Monday, December 16, 2013

Hello, Windows

Just thinking of that song "Hello, Walls", about a guy bonding with the furnishings of his room to fill the vacuum left by his departed girlfriend. After the walls, he takes the window and the ceiling in his confidence, but it seems like more.

Am I up to something similar in my gallery of opening windows for December, playing chief inspector of revelations? Not to fill a vacuum, exactly, but to write, and survey the real estate of the day. One day being as deep as a missing mouse. Another day inviting a brief montage of elevator rides.

So, hello windows through which I've surveyed the day, a few at a time...

Dec. 6
Squares of con + fusion

Crossword puzzles are cheap conundrums that eat time like Captain Hook's crocodile, so it helps to have a lot of time available, like I did on Friday. 

Carol brought the Times. Luxury of munching through the movie reviews, including a tasty one of Inside Llewyn Davis, before cozying up to the Friday crossword, which is no pushover. 

Nothing like the allure of an empty grid, taxing clues, and a black Pilot pen to steer it by. But first I needed Carol to rip out the adjoining printed solution to the Times Thursday puzzle, which I hadn't done and didn't want to see. It's a known fact that few things imprint in the memory as indelibly as a glimpsed word in a crossword puzzle solution you were trying not to look at. 

Anyway, I printed the on-line Thursday puzzle when we got home and it had a nice gimmick, explained by 34 Across: CONFUSION. Turned out that ten clues only made sense if you mentally "fused" CON to the answer: (con)CAVE, (con)TRITE, (con)TEMPT, etc.

I love jumping into those windows of confusion and bringing order and finally winning the congratulations of the smiling cartoon pencil.

Dec 7

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

This window is invisible. It's a cube of sound I'm inside and outside of, in the dark. I'm pretty sure it was Ballet music by Charles Gounod, emanating from a small transistor radio by way of black foam headphones, in bed, at night. It's something I do from time to time, enter the night cave of radio, sometimes a baseball game, or classical music, or NPR Remix.

It's being the invisible witness to the story, whatever it is. I did something similar as a kid: pulled the covers over me, turned on the transistor radio and was in the center of the earth yet connected to the universe, as represented by the galloping babble of voices and music from the transmitters of New York City, especially the mooring mast of the Empire State Building where a blimp or a great ape might take the pause that refreshes before yielding to a ballad by Sinatra, who owns the night.

Or later, as a teenager in El Paso, hunkered in front of a Hallicrafters shortwave radio, wearing an uncomfortable pair of hard headphones but intent on trawling the whole confiding world—Australia, Moscow, the Voice of America, the Voice of the Andes, the BBC World Service, Havana Kooba, Hilversum Holland, and once a snatch of a commercial for Peter Stuyvesant Cigarettes in Capetown, South Africa.

Dec. 8

Road Warrior

And last, just this revelation: Carol and I sitting at a table in the café mall of South Station, watching the departing train destinations roll in on the big abacus/tote board above us while waiting for a VIP who will be disembarking a bus from Montreal and walking from the bus depot to the train concourse, likely from that direction, and here's a tall grinning kid with a mustache and sideburns and I know him, that's Matt, my son, he's here! 

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