Genuflect by Gordy Grundy
April 2004; Issue No. 68
LIVING IN WARTIME, PART ELEVEN
XXXHe is risen.
XXXTrying to resurrect myself, but having a hard time waking up.
XXXDo a Systems Check. Toes and fingers wiggle. Lungs operate. Limbs feel perfectly attached. So far so good. Error Reading on Hydration, but what's new?
XXXLooks gray and foggy outside. Easter sunrise services never saw the main attraction.
XXXQuick scan indicates I am home, alone and safe. It's always a relief to wake up in an uncompromising position.
XXXEnter > Go.
XXXI intend to leap out of bed and start the day running but the directive doesn't download. Right leg countermands the left and I fall down.
XXXThis action highlights a curiosity. Oddly, not in my usual sleeping attire. I'm wearing pants which are gathered around my ankles. Tuxedo shirt and jacket add to the mystery. Save query on Desktop to solve later.
XXXI lie on the floor, overdressed. Memories of recent past fall all over themselves as I reboot my brain. Thoughts scramble to find their Folders and Documents. Like a downloading image, notions begin to form, clarify and sharpen, but a server cannot be found. Desktop fills up fast.
XXXPOP UP MESSAGE > Tonight is the memorial for Billy Dwyer at Ed Moses'. Didn't know him very well but liked his work a great deal. William Dwyer was a minimalist who showed with Kiyo Higashi in LA. Work I knew was well crafted, delicate and precious. Funny work for a big barrel chested guy. People look like their dogs but artists never really look like their work.
XXXDOG > DYING. Yeah, the heaviness that hangs in my heart. A storm on my Sea of Eternal Sadness. My dog, my best pal, is living his final days. Dustin, sweet dopey Dobie, lives with his Mom. We are steeling for the worst and the inevitable. Have loved Dustin over thirteen years; feelings go deep. I want him to be comfortable. I guess it's a good thing he isn't here right now; Would've landed on him when I fell out of bed...
XXXI NO LONGER THINK > I DOWNLOAD. All I wanted was DSL but Technical Advisor in New Delhi led me to upgrade everything. All is chaos. Money burns. Logging too many hours on hold for support. So weary, so beaten.
XXXAGGRESSIVE AMERICANISM > OVERLY DESIGNED. NuComputer tries to think for me and finish my sentences, but it's not me. Take five steps back. Trying to understand new operating system, so I'm trying to think like it, talk like it.
XXXDEATH > TAXES. Taxes due in four days.
XXXDEATH > HELL > ELECTION YEAR 2004
XXXDEATH > DAILY > OBITUARIES > WAR DEAD. Everyday, try to read obits of our fallen comrades. Least I can do. Yesterday at lunch, had to whip out the shades indoors and cough-away a sob, reading soldier's last letter to seven year old son. The stories. The lives. Serving so honorably with purest of intentions. I need to believe my leaders act accordingly.
XXXESCAPE > POP UP MENU > HAPPINESS. Song on new mix by DJ Krakatoa can halt all of world's aggressions. Infectious, toe-tappin' disco ditty "Ménage a Trois" (Alcazar) chimes, "Twice is nice but three is divine; What's yours is hers and hers is mine; If you're in the middle then just hold on tight." Doubt anyone with that notion in their head would ever blow up a train.
XXXTRAIN > SPAIN. Bombing rattled me. Have loved ones in Madrid.
XXXDEATH > EASTER > 'PASSION' BIG B.O.
XXXMEL GIBSON > DEATH > NEW YORKER. Most poignant article read in last year was New Yorker piece about Mel Gibson. Told of a great personal struggle, crisis of conscience and philosophical battle deep within his soul. Dark place he found, scared the hell out of him. I related; Know it well: Where search for meaning and value becomes desperate. When old answers prove hollow and false. The search for, examination of, and eventual death of hope. Grateful for Mel's candor; made me realize a corner had been turned in my life. Mel found his God and made a movie. I choose a secular, philosophically minimalist path with no plans for cinema.
XXXDEATH > ENVELOPES. Helping friend Tara stuff invitations to a memorial. Her mother died unexpectedly, leaving many lives with sudden, empty void. Vital, successful, beautiful, her mother was dancing on top of the world. Had loving husband and tight, close family that even like to hang out with each other. New car. New house. Thriving business. Great health. At this time in her life, everything was well placed and sunny. Gone. Gone. Godammit gone. I pray I go like that. With a smile.
XXXFAMILY > TIES THAT BIND > GROWTH. Nephew Archie gets first adult tooth. Godson Duke kissing first girlfriend. New nickname: 'The Cuddler'.
XXXON THE MONITOR > Just noticing, while lying on the ground over-dressed, the perspective is vertical, always up. Just noticing the carpet is disgusting and needs to be vacuumed. Little synthetic fibers tickle my nose and are annoying the hell out of me every time I breathe. Jesus, wonder what I'm inhaling. I should get up. Why be hasty?
XXXSuddenly, a golden snowflake drifts into view. A shiny little gold star. Odd. It catches the lamplight and flares as it saunters to the nylon-pile earth. Then another one sails in, this time larger. Soon, it's joined by a sparkling companion. Flecks of gold are snowing in my bedroom! This does not strike me as unusual. After all, maybe magic really does exist in this crazy ol' world...
XXXNo magic. Studio door is ajar; Gold escaping.
XXXGOLD > STUDIO > REBIRTH AND RESURRECTION. Gotta get up. Got work to do. Have to restore public piece from 1997. It's a behemoth and deadline is now. Using metal gilding and hidden text, series is about surface, philosophy and value. Over time, the bright, polished gold has patina'd and the copper compounds have oxidized, slowly turning the work from dazzling hope to earthen beauty. Now it's back to the dazzle.
XXXIn the studio, fans are blowing, to speed drying time; it's a wind tunnel. Thousands of gold flakes are caught in the tornado and the room flares and dances with explosions of flying light.
XXXSome Gods give; some take away. No matter how severe the damage, force of Life cannot be destroyed. Death is inevitable and regrowth innate. Old Man River just keeps on rolling along. And I better roll off this carpet. Resurrection begins one nail at a time.
GORDY GRUNDY is a Los Angeles based artist. His visual and literary work can be found at www.gordygrundy.com.