Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hey Kids! Have you heard the story I am about to make up about Jimi the Fix? No? Well then, listen close: ...

An abstraction. A thought experiment for an experience machine.

Sometimes you have to wonder.

New computer. New pint of cheap wine. (not that young anymore) And staring at the ashes, the ruins, the wreckage of a life, the lost aberrations(a systemic anomaly The Architect and The Oracle will pretend to fight over to stave off boredom and rake in millions) of a system that is running on fumes. It would seem that I have

1. quarterlife (+/-)

He took the boardwalk like a fish to water. A dead fish, scaled and filleted for the grilling. That is to say, he dropped, bleeding, with a few more holes in his head than he had asked for and a longing for a slice of Aunt Jen's Kiwi Lime Pie. Even his wife and kids thought he deserved it. His mistresses missed the money but not the sex.

In death, Jimi the Fix was to prove far more formidable than in life. That, however, comes later. First, his son: Gerald Byron, 26, carpenter.

Gerald Byron, 26, was a carpenter. He was not skilled. He did, however, enjoy his work and dedicated much of his time and talents to charity. This was how he met his wife: she volunteered in soup kitchens serving the men (mostly) and women and children for whom he built readymade houses. Gerald had an odd relationship to charity work. Unlike his soon-to-be wife, he did not approach helping the less fortunate with a sense that those who can give back should give back. He did not feel he owed anyone anything. Nor, though, did he feel that he was in charity because he could not hack it as a regular carpenter or contractor in the "real world". His skill level was what it was. He would never build furniture. He was no artist. He did not delude himself. Perhaps, though it is truly hard to find a fixed answer to a question so weighted, but perhaps, he built houses for those who could not afford to buy them because they understood the value of a house. Of a house as shelter, as basic human need. Of a house as home instead of investment, instead of a temporary way station and source of equity. Perhaps he enjoyed that for his clients, his work had obvious, distinct, concrete meaning. Perhaps. Gerald was a quiet man and kept his thoughts and feelings close to the chest. He supplemented his income by winning at poker (every third weekend at the Indian Casino, never deviate from the pattern. Deviation marks a gambling problem, call the 800 number). His father was shot twice in the head, once in the chest on a tuesday in March. Gerald was in Tennessee that month, he built four homes for 13 people and 3 dogs.

Stay tuned for the THRILLING continuation of the Epic of Jimi the Fix (spoiler: part 3 contains a bomb and part 6 contains a shark)

No comments: