Night, The First

On this night, I regret to inform you that your narrator thus far , A.J. Grimm, has suffered a blow to the head. Being in a condition that no longer permits him to carry out the pleasurable burden slotted to those damned enough to convey the tales of the fortunate – or so inversely – A.J.’s responsibility has been bequeathed to me, as I am his rightful heir in this realm.

As gruesomely evident in the pitiably mis-titled, “The First Night” of Grimmagain’s Wake, the great pressure of setting standards to ‘sub’ in the presence of re-integration’s disintegrating integrity put great strain on his storytelling (or that milling and mulling excerpt of pickled truth); and, as one can never wash the vinegary cleanliness/sterility out thereby retrieving original freshness, the story was encapsulated in bland restraint; put precisely, an aesthetic pleasing to the the local Madisonian isthmus.{Unlike A.J., I will be incapable of sugarcoating these affairs, and no apologies in advance.}

Therefore, in his absence, allow me to pick up the story where A.J. left it off last night, in his well effort-ed but poorly named, “The First Night.” Good riddance.

Night, The First

Self imposing completion of A.J.’s vision, I poorly and apathetically perused some notes he had left in his blog drafts, things he might have shared. One blog note read, “Carousel music muffles through the unbrandished frames of my brother’s studio. Stock steams in the kitchen and footsteps from above pin down echoes into long brick resonance chambers. A cracked-cupboard-and-plastic-bag aged Hojicha stirlessly commits to the innards of this tiny ceramic pot; its muddled leaves and charcoal-twig vapors whisper from the spouted pot, to keep me.”


Another lugubrious blog note read, “Every day a leaf turns and a brain-leech gets torched, and as To-do’s reached annihilation I looked back and found that my once rich diary had been turned into an unsavoury monotony of the same To-do list repeated over and over, piecemeal scratched out to sizeless as I got my shit together. A once spontaneous diary became the victim of rote memorization.”

 Still yet, another rather demure note, in his diary:

“So, what’s culture shock like?” the scarlet curl willow tree asked.

“Have you ever had a dream where you knew where you were but everything appeared different? Like your friends appear to you in a dream but with someone else’s body?” I asked her. I didn’t get a chance to finish the thought, to then ask her to imagine the converse, where your friends appear in your dream but their personality and character is something altogether unexpected. Perhaps you’re in your house but despite all appearances your gut tells you that this is not home, that you don’t belong here, that you aren’t welcome. That, that’s what I really wanted to get at, but some folks strolled through the shade garden at that time and I decided not to get into the thick of it in front of an unknown audience.”

The unspoken narrative of A.J.’s grotesque cultural molting can be re-imaged with a little intuition and a modicum of imagination from these bits of diary-dic evidence alone. I’ll spare you the rest, for my tale various quite a bit from these garrulous items and Exhibit-A’s. If I could sum up the nature of these months in Madison between Southern Spain and Metropolis Japan I’d say, “6 crows, a-gossiping.” If I could write out a recipe for its manifestation I’d pen, “One shit show that walks into a cafe bar. One day of insight from Theo. One solid laugh. One walk left unattended. One pinch of snow. Two dustings of translucent leaves having crossed the river of afternoon sun between the two sugar maples on a hill.” If I could prescribe an anti-dote, it would be Humility, straight and unadultered.

But, I wouldn’t do any of that, would I? That’s all simply irrelevant.

My agenda isn’t to explain away the coming journey, simply to discover it. Where will I take you? The coming “Night, A-Zed”s and their stories will start in Tokyo, Japan. What will I be doing? Becoming acquainted with contemporary Japan, with which I am entirely unfamiliar. How will I afford to live in Tokyo? None of your business. That, in fact, will be a story completely unrelated to Grimmagains Wake, understand? I don’t want to hear any whining, any inane inquiries, or any comments concerning just how Huckleberry goes on about affording sustenance and adventure in Japan. You’ll simply have to exercise faith that Huckleberry’s methods are just, and the fountain of his bountiful finances legal. Under NO circumstances should my clandestine employment be confused with the contents or even considered related to the adventures detailed in the “Night, A-Zed”s to come.

How many nights will this tale continue? As long as the whisky flows. Should you dress up? If you’d like. What should you bring to these nightly tales? What you will. As can be observed, ‘Night, The First’ has been a rather casual affair – no one will send you home from the fireside on account of sartorial matters. Should ‘proper’ attire be required, you’ll receive a warning on the night preceding such a hypothetical night’s tale. Are you allowed to ask questions? Yes, absolutely! Just wait ‘till each night’s story has been told in its completion and then you’ll be free to ask any questions you like.

So, what’s the scene this “Night, The First”?

I’ve just woken from a deep sleep. It’s a cool November evening in Wisconsin and a fog coats the encroaching horizon. The waves of Lake Mendota, relieved of a barrier, reveal their potential composure: extended, outstretched, fearless and unhurried. They embrace movement in all directions. I envy them for a moment, and look for a way to get myself on those waters towards the reticent and unlocatable vanishing point of this night’s peculiarly absent horizon. Thick moisture flows high above hush the normally verbose luminescence hanging, waxing away. The clouds curtail her efforts now but her light will have its full effect in several days, cutting contours instead of dissipating into the fog. Then, I’ll have a great deal to tell, our second night, after I’ve arrived in Tokyo, Japan.


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