The afternoon lecture from the tawny owl was focusing on a number of fascinating topics in minimally near and abutting mind-body dualism, areas where humans en masse did not shine. It was taking place in a circular grove of second growth redwood trees in the Forest of Nisene Marks. Many of the trees had only recently attained one hundred feet in height, a joyous occasion. I was sitting on a stump covered with moss beside a creek that was barely trickling out of the Santa Cruz Mountains as the most dangerous animals in the so-called history of humans, mosquitoes, circled. We should all know by now that the so-called history of humans is only a cursory record of current events, but clear communication is imperfect when deliberately distorted over time by inadequate means and ends and often dies choking and struggling. The original old growth trees had been clear-cut to rebuild San Francisco on the same unstable spot after the earthquake of 1906. According to the tawny owl, humans tend to duplicate the same mistakes many times more than any other animal. I suspect that includes me, too.
I was looking forward to the portion of the lecture where the lovely wife of the tawny owl, Thee Mrs., belts out a rousing rendition of a heartfelt song. The anticipation was causing an itch that I attempted to stifle discreetly.
The tawny owl, who tends to read my mind indiscriminately, said, “Do you really think I care if you shove your hands down your pants and do some diddling?”
I said, “I wasn’t aware that I was thinking that exactly.”
It did not take long before the tawny owl had me coming and going, though. I sat as rapt as possible while fidgeting. Although it was not technically a lecture. It was more akin to a conceptual happening, a synthesis of cross-fit training, melodrama, metaphysics, sit-ups, belly dancing, neck rolls, galactic possession, and quid pro quo contradictions. I was only sitting because I had prematurely stood up and pulled an important muscle that let me down and sagging too soon.
I blamed my weakness on the government. I had been neglecting my practice of figure eight rotations, the basic building blocks of the multiverse, and my spatial contradictions as well, the second most basic building blocks of the multiverse, in order to continually fight the power that be. I was spending an unhealthy amount of mental time in jail and in court.
“There are four unique areas where humans excel,” the tawny owl declared, “Building, revenge, suicide, denial.”
I said, “I think I must be an example of the latter.”
“None of you is just one.”
“I can usually build something from nothing in a pinch, if I absolutely must, but I know that if there’s one thing I’m probably best at, it’s denying.”
“Most of your immature males, which is pretty much all of your males, are suicidal first. Then they want revenge.”
I asked, “Does that make any sense? The order seems out of whack.”
He said, “Why don’t you know?”
I ventured, “Spatial contradictions?”
“You wish it was that easy.”
I said, “I wish I could tell you.”
“No, you wish I could tell you.”
I thought, well, yeah, like…duh. After becoming a traitor to my species in the war against human enablers of treacherous cats who murder beautiful birds, what else am I supposed to do but a lot of wishing and hoping that my ass won’t be coming back to bite?
Defensively, I said, “I may be suffering from a transformational lull. It’s bound to pass.”
I felt rejuvenated, however, when I heard the initial git down sounds emanating from the lovely pipes of Thee Mrs., as she channeled the excitable Mavis Staples, who if not flying, was able to get pretty high.
I know a place
Ain’t nobody crying
I’ll take you there
The tawny owl, who was not only there already, no less than here, as well as then, and now, and everywhere that pulsed between the twin spiral galaxies, NGC3314a and NGC3314b, continued. I was digging it while it was happening despite all that spooky shit spinning around in front of my eyes.
I said, “I feel deeply as if we’re making real progress here?”
“You know what I mean.”
Before I had an opportunity to pretend that I incongruously did, or could, which we both knew would cause the tawny owl to begin laughing his ass off, his ears began to ominously twitch. His eyes grew seriously opaque, and his neck rotated a fierce 333 degrees. The voice of the lovely Thee Mrs. sputtered and stalled in the suddenly dense air. She followed right on the tail of the tawny owl as he abruptly flew off. Unless it was the other way around. To me, it was a serious disappointment. I was jealous, understandably, but not merely that. Several of my most convenient and handy thoughts, though neither necessary or sufficient, vanished.
What was left for me to consider but me? It’s very hard to fake flying from a standing position. Denying, vividly,won’t cut it.
I tried in vain to practice my figure-eight rotations to the tune of Cannonball Adderley on alto, followed by Wayne Shorter on tenor, but I was not well lubed and became stricken by rudimentary rust. Objects are simple. Relationships between objects are not. By the time I was able to climb up and out, the hole that surrounded me was crumbling. Evidence of more government plotting inside the infrastructure. Why isn’t Sarah Palin down on her hands and knees and clawing at the dirt where she’s needed?
I learned later that an interloping crow had to be redirected severely by the tawny owl before navigating a forbidden path. The lovely Thee Mrs. kicked some major butt and tail, too. Large numbers of recently arriving crows, attracted by the easy pickings offered up by so many dimwitted humans, were becoming a problem in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Scavengers of all gradations, especially opportunistic vultures and crows, were hard for the tawny owl to stomach without premature regurgitation.
That caused me to worry that I was going to stuck with the blame again.
The first time that the tawny owl asked me how many humans look in the mirror and see the most invasive species ever, on any planet, or offshoot, I said, “What exactly do you mean by an offshoot?”
He spit back, “Cut the weasel crap.”
I snapped to questionable attention, approximately, and said, “Uh, well, uh…none?”
The tawny owl had personally orbited 293 planets, but through his vast and intimate network of interstellar contacts, the elongated tactile total was closer to 772. I tried to envision how many planets that could kinetically be, the depths, the levels, the domains. The one on which I was stuck had always seemed like an overwhelming obstacle to me.
Later, before the tween twins arrived to begin their week under my strict custody, during which they usually ran free like wild boars while whining that enough was never enough, I checked the schedule pinned to the wall that had been prepared for me by unseen alien forces. I was fortunately able to continue bending with the artificial assistance of organic brown beer that came fresh from a tub in my laundry room. Good nutritional habits, I believe stoutly, including the ingestion of whole grains and fermenting juices, generally lead to better balance even while stuck on the ground and digging in the dirt.
The schedule theoretically included wall climbing, water polo, raku, and improv piano. Lots of mind, and body, as well as well balanced blah and blah.
That suddenly reminded me that I had forgotten that I was supposed to build a rudimentary shed that would enable the tween twins to store a lot more shit. And then I had to remember to be in court in the morning in order to make a plea that would keep me out of jail for the time being.
I made myself a mental note. Clearly, I was going to need to fill up the tank.