Paradise 5/365: A dream boutique (L)Lines (L)The Art (L)The Music (L)Table of Contents:
I. Flick Flask Fleckfling II. Immaculate Contraceptives III. Three Ties IV. Jail of Mountjoy V.As Taciturn Pretells VI. Catholic Midwives VII. Ace of Arts, Deuce of Diamonds Tumblr Link: www.culturalreserve.com
***if you could have a tumblr widget here thatâ€™d be the shit.
Each page you click to from homepage would have the header: "I'm on a pier, full of swings; and its so lovely to see how blissful people, of all ages, are swinging. Humans really do love swinging on swings." Lines page will have ready to blog quotes from the stories Music Page would just have all the artists and song titles art page would be pics of all the images that in theory will be used for the stories Table of Contents Will have the story sets, each will have about 8, but the last one will have less. each of the seven subsets would be a link and would have the 8 or so links that are these actual stories.
These are the stories I have so far, you can leave the chapter numbers
Story for the Preface: Ch.1 Surround Sound, echoes of the goodtimes. Ocean Bank; here is a city not of God, but all the lower things. The angels and women and giants, the saints and the spirits, the high livers and life givers; the bold and afraid. The terrible and the spritely. A few demons, cold jackals. Cosmic incidents leading to colder climates. A few fashionistas and some civil misfits. Citizens and immigrants; the endangered and improper. Polos and pastels and Matisse’s and Mondrians all accompanied to Mozart; bon vivre concertos. To the heart of Mary, from the book of Matthew. Under the sun to the cello of Bach. Reality Television crews, centered around glamour and charisma and a silly allure; all alluding to our inner ids, but responsibly. Mechanism for music, melancholia for the manics, white thoughts for the tantrics. Immersion and shock therapy preceded by hydrodynamics. Cafe’s and rolex watches. Hitchcock and Vivaldi. Chelsea, Tsi Tsoi, Margaret, and melody and flow. Braques along the walls along with lines from Whitman (small print so you can only see it when you’re close.) Quarks and waves, antimatter supporting matter. God holding up the Virgin holding up God, and then we all die until we live again. Perhaps purgatory’s a short nap. Perhaps Madonna will have a third time, and maybe scorpios can learn to smile. These are snowy hearts and
11:11 wishes with the ritual of a Hail Mary. This is a Salve Regina from the banished, whom won back the precipice. West of Steinbeck. College campuses and Chinatowns; finance districts to multiply the blood. Vibrancy and convite para vida. Judiciousness makes the world go round; good wine (easy on the skull, warm in your arms) makes the sun come out; not in a Gauguin way, but a Van Gogh way. Outside of their apartment but hosted in many others. Hospitality and boating and leveraging assets. Borges and Fitzgerald; Twain and Proust. The infinite in the submolecular, the waves in the sun. Overtures on the stock exchange; they didn’t care until I wore the mask. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. A city of stars swirling around the drain, if you build a stage (and if its grand) everyone will play their part. Liberty and libraries, Americana philosophy religion nature. Capitalism. Free land to the willing. I’ve brought thoughts for chilly eyes. stories from :: I. Flick Flask Fleckfling Ch.2 Luz De Luna, regrets of indecision. What was life before him? The giant I mean. There were Bossanova records to collect, singing lessons to give, and cafes to frequent, of course, but these things.... these things didn’t fill up the soul like a cuban espresso. These things were not sublime- and the giant was simply sublime. Think Statue of Liberty, all dressed in glamour. But I suppose I should introduce my somewhat less glamorous self: to set the record straight, so to speak. My name is Melody Harper, and I am 23 years old. I live as.... relaxed of a lifestyle as anyone in Ocean Banks, Florida, I would speculate: there were bonds, stocks, and other silly bank things that my doting, though distant, parents used to provide for my way in life. The only passions I therefore condescended to follow were the whereabouts and doings of friends; and that beautiful, seldom setting, star that we call ‘music’. However these also, did not fill up the soul like a cuban espresso. These also were not sublime. But then he began to appear. “Have you seen him at all recently?” my good acquaintance, Tito, questioned; just a tad too composed to be sincere. I could never quite tell whether he didn’t believe me or not, but I also suppose that I didn’t really care. they doubted Jesus also, and the world still turned accordingly. If not a little holier. He would have beliefs, one day, that other people would doubt once he found the courage to voice them. “Yes, as a matter of fact: when I went to karaoke with Alice. I happened to notice a shadow pass over a billboard across the street.” “Across the street huh?” “Yep.”
“But I suppose it was in Alice’s blind side.” “Just out of sight, like the devil.” Tito said nothing else, but as his eyes sunk into a state of private reflection, a smile played across his face. I calmly began to speak before he could try to get a rise out of me. “If you’re planning on getting a rise out of me-” But he interrupted me with his exaggerated prostrations of innocence. “Come on Melody. Out of all of us, I’ve been the one, me, who doesn’t just laugh in your face.” “Yea, just in my blind side," I interrupted back. Tito smiled against his own volition. “So I chuckle out of sight like the devil?” “If the horns fit.” “Mel, I told you I believed you didn’t I?” “People tell people a lot of things.” “I need coffee.” Ocean Banks isn’t Miami, but its expansive, and for the record, easily grand enough in size and civil aesthetic to comfortably accommodate a giant who was playing it low key. It’s buildings were in a competition of trends, between charcoal, and a mediterranean off-white; combined they speckled the skyline and contrasted, quite surreal, against the ethereal pastel colors of the sky. To the romantics, the effect was quite romantic; though the average urban dweller hardly seemed to notice. Cars stopped and started with the faithful rhythm of heartbeats. Somewhere, in the cityscape, was a magnificent imitation of a man who was like those charcoal buildings but existed as ethereally as the colors backdropped against the skyline. He existed on that edge; in my blind side, like the devil. All smiles, and cut glances aside, Tito really was the only person who professes belief in me; and I cherished him for that. There are those beliefs that you hold so close and central towards your heart that it doesn’t matter if others don’t follow your line of thinking. Its those same beliefs that touch you the most when people listen anyways. “Would you like sugar and cream in your espresso?”
“Milk and Hazelnut syrup please.” -It was late in the evening; and Tito and I had just closed out an evening downtown. To my amusement and slight annoyance, the subject of the giant seemed particularly intriguing to him today. What new revelations he could expect rather reminded me of the last wafts of a rose bouquet too long taken for granted. Which is to say that he was wasting my time. “So how tall is he? Like a skyscraper, or just a house?” Stir. Stir. Stir. “I told you a million times, Tito, I don’t know. I’ve only seen hints of him, I can’t begin to imagine what he looks like.” “Can I borrow your stirrer?” “Ill have to charge a finder's fee.” Stir.Stir.Stir. “So how do you ever suppose you’ll go looking for him?” “I don’t suppose.” “Why not?” “I don’t know.” “Don’t you care?” “I suppose I do-” Sip-Sip. “-but then maybe I don’t.” Again that irrepressible smile, Tito shook his head at me, incredulous, though I couldn’t see why. So I pressed him on the issue. “How would you suggest I go about finding a fish with just a scale in my palm? I’m really not sure what you expect me to do about it-” “Or with it once you find it.”
“Or with it once I find it, exactly. I don’t exactly have any big ideas (excuse the pun) for what I would do with a giant. And somehow I don’t expect it to be like the Brad Bird film.” “Maybe less innocent wonder, I’ll grant you that. But you know-” A pause. Tito’s loss for words reflected in his eyes. “Wait, is that it?” “What?” “Is that it- right over there!” I whipped around in my chair to scan the window he was facing. My eyes poured through the view of the city, but saw nothing, outside of the ordinary landmarks and public art works. Questioningly, I turned back around, only to see Tito had gulp-gulped the rest of my coffee. “You are an incorrigible asshole, Tito.” He licked the upper half of his lip. “Hazelnut creamer?” “Hazelnut syrup and milk.” “I’m definitely getting that next time.” I decides to spare him the wait, and flagged our waiter over. “Yea, could I get another espresso to-go, for our gentleman here. Just like the last one, only hold the milk and if you could piss in it for me, that would be great. Thanks.” On the metro now, we were being whisked away from midtown to the towering Seamount Properties. Sometimes Tito skipped his stop and stayed on till the end of the line, where the beachside condominium I lived in was was serviced. Those times normally weren't prefaced by his drinking my coffee. Like all satire, however, it did get me thinking: was I fucking crazy? All my friends were starting to think I was crazy. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps Tito was right and I should seek out proof. Shouldn’t I? The metro rattled along. “What’s got you so lost in thought?” Tito asked. A rare glimmer of hesitation twinkled before my eyes; I brushed it out of my lashes before confessing my uncertainty.
“Is the whole giant thing really that crazy? In Ocean Banks of all places?” I could see Tito scaling the idea in his mind's eye before responding. “Well, some crazy things do happen in Ocean Banks, but a giant? You would think people would have taken notice at some point.” One of the metro’s wheels hit a dip in the railing, and I bumped up and down in my seat. “I think that’s between those other people and the giant. I’m not trying to convince other people that he’s real, but- but...well I don’t know,” I lamely shrugged, “I don’t know.” Two stops later, and Tito was gripping a vertical iron support bar, pulling himself up from his seat. Sighing deeply, he stoically appraised me before deciding to come out with it. “Look. All it comes down to is: are you fine with ‘I don’t know’. Are you really okay with it? Could you live a life with it by your side?” I didn’t even have to think about it. “Yes, I am.” “I’ll see you in a couple days, Melody.” “Okey doke, buddy, lemme know how that espresso tastes.” The metro shrugged off just as his left foot left its interior. End. *two weeks later The giant didn’t come up for another couple of weeks; and he showed neither hide nor hair. UntilBrrring! Briinnng! Brring! “Hello?” I answered swiping the screen on my phone into the call. “Melody, it’s Rita, can you see the beach from any of your windows?” “Yea?” “Go to it, like right now. You won’t believe this. I can’t believe Tito, of all people was right. I’ll stay on the line till you check it out.”
And there it was....There it was. Lying there, lifeless by the beach’s park and surrounded by people, was the giant. Faded from a darker color to the off white coloring of the uptown sky rises; only it wasn’t so ethereal this time. In the morbid solidity of stillness, it brazenly screamed the solemn secret of its existence. After I hung up on Rita I sung the Salve Regina, and then I put on my favorite Glenn Miller record.
Ch.3 First & Last, the beauty of doggedness. The loneliest man in Ocean Banks, Florida lived, or rather existed, on Wachusett Ave. He was not a particularly well off man (though this is only in comparison to the pockets of wealth that projected their social standards as the Floridian norm), but in the long arc of his life, the metallic thread that was his fate had curved one last time towards luck. In other words he was a stubborn man. When government contractors had visited his neighborhood, inquiring into buying out the residents, he was the only one with the dash to tell them that there wasn’t a price steep enough that they could put in front of him. Not after what he’d seen they had paid the banks. And so the lonely man who was an old man dug in his heels. And when the head of the construction project began to put undue pressure on him, that bordered on being untoward, the old man spoke to his eldest son. The son was a lawyer. From there on, the man’s residence was no longer in question. And yet the construction project also had a dull briefly glimmering strand of destiny as well, and it did not end upon crossing into the old man’s; but rather their threads became very much entangled and entwined. You see the material being used to fortify and renovate the apartment tower currently in place came from a very special place. It was a highly dense, unyielding, yet notably light material that came from the remains of a giant that had “died” (this was a controversial term around town, in regards to the mysterious behemoth), in one of the wealthiest parts of the city, leaving it remains on a sandy beach like so many lost whales. The discovery of the giant had caused as many national scientific shockwaves as social ones, and a particularly brilliant mind from the university of Michigan had come up with the concept of mimicking the properties of the giant’s matter in order to synthesize building materials. From there the mayors of various cities competed to host the actualization of this new scientific frontier. Ocean
Banks ended up winning out thanks largely to a government official, overseeing the warding of the contract, who was from there. The area selected was the repayment of a debt to the businessman who owned most of the apartments in that neighborhood. He hadn’t realized at the receipt of his benediction, but our bellicose businessman’s fate had now been tied to that of the old man’s as well. They could both win or both lose, but in the instance of the apartment, without a doubt, it would be together. And there was his luck. This was how the old man found himself in a penthouse suite; in one of the most scientifically advanced buildings in Florida, or even on the entire east coast no less. Everyday the old man would sit in his wonderful new apartment, reading old books from old gentleman such as Steinbeck, McCarthy, and Heller; while ignoring the invisible irradiation of television waves painting the room. He used to read more casually and of novels with less heft; though he came to find after he read them, that they often took away more than they put in him. So now he reads authors who demanded a little more discipline, but whose rewards were much greater than their cost. Most of the TV he watched was fine. Quite frequently, he considered facebook emailing his old college buddies. Or former business associates. He did not frequently hear back and in time he grew calloused to the concept of camaraderie. Before long that psychic callous thickened and metastisised like a cancer, to other areas of his mental world that became marked by unhappiness. So removed did he feel from his fellow man, that he likened it to the mark of Cain. At times he found that he could no longer truly read- for the words on the page reverted into nucleic strings of letters with a meaning privately guarded. Then suddenly his mind would snap to, and he would find that he again had access to the understanding hidden in the symbols. Often he found that he had retained the point of the story regardless, and often this made him feel much worse. Though it should have been the opposite, though he was unaware of that. It was a sad day when he said goodbye to Steinbeck and to McCarthy and to Heller. In those mysterious hallowed bones that he now called home, the old man enjoyed one last enduring pastime however; for one last resplendently mischievous activity allowed him to idle his days away with some semblance of enjoyment. He would call restaurants that delivered food (not delivery places; restaurants that delivered food) and place orders to the complex, but then would provide unit numbers that corresponded to the old structuring of the apartment tower instead of the up to date numbers; so that they would never be able to find him. To his thinking, it was an ingenious way to spend time; and when inevitably his number would become blocked, he’d call up his second eldest son in Oklahoma City (the youngest was still in town, though off at college) and have him order up a new sim card- usually he gave him the correct apartment number. Sometimes the old man’s abuse of the local hospitality industry would let up, as his lonely moods cycled and subsided. This usually corresponded with the times that the TV channels for Hispanics were showing programming particularly endowed by the presence of their women. Latin
women, of all women, were of a particular comfort to him. He had nothing but fond memories of them since a child, and he had always attributed his juvenile judiciousness as the source of the feelings that had matured and appreciated with time. They had a good track record, like mutual funds. But the respites were never quite real- they didn’t last- they were just there sometimes, before they weren’t, and when they weren’t they stayed not. So to speak. And then he would begin calling again. During dips in his self centeredness, he wondered how much free or discounted food he had gotten for his unassuming (dare he say ingrate) neighbors. They would never suspect the secret blessing that poor lonely old man had been to them. Conveniently he would forget about the delivery person’s expense. But then, don’t we all? Knock Knock Knock In a sense, he didn’t want to believe it when he heard it. To put it more plainly, he was afraid to. Catch-22 fell lifelessly to the floor. Knock Knock Knock The old man squatted up and off of the sofa as swiftly as septuagenarian physics would enable him to. Knock Knock “Yes, coming! Coming! [knock knock] Yes, just a minute!” The old man swung open the door with more vigor than he thought himself capable of- and found himself face to face with a small, thin, beauty that instantly banished any trace after-images of spanish language journalists from the eden of his imagination. She looked like she was Cuban, though the thinness of her lips suggested that she may be Colombian. Her skin was a delicate mixture of peach, and almond meat; and her hair was a very brunette gloriole, falling in cascades all around her shoulders, and placed in jealous guard of a work hat and hair band. She was an angel. “Here’s your lamb and rice, and pepper beef soup, sir. It was a winding ways finding you, so I hope you enjoy,” she smiled, with a diagnostic shimmer in the very centers of her dark eyes. “Bless you, Woman!”
Ch.4 Paradise 1/365, sunshine. Before there was anyone was conscious to realize it, the sun was rising. Even when his eyelids were covering his eyes, he can still tell that the sun is rising. Silvio opens one eye to confirm, he swears, opens his other, and accepts. He is awake. These simple truths took on a temporal beauty in light of the fact that this morning was also the inauguration of his twenty second year of life on earth. He would begin his celebration by skipping his morning classes. His father had always told him the most worthwhile spending was on time, and this morning the only thing he wanted to do with his time is lay in beautiful natural spring lighting. During the middle of the year in Florida, one may repose in the sun like the most favored rose, simply by raising one’s bedroom blinds; so intense is the spectacle of the solar visitation upon those favored tracts of earth. Furthermore, the windows that served as the glass membrane separating light from space were directly next to Silvio’s bed- and the house they were built into was in turn built directly next to a wooded lot. Through his lowest glasspane, he could see beautiful oak trees tinseled with spanish moss, blue sky and buttermilk clouds, and his Chow- who had wandered outside at some point and fallen asleep; in panoramic view, framed by angels that he could not see. Two competing thoughts ran dissonantly and concurrently through Silvio’s mind. On one current was the joyful idea of simply continuing to sleep in- letting his happiness be. On the alternate, he could, like Icarus, attempt to soar to greater elation by finding his grinder, and the little bit of marijuana he had left over from the night before. Of course, if he was getting out of bed he would consider his day officially started, and would then be self-obligated to call his father- just to check in on if he was doing alright by himself in his fancy, new (and vaguely charismatic), penthouse in uptown. His father was a kind enough man, and Silvio truly did not mind speaking to him, only his father was also an old man; and when old men speak with younger men, if it is a true conversation, then it is also a long conversation. And after that Silvio would almost most certainly need to get high. He couldn’t smoke the last of the weed which was left without his girlfriend, however, and his train of thought led his eyes down and over towards the blanketed silhouette of her body. She had a funny way of blocking out the entire world as she slept- and though he never knew
how he could tell; he knew that the world simply didn’t exist when she was asleep. “Hey Nicki.” An unsure pause drifted between sunbeams. “Nicki, Nick, baby.” She was already turned away from him ( she hated that he left the blinds permanently raised, especially in the morning); and so he had to lean over her wide set hips, to get a better bearing on how tired she actually seemed. He held off from attempting to awake her, instead casually caressing the yielding skin of her thighs and weighing how upset she would be at being woken up versus how worth it it would be, once she was actually awake. Her mouth was slightly open, and he could hear her slowly, softly, inhaling and exhaling. “Nicki. Nicki.” Her eyes were sharply shut; and brief spells, where she managed to breath through her nose, caused her mouth to close into a frown. Truthfully, he hated it that she slept in. Historically, all his girlfriends had slept in. He never slept in. “Nicki. Nick!” “Mm.” “Nicki.” “Mm.” “Nicki.” “Mmmm.” “Nicki! Wake up!” “What, what!” she finally whined, slapping her hand against her thigh in an extension of her irritable mood. “Nicole, baby, you awake?” “Yes!” she whined again, “what the fuck do you want?” He grinned at her. “It’s my birthday baby.”
“Ugh, you woke me up for that? You’re sick Silvio; it’s like 7 in the morning!” “But feel it baby- do you think I could go back to sleep with that?” Silvio grew bashfully reckless, “with you here, and those legs, laying next to me?” Nicole groans, closing her eyes with her hands; fingertips still upon her eyelids, she half heartedly petitions “can I go back to sleep after?” Silvio tugs at her tract of their large wool blanket, which now resembles a pre-conjugal canopy. “Come on baby, I thought we were going to watch the Godfather trilogy today, and that’s gonna be like an all day thing.” “Oh my God!” she exasperated, beginning her descent. Silvio took one more farewell glimpse at the sun; then closed his eyes, and thought of the air.