Saturday, July 25, 2009


Remember the look of it ...

We still see cigarettes in ashtrays in movies.

We won't see Karl Malden's face anymore, except in a movie.

And Walter Cronkite won't be giving us facts, in his inimitable fatherly, realistic way.

Do you smoke, did you smoke? Do you avoid the young people clustered outside the door to a business, smoking, chatting, exchanging their thoughts, absorbing each other's smoke? Do you feel like snarling stop it, give it up, you'll regret this in a few years, maybe sooner.

Gale Storm -- did you notice her name on the milestone page in "Time Magazine" -- remember seeing her? Her name is there, but the vision of the face is ... not there. Is she gone?

Cigarette smoke poisoning air -- how many times did I ask the other dancers in the bus "please, open the window or stop." What happened to Zebra, and Phil.... Terry ... are they gone?

I wish the image of Sarah Palin hadn't been on the cover of the magazine. I wish her image -- her zesty, country girl beauty -- I wish it wasn't again and again being evoked by the media. I wish her wise-sounding, scary wrong words, not her, just her words, her ideas could vanish like the smoke in the ashtray.

Anna Nicole is rarely mentioned. Her gone-ness, though rarely revved up these days, still makes us wonder about her adorable little daughter and her lover what's-his-name, and the lawyer ... what was the lawyer's name? Their faces are there, but mostly they're all gone, till the media brings it all back. And the media will.

In between cogitations, facts, statistics, important sounding medical revelations about death and life, I wonder if the fact that every day we're older, closer to the end, is the reality of death and that's why there are so many, many ads, announcements, declarations reminding us that we are dying. All morning, all day, all evening, bells are knelling, telling us this twinge, this pain may be IT -- the beginning of the end of your life.

Okay, death is a major fact of life. Apparently we need to hear about it -- we want to hear about it. But do we love hearing about it all day long?

Death --homicide, suicide, tragic inevitable ending to Michael Jackson's life ... It's still in the air, not disappearing, still rising from the ashtray, poisoning our minds, and the minds of his family, friends and dear ones. And the visions of MJ's not pretty mother wife and the Presley girl wife, continue to foment curiosity, prurient excitement/interest. MJ is still, more than ever, part of our NOW.

It's strange to see Billy Mays promoting with assurance, and energy, the cleaning agent, and all those other household contrivances. When all I can feel is please, stop selling us -- please let him rest, while I'm observing, for the first time, a certain tautness in Billy May's face, wondering if the doomful day when luggage bumped his head, wasn't on the verge of happening anyway?

All this stuff is echoing. I'm seeing it, feeling it every day, wondering if you too, aren't inhaling the smoke from the ashtray, when we know, it's poisoning us.

I wish ... okay I'll say it -- I'm tired of MJ, Billy and the Palin stuff -- I've got to get away, go to another place, where I can breathe and not breathe it in.

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