Monday, July 6, 2009

A Month Ago, A Ghost

Just came back from the Twilight Tales readings, and it's one day short of a full moon. Harry's ghost wasn't on this trip, though a large amount of drunk Cubs fans were on the train for part of the way. Still eerie like last time, I was the sole passenger from Washtenaw on to Cicero. Empty lot, but instead of a clear sky, there were odd little black clouds like smoke signals. I love the sound of street traffic as I walk through an empty lot, I wonder if people who drive get a similar feeling, maybe from being on the open road. It's about a half-mile walk and for some reason, the city has been infested with mosquitoes in the last week or so. Nasty ones. I used to never get bit because of the Zostrix I put on my elbows and neck. The bastards adapted! Well, anyhow, I'm enjoying tonight, listening to Dizzy Gillespie as I type this, and right at Lawler, before the church parking lot, there's an building with a basement apartment. Often the kitchen blinds are open, not tonight. But I've seen different families at different times of day, all from that odd angle of being maybe five feet above them. Last month, it was that girl putting the key in the lock, today, in front of the same house, it was two kids playing with a soccer ball. Plus, more mosquitoes. Yet, I will take getting bitten and wearing short sleeve shirts over walking home in winter anytime.

Ah, but what's with the green guy, you say? It's J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter from Mars. Harry loved this guy, his stories ran alongside Batman's in Detective Comics for most of the 1950s. A guy stranded on Earth via a teleportation beam, from Mars, he does what any guy would do, takes on the identity of John Jones and becomes a detective in Denver. Well, last year, during the Final Crisis even that killed Batman (for now), Martian Manhunter (as he was called during the 60s on up) was killed, as well. I sent Harry a comic called Requiem which was a sort of recap of MM's life on Earth, and he was around for more than 60 years, fer cry-eye. Kinda ironic, kinda sucky I did that. When I was at Harry and Diana's house in December, the comic was on his doodle shelf. I am certain some image from that book would have ended up on a postcard in the future. In the early 90s, a much-overlooked three-issue book by Gerard Jones was published. AMERICAN SECRETS was a cool 1950s story, with lizards from space, contestants on quiz shows being brainwashed or their heads explode, and thinly veiled characters like Elvis, the Beaver, and some girl who I can't recall, not Shirley Temple, but someone from the movies. And they went to Las Vegas, too! Martian Manhunter has some great lines in the books, once, when he sees both Oreos and Hydrox (remember those?) on the shelves, he asks the owner of the shop "Why are there two of everything?". Plus the page I scanned above. Just like we joked about Ed and his turbines and Billy getting on the plane, every now and then we'd answer each others phone calls with the question "Is it warm there in the magazines?"