Monday, November 1, 2010

Death and Rebirth

There were times Thursday, Friday and Saturday this past week when Monster Halloween was so full it was hard to navigate through the building without running into people. Both Friday and Saturday evening, I felt as if I were on the verge of collapse, or hallucination, though somehow I found the energy to continue. We are a resilient creature, Homo sapien sapien, capable of extraordinary feats, in extraordinary circumstances.

Sunday was slow but we were all sleep deprived, the partners and I, feeling a foggy high and deep relief. After closing we went across the street to Liquor Lyles, and I ended up later on the roof of Monster Halloween with two random guys I wouldn't recognize if they walked into the coffee shop I'm sitting in now, all of us shouting our names. I slept until 1 PM in the ladies boodoir. We were closed today.

The Fairy walked out of the building at the peak of traffic, Saturday. She acted exactly as I expect a true Fairy would, to this week's display of American grotesquere'. Tink would ne'r approve of American consumer spending habits. Theft was a significant problem. That, and many people are simply disrespectful and messy. Almost no one walks into someone else's house, picks up something and throws it on the floor, or shoves it in a random box. Who throws a sucker stick on the carpet? Lots of people, it turns out. Women were the worst culprits, among the thieves. We lost a great many accoutrement's from the ladies costume bags. We can't sell a costume for much, if it's missing pieces. Someone ripped a plastic gun from a rigid-plastic package. There must have been three hundred people in the store at the time. No one said anything.

In direct contrast, I loaned my white wig to a young man named David, Saturday night. He wanted it for a friend. David brought us beer in exchange, agreeing to return the wig Sunday. I wasn't sure he would. He did, thereby restoring my wig and my faith in Humanity.

I'm not being paid much, as an hourly wage, though I've worked hours in two and a half months equivalent to six months of standard 40hr work weeks. I'm likely to make as much or more than either partner will, unless we can sell most of the remaining merchandise in the next week. If they have to carry it into 2011, the tax is likely to eat up what money they do make. Last year, their tax on remaining merchandise was higher than their profits. Meanwhile, the income tax on sky gods is lower than it is for the middle class, and the American middle class is about to return a party to power in the House of Representatives, whose primary goal is to reduce the tax on sky gods. Not that there is any substantive political alternative that involves Congress, as both parties are profligate spenders, both leading America on the path of Empire, and epic collapse.

I returned to my house today after a long absence, and harvested potatoes. I am in love with the potato, of which I have planted six different varieties. I've been telling people I'd have 500 pounds of potatoes. It will be more like 350. My neighbor didn't have a great potato year either. Most of the energy went into the greens, it seemed. Some plants had long vines but only a few potatoes. Who can say why? There was plenty of rain. plenty of sun. Maybe the planets weren't aligned right for normal or exceptional tuber growth. Still, three hundred and fifty pounds of potatoes is a lot of potatoes. I'm going to eat most of them. I'll give away some. Save the rest for seed. I think I'll find a farmers market this week and buy a bulk of onions, carrots, parsnip, beans and garlic. Stock the root cellar I'll build.

Digging potatoes was cathartic, and healing. gathering from the soil I exposed, tearing out the sod, last spring. Planting those potatoes seems like a lifetime ago. I was still hurting from the break up of my relationship with Val Kyrie. A woman last night came in asking if we had small skulls or bones she could use to fashion a necklace. She was putting together a costume replica of the Goddess Kali. I told her I often compared Val Kyrie to Kali the Destroyer. The woman reminded me that with every death there is rebirth.

A beautiful day to harvest potatoes. The sun was strong though low in the sky, the air comfortably cool. Many leaves have fallen. My canoe is full of water, the wood and cane seat submerged, rotting. I won't be floating down the Mississippi this year; but maybe next. Because, though there is only another month of work at Monster Halloween, anything is possible, I know, and I am coming into myself in a way that feels open, honest and pure. I think I'll write another book. And hire the Fairy to dig the rest of my potatoes, the carrots, and spread the compost. She's a tough one. And beautiful. Hopefully it will be healing and cathartic for her too.

Another week of retail sales at clearance prices, and then a week or two of tearing down what we have built. A curious business this, and probably not the end of my relationship to it, though this store, in this incarnation, will close. It will die, and it will be reborn, probably stronger than it was. Unless America and the Global Market is, as I suspect it is, in precipitous and unstoppable decline. Which is one reason why I am in love with the humble potato, the planting and harvesting of which is a kind of insurance against epic Empirical collapse I trust - as well as being healing and cathartic. Simple knowledge, worth having. Though not more than a small percentage of three hundred million Americans possess it.

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