Goodnight, wheels of commerce

This is the girl. Her name is Beta.

Actually she is a woman.

She is studying law and anthropology.

Can you say anthropology?

She specializes in state terror, torture, genocide and human rights.

Beta needs trail mix. She calls her dad.

This is Beta’s dad. His name is Mig.

“Sure, I will get you trail mix,” says Mig.

“Please get the special kind,” says Beta.

“Of course,” says Mig.

This is the special trail mix.

But when Mig goes to the store, they are all out of special trail mix.

What does Mig do?

Mig buys regular trail mix. He buys “Caribbean dried fruit.” He buys fair trade organic raisins covered in fair trade organic dark chocolate.

“These will be ingredients for a superior gourmet trail mix,” Mig says.

This is fair trade organic dark chocolate.

Mig can’t call Beta because someone stole her phone.

Mig sends Beta an email and messages her on facebook.

Mig tells Beta to meet him at the subway station after work.

Mig takes the ingredients for special gourmet trail mix to the subway station.

Beta is waiting for him.

A man is talking to Beta when Mig arrives. The man is a wino.

“Hurgahurga bzzt grar,” says the wino.

This is the wino.

Beta smiles nicely at him.

Beta looks relieved when she sees her dad, Mig.

“Hi,” says Mig.

“Hi,” says Beta.

“Here are ingredients for super delicious special gourmet trail mix,” says Mig.

Beta says, “thank you.”

The African man selling the homeless newspaper says, “hi!”

This is the African man selling the homeless newspaper.

He also says, “do you know how long she has been waiting? I have been watching over her for 15 minutes!”

He is smiling when he says it. This makes Mig somewhat relieved.

“Actually, more like five minutes,” says Beta. She is also smiling.

Everyone is smiling except for the wino. He is leaning back against the ticket machine watching a swarm of magic moths only he can see.

These are the magic moths.

“Well, thank you for looking out for her,” says Mig to the African man selling homeless newspapers.

Mig buys a newspaper from the man. He gives the man a big tip because their conversation must end soon.

Mig must continue on his way. He is on his way home. Beta must go make super delicious gourmet trail mix. She must study for a law exam. The man must sell more homeless newspapers.

The wheels of commerce turn relentlessly.

These are the wheels of commerce.

Good night, Mig.

Good night, Beta.

Good night African man selling homeless newspapers.

Good night wino watching moths.

Good night, wheels of commerce.

Fever! till you sizzle

On holiday next week. We will spend it in a small cabin in the Alps somewhere, the four of us. First family vacation in a while. Weather outlook for the week: cold and rainy. We offered to maybe look at a last-minute trip to Greece instead, but the kids insisted we go to the cabin. I’m happy about that, because I have been dreaming of a trip like this for a long time, going to a cabin in the mountains instead of spending days in airports.

In unrelated news, a few nights ago a nightmare woke me  up. I guess it was terrifying, because my heart was ‘racing’ and it took me a long time to get back to sleep.  Actually, it was 4.50 so I gave up and got up and didn’t go back to sleep until the following night, I remember now. It, the dream, took place in a mountain cabin. There were a couple strangers there, on the edge of the dream, guys I didn’t know. The cabin was weathered and reminded me more of the mountains (and cabins) I have seen  than the cabin we are going to (knock on wood).

There were two spiders in the cabin. One was large, as big and heavy as a crab, and was climbing around on the back of the door and making a lot of noise. The other was ‘smaller’, with the body the size of a birds and long, long legs and very fucking fast. It was spinning a web in the room and got in my face and started spinning a web around my face and head real fast, jumping around the way some spiders do when prey lands in their webs.

I was ripping spiderweb from my face when I woke up.

I figure it means, bring lots of books and Uno cards with us.

Careers in Science: Clinology

The clinologist sits down on a chair in the room he’s trying to declutter and says, out loud, “wow”.

Thirty years, you can collect a lot of stuff. The twenty-two years before that he just lost stuff, I guess.

Stacks and stacks of printed matter. Manuscripts.

Tom Waits’ voice says, “A lock of his daughter’s hair in an envelope,” like a line from “What’s he building in there?”

“A giant beetle preserved in a glass box.”

Love letters from his girls when they were little.

A two foot stack of journals in which half the entries say how tired he is, and the other half how depressed he is.

Pictures, in which he looks depressed or tired or apologetic for living.

“Wow,” he says again, realizing what a drag that must have been for those around him.

All those years.

Was it worth it?

Fighting his way out of that tar pit by himself?

Was it worth it? wonders the clinologist.

He made it out. Now here he is.

All covered in tar. Getting tar all over everything as he tries to tidy up the room, to decide what to throw away and what to keep.

How could he not have noticed all that tar before?

Being posh is so much hard work

Earlier this week I was trying, briefly, to develop an aesthetic of music that encompassed and accounted for every sort of music and sound including the ambient and uncomposed, but then one thing led to another, and the kittens got out and we had to catch them, and one of the big cats brought a mouse home, and we had to put flea collars on all of them, except the tortoise, which my sister-in-law would have stepped on except Gamma hollered in time. Also, we were busy planning my birthday party, and Alpha and Gamma were packing and making arrangements for their trip to Hong Kong, and it occurred to me that maybe I should pack, too,  for my trip to Vicenza this weekend, where my orchestra plays tomorrow (Vicenza fans: I’ll be the guy in the third row of cellos stabbing the cellist to my left in the heart with my bow).

We’re stopping at Venice on our way back on Sunday.

The sun just came out.

All over

The American relatives are all in America. The in-laws are in Egypt, but not in Cairo, where some tourists just got bombed. Alpha is in Japan. Me and the kids are here. All spread out, the family right now. Except me, somehow, I’m always right here.

With the fucking cats.