frank c and the cubic capacity for ushering in the quiet
A dog was barking when I prepared my second coffee of the morning. Thank god for the rain. I like to smoke a cigarette and watch the seagulls wheel below me as I look out onto the car park. The rain keeps the junkies out of our little Rose Garden. Keeps their shirts on at least.
There is a new car park for residents of the last block standing. They threw out the polythene sheeting and shoveled on the tarmac. The old one has been swallowed up by the demolition crew.
Plant hire. The night watchman\’s silver Astra.
It is the telecommunications masts which keep us up, a cash cow for the Ghetto Housing Authority. Or my inadequacies as hunter gatherer. Everybody was still asleep as I watched the seagulls and drank up a few inches of rain. It is only a drizzle at ground level, but up here the windows wash over as if in the middle of a storm. A downpour. By the time I get to this part my wife is stirring. The children have been up late into the night and the bathroom is still vacant. Enough empty space for me to get in there and go about things at a leisurely pace. It has been hot all week. Football from South Africa on the \’idiot lantern\’, in homage to my pal, Löst Jimmy. My wife has shown more interest than me, but I have marginally better taste, I feel; decades of honing an appetite for latin play. I appreciate the din of the vuvuzela too. Like something out of Cypress Hill. This post, in no small part, is provoked by thoughts of Frank C. I have no idea what has become of him, I have not asked around. Frank posted quite a bit. Before it all fell quiet. It was his habit to store up the minutiae of his life on parole and let it out in the public library when he got the chance. A diary in the legitimate sense. Beer N. Hockey contributed a poem at Frank\’s request; Jon; ib too, although my own effort felt suspiciously close to gatecrashing. Despite the invite. Frank had an enviably active circle of readers. Regulars. Occasionally he would stop by here to comment. I have wondered what became of him. I like to think he simply outgrew the need to keep it rolling, that the process of catharsis outlived itself, but I don\’t know. I hope that is the case, at least, I don\’t like to dwell on the possibility that some government stooge might have revoked his probation.
I don\’t want to think the worst. Still. Given that it troubles me enough to write of it, I feel I ought to have at least enquired. The same inability to lay ghosts to rest plagues other aspects of my day to day living. I do not like to pick up the telephone. I detest mobile handsets. I lose momentum easily. When no ringtone interrupts the hum of demolition, I am often at my happiest. Or surliest. Of course. This is by no means some kind of formal apology – for what, I\’m not certain – but it is as close as you will get.
postscript That photograph by Goro reminds me a lot of a painting I did when I was fifteen or sixteen years old. The intention, if nothing else. More figurative than it might be hip to admit, the perspective was questionable, clumsy; the end result laboured. Yards more laboured than is forgivable. As to colour, and my method in employing it, the less said the better. It pissed me off no end. I should have quit there and then, but I am a stubborn kind of fellow. The Orange Walk is passing as I type. I am off to spit out the window.
Pour down a glass while tapping one foot. Aberrant. Deviant. Compromised.
▼ THE RAINCOATS: LOLA from \”The Raincoats\” LP (Rough Trade) 1979 (UK)