Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Giddy Cinema Cycle
So it’s after dinner and the notion the idea to go and check the times and names of the films being shown at the tiny local cinema grips hold of me. In moments like this it is the only thing I can do to submit to the whim, to see for myself the various pictures that have been created in my head, filled with imaginary colour but really quite blank, me needing to move and take action to be the artist to paint to fill in the voids of imagined shapes with colour and reality by living them and seeing them for myself.
The activity wasn’t isn’t even important, it was merely a stop on the trip, the trip is the thing, the trip is the experience, the reason, the event more of a puny excuse as to why I left with my bicycle in such a rush after eating.
Initially I thought I’d have to wait for the next evening to do the trip because my bike wasn’t ready or really that it was in a state of disassembly since I brought it home in the car packed in with all the other mountains of stuff crammed now into this vehicle to bring them to my crammy room at home. But no, my father being the man he is had restored its pedals and all, all I had to do was to twist the handlebars into their proper orientation pump up the tyres some and I’d be ready to go.
I put a shirt on over my t-shirt and took it off and took the t-shirt off and threw it down to the floor near a plant-pot, I could get it later. I smelled yesterdays glow, I cared not, collar up, wild eyes focused and half buttoned I mounted and launched off out to the puny destination.
What was this? Some kind of fucking tiny toy bike? Had I really been riding this thing all these months? Had I forgotten how it felt to ride her after only three weeks break? I didn’t know, maybe I’d have to get used to it. Up one half hill zoom down another. Everyone was busy eating and laying back replete happy and satisfied so not many people or cars were about, me free to race and dodge nothing. Down, down, around twisting paths and under trees and over moss and in the shadow of the ringing church with its bells. Past two men coming the opposite way, my eyes fixed ahead, us both alone.
The air that-to-night is was is thick and heavy, greys of various brightnesses loom above, the muggy fog seemingly setting itself up to accommodate the passage of a stream a streak of lightning at some point in the future, thunder a natural chaser and perfect accompaniment to the situation, eerie from the fat masses lolling in their chairs leaving the streets devoid of life.
I pedal up a hill to race back down it again, a painting being filled with reality’s colours through my eyes completing itself in my head, the trip coming true. Up, up, turn, and down, down, down, through red lights and across empty crossroads and down the one way street to the road to the cinema. No-one, nothing out to crash into or stick around for, nothing blocks my path. So to the cinema, but rubbish it’s just the same as the last time I checked, nothing so good as the last flick I saw there, no use. Hop on, ride off.
Still no-one around. I must have seen five cars and about six people on the whole of my journey. I round the bend and a sea a globe and invisible glob of cheap stinking chip-oiled greasy air envelopes me, it hanging there or having been blown my way by some pre-thunderous wind. Either way it choked me, the warm stick of it all around me always gripping at me and unrelenting save the odd faster cooler gust of breeze is now multiplied by fat and heat and vomit from the chip-shop near by. I do not inhale too many lungfuls because it fills me with its hot sickly stomach churning reek and I cannot stand it. I exit to the air I was previously used to even it in its uncomfort and warmth better than the sickly globe behind me. A half or full or two seconds of struggle is all it was really, propelled as I was by my goddamned tiny toy bike.
Back up the side street to collide with a woman but only in terms of being in the same immediate area as her at the same time, our paths crossing perpendicular, her slowing to accommodate my passing. A lavish right hand turn signal to alert the driver at the end of the road of my intentions and I was on the home strait.
Up hill I go, one fifth. It’s all I can manage. I walk, up up, key, into the house, swap keys, out of the house, garage, putting the tiny toy bike away. The seat and handlebars were all low so low as to trick me into thinking I’d forgotten her feel, but lowered to fit in the car I learn, there was indeed something different, something up. I’ll restore the correct heights tomorrow, and ride high and mighty on her again the next.
The warmth and exposure of summer. The ring of the town clock signalling some time or another, quarter past probably. The soft sway of alcohol on my mind, the chatter of men and women playing bowls down the road on the green. Cars in the distance, someone sweeping or scrubbing nearer. The rhythmic whistling beat of a pigeon escaping to some new perch and the undulating twitter from various birds all singing their evening songs. The warmth of the sun returns from a brief stint behind a cloud. Dinner will be ready soon. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, totally safe in this moment. This combination with the feelings induced in my mind by fine czech beer sends me reeling backwards as I lay on the floor, covered in sun, eyes closed and with the company of my cat I am in my own personal heaven.
I walk up the hill and stop to witness the scene. Dark silhouettes of trees and fences and road lie before me, everything all bathed in a shade of blue as though I were looking through some tinted lens. The yellowish white from the few houses and street lights adds to the picture, brightening and making important various patches of pavement and the fronts of homes, and picking out highlights of road markings and edges of objects sitting calmly in the evening air.
The scene is dominated by the bright strong digital red of a temporary traffic light, shining out as a lonely beacon it is a stranger, signifying that something is different. There! Amber and then green. Cars pass by with a muffled roar.
In the far background and framed by the dark tops of trees above and by the brow of the hill below lies the impeccably beautiful evening sky, the sun now set throwing some final colours up onto the infinite stage for one last show. Once again shyly, calmly, proudly showing off her colours she changes to darkest blue for the night. As I see it the palest mauve-tinted blue fades effortlessly, perfectly, into the same again but tinted nearer the horizon with the merest shade of watery ocean green. Looking up through a break in the trees I see a richer, deeper blue accompanied by a layer of warm grey, its transition into dark more advanced now the sun has receded so far beyond the top of the hill.
The Eucalyptus tree. Shedding its yearly bark, I climb the beautiful Eucalyptus tree that I have loved and enjoyed a great deal over the years. Nothing but myself and the tree, pure experience. Shorts, t-shirt and barefooted I ascend. I peel away huge strips of bark, unusually thick and beautiful in their own right. I get to my usual high point, noting as I climb how the tree has matured since I have known it, it swallowing up its own lower branches, some breaking off, closing up gaps between them and beefing out its limbs to form perfectly thick branches for gripping and standing and sitting.
I go higher than ever before. I decide there is no reason not to, and that because I can, I should - especially since it’s such a nice evening. A tricky body heights climb to begin with as I wonder how to climb up sparse and occasionally dead branches only an inch thick to get to better, thicker ones. I manage it and see a view unparalleled by any other I have witnessed from this tree. I saw what no man had ever seen before, in the knowledge that nobody had ever climbed as high as that. I go up, nearly to the top (about 15-20 feet from it) and marvel at what I could see. The towns buildings connected in a way I’ve not seen before, the context giving a fresh view on my town. The dark holes of our chimney-pots, and the surrounding houses and gardens at an angle never before seen. The neighbor spots me and waves. The tree sways in the breeze; I sway with it.
I am in close physical contact with the tree. Body pressed up against it, limbs taught or limp to steady myself in the branches or climb. My nose is filled with the deep scent of the tree and its bitty moss. Oily and rich, woody and warm. A hornet up close above me unsettles me and I decide to retreat downward again, the previous uppermost branches now seeming thick, close and safe compared to the heights just experienced. I descend to the floor, slowly hugging and dropping my way down.
I know this tree, the Eucalyptus. Always there, always gentle. I see its yearly comings and going, as it drops various parts of itself according to the seasons. I watch it move in the wind, I mourn its amputation, I watch it grow. The Koala Tree.