Tag Archives: weather

Something Has to Happen

Jon Kane is out of the office today and the woodshop stands empty.  Outside the opticnerve™ studio windows, the ocean is a swampy green. The hatchlings in the walls were noisy last week; today they have fallen silent. The cold may have put them to sleep.

Here it is happy hour (the woman at the liquor store calls us The Bulleit Boys).

What kind of adventure would you like us to take you on next?  We have an excellent firsthand account of a fatal 1977 plane crash stored in the backroom.  Alternately, Rang Rang has suggested we lighten things up a little and begin an opticnerve™ dating game.

Remember: while the grim past is illuminated by memory’s lantern, the future remains obscured by the darkness of the unknown.

Today the pictured door is closed.

If you have any comments for Jon, rest assured his door is sometimes open.  No-body can convey said comments to him when it is.


Spring is the in the Air

New York is, of course, a dirty city.  The ocean is dirty too. Red Hook is a peninsula and the opticnerve™ studios sit at the end of a pier, so a lot of broken and used-up things wash up on the rocks outside. Scraps of old bags and broken toys, cigarette butts, and occasional empty grey shoes accumulate along the railings that line the concrete walkway behind the warehouse.

Jon Kane likes to make art out of garbage and so finds use for some of the miscellaneous trash.  He’s particularly fond of driftwood. The opticnerve™ staff are by now well accustomed to stepping around shapeless hunks of wood that will later become decorative silver wall ornaments or hanging mobiles.  Shellacked pieces of old stumps and branches litter the floor of Jon’s office where plaster skeleton parts keep his chainsaw company.

It was a sunny morning last spring when the police dragged the corpse out of the water.  They laid it at the end of the pier and draped it in a white sheet.  The body lay there all day under its shroud, “glittering in the sunshine,” as Jon would tell it.  It wasn’t the first corpse to wash up outside the studio, but it was the first one that Jon had seen there. Rang Rang says they kill them in Jersey then they float over here.

The corpses always come with the spring.  Jon explains that the warming water causes the bodies to bloat and surface after a cold winter spent on the ocean floor.  This sounds approximately scientific.

Sparrows and starlings also hatch their young in the spring, and their nests are everywhere around the warehouse– this means soon the ground outside will be littered with dead hatchlings.  “The corpses and the birds come at the same time” says Jon, “It’s a real springtime phenomenon.”

He has a picture for you.

It might make a nice Valentine

When interviewing prospective employees Jon sometimes stands and walks to the window, where he points at the rocks below. Stroking his chin contemplatively, he remarks: “A corpse washed up right there, once.  A bloated corpse,” then falls silent and peers out over the water.  Potential hires should be prepared to ask the right questions.  For example: Was it a man or a woman?

If he answers “It was a woman.  The bloated corpse of a woman,” then, translated roughly, he means You’re hired, for now.


The Tempest

It was March of last year, a few days before Easter. The thing to remember about that night is that it was stormy everywhere. Hard rain was falling all over the city, “But in Red Hook,” says Jon, “it was apocalyptic.”  At 499 Van Brunt St. the winds cut down the pier at sixty miles an hour.  The clouds would drop eighteen inches of rain by the end of the night, and rising tides and the last of the winter thaw combined with the rainfall to turn the cobblestone streets into a greasy swamp.

Elsewhere in the world, a lot of bad things hadn’t happened yet.  Spills and Roni were in the studio, working on a spot for Rodarte. Twitching images of gaunt women draped in lattices of leather and string repeated themselves on the screens of the edit room as the untended fire went out.

It was maybe too late at night to be editing footage of a fashion collection inspired by Japanese horror films; it was time for Spills and Roni to go home.

When they went downstairs they stepped outside and found a lake where the lot should be. The water, they swear, was waist-deep in places. A glassblower stood in front of the warehouse, half submerged in water.  He raised his arms in a gesture of comic defeat and announced “Exploration time!” Then he waded away.

Spills and Roni stood on the high concrete blocks that mark off the parking lot to keep themselves dry, and Spills took out his camera to capture the flood on film.  That’s when a man materialized out of the blackness, wading through three feet of water, wearing garbage bags for pants and carrying a spotted dog.  The hard wind barely ruffled his long white beard and hair.

Spills and Roni went back into the studio and huddled for warmth.  Convinced they were stranded indefinitely, they trembled, and resolved to sleep in the studio if they survived the storm.  If you ask Jon Kane, he’ll tell you what happened next:

I remember the night perfectly.

I called into the studio to check progress on a job. [Roni] and [Spills] were in a full blown panic about being flooded in. It was real rainy out for sure. I drove my car over to see what was up. The water was all the way back to Fairway on Van Brunt, like a lake. I drove to the other gate and drove through. The land slants up that way so there was no water. I drove along the back of the pier, around the dumpsters, and up to the front door, which, by this time had no water in front of it.  I had my Big Boots™ on, of course. The water had receded and they didn’t realize. They were no longer flooded in. I walked in, told them they were pussies, drank some whiskey, watched their video, and went home.

If the waters would part for anyone, they would part for Jon Kane, of course. The love between the three men only grew stronger after surviving the storm.

The only victim in this story was The Tempest. Pork, who was not in the studio, remembers that night only as the day his Tempest sank.

R.I.P. Tempest

He found her in Greenpoint on Easter Sunday, broken beyond beyond repair.