WE GO SCREAMING:
THE EXPLANATION OF THE EXPLAINATION:
An explanation? I know huh? I mean, who does this person think I am that I need to have things explained to me? What, am I not smart enough to figure it out on my own, for myself? I mean who am I that I need an explanation? Exactly! Who are you? I don’t know. Maybe you don’t need an explanation, and if so, feel free to skip ahead. In fact, just skip whatever pages you feel like. That’s a much more active stance to take than just regular old reading. And who knows, maybe I got things mixed up and the order in which you choose to read the pages will actually make it better…more enjoyable…to you…but then the only way to tell is for you to go back and reread it in the order that I chose and compare. But and so.
So, the explanation is for the benefit of those who need or want to have things explained. (’Cause for reals here we are mostly talking entertainment at this point. If you’re flipping these for something like an education I may ask you to just go ahead and stop.) The explanation is for a much more passive type peoples. It’s not for you Mr. or Mrs. Active Participant. It’s not good or bad to be passive, it’s simply a way that some people are. They think about nothing other than what has been set and offered to their senses. Sea anemone. You sat next to them in class, excellent students that you cheated off of during vocab tests. They aced all the tests without a thought of extrapolating on the memorized info. Never thinking to apply the knowledge to any situation other than the one it was specifically designed for (aka the test), unless of course they are told to do so.
So in that, that is the explanation for the explanation, the reason I’m explaining why there is a section entitled “THE EXPLANATION”. If you are reading this, the only thing that act says about you is that you made a choice to read this right here…no here. In doing so I hope you’ve managed to find some enjoyment if not from the actual text and words and stuff and things and whatnot and what have you, then from where ever it is your brain wandered off to while reading the words. While typing this, my brain spent the afternoon in a watermelon field with some migrant workers (all legal of course) eating watermelon, freshly cut by way of machete. They slice out slices after a hard day of work and sit around laughing and telling jokes and spitting seeds and not even thinking of bothering to think about wiping the juice off their chins until they’ve had their fill, which in this case you can bet is quite a big bit. Since a keen appetite can surely be honed no better way than working in a field all day long under the hot hot sun. In short, feel free. I command you.
Lastly, the thing that at this point I consider to be most important in keeping things straight is this simple fact — I is me is we is ours is mine is yours is us is together with everything and so on and so forth until the boarder is just one big expanse that is the boundary and the enclosed space all in one. It is a fact. It is simple.
Finally, the tentacles reach out and sucker on to pull me from the creeping darkness. Is it only eight? Feels like more. But in my condition counting is something that’s only recommended for those with an extreme case of constitution.
And so I lay here staring at the ceiling, head off the foot, feeling the long dreaded pain of consciousness overwhelm the echoing hollow between the sides of my skull. The whiteness is blinding. So bright it could almost force someone to believe in god. Maybe not have faith per se, but believe in the existence of a thing or shape or some underlying type thing or mass that is capable of creating such extremes. The knowledge of the most undeniable hurt is sure-fire proof in the pudding that unthought-of of joy is possible. And this is the only thing that is powerful enough to fight the gravity that pulls me to horizontal something like once every twenty-four hours if I’m lucky on a good day with a tailwind. And fight it does. It doesn’t quite win as much as it uses one of its uncountable numbers of opposable finger type appendages to plug enough of the holes to bring us back to buoyancy.
And we’re adrift again. We, being me, and these thoughts that are indeed in my melon but rarely seems to be of my own design. Rather they are just atoms being atoms abiding by the laws of physics as we know them. But more than likely abiding by what we would call the laws of ________ if we could be even remotely certain that we knew what we were really talking about at all ever. But since we can’t and we have to feign certainty for the sake of sanity…they are being combined and separated into chemicals and parts of what I guess if you’re feeling frisky you could call my brain and they continue on with out any conscious thought on my part, to produce these things I’ve been taught to call thoughts. Just like helium will fight like hell to get out of a balloon causing it to float away from a young child’s hand when they are distracted by a barking dog behind a fence and they forget to hold on tight and up up and away it goes until it gets high enough to cool it down enough to sink back down and maybe get caught in the tip top of a tree somewhere where passers by can wonder about who lost their balloon. So back to my point, which by now is more like getting hit with a three-pound hammer than stuck with a needle, I don’t think that I can rightfully call my thoughts mine. And worse, even thinking that was not my thought. And gravity is poking holes in the hull and this line of atoms doing what they will is causing the whole operation to get bogged down. And since a nice clip is needed to quote unquote get things done, the pace will be picked up.
Vertical at last. One in front of the other and one is now in front of one. Staring right back at himself, who is me, from the other side of the mirror that has been kindly placed by someone just above a sink with a corroded gasket that is a foot or so above a washcloth that has been placed on the floor to absorb the water that drip drip drops when the water is turned on in situations like this. Trying not to focus on any one part, but to take in my whole face all at once causes some strange and startling optical illusions to take place. To keep my face from going out of focus I try to think of some spot on the back of my head while still trying to use my eyes to look at my whole face all at once. The result is the feeling of a line that gradually inches from the center of the back of my head on that lump where your spine connects itself to your skull kind of up slightly at first and then back down so that it meets where the top of my ear meets the skin from the far edge of the right side of my face. I can feel this line without using my hands. It is the X that marks the spot. A striking point. All I need is some fine contestant, or even an audience member to step up and take a swing. Just wheel back, get a running start, and bash open my head with this here dull and rusty machete. I promise I won’t move. I will not be the Lucy to your Charlie Brown. I’ll be good. Just please, someone, anyone come up and have a hack. I’d do it myself except that the location of the line makes it nearly impossible for me to get the necessary amount of leverage to really get’er opened up. Plus it makes for better television if someone else does it. And don’t we all kind of picture ourselves as the star of our own little TV shows now that TV’s are a part of our almost everyday life? You are reality TV. This is your show. Don’t let your fans down. Swing that fucker. Swing it hard and fast and true and do me the favor of shedding some light on this issue. You, miss, yes you in the blue blouse. Come on up here on the stage and take this in your hand like that and let’s get the audience cheering here. Ah yes! That’s it! Let’s all give her a big round and show her we mean it. Okay, so just line it up, keep your eyes on the prize and a ONE and a TWO and a say it with me now THREE!
Sweet quaking Christ. It’s beautiful. More so than any other thing I have ever seen or dreamt of or thought of or felt. It’s a release like nothing my brain has ever even dared to think about thinking about even subconsciously. And it was so easy, so simple. One fine blow and the entire thing has…it’s like the door got opened on the space station while in orbit. Everything has been sucked out. Cabin pressure is no longer different than the pressure in the place that we used to refer to as outside. But no, the breech causes inside and out to be one and the same now. Boundaries forever crossed. Like farming. The hunter-gatherers have left the building never to return. And with hindsight being what it is we are all the merrier. Ma’am? Where’d she go? Did anyone see where she went? I only wanted to thank her. Oh well. I can’t be bothered with things anymore. I’ve got more important things to do now that my insides are one with everything. I am connected. I am a piece of it. The day can start.
WE GO SCREAMING:
In the wake of all things, we go screaming. Of course this is our choice, but in reality there was no decision to make. Tell them what they want to hear (even if you don’t know what it is) or get a bullet through your teeth and gums is not much of a choice. Life or death? Even those who think they are choosing death are only doing so because they think that an idea, a concept, a belief, can exist on after they cease to do so themselves. And maybe they are right to think so but no one will be able to prove it when everyone who knows everyone they know is gone and the memory of them is nothing more than a mound of dirt if they’re that lucky. And I don’t argue that this should be a choice. The old gut does just fine on that one. Yes, you may be a liar in every sense of the word, but I dare anyone to find fault with being that liar.
But and so, we are screaming and we are going. Where? What? Both valid questions possibly unanswerable at this point in time. Certainly they will be answered in due time. It’s just that time is not due as of yet. The future is where we need to be. What a glorious place the future is for people like us, one’s with questions. The future is so smart. I’m guessing that it can answer both of the double U’s some odd words back up there with no trouble at all. But for now we must have patience. The burden of this heavy world.
Corduroy curtains so thick that the 10 am sun has no choice but to keep on keepin’ on. To stick around and battle this one out is all three of futility’s exact definitions. The only chance the sun would stand today is if he came down off his high horse and got right up burning ass close to the curtains and burned them away. The whole long range attack thing just takes too long, and fading isn’t really winning any points with the judges. The only advantage I can see for the sun is that it does seem to have all the time it needs. It can definitely wait it out if it has to.
What a commodity to enjoy the privileges of! What if our time machine didn’t send us back and forth through time? What if it did nothing more than slow things down? Who needs to go to the future when you can make it everything you want it to be? Who needs to go back in time to redo or change things when you can take all the time you need to get it all exactly right the first go ‘round? Merry go ‘round. Merry go. Marigold. Morning glory. What’s the story? What ever happened to those brothers anyway? A champagne supernova sure would be a good way to go. Even if no one knew it was how you went.
Thinking you are free and clear is not the same as being it. The weight of the world is apparently attached to my eyelids. And somehow, in some way I have not figured out yet, my eyelids are on my shoulders. They say sleep comes to everyone and it looks as though they are once again going to be proved right. I am not exactly proud to be the one to do it but everyone gets a turn I guess. Very shortly it will be my turn. I am next in line, pillow in my hand, waiting with decreasing amounts of patience for my chance at rest. The anxiety of oncoming sleep and thus oncoming waking adds to the weight on my shoulders but in contrast to what I stated before about the placement of things it seems to be propping my eyelids open just a bit longer. What if what if? What if sleep changes nothing? What if closing my eyes only prolongs that which I’m hoping sleep will somehow devour? Why go to sleep if things don’t move on without you? What other point is there? Why “drift off” as they say if the perspective is the same upon waking? It seems it’s not a choice. It seems I will find out whether I want to or not. It seems I want to whether or not I will find out.
YET ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN:
Even if there was such a thing as a beginning I’m not so sure this would be it. Where does a painting or a picture start? No, this isn’t the beginning. It’s simply where you’ve been taught to start. Which is why these words are here and not somewhere else. I wish they could be but I’m me just like you’re you and I was taught you’d be looking here and so we meet. Here. But, knowing what I know, I can make some guesses about what you know. ’Cause as much as we’d all like to think differently we are all about 98.6% the same in most ways. Or at least enough that I can tell you to think of it all as a photo album somewhere around right here and you’ll realize consciously or un that you somehow know what I’m getting at. Oh no, not that broken rule! Yes that one too. But so, old Polaroid’s faded out from time. Maybe four to a page depending on how big the album is. It doesn’t really matter much. Maybe it’s not your life. It’s not your family. Maybe it was left in an old chest in the attic of this old house that Norm was remodeling for his show and now filming has wrapped up and the catering trucks have driven away and you’ve finished moving in all your stuff and realized that it doesn’t all fit and so you’re utilizing the overhead compartment. So pull the string and up the ladder you go. And there it is. Not locked just shut tight with the weight of years of dust to keep it snug. You’ve never met them, the old owners. It’s still interesting all the same, and here is the sharp and dangerous, you don’t have to start at the front of the album and you don’t have to look at each photo from top left across to the right and then move down. Who’s to say they were put in with any thought to order at all? Maybe they are just old junk, the rejects from the real stack of photos. Maybe years ago when someone was the three year old they got a hold of the album the day after Christmas and sat in front of the fire and rearranged all the pictures while also rearranging the chain of events to fit their fantastical story they were telling themselves to keep themselves entertained while the grown ups sipped red wine and talked about things that were less interesting than their own thoughts. Maybe the well is dry and there is no baby inside. Maybe the car wasn’t fast enough. Maybe I’m already dead. Maybe what is perceived to be the order is just the jumbled mess of a mind dispersing out into the world the only way it can.
To look directly into the gaping black abyss is to know the semi-focused thought of what forever would feel like if you, as yourself in the configuration you now hold, could actually go on indefinitely. To be that close, to lose focus, to take things in as generalities and shapes, where boundaries and lines fade out into the distance as far as the eye can see, is not to know or understand true fear, but to be it. To be afraid. To be forgotten. To cease to exist. Yet, and thusly, to never end.
Moving on now, changing gears, speeding up, break neck fast if at all possible. Gradually gaining momentum until the turning of our head to the window reveals nothing but what used to be blurs now becoming nothing but horizontal lines of color, a rainbow with no perceptible curve. No cloud, no rain, no sky, only pinstripes stretching ever further behind us. The horizon is on us before our brains have time to understand the objects coming our way and turning around sees only fleeting glimpses of a pointillist’s futile attempts to capture what cannot be held. The choking hot boredom of our fate kills us so slowly that even breathing has become a chore we wish to do without having to do. And no matter how fast we go we can never cross the threshold. The arrow is not moving. It is only the illusion of motion and even that is unprovable due to our narrow scope. But then we’ve made it to the car haven’t we? At least in some sense of “made it” and “car” and “we”.
And here is the sound of the record player being bumped, the sneaker stopping abruptly on the highly polished hardwood floor of the gym. Everyone turning their head’s in unison to see what exactly has happened here. It will not be an open casket. There is no hope of restructure. What has been made has been unmade to such a successful degree that no one even bothers to suggest trying. As sad as it is when no one is willing to try, it’s at least something we can all agree on at this point. Which is something we rarely get to do at all, ever. And the real bitch of it is we know it’s a bitch and there’s nothing we can do except cross our fingers and close our eyes and hearts and hope that nothing gets in. This is what you get when your training is over and the combat is real, tired, and true, no holds barred, full contact, in your face, and slightly over the top.
None of this was my idea. I can’t be blamed. I tried to stop it but other people with more pull or sway got their dirty fingers in the mix and there was nothing I could do. All I could do was nothing. The action of inaction. Be done to. And be done too. And so here we are, you over there and myself over here, both of us wondering if the other had the bright idea and each of us knowing that we know it wasn’t ours but we don’t share that we know this thus making it a stand off. Long awaited and much anticipated and in all likelihood not as much of a let down as most stand offs tend to be. Locking eyes we make for our weapons like those who came before us. And nothing has been spoken of what’s to come, ever, by anyone, but we all know. It’s the things your mind knows. It’s what’s left of instinct now that we think we’ve gotten so smart. We are under the impression. We are flattened under it. We spread out like glue except not so tacky. You swing, I swing, nothing is given or gained but we know we’re right all the same.
And now my dear (though you’re not mine are you?), we have at last come upon what we are here for. Don’t ask “what?” like you don’t know. I’m not buying it and neither are you. The bar is open baby. Do you get it? Or do I? When’s the last time you heard it like this? It’s been a while huh? No looking back now. Uh, uh, uh, that’s cheating. No fair taking advantage. If it’s given of course that’s a different story. But it’s not, and I won’t let you be a thief. Let’s benefit the world. Let’s listen to music we don’t like and try to figure out why it’s so loud and why we don’t just turn it off. Let’s do these things often and call it “what we do.” And if we get the inclination, and we will, we can complain like we have no choice. Like it’s the fucking wind and rain and hail and the mail is late but it finally arrives and it’s only bills and in the trash it goes cuz we’re not paying even though we have the money. Being part of the system is not a good way to buck it. The only real option is to be obstinate, to quit all together. To not even steal food, to grow your own in the gutter using the trash of the millions as fertilizer to grow tomatoes that taste like trash and cucumbers that smell like cigarettes and never get bigger than a small pickle and if we if we if we can we please my can I have one can I can I? Cuz good god are we hungry. I mean the cause is a noble one but what good is it, are we, if all we get out of any of it is a pain in our belly and what comes along with that type of thing in our heads?
The chords keep coming and the words seem to be those we’ve heard before but nothing, there’s no way any of it is older than the milliseconds it takes to get to your ear. So clap your hands and say what you say and by the time they get to the second chorus you know the words so fucking sing along for god’s sake and scratch that itch inside your throat and see if maybe you can’t be part of something bigger than yourself, like a crowd of people singing the same words. What? Too cool for school? Yeah, okay. It’s your life man. You wanna die alone that’s your choice. Me? Yeah me too. Maybe if we’re lucky when we’re gone they’ll write a song about us. Not us together or anything. No man, no. I just mean like maybe one for you one for me. It’s not about whether or not I like it, I don’t share.
THE DAY BREAKS
Every morning she wakes me with her voice like a chunk and her scent like burnt tulips. And we decide on our plan as always. And as always we plan to wing it. The plan is to just wing it. More like fucking flailing, but we call it “wing it”. Toss that bitch like a fucking flaming baseball. Chuck it into the fire. Come what may. Rain or shine or snow or wind as wild as the eyes of a jackal. As it comes, we take it and give it as it goes. What other option is there?
“Do you want the rest of my life?” What a silly question. And as you know, it’s the silly questions, the ones that to you seem like they shouldn’t even need to be asked, that you have to answer no matter what. You’re not allowed to say out loud “That’s a silly question.” either. You have to answer like you’ve just barely thought about it but the answer is so obvious to you and just right in the front of your mind so as to make it immediate and painfully sincere. A quizzical look for the briefest of moments and then those words aught better be coming out from behind your teeth and gums right quick riding on a wave of breath so stale and dry it could be left over saltines. “Of course my darling. Can I start having it now?” Always nice to change it up a bit with the spice of urgency on when you want it. Of course, the only real questions to ask would be how much and how long. Because making an informed purchase can save you big time in the long or shortrun. What if she died tomorrow? What if it only cost fifty bucks? The judges would declare you the winner hands down. Of course, she would be the winner too now wouldn’t she? But the truth is so goddamn dangerous in the wrong hands. Especially when it’s wielded by someone who only wants to shatter the illusion of control. The truth, properly hidden or tuned is just about the greatest goddamn gift anyone could ever give. And it’s so unselfish. It may be the one truly unselfish thing you can do. To take the truth and run it past a black hole and have it bend so far out but so far away that no matter where you are it looks like a straight line so that no one could ever know unless you tell is just about the best of the best. A knock out kick to the head. But then there’s always those people that want to only keep it hidden until the ref isn’t looking. They whip it out fast in the heat of the moment and spill the beans and the blood and let the elbow fly below the belt and technically it’s a knock out but it’s cheap. It’s nothing compared to the effort of maintaining the illusion for someone’s benefit. Imagine zipped lips for 50 years! Talk about a golden anniversary. And taking it to the grave! Oh nelly don’t get me started. I would make love to that corpse. It itches so bad in the back of your throat for so long and most of the time it’s banging it’s ugly puss to get out, but you hold back. You are a saint. Concoct another one and take two and call me in the morning.
Out here on the edge things move a little faster. They have to being that they have to travel a greater distance than the things nearer the center in the same amount of time. There are plenty of things quite like it but nothing exactly the same and so we’ll just keep on calling it unique and pretending like we are the only ones out here doing this. It’s not our fault.
Besides, in the position we’re in, one involving dangling and grasping and swinging where blood rushes to parts rarely traveled and throbbing waves of pressure make us realize extremities, we probably should be more careful. The rain seems to fall up and the stars are reflected in the shattered glass on the ground that has just recently become the ceiling. Patience is all we have to rely upon. Soon the sirens will be heard in the distance and they will grow ever louder until they are on us, pressing into our eardrums like water on our slow descent. The inverted shuffling of black boots that have lost their recent shine will bring comfort, yet make the immediacy of the situation that much more hard to bare. The finish line is on the horizon. Can’t slow down now. Creaking metal, the heat of a fire, the cutting presence of a poly fiber blend. And from the quaking void our savior reveals himself at last. Herself maybe, but even with perception as skewed as it is, the voice comes across as masculine. Everything is okay. You’re going to be alright. We’re going to get you out of here. Just hold on a little bit longer. As if there was a choice. Comfort mental comfort. The physical aspect has become too abstract to comprehend. The hands are warm, firm, and selfless. It’s as if our wish has come true and our own hands have somehow become disembodied and are now doing our bidding once more. Shiny sharpness occurs on the periphery and though we float towards the ceiling a feeling of descending overwhelms our senses. Not falling, but a slow controlled down and to the right. A right, which until what seems to be a short moment ago, was most definitely our left. About face. It’s something to save for sure. It’s something to take into account, for granted, and out on the town for painting red sessions and the like. And from the crusted hull we are delivered into the cool, humid night air. We have arrived. Birthed from the broken womb. Slapped on the ass and screaming. Breath flows. Overloaded senses tell us one thing and one thing only. We are alive. What to make of this right at this exact point right here we’re not just quite sure but it’s undeniable. No getting around it. They wouldn’t let us go. They wouldn’t let us let go. No “go on without me.”’s taken seriously here. The reality of the situation is just a tad too big to grasp with our tiny motorskillless hands but we try. Try with no success. No way to know the price, but it will be a lot. Swaddled and frustrated, we succumb to sleep.
The priest is absent, maybe just late. But you know who isn’t. Not to me, to someone else “Pass me the needle. No, not Pulp Fiction, the big one.” A fade of shiny clear blurs before my wave of fogged vision, blown by the wind in my brain. I am awake? To me “Can you feel that?” “What?” “Good.” Whatever it was I couldn’t feel is now numbing slowly. Comfortable? Not exactly. It’s more like the lack of any desire to try to get more comfortable. Comfortable? No. Good enough? Yes. Not to me again “Nurse, we’re gonna need more gauze. There seems to be more blood than I expected.” Someone seems to be standing on a stool, and even though none of this makes sense, a person on a chair is terribly out of place. The only thing I can feel besides numb is hunger. Though it’s not localized I seem to have a sensation of stomach. Though it could be leg for all I know.
First things first. No second thoughts. Only first thoughts. Unless of course…fuck. This isn’t working out. Okay, second thoughts are okay as long as they are not re-thoughts. As long as they are complete and total separate thoughts. No rethinking of first thoughts. Any thought is acceptable as long as it is either a first thought or a part of a sequence of thoughts that does no back tracking.
It’s no fun. It’s no fair. But unfortunately we don’t have any say in the matter. We follow the rules we don’t make them. We’re not even allowed to not follow the rules. Because, the rule makers have put so much thought into the rules that even breaking the rules is included in the rules. All bases are covered. Who’s on first? You are. Three up three down and now it’s your turn to bat. Swing batter batter swing. Strike one. Don’t worry, they’ve got this all worked out already. You’ll get on base in due time though you won’t cross home plate in this game and your team doesn’t win. Knowing this won’t make it any easier to deal with really but I figure it can’t hurt for you to know ahead of time. Sort of like knowing you’re going to get punched in the face doesn’t make it hurt less when the cartilage in your nose snaps and the blood pours and your hands go up and your eyes water and it hurts like you drank your Slurpee too fast except after a minute it still hurts that bad and the pain going away isn’t something your brain can bring into focus.
And those are the rules so you’ll get used to it just as the rules dictate. And if not…
With the sun and moon and stars working together in my favor I may be able to pull this one off. Off of what I don’t know, but off none the less. I’m not much of a gambler, infact, I hate the thought of anything less than certainty, but if I had to put money down on this situation I’d put it on me. But only because I always root for the underdog. I’m not under by much, a few percentage points at worst. It may even be even depending on the angle you look from and when. That shit is always under the illusion of changing anyway, your angle that is, and the odds.
Someone call the ambulance, or a doctor. I’m sick. The old cliché, which I will spare you the repeating of here. Failure is an option. I’ve proved it by proving myself wrong. No one else stood up so I raised my hand and I called on me and I had an answer and I asked me to go to the blackboard and show the rest of the class my work and I agreed even though I was still at that awkward stage in my life where I didn’t realize they weren’t paying attention and so being in front of people made me terribly nervous and so I tried like all hell to be normal or what I thought was normal and turns out I found out later it was far fucking from it and so there I was standing next to me writing out my work with a piece of chalk that was so small it was carpel tunneling right through my wrist and when I was done I said to myself in my head, not out loud from me to me, I said to me “Good. Now erase it from the black board and you can return to your seat.” So erase I did all but a tiny piece of a piece of a piece. And I left it there on purpose just to spite myself. ’Cause that was also one of the aspects of me at that point in my life, doing things to spite people. And upon returning to my seat I relaxed as much as I could only to again find out later that when I relax it makes me the target of many eyes of speculation if many eyes are around and they were and so there I was relaxing with the class now paying attention and I’m dreaming in the day time of the piece I left on the board and how it reminds me of a shipwreck on a beach near a hermit crab and the sand on my back is cool and the sun on my belly is hot and the tide is coming in and the moon is working its magic really fucking hard right now in just about full fucking swing and the little crab with his butt plugged into his house comes waltzing over and parades up onto my chest with something to prove just in time for the tide to come in and sweep us away and drifting ever further now we are forced to tread and be friends and more than friends when the nights are cold and we agree that it’s better than being alone and then we’re really more than friends when we become parents together and but the half human half crab babies don’t even have shells to cram their butts into because we are so poor being that all we really do is float in the ocean and so we home school those little suckers so they don’t have to feel the pressure of their peers and as far as we know, they know nothing about anything having to do with the rest of the world we left behind and they don’t seem any more or less happy than ever before for all the ignorance we provide them and so it goes and eventually we crash slowly into something a little harder than sand that the natives are calling rocks and we stand up and immediately go get our marriage annulled and she takes the kids and I get requests for payment of child support in my mailbox but I still can’t find work being that I seem to have found my way out of school at such an early age and even though I fight like mad I never see my kids again.
I can remember the first time I could tell it was going to rain. Or rather, I can remember the first time I actually made the connection between how my body felt physically and the change in the barometric pressure that signified the on coming precipitation. In the sunny land of the sun it is raining now. Three months of sunshine and cloudless skies have made even the elephant’s memories forget the sensation of grey communing and condensing and growing too heavy to stay aloft and falling down from upon high and gently dowsing everything with moisture. Sure there’s some dew from time to time, but unless you’re sitting still for hours on end it never covers you. Maybe it covers your car or bike or morning paper or your local homeless person or tent, but never you. Not like rain. And the lack of memory causes 33% of the people to slow down which causes 33% of the people to get pissed and speed up leaving the other 33% standing still behind random acts of idolatry wondering who, where, why, when, how did that just happen and nobody died? And sometimes there is no need to wonder because someone does. Die that is. Or their pride and joy is smashed into smithereens and no one has insurance to cover such a mess and please god please send me an angel to deliver me form this terrible place where the signal changes and nothing changes and the warm safe comfort of home is just a dot on the horizon and the time refuses to go by unnoticed, its claws firmly planted as it drags along slowly leaving gouges and rips in flesh and bone and clothes and someone’s gonna have to sew and stitch and apply pressure and maybe depending on how long this all takes the scars will be bad. Bad enough to require cosmetic surgery even. Cuz you can’t walk around this place with scars. Unless of course they are in a really cool spot and you never get tired of talking about yourself and thus they make quite a nice conversation piece at cocktail parties that you’re always just perfectly late for due to the rain causing overwhelming amounts of everything and anything to be delayed beyond your control and the red carpet waits for everyone just as long as it waits for no one so whenever you show up it’s okay and the flash bulbs will light your scar up and they’ll ask you questions all at once and you’ll politely try to answer in a short but well rehearsed way so as to be able to keep walking in so as to not miss the whole goddamn party on account of this stupid mother fucking rain that basically demobilizes the whole goddamn city like it’s fucking snow in Miami except that it does this every fucking year like Albert mother fucking Einstein made the goddamn gears that make this clock work. The next sound I would like to hear is a loud popping sound that represents everyone pulling their heads out of their ass’s in unison. Please Little Baby Jesus please, come down from upon high to deliver us from this insanity causing crazy juice that masquerades as plain old water from the sky. I’ll flip you for it. Anything and everything is on the line. Or we could play mercy. I here you’re the champ at that. Yeah, so let’s lock fingers and count one two three and both say go and see who has the best forearm strength. Yes, right here in front of everyone. Who gives a fuck? Not me? What are they gonna say? They know what a game of mercy looks like I’m sure. And besides, you’ve been gone a long long time. Things have changed. You see, no one pays attention anymore. Oh no, it’s great. You can do whatever you want whenever you want and get away with it. And if you pay even the slightest bit of attention, people think you’re psychic. Alright LBJ, hang tight and I’ll get you a beer. Jeez, oh, how weird…I just used your name in vain right in front of you. Yeah? Well, maybe you can get your own drink next time Mr. I want to stay a wallflower all my life. Okay, just chill. No, you look fine. I mean, the robe is a little out of place, but like I said, no need to be selfconscious. You see, everyone is being self conscious to an even greater extent than you are so they aren’t even aware that you are here. And if I was to tell them who you were, they would flip out and flock to you to kiss your feet and shit but only because they could then tell everyone they know that “Guess who I met at a party on Saturday night, no, Jesus Fucking Christ!” and you’d be famous man…yeah, so? Well stuff your ego up your ass bro. I’m going to get you a beer and when I get back you better have adjusted your attitude man. Fuck bro, you think just cuz you’re the son of god you get to be all cocky and shit? “Oh, I make the weather. I can heal the sick.” Yeah? Well, I got our show to number one during sweeps week bitch! What!? So seriously LBJ, lose the ‘tude or I’m gonna split.
The way it comes through, it doesn’t take your breath away as much as you willingly give your breath and then never ask for it back. Just let it go. Catch and release and never catch again. Passing out is the next step. Are you ready? One, two, cha cha cha. And down you go. Not so nice and not so easy but no worse for the wear.
If it’s true that it takes the average person seven minutes to fall asleep, then how long does it take the average person to wake up? I just want to know if I’m average. The warm red of my eyelids is telling me that it’s time but I plan on waiting until just the right moment. Said moment to be decided by me seeing that I’m the only one with any say in the matter until the matter has passed. Then anyone and everyone with two cents will more than likely pitch in. And of course, my two cents here is going to completely contradict my own thoughts on two cents and pitching and what not, but wouldn’t it make more sense to just keep your two cents for later? For when it really counts. ’Cause really all those two cents add up and if you keep them to yourself then you can be rich and wouldn’t that be nice? And who gets the two cents? ’Cause I just figured out another way to get rich is to always be getting two cents from everyone all of the time.
And the moment has arrived and the red warm shades are lifted and dropped and all is quiet and white and bright to the point where it hurts. Dear god, wouldn’t it have made sense to either make light less bright or eyes less sensitive? Just checking. Eyeballs look left and blowing curtains suggest an open window. Fresh air? Where does the air come from? I wonder who decided it was in my best interest to have outside air instead of filtered and cleaned inside air? Maybe the city is far away. Maybe the new mown hay sends all its fragrance. Maybe the tractor hit a rock and flipped and landed on the farmer and the seat is still depressed and the tires still turn and rub raw right through pant legs and flesh and bone and no one can see or hear and the suffering continues and his thoughts are with his loved ones and he’s making peace and the ground is moist and the dirt smells like you want dirt to smell if you are a farmer. And really the way you want it to smell if you’re anyone who likes being alive. You do like being alive don’t you? Or have you not thought about it? Well, take a moment. Take as long as you like, but know that the dirt smells the way you want it to smell unless of course you wish for your own death. In which case, be my guest.
Eyeballs right reveals the doorway that someone will come through when someone comes. It’s also where they will go through when they go. Maybe I will be included in they soon. No way to tell from my vantage point here on the point. A quick survey of the overhead (which is really almost always over everything if you think about it) proves that there are less ceiling tiles than squares on a scrabble board but this fact seems to come and go from and to nowhere rather quickly and it’s importance is lost before it has an opportunity to be gauged. A baby chicken somewhere behind me that I can’t see is calling for it’s mother or food or both and I find myself wishing for the Colonel to come and work his magic. Not because I’m hungry, though I guess I am, but because the baby chicken will just not shut up and it really is just about time for some peace and quiet and if I could I would do it myself and just as I’m about to start moving toward a less sublime temperament she arrives. My savior. Mrs. LBJ. Oh Lady Bird, could you help me with the peace and quiet? I seem to be unable to make much sense of my situation and require your services. But you understand. I can tell by the look in your eyes that you like what you do. Always a bonus for everyone when we are our calling. No, quite comfortable really. It’s just the chick behind me that is looking for it’s mother because it is looking for food. Certainly, do what you must. Odd sensations beyond my…swelling is the only way to try to communicate this feeling. Swelling from warm to hot feet to head, somewhere a dam has broken. Things flow once again. Uh-huh. Well okay. No, the pins and needles aren’t so bad. Then I guess this is goodbye. Until we meet again. And now the door serves one of its purposes. Ah to have a use! To be a tool with a function! To be used to what you are designed for! I think there must be no greater joy in life. Why all the goddamn chirping still? I’d love to say “no matter” but seeing as that I have very little else to concern myself with at this point in the day, it is very much a matter of importance. And so I will make do with my only real option.
And now that the fury has been officially whipped up, we have a lot of work to do. Let’s get this party started right and quickly. Wasting time is an option of course, but only for those who have yet to see their demise and so are more apt to think of their life as indefinite.
People show up of course and BTOB even though there’s plenty in the tub. And things go like things go and the music is up and the sun goes down and everyone is having a rip roaring good time and then, just like always, real life and his pal tragedy show up and start talking crazy shit to everyone and harassing the ladies and just making a general mess of all our good times. And you can take just so much shit talking from real life before some of the boys get it in their heads that if they rush in quick they can take him. They forget however that unlike the stories, tragedy doesn’t strike. He plays wallflower and puts his feet up and drinks your drinks and is very polite and gracious and lets real life get all fucked up and wasted and then just when the boys have plotted and schemed their drunk minds into action tragedy stands up and announces that there will be no such thing taking place on his watch. Tragedy waltzes over and stands in front of real life and they start in on some crazy South American tango of sorts and before you know it your boys are all ass beat and the girls are crying and leaving and real life is putting on his stupid fucking black leather motorcycle jacket that he wears everywhere even when it’s hot and he’s saying “hey thanks for the good times bro.” and waving over his back and tragedy just looks back and shrugs as he passes through the thresh hold and some of the girls that were with you before are now giggling and laughing with the big bad gents that just left and what do you have left to do but clean up? I’ll tell you what you have left, nothing. Just clean up the mess and help your friends up off the floor and maybe if you’re lucky, next time you decide it’s time to forget to invite someone to the party they won’t take it personally and show up anyway with that house sized chip on their shoulder and fuck up the fun you’re trying to have. Or maybe you should spend the next three weeks plotting and scheming ways to get back at real life and tragedy for turning everything to shit all the time. But I’ll warn you now, it’s a waste of time. The only thing to do is to just go ahead and invite them and hope they behave and don’t fuck your girlfriend right in front of you or get all assed out rowdy and get the cops called again. And maybe they’ll get the invite and think you are so lame from the evidence of this last party that they won’t even show up. Fat chance on that one of course. They are the party circuit. They make the rounds pretty much no matter what. But I’ve heard stories where people just showed up and had fun and real life never even drove his hog up the street. It’s hard to believe but the source is credible. And I’ve been to his parties and they suck just enough to see why maybe tragedy would maybe go somewhere else to get his social fix.
I hate everything.
It’s basically just this great big gaping hole that you can barely see across to the other side of. The sensation of doing this, looking across, is like when you drink too much coffee. It makes you feel a little cold, and maybe you can’t sit still but you don’t feel energetic. Mostly you feel tired and sore and for goddamn sure your teeth hurt but there’s no explaining that. And so, in the sense that being able to feel is a good thing, it’s nice and good to be able to stand and stare across, but at the same time, this type of thing seems to be a very good explanation as to why things like alcohol and marijuana and heroine effect us the way they do. All drugs really, there seems to be a disproportionate amount of things in this world that are either too much or too little of something or another. And this is for fucking sure one of those that is a little too much. Our minds are not built to look at things like this. Things that we didn’t create, could never create. Things that existed before humans even crawled up out of the muck and will continue on long after we disperse back to where we came from or off to where we are going. The fact that sights like this are so easily accessible to us is something that plagues me. Fuck this. This is stupid. It was supposed to be something and it’s turned into something else and it’s because I have not maintained control and this failure is causing me great distress and I haven’t the patience to reign things in and start over and besides, this was not my idea. None of it. I’m only a pawn. I’m not in charge. I don’t make decisions. Not true. I make decisions but nothing like this. If it was my own will and my own will alone none of this would ever come out. None of the thoughts and words. All of it would just stay under wraps and stay put and stay out of sight until it was much safer. We’d all just hunker down and wait for the storm to blow over. But somebody got the bright idea that things like lightening and wind and rain make for more excitement and more excitement leads to better things coming out of people. It is a spot of contention but only because I think maybe I’m wrong and even worse maybe they are right and the lack of a discernable ego makes it impossible for me to even begin to attempt anything like following my own thoughts to their fruitful end. And so here it is, this is what you get. And you knew ahead of time it was going to be like this and you still messed with us. And the town goes to raise the child but the child is obstinate and basically just one great big handful and no one has time and so the child raises itself and now look at what you’re left with. Are you happy? Sure there was nothing you could do but who else is there to blame for my misery and the fact that I have to do the bidding of some horrible creature that seems to truly believe that my best interests are in its mind. Only the future will tell us what we want to know. So as for me I’m off to find the future and maybe grab it by the collar and slap it around a bit.
I just tried to go back. Fortunately or un, they were right. It’s been my experience that you just can’t do it. “You” are not you anymore, or at least not the you you were when you were you and so on going back, you aren’t capable of seeing it the same way and so “back” is not somewhere you can make it to. It occurs to me around this point in time that this should make me feel sad, but it doesn’t happen. Not because I am in control and it’s something I don’t want, it just doesn’t happen. In reality (which is neither here nor there) I have no desire one way or the other to feel this way or that. I only want to feel what I feel and be satisfied and thus far I have succeeded. I feel what I feel. My upper lip twitches a bit but it’s hard to pinpoint why exactly. Most likely it’s the combination of coffee and chocolate that has been my diet for the last 40 some odd hours. The diet being a conscious choice. You see I was (and still am) under the impression that I would need to be extremely lucid to experience this whole thing properly and coffee and chocolate seems to be a good diet for extracting lucidity for me. The lip thing could be subconscious emotions I guess but I’m not in a state of mind where guessing is something that is first and foremost in my mind. I’m content to let things happen and if the reasons aren’t readily available then the things are just what they are. Like moving lights in the sky in Mexico. The old woman said that if we were in New Mexico, that they would be called a UFO. But since we were in Mexico, they just were what they were. She of course used the present tense. As disconcerting as it was to see what appeared to be a group of stars moving across the sky and disappearing behind the horizon was, her explanation seemed to put my mind at ease so that even when I think back to that moment in the court yard of the small hotel I don’t think of what we saw, but rather I think of the fact that she was so unconcerned with actually knowing what it was. To her, unless it affected her everyday life, it was useless to spend time thinking about. And seeing what I/we saw has never affected my life as far as I can tell and so I choose to be like her and give it no thought. Or rather, to only think about it as something that happened and not to dwell on what it was or what it meant. In essence, to think of it like something I already understand, like a deer crossing the road. It is what it is. As long as I don’t smash into the deer it changes nothing.
Which brings us to here. And here is somewhere I’ve been before as a different me. I am no longer that version of me and I don’t try to be. So nothing about this place is as remarkable as I remembered. Instead of being inspired or nostalgic, I am simply me, and I turn and walk and look with my eyes now and nothing happens. It was a good try but that’s all. I imagine all the times in the future that similar situations will arise and I wonder if there is a way to make these tries worth something, to learn from them or to build off of them each time so that at some point they stop becoming tries and actually become something. My stomach begins to burn and I have to close the door.
Is it summer or winter? The setting sun says one thing but other things say other things. It hasn’t smelled like snow in so long, since the last time I wasn’t here, but I still am. Numbness is a feeling only induced by staying inside these days, and I do it a lot. Too much? Who’s to say man? Where’s the gauge? Who says a bit of cold isn’t good for the psyche? Go ahead and remind the circulatory system what it’s like to work for a change, get some exercise. Leave the wardrobe in the closet, hit the beach, pretend like you’re waiting for someone to show up and then pretend like you’re pretending for someone other than yourself. The good news is the same as the bad news this time my friend. We are friends aren’t we, me and me? No one is paying attention. Your ego is trying to break your heart. But the real sadness comes from knowing the truth. Oh if only some sweet liar would come along and whisper sweet nothings and pillow talk us to sleep tonight. The only chance we have of that is a fat one. The phone is planted firmly in its hook and not even reality has come knocking on the door. Sitting around keeping your fingers crossed hasn’t worked out exactly liked we’d hoped now has it? Plans are nothing. Plans don’t mean shit. When they say (and oh boy do they have a lot to say about it) that actions speak louder than words, they really know what they are talking about. They have experience. You should listen. Why else would they be standing up there behind the podium banging their fist and pacing? It’s not like they do it just for fun you know. They get paid to say the things they are saying. And you being you, and not them, suggests that maybe you, sitting in your seat, are in the right position for once. You have skill, and talent, but no experience. That is where they come in. Know they have made mistakes. Know where they speak from, listen. They are here to help. When they say stand up, stand up. When they say kneel, kneel. When they tell you to ask a power greater than yourself for guidance, assume that they still do this as well. And then ask yourself how you got here. Ask where it is you plan on going. Ask yourself why you never asked before, or if you did, why you never waited for an answer. Turn out the light, tuck in, and know that your courage doesn’t have to be on high to make it. And that is what makes it scary for real. The part where you can be scared shitless and you make it through anyway. You are not in control. It’s not up to you. Some people have the luck of having it come out the way they think they want it and they get to feel like they are in the cockpit with their hand on the stick. The only difference between you and them is that they are unaware of the fact that they already do what you are now being told to do. Better? Worse? Different.
Blankness and hotness, the only things that get through the wall that was supposed to be impenetrable. Trying to figure out how or why at this point is only a way to waste time. It has happened and all we can do is react. The first move was made. We are defaulting. We are on our toes. Defensiveness is our defining characteristic. Our options are to respond. Which leaves us with plenty of options, though we can know just how many of course until the third move. So now we are left to make up our minds. Now we are left to keep the ball rolling. Stagnation doesn’t count as a move. Though not moving is a choice we could choose. Pros and cons are in line to be weighed. The scales need to be set up. Call the Libra. Get him over here. Let’s put him on the roster and take him off the bench. Let’s get everyone out on the field. We are going to need all aspects covered.
Oh dear sweet! The clock is still ticking. The refs are not on our side. This time out was too expensive and now we are holding the bag. There are no chairs left and the music has stopped. These circumstances are unfortunate because they are unavoidable. Levy the boom. Flags are held out straight in this gale and we are facing it. The odds are stacked. Leaning towers of insurmountable odds before us like the forest and the trees. All of our heads put together are not big enough to wrap around this. The scum is forming on the top. Sediment settles to the bottom. No current, no eddies, just slow separation of light and heavy. This solution.
I live in _______. This is a fact because you can’t prove otherwise. The sloshing hell outside my window is proof enough. But hey, who’s arguing? Right. Sorry. I’m just so used to being defensive all the time. In my circle no one ever believes anyone. Not cuz we’re cynics or something, but just cuz it really doesn’t ever pay off to believe anything that anyone says, even when it turns out to be true. You can almost always cash in on it after the fact and in most cases it’s safer to do it that way. Just cuz on the off chance shit goes down you don’t want to be there at all ever for real. And so if you occasionally miss out on the real thing due to waiting it out or some such thing it’s okay cuz at least you get to still be there. Unless of course you’re of the mind that being there is not exactly your cup of tea which in that case you’re fucked cuz unless you are, or are in touch with, some good shit you are going to be where you are pretty much no matter what. At least that’s been my experience and if you haven’t noticed that is where I speak from. Or whatever you want to call it man.