I HAVE A DREAD OF DOORS

RON’S WISDOM SALONA fictional advice column

Dear Ron,


My problem is with doors. When I approach a public doorway, I never know which door to take because there are often several leading to the same place, and I panic. Will it be the  large door, the smaller one beside it, or the  revolver?  There is also the problem of deciding if it is a “push” or a “pull”, and even when these are marked  it is usually not clearly visible and mistakes are made.  Is there a way I could be more decisive about my exits and entrances?


Door Dread

Dear Door Dread,

I usually go for the one that seems the most  friendly, but it’s not always the right choice. This is not an easy question. Have you thought of going “eeny-meeny?”  That would take it out of your hands and put it on the shoulders of chance, and you could then try to court the gods of Chance in some ritual by leaving them nightly fruit so that they will be on your side.


The push/ pull thing I totally agree with you about.  Can’t these door makers get it right for once?  Make the words bigger for Gordon’s sake.  There is the added confusing factor there in that both push and pull begin with the same first two letters, so people will need to exercise vigilance, but at least the alert ones will get the hang of it sooner or later and not have to do that annoying double-jerk maneuver each time, which always causes embarrassment and consternation.


For instance, a gentleman of my acquaintance was with a lady and wanted to open a door for her as would be expected. Well, they approach the door and he pulled when he should have pushed with so much force that he dislocated his shoulder in the process, causing him to begin gesticulating wildly and whinnying to the point that the young lady had to swallow a tranquilizer. Needless to say, it put him in a poor light, and never again would the lady answer his phone calls. He is now in therapy because he cannot approach a public door without getting a skin rash. I wish you the best of luck in mastering your door dilemma.

I THINK RESOLUTIONS ARE IMPORTANT

RON’S WISDOM SALONA fictional advice column

Dear Ron,

Well, the new year is upon us, Ron. Do you have any resolutions? If you do, how long do you think it will be before you break them…  lol?

Jester

Dear Jester,

I have made one resolution, that is the one I make every year: to be a kinder, gentler person. So far I have been doing alright, but that is probably because I haven’t spoken to anyone since January 1.

I think relolutions are important. They make us think about summoning our will power, rising to the occasion, and reaching for our goals. They give us purpose, solidify this purpose and give us solidity. For the solid, they provide even more solidity. For the less than solid, they are a source of strength.  For the fragile, they are a challenge. For the challenged, they are a motivation. For the motivated, they are an even greater motivation. For the wicked, they are a reason to do good. For the good, they may be a reason to do better. For the best, they are a prod to do better than best – give 193 % rather than only 192%. For all of us, they are resolutions.

A wise Irishman I met one spring day at a hop remarked to me, “Mankind must resolve to march, and once marching to go on marching as long as possible.”  He then suited action to word, and strode around the table until he collapsed. Whenever the new year is upon us, I always think of his red face.

Happy New Year to all my readers, and AVANTI!

MY WIFE SNORES LOUDLY

RON’S WISDOM SALONA fictional advice column

Dear Ron,

I am in a delicate situation. My dear wife snores LOUDLY!!! Lying beside her is not unlike occupying trackside seats at the Grand Prix.  She is so sensitive and ladylike in her manner otherwise that I have never been able to break it to her gently for fear of of ruffling her feathers. She would accuse me of lying, or worse, confusing her with someone else I have slept with.

It has landed me in an awkward situation as you may well imagine. I love her but I just can’t bear my middle- ear crackling like tv. static all night long. Please don’t talk to me about earplugs. I have tried them but they always end up up my nostrils or in other orifices before I can drift off.  I have begun to twitch uncontrollably of late because of the stress. How to find relief, O Wise One?

Twitchy

Dear Twitchy,

Have you ever considered murder? Just a touch of rib-tickling there, Suffering One. I think I know why the good Lord gave females the ability to produce sound: It is to make it improbable for their husbands to get in a word edge-wise, even while the they are asleep.

One method I have tried with some success with my own better-half when she is making a racket on her back is to take hold of her nose, pinching it so that she cannot breathe, forcing her to open her mouth wide to suck up any available 0xygen. It calms the din.

Of course, one must keep right at it if she is not to close it again and bring on a renewal of her “music”, which is counterproductive if one is to get any decent sleep. You might try clothespins. Clip one on to her under lip and see what happens.  My last resort would be to plant sand bags around her head and dig yourself under a hard pillow.  Throw down a substantial dose of Ambien as well to make certain. Good luck and keep me abreast of the developments.

I hope this helped

HOODIES LOWER IQ

RON’S WISDOM SALONA fictional advice column

Dear Ron,

I have a problem with my hoody. The cords always come uneven, which is driving me crazy. Any suggestions?

Cord Crazy

Dear Cord,

First of all, you shouldn’t be wearing a hoody. It puts too much weight on your neck, which drags energy from your  brain and lowers I.Q. Plus when you are in a hood it is like being in a vault and nobody can see your ears, which may cause prejudice on the part of future employers and prevent you from ever finding a job to support yourself and your family. You are likely to wind up in poverty and destitution.
If you are willing to chance that outcome, I would advise you to stare straight ahead at all times, not allowing your eyes to fall on your uneven cord tags, convincing yourself, all the while, that they are  hanging  perfectly equal.

I hope this helped.

HOW IT HAPPENED

We sit in opposition
Like cars gearing up for a
Game of chicken.
The wind blusters in your
Eyes, your piano voice comes
In crystals. I feel the years
Between us that have
Fallen off, revealing a hard
Skeleton  of love in place.
But
How  we try each
Other for fault! Your vanity,
my hands cut off at
The wrist. I have no
Stomach to pick through
These remains again or retrace
Plot points on the map
To here. I see it as a
Happy accident that
We have survived
Together at all,
Certainly not any of my
Doing.  Was it the god
Of inertia who intervened,
limited horizons pressing
Against motion?
Were we not brave enough,
and if so,
Has it not taken us down
A step?
Or
Was it something else entirely,
A flame of recognition
That held a mutual gaze
And burned everything else
Away?

==========

SIGNATURE

You wait
And if it doesn’t come you wait some more,
It is something like fishing
Except you don’t do it in the sun.
It is not exactly pleasant
And it is not exactly unpleasant either
And
Why you do it
is difficult to answer.
It has something to do with compulsion
Your having to know that you can,
On that day
come up with something
That will definitely surprise you.
So you court the gods gravely and fervently
Because you know that it is not really
You at all who is going to do the work.
It is rather a chorus of Voices somewhere
Inside your nervous system
that will come to visit you,
Bringing with them words as gifts to you,
Which they offer in muffled tones or
In fits and starts, or in lengthier
Instalments that you take down
At your keyboard you hope in the right
Order.
You want to receive the message correctly
not mishear it,
And you have to learn to trust that what they tell you
Is in fact the truth because you have no way of verifying
It.
Of course there will be at some point an overseer who
tinkers and censors
And deletes
A sort of Father Figure editor
Who must get the package wrapped correctly.
But that is the easy part really because the gift is already
There,
in whole
or in part.

Later, you and others will determine whether it was
A cheap gift or an expensive one.
You will provide your signature,
The Voices will be relegated to obscurity.

But
You know in your heart that you are probably
an imposter,
At best, an interceptor,
And the Voices will not be there to either
Confirm or deny it.

================

HOW TO BEAT AN INSULT

We have all been insulted some time or other in our life. And it is important that one learns to take insults well if we are to retain any measure of self-respect. When someone says to you, “Why don’t you go fuck yourself?” How can you most handily respond to that?

Act interested . Go, “Why don’t I go fuck myself, indeed?” Have your  fingertip at your lip, your head cocked at an upturned angle while you say this.  It is possible, though unlikely, that the big-mouth will join you in attempting to answer their own question,  Or you could choose to remind them it is none of their business. Your insult to them. But the better course is to stay on the high road and not play tit for tat.  It is possible that the person decides to up the ante with a more direct “Fuck you” or “Fuck off.”

Now you must clarify matters. Explain to the frustrated soul that you don’t wish to do either. Be firm but kind. Remind them that we live in a democracy, that they are neither your guardian nor your stockbroker (if in fact it is the case)  and that you don’t wish to take their advice. Or, contrarily, that you may just do what they have suggested. Thank them for their tough-love manner and wish them well in their day.

If this leads to a physical threat, raise your hand and take on a stance of “Brother, you know not what you do!”  in the style  of Harvey Keitel, admonishing his flock in Martin Scorcese’s old movie, The Last Temptation of Christ.  It is always useful to have a model in mind when you make a magnanimous gesture. It may even get uglier. If so, employ one of Ghandi’s tactics and sit on the ground. Do not allow yourself to be hurt, but don’t resist either.  Do the right thing, a la the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Hopefully, a crowd will encircle you that includes a burly off-duty policeman. If that doesn’t happen, play dead, or convince the person that it is time for your nap. It is always amazing what people will accept at face value. The important thing is to keep them guessing and preferably under the impression that you cannot be bullied, or that you are mentally unbalanced and capable of untold destruction if pushed to it.

The best alternative, however, may still be the flight reaction. But usually it does not come to that. What is the worst that can happen? You die. There are worse things than death,( which I won’t get into at this juncture.) Suffice it say that even if you did die, you would know (how, I have no idea!) that you did the right thing. You did not insult back.  You did not steep to their level. You acted with dignity, forbearance, a smattering of intelligence, bluff. You danced well. You went out in style (whatever that means) Could they say the same? It is more than likely that they will at some point regret what they said or did to you, or they may even become born-again and go on to years of meetings in dank basements with badly dressed overweight people .

You will have changed the person. they might never insult another person again, or at least in the same manner.  You have made a difference!

=====================

WHAT IS THE MYSTERY?


Write about it.

Write about what?

Find an” it” and write about it.

This is it.

Then what can we say about it?

That it’s here

Where?

Right here.

I can’t see. It’s too dark.

That’s it.

The darkness?

Yes.

What can we say about the darkness?

It’s dark.

Yes,… and?

And you don’t know where anything is.

Go on.

And It’s on my shoulder now.

Yes  It’s heavy, isn’t it

It’s gone now.

A little light, then?

Yes but it’s still hard to see.

Maybe you need glasses.

It’s possible.

Which it is it now?

There is only one it.

Darkness?

Yes.

Everything is possible in darkness.

Is it?

It is.

I see.

It’s too dark to see.

I know.

That’s it.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Powder sky framing softly exploding bursts of whiteness and the cinnamon brickwork and the murmuring, grumbling city machinery and the empty stomachs and heart that cannot be sated and pains that have become housebroken and the boredom factor at high- grade fuel and the ever-present hunger for work, the peace that work may bring.      

===============================

STAIN

You were so colorless before the event, so perfect that you passed through our field of vision unnoticed. You would always be there, though left unappreciated for the many functions and movements you performed in the world. Then the fire, then the blemish as an aftermath that put you on the map. You are now marked, dignified in your ugliness. You have acquired history, a sense of having lived and suffered, which we will exploit as an added feather in our cap.

=============================

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

The package wears a bow-tie. He smiles at the clock. He can’t go anywhere or do anything because packages don’t move on their own and there is nothing that moves him. Being self-aware, He observes himself as weight. Gravity is the rule that owns him. Repetition is the game that plays him in a slow, evenly paced drip that marks time. More accurately, it is the clock that changes position, and the smile indicates nothing because it has been pasted on, it signifies no particular emotion. It remains perhaps because it relaxes his face and has become a habit and habit is what keeps him. He notices his chest, a block heaving, and sometimes gets lost in its momentum. In moments like this he goes away and then returns . He returns to the same place, to his body, to the repetition, to the arena of pain. Everything is old, solid, unchanged. He listens to his body, to the noises that wash over it in a functional , predictable sequence- the passages, the objections, the causes and effects, the tedium. He tries to listen for something different and then concludes that it has all been done just the same as it always has, in eternal, concentric stasis . He remembers, he still can remember, the sun, the moon, their dance in light and darkness. The clock moves once again and the past spins out as well with all the unreality of soap bubbles. It could be another mind that invented it. The mind means nothing, can’t be trusted to produce anything reliable. He is his body: Limited. Immobile. Circumscribed, as if spirit has been extricated leaving a corpse that is watching itself. A stone watching a stone, watching the clock move over frozen time.

=======================

 

NOT A LECTURE

The human mind is relentless

at what it wants to get.

When there is a pay-off, don’t worry,

It will be there in one way or another

To turn over the earth for its desired worm.

Your call will be returned.

You’ll be called “sir”

There will be bells and smiles at your command.

The whole world will tickle your fancy

Till the worm is there in the hand.

Then it will be farewell and good luck

And see you soon, maybe,

Until the next worm is wished for.

Self- interest is a funny thing

Because it makes people into things.

It makes us a hinge on the door

To someone else’s gain.

I’d rather be called something else,

Like friend.

Let’s spend some time together.

Let’s have mutual pleasure.

What’s -in it- for- me

is a nowhere strategy

That subtracts from our humanity.

Let’s be

Animals that care for each other.

Your gain is mine

Mine is ours,

A communism of the heart

In a time when the heart has become

nearly dysfunctional.

It’s possible

To transcend the fear of losing,

Being less

Because you have given.

There are just rewards before heaven.

A life of me and mine

Is less than satisfactory.

So find your generosity.

(This is not a plea from

An ad agency.)

=======================

WHY?

 

I just told someone something

I am sure will kill me.

In the end I will be dead,

But not dead enough to regret

What I said.

Yet what is the good of truth

When you come down to it?

It glares, it smashes your head against

Your most tender parts.

Its reverberations last

Well into the next dilemma.

Making enemies of even the kindest people.

 

I beg for release…

From truth.

Being ground down each new day,

Knowing it will end

End badly, probably,l

I am paralyzed and the only thing I can do

Is laugh…

And worst of alI

I have no idea

Why.

Strange sounds are the last things

I hear

And

Yes,

A groaned

“Why?”

Among these.

 

==================

L ‘WREN

L’Wren Scott

la-styliste-l-wren-scott_4858771

When the bird died

I cried

She was so long and lithe

Hung from her French door.

And the world sighed,

‘Why? She had everything.’

 

Everything is not nearly enough,

There is nowhere to go from there

No real air,

Everything marked up with checks

And squares

To convince oneself this is a life.

 

I suppose we convince ourselves,

We must. Otherwise

Hell meets us face first

To declare the worst.

How to survive?

She tried , but she

Is no longer alive.

Mort-de-L-Wren-Scott-devaste-Mick-Jagger-ecrit-Je-ne-comprends-pas_portrait_w674

=======================================================

UNANSWERED

I am waiting for something,

Waiting for something to emerge

Or end,

For the leaf in the wind

to divulge its secret

In this ground-down residue

Of a failed experiment.

 

At the wheel in restlessness

The signs that pass

Say nothing in earnest

The right books might as well

Have been written in Braille,

There is not a shred of evidence.

I cannot dress up in the past

I cannot rest

Until I find out

Whether all of this

Is not just a nuisance

But a test.

 

Still,

I will not have it burned in

That to love is sufficient.

Is the moment of birth equal to the moment of death?

I am inclined toward this thesis

Death is such a long process.

Will I wake up in the end

Or will I be oblivious?

 

In actual fact, this

is a matter of indifference

As long as I am not made to come back.

It is just that

Success has been less

Than the failure I’ve had.

Though I have no regret,

In the final breath

Failure is all we get.

================================

EGO

Prayer is beseeching

Prayer is supplicating

I

do not pray!

I demand

That

I listen

And

I act,

 

Focussing

On a fiery red sun

Somewhere low

Somewhere central

In an oriental mystery.

To sharpen recall

And destiny,

I command that energy.

 

Anyone anywhere,

Beware!

Your death is closer

If you think

To impose your order,

 

You are a mere impostor.

 

Step away,

You  are already invisible!

 

I  am

That higher power,

 

A  sovereign

Of

 

All  who I need

 

More and more

To see me

To adore me

To see me

For who I want to be.

============================

THE PAST PERFECT

It used to be like the first time

I ever saw anything

And now

It’s  not,

A bubbling back, a closed

system

You and I, Just all spinning round

Like in a modern dance

flailing away,

Amputated at the wrists.

Back then, I remember,

It was all there in the autumn

When I was still young and you

Were already a bundle of nerves on the wire

To your mother.

Some things change,

Some things stay the same.

================================