Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kwik-E Bliss. Pleasure in seconds.

Some pleasure is in the waiting. Not Kwik-E Bliss.

Kwik-E Bliss., 2014 Mixed media and hand embroidery.

This is the bliss of getting your fix. The kind of fix that you can only get at the convenience store, at dawn, before work.

North Carolina refrigerator repairman and poet Waylon Stefans wrote about his morning stops at the Kwik-E Mart, watching the amazing relief of his fellow patrons getting their addictions fed ahead of their drives into work.

Playing the Mega Millions (here, in stitch) was Waylon's greatest bliss.

The first golden bite into a Honey Bun, the salty crunch of the pork rind, the gentle hum of the Red Bull lighting up your brain... And then there is the sweet kiss of nicotine filling your lungs. Bliss. Enchantment.

Some of these fixes extend beyond the transaction with the clerk at the counter. Take Waylon's greatest fix of all -- playing the lottery.

Every day, before driving to his day job, the repairman/poet purchased three scratch-off lottery tickets and four Mega Millions plays. His truck was filled with lists of numbers to be played. There was always the slightly soggy silver powder from the scratch-offs, mixed with orange Cheese Doodle crumbs, on the filtered tips of the Marlboros in his ashtray.

Painted Cheese Doodles and layered bits of lottery tickets on the card.

The pleasures of the lottery stayed with Waylon, day and night. Imagining what he would do with his winnings was worth the $12 he spent every day.

The year before Waylon died (of a heart attack, alone in his truck in the driveway of his Durham home), Thirteen Blackbird Press published this collection of his poetry. It was his sole publication. His numbers never hit.

(From my faux library catalog card collection for made-up books.)

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