The death of Johnny Viti.
Archive for October, 2011
We have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path.
(Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. p. 18.)
R.I.P. always to an O.G. champion of monomyth, bliss, and heroism — Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987). Crack a comic and pour out some King Cobra today in his honor.
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994).
Monday, while my students were lined up to go out to recess, one of them said, “Miss L, did you know that tomorrow is Fifties Day?”
“Oh, no,” I replied drily. “What ever will I wear?”
Everyone laughed. They all got the joke. All of them. 100% of children age 8-9 years old recognize that E parties like it’s 1959. Tell A Friend.
Okay, that’s a decent diner joke, but I have another: you hold up the saltshaker.
“What’s this?” you ask your dining companion.
“Salt,” they say.
You hold up the saltshaker with one hand and, using the other, hold the knife from your place setting against its side. “What’s this?” you ask.
They don’t guess. You say:
“A salt with a deadly weapon.”
This entry originally appeared on October 20, 2010 at 9:19 am.
Photographed by mjagiellicz on the d.a.
Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse’s flowers will not last,
Nurses to their graves are gone,
But the prams go rolling on.
Photographed by bittersea on the d.a.
Whispering neighbors left and right
Daunt us from our true delight,
Able hands are forced to freeze
Derelict on lonely knees.
Photographed by leenaraven on the d.a.
Close behind us on our track,
Dead in hundreds cry Alack,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.
Photographed by cookiemonstah on the d.a.
Scrawny through a plundered wood,
Trolls run scolding for their food,
Owl and nightingale are dumb,
And the angel will not come.
Photographed by redribboninyourhair on the d.a.
Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold, cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.
(Auden, W.H. “VI.:Autumn Song.” Twelve Songs. March 1936.)
If ever there were a view on which to turn your back à la Gertrude Stein, a sweeping vista of the Mountains of Instead would be the one. No going back. Too late. Prams rolling on. Breathtaking strong tide of inevitability that takes all the water with it and leaves you and your petty fears and dreams dragging in the dust.
Time is stolen from us in such tiny ways — although I guess it is scarcely a theft when you never lock the door or look out the window to see if there is a shadow waiting for you to turn your back, as if all you possess are invincible by dint of being yours — and we use landmark occasions to mark the loss, but we only once in a while really look at what momentous and yet totally miniscule shit comprises what is destined to be our one and only, short history.
This Autumn was already weighing as heavily on me as last year. Now all I feel like I can handle doing is to take a hot bath and climb back beneath the covers (you see what I mean about aiding in our own robbery by time?). Thanks a lot, Auden. I guess what scares me most about it is does it always steal up on you? Does it just sneak up and you turn around and cry out, “Oh, not yet. It can’t be time yet. I’m not finished. I thought I would have more time.”
Photographed by disco_ball on the d.a.
Is there any way to escape that, that moment of realization, that punch in the gut when the waste, all the time you wasted suddenly comes rushing up around you so you can’t even breathe? Your life is over and you’re not ready because you thought you could always keep backsliding, that there would be special accounting for prodigal, last minute, golden you, who always slid in under the wire, who always got a second chance if you smiled big enough when you asked. There is no talking or charming or dodging your way out of final reckoning, and no method by which I can imagine escaping the horror of that realization, and you finally turn around and see the Mountains of Instead. You made them that tall. What do you do about the regret which will follow. Is there a way to soften that blow?
I don’t think there is. I can make vows about viewing this poem as a cautionary tale, and shine you on about how I plan on avoiding such a fate by making every moment count, and on and on until the sun goes supernova, but a plucky attitude does not lower the Mountains of Instead even an inch. No changing the past. No erasing regrets. That is just some fucked up shit right there.
A terrible day to forget the utility belt.
“Batman and Cthulu” by Scott Vanden Bosch.
The other gods! The other gods! The gods of the outer hells that guard the feeble gods of earth!… Look away… Go back… Do not see! Do not see! The vengeance of the infinite abysses!”
(H.P. Lovecraft. “The Other Gods.” Weird Tales. 1948. )