Sad Songs for Emergency Situations

908655.owl-eyes-bird-macro-photography01     I was listening to a sad song that was neither bumping, nor grinding, nor ramming, nor jamming.   It did not resemble jumbled pork in the mixer, or bleating sheep dipping, or stoic beef stirring.  It was not chopped and chewed into sausage by the fractious quarter pound.  There were no warnings to stay back behind all the designated straight lines and observe the many emergency procedures at my own risk.  I was digging it while it was happening but I knew there was no way it could last.  Although, it did sound familiar.

I looked high into the redwood tree and said to the tawny owl, “I’m pretty sure I can feel something happening.”

redwood 3

The tawny owl said, “You think?”

The sky over Monterey Bay was skipping from coral straight to crimson.  This was no time or space for mere mincing pinkishness.  The tawny owl was trying on a sleek new cape that mimicked the aerodynamics of his tail.  It looked a lot like an authentic zoot suit.  He knew precisely where he was going to be flying next.  High, that’s where.  The tide was coming in and the wind was packing big motherfucking balls.


He said, “It sounds like this might be your first time.”

I said, “No, I’m pretty sure it’s not.”

It felt a little as if I was married all over again.  I knew I was itching but I had no idea where to look for relief.  The static in the air was vaporous, clingy.  Under such circumstances, how do you scratch?  That’s precisely how blood gets withdrawn, sucked out, spilled.  And random events extrapolate.


The tawny owl said, “You know when you say ‘pretty sure’ and ‘not’ like that, I’m only pretty sure about the ‘not’.”

I said, “Yeah, I know.”

When the lights went out, the song was over.  I had survived hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, and pestilence, no sweat.  But this was eerily different.  The song featured a poor man who had been looking for a job all day.  His barking dogs were tired and whipped like wussy pussies.   But all his pistol packing mama could see was a sad sack leaning, defeated, against a post.  Plus, was that not an incriminating potion he was wantonly carrying in his hand?  You bet it was, although all bets then became off.  That makes sense when nothing else does.  There is nothing lower than self-incrimination.  She let him know it, too,  not with all of her gun blazing, but close enough.  He was forced to come to grips with the woeful fact he was misunderstood one more time.

The tawny owl said, “What a bunch of lizards, weasels, and toads down there.”

I said, “Yeah, I know.”

Before its demise, the song paid homage to the many undulating movements of hips that make up the classic figure eights of all spatial arrangements, the basic building blocks of the multiverse.  It was a song that was only yearning to be free.  It was more a rolling and tumbling song than a stick it in or a shove it up song, the kind of song that used to lead to slow dancing and some lucky duckling getting laid.

The poor man wailed, “Ooh, ooh, ooh.”

I said, “I can feel you, bro.”

The tawny owl said, “You better not be talking to me like that.”

I said, “C’mon, you it’s not you, you know it’s all on me.”

“Well, yeah, like…duh.”

“You must think I’m some kind of a nut case.”

“More a seed than a fully grown nut.”

The tawny owl was swaying on a bowed limb of the redwood tree like Chuck Berry or Little Richard.  He could lean, slide, boogie, and dip.  No blinking, no problem.  The gusts from the wind were keen, if sporadic.  Man, that bird could get up, get down.  No fear of flying blind there.

He said, “You best get up offa your knees if you want to get somewhere.  Don’t matter where.  Once you get up in the cooler currents you can close your eyes, open your eyes, calculate, anticipate, dive if that’s what gets you off.  Or you float and see where you end up.  It’s got to be better than sinking any deeper in all that mud.  ”

I said, “That’s easy for you say.”

He said, “Well, yeah, like…duh.”

Later, I admit I may have been whining when I said to the tawny owl, “Every day I don’t know where I’m getting.  Yet alone going.”

He said, “What can you expect when you’re afraid to fly?  ”

I know there are suggestions out there that I am envious of the tawny owl.  When I hear that, I have to think, gosh, really, you think?  What gave it away?  The fact that I am forced to stand on my own spindly feet and breathe out of my mouth and nose simultaneously just to clear the air?  And to get what?  This?  And get where?  Here?  That’s not laughing out loud that you hear by the way.  How much more stupid would I have to become to deny that?  Not even Stephen Hawking is able to answer that.  It would be like sinking deep into religious realms featuring comic book heroes spilling seeds, chugging wine, and burning bushes.  It would be like denying that the earth is a speck of dust.  To paraphrase the tawny owl it would be like so fucking…duh.

About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
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