Jim looks out the window and makes another drink. Somehow, the howling and strong drink go together. Rain and scotch and water, yes? The night seems like a hammer to him. He doesn’t understand this – it makes no sense….but there you have it – to Jim, the night is a hammer and it seems the only thing to do on this rainy howling hammer of a night is to get drunk. Perhaps a king-hell hangover is the only way to greet morning after this nightmare. He flips on the TV news. Nothing but horror. He turns off the TV and refills his drink. He looks out the window: the lashed trees, the sweeping sheets of rain on his driveway. A plastic garbage barrel skids down the street. It reminds him of the time, back in ’74, when he saw a huge garbage scow catch fire outside of New Orleans. Later that night, Nixon resigned. Come to think of it, he got drunk that night too. You probably’ve guessed that these are not the only two nights that Jim has gotten drunk. Reply Forward chris is not available to chat Reply Jon Sarkin to *wordpress* show details Mar 14 (1 day ago) – Show quoted text –
The opening is strong, a beautiful testimony to perceived beauty and harsh reality. Jim nevertheless enters the room. He looks out the window. The weather is beautiful: spring (or is it autumn?), and, as you know, the things that clog his brain with inflo-glut are so paradoxically wonderful that he has no choice but to reflexively fall on your sword and air his sucking wound, all the time the leaves turning crimson as the grass dews in the meadow and the turncoats turn like whirling dervishes and the warmth that Jim feels leaves his fire like some incandescent chariot. Some jerk put a smoke bomb in the fireplace and Jim can’t watch TV anymore, now that his ladder’s broken, so he must get by in the darkness by reciting flowery prose and like, “Oh, God! You should have been with me yesterday when I finished my ham and eggs and knocked back some whiskey!”
Jim wishes to God that he wasn’t here. You were here once, but that was long ago and this memory is so awful that you’ve erased it from your mind. Jim doesn’t have this luxury. He can no longer eradicate anything from his brain. Every thought, every sensation clings like a clogged drain.
It is autumn, as you know, and nothing is as it was. The trees are beginning to die. It hasn’t rained all summer and into October. But still it is so wonderful to be out in the crisp drought.
The dead fall air, with the leaves turning gold and the grass turning brown, and the cold warmth of the sun feels like victory.
But it is a Pyrrhic one.
He sees that no matter what he does here that it does not matter. He tried to escape once. The guards caught him and beat him about his kidneys with big thick branches. He peed blood for weeks. He seems to do nothing but watch TV. The news is full of personal interest stories, but they never have a good ending. The days get shorter and shorter and darkness comes so soon and all the flowers die from freezing. The days are too long with nothing to do.
Jim is in Vermont again enjoying the beautiful weather with you…it is autumn…but you know that…and things are beginning to die and this is not a cruel thing…it is so wonderful to be out in the gold fall air with the leaves turning crisp and the warmth going out of the grass and the sunlight turning turning brown and unwarm and Jim builds a big hot fire in the fireplace while you rake the lawn. You have the TV on. It’s always on. The days get shorter and shorter and darkness comes so soon… falling hard in a shattery sort of way and all the flowers die from freezing.
Jim wishes you were here to enjoy this beautiful weather…late summer, as you know, and things are full of promise and primeval potential…it’s wonderful to be out in this air with the leaves dark green and the grass lush and the hot warmth a big hot fireplace while he waters the flowers..at night he watches TV, more than he should – much more – he fills his head with it and then dreams of truck bombs and Michael Jackson…the long days are here and the darkness comes so late and all the insects must wait so long to start their whirring noise.
Jim sits in the trailer just lookin out the grimy window at the swirly dust. A dog it howls someplace. The TV is on blarin grimly about God knows what. He works at the factory about ten miles or so from the trailer park. He don’t feel talking about it. When he was in school the teacher said in this great country you can do anythin you set your heart on but Jim he must’ve not set his heart enough or set it in the wrong direction cos he sure din’t set it to be workin in no stinkin factory. He thinks bout his friend Joe Varraciola doin five up at Carson City there for grand theft auto. He went to see him one time. Joe he didn’t look too good. Jail wasn’t wearin too well on him. No big surprise there. Jim he had seen TV shows about prison and if Carson was anything like what he seen on TV no wonder Joe looked like shit.