Saturday, October 24, 2009
Now, it's been quite a while since I've posted anything on the blog. I want to thank my half dozen loyal readers for their patience. I've been scribbling in the journal, but haven't posted anything for quite a while. I hope that I can put something up once a week, now that I'm no longer distracted by work in the film biz. I suppose that I could cut and paste anywhere in the journal, but since I'd just posted a video on You Tube, that I'd taken toward the end of September, I'll start there. After all, what is time, in the life of the soul? I forgot who used to say that. It was back in those days when we spent a lot of time on some sort of psychedelics, when comments like that could be pondered for half an infinity, peyote time.
Before I even try to dabble in the metaphysical, as certain people call it, I'll try to cut in the section from my journal. I hope to put up a copy of the video, that I'd taken with a friend's borrowed digital camera, which I had to delicately balance on an empty beer glass, which I placed on top of a paperback version of The Subterraneans by Kerouac, that my kid had bought at the trendy used bookstore in the neighborhood, and lent me. And, I'd like to put up another picture of the church from the apartment window. Although, the leaves on my maple tree have turned and are mostly blown away, this being the eve of Halloween, I'd like to post a mid-summer photo. The next post, I'll try to put in a shot more in keeping with the season....
And now, I’m sitting at the Café Depanneur. It’s the last day of September, but it feels more like the last day of November. We had a few weeks of extraordinarily beautiful summer weather, then an abrupt change. Today, I’m wearing about six layers of clothing and am still cold. However, at this very moment, I’m sitting listening to Catherine singing, along with Oreste on the drums, Adrien on the bass and some young phenomenon on the piano. Suddenly, the morning gloom has lifted through the magic of music. And when I speak of the morning gloom, what could be worse than waking up to a cold and gloomy morning than the racket of a roofing operation moving in next door-the thunderous roar of heavy machinery, a monstrous crane big enough to evacuate the upper floors of a downtown high-rise, along with a generator that causes the building to shake, and a deafening jackhammer, combined with the sickening smell of hot tar.
And, I seemed to take twice as long to get out the door, trying to find some fall clothes, ironing some old pants, then making a breakfast that will fill me up so that I’m not tempted to eat in a resto and spend more of my dwindling monetary resources. So, I chop a few potatoes and throw them in the toaster oven, while making an omelet, with green onions, mushrooms, sharp cheddar from Fromagerie Jose on the corner, and the last tomato from my garden…meaning that I had to stand around for a while paralyzed with indecision over how I wanted to enjoy my last garden tomato, before I’m back to eating those engineered numbers with the labels-(S238748).."I wonder whether I want to save it for a salad, or just throw it in the omelet. Goodbye, last garden tomato, into the omelet you go."
Back home on the coast, I would have had another month of tomatoes, and the garden would have been composted with seaweed and some chicken shit from Mr. Perry’s hens which he keeps under the house so he can sell the eggs to top off his pension. And now, I have a little garden plot, in the middle of a community garden fenced in by the railroad racks on one side, the city equipment shed on one, the ball field on another, and now, a hundred car parking lot on the other…a parking lot that had been a soccer field. But, it’s Quebec, and I can imagine that the soccer moms had bitched about the lack of parking space, so they tarred over the field and painted some white lines and set up a toll booth. The heart of the separatist political elite, adding more blackspace to the area. Maybe I’ll vote green, if they promise to turn the parking lot back into a soccer field.
Then I go next door to the corner store to buy cream for my coffee with my last five, come home and notice that I can’t find the change, which would have been enough for a latte at this café…so, I head off to the bank machine up the street, realizing that I should have worn a winter coat…get to the machine a couple of blocks away, only to see the ATM screen announce-Hors Service-Out of Order….then I have to go off in the direction of Outremont to find another machine, since the bank machines are all located in rich neighborhoods now, or near shopping malls. It’s another one of those irritating days brought on by the realization that all that greenery and color that made living in the city bearable, will soon be stripped away, like a scene from a Lem novel, to reveal the raw ugliness of the human creations. Soon I’ll be treated to the site of flat-topped brick buildings adorned with satellite dishes, the artificial ponds in the Outremont parks will be drained, revealing the asphalt underpinnings. Half the population will be plotting, scheming and conniving a way to spend the winter in some cheap, tropical location, surrounded by the same chain-linked fences that surround my garden plot….
Anyhow, it was just a string of minor irritants, really. I’ve been in worse straights. Whenever I start to feel discouraged, cold, aching all over, prospects of facing at least six months of cold, I try to remember that time I’d been out on a sailboat for a week in a northeast gale in October, a hundred miles off the Atlantic coast, in a boat half full of water, soaked to the bone, with waves breaking over the fifty foot mast. But, sometimes in extreme circumstances, in wild, wet cold, white knuckling the wheel , wind shrieking through the shrouds, lost in the gloom with only the pink glow of the compass binnacle , trying to hold the corkscrewing boat heading due south ….these moments have the potential to experience extremes of joy, exaltation, magic.
In Montreal, the magic, whatever hasn’t been bulldozed and homogenized in the name of corporate progress, is more subtle. Here I am, back at the Café Depanneur, a few years after the reign of Sylvain, the original owner. I even had hung a painting in here then, the self-portrait in oils which Sylvain took down in a moment of paranoia. But, that’s another story. What I’d like to do right now, is to post a new blog, which I haven’t done in months, due mainly to having been body and mind-snatched by my daughter signing me up on Facebook, then MSN Messenger, which Greg bugged me to sign on to, when he really meant for me to open Media Player. Plus, I’d been getting film work for the first time in a couple of years. It’s funny, but when you’re wondering where your next buck is coming from, you really appreciate getting a days work, which will pay at least a couple of hundred for spending most of your time sitting on your butt, possibly reading a book, and if things work out well, chatting up some interesting young lovely, usually a Russian immigrant. More on that to come.
I'll now link up to the video. Just press on the (touch) button.I hope that you appreciate the painting of BB King behind Adrien. Symmetry, n'est ce pas? Of course, there's an Amerindien painting, although looking more like a Lakota Sioux, rather than a Cree or Innuit, or Mohawk which one runs into here. But, that's one of the drawbacks of shopping mall art, the lack of a local (touch).