Let us be lovers
We’ll marry our fortunes together
I’ve got some real estate here in my bag
So we bought a pack of cigarettes
And Mrs Wagner’s pies
And walked off to look for America…
It was a great Simon & Garfunkel song, but made even greater when Yes covered it in 1972. And then the band in large part came to the United States to learn what it was all about.
Counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America…
And I believe that not only Americans but the world is still looking for America.
Quarter of nine.
The hoopla over the election must be finished because no one is talking about it. Just another event that came and went. Again today it’s pretty cold out, and the moon was framed in white clouds on its descent. The east is striped blue and white, the deciduous trees all turned yellow or red, with a littering of leaves around at the curbs. One squirrel occasionally peeks in the back door. I get a feeling of indifference from people in the community; there’s not an abundance of love, as they mind their business of making money to survive. The last time I was in church was like it is everywhere else: every mind on the matter, and success measured in dollar figures. You don’t see anyone pausing to smell the roses. My mother raised me differently, I guess. Even now, I believe money is only good for the happiness it can buy— if it even does this. Everyday life today is quite dreary, everybody a Scrooge. And as always, Americans treat their dogs better than they do people. We need a great pop culture phenomenon to come along. The next Beatles or the next Star Wars to rejuvenate the human spirit. The genius of humankind is not dead yet.
“Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts…”
Seven fifty five.
Later today it’s supposed to clear up and be sunny. If I looked into the little book by Wittgenstein it would either baffle me or maybe support what I’d already known about the structure of reality. Logic may be a great thing, but it doesn’t compass love… I wore my old blue parka out to the store this morning, the one that survived the fire and was preserved by the packers afterwards. I don’t remember the last time I put it on before today, but it’s a souvenir of schooldays long ago. Whatever else has changed, one or two things remain the same as I recall them. Or perhaps stasis is an illusion— but everybody is saying that these days. They say that memories of the past are a very bad thing, and so on ad nauseam. But I think this is because people generally can’t remember shit.
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you
Quarter after nine. I think I might schedule a ride to take me to the bookstore for tomorrow. I don’t know; everyone is so apathetic these days, it doesn’t matter what I do. Yesterday I got pretty excited thinking about my birthday next month. I’ll be 55 years old, and it happens that 5 is my soul number in numerology. Five means things like sex and rock and roll and other extraordinary pleasures. I might get my heart’s desire or then again maybe not. Nothing happens unless you put some effort into the endeavor. As of now, nothing is happening anyway. There isn’t even a breath of air outdoors to disturb the trees. It’s cloudy and cold, gray and lifeless as a cadaver. But Aesop ate his dog food and gives some signs of life. There’s something alive. I just heard a mail truck over on N. Park to break the spell of silence. “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls / And tenement halls.” Hello darkness, my old friend… I’d kind of like to buy a nicer edition of Dubliners. This gives me an excuse to go to the bookstore tomorrow. I see so much of people missing opportunities to enjoy life, and religious asceticism makes the situation worse. You won’t go to hell for having a good time today. And yet I feel I’m whistling in a hurricane. “It is better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all.”
Life is strange. If you don’t drink, it’s even stranger. Apparently someone stole a letter from my mailbox a few months ago and used my identity to try to get a refund from the IRS. I don’t know how long it will take to sort the whole thing out, but there’s only so much I can do each day. The days when people were honest and trustworthy seem to be over. I know I sound like an old fogy saying this. A couple of factors are involved in our decline: the failure of the education system and our dependence on machines. Nobody knows anything anymore off the top of their head, and people can’t think their way out of a paper bag. It’s as though we externalized our minds to cyberspace and then forgot how to use our heads. But in doing this, we’ve sacrificed our own souls, given ourselves over to an alien power and left our fates up to it. As if the machines could be more intelligent than humankind; but this will prove to be a fatal fallacy for us. It tempts me to go throw my iPad in the Willamette River. Short of this, there must be something we can do to correct the course we’re on. Crack a book, maybe, preferably something by D.H. Lawrence, or anything organic and healthy.