I had hoped for an easy Saturday evening entry, bringing you all up to date on the fascinating goings on -- a belated, some might say, series of disciplined protests and legislative appeals by Marlinspike Hall's genetically indentured Domestic Staff, designed to implement parity of wages and benefits among the various genetically pure (not engineered, please understand, but guarded by careful counseling and occasional forced sterilizations) families and houses. I've tried several times to explain the Haddock forefathers and foremothers intentions in creating the various lineages of servitude, their happy, happy intent, but always I fall short.
Meant to create harmonious groups of highly specialized happy, happy families, guaranteed work, shelter, and provisions of unusual opulance, what could go wrong? The Domestic Staff family dedicated for several centuries, for example, to the care of Caravaggios, would never stray from advanced studies of varnishes, dwarves, gilt, and twisted royalties -- until young Rodrigo stumbled upon a stray copy of The Order of Things (the world does have its ways), turned gay, and began an avant-garde fashion internship in Rome dedicated to exotic black leathers and turtlenecks.
Genetic anomalies, evolution, the Hand of God, whatever one invokes as Author of Change, occurred in every family meant to remain pristine in its work, its intent, its happy, happy happiness. There are rumors of the Haddock penchant for miniatures leading astray some of the less scrupulous Haddocks, more attracted to scientific shortcuts -- or, opines a growly Captain Archibald, some "disgruntled employee, led astray by outsiders, and... Rodrigo." Note that he never questions what nefarious influences converged upon The Manor when, as a young explorer and navigator, he discovered and exploited the Worm Hole Marina in the Moat surrounding Marlinspike Hall!
Ah, well. Enough of our Labor Troubles.
Back to the Crack Whore. She's perfectly made for the Haddock Family Enterprises Addiction Center. The origins of the Center are humble and tied in to our system of genetically indentured Domestic Staffing. I wrote it this way, once, when times were financially tough and the Captain had been inexplicably missing for longer than was usual:
...we scrape the underpinnings of the more modern furniture, mostly reproductions, in The Manor's public vending areas and grateful that the miniature families on the domestic staff willingly sift the silty bottom of the moat for spare change. We split the haul, fifty-fifty, because square is square.
You'd be amazed at the number of people who think that throwing things into the moat is an acceptable romantic substitution for tossing pennies into a well or euros in the Trevi fountain. Of course, given that we sometimes attract a crowd heavily into the religious life, here more for our next door neighbors, The Cistercians, or equally heavy into heroin, hoping to score an inpatient bed at the posh Haddock Family Enterprises Addiction Center, headquartered in our barn -- we don't always come away rich in cast off coinage.
I didn't want to confuse you with haphazard detail, but most of those who drop by the Haddock homestead are also somehow related to the carnival, and are, in fact, often carnies. Fred thinks its because we exude some sort of Rabelaisian exuberance, that we are, in short, relentlessly robust. Fred obviously knows nothing of my time spent weeping and the suggestion that that might be one of the chief occupations of his boudoir would shame him.
Fred likes the more complicated explanations. Me? I'm all about Occam's Razor. We attract addicted Catholic carnies because the Haddock Corporation opened a detox/rehab and decided to headquarter it in our barn, next to its tantalizing rope structures (connecting to the Manor proper via the Computer Turret), which fairly sings to those with gymnastic training, which is most everyone. Oh, right, and we are smack dab next to Abbot Truffatore's Internet Office Supply Center, cleverly disguised as a rather ancient monastery.Ah, well. Let's just say that our former silly Saturday night pot luck neighborhood suppers have become polarized affairs, whole long tables divided by potato salad recipes and biotechnology ideologies.
Within it all, Fred, Bianca Castafiore -- the Milanese Nightingale -- and her accumulation of friends and paramours, lately a troubling va-et-vient between Sven Feingold, Keeper of the Maze, and his son, something of a Rodrigo, Cabana Boy... Well, anyway, within our slightly fictional environs, we thrive, we fail, and we survive, happy, happy, happily enough.
I, the Retired Educator, the Prof-de-Rien, am required by Universal Laws (which I am, you may be sure, constantly appealing) to dip my fugly purple toes into your reality on an almost daily basis, am primarily sad.
Which is a vast improvement! Remember the many stories of being sad and in pain? Sad and disappointed? Sad and confused? Sad and desperate? Sad and half-way liking it, as it requires so little of one's self, if you allow it an "and," a depressing companion of some sort.
But leave sadness unpaired, and pure -- and it's not a bad thing. Pain, disappointment, confusion, desperation, self-pity: these are the demons with which you don't want to live or die. Each a separate, winnable fight, and sometimes not so much a battle as a shrugging-off.
I am sad at the suffering of those I love and know; I am sad at the suffering of those I love and will never know. I am less and less sad for myself, suffering through each day, thoughts and dreams more and more taken over, like some rippling silver pensieve for the excesses of those I love, by what is happening to dear Lumpy, the Mother-Units, the dear brother of the West, tumbling, tumbling all.
The tumblers and the tumbling include many others, the past beloveds, which we all know last forever, and the tumblers and the tumbling are often as hilarious and sweet as they are fast and tragic.
It's as much a prolonged fit of the giggles in a pew on a long ago Sunday as it is an image of concentric infoldings of nausea and confused effort.
But I try now, in the public eye, to smile, and to ask my serious things by wrapping them in filmy rustling tissue papers and raffia.
I do miss the organic pig farmer from across the way. She wasn't a Crack Whore, quite, but maybe that to which a Crack Whore might aspire. She first made her way into the blog, officially, at least, in January 2013, about which we reminisced in January of this year:
Do you remember our neighbor, the Organic Pig Farmer? With pure poetry, I introduced her here exactly one year ago:
In other local soap opera news, we are never at a dramatic loss these days thanks to the vocal stylings of CrackHead Lady Across The Way, who turns out to be a very well-known organic pig farmer. She steals the limelight with soliloquies to her Ugg boots and curious crowds gather -- mid-morning and again at midnight -- to watch her use the muddy pits of the hog lot as an exfoliating (yet wonderfully moisturizing) body wash.
Even then, something told me that trouble was afoot, and I swear I hold no prejudices against muddy crackhead exhibitionists. Plus, bacon is "the" ingredient in haute cuisine, and we were thrilled to have such luscious pigs so close by, flavor on cloven hooves. On her clear days, we were working with her and our resident geneticists on creating a tasty pig that ruminated -- which we figured would have burst open a world of consumers hungry for bacon, even if they wanted to be snooty and call it pancetta, which is hog, excuse me, pork belly cured with salt and peppered with peppercorns, fennel, nutmeg, and what have you. In Italy.
But making a ruminant of a single-stomached pig was proving more than our animal husbandry and genetic experts were able to accomplish within a single season, and capturing the attention of the crack whore organic pig farmer, genius though she was, was nigh unto impossible. The Jewish people shall not know -- with hearts' free of oppressive judgment -- bacon in 2013. Don't believe the fast talker who tells you its easy to increase salivation, thereby increasing the microflora necessary to the decomposition of cud, or that making a pig's teeth incessantly grow to accomodate all that chewing, is easy. That person is a ruminatory fool. In any event, we'll miss her, and the promise of bacon.
[....] She was evicted about two months ago.
Well, I suppose SOMETHING in this blog post needed writing. What exactly, I cannot say. Perhaps I will throw myself on your mercy, Dear Readers, new and old, to discern what it might be. Beware science? Beware genetics and its environments? Love your neighbor? Be your brothers' keeper, but accept and respect their keeping rules.
Yoga will help, as will Tai Chi, Qigong. And Twister.
SUN LU TANG (Sun Tai Chi Chuan)
Uploaded on Jan 30, 2008
Martial Arts Therapy
© 2013 L. Ryan