chase scenes serial #12

air it was clear how much of the city the hospital monopolized. It was an incredibly utilitarian city. I would call it gritty but it was meticulously clean. It was gritty in the sense that it was quotidian. There was no affectation or posturing to appeal to anyone save the people who needed it to survive. The folks popping in and out of Coffee Break buying their regular flavoured drinks held a small town familiarity on their sleeves that, as I watched them silhouetted against the glass storefront, not the pane that was covered from head to sill in flavoured syrup, contrasted to the bleak wide streets with ‘For Lease’ signs and empty storefronts. Perhaps they chose this desolation as their town aesthetic. It would not be so easy to sell out‡. From the window of the hotel I could see a TGI Friday’s, Staples, and Pier One, crouching outside the perimeter, waiting for the last picture show to play so that it could smother the town in signs and seal up all the windows. Bismarck was not somewhere that needed more than one of something. The coffee shop we had sought out for our introduction to the city was long gone, Coffee Break was fittingly visible from that intersection. So if they had planted an additional ‘BISMARCK’

chase 7

I have been back from North Dakota for five (5) days now and I stretch my memory during this compositional process to recall episodes that I am neglecting. I believe I shall list them here for the sake of the remainder of the footnotes, first I should like to mention that the man leafleting just to my left was just barking very loudly like a dog. I wonder what sort of impression we used to make in the mid-1990s when protesting fur stores. We received a balanced share of positive and extremely negative attention. I remember one instance in front of Lenox Mall in Atlanta where a man in a pick-up truck threw a large piece of meat still on the bone out of his window at us, then proceeded to drive up on the sidewalk at us. And although we most likely looked like fools, I can be sure in saying that, at that moment, we all felt and exhibited passion for the cause we were standing for [I don’t know if I was inspired by the glances upward in the page where my mind may have trained on “sell out,” for I did mention in the note that “at that moment” we all felt strongly, because it was not long after this period of time that we were having regular protests that some of the most vocal animal rights activists began to do such things as eat meat or become interested in survivalism and hunting in the spirit of Ted Nugent, real roughriders and plainsmen, or whether the thread was inspired merely by the ineffectual protest being staged amidst my composition]. No, I shall not list the episodes for your sake. Maybe I can say “you” now with more ease as I feel that one week of composition, for I didn’t start writing until Friday night, although the notebook was purchased Thursday night, yet I am no longer writing in the notebook but on the proofs of the running narrative, is worth allowing ‘you’ to read, and as I have already had some initial positive feedback I surely intend to share this. And even though I have been back for five (5) days I don’t believe that excuses me from the initial impulses regarding the construction of the text. The ‘I’ of last Friday night would be very disappointed.



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