Agamemnon In Caracas, Isaia In Tuscany

 

from Isaia L'Irreducibile

 

June 17, 2000

Dear reader mine, oh gentle, schooled in Switzerland, refined, well-mannered, soft and velvety suede-skinned reader, sorry that I have been away from this page so damnably long. Did you miss me? Did you sit up at night in front of your television knowing that the internet was no longer of any value whatsoever without a new entry in “Guido’s Eye” to peruse? I cannot blame you. Old Uncle Guido knows your pain, and he now takes steps to remedy it, to give you a collective cheek massage if you will. It has truly broken my heart, je suis tres desolee, es tut mir leid, many many appy polly loggys.

Much hydrogen oxide has flowed under the span since last I besmirched these pages with smut. I have been living what I am obliged to call “my life” since no one else occupies these fetching spectator pumps, these sandals, these size 12 (euro 46) Nike Air sneakers, unless, that is, someone has been sneaking in at night to walk a mile in my slippers. In earth terms, only I live here in my brain, at least that is what THEY want me to think.

Since so much of the tiresome verbiage here encoded has concerned the ancient Greek sitcom “Agamemnon” and my role in it, it is only just that I clue you into its denouement. We dragged old Ag’s sorry ass all the way to Caracas, Venezuela for the international theatre festival in that city in April. I must refer to my physcial, handwritten journal here since the memory is far from fresh (ooh, Spazz23, how 20th century! How uncybernetic of the old boy!) I will insert comments as necessary and/or dictated by the Nescafe I have injected into my eye.

7/4/00 SABANA GRANDE, CARACAS Cafe Maron Scuro, Sabana Grande (tr. extra strength Venezuelan coffee with three molecules of milk to mellow it out). Sun goes down, salsa in l’aria, mi pana (everyone is venezuela is “mi pana” to everyone else, a genderless expression meaning ‘pal’) Las’ night, dancin ’til 5 a.m., salsa salsa salsa, wigglin’ women, sweatin’, Greeks tryin like tourists to keep up. REMEMBER: Taxi ride in Ford Conquistador, Salsa pumpin’ out the radio through the latino magic circus Caracas night. “Arepas de Pollo” (a corn flour pita type thing, containing one of many fillings, chicken in this case. what? okay, enough comments) Playin’ fiddle to the tree frogs, E F-G Mi Fa Sol, Phasin’ with Clave type high sounds. Arepas comin’ out my ears “Conida tu madre pana. Chamada, chevre!” (some colorful local spanish dialect stolen from the indians) Ay, que lindas chicas aqui! Ayyyyyy! This is mi gente, esto es mi cultura. 

Oh yes, race seems to be no prob. here. All blended beautifully brown, black, white-skinned creole beauties. I am “latino” in this scheme of things. I fit. I am quantifiable. No doubt here, at least. None of the usual “Are you Italian? Greek? Jewish? Arab? (a lot of “are you an arab?”), Armenian? etc. (See “The Tao of Swarthiness” by His Oiliness Sri Pastananda Gwee Doh Rinpoche.) Sun go down…Otra vez cafe, senor….

And so on. Still with me? Well, that was Venezuela. Agamemnon is currently in suspended animation, perhaps to re-emerge in Switzerland in October. Who knows? Perhaps this time we will get paid.
After Venezuela, I returned to Greece to settle down to some ritual abuse and hormonal high-orbit shenanigans with Athena, my wife since April 9. At this sitting, she is just into the 9th month of preggership, bakin’ that bun to a turn in the oven as little Guido Junior prepares to emerge complete with shades and moustache into El Mundo and become another customer of Samsara, Maya, illusion.

I done went to Italy in May to work with Alfonso Santagata, a noted actore chappy in the Tuscan region. We will perform a series of skits, and/or japes based upon the sayings of the noted Hebrew humorist, Isaiah. I should, of course, be working upon this project rather than pecking away here, but as they say in New York, ‘what the fuck?’

Of note in this experience was the place we stayed and worked, a “Castello” on the sea at Castiglioncello. I was wont to stroll a ‘widow’s walk’ which did a circuit of the castle ramparts, gazing mystically out to sea and drinking the moon’s reflection upon the ‘mare nostrum’ Rome’s quaint term for our old wobbly blue pal, the MED. I saw my first ever fireflies in the sculpture-infested grounds of this place. Honestly, I found myself thinking that such a place was so damned ENCHANTED that it was a kitsch joke on God’s part. Too much, dude, strolling through the Italian pines with the full moon in the sky, a fountain featuring a marble cupid with dolphin spewing water into a basin gurgle gurgling in the distance, fireflies sparkling away in the humid Medici Leonardo da Vinci haunted Renaissance night. Pass me the thorazine, Jethro, I think I am having an acid flashback. Fetch my velvet pantaloons and my lute, doctor.

Now I am free to resume boring you to death with the little details of life in The Big Olive, or Athens as we have come to know and love her. Yesterday, par example, I went to declare myself a visible entity, to surface, to emerge from many many years of underground existence as a solid burgher, registered-type alien with papers to prove it, officer. Calling beauracracy in Europe “Kafkaesque” is about as redundant as wasting valuable mental processing power to inform us that water is wet. Near the main torture station for immigrants in Athens is a little private business which knows everything required by the meatheads in the enormous edifice which literally casts its shadow over them. It is well-hidden, and it is not unlike the Advocate’s office in “The Trial”. They are courtiers to the bureau which they serve. They are ready to make the photocopies, fill out the declarations, take the photos, all in triplicate and triple triplicate…all what you need to become resident here and be free to wash windows or sell Chinese novelty items at the traffic lights. On this excursion into the nether regions I was fortunate to be accompanied by my pregnant wife Athena, big-bellied as the day is long and fluent in Greek since it is her mother tongue. Amazing how that works. In this wise, the Kafka element of my experience was lessened by greek sympathy for pregnant women, which turns the hardest bastard official into an old softy.Thank buddha.

The papers is now filed, folk, and I await the white card which grants me entry into Festung Europa, the northeastern sector of the New World Order.Of note, I suppose was a Russian mafia-type guy with a couple of large-breasted young russian girls in tow. He pulled out a huge wad of bills to pay the “fees” to the officials. No doubt a very generous and helpful friend of russian immigrants, working selflessly on behalf of young russian women in need of work. Otherwise, it was/is the usual hopeless gaggle of dark and desperate people on the run from war, misery, poverty, looking to gain entry into the new america, old mother europe.

Our American readers will have no notion of these things, of course. Thus it is, thus it was, thus shall it ever be, a war was fought and lost not far from here, folk, the epic struggle between the Russians and the Americans, it is only now limping to its conclusion. The steady stream of amputees, walking wounded of all sorts from Russia, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, etc. is nothing more or less than the usual exodus of displaced entities after the fall of an empire. Ho hum. Pass the remote control, Victor.

I now return control of your television set to you. I am off. I am not finished, I just hate you, that’s all. No. I love you, oh gentle reader, mine, I am Jane Austin to your Heathcliffe or some kind of damn English Lit. garbage. That’s what you get for reading only science fiction all your life. Ah well, as Fred Flintstone said when Pebbles spewed Welch’s Grape Juice all over Bam Bam “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow rolls by in this petty pace. Yabba. Dabba. Doo”
Until we meet agin, yer workin’ boy signin’ off.
Oh yes, go to the home page of this mess and check out the latest on the Elvisian ambassador thing. If you don’t want to, don’t bother. Hell with it. Good night Mrs. Macgillicuddy. Rochester, have you been cadging my cigar butts again?