Driving over to Don's today, I found myself behind a Suzuki Esteem. I didn't know there was a car called the Esteem, but it fits, doesn't it? Leave it to the Jap marketeers to read the deep semiotics of our most basic fears, our aching sense of loss. Global capitalism feeds on that ache, and fuels it. One of these will spackle the crack in your cosmic egg. Oh yeah. Or perhaps one of these. Can we tempt you?
Why do I post these things? Who knows. Because my heart is ripped to shreds. Because it's all broken glass in here. And it doesn't feel like it's ever gonna be the same. Same as what, I ask myself. No answer.
But I've been blogging again. Some. Mostly pictures, as you may have noticed. Can't find the words to even tell myself. I lost my nerve in there somewhere. My voice, you could say. I've been reading murder mysteries for the last month. Many. In the last week or so I've finished five novels by Michael Connelly, his Harry Bosch series. I started with Lost Light -- which is recent, like 2003 -- then read City of Bones. But after that I went back and started from the beginning with The Black Echo. Yesterday night (early morning, actually) I finished The Last Coyote. Bosch appeals to me. I like him, recognize some of myself in him. His real name is Hieronymous (rhymes with anonymous, he says), though it's rarely mentioned. He's basically Harry throughout. And he's fucked up. Not like he doesn't know it, and know a lot about it, but while it worries him at times, it doesn't slow him down a lot. Except when it does. He's deep into jazz. Enough so that it hurts. He doesn't want to be alone on New Years eve, he says at one point, because then that saxophone can cut you in half. Tonight I was listening to Gerry Mulligan's Night Lights, first music I ever bought as a kid. And yeah.
Harry doesn't get on well with authority. I wonder why. And he smokes. Especially where he's not supposed to. Last night he was getting a ride home from this IAD guy whose partner he'd just roughed up pretty good in an interrogation room, and he starts to light a cigarette. Don't do that, the guy says, this is a non-smoking car, and he points to a magnetic no-smoking sign on the ashtray. Oh, Harry says, then peels the magnet off and tosses it out the window. Now it's a smoking car, he says. The other guy doesn't say anything. Maybe because he knows Bosch is on involuntary psychiatric leave for putting his boss's face through a plate glass window. I mean, what's not to love about this character? But there's more to him than hard boiled attitude. There's a clue.
In this clip, he's just told a woman that her husband was found murdered, shot twice in the head point-blank, then stuffed into the trunk of his car. She listens. She asks a few questions. She says they weren't really that close.
"He picked up his briefcase and headed down the hall with Rider. It ran behind the living room and took them directly to the front door. All the way along the hallway there were no photographs on the wall. It didn't seem right to him, but he guessed nothing had been right in this house for a while. Bosch studied dead people's rooms the way scholars studied dead people's paintings at the Getty. He looked for the hidden meanings, the secrets of lives and deaths.
At the door Rider went out first. Bosch then steeped out and looked back down the hall. Veronica Aliso was framed at the other end in the light. He hesitated for a beat. He nodded and walked out."
Connelly has been compared to Raymond Chandler, yet not (that I've seen) to Ross Macdonald. Macdonald was arguably better than Chandler. I thought so. But few seem to know or remember him. We were staying at a ski lodge in Vail for a talk I was giving there, and we found a copy of The Blue Hammer in the room. I'd turned her on to Macdonald and she liked him too. Neither of us had read this one, so we were delighted. Happy. Glad. Seems impossible now, but it was like that. Sometimes. I remember being surprised at the time, because I'd never heard of The Blue Hammer, and I thought I'd read them all. We read it to each other in bed. But we never finished it, and I've never tried to read it since. The trip ended badly. We ended badly. Two years ago now. All things are full of gods Heraclitus said, a couple thousand years back. I don't know about gods. Memories though. Everywhere I look. I take drugs to turn them off these days, though it doesn't really work. Because when it does, the deeper dark begins. Memories. Neurochemical flicker. Lost light.
I feel like a voyeur in other people's lives. I am living vicariously through Harry Bosch. I am getting better, I tell myself. Better than what, though. No answer.
And why am I telling you all this? I guess because I don't have to. You already know. Some. A handful. A dozen, a hundred? I don't know. But I know you're there. You've kept me alive. And yeah, this one's a little different from that stuff I was blogging yesterday, the night before, skating way out there on the thin ice, baby, laughing.
The Suzuki Esteem. That's all I was going to write about when I started this. I went to Google looking for pictures to rip, and found this site where guys (mostly guys) show off their ridez, as many call them. On this one page, a guy in the Netherlands shows off his customized Suzuki Esteem. Boyz will hack anything. Anything at all. "This is my girl..." he writes. And I wonder, you know. Is she still? Something in me hopes so. Some deep ache that makes me an excellent prospect, I suppose, for a hot new car. For something, anything to hide this shattered life behind. Some way to raise my self-esteem.