Sunday, March 12, 2006

Chapter 28 - Mirrors Reflecting Mirrors

I awoke next to J on the mattress in the living room with the grey morning light coming in the venetian blinds of the big front picture window. Hank was stretched out on the big mattress next to me that had been abandoned in the place. His own princely cushion. Lucky was at the foot of the bed under a black tablecloth. I got up and used the bathroom. Joy. A bathroom of our own. I looked at myself by candlelight in the mirror. A mirror of our own. Joy. I made my way over the wooden floor to the kitchen and filled the teapot with water from the sink. since we have no stove I used the propane burner and heated the water, then made the coffee with the metal French press. I sat outside on the cement steps of the porch and smoked a cigarette and read more of "The Fountainhead". Such a wonderful novel in so many ways, even with the "suspended disbelief" dangling up there like my very own Roarkian pinata...

J and I talked about the book in candlelight the evening before and I told her how Rand had been villified by the small group of left wingers I used to hang around with at an Ann Arbor Coop. I was so ill read and green about so many things back then that I mostly just listened. Gertrude Stein was the darling of the moment (early 80's), Hemingway could not write women, was just a macho braggart hiding a love for young boys, Henry James was allright for some reason...and all the most violent feminists were very much in. But I never really fell for any of it, especially where Hem was concerned (I had read much of him) since nobody who had really read him (they hadn't) could deny what he had done with language and style, bringing it into a new realm of modern, much like Rourke in fountainhead. But it still kept me from picking her up and now it will be interesting to see where Maureen Dowd, whom I admire, gets her dismissal of Rand in one of her recent columns where she says dismissively, "Rand's paens to capitalism". Rand ignites so many pertinent questions about the nature of capitalism, the hidden interests, the distorted and distorting use of media...the selling of ones values and ideals, what Hemingway called rubbing the dust from a butterfly's wings, or something like that...

Hank had to crap about halfway through my cigarette out there on the porch so that ended that.

Later I went out alone to a flea market looking for an oil lamp. One guy had one, next to a table of small figurines. I reached for it and looked it over. He wanted five for it but it was missing the wick so I put it back. I brushed one of the figurines and it fell onto the table.

"You knocked over the nigger," said the man playfully.

The south is the south is the south...I guess.

But we love it here just the same. It is more laid back, nobody messing too much for that immaculate lawn, an easy politeness that one feels is real. No ridiculous stares or shaming behavior because we drive an older van or might look a little weathered sometimes. The things that upbraid are the deeply ingrained things, like the marquee in front of a church we drove by the other day that said, "God's love is not accepting sinful behavior". One immediately knows what they are driving at but it can be easily turned into a mirror if one thinks of hatred as sinful behavior...Mirrors are wonderful things. I might even decorate a few with rusty nails and old bedsprings and jewels and put it up with the jewelry site.


Anonymous Susannah said...

Good mental aikido. I can see you are maturing... those years were tough! I went down that same road from Ann Arbor.

12:48 AM  

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