I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me โ that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
July 05, 2013 - 11:20 a.m.
I'll resist temptation and write this in chronological order. So yesterday I hopped on Metro North and headed down to Brooklyn to see and apartment in Clinton Hill. Then the train stopped moving. It was at a station but we weren't going anywhere. Some shall we say idiot left a mattress on the tracks. The train ahead of us went over the mattress and it caught fire. We had to wait till the fire department could put the fire out and clear the debris. I texted the person at the apartment I was seeing and told him what happened. Then the problems really started. I realized I was having a Crohn's attack. I felt the bloating and had a hard lump in my intestine. I wasn't in pain but I knew that would probably come. I had left my prednisone back at the house of Tom Bombadil. My plan for the day was to look at that apartment and perhaps more, spend the night at Chris and Seth's apartment, then see a place three blocks away in the morning. I figured I'd have to revise that. Go back to Westchester and take my 20 mg of prednisone and take an early train out in the morning. Then as there was nothing I could do and Crohn's saps my strength I went to sleep. I woke up when the train started moving and then went back to sleep. After getting into Grand Central I still had a 45 minute trip on the subway. As I walked to the apartment my intestines started gurgling. The obstruction opened without taking prednisone. That hardly ever happens that fast. I got to the apartment and had to ask to immediately use the bathroom but I was no longer feeling so bad. I wasn't better and planned on not eating the rest of the day but I figured I'd stay in Brooklyn. The place was nice, the first nice place I saw, though far from ideal. I would take it but not be that happy sharing a duplex with four strangers. When I was done I went to familiar territory, Fort Greene, and sat at the Starbucks which has internet. I wish Connecticut Muffin still did. It's a lot nicer. But Starbucks did play Cab Calloway's version of St. James Infirmary. I answered more apartment ads and then had to decide what to do with myself till the evening when Chris got home.
I decided on the movies. I checked on Fandango and the only thing that worked geographically and temporally was The Lone Ranger in Cobble Hill. Not my first choice of movie and not a good movie theater but it has AC and is on the way to Chris and Seth.
As I've said before in a former life I was a cinephile and still consider myself one. I'm just on hiatus. I used to go to the movies once a week. and concerts perhaps six times a year. Now it's concerts several times a week and movies six times a year. But I love movies and take them seriously. I'm going to have to reach back to my cinephile days to find the vocabulary to describe the film. There is a technical term that fits it perfectly, godawful. You know how I love the metaphor of not holding the bird too tight as to smother it but not too loose so it gets away. This movie holds it so tight as to inflict mortal damage but then lets the bird get away to die. I'm not going to go through all the things wrong with it but just bring up one thing that will always put me off; people surviving without any injury something that should have killed them. When that happens there can be no suspense. So you fall off a cliff, big deal, you won't be hurt any worse than the coyote.
The film was set in Monument Valley Utah which had to be called Texas to explain the Texas Rangers. That was where John Ford filmed so many classic westerns. I thought it wasn't actually filmed there, it looked fake, like it was cgi. But it was filmed in Utah, the cinematographer managed to make something real look fake, movie magic in reverse.
Even then I had fun. The movie was terrible but I had fun thinking about how I was going to write about it. One thing in the film did work, The William Tell Overture. It is amazing how Rossini wrote the perfect horseback chase music for an Opera taking place in Switzerland. Even when the screen action was pure cartoon it made things exciting. It bought me back to being a kid and watching Clayton Moore play the Lone Ranger on TV. The film mocks "Hi Ho Silver" but that is worth more than the entire movie. People like heroes. I like heroes. They fulfill a basic need. Whether it's Heracles, Ironman, or the Lone Ranger we want someone who can vanquish evil and set the world aright.
When the film was over I went to the bathroom again and when I got out I found I was actually hungry So much for my plan on not eating all day. I stumbled on Moo Burger. It looked like a burger place with pretentions, it says in the window that the burgers are organic, but they had an Independence Day special. The All-American burger came with a free drink! I went in. The price was high but by no means outrageous. The service was unbelievable. It was a sit down restaurant and I got my burger as fast as at McDonalds. Most importantly the burger and fries were great. The shake wasn't free so I got a root beer. I ate it ravenously. Even though I had eaten that morning I am pretty sure it just flushed through my body so I was hungry.
Then I headed to Chris and Seth's. I have to write their name in that order because Chris's looks odd. I spent the night here with friends which was nice and I went through more apartment ads. This morning I got up and planned on having breakfast but had too much fun talking with Seth so all I had was some of his cold brewed iced coffee. It is great though I still want to do a double blind test to see if it really is better.
Then I walked over to the apartment. There are issues but I like the roommate and the place is nice, the location perfect. I wrote the woman with the lease and told her I'd take it. I don't think anyone else has looked at it so it looks good. The problem is that she is in Thailand. We'll have to figure out how to do this. I'm going to look at more places today just in case but this is where I want. I have not walked to friends' homes on a regular basis since I was a kid. From here I can. This is the home of my people.
I'm holding off the anxiety by simply not thinking too far ahead. When I do a get paralyzed and nothing gets done. It's better to have to react to a crisis than to be catatonic. I seem to manage when do.
Right now I'm putting off reading emails about apartments because that's scary. I'll work up to it after I am finished with this. Then at least it will get done. My anxiety is not getting better but I'm learning how to work around it. I have to sneak up on things.
Oh I've been ending with things that make me happy. How about this?
Not hip, no emotional ambiguity, no ironic detachment; Heroes pure and simple. Hi Ho Silver
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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