Saturday, April 25, 2009

A comment on "Tearless" and a somewhat random 20

The drainage ditch tunnel in that post is based on a real tunnel I saw a few months ago. Of course there were no vampires in it, but...

When you have a job like mine, one of the odd skills you pick up is how to balance yourself between dehydration and needing to go to the restroom. Well, one day my usual precision in this particular talent failed, and I found myself desperately needing to visit the euphemism. So I decided as soon as I got to where this old creek/big ditch ran under the street, I'd just duck under there and avail myself.

In the story, I said it was on the south side of town. The real one was actually on the far north side, in a very nice countryish neighborhood that's very quiet and is one of those "no outlet" subdivisions, so there's no through traffic there.

But as I walked into the tunnel things got creepy. I actually stopped and let my eyes adjust to the darkness so I could make sure no one was in there. The walls were covered with graffiti and there were discarded junk food wrappers, coke cans and beer bottles littering the ground. It looked like a bizarre subterranean hoodlum hangout right in the middle of Pleasantville.

I try to keep my eyes and mind open to random bits of inspiration like this everywhere I go, because you never can tell when something will come in useful.

In other news, no big random 20 tonight, because I'm in the mood for some smoother more ambient stuff. But here's a random 20 from my "ambient/new age/electronic" directory.

1. Enigma - The Screen Behind the Mirror
2. Michael Forrest - Looks Like Riggiddy Rain
3. Sun Electric - Quail
4. Clannad - Na Laethe Bhí (I'm sure the members of Clannad would be horrified to know that someone puts them in the "ambient" field, but their music fits well along with all the other stuff when I'm in the mood for this kind of thing. So I apologize, but I'm not changing it).
5. Richard Bone - Nocturna
6. Kitaro - Koi
7. Samite - Having a Good Time
8. Human Mesh Dance - Rotating Mirror
9. Mike Oldfield - She Moves Through the Fair
10. Jef Stott - Aegean Dub
11. Danny Thompson - Till Minne Av Jan
12. Yanni - Secret Vows (feel free to ridicule me mercilessly--it's there to remind me that I am still on a quest to find his One Great Composition)
13. Dubtribe - Memory
14. Alex de Grassi - Western
15. Fernando Cellicion - Eagle Dance Song (native American flute music)
16. Blackfish - Insight
17. Iona - When I Survey*
18. Opera to Relax - From Life 2 Life
19. The Benedictine Monks Of Santo Domingo De Silos - Vani Creator Spiritus (I also keep my Gregorian chant albums in this same directory)
20. Kozo - Illumination

*Iona is a Celtic group whose music might fall into that "Celtic new age" category, but I hate calling anything that because it just kind of doesn't sound right to me. One thing that sets Iona apart is that they are openly and unabashedly Christian (which pretty much takes them out of the new age category). "When I Survey" is a re-working of the old hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." They use all the original lyrics but with new music which I heartily approve of. This is one of my favorite songs, regardless of artist or genre.


  1. Some friends of mine and I mis-spent many an afternoon and late night spelunking, or "sewer-hopping" as we called it, in a number of long dank drainage ditches that run under I-10 near the old neighborhood I grew up in. We played D&D, hunted bats, rats, frogs, and mice, blew up tons of fireworks, vaporized colonies of fire ants with lit spray cans of Raid, ("napalming" them, we called it)...It was all fun and games, albeit creepy as hell, until one afternoon my buddy and I had just entered the tunnel when we heard a car pull over "topside" and the slamming of a car door. Always mindful of the cops, we scurried, hunchbacked down the tunnel to an elbow that obscured us from it's mouth. We were dead silent. We heard scootching footsteps start down the ditch to our location. The idea of fleeing out the other side was no good; it was all swamp and snakes. Still, if this was a cop, wouldn't he shout out a warning or something? He didn't...The footsteps kept on coming. I didn't know if we should shout out, just in case he was armed, and may blast us if he came around the corner and got a surprise. I was never as scared as I was then.. Just when I thought my heart may give out, the foosteps stopped, paused a moment, and then retreated. We heard the car door and the engine's ignition, and then the crunch of gravel as he sped away...We bolted out of that tunnel and ran home, thanking every deity we could name. And we never went back into the tunnels...Maybe that is why your story struck a special chord with me!

  2. Yes, I can see why that might have left you with a "special" memory.