They With Golden Sleep

They With Golden Sleep

(a short film narrative, by Homer A Blakey)

Some late evenings I would admire the alleyways of town and watch the young sauntering outside bars on the corner of Elk and 7th. They leaned in against the ironworks and each other. The streets there are forever dark. And the young men and women are all restless — they lay awake with their golden hours.

My cigarette burned perpetually as an Oseberg ship burial might. My coffee cup was vaporous. And really there was no reason for being there, with my trembling hands and my chapped lips.

I flicked the little cigarette and the ashes flung, lingering in the air, as if biding its time. My belly was bloated filled with booze and caffeine. There was nothing else but the fireflies that jittered in the toasted almond streetlights and the flood of the young.

A woman walked confidently out of the corner bar and tucked her short brown hair behind her ears. She paused and asked quietly, Do you have a light? She paused and smirked, patted me on the shoulder, and asked, that’s what they say, right? She held her words and the cigarette in the air. Do you think there’s a place for us, somewhere, out here?

I reached into my pocket and found a box of matches and scrunched my body together to block the wind. I can’t say for sure, I told her as I struck a match and nothing happened. I wanted nothing but to light it in one try but it petered out and I looked at her in defeat. I only have an hour, I told her. That is, before the next bus comes.

You don’t belong here, she said. I can tell by the way you rushed that match.

The piano music next door was decent, I told her. And the people seemed nice enough. She walked all the way around me, tapping her fingers on my shoulders, rhythmically, just as the sky began this early rising change, but no sunlight. Just a heavy sigh, and the wind breathed gently on my neck, or maybe it was her. Nobody belongs here, she said, touching my elbow. We don’t belong here.

I tightened my scarf. She came back around into my peripheral. I’m not sleeping with you, she said bluntly.

I am supposed to observe, and not get involved, I said.

She buttoned her black coat and bent down and to tie her left shoe. Make a note, she said. Write it down. The girl ties her shoelace and grabs the boy’s hand.

The woman carried my wrist to the back alley and we walked for a few minutes down the dimness where it began to dust snow over our heads. Nightlights could be seen in the windows of homes colored in faint marigold and iguana skin green.

Low clouds floated hazily above and she told me her name was Marion, like the maid of medieval times. Our feet looked tiny as ever in the thick icy ground. This is my castle, she said looking up to what looked like a loft above a bakery where we could see the bakers drinking a cup of coffee and laughing, but a silent and broken laugh through the glass of the shop. I’m not sleeping with you, I said firmly, and she hit me over the head, softly and playfully, like a small twig fallen from above out of a broken nest. That’s not all, she said. Don’t tell me you had nothing better to do tonight than to walk the alley alone with your hands clasped behind your ass. Come inside and drink a cup of chamomile with me.  

I looked behind me at the void of the alley. Behind some fences were wooden playgrounds and mounds of mulch; a tire swing that was being pushed by the slight wind. She started walking up a spiral staircase, one that was too narrow for us to walk side-by-side. I could leave now, I told myself. Still make the bus.

You could, she said, her voice a crackling ember. And then I realized that I didn’t tell her my name, my true name.

I was supposed to watch people tonight, I half-yelled and half-whispered. It was for a story. Just for an hour.

Just for an hour, she volleyed. She opened her door, slowly as if she didn’t want to wake anyone. Marion looked at her wrist, which didn’t have a watch strapped onto it.

I’m not supposed to get involved, I told her. With my subjects.

You won’t, she said. I know how these things end.

There’s often this paresis that follows me most evenings, threatening to overtake my limbs, just after the sky cools in a muddle of grey and the streetlights burn for so long. Marion made my words shrink to only mumblings and motions of timidity.

The door remained open. I could hear a record needle crack and the beginnings of a soft piano verse and she walked outside in her socks and clasped her pale and loose jeans by the belt loops and moved her hips up and down like a seesaw and asking in a full voice, Do you dance?

I loosened my scarf. My great uncle was a dancer, I half-whispered again. I was named after him. Homer, my name is Homer.

I suppose that is good enough to get you in. Her legs twitched, perhaps with the push of cool air as I shut the door. I began my ascent up the loud steps. I looked up through the grated balcony as she tiptoed around the deck.

I can’t touch you, I said. That would be against the rules.

You don’t have to, she said as she started ballroom dancing, making it seem like I was holding her as a phantom, but she was leading the dance. She closed her eyes, occasionally opening one to see if I was still looking.

I walked up the stairs cautiously and when I made it to her on the outside deck, I waltzed with the space between us and then closed my eyes and opened one occasionally to make sure I wouldn’t run into her. How do I dance with you? I whispered to her. She backed up slowly into her open doorway. The streetlight cast Marion’s face in variegates of blush red and deep ember that soothed me into joining her in the blanket of her dark living room and golden sleep.

She squeezed my fingertips and then let go. This is how, she said, abiding to my rule with her three-step and the piano keys, only opening her eyes now and again while the door closed shut with the wind.

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IFF, Entry #1 – “The Wind And The Rain”

The Wind & The Rain

By: Homer A. Blakey

EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN – NIGHT

The great void of the ocean. It is a quiet stirring of water that mirrors the milky way galaxy and surrounding stars. Nothing in sight for miles but a small fishing boat teetering back and forth in the water.

EXT. FISHING BOAT – NIGHT

On the outside deck, an OLD MAN — eighty-five years old, weak, but wise and humbled with time on the sea, is obscured in the evening darkness. He finishes scrapping magnesium onto a cotton ball and some oil.

OLD MAN (V.O)

My light is leaving, my dear.

After some struggle, he finally sparks the flint and the tiny fuel for fire lights a lantern. His wrinkled hand hangs the lantern over a large aluminum bathtub connected to a rope spanning vertically up the boat’s mast.

OLD MAN (V.O.)

I’ve been searching …

The Old Man pulls a thick rope up by the mast of the boat. A pulley turns clockwise. The rope loses its slack and he pulls the rope taught. He pulls and pulls, arm muscles tightening.

OLD MAN (V.O.)

… for that place … beyond the darkness.

A counterweight lifts on the other end of the rope which helps the OLD MAN hoist himself up the mast to the top of the an enormous sail in an aluminum bathtub. Slowly he makes it to the top. The Old Man cinches the rope to the top of the mast.

OLD MAN (V.O.)

To the edge of what I know. Of what I believe.

He turns the lantern down to a low light. Attached to the top of the mast is a telescope lens on a swivel.

It’s pitch black out on the quiet ocean and the waters settle down to a small, steady cradle.

(CONTINUED BELOW)

The Wind & The Rain

Poppy Hill Pipeline Proposal

 

Prepared for: The Town of Idlewood, and it’s surrounding communities of wonderful creatures

Prepared by: Joel Mole, The Head Honcho of Joel Mole Construction Co.
January 6, 2014
Proposal number: 03*
Poppy Hill Pipeline

A summary of how we’re gonna do it, for you, the people of Idlewood, and all the rest of the Countryside. That includes everyone.

Okay, let us begin.

Objective …
Since the Skirmish at the Great Swamp back say, oh, 53 years ago, there has been a major shift in the general tone of Idlewood. A once thriving logging town, Idlewood has become an incredibly lazy community. There have been reports of endless wading in rivers, extraordinarily late evenings on board Biddle Grove Ferry, they did away with the calendar! I mean, c’mon, since when can anyone do just anything they wanted. They also use an unnecessary and excessive amount of fireworks on each evening just as the sun sets and the stars reel in, not that I’ve been to one, but I hear these gatherings are actually quite lovely.

Goals …
Listen. Our town has been in the darkness for some time now. It is time to bring Idlewood to the forefront again. We must put down our soup ladles for shovels. Put down your tobacco pipes and help to lift up larger water pipes.

You like that line. I came up with it myself.
Solution …
To bring the town of Idlewood to the forefront of the eighty-seven colonies, tribes and other sorts of places throughout the Countryside^.
Project Outline …
(Okay when I said water pipes I mean’t ones that carry water from place to place. Not a water pipe that those Red Tailed Hawks and the townie Toad delinquents are smoking from on the outskirts of the Elm Groves. You know what I mean.)

– First we will get the signatures of all the citizens of Idlewood. This will include a cabaret style fundraiser. We’ll probably need to set up a stage in the middle of Rampart Square. Those fiddlers at the Elm Groves sounded good the other night. I mean, ahem, I heard them playing a little tune on The Wanderer during 90.3 telethon drive.
– I digressed.
– So we will run the Poppy Hill Pipeline through the Hickory Spring right straight through the Poppy Hill and directly to Idlewood’s new Joel Mole Watering Hole (providing an incredible statue with fountains so that in the summer we can run around in it). Fresh and local water from the top of Mt. Sawtooth, The Nests, and that floating piece of ice that the Penguins are always standing around on.
– Once we turn on the Poppy Hill Pipeline, Joel Mole Watering Hole will become the center of energy and water rights and we will have complete control of the town’s … wait, okay sorry. I wasn’t supposed to give you that much information.
– I’ll be going now.
– This got kind of awkward.

So, um, I’m be in touch.

Joel Mole
of Joel Mole’s Construction Co.

*The first two proposals were shut down by the citizens of Idlewood. More on that later.

^ The Countryside is comprised of eighty-seven total colonies, tribes and other sorts of private communities that simply got ten people and/or creatures together and walked their way up to the Town Mall and filed for township or something and whamo!, now they can make up all the rules and regulations they want. What happened to stricter building codes, Mr. Southern. Or school curriculum? Riddle me that one? Kids are now wandering the Outerlands and its adjacent forests looking for mushrooms that will one day “cure the Countryside’s ailments, issues and carbon emissions”. That last one is a stretch. I’m not sure how they relate mushrooms and fungi to cutting energy costs and fuel burning. Strange creatures#

*Okay, where to begin. There was once a town on the edge of the Countryside called Idlewood. There were plenty of strange and wonderful creatures whom dwelled there (I forgot the difference between who and whom. I am looking up the proper usage right now). A once thriving logging town, the Toads, Bears and other tree-dwelling creatures, as well as the local school children (the wonderful creatures, in all their wonderfulness, unfortunately lacked opposable thumbs, therefore the school children who attended the low-budget Idlewood School of Child Misfits, Orphan Toads and Other Hooligans had to help them break into the Black Forest Utility Yurt where the main line, I guess, was shut off. This turned off the dams, the lights, the dishwashers and Electricity Gaming Stations (they were replaced with giant buildings full of trampolines, wall to wall, I mean, you were bouncing around entire rooms, thirty-foot ceilings, it was a thrill …) The Snails all went on strike because there was way too many hand-written letters to deliver@ Oh and the waters from the Great Swamp (oh that’s a whole other story altogether. Did I mention the Skirmish at the Great Swamp. Egad, that’s not a bedtime story. There should be a Bradford Locke film. Did you see the last film he made? I didn’t like his use the gnomes … underpaid and under appreciated.)

@ I mean, to be perfectly honest, for the past few decades snail mail had become outdated. E-mail, which is delivered by the Egrets, totally became the new thang. The Snails didn’t like the increase in labor and the decrease in availability of slime from the Great Swamps that they could eat. They had snail kids to feed. After the Skirmish, the swamps became a place of tomfoolery for fiddler-players and other hooligans. Don’t go there. It’s not worth it. Not like I’d know. The Sludge Hole makes a fantastic sludge stout.

# Strange creatures, indeed

le ciel, la vérité (a weather report)

Members of Idlewood:

A cool and placid morning. Clouds are streaks of camomile and rhubarb that lay beyond Idlewood’s surrounding forests.

But this is the truth.

The truth is beyond our gates and our understanding.

The truth is in the uprising sun. It is protesting this morning. It is very sad. It is sad because we are here. Billions of years of adaptation has lead us to this moment. We won. The universe lost. Against all odds, we have sprung into the mix.

Yet we have been lied all along.

There is no sky. There are no clouds. This is only temporary. There is only one truth. Our truth. The truth in our ephemeral guise. 

The truth is that you and I will be gone some day. The great ball of fire you see in the eastern range this morning, the one that rises and metamorphoses from a lime and violet haze to a strange magmatic gold, splaying down the ridge line and burning the earth scape for days and days — there will be an end to this.

There will be no rain.

Without a doubt there will be no more snow days.

This is the infinite melancholy. 

However, we have a choice. My dear ones, you have been chosen by eternity. You have an immense machine in your hand. This is a blip of time. This is opportunity. There are choices to be made here. And for that, you are a wonderful creature. 

As for the truth, well, as yourself that each morning as you awake and feel your bones rattle as you stretch your limbs. This is our truth. The only thing we have. 

L’obscurité, l’obscurité. Ne vous inquiétez pas.

– Léon Teisserenc de Bort

de penser à voler (a weather report)

ImageMembers of Idlewood:

Today was the brightest morning.

Fallen pine. Dry, pinkish sage. Some with streaks of mustard. Or deep, dry purple. A single mule deer sipped from a shallow creek near the Barren Fields …

Today you will learn to walk again. You will say hello from the sidewalks. You will come over for coffee and cake. You will pat me on the shoulder and wish me a happy birthday and give me my first bow tie. You will tell me what it is like to be a gentle man. You will tell me tales from the sea. About when you would attach a hose to your suit and sink slowly into the water. About the life cycle of sponges. About the silence of the diving bell. You will tell me there is a strange beauty there. And when you check your watch, you will walk away feeling full.

L’air frais fait du bien …

Sea level is still rising. That is all for now. 

– Léon Teisserenc de Bort

A Letter from Homer A. Blakey

Image

Dear friends, family and all other wonderful creatures,

I am writing to you from the road just west of the Great Swamp. Don’t worry, I am on my way to Idlewood, a wonderful little town, where there are other wonderful creatures like me. Don’t worry mother, I am wearing my helmet when I ride my motorcycle. The sidecar is full of rations, yo-yos and books to keep me occupied at the various forests, townships and balloon launch sites I will visit along the way to Idlewood.

Sometimes one must follow the voices that guide us (at the time it was fiddle music). After I listened to the music for a long while, I realized that there was something rustling inside me. It was loud, like the turning of a newspaper page. I think it was either a rabbit in the bushes (… although they are sleeping most of the time, so it couldn’t have been them …), or perhaps just my stomach pangs because I had been living off noodles for years in the Great Swamp.

Anyhow, I am on my way to Idlewood to begin work on a public journal of sorts. I hope to document my travels throughout the Countryside through encounters with the many kinds of people and wonderful creatures. The people haven’t had a chance to speak for themselves. And after the Skirmish just a few years ago here in the Great Swamp, I feel as though the people should have their stories told. 

You may find my work here: Notes From Idlewood

Each week there will be letters arriving in your e-mail box via the very speedy Egrets who I drop my letters off to now (sign up for your free newsletter). The Snails from the Snail Mail Union apparently are on strike, still, due to the influx of hand-written letters since the lights went out in Idlewood. These newsletters will contain the happenings and happenstances from the road and more importantly in town once I become a citizen (the immigration office has the longest of lines … not looking forward to that).

I set up a PO Box to send me your comments on the journal and its contents (send snail mail to 379 Shavano St., Crested Butte, CO 81224 (this is one of the many places I will be staying for a journal and newspaper residence on my way to Idlewood, please keep in touch). Otherwise, egret-mail works well, as well. 

 

Follow your inner rustlings,

Homer A. Blakey

aka “David Andrew” *

 

PS: I wrote a book a few years ago under the imaginary name David Andrew. Not many people know about it. I’ve been dropping it off at local publishing houses on the way to Idlewood. It’s about you, essentially. I’ll leave it here tangled on the Inter Webs for you whenever you finish the book you’re currently reading. It’s perfect for when you’re bored at work or on the train, or leave it to glance at by your bedside, or in your rucksack while you’re on your way from the Great Swamp to the Rainbow Riverbeds.   

 * This is simply an alias. Don’t be confused.