Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Things to Do While Drinking Coffee #5

I’ll be your mirror, reflect what you are, in case you don’t know....
Lou Reed

...in my usual window seat...though they still haven’t gotten me the promised nameplate... at the near-mythical High Point Cafe, located conveniently on the mean streets of downtown West Mt. Airy, State of Near-Erotic Caffeination, USA, having just passed the usual sardonic remarks back and forth with the counter staff—who I need to go bug for a refill now...and maybe a piece of that damn pumpkin bread I can’t seem to resist...can I make it through the darker, colder months of the year without gaining thirty pounds? Time and the tightness of pants will tell....aaaah, but coffee, my dark mistress, how you taunt me with your fine aroma and chilling warmth...and that guy just came in—the guy who I call Jerry ten years from now—though I’ve never met him—Jerry’s a friend from various places...it’s a long story...and not a very interesting one...so I won’t tell it here...but I’m pretty much positive that, due to some kind of time warp, this guy is him ten years from now...this neighborhood exists in between city and woods...is known for its seemingly effortless yet imperfect integration...is Philadelphia and yet not...listening to Thelonious Monk and the Velvet Underground and Nico through headphones that make my left eardrum ring incessantly...I may not have gotten to be a rock star, yet, but at least I’ve got rock star ear problems...and, if I manage to get through this entire post without saying anything of consequence whatsoever, at least I didn’t mention the election....

One day in the marketplace Mullah Nasrudin encountered an old friend who was about to get married. The friend asked the Mullah if he had ever considered marriage. Nasrudin replied that years ago he had wanted to marry and set out to find the perfect woman. First he traveled to Damascus, where he found a perfectly gracious and beautiful woman but discovered she was lacking a spiritual side. Then his travels took him further to Isfahan, where he met a woman who was deeply spiritual yet comfortable in the world and beautiful as well, but unfortunately they did not communicate well together. “Finally in Cairo I found her,” he said, “she was the ideal woman, spiritual, gracious, and beautiful, at ease in the world, perfect in every way.” “Well,” asked the friend, “did you then marry her?” “No,” answered the Mullah, “unfortunately, she was looking for the perfect man.”
traditional Sufi tale, recounted by Jack Kornfield (and edited very slightly for clarity by me)

Much as I try to create a space of grumpy negativity, twisted screeds born of hurt feelings and too much cheap w(h)ine, barbed whispers, gnarly pissed-off elegies of unfettered nihilism and endless caustic sarcasm here in my grey, isolated, misanthropic corner of the worldwide web, people keep seeing goodness and light in it...what can ya do when people like your best efforts at being disagreeable? So, I’ve been given blog awards by blogger friends Svasti and Lea—though accepted in classic curmudgeonly style, for which the former verbally kicked my ass (had it coming anyway, after all the kangaroo jokes) and also been called upon by Dano, another blogger friend—what’s with all this sense of community, anyway?—apparently lurking somewhere else in this strange metropolitan era—can I muster up some enthusiasm to cheer the Phils to victory? Probably not—to give another one of those seven things about me lists...but right now all I can think of is that I want lunch...and what a goofy lookin’ mutt that is out there on the sidewalk...dogs are pretty much like people—not as intelligent, for the most part, but with better personalities...oh, and check out After Stillness, created by my yoga friend who’s too shy to tell anybody about it (now she’ll probably wanna kick my ass, too)....

17 comments:

14theroad said...

I would kick your ass if I could raise my leg after last night's yoga class which left me with a strange mix of ecstasy and agony. Anyway, you have to face facts that you are 49% Neaderthal and 51% adorable and majority rules. There's no escaping it Jay. You're lovable despite your best efforts.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

I am just glad I am not the only one who writes erotic poetry about their coffee Goddess/Muse. And I have a thing for Curmudgeons. I am one, I married one, I have sprung two from my loins directly the rain hell on earth--Or not. They may be way too cool for that. Sense of Community, why do people get in here and feel good about your bitchiness? Because it validates them. Misery loves company, especially nihilistic misery in the midst of political and social upheaval- that is so twisted up on itself, that you have to generate Hope because its the only way to make your middle finger glow in the vast darkness of mass-self imposed ignorance that swallows the world in the great Cloud of Weaponized, Dogmatic Pooh!

Whew.. Well I feel better.

Mark said...

I am trying to survive by not spending time in a cafe. First, they cost too much for my current circumstances. Second, Starbucks and its like still dominate DC. Terrible thing. But I do allow myself to have fair trade coffee sent from Dean's Beans, and I can sit at the table and see trees from my kitchen window.

Sorry, had too awful a day to be curmudgeonly here too. I'll leave that to you, though I am one of those who apparently doesn't get it, since whatever darkness you have seems pretty light to me.

svasti said...

Just get over it Jay, and learn to accept the fact that people might actually like you "just the way you arrrre!" ~Billy Joel

'Sides which, maybe its the other curmudgeonly folks that like your stuff anyways?

Seriously though, I think that what shines through your crankiness is your care factor (definitely not zero) and the passion for your beautiful works of art (the writing).

So just say thank you, smile and shut up!

:)

Lana Gramlich said...

Congrats on the award, thanks for sharing the sufi tale & I agree with you about dog personalities. :)

Christine Vyrnon said...

you are correct to mention all these things: pumpkin bread, after stillness, sufi, and flabbergasted honesty... even with its ruthless questions to the self. I think yoga is "supposed" to teach us to leave the violence toward self bit out of the equation, but I doubt anyone is entirely capable of that. Your honesty is what attracts and gets to the root of the dilemna... so keep on truckin'.

Celebration of Life said...

Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a comment. Come by again and have coffee next time!
Jo

Lydia said...

Hey you with rock star ear problems and a perfect caffeine buzz, I hear you. You sound to me like a yogi begrudgingly accepting yet another blog award, uh, sometime in the next week. It's that time warp thing you described....

virtual voyage said...

Good to see you on mine.

Had an old friend who spent his time looking for a woman who had a brain like Einstein, cooked like Fanny Craddock, and had a figure like Marilyn Monroe; rather than a brain like Marilyn Monroe etc etc....

Kim said...

Jay, I love reading this a lot. I had not thought of anyone trying to be disagreeable only to feel unsuccessful in said endeavor (except maybe Woody Allen). Being able to stay in one place long enough to get to know regulars in several different places (Jerry) is also amazing to me. With my family, I move around quite a bit...well, twice I have lived in a place for 5 years, but that is the longest. I think you give me a great deal to consider on these pages.

I know I will come back here to visit you and read some of these really fun musings. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and commenting on my art today. I am always eager to hear what you find appealing in my work (who would not be, right?) I hope you will visit again, Jay.

Have a Beautiful Day!

Annie said...

Hey, nice to meet you. Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving a comment. Love this post(made me laugh) and I will be coming back
to read more.
Blessings, Annie

Janet said...

Jay, you have such an interesting melange of interests. I'll be your mirror is a classic.....Nice!

Veronica said...

The Sufi Tale was cute. This was a fun piece: coffee, dogs, friends, Melodious Funk, and no election talk. ;)

Hopper said...

salutations from a cynical sun... pirpee is the word verification I see below... that's interesting too... and I agree with what you say about the young and old poets... it's more of a spectrum the way I see it... this online forum is perfect for the younger type I think... hope these words find you well...

Dave King said...

Intriguing narrative and well told. Almost prose poetry. Having just found you, I shall certainly return! A great site.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Hmmmmm....there is no light in the dark ponderings I post. Sorry to say I do not have that problem. Congratulations on your nomination for the award.

That was a good parable by the way.

Wandering Jay said...

I sometimes will have ponderings while in the middle of shaving. Your morning coffee turns out a well-brewed concoction of ideas. I like the Sufi tale.