Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fripp and Enzo

There are unbelievable fields of lifted graphic on the Singapore servers. And knowing that none is original, the endless variety loses its calculus: there is plainly an end to stolen goods. Enzo has considered this and other thefts, and weighed their payoff per down payment. The larger, gun-toting contrivances are a contradiction to Enzo. It seems to Enzo that a robbery that really hauled big would be easier on his mica-like soul than would, say, a connive, or a fraud.

This is how romance grows between Enzo’s toes: an XTC song, teasing with history but denying the real background. Oh, another smell of past crash pads. Enzo uses Google to fetch information about old girlfriends from data bases that don’t exist, or were closed to memory by a freak death. Homer is there in Google, but not Enzo, or his old friends. And standing on another summer corner with twenty-five others in the misting diesel fuel, Enzo knows that you really cannot be alone in a crowd.

Enzo looks at all of them and recognizes none. No help that they are all strangers, he is not interested in their existential status. They are in the full regalia of hot weather displays today, and Enzo loosens his tie. This is risky – Enzo has also rolled up the sleeves of his yellow shirt. He is not wearing the jacket for this green summer suit, and he would feel half dressed at an opening if one came up suddenly.

He is thinking about how there are some people from his personal mythology that may be real. That he may contact them if he could find them. That he may be amplified, in a Frippertronic way, if he could find those living ripples in the urbi et orbi. And then a man passes, much shorter than Enzo, in a light green summer suit, with the jacket on, in a yellow dress shirt, in ox blood wing tips; this man passes walking faster than Enzo would in this humidity. A dream image, a double, a thief of Enzo.

It is as though he had been grabbed, as though Giant Smelly Man had sat next to him on the R train. Worse than this, worse than dropping fifteen bucks, worse than losing the whole wallet. Enzo is slammed back into his body, into the pinched toes and blood pressure which he swears he can feel. In all the shameful plotting to get more stuff, he had never thought he could rob his own soul. As a rule, Enzo puts himself first among the base, a weird megalomania without the satisfaction of supremacy, and now there is evidence of power.

And this is how the briar grows among the rose bushes; how Enzo has practiced bonsai in his dream life. Alone, he doesn’t know if he is awake or asleep, and walks sometimes somnolently through his work days, and that habit has paid off as a dream image of Enzo walking past. Suspiciously, he looks back to see if there are shiny chips falling away as his soul disintegrates. Enzo is a little freer today, hemmed in on all sides by over-heated New Yorkers, twisted permanently into the romance he imagines from his youth, hauled away by a ghost. Enzo feels his feet and legs walking in the blue sky.

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