Accept the Gift

First posted 12/11/2016 as The Night Bobby Found Christ in an Abandoned Subway Car

I read the Nativity story as the story of a God who decides to incarnate as an outcast among the poor and oppressed people of a barbaric civilization with a static class system.

Life was brutish and short for the poor.

The warrior God of Israel takes flesh as an impoverished Jewish outcast whose
life is in danger from the moment of conception.

It’s a great story!

I wondered how it might look today and saw a homeless youth who finds
the abandoned Christ child in an unused subway car.

Will he accept the burden of this gift?

An avatar that represents an alternate named Bobby is shown finding the Christ child in an abandoned subway car
A homeless youth finds the abandoned Christ child in an unused subway car.

I used VR to make a video of it.

I got the idea for the subway car from Dark Days, a documentary made in the 1990’s about a tribe of homeless people who live in the abandoned subway tunnels of New York.

I use two photo-shopped frames from the documentary as an homage to it.

I first came up with this idea in 2011 but didn’t have the skill I needed
to make it work the way I envisioned it.

I’m going to remake the video for next Christmas.

Merry Christmas to the World!

May we find our way back to the light.

The video is a series high-resolution panels staged and shot in virtual reality and processed in multiple apps.

I cropped a cover of Silent Night  found at the Internet Archives.

To the best of my knowledge the recording is in the public domain.

This Reference to Jack the Ripper

Digital Painting of a young make avatar splashed with blood
This Reference to Jack the Ripper

This slit between thumb and forefinger,

I know you know it’s murder,

I know you know how this ends,

I twist your knife

and the body dies with a sigh.

Oh, the panicky phone calls at 2AM,

oh, the need to know.

Lodged between hemispheres,

To see is to trust, to trust that all
is as it seems.

Peel root to bone;

acquiescence is better

than silence,

and nothing is nothing at all.

Image and Text (c) Rob Goldstein, 2017 all rights reserved.

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Variations on a Theme

Art by Rob Goldstein
Variations on a Theme

I’ve been on a short break from therapy.

It’s hard to question your motives and beliefs twice a week, every week.

I used last week’s rains as a reason not to go.

There are times when I want to know what it feels like just to live.

That’s not the way it’s going to be for me, not yet—and I can feel
my mind splitting open in preparation for this afternoon’s session.

When I feel low I distract myself with humor and wordplay.

I’m a big fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 because of the wordplay.

New episodes of MST3K are in production and headed for Netflix this year.

For people who don’t know the show here’s a sample:

Great humor is timeless.

A conversation about astrology yesterday led to thoughts of the Firesign Theater so I ran a search for them on the Internet Archives.

If you’re feeling down I offer this story of ‘Genesis’ as told by the Firesign Theater.

It is an excerpt from “I Think We’re all Bozos on this Bus.”

Before the beginning, there was this turtle. And the turtle was alone. And he looked around, and he saw his neighbor, which was his mother. And he lay down on top of his neighbor, and behold! she bore him in tears an oak tree, which grew all day and then fell over — like a bridge. And lo! under the bridge there came a catfish. And he was very big. And he was walking. And he was the biggest he had seen. And so were the fiery balls of this fish, one of which is the sun, and the other, they called the moon.

Firesign Theatre

 

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The Bus Trip: Los Angeles to El Paso

The Bus Trip

The bus to El Paso was called and those of us who had waited for an hour or more for a choice seat tore through the gate.

I made my way to the rear of the bus and took my usual seat: the last seat on the left.

As the bus filled with people the laws of bus travel went into effect.

  1. There is one blistering drunk.
  2. There is one loud and miserable baby. This law is never broken.
  3. A junky will go on the nod in the bathroom. This law varies in certain states.

The community shifted in Tucson.

A line of forty people waited to board bus #1732.

A screaming toddler clutched a mangled doll.

Two drag queens whose troubled beauty had fallen on hard times whispered to each other and giggled.

A drunk tried to slip past the ticket agent with a gallon of vodka.

He was trying to negotiate with a station guard who snatched the vodka from his hands. “Then give me three Pepsi’s then!”

“Passengers holding boarding pass 157–”

Those of us who had boarded the bus in Los Angeles were called back on.

The drag queens and their entourage settled around me.

One of them snapped at a boyfriend:”Don’t start jacking off Jason!”

Jason snapped back: “That’s what I brung your lips for, Theresa!”

And the bus chugged out of Tuscon.

Theresa
Three drag queens whose troubled beauty had fallen on hard times boarded the bus.

 

The drag queens switched on their overhead lights and began trading makeup.

Jason announced that he had “free condoms for three dollars.” This caused waves of nervous titters to cascade up the bus.

Two young guys in their late teens sat across the aisle from the drag queens.

One looked at Theresa as if assessing possibilities.

He leaned across the aisle and tapped Theresa on the arm: “Ma’am. You shore are pretty.”

His buddy buried his face in his arms and snorted.

The drag queens babbled happily to each other in Spanish.

“I get the Playboy channel on my laptop!” announced Jason.

The drag queens applied blush.

The ride to was agony for the woman in front of us.

She rolled her head back and began to moan: “Oh Lordy!’

She was too big to get into the lavatory and had to go.

Jason leaned forward to comfort her: “Ain’t you got no pot to piss in!?’

‘Ohhhhh Lordy!’ she replied.

Jason rolled his eyes, ‘Hopeless!’

Her agony ended when we pulled into Albuquerque.

Sleepy anxious people stumbled into the waiting room.

I scouted a McDonald’s and ordered an Extra Double Whopper with Bacon, Swiss, American, and Roquefort Cheese.

I sat at a small fold out table covered in napkin doilies.

Jason joined me. “Hey Dude! You give me a twenty an’ I’ll take it an’ double it.”

I laughed: “Take your own twenty, double it, give me half and I’ll give it back to you to double.”

I picked up my Whopper and watched it pour through my fingers.

Jason looked starved.

I assumed that he was too proud to ask straight up for money.

“Here Jason, take this. I’m not hungry.”

Jason took the whopper, bit into it and examined me. Special sauces, lettuce and cheese streamed down his chin.

“Dude? ‘r you like–um–European? Like–umm. French?”

“Because of the Cheese?” I asked.

Jason shook his head no.

“…I thought you was French is all. Ever notice how folks stare at you?”

“Because I look French?”

“Nah–because –well,  you look like a fag.”

“Like a fag?”

“Maybe your face.”

“I have a fag face?”

“It’s kinda soft.”

“Like a French fag?

“Kinda soft but not—well, not now!”

I nodded. “So, I look like a pissed off French fag?”

Jason laughed and our bus was called.

to be continued….

Rob Goldstein (c) 2016

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