That’s all right

In Artists, Circus, Current reading, Irish Mist, Revision, Uncategorized on September 28, 2014 at 8:47 am

– What’s all right?

– The massive wash of disappointment. The struggle against the pull of gravity. The let-down. The notion of: here we go, once again. The winners tell the story. The losers cry wolf.

It’s all right. One thing to read about horror and carnage abroad, another to witness a policeman shoving a friend off her bicycle and into a ditch. A casual out-of-my-way kind of shove. The way you’d kick aside a piece of garbage littering the sidewalk.

I won’t go into the sight of another friend scrambling some thirty-five feet up in the air to avoid getting knocked down by the ones attempting to capture him. Nor will I go into the sight of someone’s hand after it took a direct hit from a non-lethal bullet. (Why did he take the hit? Because he was watching a piece of his life get cut down. That’s all? Watching? That’s all. No lights, no cameras, no thumping soundtrack.)

Will I go into the fact  the one who had  his hand ground into the earth received a fourth-month suspended sentence  (the judge refused to view the scene as it was recorded by witnesses)? No, I won’t. I won’t talk about them because they were told to clear out, and didn’t. Therefore, they were wrong and deserved whatever they got, right? But of course, my friends, but of course.

It’s all right. Just another little bit of wetland destroyed. Just another bunch of kooks and activists disturbing the peace. Ah. The peace. Fuzzy, fluffy animals in a petting zoo. Froglets in a Natural Sciences class for five-year olds. So cute. So sweet.


I’m sure the translators have done their best. I took a section of Soul Circus by George P. Pelecanos in the original and attempted to write the switch-over to French. It didn’t play any better than what the translators for the French edition managed to do by using local slang. I’d have to read the whole thing in English to know if the moralizing comes across as heavy-handed in the original. Maybe I would have been as disappointed by Richard Price’s Lush Life, had I read it in translation.

Perhaps moralizing isn’t the right word either. Indignation, despair, holding up the evidence for all to see – broken lives, broken bodies, crack, meth, cocaine, bullies, lost kids etc etc etc. Some of us know a chapter or two about those kinds of lives and expect something else when we watch the parade through somebody else’s eyes.


– What do you expect?

– I don’t know. I’ll have to deal with my own crashes and find my own way to bring at least one of the characters in my world to a place worth some of the struggle, and deserving something better than a back-handed swat into the nearest ditch.

Or, if nothing else, one of my characters will have to get the final and best word, quip or parting line he or she can deliver. At which point, I’ll move on to something else.


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