Jake on the train, not Amtrak that he had experienced earlier, but Conrail. A different kettle of fish he thought.What was the difference? The real difference? Amtrak had been something of an awakening for him, apart from the fact it had been an early morning awakening.
( Goodness! It was my heavy handed slowness regarding the electric typewriter and words that resulted in the rather large electric bill. What can I do in this case? What (as they say on this planet )are my options? I can think about it using the experiences of the known,or those of the past to assist me in discovering the more beneficial course of action to take. I can dream about it or something similar. I can just flow with it and have a faith or belief in Something higher. )
All he thought, or rather came to him.For how long he didn’t know. He knew about walking down in Manhattan. He had found that he enjoyed that immensely. It had been scary and exciting. He was on his own in the Land of Dreams. The land that promised Health,Wealth and the pursuit of Happiness. Or words to that effect. Perhaps Promises,Promises, All is Promises.
It didn’t matter .
He was happy, no he hadn’t found happiness, he was just feeling happy. He could function quite well on the quality of goods on offer, in one sense, that is. He could probably barter some of what he had to offer. Of course he would have to search for those with whom he could share.
A very pleasant day so far he thought. But wait a minute! What is this? Panic at the subway station. Where was he? 14th St and where? He remembered coming out of Grand Central, following half heard directions and inner understandings. Lexington,Madison, Broadway and then 5th? Surely he was now East seeing as he was West before? How did he know that ? Such a question! But here he was now, faced with this dilemma ( How interesting this all is, he thought , secretly ).
Jake continued on his way, trusting in his body to do the right thing, the same body that had carried him for all these years in it’s same ould moulded way: do this, do that? What matter the result? But here was a challenge: A choice ( The choice of Ibsen’s Master Builder: " I can make huge Cathedrals for the big folk or I can make houses for the Little People" ). This was the choice. What to do? Well he just went along the same old way, what could he do? He did know and he did it. He walked.
Through the tangle of people he could feel the crowd, the pushing, the struggling, the searching, the need for something, someone, to reach out, to touch and be touched. The waves crashing over him, waves of suffering and the reek of poverty of all kinds,the soul,the pocket, the head. Where is your heart New York? Where is the core of the Big Apple?
He continued on, through the stench, tragedy and brokenness that surrounded him on all sides, insinuatingly trying to smother and enfold him in with the rest.
Where was he? On the subway? Walking toward the apartment? The question remained the same, he could see more of, that was the difference. Amid all the detritus, the question had remained alive, that was the intriguing part!
Oh, the Mafia, what a welter of understanding flooded over him then. The Power of the Family, the Female exercising the Male attitude and storming around. Not changing anything but adding to it something they had learned. From Who knows where!
“Is this the male attitude? " they all flocked to ask. "Does it matter ? " came the murmuring reply.
“My God!” thought Jake. “Does it matter? There’s all THIS going on as well. No to Hell with all this crap!! I’m walking.
It is strange to those around him, perhaps, that his space is his, but he will share it, of that there is no doubt. His concept of just one of the national pastimes, namely, the baseball game is worth recording,or not.” Baseball " said he " is sudden death in slow motion.The technique is perfect in what it conveys. Long drawn out periods of emotional intensity, rising and falling of energies. Energies released haphazardly into atmospheres already soaked with such unrest and distraughtedness, all mixing and flowing and attracting even more, the Christians and the Lions, only winners count in this strange place. Winners need losers, losers need winners and so on and so on seemingly ad infinitum.
Heck he hadn’t even got on or off the train yet and all this was happening! He began to remember himself, this was the only way out of the loony bin for him. That much he knew.
He bought a cup of coffee and a doughnut, this did not ease his soul but enjoyment was felt all the same. This enjoyment in reality is ambivalence. He really didn’t care one way or the other. He was out for him. What was more profitable, spiritually or materially? A combination of both? or just to follow on.
He thought about his search for the Republican. Where had that led him? Out to the boondocks! There were people even there. All kinds of people. Where to settle ? That was
a problem, no not a problem, just the immediate situation.
The indecision the President was taking with him to the all nations meeting: it could hardly be called the all nations now, could it?
The erosion of space. This is something of a question, there is a line of thought that suggests this is the question that started it all in the beginning. But here we are how do we approach this question? Yours? or Mine? This materiality? This spirituality? Ours? Are we One? All this and more thought Jake as he waited the next move in this strange game. “What’s your hit, Man?” and there it was all spread out in front of him. Just like he’d ever known. All the avenues and byways, physical, emotional,sexual,animal,instinctive,intellectual. In fact anything he wanted to be: anything bar that which he wished to be. Ah! That is the question, "I WISH TO BE ".
How? irrelevant. Why? Who? no reason, can you imagine why you should be? Surely you are? But are you really what you seem? Now who presents a different aspect to that which we are accustomed? Surely I am I? There is no question. Isn’t that the heart of the problem? That we think but we really don’t know?
Jake continued on his journey, noting all these strange goings on.
‘Yes I am the recipient of all impressions, I know the truth ,yet search for something more. I must admit something does come from time to time, not always in a form I can recognize or relate to….just sometimes that recognition that makes obsolete these words of explanation.
All this he thought and more, the first and foremost being space. The lack of or put another way, the sharing of whatever space one has with another. His plans were taking another path, well not quite. The same path he’d planned but the materialising and embodiment was different.
Extracted from an unfinished , un edited novel in progress. Chapters and extracts that I hope to put up here are likely to be long winded and wordy. trials of endurance for any chance reader. One of my down time activities is to think of a prize worthy enough to give to anyone courageous enough to plow through it all. But of course my question to that person would be something along the lines of “What could you have created in the time you spent reading this?”
Having said that I am extremely grateful and thankful for any comments :-))