Monday, August 11, 2008

Back, and The Romance of Borrowed Umbrella

First, hello! I've been missing a while, I know. But, I promise another post right on the heels of this one that I'm working on, as soon as I get the photo's off of the camera, concerning deep time, the global middle ages, feeling like a colonizing traveler, and some ruins in Hawaii that I saw a couple weeks ago.

Also, in this interim, I got married, and moved to Brooklyn, NY.

So, on to the next installment of "The Romance of the Borrowed Umbrella."


Germy sold his city-rooms before the hoopla. Now he was on his way to Alisha's. Alisha's was a (small) place with a good sink. Germy had to figure out a next move. a ribbon slipping quickly out of an eyelet was what he needed to be. Must ribbon, or a rain will find what the sending might entail. He didn't send any trays with any birds or otherwise. He was clearly. The trouble he was thinking of would come later, with a cordoning off of his hamlet and a block on the bicycle track. The night he took home that umbrella, which functioned perfectly, he did notice that one spoke had indeed come out of its socket and plugged away bare in the rain like an antenna into the borrowed night full of hidings. That night was slow. Now this moved more like the shaking of the inquiry itself: what is a next move when the meeting-map leaves you with little to think about other than the shop that sold old television party back home, so the children might add them to their tricycles as decoration. It was the local gardening-cheif's son who ran the store. He had been there since before the hoopla, working for it from within what the annals called the later-canal Slipps. Even then, he remembered, an umbrella could be dear and cherished, at once a token, a sign of roving shelter sheltering he knew not what, and a tool one is so careful not to turn the wrong way into a wind. Even then, an umbrella could be as cherished as a bicycle.

In that little corner where he used to live, which was off of strip to blacktop so pocked that gravel had been hauled in every year to make it serviceable, in the year or so previous to this narrative, Germy had resigned himself mostly to watching. He would stroll past the patchwork fences, now rail, now chain-ink, now upturned strips of railroad sunk half-way into the ground. He was certain the shop-keep wouldn't mind--probably wouldn't notice. He would record all of this in the annals he got from the translation from french by the town recorder. That was before the recorders headed for Ohio. Under Jim-bo the recorders were left less well-employed or even endangered if the hamlet was too close to the City. Germy had written a good little pamphlet against the new policy, saying that to fully abolish sovereign power that histories would have to be eliminated. In the school-halls the history classes could study ancient history.

Germy's watching was not clocked, but it was habitual, and he peered often and good at the rails, and the weavers who worked in one of the little lots when the weather was nice enough to leave the workroom. One of them, he was sure. One of them, sure. One of them he knew from a brief encounter at the hamlet chartering. She then had been behind the line of recorders.

He asked her when she was leaving the lot once, if she remembered this, but she said no. Germy noticed that she walked up to the old schoolhouse building sometimes and sat there on a very aging bleached pile of woodchips that never got spread for the dawning of the hoopla. Never noticed either the cloud-form of stream that might flood. The weaver-woman, whose name was Alice, had a long, but slender and angular nose, and she tried as much as possible to use the triangle in all her poses. Germy, in watching her, was now thrilled, now interested, and never sexually aroused. She was sheering the machine of the town's edge, he thought, she was threading up the new wall of the Slipp. Germy thought to congratulate her, and she would not let him.

Germy did not think about this part when the train screeched to a halt. They all screeched these days. The three militants fled the train and tripped up the steps. The would need, first, to find some food. It had been eight hours by bicycle to the city, and another hour on the train. They had left with a loaf and a cheese. Alisha had been with Germy and Remus in the hamlet for about a month. So she had emptied her pantry.

It would all be a question of how much time they would have to read. This could determine the length and course of Germy's life in the next twenty-four hours. For this reason, it would be most time efficient to just use a restaurant to eat. They would not go to Germy's favorite restaurant. It was in a different sector of the city. Either way, everyone was worried.
Perhaps all three of them would have continued now in silence, each thinking whatever, if Remus had not though to speak up.

"I thought to visit the cook's guild last month, did I tell you? When I was on the Border with the Carolinas." Remus moved his mustache by means of a controlled upper lip quiver when we was self-satisifed, as now. He grinned until he was certain Alisha and Germy both knew that he was doing do. "Anyways, one of them runs a place a few blocks up and one east, and its good, and its only open at night for early members. I know you don't like that, you to, but I am not up for trying to sniff out something else." The two nodded. And the three stepped up out of the train trough, into a blanket of bluish light, as Germy remembered from TV's in grade school, heading off quickly.


Clearly, the three of them did not want to be noticed. To be noticed we usually make use of signs. The trouble was not to be a sign, instead of simply a a sign, even if not read. Exactly what Jim-bo was after. Jim-bo on the train, telling him he'd better get dinner at his favorite restaurant because he didn't have much time left on earth. Germy could slip away, to the edge of the Slipp. Remus would go with him probably. Alisha could go, or she could stay, keeping her rooms in the city so Germy and Remus might slip in and out, still come and go, perhaps even run something to try to oil down the party or the like. But surely, if Germy were to do this, he's remain highly unread, highly flat. The two poles of the decision were really quite the bind.

"It's just a matter of seeing clearly," said Remus. "If we head to the write spots I'm not sure Jim-bo will need to do much else." Much else didn't make enough sense, so Germy looked back at Remus, stopped in his tracks.

"I'm not sure you know what you're saying."


Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Welcome back, warm congratulations on the change to your nuptial status, and on your move. See you perhaps in November?

dan remein said...

thanks Jeffrey!

November? I can't seem to find the reason for why I will see you then amidst the pile of stuff filling my disordered and wildly unpacked apartment--but I'm looking forward to it! Are you coming to NYC for something in particular?

anna klosowska said...

OH MY GOd! how come no one told me about the ROmance of the Borrowed Umbrella before??????? This is so unbelievably unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!