I really want to get this going....

Each day's listing is an excerpted edit from my work. These are numbered and sub-headed for ease of read and isolation from full body of continued text. Each small excerpt is a single-themed piece culled from a much larger whole. Please follow the heading numbers down to #1, or click on 'archive'. The highest numbers are most recently posted, obviously. If so interested, for follow-up, you may contact via e-mail shown - perhaps for discussion or annotation needed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008



One day I was sitting in a Chinese restaurant idling with some sort of fish ball soup and whatever occasional dim sum the lady would bring around along with some tea and it was about 20 degrees out and cold with a biting wind that had pervaded everything and the only life on the streets was to be found out along Chinatown and its crazy rim where nothing ever stopped the fish-sellers and vegetable people and the little tables with all their goods for sale and toys and hats and gloves and the rest and that incessant chatter of the Chinese tongue was everywhere - even with air blowing out of frigid mouths as I imagined each breath taking the form of some changing Chinese characters in the air around them and I imagined the great cacophony of sound to be allied with the same great melange of sight and everything together red dragon New Year's snakes and rat and pigs and all the rest and I wondered if anyone even noticed and sitting there in the cozy restaurant which seemed from another day indeed there were a number of people around me eating and the two workers nearby had spent the entire time so far cleaning a huge mound of Chinese peapods or something on the table and I watched them work swiftly with their hands trimming and tearing the harsh parts of the pod-leafs off and the table had a grand mound of green things and I thought what a job for an entire shift and they'd said not a word to each other just both facing each other at the round table engrossed each singularly in thought and across from me at the round table I was at was a woman with her two boys perhaps ages 10 and 7 each and though they looked alike they were different in size and someone alongside from where I was said "excuse me ma'am I couldn't help but notice are those two boys your twins?" and she laughed aloud and said "no no they are three years apart" and she rattled off their ages and everyone smiled and the one boy said "mommy I don't want any more rice it tastes like water" and she said "finish - you must just have a little more" and that went on as the dim sum lady came around again and people took more things and I'd just refilled the teacup and took two sort of dumplings or something on a small plate with four on it and it tasted as good as anything else and more time passed as I watched the sculpted dragons on the wall - large and fearsome with red lights for eyes - and wondered at their decoration and what presence they were meant to evoke and it went on from there - how the twinned boys seemed as coupled as did the twinned dragons and the twin dumplings and why I'd gotten everything in two's just then and the two guys at the pea pod table made me sure to expect a bill of $12.22 if nothing else but that didn't happen it was all fancy and my own whims at play and I started thinking about 'Fava Beans' which I'd just read about which were some French concoction a tradition of the 'galatte' a round flat pastry with a favor hidden in its dough - a practice which I'd read continues each year through the month of January and the galatte when distributed for centuries in France had begun as a custom whereby whoever got the slice with the favor in it became king or queen for the day complete with a paper crown and the favor was said to bring an abundance of good fortune and even to this day the favor is still called a 'fava' (or originally the French feve) for beans were what French bakers had originally buried in the cakes but they eventually became porcelain little toys and trinkets and are now - of course- instead PLASTIC items of the same variety little trinkets decorated with flowers texts or other themes meant to delight the recipient and I thought how parallel all that was to Chinese New Year good fortune customs and trinkets and luck charms and even fortune cookies but I figured at some point perhaps all things do mesh together so that each culture and every tradition soon enough is found to trade off the same human needs by condition everywhere and now the Fava Bean though it still exists is kind of a mysterious bean only occasionally eaten and without much other intention or presence and so long forgotten as that it could be but somewhere somehow tradition lives on even in a place like this - now that I mention it.
And then I decided there's no 'favor' in this world where the sewers have been known to run with blood and very soil we walk upon is drenched in death but we forget and at the bank the fireman was talking about retirement and I figured every mind has thoughts but only great minds have great thoughts and the lady he was talking to seemed about as dumb as he was about everything and as soon as they were done I got my money too and left again figuring there's always room for more and there's always levels of elitism too - that fireman was looking to retire by stashing away enough cash for another home somewhere to retire to while I by contrast was just looking to survive and pocketing whatever money I could here and there by which to do so and that was another elitism entirely - elevated elitism versus lower elitism or something like that and the rank difference between the two was as yet unknown to me and if we each had a daughter they'd probably look exactly the same at first and only later start looking vastly different (well that was a hunch anyway) and some people blame circumstance for everything and others blame environment while others say fate and I never got any of that straight so I just let it go because no matter what else sometimes it all comes so simply and leaves everything else behind because of its grand simplicity while other times everything's as difficult as hell and you just can't do anything about it anyway plus I thought to myself that sucker that fireman could die in a city blaze tomorrow and everything's for naught anyway and it was all like some fervid zen koan ringing in my modern-day ears like 'why did the cookie cross the road' and the answer is 'it had no ears' just as simple and paradoxical as that and another one 'what did the zen Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?' and the answer is 'make mine one with everything' and both of them made me smile (that enlightened smile seldom seen) and I realized how fateful - no matter what - everything really is and one moment anyone could be laughing at themselves while the very next hour they could be drooling on a metal cot shot in the head over a parking spot and that's the hand that the city plays up - one minute to the next you're double-crossed and just as dead : and bang your head and you ARE the missing link and so what of it.


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