In The Area Of Uplift

laugh3     The yang twin came home from middle school and farted with jubilation. The decibel level, combined with longevity, was pretty high up there. Conservatively, I gave it a nine. Then he laughed his little ass off, which was not hard for him. He tended to laugh the loudest at his own jokes but I presumed he had been saving up this punch line just for me.

Even though I got it, I remarked, “I don’t get it.”


My remark did not warrant even a minimal response.  He started to stare at his twitching electronic device as if it possessed him by the groin and not the idyllic reverse. I was cool with that, though. Why huff and puff against a brick wall dividing wee piglets from dull objects? Where’s the elevated status in that?

Then the yin twin came home and said, “I’m doing a report for Social Studies on Steve Jobs.”

steve jobs

“Sure,” I said. “Why not aim high?  I remember Social Studies as Greeks and Romans fighting with swords in the mud.  Like clods. They didn’t even have socks to wear for protection against their sandals.”

She said, “Did you know Steve Jobs said that taking LSD was one of the two most important events in his life?”

string theory

I said, “You know I’d help you if I could. But, unless I’m wrong again, you’re still on the elite college track.  I know you wouldn’t want me to interfere.”

She said, “I told my teacher you knew him.”

“Do you know why you felt the need to say that? You seem okay to me. Don’t tell me I’m going to have to go back to another creepy court ordered therapist with you.”

“I’m just saying.”

“As long as it’s just saying and not believing, then there’s no problem.  Not in my mind. For all any creepy therapist knows, you’re just thinking out loud.  For each creepy therapist that says otherwise, another creepy therapist may disagree. All we need to do is pay off the right one before entering court. That should take care of that. I’d do just about anything to avoid looking into the creepy face of my divorce lawyer ever again.”

“Mom’s divorce lawyer is way creepier.”

“I’m not trying to dispute obvious details. But, why go staggering wily-nilly into that barren wilderness ever again?  We’ve all grown too big for that. So what else happened today that was memorable?”

“I’m just saying in case the subject comes up again.”

“Creepy lawyers or creepy therapists?”

“Steve Jobs.”

“Why would a subject about which I know nothing come up again? I’m most partial to my apples when stuffed inside of a dry pork loin.”

“In case my teacher mentions it.”

“Do I know your teacher?”

“Not yet.”

“Am I supposed to be meeting your teacher sometime soon for a special reason?”

“And talking about LSD.”

“Why would I be doing that?”

“Again, I’m just saying.”

“And again, I feel this strange but urgent need to ask the question, why?”

I have pointed out to the tawny owl on previous occasions how I might be better able to perform at a higher level in my role as a traitor to my species in the war against the human enablers of venal cats who murder beautiful birds if I did not feel forced to chronically hide my loyalties from the tween twins who every other week are so close to me.  Especially when one or both of them are staring at me as I appear to be merely talking to myself again. I know they’d understand the depth and complexity of the situation if given the opportunity. Even the yang twin, who has grudgingly learned how to fake it if need be in a pinch.  I have strongly suggested with due respect that it would be best for all parties concerned if we could meet in the spirit of elevated pedagogy to work together towards harmonic convergence.

Although it seemed to me like a pretty sharp and dynamic analysis about which I could feel proud, sort of, the tawny owl has never responded well to my suggestions.  If he had visible knees I would describe his reflexive reactions as jerky. He maintains, however, that carrying one human is enough of a drag for him in the area of uplift.  With emphasis, he has on occasion added, “No fucking way.”


I try very hard to see everything that comes my way from the point of view of the tawny owl and despite all of my constant failings I think it works out for the best that way. While I understandably tend to shy away from weighty matters containing purely unadulterated facts and figures, the tawny owl has often assured me that from his elevated viewpoint no more or less than the usual aspersions that apply to all humans afflict my fractured family fiasco on a regular basis, not even the yang twin.

“Besides,” he snorts, “you can’t be worried so much about what happened, or what gonna happen, until you know what’s happening. How come you never learned that from James Brown?  The only solution to all the premature conclusions that get blocked up in your ass is more freedom right now.”

“It’s easy for you to say.”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

“Down here, mistakes that get made in the here and now stick like mud until the then and forever after.”

He scoffed, “No matter what, none of you gonna ever fly.”

I said, “Well, when you put it that way.”

I know that more freedom is the only cure for not only constipation and phobias. Like…duh. For premature ejaculations, too. But, still.

“Enough bleating like a lamb.  Play me some celestial music so I can I spread my wings and fly.”

I said, “Sure, I know how it works. You get higher while I don’t.”

“It is what it is.  James Brown was the first of your kind to say that, too.”


The tawny owl does not acknowledge the hold my ancient cd collection has on the expanse of his fifty million year old soul, and the elevations he finds easier to reach with the short but sweet booster shot it provides. And therefore, he cannot appreciate to the fullest extent the utility my existence serves in the grander high flying scheme of beautiful birds, even had I not elected to become a traitor to my species in service to their glorious cause, but I don’t attempt to push any presumed advantage. What kind of clueless idiot would do that? Not the kind of serious traitor to my species in a righteous war against evil that I have striven to become. I know what I’m here for. I’m no shirker. It may be hard to pretend that I’m much more than a so-so traitor, at least to this point, but I steadfastly remain the man that make the discs spin for the tawny owl.

Speaking of James Brown, we were just finishing up a progression of torqued gyrations to a classic cut from the godfather of soul that described the need for revenge as an uplifting joy and a virtue, with me striving valiantly to improve my elusive figure-eight rotations despite the heavy weight of gravity keeping me stuck on the ground, while the tawny owl swooped effortlessly into and through strata of ethereal vapors. One of us largely remained as is. The other not so much. But, still.

Winded, I asked,”What next?”

But, by the time the words were spoken the tawny owl was gone, gone, gone.  Dully, I was left to my own devices.

The tawny owl flew away because that’s what he does. Because when you can, nothing is better. Not where there are tops of mountains that are so easy to reach and not when the top is only the start of a launching pad.  When you can do that you can get anywhere. Not like me.

So next, I too did what comes naturally.  I am aware it is neither necessary or sufficient. No void to be filled is absolutely required.  It will never matter what, where, when, why, how. It could be a hot day or merely middling.  I stewed. I fretted. I churned from the inside out and flipped. I thought, what will happen to me if I am never able to unlock my hips? What if a stray narrow line from a mobile advertisement becomes embedded in my head? What if the point is dipped in poisonous high-def? What if I can’t stop thinking the same thoughts on a rotational basis? What if my ass remains in the standard plugged position when I take my dive? Will the same gravity that keeps me down chew me up and spit me out? Will I ever see a light? Will I ever shut up? Will my DNA return to the elemental dusk from whence it came? Why can’t I laugh my ass off until the right answer plops down in front of me? Even behind would do. Does that make any difference?  Why can’t I take it or leave it? Will I know it when I see it?

As you might not be aware, it’s hard work to think a bunch of stupid shit for no good reason.  It gets in the way. It becomes an interference to interstate commerce.  It threatens all the straight lines that lead inexorably to marching in goose step. So, I drink a bottle of brown beer.  I don’t want to become a burden. Then one is not enough. The tween twins get hungry and I know they don’t want to hear any more stupid shit from me.  How can I blame them? We’ve all been here and there before. They’ve made their point clear enough.

The yin twin asked sincerely, “How can your mouth stay open for so long like that?”

big mouth 3

So I cook.  And it’s not half bad.  Cooking is a little of this and a little of that.  Ideally, form and content collide in a proven dialectical format to create a new Hegelian synthesis fit for combustion.  Not too much, though. Like bits of bacon infused bagels stuffed down the gullet of a fat goose and left to simmer in an astringent broth of reductive goop.  And voila, nouveaux merde. We try as a modern family to shrink away from lots of unleashed raw protein, a known killer, and from the oily subsidized corn that comes from The Man.

I was happy to discover as we sat together in accord with contemporary psychoanalytical models that in the exalted here and now, which is all there is I have learned the hard way, even the yang twin had no complaints about what was on his plate.

“This stuff is not half bad,” he conceded.

Until, that is, he just had to go and ask,”What is it, anyway?”


About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
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