Saturday, December 4, 2010


The frothing violin is causally practically conjoined with the Nam flashbacks he gets whenever his instructor raises her voice in a little panicked chirrup when he has swung his arm wrongly or squeezed a string not lovingly enough. Or hatefully enough. In swimming class he often begins to panic as it seems to him he’s in the middle of a shipwreck. He feels himself floundering, and clutching at a fat thigh he thinks blubbering in his hand is instead wood pulped against the rocks, and he hears a loud cracking sound as of a big tree falling. His violin instructor can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with the violin, although she’s quick with the hosepipe and sprays him and violin simultaneously while letting out a distressed and haunting cry. That also sometimes reminds him of Nam. Pity she’s such an attractive woman in a housedress and has such attractive, clean arms – this bit doesn’t jibe well with the flashbacks. But never mind.

He loves over-filled garbage. It makes him feel muscular. He sympathizes on a deep literal level with inanimate objects and to him these things peeling out of the bins are evocative of liberated strength, and his sympathies are spooning this up in great greedy swipes. In the great filthy deluge muscly garbage his old arthritis pains, the most potent signifiers of infirmity, are greatly reduced. 

He does for a fact know that he is in fact still Burt Reynolds, and on a warm evening beside a river bubbling with Napalm had once ejected from a Daiquiri, drunk and happy, singing an eulogy to a dark-skinned pimp who’d saved him a mild amount of humiliation somehow. He felt like an invisible olive. With a  mullet. Still clutching at the advice of the pimp, even two-hundred feet up.

‘Will you, with your mutant discipline, smuggle me into your wonderful land? You can have this young girl’s beaver. You people do like beavers, don’t you?’

‘We have them in Canada. We’re fond of them, yeah.’

‘Oh please! You again slept through the bonfire ceremony. I told Clive not to roll you and your sandals and the bamboo mat you were sleeping on and the hissing embers near your toes into one and smoke you like a cheroot, and believe me it took a lot of pleading, more than I’m doing now, which I can see isn’t effective, so perhaps there is something in my shorts or in my hair or underneath the fold-up director’s chair my soul is sitting on that’s crimping this ability, because usually I have it in spades.’ [Looks down with pinched mouth at dirt + holding chin thoughtfully.]

You slept through the whole thing, Burt. The war. Your grandchildren’s births. You even slept through the time you roamed the streets in search of garbage spilling from dark hidden dumpsters. The bigger and more ogreish the dumpsters the better. You slept through your arthritis pain. The song you sung to your pimp all the way up there in the air was incredibly inspired, is all I can say.

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