Saturday, February 14, 2015

The old blood type kicks in when I go out at night.  The old blood informs me going out as a cooperative effort, a hunt.  I watch people.  I wait for something to happen.  The people talk to each other as they drink beer.  On the sidelines, I'm left out.  That's okay.  There's the communal feast, sure.  But still, one is waiting for the hunt to happen, for an animal to spring out, then for the chase.  I size up people in terms of being immediately helpful to that end.  Your bartender, of course, who has control over the technology of the evening.  The big friendly Nigerian American guy named Silas at the door, he'll come in handy.  But the crowd is one of self-focussed individuals, no pause taken to reflect.  They live in a city and tolerate it quite well, thus what they drink (cocktails and beer) and the nature of their attention.  They have moved on from the hunt, making a better way of making a living, agreeing with the empire, knowing the latest modes of fitting in, having figured out Uber whereas I will end up walking home on a cold night with my Ben's chili burger sub tucked under my arm in a brown paper bag, wrapped safely with foil, many blocks, I don't know why except out of some animal pride or sense of the need for the walk, the exercise, a sense of grounded location.

Pretty young people spill out of Brixton as I make my way home from seeing Sturgill Simpson at the 9:30 club.  There are cabs on U Street.  After the show, my friends departing, the night is mainly just standing around with a glass of pinot noir in hand at Satellite, the crowd young and well appointed, hair cuts, glasses, shirts and sweaters, evening wear almost.  I watch a show on the television above the bar about the Duran Leonard matches and the only young lady I speak with is the bartender.  Elsewhere, I'll try some other place next time.

I get home and the native dumbness of the hunter returns as he eats the night's kill in its modern wrappings of dough, American cheese, mayo otherwise avoided for health reasons.  If there were energy left a native curiosity would raise itself, poking curiously through something, maybe even a book, or a guitar, not unlike a higher crow, what's this about, what does it tell me, there's something familiar here and satisfying.

The chase, the hunt, the communal effort has been co-opted.  I falsely see in my blood's imagination a hunt and medicate myself with wine, attempting to belong, a mimic of adrenal response that takes me over without asking or telling, such that secretly, or not, I get giddy or silly or morose.  And I realize perhaps that my professional reaction, to be a hunter bartender leading the evening's chase is not an accurate way of looking at things.  I'm being used.  Perhaps it's like the samurai say to each other at the end of Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, 'the farmers always win,' and there they are, the farmers, singing happily in springtime as the warrior protector is buried, their life going onward.

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