I have until 50 to make myself known enough to sell one painting or a book to a stranger. I shall meet this milestone even if I have to bribe a sports fan or a bank teller. I will do it in a round about way. Several degrees of separation so nobody will suspect that I had a hand in it. Pay some anonymous tween five bucks to leave a note on a windshield in the parking lot of a Best Buy. “Here’s $50.00. Go to the following web address, buy just one painting or a book. When I see the transaction complete, go back to Best Buy. Another fifty bucks will be stashed in the butter dish of the black refrigerator price-marked at $3,599.00. Signed R”.
Yesterday I took my youngest daughter to the mall to spend a couple gift cards she received at Christmas. It was a mob of dangerous color. I looked upon every face that passed wondering if levels of sentience were equal with only slight variations among the population. I kept repeating Henry Miller’s second to last paragraph of Tropic of Cancer:
Human beings make a strange fauna and flora. From a distance they appear negligible; close up they are apt to appear ugly and malicious. More than anything they need to be surrounded with sufficient space—space even more than time.
The mall probably grossed over a million dollars yesterday. I hear it’s the second biggest mall in America. A couple hundred corporate boxes to buy all things from ankle bracelets to Zowie Pies. Guess how many bookstores? The answer equals Ron Throop’s income via creative effort in 2014.
One more piecemeal from Lou Reed, and a listen to end the year. (Sorry, Youtube wants you to see 15 seconds of sell-hell first):
They say no one person can do it all
But you want to in your head
But you can’t be Shakespeare and you can’t be Joyce
So what is left instead
You have to start at the beginning again
And just this moment this wonderful fire
Started up again
When you pass through I’m better than you all
When you pass through anger and self deprecation
And have the strength to acknowledge it allWhen the past makes you laugh and you can savor the magic
That let you survive your own war
You find that that fire is passion
And there’s a door up ahead not a wall