Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ancient dreams, dreamed-What Peter Paul Markin Learned About His World Despite Himself- Magical Realism 101

Ancient dreams, dreamed-What Peter Paul Markin Learned About His World Despite Himself- Magical Realism 101

A cloudless day, a cloudless Korean War day, talk of peace, merciless truce peace against some heathen communist red menace if not beaten exactly at least held at bay for now day. And blaring over some miniature black and white furry fuzzy television snow in the back room(what did he know of movie house-sized screens) Eisenhower, named, big chief go to Korea breakthrough this and that. Stern, straight-back, upright, remote grandfather Ike whom Peter Paul Markin would toast, milk toast and god bless, along with Big Brother on later noontime walk home to lunch-breaks television salutes. (No, not Orwellian 1984 Animal Farm Big Brother but gentle uncle or grandfatherly, not Ike grandfatherly, stern military but real gentle, Big Brother and maybe you could even talk to him about stuff and he wouldn’t laugh at you but maybe just put on a wry smile like he was realizing for the millionth time that kids say crazy stuff, real crazy, but harmless, stuff if you let them.) Stern too late military-industrial complex warning Ike whom Peter Paul Markin would come to later loathe for his being too late after the horse was let out of the barn, Ike loathe, when he too late himself realized that he was madly for adlai in that great Los Angeles mad rush summer sweat night a few years ahead.

But that mad rush story, and the loathing part too, is for another time and frankly is not a story that fits in with a kid, even a Peter Paul Markin ambient kid, just starting out in school notching up his first infinite school year finish and who this moment is trying to draw, yes, draw some conclusions out of what had just happened from bright dewy day September to moist and sweaty June rollout. He feeling, feeling then somewhere between “knowing it all” (christ, having that superior feeling based on a few letters, a few words, a couple of short stories read, a few numbers put together in different combinations, being able to tell time and tying his shoes, well kind of tying his shoes. This lad is headed for big falls, big falls indeed) and it, school, not being “all that big a deal” like his brother Prescott said. He, let down that a lot things that were supposed to be hurdles, high hurdles too, he just glided over (after learning some tie shoe tricks from Mike Mitchell who would later fall defending his country in some Mekong Delta swamp and no grandmother consolations against that childhood lost there, ever). It was to be the other stuff; the Rasputin evil blue eyes frantic romantic big fish in a small pond stuff that would unravel him in the end. That too, that saga of unraveling, is for another day.

Grandmother peace talk was in the sweltering air too, later to be learned that it was the only kind that mattered, over brooding sores and sons. The kind of peace being talked over many tables in working-class South Boston of distance cousins beaten up bad in some Inchon snow, North Adamsville uncles now coming home safe and sound, Steubenville, Ohio, unknowns but brothers, lost brothers, later to be seen on memorial stones overlooking harbors and Castle Island retreats. Blessed ocean view to wash away salty grandmother tears.

Somebody’s grandmother and some gold star mother too just look out the window across any street you will see them displayed in South Boston, North Adamsville, Steubenville still in Ohio and Muncie too, Indiana though. Maybe not so many such stars in Back Bay, Wellesley, Grosse Point but how was he to know that then. He only heard grandmother talk, grandmother peace talk and sons and uncles home soon safe and sound. That is the peace talk that counts about uncles coming home safe and sound, thank god, in the grandmother sweet cakes smelling air. And not even the Fourth of July yet.

But back to figuring, back to hot, hot, hot end of June day not yet the Fourth of July with sweets, tonics (sodas now) , and ice creams to match those sweet cake smells, figuring out about why Miss Winot (whose name forever after he always spelled “why not” just like she pronounced it for the whole class that very first misty crying day of school when he wasn’t sure that he wanted to stay but he was sure he didn’t want to seem like a baby and run home to Ma like Billy Badger did. ( Billy a kid destined for fifteen minutes of fame, although not the kind that he craved, a seamless death and international notoriety in some back alley Mexican dusty street two pounds, or was it kilos, in his satchel trying, trying unsuccessfully to make that big score he always talked about making and winding up face down for his efforts.)

As Peter Paul placed a blanket, a mother-mandated scratch throwaway blanket so he would not soil his freshly-washed white shorts, only once worn, on grandmother’s sacred parcel one inch by one inch lawn, freshly mown, he thought of the fellowship fields. The welcome young fields that he would play in after the Fourth Of July dust settled down, with his new found clot of friends, all boys of course although being from a boy full family he wondered, wondered about girls, and being scared of them and maybe lifetime not understanding them when they squealed over every little thing. But he didn’t think much about it one way or the other, just a fly buzzing overhead annoyance kind of think.

Yes, Peter Paul laying face up on freshly mown grass near fellowship carved-out fields, fields for slides and swings, diamonded baseball, no, friendlier softball fields, the houses are too close together and to the field in case of oddball batted flies, of gimps, glues, copper-plated portraits, of sweet shaded elms, and one thousand other scenes realized that starting now he too, that nose-flattened against some frozen-paned front window brother of years gone by, had been to foreign places in the time of his time. And ahead some push, some unconsecrated, menaced push, to find his own place in the sun. But fret wondering, constantly wondering, what means this, what means that, and why all the changes, slow changes, fast changes, blip changes, but changes flashing by his head.

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