I worked in a self-storage
facility for a sixty-year old man with an evaporated sense of humor. Moving here was your idea, as I remember. My butcher
made a twelve-foot sculpture out of wax, tallow
, little scraps of beef, and you composed operas in the sideroom. But let me tell you about my employer.
First words: "On an average day, there are two, probably three dead bodies on the premises. After awhile, it gets so you stop thinking about it -- after all, somebody cared about them enough to put down the deposit. The concern is there, so to speak." I decided that it was perhaps time to venture forth into the parts of the world that were not Hudson, and so I did. I got into my balloon and flew over the Catskills. Got up from my twenty-year nap, right on schedule, found you in the arms of somebody else, writing the sort of poems that one typically outgrows before puberty.
"Yes," you said to me in the one art supply store, "but what we have here is a dead town. Nobody else here can take time from work to think. I took what I could find. You weren't creating any more art than the rest of these people." I trailed you through the shelves and lost you in acrylic paint. Before I left I was drawing quarter-pounds of briscuit, usually on the nightstand. Sometimes on the island in the kitchen, next to the sink. I spent probably three months occupying myself in this way before I realized I was living mostly in anticipation of an unspecified artistic savior, descending from God-knows-where. So I flew. Yes, as you put it, I wasn't being all that creative --
Hibernation. I was a little busy. Two decades on the quiet side of the mountain range, you're apt not to remember a thing about your past, for an hour or two. I had a rule. When you wake up in train stations, you've probably made a mistake. If you wake up on a train, you're probably doing something to correct it -- I used to wake up in New York City practically every day.
So I knew the smell of the depot well before I opened my eyes. Here I am with an electric guitar and leather wristbands. Here's planting my flag on a mountaintop. Once I sang until the ocean when nobody was around, even to hear me brag about it after. It was forty minutes. No, I really do hate to tell you and no, I didn't bring any photographs. I have an amplifier and this rusting balloon held together with pens and a few of the better sketches of your face. You could even call me sometime.