I hope that enough of you speak some english, because if you don’t, you are missing out on some great stuff from Charles here. For myself, I can only repeat how thankful I am for his thoughts and stories from across the big one.
Yup, that is a real Hudsonblick, taken by Charles.
Now, check out this former bike riding Danzig fan and let him know what you think!
I was having a hell of a day at work. I“™d been at a Danzig show the night before, so I wasn“™t just hung-over: my ears were ringing and I was half-deaf. The ghastly florescent lights were making the edges of my vision strobe like an acid flashback. I spent most of the day trying to act like nothing was wrong.
After running down the clock, I headed out to the parking lot. I work in New Jersey and live in New York, which is about an hour“™s commute. Normally, on the way in I“™ll listen to classical music, to get into that „I“™m an adult“ frame of mind, but that morning Johnny Cash had been a necessity. This left me with the Beethoven CD for the ride home.
This is the first time in my life that I“™ve owned a car. I“™ve had a license since I was a teenager, but it never made any sense to go and buy one. The hassle of maintenance, the hassle of parking, the hassle of having to hide the keys from myself every time I wanted to go drink. It was all just too much bother. And moving to New York City made it even less likely, as renting a parking spot in New York costs as much as renting an apartment anywhere else in the country. I joined the „More Bikes! Less Cars!“ movement, and my likelihood of owning a car shrank even further. Then I left the city.
Technically, it“™s actually possible to live here without a car. I“™m within walking distance of a supermarket, and within hiking distance of a train stop, but that would only help me if I worked in the city instead of in New Jersey. Within two weeks of moving here, I acquired a certified pre-owned Honda Civic. It“™s not sexy, but it gets good mileage. Hopefully it“™ll chew through the environment a little slower than the rest.
Beethoven“™s Fifth makes incredible driving music. When it“™s not bombastic, it has a gliding tension that naturally evokes cunning and decisiveness. When I was a kid, I used to play tail-gunner in the back-facing seat of our family“™s station wagon. Now, I“™m the pilot. Coolly guiding my car through Tetris patterns of slower vehicles, dancing around shredded tire debris. Swooping past a white compact that can“™t stop in time for stalled traffic. There“™s an audible crunch, and then it“™s behind me.
The abstract pattern of red and white lights, of yellow and white lines, and the smooth curving trajectory through space puts me into the realm of science fiction, just like when I was the tail-gunner. Highway driving at night is not a human experience: it“™s too clean and well-defined. It“™s the experience of a mathematical vector. Through long right-hand curves, the too-bright headlights of oncoming traffic slide to the left in another frame of reference, an animated backdrop to the motionless red tail-lights ahead. Sometimes I“™m tempted to test the reality of the scene, to see what happens if you violate the rules of this abstract world and let your vector stray from the white lines that guide its direction. Following those white lines demands absolute, unconditional faith.
The Fifth is over, and I“™m floating forward on the second movement of the Sixth now. It“™s a light feeling, drifting through the universe. Focused ahead, scanning for police and obstacles. Ignoring the flares of the wipeouts and breakdowns on the side of the road. The tail-lights of a merging truck float down from above, and fall in behind me. Jaw set, foot firmly on the gas, gripping the wheel firmly and always, always watching the lines. By the time I“™m home, everything else is unpleasantly complicated.
I miss riding a bicycle to work. I miss the death-race through rush hour traffic, hustling downtown on Broadway between lunging cabs and lumbering buses. I miss that first, frigid gust of wind that sucks the air out of your lungs the second you hit the street. I miss showing up to work and sneering at the mortals who commuted in their safe, warm, comfortable little cars.
The lake seemed like hypnotic underwater moonlight painted by a diver artist. Moonlight dripping from the heart of a wild poet. It was spellbinding like a great work of art. Projected against the high vault of the night sky, this spell had unleashed and enraptured the constellations, and the stars, now released from one another, flew about like red ribbons, blue diamonds, gold insects, fire ivy, hooks sparkling with joy, vermilion mouths, knots of burning coal, clusters of emeralds, ruby doves in total freedom.
The stars in freedom flew and darted over the slippery lake of tempered moonlight.
— F. T. Marinetti, The Untameables
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