The man at the end of my street – last night’s would-be suicide – has recovered sufficient equanimity this morning to stand on the bluff for a smoke, and watch the firefighters extinguish the blazing car in the passageway below.
The biggest oddity about the blaze: its tardiness relative to the rumble in the night. The arsonists used a timing device? Electrical fire unrelated to the vigorous night time verbal and physical exchanges? (Could happen; years ago, I lost a vehicle to an electrical fire when extreme cold shorted the wiring. However, the cold was not extreme at six am over here, although the stench of burning plastic forced a shutting of all windows.)
As a brave but not stupid policeman once told me when I called about a brawl below another local window: “Make sure they don’t see you peeking.” This was the extent of the brave but not stupid policeman’s help. There’s a fair amount of weariness that sets in when the same cast of characters stages the same kind of inter-gang mayhem. The voice of weariness suggests you leave them to their favorite sport, and stay clear of the window.
Unrelated? Not at all. Even if James Joyce, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Kafka, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen’s work held no appeal (which they do), I’d recommend Nabokov’s Lectures on Literature for the nine-page essay at the end, titled The Art of Literature and Commonsense. A gem. I won’t provide spoilers from any of the many passages I’ve underlined. It’s a must-read, period.
Today: Story, yes, among other things. Including a slow working out of a course outline for six forty-five minute writing workshops with a class of twenty-five middle school children. For most of them, the very notion of putting pencil to paper sets off nausea and stomach cramps. The budget: minimal but, if the project is accepted on Friday, I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
Temporary: the word came to mind as I prepared my first coffee after the morning stroll and the return to billowing chemicals from the burning vehicle and the firefighters’ extinguishers. Temporary, as in: for the time being, all’s sort of OK that doesn’t really end. How could it end? A burned car cries out for revenge, does it not? Ergo: my choice of early morning for the main stroll on the esplanade with the dog remains the superior option vs aimless midnight wandering in the passageway below.
My favorite of this morning’s early shots: the café owner has just set out the tables. First customer yet to arrive with his version of the night’s events.