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, 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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