Saturday, July 23, 2016

Struggling... 2

Dad always struck people as charming. He had an effervescently winning smile, which he could use as a light source or as a weapon by choice. His hazy sunrise-over-a-foggy-fjord eyes could seem cold as blued gun-steel or as deep and loving as as a faux tie-dye hindu head scarf at its bluest.

This particular night/morning (it was about 5:12 on a stunning June morning, and the sun was hesitantly rising over Klondyke like a benevolent matriarch trying to decide when to rouse her beloved offspring and amongst those already awake and rampant, who to string up from the clothes wire) I was in two minds. At least; it might have been four or five.

I had in my inner pockets (specialty-sewn multi-purpose trousers made for the street urchin on the fast track by our friend the widely known and loved den mother Mrs. Springles) a variety of fresh and tempting food stuffs, not the least from the last bakery we had passed (through), and there were a variety of options as to how to best leverage it to forward Dad's and mine path through life. Particularly our spiritual path, for I had begun to wonder a lot about such things after a street preacher had given me a week of undesirable dreams regarding possible fates of people who are on the edge of society's accepted realm of passable behavior.

Admittedly I was in a great deal of confusion about this, because it seemed to me that the great profets who we apparently were to follow were all bohemian in the extreme. One was the son of a rich man but left his riches and his family behind to live the life of a beggar, the lowest of the low, to attempt to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Another one treated women like pets, and petted them a lot. And another one was hated and actively procecuted by seemingly every established society force around at the time, and was executed in gruesome fashion to show what a criminal he was. How was one to reconcile the lives of these teachers, these role models, with living a life as a Good Citizen inside the constraining bourgeois ropes which was set up all around us?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Struggling to reach bottom, 1

When I was a likkle kid, about 23, I would often be dragged by the hand by my father, seven-foot-two, along the cheerful alleys of Klondyke, to find the next booze dive where he credit had not yet run out.

It was a hopeless struggle, really, for my father (named Swagholler Dingwat Cornswoggle The Third after his favorite aunt) really had a credit with every even vague commercial person on entity in town, be it schoolteachers, journalists, greengrocers, whores, streetsweepers, conmen, or bakers.

We would weave our way between Klondyke's juggling acts, street urchins, thieves, do-gooders, preachers, sailors on leave, and unwed mothers, trying not to drop any of the night's loot, such as gold watches, Raggedy-Ann dolls, clean and un-cleaned piss pots, silver bracelets, chrochet mallets, breakfast buns, and bundles of bank bills.

Klondyke had much to thank my father for. He was the first tripple-elected mayor, although some claim that his average term of nine days put a crimp in that record. He was the man who invented the twelve-cat choir, both the gospel form and the secular one. (The latter was later banned in large parts of Asia due to, it was claimed, "lack of serious artistic sensibility.")

My dad was at that point about thirty-three or thirty-four, though most people took him to be about seventy-two, due to his long grey beard, his hazy purplish eyes, and a tendency to walk in a stoop so dramatic that he often made more in pennies found on the ground than he did from his various complex schemes.