NOVEMBER 21, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
“The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” –Genesis
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART THIRTY-SEVEN: THE MAYOR OF HELL
But if you listen to me I’ll tell you the real what’s what–life is as fragile as an egg and you never know when some weasel is going to come around to suck all the joy out of it.
Ain’t that the plot of well nigh every stage play that’s ever been?
I don’t mean to give you over to a premature case of the blues–there’s enough of that going around–it’s as contagious as the influenza–but you is got to remember that nobody cares about you but yourself, and if you want to get ahead, you got to keep that in mind and not waste your time on crying about kittens in a sack or blind and helpless puppies. Way back in the olden days they would leave sick babies on a rock. And the old folks would be left to fend for themselves once all their teeth were gone and they were too weak to throw a spear. Don’t think it can’t happen to you, Yob, because sooner or later it happens to everybody and you can live to be 103 and all you’ll get for your trouble is a birthday card from the President.
All alone in a dangerous world, we are. No better than the caveman. Sure, he has his friends, but what good are so-called friends when every last one of them runs away the second you need a boon? Sure, he has his family, but his ingrateful daughter is plotting to run away and his ingrateful son would no doubt like very much to take his place and his wife is tired of him after so many years so even that can only go so far. Believe me, living on the road, I ain’t very smart but I ain’t dumb, either. I meet a lot of people and all of ’em tell their tale of woe and it all amounts to the same thing–don’t trust no one. How many men have a met who lost their jobs, lost their money, took to drink or the dope and well-nigh lost their minds. I ain’t never yet met a tramp as would turn down a snort of firewater. There’s a moral in this somewhere, but you’d best figure it out for yourself because I ain’t yer Paw, and it’s better that him, or someone as you will listen to, should tell you about the dangers of a drink craving. I was never one of those, but some bums lap up so much of the hooch that before long they gotta have it and won’t give it up no matter what. They can’t. they’ll fight you for it and they’ll fight the world and in two falls out of three I’ll bet you the world will win.
Even among bums you got to learn to fit in. Be you a little too highfalutin, they won’t have you, and if you got no decency at all they will drive you away. One hand scratches the other and if you do a good turn for certain tramps, they will be there for you in your time of need, but more often than not your average bum will completely forget that you were the one who sprung for that last round of Sneaky Pete or that it was you as stole the pertaters for the mulligan. Sure, most camps is a wide open camp, so say we all, and anyone be welcome, even if he is on his uppers, but even Hobo charity only goes but so far and if you’re going to ask me to take the food out of my mouth to feed a sick jocker than I don’t want to hear it–take care of your own, Yob, is what I would have said back when I was a young tramp with no ambition.
You’re saying to yourself that he’s only an old Hobo; he never had any ambition; what does he know, but let me tell you something–once upon a time I had me some nice clothes and a loving wife and even a fine auty-mobile. See, the thing I’m trying to tell you was I wasn’t always a tramp. I worked hard to get to where I got, and I wasn’t inclined to give a stewbum any more than the back of my hand. In my great swollen head of mine I thought, I got mine–why can’t he do the same as me and get his? Not counting in my head, of course, all the lucky breaks I got, first of all in marryin’ a woman with money who I also happened to love. Her family blamed me for ruinin’ her, but they loved her too much to cut her off completely. But that’s a story for a later time and I might not get a chance to tell it to you because I really am all in.
Life is pain, Yob–there’s no way around it, but it’s still possible to be happy when you’re in pain, though I know of very few men who could do it.
We spoil the children, you know–tell them their mud daubings are art masterpieces–make their faces glow–and they chase after that elusive glow for the rest of their lives by trying to do something or build something, but praise is a very sometime thing and people don’t just hand out plaudits because they feel like it; you got to do something to deserve it and there’s some folks as can and there’s some folks as can’t, but all folks long for it, and Oh, how disappointed they are when they get to be old and there’s nobody to tell them they did a good drawing and maybe give ’em a gold star. That’s why so many people like dogs–a dog is always willing to hand out a compliment, and they just love to obey. One thing a dog can’t do that a man is able to put into action is to master his own feelings. You do that by telling yourself the good stories. Too many people tell themselves the bad story–all kinds of foolishness about ghosts and unforgiven sins and guilt over things that were done in the past. You can’t get nowhere like that. You get somewhere by telling yourself the good stories. By paying attention to the things around you. And…by writing your own happy ending.
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
6* DAILY UTILITY
JOHN LEE HOOKER
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
769. FIFTEEN RULES FOR CREATIVE SUCCESS IN THE INTERNET AGE