Source: About Me and Stuckism
From Leopold Courting Rose, a book of year long thief letters in an attempt to steal young girl’s heart… It worked.
Okay, you’re lucky. No notes about thighs, eyes, sighs—I shall write to you a confessional. That is my desire for this Tuesday morning, a little over a year gone by since I first held your hand. Always in the library I am on these fall days when I have a greater sense of the life within me. Since childhood I have revered these moments spent in the gray cool morning. As a man I am still overcome by them. They take my breath away. Delve me into dream. Retard me for the betterment of self.
I am the happiest man alive. Now at twenty-nine years I scan the shelves of books with the small part of my brain that seeks to know some other man’s happiness or misery, and this I do for a good long hour to end up cursing the great ones, because I know that good behavior will never get published in a book I write. I hate them and deliberately misplace their works back on the shelf because they don’t deserve all the attention I give to you in dreams. This makes me happy. Dostoevsky will mingle with Thoreau probably until the next time I arrive at the library to mix things up again. Then I will carry that Russian idiot over to the Hindus, and all the dead philosophers can argue over who is more miserable in their time, and therefore deserving of recognition. The Hindus laugh. The Buddhists snicker. Saint Testicle wears a hair shirt. Good god, they’re all jealous of each other. Petty fools. They’re dead! I have nothing to share with them. I am certainly not going to give you away. No more sacrifice. You are mine, and these skinny legs holding practically double my body weight will prove it. I hoist my pile of books up to the counter, check them out, and take our happiness outside where it belongs on this perfect day. Here is the gray light. Shoulder my backpack, hands thrust into corduroy pockets, and the long walk back kicking the leaves high. I am alive with you. That is all we need to read about.
Okay, I lied. There are your eyes… Now bear with me.
Two years ago about this time I was being haunted by a dream ghost. You were coming into so many dreams at a time I was out of myself and delusional. Then to New York to wallow in my misery, which I did very well, a strange man equipped with the special powers to plan and execute his own demise. I was well aware of all my moves, fully conscious and sane, for I knew all along that I was torturing myself. Oh, but I felt alive. I went on long walks throughout the city. No different from today, except the feeling was different. I could lose myself. With both hands in pockets, I walked through Central Park oblivious to all around me beside the sound of my own breathing and footsteps.
Today is a day similar to many of those I had in New York. Inspirational feelings abound… They take hold, control me, pull me back to the realization that I was “chosen” for this day, (better make the best of it), a complete sentence in the story of my life. We all have this ability to not take for granted each moment of our lives. The novel won’t amount to much if it be replete with paragraphs about shopping for shoes.
Anyway, I feel then what I feel now. Every move I make I make for the biographers. I live my life as though I am being watched. A one man act, who writes his own plays, and performs on the road. These are the romances I have been writing. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this type of behavior. It’s original for sure. And it gives purpose toward realizing fatherhood, companionship, poetry, self-liberation… Whom do you know, other than yours truly, who would live a whole sober day in this super economy, solely for a meal? Who but village idiot Ron would give up certain lifetime security if it meant losing his ability to dream of you and the impossible requited love on a ten mile walk around New York City? Who besides a fool could claim one of his happiest days penniless with a borrowed cup of coffee, sitting on an Upper West Side stoop dreaming of her? Just dreaming? She didn’t even know him in that way. She barely knew him at all! But he knew about her. All the important things. He knew that if she ever took the plunge with him, he would always use a good olive oil when cooking for her, no matter what the cost. He would over-elaborate in poverty. It’s what poets do. Every man would become a poet for the woman he desired. And the woman would only respect poetry offered. All dealings with security and pension into old age would be mutually respected, after love. But love must come first, and love can only be born of poetry.
So he walked a long day and in the evenings sauntered into any neighborhood book store. His story gave him the strength to seek comfort in the stories of other men, dead and gone, who would never get the chance to know his joy and suffering.
From the stoop on gray days like this I would look into the eyes of girls passing by, think of you, and suddenly see your body down the street on your way to class. Your face on every woman. Your eyes glaring into mine. Eyes so sleepy, wanting a warm boy to curl up with you under covers. I thought of you thinking of me on a walk and talk along the lake shore while having conversation with another guy. You wanted me to hear your laughter and listen to your speech, its tone and vibration reaching all the way to Larry’s cold November stoop. These Autumn days I would keep with you. In evening the street lights exaggerated the rain. It took the length of a day for you to love and lose three men
before spying me on an escalator heading up to my favorite authors. They were going to write about our life together from now on.
Rose, you are in time a mystery to me. I will not become familiar enough to let you go. I still cannot pronounce your name correctly. You are a lovely dream and vision of hope to me. This time spent with you has been streams of evenings on Larry’s stoop wondering how perfect the world would be if you would just let me hold your hand.
“Dear Military Brass, Can You Please Stop Scrambling Our Children’s Brains With These Testosterone Smoothies?” 2017. Acrylic on poly (methyl methacrylate), 16 x 20″
Can you? Can you please stop? Just for a little while, please, please, please?
“I Know Lake Ontario Doesn’t Look Like This in April, but Maybe It Should” 2017. Acrylic on birch panel, 24 x 24″
“Only Jay Leno and Other Jingoes See the American Dream From Outside the Dollar Store” 2017. Acrylic on 500 piece puzzle for a dollar. What a deal!
“After Sacrificing 23 Pieces of Crap From the Dollar Store, I Planted This Baby Pear Tree” 2017. Acrylic on dollar store frame, 8 x 10″
“Dollar Store Frozen Chicken Cordon Bleu and Blueberry Muffin on Ceramic Plate Made in China, $3.08” 2017. Acrylic on plate, dinner plate size
“This Dollar Store Clipboard Does Not Want My Dream of Mexico Unless I Make It So” 2017. Acrylic on Chinese dollar store clipboard, 10 x 14″
“How I Look and Feel at the Dollar Store in Town” 2017. Acrylic on dollar store frame, 8 x 10″
“Even at 50 My Attempt at an Imaginary Alligator Should Spark the Professional Curiosity of a Bored Psychiatrist” 2017. Acrylic on paper, 15 x 11″
“For Those of You Living in 1 of the Other 195 Nations, the Reason Americans Don’t Love Trains Anymore is Because Our Brains Have Been Usurped by Cognitive Dissonance Aliens” 2017. Acrylic on Stepanov packaging particle board, 12 x 16″
“Rose Left For Work This Morning With Her Nose in a Better Place” 2017. Acrylic on paper, 11 x 15″
Rose is my wife. Or, I am her husband. They say possession is 9/10 the law, and to anyone looking, it’s obvious that we are close—married to the hilt— bearing all the positive and negative of that attachment vice/virtue the Buddhists claim is soul draining. So, emotionally, we possess each other, for better or worse, like good/bad attachments. We “get it”, and flow fairly well together, through good and bad, in concert with fluctuating hormonal balances—her month, my month, hair loss, hair gain… We have nearly mastered the art of cohabitation, and she, whether realizing it or not, is primed and ready for a sweet nirvana, if she ever desires/not desires its potential awakening.
Me, on the other hand, is an anxious mess. The culprit (if I must ascribe blame. And I must because I am not healed) is culture, and the roles it pressures us into, wittingly or unwittingly. Rose is breadwinner. We eat and stay dry and warm because she maintains acceptable work outside the home. A steady job that pays well enough for me to stay home and keep life about us steady and content. I am literally bread-maker—stay-at-home cook and part-time butler, part-time painter, writer, curator. These are the chores separating me from Rose, for we are both very sensitive, full time spouse and parent, and there should be no comparisons made in these departments. I am an okay cook, decent butler, yet would fail the most basic Emily Post white-glove inspection.
Selective breeding among male Throops carried on fairly well without me for 56,000 years, and then Rose and I came along and upset the stream. Damned it up good and proper, I’d say, for I haven’t gone a day in my adult life without some manner of confusion about my place and role(s) in a society that worships nothing but abstractions—namely, money.
To say I am an anxious person would be a gross understatement. I am more like an outwardly successful squirrel, yet unsatisfied with myself in a world of squirrels that covets and adores a mutual abstraction. Squirrels around me who act like squirrels day after day, accumulating nuts, building impressive nests, braving seasons and storms, but underlying every accomplishment is the pressing desire to accumulate the abstraction that will make the squirrel a new squirrel, refined prince or princess in squirrel kingdom. I am infected with the abstraction also, which makes me a constantly dissatisfied squirrel. Let’s say this abstraction occupying us squirrels practically night and day is the desire to accumulate human manufactured snow-globes. Many generations ago, some wise and economically trained squirrel scribes thought to create a falling leaf money supply to ease and simplify transactions among squirrels of Squirreldom, however knowing the ubiquitous existence of trees, sought a limited, countable base currency to give an abstract value to something that was readily available in Squirreldom—leaves. Leaf banks opened up practically overnight, followed by upstanding squirrels founding colleges and universities, the development of a million acceptable leaf-paying occupations (none of them nut gathering), and finally a culturally devastating, squirrel-separating atomization.
Anyway, I had a dream last night, my last one about money if hope can help it. I was at Donald Trump’s next wedding and the cheapskate expected a gift. 60 dollars is a lot when you can’t make that in a month from painting. Rose’s brother from D.C. was there with his wife telling her in a false admiring, deeply condescending way, that it was “too cool” that I painted—Oh, but I could see the mockery in his eyes and hear it in the tone of his voice. Shamed again! And not for the last time that night. After the gifts were laid out for all and sundry to see, Trump had my gift, a painting, taken out and thrown in the trash. Rose confided to me that she provided a back-up without my knowledge—a Samsung® tablet for the new bride. I was so mad. I stormed out of the tent and went to sleep on a servant’s cot in some nearby dusty garage.
Faith that my marriage is secure, I intend to reach my end beating to death inside me this false god money. Whenever I have deep doubt, (and that is as often as dinner), I will take that negative energy and with it, push as hard as I can into a positive dream. This money god has got all of us squirrels absolutely frazzled. All my nuts aren’t secure, but I know where to find them. I had no faith in gods. I want no faith in money. I’ll play my faith at this marriage and focus my dreams on a persistent present moment. I will continue to write and paint erratically, like a squirrel caught both ways in the road.
Friends, family, and safe acquaintances, please continue to buy the paintings I paint and books that I write. Heck, $50 is “better than a sharp stick in the eye”, as my bodhisattva wife often proclaims. I leave you now with a few paintings by me and a song by someone else.
“In November, 2051, Rose Will Be Out in the Backyard ‘Digging a Goldfish Pond’. Just Wave, and Carry On” 2017. Acrylic on Alexey’s packaging particle board, 12 x 16″
Please look the other way, and just listen….
“Alabama Island” 2017. Acrylic on paper, 15 x 21″