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Friday, November 7, 2014

A DAY IN MY WORLD

beverly pepper

I need to consult somebody about what the planets are doing. Mars has something to do with the mix. I can see and feel Mars manifestations everywhere all day long. There is something going on that feels like a planet arrangement. The nice part is the planets are in motion and will move out of this arrangement in time. I'm going into the third week of nuttiness. Dropped in at the grocery store for catfood and carrots, primarily, and found traffic flow in the store was all out of sorts. Four times I came to the end of an aisle into a bottleneck of buggies, and one time in the middle of an aisle. Making the turn to go to the register, it looked like the gates opened at a horse race. I stepped into a herd of buggies mounded up high like they were racing to the register. I found a way around a bottleneck of four buggies that were then stalled by another bottleneck. I avoided both bottlenecks by slipping through an opening before it closed behind me, clean air into the open area in front of the registers. I found the aisle with one of my favorite checkout women, nobody ahead of me. A very strange feeling coming out of a major traffic jam of buggies going three different directions, into the open area, only one buggy each at three registers and one free. And I was gone before the bottleneck of mounded buggies I detoured arrived at the registers. I went for the opening, like Brad Keselowski, and won the race, thanks to a pile-up. I've had moments in the grocery store every once in awhile when a bottleneck occurs at the end of an aisle, but not very often. Four times in one brief grocery store run is a noteworthy record. Reading events in a day like a dream, it was a great grocery store dream. It was so odd it had a dream quality to it.

beverly pepper

A woman from a Fellini film was in there. Approaching the tuna section, she was slowly walking in front of me, very slowly walking. Predictably, she stopped in front of the tuna. She didn't look at the cans. She gazed around the aisle like her mind was gone and she was looking for something familiar, a clue to where she was. I thought, no problem, she'll figure something out in a little bit. She turned and looked at me. Seeing she was not standing there for the tuna, just a place to stop, I said, gently as possible, seeing she was adrift on painkillers or something, "You're standing where I want to be." It sounded really stupid hearing myself say it, not knowing what to say. It sounded spoiled by privilege. And I didn't mean anything like that. I saw she was a benign soul, old with hair dyed black, out of the house, on the verge of losing the ability to leave the house alone. I did not want to push her nor disturb her reverie. She generously moved ahead enough to let me reach the tuna cans. I moved on and she moved on. Old women were in there today, people I've never seen in the grocery store. Perhaps it was the shut-ins day out. The experience was an odd sensation from one end to the other in the grocery store, something like stepping into a Fellini film. And I saw the old Chinese woman from the Chinese restaurant bent over her buggy, red sweater, hair dyed black, a wall of bread loaves behind her like a big Warhol silkscreen titled, Bread. The whole experience in the grocery store was so dream-like I'm inclined to call it interpretation of what I saw. I remember, then, that these images are outside my mind. These are individual people in the grocery store pushing buggies at the same time, and I'm one of them. I am the camera. As was each of the others. It was so out of the ordinary, it felt like I walked into a movie scene in progress.

beverly pepper

From there to the mechanic who takes good care of the car, Catfish, to change the oil. He keeps the Mt Airy radio station WPAQ online for best reception. I step into the garage and hear some old-time fiddle and banjo in the air playing Cacklin Hen. Some gospel music came on next, hillbilly gospel, the kind I love, and I just spoke out loud when This World Is Not My Home I'm Just a-Passin Thru was playing. "This is my song. The song of my life." The angels beckon me from heaven's open door and I can't feel at home in this world anymore. I saw Crystal and Sheena, watched them work peeling stencils from boards they are painting words onto. Crystal is the most inventive mind I know. She is self-taught and knows how to make things work, one step at a time. She's got drive like a drummer in a hard-core punk band. Sheena I've known since she was a baby. From there, in town I saw by chance my friend April, I've not seen in some time, more than a year. A refreshing visit. April is a beautiful soul. I'm always happy to see her. I went to the Subway for a sub to take home. A beautiful young woman the other side of the counter, big, round, Polynesian, beautiful milk-chocolate complexion, a tiny diamond in each earlobe. At home, a movie in the mailbox. I was ready to either take a nap or watch a movie. I'd rather see the movie. MONSTER'S BALL, with Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry. Powerful film. Half way into it, I was thinking if this were a South African I'd be calling it a great film. It's American and tells a particularly American story beautifully. Halle Berry showed me an actress as artist, subtle in her character. Billy Bob was Billy Bob making another classic character. Not many American films can jerk my tears, though at the end of this one my eyes were so wet the white credits on black were white blurs. 

beverly pepper

Two people who were bottoming out within came together in an unlikely mix, a white Southern prison guard racist and a black woman meet in a way that draws them immediately together. Her son had just been hit by a car and killed. Billy Bob drives by and stops, picks the kid up, puts him in the back seat and they take him to the hospital to find he's dead. She doesn't know it, and he doesn't know it, that he was involved in the execution of her husband just a day before. Both were reeling from the experience of the execution, how it got her without income, a kid to take care of, losing her job from the stress of the moment. They fell into each other's arms against their own will, and very much by way of their own will. It became complex. His dad, an old Mississippi retired prison guard racist, a shut-in using a walker. Billy Bob's was a story of a man who had only lived in hate, he and the old man hated each other, both were hateful people. After the execution, things changed inside Billy Bob. He was automatically drawn to help lift up this woman in her most vulnerable moment. When they were first discovering each other, he said, I want to help you. She said, I need help. They were drawn to each other, but their pasts kept them apart. I have to say hats-off to Halle Berry. She showed me a mature actress handling a major role well. She became the role immediately. It was Halle Berry, the artist, with Billy Bob Thornton, the artist, working together to make a beautiful film. I saw one yesterday, Stop-Loss, an Iraq war film that was good until it went totally cheezy at the end. Monster's Ball ended as well as a film can end. It let the viewer finish it in the mind.  

beverly pepper


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