The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 123
The gods play dirty. They had me. I was as stuck in Maya, as hounded by all the shape shifting forms of temptation, nostalgia and emotion as anyone else.
Happy birthday, kid.
Sometimes you reach these states or discover yourself in circumstances in which a kind of self induced catatonia is, all things considered, the logical response; like the second time I was threatened with violence back in the Mex ghetto days.
Same dude and his posse were outside my front door, late at night, drunk, cackling, then whispering. I got up, threw the door open and said: “What the fuck?!”
The leader snarled back: “Who you calling an asshole, motherfucker?!”
OK. Yeah. They were THAT drunk.
So I walked backwards three steps, sat on the floor in full “earth touch” lotus posture, and closed my eyes. They began whispering again, then left.
During a break in her art theory class the next day, I told El the story, told her I got lucky. “Hm um. I wouldn’t call it luck. My guess is they’re from the Yucatan. And to them, that shit is voodoo. Not Haitian voodoo, but this crazy, mixed up blend of Catholicism and indigenous witchcraft.”
El: Uh huh. How you knew to do it is the weird thing.
Not quite how I responded to the death of Ali, however. The following day I found a very dramatic, wide-angle shot of an empty boxing ring—a high contast b&w taken from a low, ringside corner position. Diffused light drifted down from straight above. Next, a color shot of an exotic butterfly in flight, superimposed near the light source. Then I desaturated, took the opacity down to 64%, fused the layers, posted the finished, caption-less collage on FB and Ello. Simple. And powerful.
I was done. But the gods weren’t done with me.
The motherfucker caught fire immediately on Ello. Nine reposts, 21 loves, 12 comments and 500+ views inside the first hour. Inside the third my follower numbers had tripled. Similar reaction on FB.
My personal goodbye had gone viral.