Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Army of Gnomes
I have spent the last few days steeping myself in nostalgia. I went through my cookie tins of the past (tm) and even started cracking open the tin of letters, both love and otherwise, but that got to be too much quite quickly. In my Tins of the Past are such treasures as my children's baby teeth - one of these days I'm going to have them made into a grisly bracelet, oh yes I am - and small drawings by a variety of people dating back more than thirty years and notes from friends who had slept on the couch and then decamped and empty, lovingly preserved Yak Paks and, interestingly enough, a copy of one of the first Rolling Stone reviews of the Pogues. When I say a copy, I mean a copy: I typed it out like a slightly more technologically adept medieval scribe in 1985 or thereabouts while sitting at Hy's Charleston apartment with Ray McKee. We had decided that all three of us must have a copy so that we could remember forever that we were linked inextricably to each other and to Shane McGowan through the great chains of drunken Irish bastardry and so I typed us each up a copy, of which, I believe, mine is now the only extant. I am going to scan it at some point, probably when I start scanning all the photo albums - you know, when I've broken both my legs and am snowed in a small deserted cabin in the Yukon. I will be busy in that cabin what with the quilt making and bad novel finishing, but I'll make time for scanning too.
Nostalgia is a strange thing and spending a lot of time in your own past is, I believe, one of those sort of necessary Birthday Rituals that can, like a Ouija board, quickly turn dark and summon up
demons from the conveniently located portal to hell in the garage. This year's ritual was marked by the unsurprising knowledge that, hey, I have not really changed all that much since I was in my late teens or early twenties. I have more wrinkles and cursed gray hair and I am fat now (you know what? I am forgiving myself for being fat from now on. Fuck this, I'm 47 years old and I'm fucking allowed to be fat if I want to be.) but the basic person is still here. I'm a little saner, a little wiser (ha ha! Even I must spew coffee from my nose at that thought!), a little less naive and I definitely have acquired some Mad Skillz at Diverse Stuff like changing copier toner and never, ever buying horizontally striped articles of clothing except socks, but I am still, actually, me. I figured by this time in my life I would have Achieved Something and I haven't, really, except the most important things, which is to say, a sort of semi functional family of relatives and friends who I love unreservedly and who seem, for the most part, to love me back or at least tolerate my quirks. That is pretty goddamn awesome, that is, and it makes all this mid to late forties stuff okay.