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Light, Fiskary, Never Forgotten

February 6, 2014

Once again work and sleep kept me away from The Bridge until nightfall. But passing by at around 6:30 PM I saw a striking tableau through the gallery’s picture windows. In the starkly bare and brightly lit space the artist sat at his desk, rapidly typing. Given the vow of silence he has taken, it must a comfort to have this outlet of words. What could he be typing? Will it find its way into the artwork? Shall we ever read it? 

A row of twenty dirty envelopes were neatly attached to the wall; from each a lock of the artist’s hair dangled by a string. Each envelope represented a visitor, a question, an answer. Perhaps tomorrow I will be able contribute to an envelope of my own.

The artist looked over at me. Abandoning my critical distance, I gave the traditional American ‘thumbs up’ gesture, which he returned. I felt reassured that all was well. Yet I could not help thinking of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I shall have to ask Greg Kelly if The Bridge keeps an ax, and if so, recommend that he remove it. For the sake of art bold risks must be taken, but safety first. 

Sometime this week I must approach this work under the influence of strong drink.

— “Restivo Watch Day 2: Further Into Silence” (2/6/11)

With yesterdays post still incomplete as I write this it is not the time for ambition, as apparently was the case three years ago as well. This is the email in its entirety. It reminds me that I should ask Rick about my ax, and whatever happened to it. I have no real need for an ax, though it is nice to have one around, for the car or the bedroom, you know, just in case, or for practicing ax tricks. A lightweight Fiskars, it would impress no lumberman, but it reliably did the kind of domestic work for which it was designed. I remember going out to the porch with it on chilly nights at Fort Summit, drunk and barefoot, coming back with armloads of nicely split firewood from our pile and no harm done to me or any of my toes, other than the occasional splinter. When I moved to a Belmont house with blocked up fireplaces I had less use for it. Now that I think about it, I do believe the ax made its Graves Street debut during Anthony’s internment, when, on an unseasonably warm February day, we taunted him with a cookout in the parking lot. Subsequently, it relocated itself to Rick’s, where there was a need for chopping, mostly wood, mostly for cookfires. I do not know where the ax came from originally, who bought it or brought it (maybe you), it just ended up in my care at some point, then left it at some later point. Axes don’t want to be owned, especially the ones made by dwarves deep underground, in caverns measureless to man, carrying ancient names and ancient curses. This was more of an elfin ax but still…

I miss having a fireplace. One thing I learned when I had a fireplace was this: when you make s’mores don’t use graham crackers. Graham crackers are crap. They were invented by a Presbyterian preacher from Jersey to dampen the libido and prevent masturbation. You don’t want that. Instead, use a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies. It makes all the difference.

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