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Crave the Gunk

By Tom Waits | 22 September 2010


you need to start doing these again. they were awesome.





Finding the time has been a hag’s hell. That’s what happens when you have realizations in sheaves: first that your typewriter isn’t connected to the internet; second that it’s possessed by spirits and so you dismantle it and incorporate the pieces into a trumpet that when played emits the voice of Christopher Plummer reciting French Quarter poetry. God damn the thing, it needed reconstitution! Now my wife and my good boy and I include it around the table, treat it like the haunted pet it is and there’s only marginally more doom in the house than usual. I’ve named it Gaunt the Typewriter. The family is furious with me.

But in the absence of a question, I’ll give you some unsolicited advice. I myself received it from a staggeringly tall man from Tallahassee who wears a black coat and stovepipe hat and in the amber knob on the end of whose cane is frozen a single human incisor once belonging to the greatest whore in all of Florida’s long and torrid history of whoredom: he said, striking up the accordion music, not to crave the awesome. You should crave the gunk, the tile grout and the fungi. The in-between things that hold together the whole crooked smile. The cuticles and the creaky sheds with your grandfather’s implements; practically all of Los Angeles. You should move there. We’ll play Magic: the Gathering with an Uno deck. Because frankly, Paul, instead of being awesome I’d much rather make you uncomfortable.

With love,