Thursday, October 05, 2006

Three generations of lunatic pilots

I swear I am part homo, images of fighter pilots falling into the rye, as in the first chapter of Jean Genet's "Our Lady of the Flowers", posters of F4U Corsair fighters all over my walls, next to the photo of Russell Baker, my hero, handsome bastard, who forgot to lower the wheels of his naval plane one day, pancaking on the deck much the way I have in my own flying career. At least metaphorically.

This feeling state is very likely about the onset of a full moon. I do recall my flight instructor looking at me a little closely in the reflections of my instruments: This kid is crazier than a mink on a sandbar.

Full moon fever. Going solo on a full moon fever. Leaving my flight instructor three miles away, to walk laboriously back to the hangar.

Shades of old Liberace jokes. Brother George walking up the same way, to kiss Lee right between the hangars.

Failing as pilot, failing as novelist, I finally decided to take the Russell Baker route as columnist supreme, but I think I really emulated the actions of that tiger Norman Mailer when I ran for Mayor of Newmarket.

But I made my stump speech on a full moon!

"What do you plan to do about pornography?" asks one questioner.

"Why you pimply bastard! Some people should have more of it!"

Egad, when you check your calendar for a full moon before undertaking a campaign, you should get the hell out of politics.

Forgot to lower my wheels in politics too. Came in second, not bad, but still a pretty crappy landing.

The mayor's race is now upon us. I am checking for the full moon. Yep. Tomorrow. I sure as hell am not going to run for office! Just sitting there trying to appear normal is enough let alone make a stump speech.

Last time I ran, I deked into a bar to see myself of TV. "What the fuck is that speed freak doing, running for office, "one of the old boys yelped. No question about it, the puffy eyes, halting manner, as if expecting to be interrupted, misquotes, malapropisms. I didn't quite say "extinguished guests", but I might as well have.

Something about having been a college don made me quote entire lines out of Dante's Infeno; I could think of nothing more to say.

"Intermezzo del camin du nustra vita

Mi retrovai in el silva negra."

There were three black people sitting in the front, behind which was an entire family of Mafiosi, the incumbent's bodyguard.

No wonder my wife left me. "You always say the wrong thing!"

But this was no mere domestic exchange.

De Mob answers real quick. No sense of humour.

That night, I had to make a swan dive out of a second-story window.

They burning a witch here, or what?

Municiapal politics is dangerous as hell.

Ah but then there's always literature.

Why was I so intoxicated by the image of the blond fighter pilot falling into the rye?

Why did I guffaw out loud when I learned that Jean Genet, sent by Esquire to cover the Chicago riots in the Sixties, remarked with some rapture about "those thighs" on the Chicago policemen and the brutality of their boot-clad feet!

Enough, probably to give the great Elton John an erection.

Mr. John laughs about his own homosexuality: "Two gay guys were walking down the street one evening and one said to the other, "You the man!"

The sexiness of having been a pilot.

The sexiness of pilots in full flight gear.

A noted feminist said she wanted to give George Bush a blowjob when he was decked out like that in full bulge on that carrier.

I must say the image cured my of any further gay leanings.

Grossed me right out.

But then there had been the flying fuck of George Bush Sr. going down with a buddy on a parachute.

I swear this culture is homosexual.

Alpha male in a gay environment.

I guess for a while, I was thinking," if you can't fight them, join them."

But there is litearture, ah, always literature.

"Abundamant el sceno con Ventanas grandes
abudamant una cello o pozo.

The scene was one of high windows,
Leading to a cell or pit.

Uh-oh. Leading to a cell or pit, huh?

I think the Mob was trying to burn old Ivan that day, like they did to some San Francisco "slaves" in the cell quarters.

But who is not enraptured by the spell of the great Jorge Luis Borges, or for that matter, the fine pornography of John Updike (Hm. Do I really want to go there?).

Fiction, the only way out.

Words, the defences of a weak man.

There is great power in a vacuum.

There is something there, all right."When the moon is glowing a ghostly white."

I'm just not sure just what.

La Luna Luna.

Whoops, there's that fruit Debussy again!


doubtingthomas said...

It appears that Ivan is also of two minds, or two posts. Much like the character in the Monty Python skit organizing the assault on Mount Everest who saw everyone as twins. Lofty ambition, as is flying. (Such a segue, but Segways can make one go flying also, if'n one is not careful.)

Flying was my one of my childhood dreams. Fell in a group of flyers in Brampton some years ago. Fine bunch of guys, and some gals too. Made a lot friends. Our love of slipping the surly bonds of earth was our common thing. Saw a lot of the WWII guys lose to the big C. What the Boche couldn't do, cancer could.

No "funny fellas" in our group. Everybody went home to a female, or was married to flying. That never crossed our minds, Ivan.

When the wheels left the runway, all cares were left behind. Things change, opportunities come around; I don't fly any more. Just in my dreams.

Sela Carsen said...

Happened to be on base today to run an errand. Heard a noise as I was driving and rolled down my window. Jets roared overhead and I realized how much I missed the sound.

ivan said...

DT and Sela,

I swear there is something really magnetic about airports and fine technological achievements, like supersonic aircraft.
Certainly high stuff of romance, nostalgia, song.
"If I could slip the surly bonds of earth," yes.

EA Monroe said...

Hey, Ivan! Maybe this can get you in the mood --

As they say, "Only the fumes are missing!"

ivan said...

ea monroe:

I like your writing, especially the piece about the full moon today.

Yeah! Mitsubishi Zero-sen.
Tora! Tora! Tora!

Shiver me timbers and blow me down!
(Or am I too much into my own blog?)
I used to be air-minded. Now I'm merely feebleminded.


Josie said...

I don't like planes of any sort. My husband was a pilot and his plane crashed.

When I have to fly, I sit in the middle row far away from the windows, with a gin and tonic in each hand, and pretend I'm on a bus.

ivan said...

Sorry, Josie.

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