Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Aimless Reading: The G's, Part 9.1 (Noah Eli Gordon)

The Frequencies
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Gordon, Noah Eli
The Frequencies

I think this, like the last, was given to me by the author when he visited. On the other hand, it might be a review copy. Or maybe I got it some other way. I can't remember.

My mother was in town over the weekend, and we spent the first day or so playing my favorite game -- trying to remember my childhood. Lately, I've been asking her to try to remember the addresses of the three homes we lived in in California in the 70's so I can look at them on Google Maps. They were all in the same town, Los Gatos, and they were all within a couple of miles of each other. She's said she has the addresses written down somewhere, but would need to dig in order to find them.

When she arrived on Thursday, we immediately got out my laptop and started trying to find the houses by looking at overhead map views of the town. We were pretty sure we found the last house we lived in, and I think we may have found the second house -- she was about 75 percent sure on the latter. She was able to remember how to get to each by taking a left or right off of various main roads in Los Gatos, but she couldn't remember the house numbers.

The details my mother remembered about the first house were that that it was on a hill and that there was a larger hill behind the house, which back in the day had been an orchard. The hill in front of the house was covered in ivy. The driveway was on the right side of the house. We virtually drove up and down the length of the street, but to no avail. It now seemed to be a very wealthy neighborhood, so we guessed the house may have been either torn down or added to.

She remembered that there was a little brick wall around the garden of the second, which was how we think we identified it. She didn't like that house.

She remembered there had been a rose garden between the third house and its neighbor. It was no longer there, but you could see where it might have been. I remembered a tall evergreen in the front yard. I remembered it because right before we left CA some kids had teepeed the house. In the morning, the tall evergreen had turned white from all the toilet paper wrapped around it. We spent the whole morning climbing up and down the tree to take it down. We couldn't get to the top, so we had to let the rain take care of the rest.

from The Frequencies


You told me that in the center of every bird there is a tiny radio, but your trying on of different voices won't help the notes exit, & dare I say, you weren't exactly born with wings. At heart I'm a ham operator, & whether lips make regret & beaks music is irrelevant to a bird's desire to touch. "I don't understand," you said, "it's easy enough to move on." I was stuck with fundraising duties, handling the complaint line. The producer handed me a passage from Moby Dick, made me cross out the word whale, replace it with our call letters & read it over the air. I was creaking the broadcast, afraid they'd come with torches to oust me from the isolation brought on by excess listening. I could always mention the albatross, but it'd be the obvious out, besides even a birdsound is a radio sputtering in white noise, enticed more by the bleached pigeon bones on the roof than your lackluster reception.

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