the car going so fast it sways from side to side. The inside of the old Lincoln smells like asphalt, gasoline and dreams -- and desire. The backseat produced the sexual revolution but all males chase women they have no intention of marrying for the same reason dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving. At that very special night, after the last picture show, my tears were not allowed to cry. A tramp on the night, driving my car along the country roads, I began to wonder how real the landscape truly was, and how much of a dream is a dream. It was then that the rain started. I loved the sensation of the water running over my body and, for an instant, I closed my eyes and forgot. The rain drenched my dress, but the deluge did nothing to dampen the mood of the night. I dreamed of driving off bridges, into the moonshine river, into the dried-up reservoir on the country road to home, into the lake beneath some twisting highway of my youth -- Film Noir.
He’s like a hero come back from the war, a poor maimed bastard living out the reality of his dreams. Those whom society rejects, under the pretext that they may have -- no Gods, no Masters. Wherever he sits himself the chair collapses; whatever door he enters the room is empty; whatever he puts in his mouth leaves a bad taste. Everything is just the same as it was before; the elements are unchanged, the dream is no different than the reality. Only, between the time he went to sleep and the time he woke up, his body was stolen. It is very queer that the unhappiness of the world is so often brought on by small men. We were young, and we had just begun to love the world and to love being in it, but we had to shoot it to pieces. We’ve been cut off from real action, from getting on, from progress. We don’t believe in those things anymore; we believe in the war. The cigarette we smoke at the democratic dawn; the dawn that puts a veil for tears that may have -- no Gods, no Masters. You take it from me, we are losing our democratic freedom because we can salute too well. The word of the prophet, I claim it and I wish you -- no more Gods, no more Masters!
Fishing provides time to think, and reason not to. If you have the virtue of patience, an hour or two of casting alone is plenty of time to review all you’ve learned about the grand themes of life. It’s time enough to realize that every generalization stands opposed by a mosaic of exceptions and that the biggest truths are few indeed. Meanwhile, you feel the wind shift and the temperature change. You might simply decide to be present, and observe a few facts about the drifting clouds. Fishing in a place is a meditation on the rhythm of a tide, the arc of a year, and the seasons of life. To scratch the surface of those mysteries, for nearness to the beautiful, and to reassure that the world remains. To wash off some of the grief for the peace we so squander; to dip into that great and awesome pool of power that propels these epic migrations and to feel, and steal, a little of that energy. If you went through life refusing all the bait dangled in front of you, that would be no life at all. No changes would be made and you would have nothing to fight against and life would be as dull as ditchwater.
Man really loves nothing but his automobile; not his wife his child nor his country nor even his bank-account first but his motor-car. The automobile has become a national sex symbol. We cannot really enjoy anything unless we can go up an alley for it. Yet our whole background and raising and training forbid the sub rosa and surreptitious. So we have to divorce our wife today in order to remove from our mistress the odium of mistress in order to divorce our wife tomorrow in order to remove from our mistress and so on. As a result of which the woman has become cold and undersexed; she has projected her libido on to the automobile. So in order to capture and master anything at all of her anymore the man has got to make that car his own. Which is why let him live in a rented rat hole though he must he will not only own one but renew it each year in pristine virginity, lending it to no one, letting no other hand ever know the last secret forever chaste forever wanton intimacy of its pedals and levers, having nowhere to go in it himself and even if he did he would not go where scratch or blemish might deface it, spending all Sunday morning washing and polishing it because in doing that he is caressing the body of the woman who has long since now denied him her bed.
That which comes naturally is often magnified exponentially, for better or for worse, without us even realizing it. In her case, worse seemed to own most days. Waking to the taunting sneer of the sun as it celebrated freedom with a shining smile on its face, she rose from the bed on the wrong side as if to challenge the fates. Gathering up her effects, not in the least bit concerned of waking her lifeless companion or giving explanation, she stormed from the stale room, not quite big enough for two. Setting off to find a new adventure she took to the open road with needs and no plan. Now she sits roadside, her thoughts as dark as her vixen eyes. No need to thumb a ride, she finds a spot in the shade and lets her curb appeal woo the right prey. The sultry breeze sticking angelic hairs to her damp neck only adding to her appeal. Seated on her case of secrets, waiting to catch the eye of the right passerby. After all, this case was not meant for leisurely spells. It was hard and heavy, not easy to carry. Often times she chose men and cars just because they could accommodate it, and avoided the same if they couldn't. Dragging it beneath the shade of the little car, she kicked off her shoes. Pulling things from within, unpacking her memories, all the things that she hides. Mementos from cities where she could never return, pieces of her past that any smart woman would burn. She kept them all, tucked among the silk and lace, her favorite, a dagger that had a special place. ~ Francesca
It’s disturbing. Where did everyone go? Children, horses, parents milling around the perpetual motion of the carousel. The people watchers and the people pleasers; all distracted by the magical joy of the amusing park. The spinning of the carousel eases us into the lull of dreamlike wonder, the place of our memories represented by the ticket printed on cheap paper. When the movement stops, we are confronted with reality. The deconstruction of the fairytale whose age-old wisdom is revealed through the dissolution of the disillusion. Absent mothers, always protective, allow for risk-taking and adventure that might turn into emotional growth. The fragile little princess, through suffering, becomes an adult and probably a strong woman. Life demands fulfillment of assigned, preconditioned roles. So the carousel can lead to emotional conditioning. The up’s and down’s, within predetermined patterns, is permitted, just don’t jump off, the carousel offers no exit. Comply. Submit. Discipline, or existential boredom? Emptiness powers the jump, but knowledge gives the power of choice. At some point there was, or will be, a preprogrammed turn where inevitable shouts of joy cherish the dream of the moment where magic invades the little bodies. The ride becomes electrifying. From constancy and repetition, surrounded by the sound and lights, the hypnotic effect arises, and emotional dressing is gained. ~ Deise Lemos Almeida