06 March 2007

Id-len-es of March

As the story goes, Ernest Hemingway was sitting in a bar when a fellow drinker started unburdening himself of his woes.

Papa silenced him with a, "Mister, I get in my own jams."

Readers of this blog are likewise sufficiently a-jam in their own follies, so let me skip the emoting and simply say that my heart is heavy as March 7 approaches and I remember the day last year when my best buddy (and manager non-pareil of my Bainbridge condo), the inestimable David Wasczak, packed me and my two boxes worth of 20 years' belongings and drove me to SeaTac to catch flight 958 over the pond to London SW1 more far.

A month later I was on the move again to Greece, but that's another histoire to be addressed in gory detail when *that* anniversary comes.

So many people and aspects of that life I miss. Fin.

My current 'jam' is neatly encapsulated in a recurring image that runs through my mind:

I wake and am thinking about the day but when I make to drape a leg over the side of the bed I'm not allowed to rise until I can think of a single person or thing for whom/which I would perform such a move. Nix comes to mind.

Having failed this test, I'm next on some floating platform that, when the camera pulls back, is shaped like Kerkira. I drift past 1-dimensional monochromatic folks whom I sort of recognise as peopling my day without making the slightest dent in my consciousness or interest.

Suddenly I see The Spitfire manning the checkout counter of some impersonal supermarket. Her fingers dash over the cash register and she's bright and alert at her job as she would be at anything she applied her hand to; as she would be in better life that her father might have afforded to help her to.

I greet her and she says a friendly but crisp "Hi dad. Catch you in the break." Clipped and practical, as always. The camera pulls back and I see it's the BI Safeway and a couple of customers back is me and her as *we* once queued, full shopping basket including good things for my Baby as per back when times were better and cash was avail.

She serves this confident privileged pair sans noticing, as they do not notice her. I walk out, nay I slink out. 'Later, dad,' she says as the doors slide open.

But what's this? Outside is my Big Girl, kneeling in the road to pick up what looks to be books that someone is tossing from a great height into the road. I go over to help and she says hi dad and i get down to help her scoop up the books and they are her school texts and there are bits of officialese paper mixed in, requests for pay of fees, reminders, warnings, threats ... final demands bordered in red ... notices to vacate bordered in red and black.

I ask where to put the books and the Big Gal says she guesses over there, in the tip. I carry an armful over and i see its already full of her belongings. I am too ashamed to ask, so all i say is lets get it done and maybe have a coffee.

"That's great, dad, but later. I need get down to the job centre to see what's going." I walk away because that way I'm facing where she can't see my tears.

I'm drifting again on my coracle and theyre waving at me but i dont recognise anyone. Suddenly there's a tiny isle of 2 figures i *do* recognise and theyre waving at me with beaming friendly faces. "Over here, lad!"

Goodness, my 2 best friends since ive been here, the only duo ive really got to know: Mr Al K Hol and good old Nick O'Tine.

The current takes me straight there and i step out of my craft to be offered a glass of something and a carton of baccy.

Bit early, i waffle, to which they guffaw, "We all said that at first, old boy. Not to worry. Sheer boredom will settle that."

I step back into the coracle and wave them goodbye: "Got to go, stuff to do, people to see." Guffaw. "Whatever, old boy. When yer ready."

The current takes me away and I practise a wave at nobody so that Al and Nick think I really do have a life. They raise their glasses and glowing baccy and give a friendly laff.

There are books floating by and bits of paper. They pass too fast for me to make out what theyre advertising but theyre bordered in red and black.

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