Bad Olives

Or, I Hit My Head


They sit and eat Italian food… Of course! ‘Cause this is Italy.

In Italy, they eat as though they mean it! Like their lives depend…

I’m starving.

Nothing since last evening… Hostel shut up ‘til this evening…

Locked out, on the streets ‘til then.

I climb a mountain with a backpack stuffed with non-necessities. I walk bent, angle to the earth, like I’m a pack-ass, climbing… It’s a cinch to see why one’d go mad here. Nietschze, in his hills near Eze: Assail the ass of some mare, start sobbing…

(Oop! So thus sneez’t Zarathustra.

… Who do I excuse myself to?)

Sun begins to bake the bread of mountaintops, the highest hills… Would fight, and die and kill to save this! Beaten: slapped with solid wonder; Crying: I am miniscule. I wonder… Senses fortified.

I hunger for the world to go away, return to civil balance… harmony! Of form and color (nature!). Olive breezes lick, as I leap goat-like, stone to stone; lick moisture from my wounds, my pride, my sullen, frail victories… Sail silently, a little stone…

I see it land not anywhere.

* * *

He blows behind a sign marking the way to Villafranca. Giant, poignant, red-eyed blue notes slice away at my still undry canvas (soon the day will be most high). I turn…

The sound remains behind me: hear the half-notes bleed against the cobalt of the sky. Hear patterns wend amongst the ancient castle ruins, count imploding time… He’s somewhere. Blowing feverishly (… she?)…

But where’s it coming from!?

I’m starting to bop naturally a little, dig the falling sound. I start to dance a little, shake both legs, repeat my head in nods (begin to count imploding time)… I sack my pregnant backpack and call out, “Where are you playing, man? Where are you? Are you anywhere?”

The notes stop. A deep fog rolls in… then dearth of anything even remotely like a sense. There is just grey… then quiet, vacuum. Like a headache, or a German wine press… stressing ‘bout my skull like New York City, silence loud as noise.

A wind begins to shimmer, then grow ten-fold, like a hurricane. New silence shatters like a pane of glass. A trumpet high A blasts. Occurs to me, I’ve fallen off the mountain! Hurtle toward the earth…

“I should’ve taken vitamins this morning,” I think stupidly. Then bounce and smash and roll onto the toe of a loud fat boy.

“Hel-LO!” the fat boy bellows (as I roll onto the toe). “Come, come! Up, up! I stump you now! Please: Listen to this Magic Question!”

Pauses to adjust his diaper… Snug his purple, leopard-spotted tube top up his corpulence. “The Magic Question rings as follows: Dica, signore—Skinny One! You play me…” (dancing around like a marching band): “Typical 4/4 bar in a pattern… Beat starts at the end of four.

“Is such a strong and lucent thing, though, peoples say the end of one. WHAT I’M? (Name, yes! But too: where I’m from?)”

…I, groggy, gaze up at the madly dressed Fat Boy. “Typical 4/4 bar… end of four… There’s too many things that could be! Could be anything!”

Forse! But strength. Strong… radiance! For peoples thinks it’s end of one (And more, I tell, a place, as well!)…”

“A place? The name of the song is a place? But there’s still lots of things it could be, man! I’m bleeding…”.

The boy flaps his arms like a chicken and runs off.

The sky, I squint up through damp eyes, has turned red. Hear the waves crash and cut through my skull like a seashell… Calves flash! Sinew stretches. Taut bellies and horse cock… The stank of an army of toes in hot tunic…

I bolt up: now thunderous hooves swirl about me.

A regiment’s charging straight through me, in armor!

The saxophone music begins again.

It starts to rain; the notes dilute… The saxophone is underwater.

Swimming through the noise I cannot place, the curt, intrusive bleats — unbeautiful, like summer in a land-locked foreign country, or a desert… or a pounding rain — the army sucks and splashes past, hoof-thund’ring toward cerise horizon.

“Abbidibbadou!” howls a Native. “Abbidibbadou!

He’s got a garden sprinkler on his face, and sp’inks and howls with it.

“Abbidibba, dibbadou?”

“O…kay.”

“Y’got a dibbadou?”

“… I’m bleeding!”

“Abbidibadou!” The Native dances, sprinkling, to the rhythms in his spigot.

…‘Til it feels like it must be nearly afternoon already. I get up, and limp across the horse-hooved field to the closed McDonald’s… Climb over an arsenal of fired apple pies and fries (and straw wrappers), and order from the Burger Meister…

Lunch is nearly fifty doobies!

“… only got a garden salad!”

Burger Meister hums, unmoved (a 4/4 thing, the end of four…). “Submitted for your approval,” winks he; he’s sliding me some plastic forks (yet everyone thinks…). “No passport here!” Goes back to humming (… end of one…).

Of course!

The Burger Meister knows things!

Run to find the diapered fat boy.

* * *

Olive wine, martini-flavored milk in giant paper cups… The fat boy, sprouted bean-like to a diapered adolescent, routs his nose like Jerry Lewis and begins to imitate himself.

“Hi! I just went like this!” his voice cracks, doing it again… and then repeats, “… just went like this!”, just like a mirror, or a constant replay. On and on he reams his face, announces, “Hi!… just went like this!”

… I leave him in the field with great cups of olive wine and milk.

The Native (“Abbidibbadou!”) turns cartwheels into the sea. He’s gone, down like Virginia Woolf, and I can’t get my heels clicking!

Try three times, then once… again! Glance down: my feet, a mermaid’s tail. Fold, flop to the earth, until I’m lying where I first arose, smash-mouthed, from hard terrain… I am a part of…

Sign says “Villafranca”.

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