sexta-feira, outubro 28, 2005

I am fixing my window

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It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Well I ride on a mail train, babe,
You know I, can't buy a thrill.
And I been up all night,
Leanin' on a window sill.
Well if I die
At the top of the hill
And if I don't make it,
You know my baby will.

Don't the moon look good, mama,
Shinin' through the trees?
Don't the brakeman look good, mama,
Flaggin' down the "Double E"?
Don't the sun look good
Goin' down over the sea?
And don't my gal look fine
When she's comin' on after me?

Now the wintertime is comin' mama
The windows are filled with frost.
I ran to tell everybody,
But I just could not get across.
I wanna be your lover, babe,
I don't wanna be your boss.
Don't say I never warned you
When your train gets lost.

I am fixing my window:
Where I went to school in the 70s, there was a large landing on the main staircase, and one of the students had set up an installation consisting of a wooden medicine cabinet propped up on a plastic chair. It had a mirror on the door. The cabinet had been dressed up with ribbons and what not and the mirror had been mostly covered with painted-on flowers, glued on images, foggy and indistinct, hairspray I think - shades of Bob Guccione - and a phrase: "I am fixing my window" in a lettering that suggested a child. You had to stop, stoop over and peer at it closely to see even part of your reflection in the mirror, which is what most people did when they saw it for the first time. To me this was a counterforce, a remedy to "the windows are filled with frost".

It ain't the "Double E":
In Houston there is a light-rail line that runs on Main Street, from about the belly to maybe the pineal eye. They call it the Red Line (mas é bem longe da Ligna Vermelha no Rio). It is electric and has an electric horn that variously sounds like bells, chimes, an ambulance, a police siren, a fire siren, and sometimes ... a freight train. When I first heard it just after I arrived in the city, late at night, I thought I must be close to the freight yards - it sounded that real. And I was transported in my mind to northern Ontario and the Canadian prairies and wintertime in Montreal; places where I have heard the sound in the original. I say 'original' because, after all, I do not live close to the freight yards if there are any, it is a streetcar not a freight train, it is not lonely, it is not miles away just a few hundred yards, it is not the objective corelative, this is Houston not Canada, and this is 2005 not 1960. It ain't the Double E and yet the mystery is there in it leading on from one ambiguous nexus to the next.

The other day Rosa Parks died and so did the 2,000th American soldier in Iraq.

Then there are 25,000 to 30,000 estimated Iraqis dead; and injured american soldiers, the last time I looked it was 15,000; and injured Iraqis whom nobody is counting nor even estimating.