Monday, May 18, 2009

SHOT OF FICTION #7: I’m Coming Home, Via Chicago

Final Posting by Eugene Lee
Re: Save the Whales Please

Every time I fly, no matter what mood I’m in and what I have been thinking of, my mind will inevitably tick off the different ways the plane would crash. I don’t have a fear of flying… I think everyone has a fear of crashing… and I don’t believe I’m particularly morbid, but as soon as the clunky, lumbering, clumsy plane lurches forward with real thrust, I’m reminded of how much damn energy it takes to get this hunk of metal in the sky, but moreover how hard it fall if something went wrong. I think of explosions ripping open the cabin too quick to process how yet everything would remit to slow motion. About one set of wheels being stuck at the landing causeing the plane to ricochet across the runway slamming into to other aircraft. OR the plane cart-wheeling across the concrete sea like when plane hit water on “Airforce One.” And sometimes, when I look out the window at the wing, I start to imagine the little bolts and screws on the wing wiggling out one by one… I can’t believe things the size of my pinky are holding this plane together.

But I’m here now in Minnesota, heading back to LA via Chicago (a fantastic song) and back for a shift at a job I use to love but now feel it has become a relationship of convenience, one that has threatened to make tepid the waters of inspiration in the internal pools of the brilliant people I work with. Bit dramatic. I think poets, authors have written that making love is the death of oneself (though there is such a thing as selfish sex) and that the when a guy “goes”, so thus does a little piece of his soul. So as each pour of steam milk makes a beautiful rosetta, heart, fern leaf, or abstract art, into the latte of every entitled, rude, and bullshit person in LA, a little death of ones spirit is happening, an ebbing away of the soul of… okay this definitely is hyperbole and dramatic…. It’s 7:32 in the AM.

Advice: Pay the extra 20 bucks and get direct flights.

I finished “the Whale Book” last week before I left for Minnesota so I’ve had nothing to read at the airport. This book that read with Danny Boyle pacing flew by the last 50 pages. It’s like reading a book is a marathon and after all the ups and downs you see the end is in sight and a mixture of determination of a strong finish and the wanting to be nostalgic and soak in every last freckle of impression collide into a last gasp fit of purpose. And then it’s done. The last text, half a page, couple of sentences and a new paragraph that is small and tidy… and then nothing, You search for more but the next page is blank, the finality cascades down in parchment white.

When it’s over, it’s over. You can search for more, read the authors bio, read the back, read the preface but what you have is a perfect journey with an end. So now what? DO I give the book back? Save the Whales Please, the book that read like a movie, the book that made me think books should have trailers, inspired me to make one of my own, my directorial debut. The book that reminded me of Sigur Ros bowed guitars and the fact that whaling continues today under the guise of scientific research. That cultural relativity not withstanding, it is even worse to use humane and open-minded sensibility to shield the real intent of profit and sport. I believe in every culture’s right to their traditions and cuisine, but certainly as we forge towards our future, in this shared experience we call “Life on Earth”, we have a responsibility to respect our ecosystems as we do our own home, our record collection, our relationships.

There are relationships of all stripes. Books, family, “the regulars” in our lives, our passions, our love, and a city. I leave Minneapolis, Minnesota having only flirted with her treasures. I enjoyed the missing traffic and the explosions of green. There are over 10,000 lakes here! Everyone talks like Bobby’s mom (or Sarah Palin). The plane is taking off, I’m staring at the wings…

I’m gonna climb the Grand Canyon’s South rim in to 3 days and I am out of shape. I’m gonna play my first public show in 2 weeks and I don’t even know whose gonna play with me… or what we’ll play. I don’t know when I’ll see her again... And now that I’m done with Save the Whales Please I don’t know what I’m gonna read. What I do know… this red apple is delicious, I’m gonna listen to Via Chicago by Wilco (from the Live in Chicago album) and I’m definitely going to be late to work…

“I’m searching for a home, I’m searching for a home… via Chicago.”


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