Guido in Arezzo

alone in arezzo

19/11/2001 22:06
Guido in Arezzo

In the dressing room in Arezzo, my “spiritual home”. Touring with Gian Luca Lo Presti to promote our CD “Sun and Rain”. Perhaps I have made an error in staying behind here instead of going to the hotel. The music is too loud, the lights too bright. This photo taken by gabrielli the bass player. Blurry, but evocative. Now it’s R.E.M. on the loud louder loudest house system. Me back here with laptop. Earlier I chatted with Isabelle in Belgium and Oleg in Russia while standing at the bar, using the phone line of the club guy who was getting nervous, not sure what the hell I was doing, exactly.

As I have this digital camera I will include photos from now on in these entries. What the hell else am I to do with all of these self -portraits? There you go. I downloaded Microsoft instant messenger or whatever the hell it calls itself. Only because more of the people I know have hotmail addresses. C’est la vie.

Doesn’t bother me to be alone in this overlit cold little cube of a camerino. I have this thing about not wanting to leave the dressing room. In the meantime, I will instruct the spell checker on this program not to be so stupid (camerino is a perfectly good Italian word, no reason to highlight it, waiting for it to turn into English) Maybe I will get a handle on this damn stupid software, maybe not. Who gives a fuck, right?

Now it’s 22:30 and we are supposed to play at 23:00. Oh well, show biz.

I should give this poor beast of a laptop a rest.

I promise myself, I haven’t been obsessed about Susi for at least an hour or so. I have decided that this affair will probably go the way of all flesh. Then she will probably surprise me by being the same when I get back to Berlin. We shall see. Now I will go and see if there are some people here.
In Hindsight

Shit howdy dang, sergeant carter, no one at all, that’s right, not one customer showed up for this show. I got the idea that perhaps I was not backing a winner with the tour of “Sun and Rain”. Easy for me to say now.

It's Just an Old War (Not Even a Cold War)

12/11/2001

more fun in airports

Back from Sardinia, sitting in Fiumicino Roma, not my favorite airport in the world, not by a long shot. I have often wondered why absolutely no one refers to this airport by its given name “Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.” Perhaps this joint ain’t classy enough to deserve Leonardo’s name.  The usual drill, waiting to be loaded into a bus to take us to the plane, gwine Firenze.

Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. I suppose I should open the outlook express and see what the hell my address is in San Casciano. whoops. False alarm. Boarding time set back some, pa.

Up in the air, Bullwinkle, up in the air. Underway after a miniature delay. Been settin’ hyar and mah mind is a-wrigglin’ like a ol’ worm in a skillet. There is an anger now present, my face is often drawn up in a sneer, or a resigned, yet disgusted grimace. We on one of them prop jobs they run between Roma and anywhere else in Italy. Little Legoland airport in Firenze. You’d think what with all that cultura and all them touristas and the brits livin’ in Chiantishire they would have a more serviceable port. No such luck. Now plane is rockin’ and rollin’. Turbulence. JJ used to get so nervous over turbulence. She really hated flying, it really scared her.

Welcome, folks, to the Blaine review. I haven’t written about anything but me and my feelings, my feelings and probably won’t. There is a war of sorts on, you know. Thankfully, Europeans mostly couldn’t give a shit. It’s an American thing, remotely embarrasing to most Europeans. They have their own problems. They have been through a war, they have seen their towns blown to smithereens, often by the good old Americans themselves.

They have sifted through rubble for loved ones, been lined up against walls and shot, made heroic last stands in apartment houses or in the hills. The plaques are all over, memories of WW II in particular. I remember finding a sort of war memorial mass grave high up on a hill overlooking Athens while I was bicycling around looking for a promontory from which to view the city and shake my head wearily. There were some decaying headstones, a plaque with something about the men who died defending that hill from Germans. I then remembered a house I happened upon on one of my meanders through Brussels, likewise a place where a desperate band of men, probably young, had fought off the Germans for a moment or two before being obliterated. How strange to imagine those bourgeois streets of Brussels, those smog choked hills of Athens, the stage upon which man’s favorite activity was played out. We just seem to love war. We are on and on about warrior poets, self-sacrifice, the purity of the warrior’s mind, the samurai mysticism, all that bullshit. Now we are climbing from the skies. Landing in other words. off laptop. off

Air Rage in Roma

fiumicino, roma

9/11/2001

Now we’re in fiumicino again waiting again plane is theoretically going soon. 25 minutes they say. seems like every step of the way at the fag end of a journey like this is another nail in the cross, another thorn in the crown. I mean, there’s me in fucking athens waiting for the inteminable security line, tick tock tick tock, fearing that the plane will leave without me!! dio mio! Porca miseria! (I have been singing “porca miseria” to the tune of “waltzing matilda”. Porca miseria. Porca miseria…..I made an error with the baggage, went to the domestic baggage carousel, was obliged to leave, go back to terminal b, unable to get in to baggage area from ground floor, had to go up one level and re-enter via metal detector, waited and waited for the elevator, went up and down three times, more and more pissed and stressed, sweaty, sweat stains on my shirt, feeling like a sweaty smelly slob, everything has this gnarly edge, back into the baggage claim, terminal B, remember a good kilometer from terminal fucking A. Get my bag which is going around and around on the carousel under the watchful gaze of a bored security guy, lonely cheap chinese bag. Get it, schlep it back to Terminal Fucking A, check it in to domestic departures, then down, around and round through the metal detector and such again, same drill, my belt sets it off. I lost a pack of cigarettes in the x-ray machine since my coat had also to be x-rayed for sharpened toothbrushes. Packin a shiv, boss. Shit, the world has become jail. Fuck Bush and his fucking war. Truly. This is the shape of 21st century war and a spoiled geek like me complains because he loses some time, a swiss army knife, a pair of fingernails clippers, some cigarettes. We’re all desperate to be Normal. Maybe it’s a good thing to give up airplanes. We can all take boats. Then they will sink ‘em like in WWI with the Lusitania and so forth. Who alive now could tell you the first thing about the Lusitana, or the Maine?

Remember….Pearl Harbor, The Maine, 54 40 or fight, fighting soldiers from the sky….those brave men of the green berets, america and its fucking wars, a history of war from the very outset. war war war.

I am well and truly pissed off with this whole drill. I wish it had a single neck so I could hack it through…in the words of caligula.Hack! airport. Hack! check in time taxis sitting in the holding areas waiting to enter the flying corral strapped to a bucket eating swill.

Back to Greece

Ian and dad on Lesbos

November 8 2001

Back to Greece.

Well, shit howdy dang. what a turnup. Here I am onboard a shipbound for Athens out of Mitilini. I am in a cabin seemingly all on my tod with a laptop and plenty of time to kill.

One may smoke here, presumably not be disturbed, something vaguely resembling the writer’s dream situation I might have imagined for myself 20 or 30 years ago. I have reached the lofty age when there are events in my life that long ago. woo hoo. Lamentably, possibly not, no internet from here. there is a phone. perhaps we shall see if that too is possible. If so, nothing but download or send messages. nothing else. I want to call susi in the worst way but now my cellphone thinks it is in turkey.

Now, is it too soon to try and analyze what just went down with Athena and my son?  Let us list some things as they stand now in my non compus mentis. Well, there is the kid. He is very much  boy physically active and macho, rough and tumble, solid square little body proportioned like a man and not a midget.  He is beautiful, he slays everyone he meets, charms all the ladies.  He is bright, presumably he likes me. I think I touched base there. He is a handful, he is exhausting, he is forever into this and that, toddling off in search of some thing sharp or dangerous, he might fall, he might burn himself, he might do this, he might do that. He will also get down and throw a tantrum a la reininger pere over things like not being able to play with a knife. He appears to be musically interested, perhaps talented, surely able to imitate dada when he plays one of Ian’s little instruments. He had a little guitar with fishing line strings made of plastic with an accurate fingerboard and a very reasonable sound which I picked up and played. He has a xylophone with colored keys that strike the bars confined to the key of DO, which is plenty for lots and lots of chords and melodies and which daddy also did virtuouso turns upon. Impressive when he thoughtfully banged one or two keys, registering what I had just done. I played his little drum with plastic head, also quite adequate as an instrument with a mallet and a chopstick. I also used the thumb to tighten and relax the head, making wobbly arabic type beats. In fact I played a lot of araby sounding stuff for him. It seemed the thing to do. He wasn’t all that impressed with the fiddle, eggchewally, perhaps it is too much for him. Not plastic and brightly colored. Endaxi. I entertained him, also not to omit his little blue plastic tambourine upon which I felt obliged to accompany myself on “hava nagila”. It was gratifying to see him imitating old dad on all of the above instruments, down to using a chopstick on the drum as if storing this quick burst of knowledge for future reference. Likewise verbally, my never-ending monologue seemed to have an effect on him and by the time I left he was murmuring in some sort of pre-verbal glossololia. Not yelling, speaking in conversational tones as if likewise delivering a monologue. I taught him to say “ahhhhh” after drinking water and he repeated it. He says DaEEE and Glayne! He says NEE, of course MAMA is in there, mameee, maa ahhh, lots of things. He will be a mama’s boy. He behaved differently around her, more prone to flip when he wanted breast access. She is still breast feeding him a year and a half after fetushood. I suppose she knows best since she is in touch with women in La Leche League and so forth.I was mostly delighted with him. I took pretty much  two whole rolls of film of him, one b&w one color. some good photos. photogenic little guy like da.

departure  

And so, on the way out of Mitilini, I realized that Athena could see the boats go by (if you spend the night beside her) on the way out of the harbor, leaving like a cardboard cutout against a painted backdrop in a cheap hollywood epic. I called her on the cellphone as I neared her general area, and installed myself where I would be visible, i.e. against the floodlit white background of the smokestack. I stood there talking to her, she turned the veranda light on and off, I saw her, she saw me, “How’s that for a cinematic good-bye” I said as my ship pulled out.

later that same night ,onboard

This room is just what I needed. The whole damn boat is very far away, I am blissfully alone on the open sea. This typically simian Greek porter or whatever the hell he was came to bring in the dreaded bunkie in this room which is supposed to be a double. I didn’t know we would stop at some other island, but we did and there was the poor guy waiting to come in. This porter was the same geek who led me to this room without offering to carry so much as one of my cigarettes to lighten my load, considerable as always. He came in here and started scolding me like a child and I just said “Enough of you!” I called reception and told them to call him off, give me the other bunk in this room, I would pay. This fool tries to take the phone away from me and talk directly to them and I wave him off. Greece always comes down to these confrontations, more than one such in a year is more than I can stomach, and these sort of things happen all the time.

 After my necessary “assertive” tantrum, my “don’t fuck with me there, stavros” I have this room to my lonesome. Steven is right. This is the way to go. Ship. In a cabin, a floating hotel room, little traffic with the other passengers necessary. Now I should get some sleep. First I must retrieve coti’s new address from my email files. then away.