‘Family tree’ is a good analogy. As a tree grows, limbs divide and sprout off one another, as progeny sprout from their parents. The newest, most immature, green branches sit always at the highest or furthest point from the trunk. They are the most delicate and most flexible. They soak sun and wave and sway and dance and shake and shiver in high winds. Their parent limbs are dry, hard, wooden and do not sway so easily. As the tree grows outward and upward, the immature limbs become stiff and thick, and eventually become covered by their children, who block the sun and breeze. Every branch, at some point in the tree’s life was limber and bendable, and fluttered in the sun and warm breeze until the twigs sprouting from them radiated in all directions and left them fixed in the leafy shadows of the blotted sun.
The stuck subway air smelled of hot metal and worn concrete. Metal fans shifted dead air across sunken tracks. The air was limp and lifeless as a well-traveled doll. Crowds crowded and emptied from the containers like the ebb and flow of an awkward tide. I waited. I let my train come and go. Each arriving car sucked the platform clean. Left alone; the sole survivor each time. Company trickled cautiously down from the escalators and swelled nearly to capacity before being emptied again. I thought of moments in the history of Earth when its surface had been wiped clean by plague, famine, eruption, disaster, or collapse. Each time the populations of life regrowing and rebuilding— slowly and cautiously—until the next peak when the slate was purged once again.
Anyway, I’ll follow that image of a train station with this one:
Why. Why? To log and summarize everything as I go. That’s what these are for, right?
March 9th, 2010. Tuesday.
My chipped red winter-beaten bicycle carried me across the cold months. Creaking, squeaking, straining, complaining. Across Mass Pike and the railroad onion behind the chain-link fence before the background city. Basket full of work-stuff for my new job in Cambridge, home of the true have and have-nots. I went over the Charles past the Harvard Colosseum where river reflections of bridge arches look like watery eyes welling up. I rode with my acoustic on my back in the city night, by groups of students talking and smoking, to Charlie’s Kitchen to do stand-up. Those ska mohawk punks have a misplaced ‘fuck the crowd’ mentality. The only people listening were the ones that cared, you idiots. The clouds always hang so perfectly out my window over Ringer Park. I wish they could pull me out of bed. I bought donuts and we walked in the Sunday sunshine and sat on the Mission Church steps before finally opening the heavy wooden doors and sitting silently in the back while everyone, black and white, received Communion. The schizophrenic from Espresso Royale and the 57 bus sat and watched too. The bright blue and warm sidewalks make it seem like the grey December drizzle never came and never wet our black cotton coats and leather gloves and never wet our damp heads; never made us depressed and wonder why we stayed in this city.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Boozan