Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Sunday, Damned Sunday
Like an old starlet poring over old clippings, I'm going over my Alma Mater's literary magazine in hopes of finding some inspiration now that I don't feel so very wonderful--inspiration from the days when we were all so good. I turn the pages. Damn. Even then we could write. Even in college.
I especially liked a submission by one Michael Cole--is he stil alive? I wonder.
In a piece titled SUNDAY, he writes about one Godawful Sunday. "It was a Sunday, a day he especially dreaded for no reason other than the fact that every Sunday seemed pure hell for him--nothing really to do, nowhere to go, and really nobody to talk to. That was what really made him unhappy--the fact that there was nobody he felt like seeing or speaking to. Oh, there were people he could call, but they were probably doing something already and there was nothng he especially felt like doing anyway.
Sure reminded my of old Jean-Paul's Nausea.
Where--was it on a Sunday?--life was so boring,so nauseous, so repetitive, cyclical-- that Jean-Paul Sartre could sense a boredom, even in nature, even in the universe. He could almost hear a tree groaning with boredom in the park while it grew to monstrous proportions, distended branches, ready to break with any windstorm..
But old school chum Michael Cole's story is more affirmatiive. Or attempst to be so. As I read, I sense the the author is really trying to write his way out of a Sunday depression..
He meets a little boy in the park who is doing a science project. The kid is looking for oak leaves which the boy can not immediately identify. The character in the story helps the boy, points out an oak tree under whose base there are the leaves which look like stone age spear remnants of another time. The sense of time seems to affect the both of them. The boy collects some proffered leaves, thanks him,says"will you be my friend?" --And as if in a time warp, he suddenly disappears.
And our hero is left all alone. Alone now, and alone later to frantic missed attempts at reaching friends, busy signals on the phone, the black-and-white TV with its bad reception, the eight beers in his refrigerator that taste as flat as he feels. He wakes up Monday morning with a slight hangover. The TV still on. End of story.
Well, my own Sunday was a little like that.
Might as well have begin like Michael Cole. It was Sunday. He had nothingto do today, and was therefore in no particular rush to get out of bed....
But I had to get out of bed. It was Suday and there was a depression hanging on me. No luck with last night's date. No luck at all for a long time. And not just with women. A failed novel. What had been the last thirty years all about? All of that storm and stress for a failed novel?
Oh yeah. I was beginning to feel Michael Cole's Sunday--and from thirty years ago. Sure, I too had a story in the Fith Page, our literary magazine way back then. But it was not nearly as good as Michael Cole's. But so much more original, so much better than the work I was putting out now.
Like Michael Cole, I got dressed, got out of bed and took a walk in the park. Action and exercise can sometimes make short work of a depression.
There was a rock band in the park, a biker's social gathereing for lukemia--bikers do their part too! But the band really rocked with a lot of Supertramp --four guys on a flatbed truck, and they were playin' real good.
Don't know which ogther match song they were playing at the moment.
"Tonight, tonight, we'll be here tonight
We'll make it all right
And it'll be Sunday tonight."
A hundred bikers, all in colours. Vagabonds. Outlaws. Some in plain leather jackets, presumably Hell's Angels.
Gorgeus tough looking little molls in custom fitted chaps and leather jackets, "Don't hit on my old lady!" And even kids, also in boots and chaps. There was a Freak-n-Leather outlet just on the edge of the park; that's where they must do their shoppping for the custom boots, jackets, chaps, printed colours, decals. The leather shop was open today, and it was still busy.
In fact the leather shop must have sponsored the event as
the trailer sign just ot the left of the band read, "Freakin' Show and Shine."
And the band was really shining.
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.
There are times when all the world's asleep,
The questions run too deep for such a simple man
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am
The bikers were rocking, but I was not. Still depressed.
(As I look around the blogs, a lot of people seems to also ask, "please tell me who I am." Even at fifty).
I know who I am. But on this Sunday when my neurosis seems especially high, I know two and two makes four, but like a psycho, I don't like it....And and five into four won't go if you're trying to bully your way in between two couples--"Don't hit on my old lady".
Well, a good stomping might have done just the trick! Deflected my depression into another area.
But I have been stomped before, and I didn't like it.
What is it that I actually want out of a Sunday?
Perhaps a mass. But they were really plaing pretty good. Even on a mass slightly black.