Thursday, March 14, 2013

Baroque, Barqu, Barque, Borracho, Boxer


Hope comes in to work on our first memo of understanding for those working in our building, needing to clarify roles, responsibilities, etc.  Signs announcing a public hearing regarding our building causing consternation. Need to get to the bottom of this.

Stephen digging deeper into the organ issue. Makes contact with the Austin Organ Company. Learning the history of our unique instrument and its unique (eccentric?) creator Allan Van Zoeren who may have been the first link in West-Park’s curious connection with Portland, Oregon. At some point, he got taken by the idea of going Baroque and rigged it up accordingly. So now Austin calls it a hybrid. We wind up trying to figure out how to turn the old instrument on. We find the bellows and manage to get it on, but the keyboard remains elusive. RL’s attention is drawn to the project and he provides a jack of all trades supervisor’s eye. The organ was last played by Leila’s father, Samir, deep into the days after the church was closed. He loved that instrument, made it his own.  

RL and Poet Tim invite me up to the studio. RL’s been working on archival material for the Dream project. telling the story of his Barqu Barque. Barqu, of course, being the demon responsible for the philospopher’s stone, maintainer of ancient wisdom. RL figured that was a good icon for his old books store. His dream was of a schooner which turned into a full sail pushcart with wagon wheels and a cargo of books. It’s a long story. Spoiler alert: ends with a breakdown, a flask, a limo and Staten Island boat burial. Better wait for the movie.

The Mexican from yesterday has returned. Near to pass out drunk. I’m very concerned. Too drunk to make sense. Mi hermano, no se puede estar aqui en este condicion. He just stares back. Martin comes out, says pretty much the same thing, except in proper  castellano. We decide to call 911. Martin tells him he’s going off to get coffee for him. To not go anywhere. Esparase. I have to go inside a minute When I come back, el borracho is gone. Martin returns with the coffee. Damn, Need to call off the EMT's. I’ll take the coffee.

Basta. Enough. Time to go home. Rachelle has found me. Tells me  she’s missed me. Asks if I’m going to the St. Patrick’s day parade. Church morning I say. She smiles. Boxer Mike approaches with his Dalmatians. Wearing a classic felt and leather boxing club jacket with embroidered gloves and sweats, wearing his old school Golden Gloves medal. I been tryin to get a room from you for two years, he says. Keep tellin’ you, wrote me a proposal, I respond. All I need is a place to hang my bags, he says, for the kids. He hangs with me until the Dalmatians decide to go elsewhere. Just some bags, he calls over his shoulder as he disappears down a cross street, just some bags....

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