Monday, January 03, 2011

Say When To Stop

Brovic - Blogging since 1903
Say When To Stop

KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Just realized why I'm here and not there, and there when I'm not here. It's so I can garden year-round. It came to me in a flash yesterday while working around the palms, which incidentally, have yielded a crop of about ten thousand offspring, palmlets, now about six inches high.

They're all over the place, thousands of them, after the palms flowered last year in little would you describe it?...loose, almost grape-like clusters out-of-a-pod profusions those little tiny-ass yellow bees went after like crazy, then next came little oval smaller-than-a-pea hard green seed-like...seeds...that eventually fell to the ground, took hold, and now, VOILA!

I'm sitting on a fucking gold mine, baby! Alls I gotta do is put them in individual pots with a little potting soil and coconut barks and fibers, let 'em lay a couple years, maybe three, or five, and we're talking a substantial amount of cash, especially if you can sell your product to naive foreigners, twice above and beyond the normal, everyday Thai.

A nursery. A nursery, they'd call it in The States.

Okay, granted, it's labor-intensive. I've learned that on the first fifty. You can hire a Myanmar, factor in the cost, the plastic pots and soil mix, and you still come out ahead, unless you keep giving them away. One-year old yellow palm tree-to-be...fifty cents? A dollar? Two years, five bucks, sure. Three years, you're looking at a 7-10 dollar tree. See how it goes? Four years, five years, yeah, now we're talking...plane tickets.

'How mush you need?'

"How mush you can pay?"


I Give You Three Choices

Yeah, some of you people on that contact list, I haven't heard from in a LONG-ass time. What've you got, three options? You see who it's from, and delete it, straightaway to trash; you can open it, and read it, and never respond; you can open it, read it, chuckle or not, and drop me a note.

As in, drop me a note expressing how you can relate, how the story put you there, how it made you roll on the floor, tears in your eyes, how it made you wonder...either about the content, or the writer.

No feedback. You know what they say that does to a nigga, don't you? Make a nigga go bananas, momma used to say. Or, no, maybe that's an isolation chamber. Yeah, an isolation chamber make a nigga go bananas. No feedback is something else...lack of knowledge of results. And if you don't know what the results are, you can keep on making the same mistakes, over and over, the same redundant mistakes.

over and over.


It was Damon who came in here telling me, 'You're lucky. You know what you do. You're a writer.' And he went on to tell me he had a new drug that he thought I'd like, if I wanted to come down to the bar, something like ecstasy, 'It'll make a nun turn into a prostitute,' he said. I told him in declining that it didn't sound like something good for me. I'd have to catch him later.

Point was, he told me I'm a writer, which was a comforting affirmation from the outside 3-D world, outside my head, of who I think I am, and so after laying off for a good spell, partly because the coffee shop internet cafe on the rez isn't the best place for writing, and partly because I didn't have no good ideas, then came a flurry of entries launched at the end of the year to make it look like I'd done something in 2010, as a writer.


Say When

Take landscaping, for instance. Or a piece of artwork. Or a military venture. Or a lot of things I undertake; sometimes I don't know when to stop. I see it in others, as well. Head across the Gobi, up the Nile. Some people don't know when to stop; like, drinking, for instance, on the rez, or me, when I think I'm being funny and getting a good laugh from the audience, I keep on until I make my own self nauseous.

People are just being kind, I know, when I run through some of my routines, like Hitler, a speeded up mimed rendition of his speech at Brandenburg, pointing at a map, pinching a child's cheek, flashing off a salute... clutching at his chest with clenched fists...everybody has seen the same could say it's sure feels funny when I do it.

Or, say, a piece of artwork. A shield; 'Those feathers look good on there. Let's add a couple more. Balance it out. Add eight. A couple more, until the whole thing looks fucked up, and not the simple thing you set out for it to be. Know what I mean? Check out your garage, for instance.

Could you get a car in there? That's what I'm talking about. And dinner last night, for instance. Somebody should've stopped him. What the hell, two scoops. Supersize that motherfucker.

And out there in the garden, or a landscaping project, the dance floor, the lie, the never-ending story, the bullshit-without-end, the fanatical pursuit of a current project, like the nursery, where like tobacco prayer ties, you make fifty, and you can't stop right there, so you make one hundred fifty more, and it's starting to look and feel real good, so you're on a roll with a couple hundred more, and before long, you've got a thousand seedlings and a long string of ties and somebody tell him when to stop.

And then it's done. Done, to the point where you can say so, if you're not a perfectionist, over-critical of every eensy-teensy little flaw. Just say, 'Thanks,' man. Done with the shields, the amulets, the theses, the painting, the drums, the aircraft, the back flips, the kites, the there's one, where the kids always told me when to stop. They told me to stop when they saw me pick it up...begged me after the first few notes.

Who was it?...I asked somebody if they put out a garden. They said no. 'Not even one tomato plant?' I asked.

'Not even one.'


Now, see? That's a natur...what I'd call a natural ending, a perfect place to stop, and we could end it right there, but, see?...this is what I'm talking about. But there's more, like Tom said about redundancy, 'It sounded so good, I'm gonna say it again.'

Picking up sea shells, putting all them fucking railroad ties in that raised-bed garden in Indiana,* going over the rapids after that guy, all those drugs, the comedy routines that turned a favorable audience hostile, the basketball, swimming out to sea...somebody should have told me where to stop.

A woman will tell a guy when to stop. 'Stop right there. If you cut any more, it's going to look weird.'

Flat out, she'll say so.

'If you keep...(fill in the blank), you're going to...'


So, I guess we need that hand check, like editors and whatnot. 'Here, take a look at this. Tell me what you think.'

Honest people will tell you if it's for shit, or not. Nice people, and your friends will tell you it's the greatest, some of your best work, you're the greatest, keep it coming, you've should've won, you should've been on the starting five, you've could've been a part time network anchor.

Manny used to say everybody needs somebody to tell them when to stop.

'Don't go too far, Tony.' Remember that line, from 'Scarface?'

'No, Mel. You've gone too far.'

When to stop, walk away, count your losses, regroup, take a step back, pump the brakes, ease up on the choke hold, assess the damage, see if it fits, call for the switch hitter, relief from the bullpen, clear the bench, put in the subs, toss in the towel, tap out, beg for mercy, look for a new job, pit crew, a new hobby, quit bull-riding, bronc-riding, smoking, overtime, hard drinking, hard drugs, peyote meetings, fucking around, going 'out', driving a car...

'One of these days he's going to have to stop driving.' They said. Your mom, your sister, your kids.

You need a refill? Tell me when to stop. Say when.


*When we moved from the area, an Old Order Church of the Brethren (big hat, long beard, black suspenders, long-sleeve blue shirt; on her, a pioneer's dress and bonnet) couple moved in. I joyfully thought I had bequeathed them a prize-winning victory garden, with raised beds, hanging plants, and flagstone patios and walkways. They had it torn up and reduced back down to bare, straight rows again. It was, 'too fancy', they said.