Tucson Salvage: Crosses, Aleister Crowley and a show of street survival
“They could not yet understand how you can take personal inventory on quests for life meanings and self-awareness through music, art, books and drugs, and how you suffer when such studies lead to you giving up on humanity. Sometimes you wind up, as Will said, “out here like a piece of shit every day,” the only intermediary between depression and glory an addiction supported by selling artful little crosses fashioned from whittled oleander wood and thin copper wire unearthed in dumpsters.”
“He talks homelessness, the obvious stuff. How it’s every hell it’s made out to be — all gets stolen so there can be no camp, the elements you taste in your face and feel in your bones, the insults, the starvation, the yearning and depression.”
“‘I mean I enjoy it [homelessness] to a point. What else can I do? It doesn’t bother me anymore. Even getting upset? Why? All of this’ he adds, waving his arm to the surrounding world, ‘is so fucking stupid.'”
“There’s attention to detail and meaning behind the work, which rises from his occult readings and practice. His studies began with a fascination of Christian theology, then mysticism, and next, for example, a raging fandom of Aleister Crowley, the sonics of Genesis P-Orridge and King Crimson.”
“The traffic is relentless. Faces in cars caught at a red light most always feign preoccupation or show agitation when this man in a red sweater selling crosses bends and protrudes his head slightly from the sidewalk for eye contact. He’ll wave, nod. It’s a ‘hello.’
There’s theater involved, a one-man stage-play, really; the lifting and falling rumble of traffic as orchestral backdrop. There’s some manipulation, a salesperson’s pantomime, which he does well, the grin, the sign, the neat hair and sweater. Will as a street jester secreting unhealable wounds, half-expecting someone to mock him, hawking his crosses with the multiple meanings, a show for survival.
At least Will knows his day will end with his smoked medicine in some dreamy way. The demons squatting inside him gone until sunup, wherever his head lay.”
This mentions Aleister Crowley and Genesis P-Orridge.