i sit here and stall for hours because i don’t know what to write in this tiny little hospital-clean box until now,
words. its all i have to paint this somewhat mediocre picture of this town, although i guess the mediocrity doesn’t matter when it comes to paintings, because even good paintings have people fall on them. even good paintings get ripped. even good paintings get stolen or rained on or burned in a pyre or retouched or sealed away in some mansion on a hill,
and so here is my painting, and yes you may rip it. shred it and burn it and steal it and do whatever, just please
take me at my word.
i am still stalling, and i am listening to Boccherini and sipping coffee and i am left with nothing to write about. and its not because there is a lack of words to use: its the simple problem of knowing where to start.
[And they’re off!]
but to where? you don’t know me, and therefore my words mean nothing. but this isn’t really about you, now is it? this is about me putting down little thoughts, and you being the voyeur, coming along, looking through the keyhole into the room you aren’t supposed to know about. in this little box, i am free.
the aroma of horse and smoke are on me. this cafe is empty, and i wonder if its because of me, or just because of the time.
[don’t give yourself too much credit,]
and i don’t because, well, that’s just silly. there’s one other man in here, an older man who is here most nights i am here. he sits and chats with someone via laptop and video camera. you’d think that we would have introduced ourselves by now, seeing as we are in here together alone quite frequently, but we are still unknowns. we are still shadows in opposite corners. we are still the clack of keys and the shuffle of feet and the sound of coffee cups dragging across table-tops. we are not people, not to each other.
this is saint augustine, at night. its either this or a bar, and i for one don’t really care for bars. not around here. not with people i am almost guaranteed to see tomorrow somewhere. if this were new york and i could be just another pair of legs and arms in some club, then yes, i would be there and not sitting alone, warming a cafe seat. but this is not new york. not at all.
*John Coltrane’s Meditations, as transposed for typeset**
**whats going through my head at the moment, which is to say, the music, which is a stretch by most normal standards. Meditations, when listened at a high volume, and when almost totally ignored, becomes the most amazing and relaxing music in the world. try it. it works. i don’t even know why i am sitting here, to be honest. i should be sleeping. i should be dreaming about getting up for work tomorrow, so when i do its not so much of a surprise. i should be calling my father in tennessee to make sure he is alright. i should be reconnecting with my mother in colorado who probably thinks i am dead. i should be praying or cooking or reading or stumbling around,
(c), none of the above, is the correct answer, in case you didn’t know. as in, i am doing none of the above.
cop lights are flashing through the window. not for me, not for me. i don’t even have my fingers crossed. i don’t even have my rabbit’s foot. i don’t even have my Luck of the Irish, which is fine by me.
i for an eye, aye? or, at least that’s what seemed to be the thing to write at the time. i got mad at the radio today, too, because we have 2 stations, and they both spend equal time bashing each other about lack of variety or excess commercials or being bad in bed, and then they both go and play the same god damn song within about 30 seconds of each other. over and over. the same music. terrible music. in stereo.
so i got mad and found an old zeppelin tape that had not turned into a Queen’s Greatest Hits album yet and popped it in and blared it, even the fuzzy bits, and i smiled for a bit as people glared at me and my obviously dated taste in both music and media.
this coffee is cold now, and coltrane is whispering in my ear, saying, kid, its time to sleep, kid, its time to sleep and dream and do it all over again.
all over again.
[all over again, tomorrow, and the next day, and probably the one after that, too]
[and he sets down the paint brush and he steps back a bit and he sighs and closes his eyes. enough painting, tonight. more time, tomorrow,]