gibraltar// i used the map, followed glossy in my pocket, to find the footpath up, which began with great wide steps colored on the sides with the british flag and the word "apes". from there it devolved into a rocky path, and i felt so cool walking swiftly seeking new footsteps in my new too-cool nikes. hiking fast fast up, and think fast fast up in real present time, every synapse firing in seek of the next step; the quick scan of terrain rock and dirt, flash judgments on distance, stability and comfort. and so necessary to your unbreaking legs is this attention to the ground beneath the feet that all extraneous thought is gone, its just find the STEP, find the STEP, find the STEP, and is this suddenly meditation? perhaps.
then there the path ends and now a small stretch of narrow road, now a boring paved walk up up, and aw come on i wanted to hike all the way. ah, but: there: just over a blue gate: is: my god,
going all the way up the side of the rock of gibraltar. easily three hundred steps. and its fenced off, because looking just a bit up i can see the metal banister is completely wasted, twisted and dangling towering-inferno-style, with a sheer drop teasing. yeah, they cant let people climb this. but they havent really done that good of a job of closing it, have they? just a sign, "no access", and a gate, but no, i could jump that very easily. and john cougar (premellencamp) stirs my blood-- "i fight authority, authority always win...well, ive been doin it since i was a young kid and i come out grinning..." and grinning indeed i was as i started up, so many steps, sweat pouring off of me, but knowing that at the top (assuming the rock cops arent waiting for me) ill see the rock a lot more clearly then my taxied neighbors.
something new on this contract is that i dislike my musical director quite a bit. he is old and tired. the soul is gone. he calls impenema. he condescends and yells. he forgets things. hes foolish. he talks incessantly. hes rude, belittles the guest entertainers and av staff to their face. worst of all, he is a terrible bass player, missing accidentals left and right. nothing so bad as a bass note a half step off. he got lost during naima and walked off the stage. and then he keeps playing these power fifths during jazz ballads...what the fuck? anyway.
so i am learning again the songs of hated authority, watching myself with mystery and glee when i am silent and cold, or harsh and belligerent. never am i so unenlightened as when i am dealing with bad authority. such small electric thrill, the game the cruel game i play to let this man know he does not have my respect. you dont get to have my jokes, my eye contact, my full conversation, my easy compliance. i will hold back from you until you remember what you are doing and start to do it well. so childish i am! so so! and i am not as bad as i was in the teen years, but sometimes i break and i bring it on and i am difficult just for the joy of watching him lose his shit. its human, its what happens, and i wont believe that its all bad when i can do it and he can do it. that is: not all negative interactions are necessarily bad. they are the whole, they call me out and slam me and challenge me and grow me. the world of ego cannot just be ignored. now i keep it down, and i try not to spend dinner in the mess spilling my complaints onto the others as so many crew members do, but i enjoy my private jousts, and i delight with fantasies of it going too far, i tingle when it starts to happen again and theres another experience to soak in.
in school a lot i got accused of challenging authority for its own sake, but this is not so; its only disenlightenment that i challenge, authorities who are cold and closed and cruel. and they get it, they get it from me, and i know its not constructive for them, i cant change them, but maybe it is constructive for me. let me feel it. let me remember my me deep inside, hard and inflexible. let me know how people work, what the lines are---
and most important how absurdity fits into it all. ie what if in the middle of this lecture i just start saying meowing at the man, literally meowing and clawing at my boss like a cat? answer to that one: i will get taken out to the deck and yelled at.
that happened a few nights ago. the tension did create some really hot music, ill say that at least.
at the top of the rock of gibraltar, above the monkeys who leapt at me, i climbed still further, off the road, on top of a lookout tower and high onto the rock cliffs where the sky was everywhere and the wind a sea of sound. and there almost at the top there were seagulls, seagulls everywhere, all screaming "CAAA! CAAAA!" and the higher i got the more they screamed at me. until finally they started diving at me, swooping right down at my head with the most deafening high shrill "CAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" and i ducked fast and the wind and the sky and the sea on three sides around me, africa in the distance, and one dropped guano just to my left in a deafening splat and another dive bombs me, CAAA!!!! and im maybe 20 feet form the top. but CA-CAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! and so i, scared, screamed out loud, "All Right! All Right! Im Going!" and i turned back, back to my human world of taxis and roads and petty ego interactions so far removed from this raw rock and sky. ill play all i want in that human world, but the birds had authority there, and the authority of birds great masters of the heaven, is not to be challenged.