Try to be pure at heart, they arrest you for robbery,
Mistake your shyness for aloofness, your shyness for snobbery,
Got the message this morning, the one that was sent to me
About the madness of becomin’ what one was never meant to be.
West of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar,
I see the burning of the stage,
Curtain risin’ on a new age,
See the groom still waitin’ at the altar.

–Bob Dylan

Chapter 11. Sunlight, nature’s best disinfectant was clearing out the last few doppler shadows…

Sunlight, as nature’s best dis­in­fec­tant, was clear­ing out the last few doppler shad­ows bridg­ing the bel­li­cose scen­esters and hair­spray gob­lins al­ready on the lurk for the lapsed chances of­fered to the quick and the dead first and then to the able and the ea­ger still catch­ing up on some great es­cape plan as they race through black and white to emerge avail­able on the mar­ket of blank souls but for­tu­nate­ly it was al­ready too late for this crew be­cause every last one of us was still cling­ing by half-painted vitamin-deficient fin­ger­nails from some brit­tle an­gel­ic reef de­flect­ing this loaded yet in­de­ci­pher­able noise as if bro­ker­ing their col­lec­tive mind of an­cient por­tents up­on new da­ta. That is to say, every­one on this wing of the Jesus & Mary Chain fan club of Lincoln Park, by class­less de­sign, had al­ready picked sides. It was one of those per­fect­ly chilled crisp Friday the 13ths. A star­tling, aro­mat­ic beau­ti­ful au­tumn day. Picture per­fect for all the er­rand hop­ping on the agen­da that morn­ing as we rolled off the aw­ful mat­tress and box springs still on the floor near­ly two years af­ter mak­ing the apart­ment home. But wit­ness the sky on this most faux spooky of days! The cos­mos had for­tu­itous­ly strung to­geth­er a clus­ter of these per­fect­ly tem­pered days where blue out­weighed white in an un­de­clared spat for best sky of the ’85 sea­son well-punctuated by things on­ly doppler shad­ows can know. Betsy and I worked, she in an of­fice on K Street, I out in Fairfax County out in the field, as they say in the en­gi­neer­ing busi­ness, but we’d both tak­en the day off to arrange our own wed­ding. Such it is with sec­ond and third be­trothals. Soon enough that op­u­lent au­tumn sky would be gone, junked briefly for a dif­fer­ent sort of punk and dis­or­der­ly phase of spa­tial love­mak­ing. Lighting is every­thing. The ab­sence of light en­cour­ages the spooky, and with all that was rid­ing on this cer­e­mo­ny, we were stand­ing not with tra­di­tion, but with the deca­dent charms of a cor­rupt and con­ven­ing age. Black the ea­ger pig­ment of night sky gap­ing, life­less and with­out form now cloaked the city. Black the earnest parch­ment of search­ing souls clutch­ing at un­stat­ed cru­ci­fix­es roamed the rud­dy red streets, flut­ter­ing like un­like­ly moths, be­guil­ing as gnats and patched voic­es of un­prepped kids stand­ing for the skid as if it were the braver thing to do, oh boy, bang girls greas­ing the bid with cher­ry red lip­stick and cheap chem­i­cal ro­mance, un­bound buff studs on the porch with­out a hay­seed among them, blue fox and pitch sim­ple, cop­per rain and plat­inum coif de­vices boast­ing an­gry and re­sent­ful se­crets kept in ripped pock­ets, wrapped purs­es, week­end spikes, spit in­to the wind of spoil­er an­thems, imag­i­nary com­bat, yes, granny boots and sud­den­ly hip corsets pulled out of the clos­et on high, and once more for a short sea­son un­til sea­soned rage turns molten heads again, dig­ging up fam­i­ly roots as ruth­less as the open fly — all — kept flow­ing, the base­ment door propped open in a du­bi­ous sig­na­ture to greet our ges­ture savvy con­gre­ga­tion with in­creas­ing hints of how swollen the num­ber grow­ing to fill the walls and halls, cir­cles and cliques our par­tic­u­lar DC Rowhouse had com­ing. Quiet neigh­bor­hood ex­pec­ta­tions meets noisy to the bone. All fresh cer­tain­ties. Earlier in this bright day, jug­gling her tasks and anx­i­eties, her se­nior parent’s ar­rival on Delta, shag­ging bor­rowed dress from Eva, her mother’s wed­ding dress, and shop­ping for items not to be found in this once con­ser­v­a­tive town for at least an­oth­er decade and a half. We fi­nal­ly bought a red rose and had them spray paint­ed black. Rather apro­pos, I guess, now that I think about it all these thin and fat years lat­er.

This two-party town, hard­ly a honk­ing any­thing goes wreck­ing ball city of splen­dor back in those dan­de­lion and daf­fodil days, is where George Washington him­self had picked the plot for the new plan­ta­tion, the nation’s cap­i­tal to be built back in his day, when any­thing any­body did or even thought about now not on­ly is his­toric but more im­por­tant­ly, seems his­toric, but for the pur­pos­es of this sen­tence he prob­a­bly nev­er slept in this camp now bear­ing his name, out­side a tent, hav­ing long al­ready in­her­it­ed and im­proved his Mt. Vernon es­tate just up the road.

That af­ter­noon I can­vassed the Mall like any good punk rock­er, hand­ing out DIY wed­ding in­vi­ta­tions to al­most any­one, pro­mot­ing sub­ur­ban band Asbestos Rockpyle in as good a light as it ever got. Mine was not a so­phis­ti­cat­ed method­ol­o­gy as wed­ding plan­ning goes, but it was one that would work best with a crowd al­ways look­ing for an im­me­di­ate place and an ex­cuse to be, an im­me­di­ate place and plat­form to show it off, an im­me­di­ate place and sound to bang a band, or an im­me­di­ate place and open tap to get wast­ed, sloshed, or com­plete­ly wast­ed. Not hav­ing a enough no­table friends who I thought might show up, hav­ing on­ly been in town the same length of time as my box springs, I was just ger­ry­man­der­ing the dis­trict for best re­sults. Not to men­tion that all this mar­riage busi­ness had on­ly start­ed about three weeks ear­li­er, on a dare.

Straight up black tee, torn jeans, leather, and chains, red ban­dana knot­ted above the boots. Mohawk. Kids with no names and un­fa­mil­iar faces but uni­form in­tact kept flow­ing in­to the pe­riph­ery, bel­low­ing out, “Where am I? What’s this ad­dress?” Guess they had made it over to the base­ment on some­one else’s guid­ing light. But here they were. Wanting the ad­dress to give to oth­ers. The tele­phone num­ber. Despite my sat­u­ra­tion of the Mall with fly­ers, this had be­come a spon­ta­neous word of mouth event. These in­ter­rup­tions were a joy­ous blip on my radar, but I fi­nal­ly made a poster and taped it to the front door. I had at least for the past thir­ty min­utes been scrib­bling down the vows. Actually, I was writ­ing a long min­is­te­r­i­al ad­dress, in ink, and while not ex­act­ly a mas­ter­piece among the ru­ins, the doc­u­ment still holds up to a cer­tain scruti­ny. The min­is­ter la­dy would ar­rive short­ly. I need­ed to com­plete the task at hand. Where were my lieu­tenants? Just a few more lines to wrap this thing up…

George Washington slept here. You’ve heard it dozens of times. You’ve seen it print­ed on signs and brochures that pro­mote his­toric at­trac­tions, inns, pubs and tav­erns through­out the 13 orig­i­nal colonies. In fact, one might won­der if Washington had nar­colep­tic ten­den­cies. How else could one man sleep in so many places?

Records show that Washington, like so many of his fel­low found­ing fa­thers, was a trav­el­ing man. He spent days, weeks, even months on the road dur­ing his mil­i­tary and po­lit­i­cal ca­reers. And since Maryland was one of the orig­i­nal colonies — and briefly func­tioned as the cap­i­tal of the United States in Washington’s time — the state can cer­tain­ly claim its fair share of places where the first pres­i­dent ate, drank, en­ter­tained, ad­dressed his con­tem­po­raries, planned rev­o­lu­tion­ary tac­tics, ne­go­ti­at­ed peace, and even dozed off every now and then.

The shad­ow Doppler ve­locime­try sys­tems car­ry dou­ble fiber-array sen­sors de­vel­oped for the mea­sure­ments of par­ti­cle tra­jec­to­ry an­gles and for the stereo­scop­ic in­ves­ti­ga­tion of par­ti­cles. Their per­for­mance is in­ves­ti­gat­ed in two ap­pli­ca­tion ex­am­ples; the mea­sure­ments of par­ti­cles in os­cil­lat­ing mo­tions and of those in pipe flows. The par­al­lel 2-line fiber-array con­fig­u­ra­tion en­ables us to mea­sure the tra­jec­to­ry an­gle in a plane per­pen­dic­u­lar to the op­ti­cal ax­is, with the mea­sure­ment er­rors less than 1.5 de­grees. The high ac­cu­ra­cy of the present method re­al­izes high­ly ac­cu­rate par­ti­cle shape re­con­struc­tion process of shad­ow sig­nals, com­pared with that used in the nor­mal SDV with a sin­gle fiber-array sen­sor. The present con­fig­u­ra­tion al­so pro­vides the in­for­ma­tion on the oth­er tra­jec­to­ry an­gle in a plane par­al­lel to that in­clud­ing two laser beams, even though on­ly its ab­solute val­ue can be ob­tained. The sta­tis­ti­cal av­er­age of the ab­solute val­ues of the an­gles larg­er than ap­prox­i­mate­ly 5 de­grees can be mea­sured with the mea­sure­ment er­rors less than 3 de­grees. In case of stereo­scop­ic mea­sure­ments where two SDV op­ti­cal sys­tems are uti­lized, the shad­ows of irregularly-shaped par­ti­cles tak­en by both op­ti­cal sys­tems show dif­fer­ent par­ti­cle prop­er­ties from each oth­er, such as area-equivalent di­am­e­ters and as­pect ra­tios. This dif­fer­ence is con­sid­ered to be es­pe­cial­ly im­por­tant when the flow char­ac­ter­is­tics have sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on par­ti­cle ori­en­ta­tions. It can be al­so found by means of the stereo­scop­ic SDV that, in the present pipe flow ex­per­i­ments, the tra­jec­to­ries of par­ti­cles whose ax­i­al ve­loc­i­ty is far less than the main flow are in­flu­enced by three di­men­sion­al ef­fects, pos­si­bly de­rived from the win­dows in­stalled on the pipe wall.

Friends and fel­low wankers, we
are col­lect­ed here at this ob­nox­ious
but cor­rec­tive hour to wit­ness and cel­e­brate a high and holy so­cial con­tract, the merg­er of two spe­cial and not so un­de­serv­ing char­ac­ters of re­pose who dare to laugh at the ghost of con­fu­sion and hypocrisy by pro­claim­ing their com­mitt­ment to their own au­tonomous gaze in­to the crip­pled sta­tus of mat­ri­mo­ny. Let us rec­og­nize this in smiles and oth­er fine wash­ables; re­joice and remember—be faith­ful and mul­ti­ply!

Sue and Gabriel, you are in­spir­ing each oth­er to weld a sol­id re­la­tion­ship tonight based not on the old un­re­li­able con­cept of love, but based on a mu­tu­al need and alien­ation which has con­found­ed the ex­perts, be­lit­tled the gos­sips, and wrecked the ties that bind. There ex­ists some doubt in the cyn­i­cal minds of the dis­grun­tled that you are en­ti­tled to such a pa­per chase turf as you have laid claim, but you march in vi­sion to­wards ho­moge­ny, con­ti­nu­ity, cre­ative in­dul­gence, and artis­tic sup­pli­ca­tion. This mar­riage is made in the earth­i­est of ter­rain, in heav­en as on earth. Til death shall you par­take of the felled plea­sures and cho­sen re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of your vows.

Make no vows but in­voke spaz in­tegri­ty. A spir­i­tu­al con­spir­a­cy. Words that evap­o­rate the pain of liv­ing should be your con­stant ef­fort. Shepherd your facts with a nose to­wards each oth­ers lusts and in­spi­ra­tions, for it is with this stroke and ar­dor that gives good odor to the breath of your next ide­al. No dan­ger would then come to you or your moral codes. Live for no slo­gans. For slo­gans are mere­ly word­suck. Your knowl­edge shall be­come pro­found through the car­nal test of time so as to stump your de­trac­tors, bury the dead, raise the liv­ing to new heights of sur­re­al­is­tic ac­cep­tance fo­cussing on passion’s de­nom­i­na­tion. Your creed is your ter­mi­nal be­lief in the naked sym­bols of rite and be­hav­ior. You strug­gle to res­ur­rect them in each oth­er. You bank on each oth­er. You sur­vive each oth­er. Your bootheels are leg­ends to your maps of sub­tle de­cen­cy. How many times have peo­ple you have known and even your­selves vowed for­ev­er and for­ev­er – on­ly to scratch off in that great sta­tis­ti­cal grave­yard – di­vorce? So who’s in charge here? What God has joined to­geth­er, let no man put asun­der. The scam is up, the au­di­ence nev­er sleeps.

This is America the Unsolvable. This is SAMPLEX. This is holy mat­ri­mo­ny, and fi­nal­ly, this is Gabriel and Sue.

Will you about face to face it?

Gabriel, do you take Sue to be your work of de­pen­den­cy, to love her, to pro­tect her and to be her num­ber one skank, as long as you both shall re­mem­ber? And Sue, do you take Gabriel to be your work of de­pen­den­cy, to love him, to pro­tect him from his dis­tant daze, and to be his crown of thorns so long as you both shall cur­ry to in­vest?

The rings…”

Your rings are a sign of the times, to be worn as a per­pet­u­al warn­ing to your­selves and to oth­ers that love is lost when con­fu­sion knocks on inspiation’s door. Souls grow on bones but die be­neath bankers’ hours. Go forth and search new words and new sea­sons for con­tra­band. Take these rings in re­mem­brance of these things.

Remember too, the be­guil­ing phras­es. (They took us as fools and pried us free of our ques­tions.) This is just an­oth­er evening, an un­quot­ed evening, in the weird an­nals of mankind. Don’t waste words, at their con­di­tion. They may nev­er come again. And don’t waste Sid Vicious. He may nev­er come again! I pro­nounce you skank and skank, known here and for­ev­er as:

Gabriel Thy & Sue Hedrick.

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