Monday, May 3, 2010

Live and Learn

Muggy day, sun is breaking through now. I'm up in the aerie after an hour of moving about the house doing various chores. I have finally unpacked from when I thought I might be jumping ship back in February. At the time the KZE songs were all speaking to me; the hamlet where I live suddenly, for a week or more, was filled with brand-new cars and trucks of all makes - it must have been a photo shoot of some sort, but I thought one of those greysky vehicles, perhaps one with five silver rings, might ultimately contain you, coming for me. In another era I suppose I would have been pronounced mad. I don't believe I was, though I think the inputs were too strong for me, isolated, lonely, in the dead of winter, full of hope, love, and longing.

One day I set out for a walk, reached the end of the driveway, and was startled to see a new silver car, empty, parked along the privet hedge that fronts our house. This is a dead-end street. It's rare that anyone leaves their car on the side of the road. I hadn't heard the car pull up, no one was about, and no one had knocked on my door. When I returned from my walk the car was gone, as I'd expected. This was in the week or ten days of the sudden appearance of all the new cars and trucks, parked in driveways, arrayed once in jaunty display before a Victorian house. It seemed as if the vehicles materialized, and moved either of their own accord or were rearranged by elves. They appeared or disappeared whenever I went down the road on foot or by car in the course of a day. I never saw a soul. I never heard cars pull up, leave, or be unloaded, never saw any stylists determining how they should be positioned, never saw any photographers or film crew. A couple of times I saw young, hip-looking individuals on foot, looking a little incongruous in this semi-rural place, and I took them to possibly be production assistants. Except for the mysterious movement of the vehicles there was nothing on the level of shoots that I had become accustomed to from New York City, Law & Order and Hollywood location shots that involved huge caravans, trailers, and swarms of people descending on a neighborhood, disrupting traffic, and lighting up the night.

Along with what also seemed to me to be more than usual flags flying (tying in with what I thought might be a small-town Americana-themed Detroit ad campaign), the new vehicles seemed to be all over the place, not just in the little hamlet where I live, but streaming up and down Route 9, or parked at the roadsides, jutting out at odd angles sometimes. There were so many, most silver or matte gray, some white, a few black and, occasionally, bright red. As I drove past on the bleak gray days I had the idea that many of the empty, parked vehicles contained cameras, the way that I had felt that the Winter Walk parade in early December had also been carefully recorded, frame by frame, by a multitude of cameras, cellphones, iphones, etc., along the route.

The cars and trucks are all gone now, have been for months. As quickly as they descended, they disappeared. Special Ops.

I've been quietly putting things back over the weeks, a lamp
back on a dresser, Simon Pearce stoneware (a gift
to myself years ago when I became unemployed) once again presiding on top of a bookcase, books replaced on a shelf, watercolor City Island Scenes on the hanging nail in the wall, and the framed print of a bird among flowerpots back above my desk. All that was left was two boxes that I'd shoved into a corner of the living room. One box, falling apart cardboard filled with old school papers and miscellaneous correspondence, I simply put back in the upstairs closet. The other I had to unpack - CDs such as the Enigma Variations and the Nields, folders of notes and rough drafts, my college diploma, a few cherished children's books such as A Little Princess, and the football-sized brown postal envelope - the "golden egg" as I think of it - which contains the August project, my labor of love, returned to me at my request (since I didn't think he cared), along with photos that had been in his possession for more than thirty years (and which I hadn't asked for, weren't mine to request) which he also enclosed without comment. Voluntarily relinquished, without comment. I suppose that sends a blunt message. I see that now, and did then, though at the time I tried to tell myself that if he was coming then he didn't need them anymore.

It has been 22 months since I became possessed. That is more than twice as long as we ever went out in the first place, nearly 34 years ago. Charyn's Emily, over the course of her life, is similarly possessed with Tom the Handyman. I had a twenty-year hiatus, a long break in the spell. I am grateful for that.

There's a novel on my bookshelf, Dreams of Rescue, by Laura Shaine Cunningham. I read it years ago and have forgotten what it's about, but know that I have certainly dreamt of just that.

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