Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Henry Miler II - Perspective VIII : The Little Things III.1

More from observation, cranial crevaces and the cracks in the sidewalk. Henry Miller continues in the coloured type. - The castaways continue with a man who has only been to Vietnam twice and been injured twice, both times in the same leg. His first visit, courtesy of Uncle Sam, landed him in the MASH unit with a shrapnel wound - his second, brought a busted heal after drinking to much on a tourist bus and misjudging his exit drop. But he dutifully plods down from his room everyday to shuffle to the string of low-rent bars on my street and ingratiate himself to the older ladies who long for the days when the Yankee boys were here in ernest. And he has a following. Learning that wounded trick in the war taught him something. - "What I had begun, in brief, was a book of the hours, of the tedium and monotony of my life in the midst of ferocious activity." - And the dog beneath my table pick away at the fishbones and such as I plow my way through a deep fried porkfat morsel of uncertain title. - "the skyscrapers gleaming like phosphorescent cadavers" - "David Bowie!", the Frenchman bellows and I know that that's my cue to turn around as a table of 30-sumthing Australian women smile and nod in approval at my passing resemblance. Nobody wants to talk to a look-a-like. They just want to look. And what am I supposed to do? Break into a rousing chorus of "China Girl" My China guh-hu-herl! - "The Bull frog eyes were trained on me like two collar buttons stuck in cold fat:" - And Rico the German nods in disapproval of me again. He wants to do all the talking this night. - "It was always a source of amazement to me how easily people could become riled at me just listening to me talk." Bullshit. - "Perhaps my speech was somewhat extravagant, though often it happened when I was holding myself in with main force. The turn of a phrase, the choice of an unfortunate adjective, the facility with which the words came to my lips, the allusions to subjects which were taboo" - And Paolo crawls behind the bar and unplugs the computer. And he is not a small man. Crawling is not easy. But he moves easily and unplugs it anyway. Minutes go. An then he plugs it in again. Blogger saves. - "And yet I was able to amuse, to instruct, to nourish. But never be accepted, in a genuine way." - Abledegoopdeedoop. Rubbish. Power out. Sometimes a person. Mostly the city. Land of legislated brownouts. But they will never tell me. I am a foreigner. - "Persona non grata! I had to know what what was to hand and learn to like it. I had to live with the scum, to swim like a sewer-rat or be drowned. If you elect to join the herd you are immune. To be accepted and appreciated you must nullify yourself, make yourself indistinguishable from the herd. " - Tomorrow. Day-off but never off. - "The moment you have a 'different' thought you cease to be an American. And the moment you become something different you find yourself in Alaska or Easter Island or Iceland." - Korea. Vietnam. I knew what I had bought. A billion dollar company had given me a six figure ticket to the future of something way off Broadway, only they didn't even know what was on the playbill. - "What is a fanatic? One who believes passionately and acts desperately upon what he believes." - Only reason I took that ticket. First - class. That ticket out of mediocrity. - "Instead of being punished you are undermined, hollowed out, the grounds taken out from under your feet. It isn't even treachery, what I have in mind. Treachery is understandable and combatable. No, it is something worse, something less than treachery. It's a negativism that causes you to overreach yourself. You are perpetually spending your energy in the act of balancing yourself. You are seized with a sort of spiritual vertigo, you totter on the brink, your hair stands on end, you can't believe that beneath your feet lies an immeasurable abyss. It comes about through excess of enthusiasm, through a passionate desire to embrace people, to show them your love. The more you reach out towards the world the more the world retreats." - Vietnamese chatter fills the joint. Paolo has gone home, inebriated enough to thoroughly piss off his wife. Smells of French cooking from the throroughly Vietnamese. Vietnamese men have an almost nasal quality to their speech. Like dogs talking. No bottom end. I've learned to make it all wallpaper. The Korean. The Viet. - "If one isn't crucified, like Christ, if one manages to survive, to go on living above and beyond the desperation and futility, then another curious thing happens. It's as though one had actually died and been resurrected again; one lives a super normal life, like the Chinese." - The cue of Americans snakes up at the email window every week, wanting me to tell them just a little more about how their old college buddy, or working parner or past adversary is getting on in the land of the Cu Chi tunnel. - "Lifes becomes a spectacle and, if you happen to be an artist, you record the passing show." For Freya.

For more on the "Perspective" or "Little Things" series, click below:

My Morning Wake-Up Call - Perspective XX: The Little Things XII
We'll Have A Gay Old Time - Perspective XIX: The Little Things XII
"Rolled Foggy Disposed Ricepaper" - Perspective XVIII: The Little Things XI

Joyeux Noel - Perspective XVII: The Little Things X

Lunch With Obama - Perspective XVI: The Little Things IX

One Motley Crue On The Bus Today - Perspective XV: The Little Things VIII

Attraction vs. Conversion: How To Power Your Blog - Perspective XIV: The Little Things VII

A glass box full of deep fried chicken heads - Perspective XIII: The Little Things VI

Seoul Searching - Perspective XII

He Would Have Shot Me 40 Years Ago - Perspective XI: The Little Things V

Chomsky on Colour & Sleep - Perspective X: The Little Things IV.2

Running With Scizzors - Perspective IX: The Little Things IV

Henry Miler II - Perspective VIII : The Little Things III.1

Henry Miller - Perspective VII: The Little Things III

Big Brother - Perspective VI: The Little Things II

This Carnival of Life! - Perspective V

The Art Walk - Perspective IV: The Little Things

Bentley #5 - Perspective III.2

Bentley vs. Vespa - Perspective III.1

Bentleys Invade Vietnam - Perspective III

Death Of A Colleague - Perspective II


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