Sun Ra’s solo piano. There is a lovely recording of him at WKCR, Colombia University’s jazz beacon from back in 1977. Without an electric organ or indeed the Arkestra, it’s all rather pared down and it’s easy to hear Earl Hines, and Monk and Ellington, while still savoring his own inimitable, jumpy style through the spaceways.
Was down in the exterior garage we have this afternoon. It’s the middle of November and I’m out there working in a tee-shirt. I had it in my mind to find my missing bookshelf. The other three were wrapped up and shipped as complete units. Razor in hand, I cut open one and then another box and found it, disassembled. I guess I should be grateful they didn’t pack them all this way. The two sides are about seven feet tall. I think I found the top and the bottom pieces as well, though the shelves themselves remain to-be-discovered.
Conscious certainly, that this collapsible blade, could damage whatever it is I’m unpacking, I try to take it slow. But these are wrapped with pounds of tape that fastens the cardboard, below which are bubble wrap and even more tightly wrapped plastic saran-wrap. Even more important than protecting the furniture is my own epidermis. We learn early that you should only use a saw or a blade to cut away from your body. I manage to end a long pull of this knife straight into my calf. It doesn’t feel like much of a cut, but before long I can feel droplets of blood running down my leg. I think of a tale that a friend recently shared of Calvin Coolidge son Calvin Jnr.’s untimely demise after developing an infected blister, playing on the White House lawn. Thank the world, for the fact that there are disinfectants and antibiotics.
One small couch, another gaudy rococo cabinet that must have been in my wife’s Beijing studio. Over on the wall I unwrap one, and then two more wooden tables with bottom drawers. I can’t recall where all these items used to stand in our place in Shunyi. My wife yells from the driveway that she is off to pick up our little one. There are piles and piles of sliced up cardboard and plastic wrap, but that’s for another day. I’m going to get a bike ride in before it gets too dark.