BOB DYLAN 'IT'S ALL OVER NOW , BABY BLUE'
You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
Look out the saints are comin’ through
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue
All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home
All your reindeer armies, are all going home
Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you
I awoke this morning after a series of odd dreams feeling ashamed for my sublimely selfish recent post about the bitch-goddess Sandy, the so-called Frankenstorm, and how it might mess up my personal life.
I re-read my nonsense , and found it to be an obnoxious sample of some of my worst psychological features: borderline sociopathic self-centered egotism , apathy, lack of empathy, and other pathological stuff, too.
I was moaning about losing cable tv and internet! How humiliating.
Especially when you consider all the flooding and the massive power outages and the people forced to evacuate homes with few of their most precious possessions, knowing that everything they have acquired and come to care about in the last 20 or 30 years will no doubt be gone in a few days…
Here in the center of Connecticut we can expect hurricane force winds by nightfall , and then we will be in the dark.
Our governor says , “this is gonna be catastrophic. Prepare for extended power outages. Weeks.”
Hearing this, I decided to find my one and only flashlight. I searched high and low in this room of mine, and could not find it. I know it is yellow. And takes D batteries. As for its spatiotemporal location, that information is not in my ken.
I also am out of food, because I ate a lot of fried chicken and chili the past few nights . All I got is yogurt, oatmeal,and half a bag of wheat bread. Plus I was gonna run out of tobacco soon, to roll my cigs.I simply had to venture out.
Sporadic rain. And intermittent gusts. On main st they were taking down the american flags they got pinned to every lightpost.
At the convenience store, with my 9 dollars of foodstamps, I bought a lot of Ramen noodles. I’d developed a taste for them when I was in jail. For oatmeal, too…this was gonna be like jail, I figured, stuck in a tiny space (my room) without my favorite luxuries.
I am actually very comfortable in a tiny space. Some have suggested I am too comfortable , too limited. I disagree. I need to be safe.
After my dream last night, I realized: I need to be safe. And so does everyone else.
The panic that comes from loss of basic needs : shelter, food, hygiene, is intensely dehumanizing.
Never mind the higher needs like love and transcendence & whatnot. We are operating at base level now.
At the convenience store a jaunty black man was proclaiming, “yo man, I was gonna buy two” (meaning 40 oz-ers)
“but I don’t believe it’s gonna be as bad as they say!”
I was holding my noodles as I answered , “Yo, you gotta be kiddin me!”
“Nah man, I am from the south. We know about hurry-canes there!”
“Yah? Well the North now seems to be the fucking south, man” I said.
Two years in a row we get tropical monsters.
Next stop, the hardware store. I went in and asked old gray-haired hard guy hardware owner, “uh ,any flashlights left?”
He simply shook his head.
Shit.I exited. A nice lady I held the door open for said “you looking for flashlights? I saw one there, in the bin,in front” It turned out to be an “ultraviolet” LED slim flashlight I could use to authenticate my currency, look for rodents, etc. 8 bucks.
I shall be bathed in ultraviolet light as I read my books which I goddamned better do. All these fucking books I got here in this little room: if I actually read them, I would know pretty much everything. The books are that goddamn good.
Hoping for a quiet house, I returned and found Brooklyn Guy, a remarkably loud African American gentleman, booming out his own pathos: “My girl. My girl. She dead. This is fuckin with my head, Sarge!”
Sarge, from the deepest South, and Brooklyn guy have had scrapes. Sarge saying, “Ah,that is bad.”
“Yo man! I am fucked up in my head! I cannot believe it! I wanna cause trouble!”
“that aint allowed,” sarge says
After hours of this , the yelling of the poor fuckers vibrating my floorboards, I intervened. I used my mental health training. They call it 'deescalation'. The pointy heads do. I call it, a little love.
“Man, I have known death too .A lot of it. Dunno about your feelings about an afterlife…” I threw the bait at him.
“Yeah yah, man, yah. I know she be in a better place, but I just be in denial!”
“Stages, man! Grief got stages. “
“Yah but I can’ t get out of the denial! And ya know man, she was my girl for 10 yrs. She been suffering the Virus for 30 years. And..she called..she said come see her, and I didn’t…man o man”
Ok. Grief + Guilt.
“So ya feelin the guilt, right? Along with the fuckin grief “ I said, calmly. I use my mellow hipster guy-who-seen-it –all persona on him. And used the magic word: “Izzat right , brother?”
“Oh hell yah! Hell yah! Ah “
“But she forgives you I betcha,” I extrapolated.
“Yeah yeah, brother, she was a forgiving person. She was.” His volume was…decreasing.
(Sarge had whispered earlier: “ah we might gotta call the cops on him.”)
“Ok, she forgives you now. Thing is, brother, hey! “
He looked at me , “Forgive yerself, man. Be careful, brother.”
"ah man, brother, alright ah i just dunno..."
Since then: no apocalyptic volume to go with the howling wind outside.
And still power. Fuck you, Sandy, by the way.
(For those interested in dreams and how they shape our psyche: here was mine. Warning. It is absurd. But I woke from it at 4 a.m. like a craven infant, shaking with fear. If any of you are dream-interpreters, I would appreciate help on this one:
I was on an airplane with a group of, ah, student types. Kind of a class trip… I had acquired two big crabs on my trip to California, at great expense. The airline folk told me:
you cannot bring these crabs into Canada due to health reasons.
They will be euthanized at the border. I begged to be left behind, with my crabs, to await the return of my group. They argued.
Finally I convinced them to let me stay behind. But! I had no idea when my group was getting back. Or on what flight. I carried my crabs into the airport terminal, lost, seeking advice, and these crabs?
They told me they were the long-lived kind. “How long will they live?” I asked. “Ah, 50, 60 yrs”. Yikes. End of dream.)
Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s His
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/blind-willie-mctell#ixzz2AiH4i6Mu