IV. Souvenirs: Headfirst.
Time stabilizes a little. Motive can follow action. Ugi´s: no a la droga, si a la pizza! Socks that say power. The A line on the Subte. Antique cars. Smells like a woodstove. Stuck our head out the windows dogwise. Waved to the crowds. A time machine. Lights flickered; expected to see phantasms or skeletons, something from another cross-section in time. Wagons rock and stammer. A green glow. Jules Verne. Perception of the living past. Re-creation is really a form of time travel. Went to the terminus three times; sheerly for the experience, as an end rather than a means. The oncoming trains and pillars almost decapitate you. Coddling an expensive wine in a paper bag; finally a bold Malbec. There is some weird, oblique, left-field truth to Leibnizian rationalism. The principle of sufficient reason. The world as the great compromise of forces. It has some real sociological rather than metaphysical import. The monadology is significant only because it refuses our physical world-picure so resolutely. Even certain physical principles can be found, or discounted, through armchair rationalism. The myth of solidity. Solidity makes no sense, for instance, when you really put your thinking cap on. You can get scabes by thinking negative thoughts. If he has them, we all do. Maybe taking matches and gasoline to the skin would do.
The redemption of action. Howard´s “invention of fake disciplines.” Actions creating fields of meaning. Bottlecap collection, for instance. Parsing likes from dislikes, cultivation of an aesthetic sensibility. Different varietals of bottlecap, different varietals of lobby, different varietals of sidewalk. Portfolio of porteño lobbies. Went to the toystore and the intercom music stopped. Everything was too real, brashly present. The Nigerian club again. They go up; when we go down. Different senses of rhythm, certainly. Cumbia is a mysterious shuffle. Ethnography museum. Jonny might volunteer for the carpenter. Our double-date. “We´re cool, totally cool… We´re look like such dorks… My brother says that if you put deordorant on your teeth… It´s my turn to wear the clean shirt!”
Valeria y Angeles. Puerto Madero by night. Our date started at 2 AM. We brought in my mochila the ingredients for sangría and banana-yogurt hors d´ouevres. Como brilla la luna! A cinematic double-date. “Cantá bien! ….Oh well, muchas gracias… No, es un órden!” The cranes. Giant trojan horses. The best double-date possible. Jonny´s grin is so wide, the top of his head might fall off. Somewhere off the Línea A, we hatch two million-dollar ideas: a cap that allows Coke out; keeps carbonation in. Another: a two-liter thermal container. Saw both ideas the next day. Of course. The world never fails to remind you of missed opportunity. Is is true caffeine in maté or not? Every day ends with dawn. As if sunrise itself is narcotic.
Ana´s hyper-resonant kitchen. Standing waves? Party in the sótano. A melon drink for the young lady. Where´d she go? A bottle of Don Domenico for us. Children playing in Palermo Soho with sand kneaded into every kind of “food” imaginable. Pure substance. Nothing in doubt. They simply proceed. Otherwise we break down in the way Wittgenstein sees language breaking down. “You can jump back to here, but if you fall over this, you fall into the acid.” I hate buses here. I hate being compared to a child. Children are amateurs. Argentine graybeards. Fairly regal. Plaza D´Italia. Full of cats. Come I gatti di Roma. Real society. Googlear. The Casinos off Puerto Madero. Cigarettes. Second-Rate. Genuine Mistrust in the Air. Why would young workers dislike us? How would they better identify with high-rollers? Found a token, played it, all for naught. Dizzy from the Hyper-oxygenation. End of the Earth almost. Another double-date. This one dissolves in mystery. “She didn´t mean mañana as in the morning?” Missed bowling. Oh well. Too pensive for bowling anyway. I have to fall asleep in a different place every night anyway. Sofa, bed, carpet, kitchen floor. Slave to the glands. Spend hours counting sheep and collecting thoughts on the cold linoleum floor, waiting for sleep to take me, twilight. Narcotic sunrise again. Ramsey subconsciously attempts to sever his own thumb. Went to German hospital… no Germans. What is the smartest thought an animal has ever had?
Parque de La Ciudad might be closed. Parque De La Costa it is then. The ride there was the best. Made asses of ourselves. Why can´t we get anywhere before seven? Parque De La Costa. Busch-Gardens-on-a-budget. A glorified parking lot. Impeccably poor timing. Exactly wrong. Late in the evening; just in time for a terrible thunderstorm and downpour; the sky looked like something out of Paradise Lost. Demon-filled. Added suspense of being strapped into a skyhigh metal structure with lightning all around. The rides are not fully automated. The operator gets to unleash his sadistic streak. Hanging us upside down until our eyesockets fill with blood. Infierno, the Hell-themed haunted house, one of the only things remaining open. Is this for real? Old-school and busted. Some monsters are on lunchbreak, legs-crossed or walking insouciantly down the corridor. I´ve seen Halloween hayrides that were scarier (and more fully realized). Waiting for monsters to shoot silly-string. Raining canes again. Cold for once. Most things are lost in hesitation rather than error. Argentines kissing in the weather. PDA is a national past-time here. “Maybe he´s not such a bad guy, maybe he´s just a weirdo.”
Dancing waters: laser and water show. To Pseudo-The Who triumphant megarock anthems. How my spirit lifts to greet the Saturn-bound wail of the guitar solo? Being in a world of slight differences can render the translation of sensibilities impossible. Rain continues. Fiasco is only satisfying if it is complete. Free return within 60 days. No passports; had to negociate a little. We shall return. Pizza libre for 9 pesos. In theory, you could order fifteen pizzas then make foodcastles out of ten of them. “I seem to be done with all this. You can throw it away now. And can I get a bowl of gnocchis as well?” Tenedor libre: a Fork in Freedom. Dash through downpour toward train. Play Cross of Fire on train home. Argentines, as always, sternly look on. Arrive in Retiro. Meeting in swankville Recoleta for going-away party. Pass a sculpture graveyard. Wealth has a specific aroma that could be bottled. Part leather, part beach, with a slight dab of boutique. It relaxes the cells. Ortiz is not a real street: it´s a sidewalk. No wonder. Three places tonight. Two bars and a club. There was a giant mirror in the second with really good rap: dangerous combination. Could not tear ourselves away. Dressed ourselves as fops. Bartender wanted to tazer us. Bahrein. Blinding strobes and fog. Food technology. Goodbye, Rose. “Que tomaron?” Everyone presumes our enthusiasm is the result of coke or amphetamines or…something. Licuado ritual. The workers never warm here. We have too few monuments to food in the world. Happy birthday, Joe Grillo!
I have an office job. Never had one in the States. Coffee mess. Kitchenette. Computers. Water cooler. Very Dot-com. Going to play soccer on Monday. Going to show these Argentines how it´s done. The old 2 to 6. The sky opened up again. Waterworld. It rains inside our apartment. Pots and pans filling with acid rain. Underwhelmed by chorros. A man spitting blood. Cartoneros wetting paper to more easily transport it. Unsuccessful in pursuit of bottle of wine. Complete fiasco. Reading day or movie night: we couldn´t take a hint, God says. Showers in the dark. Heidegger y Lacan. Early Heidegger´s analytic could be a strategy. My earliest thoughts: that philosophy is and ought to be a strategy. My shoes are rotting.
Souvenirs: Ojito. Such Busy Schedules.
Too much has happened to recall.
Sweater weather blows in. Reconfigures the mood. Subte to Abasto Shopping Center. The Neverland Arcade y Museo De Los Niños. Pricier. Sega Chicken Games. Emerson´s Transparent Eye sitting atop a videogame. The best games are the ones that best involve the cognitive processes. How do you identify with a game of chance though? I imagine the ideal as being the hybrid of videoarcade and a cognitive psychology lab, with rules and explanations. A ferris wheel indoors. A miniature indoor themepark upstairs; very Willy Wonka or FAO Schwartz. Sneak around movie theatre. Too easy here. Back to our favorite billiards-and-hamburger joint. Blaring hiphop from the jukebox. Swarms of mosquitos. Tableside service. Random assortment of balls. Vos perdiste? The place is run by a handful of highschoolers on summer break. Quintessence of summer vacation. A kilo of ice cream, down Corrientes.
Bahrein again. A girl approached the others. Gave them free passes. But why? The entrada is 50 pesos and the place is packed. Ojito: why are people so suspicious of our enthusiasm here? Met girls we swore were German: porteñas all of them. They were insane. Jonny launched me into a crowd. I accidentally punched a girl and bruised my face on someone´s shoulder.
Espuma wars for real.
Real life begins. Meet a ton of individuals at Appetite, during an opening. Daniella. Monica. George/Jorge/Porchi, the larger-than-life human cartoon and conceptual artist. The busiest of weeks. We get to paint the outside of the gallery. Famous graffiti artists we´re introduced as. We´re in the paper, as famous “German graffiti artists (www.corndawn.com)” Monica. Sleeplessness. The mural is the Pink Panther, a noticeably popular character in Argentina, with his hand in a laser. The laser beam refracting through the center pillar onto the other door, with Rockman from the Herculoids, halting the beam in a variopinto explosion. The aesthetic we were, or atleast I was, pulling for was the ambivalence and inscrutability of the hand-painted commercial signs in South America. Mild concern. The tracing aesthetic of cartoon fetishization. We agreed and disagreed, but with the final product were infinitely satisfied. http://www.appetite.com.ar. Museo de Los Niños with Monica. A mixture of good and bad intentions. Gringoworld. We´re going to transform Martín´s refrigerator. Language juice: wine and cola. Bar2. Somehow we were absorbed into the Buenos Aires artworld. Alejandro y Ezekiel, the coolest 13-yr-olds in BsAs, helped us with the mural. Paint problems. How are we going to leave?
… Here, the memories go soft: things started to get good.