The Prose That Got Away

This is actually the second go-round for this entry.  We’ll call this first WordPress entry, Take 2.  I wrote a few screens of some good prose and my usual rambling, stream-of-consciousness, and I clicked the wrong command and it seems to be gone forever.  I posted and deleted a one-sentence test (the old The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs, which you use to test a typewriter, since it uses all 26 letters of the alphabet).

I set up the template for this new blog location, but tonight is the first night that I have the energy to actually sit down and write something.  This is much like when I received my first diary on Christmas Day 1973, when I was 10.  It was one of those silly little blue diaries with a lock on the cover, but I eagerly awaited New Year’s Day, when I could write in it.  As it turned out, I wrote for the first time in the back seat of our blue 1973 Dodge Dart, en route back to Marietta from Richmond, Va.  We had gone there on the 28th of December to be with my maternal aunt, as her husband was hospitalized from the congestive heart failure that would kill him the following March.  I took a dull pencil and wrote an entry, and even included a dateline at the top of the page, “Somewhere in Virginia.”  That sounded like the beginning of a Civil War-era War Department dispatch.

Last night, I saw Girl Shy (1924) with my friend Michael.  It’s a silent film, and we saw it at the Ohio Theater downtown.  The incomparable Clark Wilson played the huge console organ, and we both laughed all through the picture.  Michael got a kick out of my asking him, “What font are they using?” when the intertitles popped up.  (He is a graphic artist, and I have been a typesetter, so it was not a question out of left field.)  When Harold Lloyd sits down at his typewriter, I immediately took out my ballpoint pen and breast pocket notebook to write down the make and model of the typewriter (Oliver Standard Visible Writer).


The machine looks too heavy and too bulky, so I am not tempted to go straight to eBay and buy one for myself.

June has been my favorite months for the last three or four years, because of the Gay Pride Parade and Festival and ComFest, but the month was even sweeter because Susie was here for most of the month.  She completed her junior year at Merritt Island High School, and came here for some R and R before she flew back to Florida for her composition class at Eastern Florida State College (née Brevard Community College).

She connected with friends, and we went to our favorite restaurants (the Blue Danube and The Florentine).  She saw the new place for the first time (I have only been here since April; you can read the whole story of my landlord’s foreclosure and the new landlord’s hiking the rent on, and we hosted a housewarming/Susie is back in town party.  The remarkable feature of this party is that one of her friends brought her Cards Against Humanity deck, and it so fascinated the kids (and some of the adults) that they set aside the iPads and other social media to gather around the coffee table and play.

Susie loved her new bedroom.  It’s not fully decorated yet.  So far, the only wall hangings are the Bisexual Pride flag over the head of her bed, and the Pink Floyd poster over her dresser, but I am sure she will add more to it as it feels more like hers.

I was happy to see she had posted the ground rules on her door.  Prominent among them was Don’t do anything that will get my dad arrested!  This should be as obvious as “don’t eat yellow snow,” but she had a good reason.  She had friends over for a party, and one of the girls said she was going on the porch to smoke.  Susie thought that she was going out to smoke a cigarette.  Let’s just say it was not tobacco, and leave it at that.

We both had a good time at the Pride parade and Festival, but she was disappointed that she did not get to see George Takei, its grand marshal.  (For those of you who don’t know, he played Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek and in the first six movies.)  She rode on a flatbed truck from Rendezvous Hair Salon, while I stayed on the sidewalk and took pictures.  We hoped Takei would be receiving at Goodale Park afterwards, but we didn’t see him.  Last year, Susie brought tears to my eyes when she marched with the Kaleidoscope Youth Center and carried the Rainbow flag.  A picture of that is my wallpaper on this laptop.

I plan to be at the 10 a.m. Cartoon Capers at the Ohio Theater, and I am so wound up that sleep is not even on the table at the moment.  (I had a bottle of Pure Leaf tea about six hours ago, and it must be packed with caffeine–almost like a soft drink from the ’80s, Jolt, which boasted “half the sugar and twice the caffeine.)  Once I make sure this entry made it successfully to my blog, I will watch a DVD of the first season of Sherlock.  The fact that I’m listening to David Shire’s “Night on Disco Mountain” from the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever (1977) is not doing much to help me decompress.  (Saturday Night Fever is the first movie I lied about my age to get into.  Normally, I tell people it was The Exorcist (1973).)

On my “to do” list this weekend is to move the green steamer trunk upstairs.  It’s in the living room right now, and I’ve been tripping over it.  I found it in the trash in the alley earlier in the month, and I think it will take up permanent residence at the foot of my bed.  I plan to fill it up with my diaries (from 1990 to the present; all the ones from 1974 until when I dropped out of Ohio University are long gone) and the November 10, 1965 issue of The New York Times I bought on eBay earlier this month.  Its headline: POWER FAILURE SNARLS NORTHEAST; 800,000 ARE CAUGHT IN SUBWAYS HERE; AUTOS TIED UP, CITY GROPES IN DARK.   When I first fished the trunk out of the garbage can, I had troubling visions of Rope (1948) and the story of Ira Einhorn (see if the allusion escapes you.

For a moment, I thought I relived the catastrophe that caused my first entry to disappear.  I hit a wrong combination of keys, and this screen vanished from my monitor.  I am happy to say I could undo this, so here I am.  I remember episodes of Lou Grant from the late 1970s, when the newspaper first converted to visual display terminals (VDTs) and cold type.  Many episodes dealt with an editor or reporter hitting the wrong key or command, and a story (or the entire newspaper) disappearing forever.

I realize now that the only way I will become proficient with WordPress is to post to this blog as frequently as I can.  It’s like how you get to Carnegie Hall: “Practice, practice, practice!”

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