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silent nine

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pleasant valley sunday. [04 May 2009|04:24pm]
So Clayton sent me a text today, and it said "if i was a rapper they would call me seizy c."

Which is funny, though it wasn't so funny yesterday when we were watching Gangland and suddenly he lets go this breathy zombie shriek and clenches his fists and I'm about to ask him "what the hell are you doing?" but then I notice all that froth coming out his mouth, that white froth that ran red when he chomped his bottom lip, but for all I'd known it could've come from way inside.

So I sat aside and held his shaking head and watched his worming eyelids, saying his name hard and firm until I scrambled half up the stairs and shouted for my mom, yelled that Clayton was having a seizure. I dialed 9-1-1.

I mostly cried quiet in the bathroom while the paramedics were there, so sad at his confusion and frustration when the medic kept asking questions he didn't have the answer to; the tough questions like where he was and where he worked. He looked like he felt tested and tricked.

The man took Clayton's blood sugar and they talked about the Twins with my father, a topic impossible to miss from the shelves by the bar. They'd been leading four-nothing on the Royals and we still lost.

Eventually, my brother came around. The medic asked where he'd gotten this long, scabby scratch on his finger.

"Oh this?" he asked foggily, "this? I got this at work," adding, "at Caribou," and all of us in that cold basement smiled, relieved.

He didn't go to the hospital; he did two years ago when it happened the first time, when my dad found him in the afternoon unconscious with a headwound he'd gotten when he'd cracked his skull on the dresser. We'd figured it was his full time job, half time class, and hard work in the hot summer.

He'd got all the tests run, and this time we didn't take him to the hospital. I took him to his boss' apartment so he could drop off some forms, explain the situation. I sat in the car and smoked a Spirit, listening to the radio and sighing streams. When he got back in the car, they played Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Damn shame it was on Music Heads, and they only play a part of the song.

9 favourite shirts
|boy meets girl

and all that we can be, not what we are. [05 Nov 2008|08:55am]
And so I woke up this morning with rain on the roof and remembered that this terrible virus has finally run its course.

Yesterday I howled John Denver all the way home on 169, my '86 Volvo rattling and stuck with an American flag. This morning, it was Bob Dylan all the way there, roaring up Plymouth road with the slow-dawn sun breaking through the clouds, passing by my turn and over the train tracks to finish my hasty playlist simply titled AMERICA. For the first time in my life, I can look to the future for patriotism instead of the past. For the first time in my life, it comes from pride rather than defiance.

Rest easy, my friends. The wait is over, and we've finally done it. At longest last, the American Dream is in good hands.

2 favourite shirts
|boy meets girl

but you gotta be cool, that's part of the job. [28 Sep 2008|04:06pm]
And then on this grey-blue September Sunday I decided that Paul Newman needed a bigger piece of the pie than a simple pic-date'n-link post.

Paul Newman has been a very important man in my life. I must've seen Cool Hand Luke when I was eight years old, Lion King posters tacked on my wall. It became a fast fixation, and that old Luke Jackson the model of aspiration. Cool Hand's an American Legend in his own right, a figure of honor, rebellion, damnation and resurrection. I named a stuffed dog after him, a set-haunched German Shepherd with a lolling tongue and alert glass eyes. Cool Paw Luke palled around with a rusty flat-faced slit-eyed mongrel named Frank Morris, after Clint Eastwood's '79 portrayal of Alcatraz's only escapee. I really had a thing for those bustin'-outta-prison movies.

I've only recently become privvy to the legend of Paul Newman himself. An early morning in Dublin City--an early Dublin City morning being somewhere 'round eleven,--I found myself wandering the cobbled ragtag streets of Temple Bar. Above a rasta shop with the scent of sagey musk and dyed linen, there was a little place that sold every poster I could ever want, the walls tacked with Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen and Robert Deniro. I'd never usually buy anything, just stand there and turn in circles, but that day was different. On a chipped corner table there was a sparse selection of books, tagged eight euros apiece. One of which was a shabby round-cornered hardcover coffeetable number entitled Newman: A Celebration. A gasp. I convinced myself it was around ten bucks and started flipping the pages, wanting to stop, to save some for later but I was a fiend in the grips of satiation.

"Paul Newman, huh?" asked the young fella behind the counter. I clutched the book to my chest and stepped over. I squinted into my dark purse and did the eight-euro dig.

"How can I say no to Paul Newman?"

Back on Camden Place, I sat in the brand-new part of our house before it became riddled with treachery and newcomers, and read on the sun-warm squeaky black couch a tale of Kenyon College's young leatherhead quarterback in 1948 Ohio who punched a plainclothes cop in the chops, started a barroom brawl, got expelled and became one of the most revered, beloved actors in cinema on equal parts luck and ambition.

Ah, to be a young star in the midfifties! Yet another aspect of the man I fiercely romanticize. When Thunderbirds were good, rock and roll was forefronted by Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, and there were still trace levels of cocaine in soda. In Newman, there is a transcriptCollapse ) of an East of Eden casting call featuring an obviously-nervous Paul Newman and a cool-as-ice James Dean. On Youtube, there is a video.

There's something in my deepest soul that just aches for a Midwestern suburban hopeful, wanting to be worldly but eternally cursed with the gold heart of a half-rube. About a man who claims that his ambition was bigger than his talent. Who speaks hearts of sentences when he does. Like Cool Hand Luke, legendary purveyor despite it all, Paul Newman's a man I'll always live by. And when I woke up this morning and saw that picture on the wall, cut from the inside-jacket of that book on the top bunk I lived on one fall, I was reminded of All This, and went to the computer.

1 favourite shirts
|boy meets girl

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