Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#28: Dear Amy Turn Sharp

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2019 at 11:48 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
1500 Crestwood Road, Garage
Bro Country TX

Amy Sharp
841 North High Street
Columbus OH

8/27/18, 5:28PM

Beautiful Friend

‘Ello from the east side.  I got an AirB until my place is ready so I sit here listening to the Counting Crows and drinking jars of black coffee with white sugar.  The coffee’s a takeaway from Europe, where they drink it hot and straight and without cream; and Brautigan, who forever gave us the cup of instant coffee, and the care he put into making it for us has kept it waiting somewhere in the kitchen of our mind ain’t it though.   I’ve my feet up on the bed with my iPad in my lap, staring at the contents of a black rigger’s bag full of my things from out of storage emptied there. The bag is my Father’s, it’s his birthday today—the 3 of diamonds fell out, the 6 of hearts and Southern’s wedding invitation.  I just sealed up a letter to him before I noticed the invitation on the bed, next to Sedaris’ When You Are Engulfed In Flames and among the digital recorder and SD cards, guitar picks, Anne LaMott’s Help, Thanks Wow and Dan Auerbach’s Waiting For A Song, a white, ceramic coaster embossed with a blue Dutch windmill blowing, a pen set my sister gave me I’ll probably never use, a pocket knife I don’t think I’ve used either, and the black sock I’ve been looking for since I landed in New Orleans over 2 months ago.  The road was good, Europe was better but my traveling partner was worse than the shits I suffered—six thousand miles with IBS and an American blues cured only by a couple nights in Sofia and Berlin on my own. I’m weary, and road burned, and thought I’d try and share a little magic with you this way, in writing like we do.  

I don’t know why now’s the time but I’m glad and I’m gonna go with it.  It’s like when it’s easy—you’re satisfied with yourself enough to be nice for once, and you don’t have to go all out for thrills and sex.  You alright and sleep is the prize of a good and even good&goddamned day. I suffer some ailments, nothing a little maintenance couldn’t address—reading glasses and Acidophilus, plenty of water and breakfast.  The stage is set, lady friend, I can’t handle The Jobs much anymore and it’s got to be for more than survival. The inaneness of Camus’ blues and living to die in The America can really get to me. It’s a trigger and a call back to those deep, blue overdoses and kinks in my psychology that’ll have me flailing and reaching out for numb—the bottle and the blackness like a gun.  I’m ready to think about my next move and that’s what these days are. Before I blindly plunge back into day labor, I’ll need a plan.  So, I’m posted up here with a large Staples wall calendar and 10 different colored Sharpees. I got the Selectric out of storage and just looking at it eases me—like a large, red cat here on the desk.  I’m writing you up here on the desk now, so I can dig in and you know it’s getting serious.

We are in the loam-dark and clutched tight inside ourselves like seeds.  Magic still exists and so do we. I feel a love coming from you, from every direction like a star, even if you may not.  What do stars know of their own brilliance anyway, anchored in a cold and endless black sea? What do we know of love except a lowly lit room to wrap ourselves behind their covetous and breathing shape?  The reeds will bend to know the wind. Shadows will stretch to double in the dark. The house will grow into the earth and our bones will rejoin. In spirit we call and respond and listen for echo but someday we will know the Other fully and rest together beneath a flowing river like stones.   

8/28/18, 9:39AM
Well.  So that was last night and that was dusk and you’ve beared witness to my struggle as a manbeast creative who loathes day labor but abhors everything else.  I’m always thinking of Buk, my Papa, because I have no other example. My Father worked, speaking of, but kept his passions quietly to himself. He loved music and poetry but I don’t think he gave that to me.  I was too young and angry to get anything from him, though I tried. The last date booked of 00’s spoken word tour was Wilmington and he picked me up at the train in a black Toyota Tundra. We smoked Marlboro Reds the whole way back and drove through the snow.  Eventually my ex caught up with me, she found me out there in Delaware—or maybe I’m confusing this time with when I was in acting school and tried to teach the old man some guitar. I regret not spending more time with him but never would’ve learned that lesson had he not passed.  It’s the saddest goddamned thing but I suppose it would’ve had to be something so utterly tragic to soften this old armor.  Not that I suffer fools either, something I most certainly got from him—spite, the crown jewel of the Black Irish.  

This place smells or maybe I do.  A baby roach crossed the cement floor this morning and I don’t know if it’s ‘cause it’s summertime in Texas or because I’m a slob.  I mean, I know I’m a slob, and am more than happy to be. I’ve been luxuriating in solitude, Amy. After being somebody’s guest for 2&½ months I needed to unpack and leave my shit everywhere and not say a damn word to anyone.  The isolation chamber as my Lady Friend calls it, though I’ll have to get the place together if I’m going to entertain her. Only her, though, and you. No one else.  I been too long in the wasteland, at large and abroad, in 6 countries and 11 cities, I’ve traveled over eight thousand miles and the America looks small to me now, and sad.  I wanna say they deserve McCain, and Trump, and whatever travails of entitlement or petty dramas NPR can spin but they’re my people. I don’t know what THEY ( R ) think, though the ship’s sinking for all of us and as mighty fine as it is to call out Whitey, the truth is we’ve got to vote and exercise democracy for those who can’t, I suppose.  That, or just go for the guy or gal least likely to drop bombs. It works for Ian MacKaye and this way we can really dig into them—then again, like Judy Blume, maybe I won’t.

Next door to this place Mama sits by a dead Lincoln.  She says her house burned down but there’s no building nor remnants of any there.  She’s got Cokes in her cooler and water and some folding chairs. When night falls I don’t know where she goes.  I suffer in here, with my own worth as a writer and small and large despairs. The summer is ending and the world is at a precipice.  We can’t go on unknowing, we know now and the ungainly and grotesque truth is beautiful compared to living a Lie. If we turn our backs now we’ll know it and we’ll deserve whatever pogrom and Working Poor World Order these soulless hucksters and shills can come up with for us.  War, probably, and a winnowing of the creative class, definitely. It’s still auspicious though, don’t you think? The way the end of the summer shimmers and the light gets thin and pale. A Byzantine light and eroding wind. The cloud people are crouching proud in a wasted industrial sky, the land will break and our hearts will break open.  Destruction comes and shakes the moorings, I can see a new morning from the dark wings. I know that night is just night, the birds will dive and the trees will die, everything acrid and agape, we’ll burn for our arrogance and suffer what suffering we’ve denied. There will be rain and it’ll wash it all out to sea. We’ll all flow broken, in pieces back to One.

It’s the end of the world and I want to know you, Luscious Lady.  Be well and be with me for a spell, in letters and poems and thoughts kind and wishes of love.

Yours,
Jim Trainer
Austin TX

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