Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

On The Sunday Morning Sidewalk, Wishing, Lord, That I Was Stoned

Time To Pack It In
New Orleans ’70

Waking up in the morning, I grabbed a handful of stale chips
from the bag on the table and popped open a beer. After I drank
another, I put on my cleanest dirty shirt, and walked out to greet
the day. It was Sunday morning, and I had no destination. When I
came to the park with the swings I thought, “There’s no time like
the present.” I just wanted to shut my eyes and forget everything. I put my mind “on hold” for the rest of the afternoon and evening, but come Monday I was back walking the sidewalks.

If you didn’t want to be anywhere, New Orleans was a good place to be, it kept you in touch with all the misgivings that made you feel that way in the first place. I was tired of always being on the
edge, and I wanted it to end. By the time I got back to my
apartment, it felt like I had walked clear across New Orleans. I put
the six-pack that I was carrying under my arm down on the table and opened a beer. I sat back and watched the twilight turn into
darkness. As I was drinking my fifth beer, I knew I had to do
something or I would fall asleep. I decided to go back down to
Canal St.

Drunk, but still conscious, I took refuge within the shadows of a
burned out street light. There was a heavy mist hitting the streets,
and just down the block I could see someone walking towards me. As he passed by, he looked down at me and said “Hi”. I could tell by his backpack and his three-day beard that he was new in town and watching him walk away, I thought, “Wouldn’t it have been nice if somebody had helped me when I first arrived in New Orleans.” My next thought was to catch this guy and offer him a place to crash, but then I stopped. I wanted him to experience the same anguish that I had felt. It was kinda like getting revenge on the city. I didn’t find any hospitality, and now I wanted this guy to suffer too. I felt evil, but it felt good. I thought, “What the fuck, if I can’t have it, nobody can.” I milked that feeling until I couldn’t get any more out of it, then I started to feel sorry for the guy all over
again. I decided, once again, to offer the cat a place to crash. I
had to run to catch up to him because he was a good four blocks
away. When I finally caught him, he told me, “Yes,” he had just
arrived from Florida, but “No,” he didn’t need a place to crash. In
fact, not once, but twice, and now with me, three times, he had been offered a place to stay. I didn’t know what to say, I guess I said something like, “Gee, I hope your luck holds out,” and then I sat back down on the wet sidewalk wishing I had another six-pack.
Eventually, I picked myself up and started back to my apartment. It was then that I decided to leave the city. Tomorrow, for me, New Orleans would be history.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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One Response to Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

  1. bwinwnbwi says:

    MV conversation conclusion posted under Infidels–“All I want you to do,” replied MV, “is admit that you don’t know everything. That’s the beginning! I really can help if you just open up a little. Just admit it; your knowledge is incomplete.”

    “Ok,” I said, “so explain it to me, so we both can be enlightened!”

    “I can’t give you the answers without you first asking the questions,” replied MV, “a clear vision of ‘reality’ may be obtained only through your own eyes, never through the eyes of another, but I can give direction. Besides, my words–my answers to your questions, unless they affect your heart, will not be of use to you.”

    “How can you talk about the heart?” I interrupted. “You are ridiculous. First you tell me that what I believe is wrong, and then you say ‘sorry sucker, I have what you want but you’re not getting any!’ How sublime! What a crock of shit! You talk like a madman. God! What does that make me, a genius on the insanity scale? Okay, you say that everything is the way it’s suppose to be, and therefore, everything is already an expression of the good. Right?”

    “That’s right,” replied MV.

    “Well, the only good that can come out of this is for you to leave me alone,” I said. “Get the hell out of my life! I’ve got some serious drinking to do and trying to make sense out of your nonsense is giving me a headache.”

    “I’ll make you a deal,” MV interrupted. “In the beginning you wanted a girl, then it changed to paradise. Right?”

    “Yeah, something like that,” I replied.

    “Then I told you that what you wanted was impossible because good and bad are so interconnected that one can not exist without the other. Right?”

    “If you say so,” I replied.

    “Well here’s the deal: I’ll help you understand what’s ‘real,’” said MV, “and if I succeed I promise you will become free from all scorn and bitterness. You will discover, with my help, how it all fits together, how good or evil are woven into one reality. To get to that place you must penetrate reality’s nexus, and that my friend is no minor achievement, but together we will triumph. Are you up for the challenge? All that I require for this service is your soul.”

    “Say again,” I exclaimed.

    “I’m offering you that ‘final realization’ where, by design, pain and suffering become a necessary part of all that is righteous and good,” replied MV.

    “No,” I said, “I mean the part about me giving you my soul? Am I missing something here? Have we made some kind of right turn? The word soul is hardly in my vocabulary, but I still don’t like what I’m hearing. This is important. We’re talking about my sanity now, not just a dream!”

    “Wait a minute. Think about what you’re saying,” said MV. “Get your head out of the Dark Ages and listen to me. How can giving me your soul be bad when to make that possible bad must become good? In the end, you loose nothing. And anyway, look at what you get in return; I’ll do your bidding. You will have total control.”

    “I need to understand what you’re saying,” I said. “When you say bad is good you don’t mean that bad is good relative to different levels of badness, you mean that bad is somehow inherently good. Right?

    “Right,” said MV.

    “And, if I discover how good and bad are inherently good then and only then, do I give up my soul. Right?

    “Yes, that’s right,” replied MV.

    “If I agree to this,” I said, “you will do whatever I tell you to do, and you will continue to do so during the entire time that it takes for me to conclude that bad is good. Is that right?”

    “We are not talking semantics here,” MV responded, “the rules of language, the rule of non-contradiction, keeps opposites apart. Don’t worry, we are not talking about language we are talking about vision. When you are able to see past the rules of language then you will see also the good and evil connection.”

    “I need an answer to my question, thank you,” I said. “As long as I believe bad is not good, I get to keep my soul and I get to tell you to get out of my life?”

    “Almost,” MV responded. “You don’t get to bury me. I need to be able to help you along. However, if at anytime you want me to leave just say so, I will go. I will be available if you need me, though. That’s part of the deal!”

    “I need to hear it one last time,” I said, “if I am not in agreement that bad is good, then I keep my soul?”

    “That is right,” replied MV.

    “Then we have a bargain. Where do I sign?”

    “Don’t be so archaic, MV responded, “We are adults here. Your word is as good as it gets.”

    “Okay, then go,” I said, “get the hell out of my life. I’ve got to wash this whole affair out of my memory and I don’t need any help from you to get the job done.”

    When I woke the next morning, I wasn’t exactly at a hundred percent. At first, I thought I had a nightmare, but on second thought I knew I couldn’t be so lucky. I faced up to the fact that my mental health was deteriorating. My emotions were pulling me in every direction. If MV was the real McCoy and if he could be trusted, then from here on out I would be able to turn my insanity around. But, if I actually believed that, I really would be insane, not to mention I would be giving my soul, a soul I never even knew I had, up for grabs. Anyway, illusion or not, making that deal with MV was probably the safest bet I have ever made.

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