Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Working Class Nero is Something to Be

Nobody fell into the job really, the unfamiliar world of grout, just as a way to get The site had unquieted him. Hell, even getting to the site unquieted him. And then there was a the problem with the water, the buckets, the waste. Custom finishings require a remarkable amount of conspicuous consumption. Even before you actually get to live around the house. The process was incredibly, well, conspicuous, thought Nobody. Somebody, thought Nobody (though not him) should write a strongly worded letter to the local newspaper about the waste. About the fat cats. About the place. The site. The purposelessness of the fact that all this effort was going to an eight-year-girl who already had a whole 'nother house to live in next door ... except the room hadn't been painted pink, as ordered. The rest was well, too many trips to Disneyland for the girl. Hardly her fault. Parents, rich as hell, spoiling her, no doubt, Nobody groused, as he mixed the grout. The mix was a secret formula, he supposed, sent up from the gristy mill of hell. Nobody marvelled at how often the language for the cauldrens of hell, in fact, applied in this particular case, this job, this site. How often he went (Biblical on the language meter.)Although recently things had become more, shall we say, egalitarian. If only because it had only recently been discovered that Egyptian craftsmen for the pyramids were paid, respected members of the community. Most weren't slaves at all. They were skilled. Scientific. Architecturally seasoned sorts. Professionals. And this was no rush job. Ancient Egyptian economy, as it reigned over the desert for a few thousand years or so, was sustainable, diverse, generous, robust. Even in the desert. Hardly the stick-figured slaves you saw propped up at the minituarized displays of the history museum. They were consumers. Bricks in the wall. Threads in the fabric. You know. Those little brown tiny toy soldier-sized replicas of how this or that ruin might have looked in their heyday ... they represented people who had choices ... Nobody mused on this as he applied the grout to the wall and went "Karate Kid" on filling in the gaps on the opulent glass tiles ... musing to himself even more, then his co-worker, a dim, Mr. MaGoo-type, who perhaps had inhaled too many vapors from that so-called cauldren hell stuff, too ... mumbling orders like some mechanized clone whose DNA pattern got glitzy, downright out of focus late in life ... but the site had a life of its own, and a gaudy one at that, especially when it came to mixing the graphical styles, mixing Byzantine-age faux stone with four-by-four inch jewel glass tile that anybody with any taste could see was post-modern ... "Personally, I wouldn't mix Greco-Roman with this after-rebar, Frank Lloyd Wright-type stuff, but that's just me," Nobody said. "Look at this glass. The perfect squares made to look like New York City skyscrapers, little cube farms, the whole fucking matrix. But this other stuff, the pieces are old world, Constaninop ... no, the Byzantines. They could build walls like nobody's business." With that, Nobody went on with his business. Week One of Mr. Groutmeister man. Waxing on. Waxing off. Musing on the music on the radio. Sighing quietly to himself, considering the irony of the fact that he went to high school right here, that is, just right down the street, living in amazingingly vacant innocence among the super rich fucks of Paradise Valley, Arizona. He used to be one of those people, those spoiled kids with Disneyland lives, in a home just like this ... but now, but now? ... Now doing custom home scut work, doing nothing but scraping dried mix off a wall in a giant new bathroom extention for an entire week, a sort of pre-jeweled prison basement cell, like some strange and almost invisible ghost, doning on the past, as well as the spectre and energy of the site, with it's miniature toy soldier worker servants busily moving around in teams, painting, covering up walls with expensive fake brick stuff to make it look all so Southwestern, fortified, made to live forever, until they bulldoze the whole property again, to make it look like some other type of architectural flavor of the week, or better yet, Aztec ... or, no, Mayan jungle temple deco. Yeppers. Real Indiana Jones stuff. Both showbiz and still, yet, the perfect projection of power for the mercenary, feudal new century to come ... and so on ... "We could dial this whole bathroom fixture situation up to the Mayan calendar, if you like," Nobody told the bathroom wall, still enjoying the mid-morning growl of his coffee rush. "I could be president of the United States, too ... as long (a little woman's voice now) as it doesn't cost money ... eek, eeek, eeeeek ..." Nobody moved around his work space like a short-armed robot with each "eek," tottering in a smal circle like a penguin, his arms closed tight to his body, his hands grabbing tips of air in his snapper, zen worker bee position ... His partner, MaGoomeister, just groaned. It had been a slow starting day, due to complications due to the way one shower head lined up with the tile, considerations well beyond Nobody's talents or interest. Magoo was also still stinging, perhaps, from Nobody's lecture on the 1970s era classic rock on a dusty clock radio used to create white noise, a pulse and energy at the site. When you criticize someone's music it's like pissing on the soul, after all, especially when the words are flying over the target's head. A target, in fact, that was perfectly happy to remain stuck in the dope smoking days of his youth, listening to old Foreigner, Queen and Led Zep hits. A lecture on the development of "Heyooo RRRR," as it sounded to him (to the deliverer of the sermon, it was AOR, as in Album Oriented Rock), had abruptly missed it's mark, since old MaGoo was perfectly happy to still hear Manfred Man Earth Man singing about "douches" in the night in that Springsteen cover of "Blinded By the Light."

1 comment:

Douglas McDaniel said...

Saw something about the First Native American Color Guard, which participated in the inauguration today, on NBC News ... led by someone named ... Sgt. Big Man ... Also, has anybody ever found anything on the late Pope Paul II on Youtube.com, maybe some video circa 1987, from an event he held during his appearance in Arizona, where he asked for forgiveness from the Catholic Church and said it was quite okay with him if all of the tribes of North America worship in their own way? One of the most amazing things I ever covered as a journalist ... But my editor, in Prescott, Arizona, edited a 30-inch story into a seven-inch front page blurb, then apologized to me later, telling me he should of known the story would need a jump page. Wish I had that story now ... Saw Roger Waters' do a "Radio Chaos" tour show in the Madhouse on McDowell, in Phoenix, the very same venue, that same week ... http://radiofreearizona.blogspot.com/

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