“The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and likable. In three days no one could stand him.”
“Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
“He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
― Robert Frost, The Poetry of Robert Frost
Remember one thing: That is more than just a tanker of gas.
That is our lifeline to a place beyond that vermin on machines.
—-Mad Max II – The Road Warrior
“This tower, patched unevenly with black ivy, arose like a mutilated finger from among the fists of knuckled masonry and pointed blasphemously at heaven. At night the owls made of it an echoing throat; by day it stood voiceless and cast its long shadow.”
― Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan
There is an abandoned palace in Decatur, Texas – The Waggoner Mansion, also called El Castile, is a sixteen room mansion built in 1883 by the Waggoner Family. The Reata Ranch House in the movie “Giant” is inspired by this building.
But now it stands, abandoned and rotting… and beautiful still.
“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
I remember when I was a little kid loving the Texaco commercials on TV. The TV was small, full of static (with rabbit ears and bits of foil on top), and only black and white – but it had an amazing effect on my tiny self. “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star.” I barely can remember my PIN number now but I remember that jingle from more than a half-century ago. I would bug my father to buy some gas from Texaco, but he never would. He said it was more expensive than his brand (not sure what it was, but I do remember getting a big green inflatable dinosaur from Sinclair). Now, of course, it seems silly to get excited over a stupid commercial, but I was only a little kid. What did I know?
“But we must come to realise that every word is perfect, including those we scratch out. As my pen moves across this page the whole world writes. All of human history combines at this mere moment now to produce in the flow of this hand a single dot: Who are you and I, dear friends, to contradict the whole past of the universe? Let us then in our wisdom say yes to the flow of the pen.”
― Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man
Legend has it that a local, Will Cooper, was credited with the phrase, “Eighter From Decatur.” Will played dice with his sweetheart Ada by his side. He would roll the dice and yell “Ada from Decatur, county seat of Wise,” for luck. The expression was spread by the travelling home guard and Army regulars. The phrase eventually turned into “Eighter From Decatur,” when a hard eight roll of the dice was needed.
Hard Eight…. That reminds me of one of my favorite movies – I’ll bet you haven’t even seen it – I’ll make that bet – it’s better odds than a hard eight.
“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
― Pablo Neruda, Regalo de un Poeta
“The beauty of Molly’s is that it is not, whether in the daytime or at night, the exclusive preserve of an age or income group. Unlike the sterile night scenes of pretentious San Francisco or New York, Molly’s (and most other New Orleans bars) welcomes all ages, all colors, and all sexual persuasions, provided they are willing to surrender to the atmosphere.”
― Andrei Codrescu, New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City
A conversation between my son, Lee, and the bartender at Molly’s, Decatur Street, New Orleans
“The challenge lies in knowing how to bring this sort of day to a close. His mind has been wound to a pitch of concentration by the interactions of the office. Now there are only silence and the flashing of the unset clock on the microwave. He feels as if he had been playing a computer game which remorselessly tested his reflexes, only to have its plug suddenly pulled from the wall. He is impatient and restless, but simultaneously exhausted and fragile. He is in no state to engage with anything significant. It is of course impossible to read, for a sincere book would demand not only time, but also a clear emotional lawn around the text in which associations and anxieties could emerge and be disentangled. He will perhaps only ever do one thing well in his life.
For this particular combination of tiredness and nervous energy, the sole workable solution is wine. Office civilisation could not be feasible without the hard take-offs and landings effected by coffee and alcohol.”
― Alain de Botton, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
I was looking forward to an easy day – especially since it was supposed to be my day off. But the phone calls kept rolling in, the emails kept coming, everybody wanted a piece of me. By the time I made it home… there was nothing left. Another day stolen by the man.