Saturday, May 27, 2006

the stroll

You know, it was the date of the post here that marked a chapter in my life. It was the day I walked away from a job offer on simple principle. It wasn't about holding out for the money, it was about setting personal value on my time.

I remember it very clearly. I remember the long sunny walk home. It was a beautiful day, warm and breezy, clear blue skies. I walked from west 18th at 9th avenue, all the way back to my house in RedHook. I stopped and listened to Mary Ford, and Fiest, and other laid back stuff by the water under the manhattan bridge. I talked with my friend Aaron out in the wine country on the celly while i walked down Columbia. The sun was warm, but not obnoxious. The air was crisp and clean (for new york), there were puffy clouds.

I didn't wonder if i had made a mistake. I put my values in order. "How important is having a job anyway?" I know how i do. Other things happened that weekend, which i will always remember as well. It's interesting how looking back you don't always realize how pivotal certain days of your life turned out to be. Something has to remind you. It could be something simple like a smell in the air, or a particular car parked a particular way in front of a particular place.

Like when you take a second, and remember, i mean really remember how much you like (say for instance...) the taste of salt, and melting butter on sweet corn straight from the fields. Fresh out of the pot. The core still hot to hold in your hands. Corn on the cob.

NOTE:
which, as it turns out, now reminds me of a website i thought of one night, not long ago.


Well tonight, quite by accident i remembered this particular weekend. The one with the image from the manhattan bridge looking down over the baseball field. Sunny Friday. I hadn't been thinking of it at all. I was working on the website (in a way) trying to finally update, and to hopefully mend any of the link-holes i'd created in my little butcher job on the site last week (tomer hanuka and the dTown panda.) But I wasn't finding any inspiration. I was looking at the screen, and i was moving files around from drive to drive, just killing time hoping an idea would hit me. I imagine it's about as futile as a writer with a block, and he's just sitting in front of the typewriter testing the pressure of the keys with a special pressure-ometer or something. If you got nothing on your mind, you can't really put it on the paper (so to speak). And then i got to thinking, Maybe i'll just go to my back-up folder, and throw whatever the hell happens to be in there as an index page back up to the site as a new page. And that would at least be a change of scenery. The buttons would all work and go places. And it would jog someone's memory of the first time they saw those images.

Interesting thing wsa, it jogged mine. I was resigned to the fact i wasn't going to take the job at Drive In. I was fine with it. I liked sleeping in. I liked staying out late drinking and smoking and doing how i do. And besides, I like having time to do it how i do. And when i got home that day, i assembled the opening sequence of the post. Sunny Friday i called it.

And as the weekend rolled on, I met up with Liz Wade for the first time in a dozen years. We had brunch, and it was raining out, and we walked all over hell and high water from the Canal on up to the Piers. JT was out that day with us. It was a good time. I called those pictures rainy sunday because, you know. it rained that day.

For perspective, at this time niether Neil Young, or Gomez, or springstein, or Dresden Dolls had released their new albums yet. The new Tool album was still only a whisper. Folks had heard it was coming, but no one even had a pre-release demo yet. Even the Prince record was only a rumor. Nobody knew a damned thing in New York about The Raconteurs. I mean, think about that.

Time is wierd man. you stop and you look back and you're like, "jesus. i didn't realize i had swum out that far..." Just paddling away from the coast. kick & stroke. Just keep drivin' man. Just keep drivin' (and so on). You look back from out past the breakers and you think to yourself, can i make it back? Do i give a god damn if i do or don't?! And somewhere in there you make a decision. One way or another, you do something.

Well. Going forward. No matter which decision you make, or you think you make, or you were told to make, or you told yourself to tell someone else to make, you can change your mind man. You can change it any time. Life is kind of like a try it before you buy it type of scene.

I mean, sure. sometimes somebody buys it.

Buys it real good.

For real Good.

crap sandwich.

Yea, going forward i still see mistakes in the rear-view. I look up and i catch myself looking in the mirror, trying to see what's rolling in the dust and smoke and ash behind me, but man, like it or not, the pedal's still to the floor, and it feels like we're picking up speed.

An old RedNeck once said, "Much better to keep your eyes on the road aheada ya; than to keep 'em on the wrecks behind ya." It's making sense now.

Most folks would say, "well. that's just a drunk-ass-redneck talking. You can always just ease up on the gas (son). You can even stand on the brakes and back the hell up and try and lend a hand."

The thing is, when i think of that RedNeck talking, i remember standing in a court room in Portsmouth, New Hampshire before the judge. I was i guess 19 at the time. Young and Dumb and Fulla Come* as they say.


NOTE: Come* in this context refers to a more commonly recognized slang spelling for another word that rhymes with the word in question.

So i'm standing in front of the judge, and i've got a few strikes against me. First of all, i was involved in a high speed chase that lasted for more than 100 miles.

Secondly, this high speed chase was involving speeds at well over 100 miles per hour for sustained distances greater than 15 miles count.

On top of that, I was apparently doing the chasing, and the car trying to lose me was a motorcade of the states highest officials, including then Governor Sununu roaring to catch a flight to D.C. for some emergency briefing.

There are of course a lot more details to this story that would be of interest to expound upon, however, the point is, that standing before the judge, after hearing the evidence presented against me, the judge asked, " Mister Connor(town), how then do would you explain the officer's statement that at no time did he see your brakelights come on as he was coming up behind you at over 82 miles per hour sirens and lights and two more cops behind him, no brakelights? Were you at least considering slowing down?"

Ah. Memory.

You know? I told the judge then, and i see i am still playing it the same way now, "Your Honor. (insert condescending trade-mark dTown tone of voice here) I NEVER use my brakes on the highway. (pause for a moment of complete and utter contempt) They're virtually unnecessary if you know how to drive. You use your mirrors.You guage your speed. You are aware of you gearing, handling, the ability of the car and your ability as a driver. I don't find a need for the brakes at all unless i need to stop quickly, or completely. No need for a bunch of knee jerkers to over react all at once just because i tapped the brakes and cause a wreck. Certainly not at those speeds. On a bridge. That's just plain dangerous."

I got the ticket.

It was a pretty big one.

NOTE: I guess that makes me a redneck.

Ole Kathy would remember that. She was there. Probably she hasn't thought about that in a long while, but if she were to read about it she would remember it. You have to. It's a bookmark in the chapter of life.

Just like how i remembered this particular sunny friday.

Do you remember anything when you see those pictures? What was going on in your world, when those pictures went around it?

And hey. If you've never seen the pictures before today, then guess what?

You're there. This is it. You're in the now. Now is then. Then is now. Your life just turned a page. I wonder how you'll feel about this, knowing what you know now, two months from now.

I'll tell you how i feel looking back, the next time.

NOTE: and with pictures.


dTown | Listening to the new TOOL | 72˚ and overcast

1 Comments:

Blogger destroyer said...

one year ago i was planning my own escape. i had just come across the last year of my twenties and found myself in charge of a group of written off people. they didn't want my help. so i planned my tunnel and set off to find a spoon. i escaped, for the most part. i left some valuables behind, but nothing i can't buy later, in the life i'm still recreating.

4:48 PM  

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