Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Warehouse Eyes

Laverne (by Leocadia)

I was in a waterfront town with warehouse buildings and shady people.  I bought a dress from a woman.  A two piece dress of a printed fabric.  There was a lot of pink in the dress, in the back ground.  The print was abstract; black lines, straight and curved, converging, intersecting. Some line segments were isolated and not interacting with other lines at all.  I ran across a long, wide street, amazed at my speed and agility.  But why was I running?  There was no need to run.  I looked both ways.  Nothing to the left, and to the right, only one car on the road, heading slowly towards me from a far distance.  I could barely see the headlights.   

At one point, as I ran across the road, I flew or leaped.  It was a wonderful surprise. I didn’t know I could do such a thing.  I felt amazed and exhilarated.  I was  pleased with my self, proud of my newfound ability.  Then I began to careen off to one side, flying sideways and fearing I would certainly crash, but somehow, thankfully, I managed to land safely on my feet in the parking lot on the other side.  I was wearing my brown boots.  I always knew they had some magic in them. 

The landscape was desolate, remote, industrial.  The kind of industry that needs space, not people.  Parking lots, storage buildings, freight cars.  It was getting dark.  I noticed that I did not have my purse and would have to go back to that other world to get it.  What hope did I have that it would still be there?  So many characters of disrepute, surely they would have seized the opportunity to make off with it.  I thought about the contents.  Only a small amount of cash, nothing to worry about.  But my credit cards, check book, passport, social security.  My identity.  Banks and agencies would have to be notified.  I didn’t want to be a victim of identify theft.  

There were other things in my purse that were important to me, significant things, sentimental and sacred  items.  Rosary beads, carnelian and lapis lazuli, a gift from my daughter.  A silver crucifix.  Two large cobalt marbles.  Xanax.  A very good pair of tweezers.  A pocket knife.  A small address book.  I ran back across the street and headed in the general direction of the shop where I had purchased the dress, the fitting room stall in which I had tried it on.  It seemed futile but it was worth a shot.

Suddenly I noticed my purse was back around my neck and over my shoulder again,  as I always carry it.  It had magically reappeared.  I checked inside.  Nothing was missing.  It was then I remembered the man from Nairobi who stood outside the warehouse near the railroad tracks.  Old and withered.  Dark skinned.  Bob Dylan.  A nagual.  don Juan Matus.  A separate reality.  I was thirsty and he had given me a sip of his water.  It was probably drugged and that is why my purse disappeared and then reappeared.  I was in shape shifting country.  The drink was laced with peyote. 

But still, where was the two piece dress I had purchased.  I had to go back for that.  All of the warehouses looked the same and were tremendously large, packed with row upon row and rack upon rack of merchandise. It would be like walking through an endless maze.   How would I find the shop of the woman who had sold me the two piece dress?  It was a daunting task.  

Pink & black collograph print by artist Jesse Warford

 untitled tempera & pencil on paper found in early 1960s-era sketchbook
The mischievous and diabolic art of James Flora (1914-1998)

I. M. Pei

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