A Tinker, A Tailor

Episode Eighty-Three: A Tinker, A Tailor
In which the Soap Strip folk fall from specific.

1 comment:

  1. "Soldier's Things," Tom Waits, from Swordfishtrombones (1983). I think it was this song, about three-quarters of the way through the record, that made me realize - years ago, and perhaps erroneously - that the album was a concept album, following one man's life through raucous early years in the Navy and finally into ruinous drink, and prison. (Ending with a cinematic escape.)

    "Soldier's Things" is a snapshot of a sad yard sale in which all the tumult and passion described earlier is condensed into throw-away keepsakes displayed on a table. My house is littered with such: a box of Vatican souvenirs here, a shelf of collectible vases there, an arrangement of character jugs. Items handed down, now, several generations, the stories behind them completely lost. "This one was for bravery. And this one's for me." The person selling off the memorabilia still cannot completely let go - there's a wavery resolve inhibiting the transition.

    A loved one's father descends into Alzheimer's, and family jockeys into position around the various points of order: who physically cares for him and how, how are the legal issues handled, what happens to the house and possessions? A half-sister pops in from across the country with the ex-wife, her mother, and coordinates power of attorney, not even announcing her visit until it was already underway. And then pops back again, and refuses mediation. Communication is sparse and guarded. Meanwhile, the family back home deal in the dark with cleaning feces and breaking in when the phone goes out.

    On a delay in filling out financial forms, a line comes in from the distant coast: "I sprained my wrist." Absurd, when weighed against the heavy lifting of those left behind, and who have no legal power in the situation.

    Squidman: inane judgement from undeserving authority.

    The Soap frame: A clear photo of the younger man, the man today fading into the background, more of a hazy stick figure of the person he once was.

    The Pharm Life frame from the Tom Waits song. How our lives all eventually boil down: A box of cheap items on a table on a sunny weekend afternoon.

    And the resolution: Tom Waits, from an interview. Not clear if he was mocking or not, but saying he likes writing while driving - the road like magnetic tape moving through a recorder, a sense of forward motion, and the view from the windshild a vanishing point. The vanishing point playing in many senses here.

    Credit where due. Image of Waits was traced from image posted by Mark Chilcott on Reditt, https://www.reddit.com/user/mrmarkchilcott

    Guy holds a wind-up toy robot. Effluvia.



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