Thursday, June 16, 2005
Quad slumming with the Rat:
Quad's been hoofing, pigged on catered La Fonda, drowned in ancestral queso. The Institute celebrating 22 years of departing Janet. Twenty-two years of anything is suspect, but 22 years of wanton puffery is bureaucratic leprosy. Quad, guacamole-bloated, was a little concerned that the cheesy clock and picture would be all she wrote and therefore confirming just how needless was that waste of years, but needless waste deserves - and thankfully got - better: fine looking wicker on the veranda, now that's what I'm talkin' about.
Pity Quad: the lurking, lately neutered anarchist was trapped at table with two lamenting vets: Jungle Wad and T-Bone, the former an avowed two-termer in the Kingdom of the Dominos, and the latter a venomous hippie-hating car salesman who no doubt filled Wad's stretchers with boys bent on being all they could be buying brodchen on the streets of Frankfurt, never once dreaming that their dreams would flame in the rainforest chessboard anarchy of Ho's making. T-Bone never saw a conflict he couldn't run (marathon run, mind you) from first, selling the chits of all his surrogates down river, those who, if they thought long enough about it, would jive to the somethin' happenin' here as not their sisterbrothers in the streets, but Mr. Ancira with his no dicker shake and bake down at the station. Woo woo, Chattanooga there you are.
T-Bone: "Our job is to kill and get out." (In point of fact, T-Bone's job was to shill and get out.)
Later, Wad to the breathless nervette at table right: "The new soldiers say, 'Give my life for my country.' We old boys said, 'Take a life for my country.'"
You see why Quad needed double-guac to get through the festivities. In the meantime, Tres Leches has grown desert hot. Last week as the ovens got stoked, Quad quaked: this week his portly round greets the street hail fellow well met, he fairly revels in it, his forehead a tarmac on par with the black tar at his feet.
When not queso-bathing, he's traveling, training cross south Asia with T, who's suddenly sweetened in Burma: pity cries out, a shining black-haired nayad calls to him to leave life and limb for the long sweep of her comb beside the hamlet well, the edge is blithely dulled, cats at bay. Quad can only imagine that something unsaid lurks beneath the procrustean uttered, a lance too close to the heart of the traveling curmudgeon impaled on some lost vision of Upper Burma - Maymyo, Candacraig, Lashio, the Goktiek Gorge.
Quad thinks of St. Anton, the welcome drear of an August winter, world turned upside down, even peas for dinner cannot shroud his splendid gloom. It's been years since Quad has yearned for those tracks, but yearn he does now, chasing T's ass through a madman's chase for Browning luxury in a stand of eucalyptus. He's hocked his pride to enter the poetry sweepstakes, money down on a dark horse to take the rail and fly like a bat out of hell.
He's gearing: PT, Coe, Sinclair, Ackroyd, the aptly named BS Johnson. Pinter in the wings. CM wants to keep him stateside, but even he yearns for Yeats, the Irish Kings, no country for old men. Can he build fire enough to blaze them? Where? And how far? Florence. Orebro. Sifnos. Malaga. Barcelona. Munich. Yerevan?
Leaving Bangkok for Butterworth: 7 in the morning. Ciao.