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The Declaration of Dominance

Saturday 8/14/21

I was thinking the other day--in my entire life, there have been four people I've enjoyed speaking to at all. Where they interested me. Where I looked forward to hearing what they had to say. And with whom I might have benefited from the exchange. They had insight, they could make me laugh, they were conversationally valuable.


I ran 3000 stairs today. Got there late, because I got up late and I wrote a brilliant 2000 word story that just came to me. Came to me as I started it. That is, started something, which was nothing--a thought--and then it grows up into something impeccably developed and masterful. I just make it. I need to go over the story, hard, and fix and develop. But it's there.


It is feast season in the North End. That means a highly irritating, out of tune, ridiculous brass band made up of obese middle-aged men parades up and down the streets making a lot of noise throughout the day and night.


But what it especially means from last Thursday on through tomorrow night is that the feast itself--all of these kiosks selling fatty foods and cheap, tacky knick-knacks and bootleg T-shirts and sweatshirts--is set up on my street.


For instance, one kiosk is wrapped in this posterized type of awning that depicts members of the New England Patriots at the signing of the Declaration of Independence--in the John Trumbull style--with Belichick, Kraft, Brady all wearing wigs. To give you an idea of how timely this graphic is, Aaron Hernandez is also present in his wig. The title of this masterpiece? The Declaration of Dominance. You even get the bootleg Patriots label, because of course the whole thing is a licensing violation.


For a meathead, this is akin to beholding the Sistine Chapel. The kind of person who buys such a poster--and of course they're sold in less humongous sizes for the classy man cave--is the kind of person who gets it framed and thinks he has a real work of art on his hands.


The feasts are utterly disgusting. It's like, get off the street, stop sitting next to the sewer grating stuffing your face, take a swim in the ocean, go for a hike in the woods, visit a farm. Read a book. I don't know, watch The Bicycle Thief. Pure sloppiness. "I hereby sign this document asserting our dominance over the AFC East."


Sometimes I look at my neighbors--in their sleeveless undershirts as perpetual outerwear--and think, "You people produced Dante, what's going on here? Can't we do better than this?"