On the most recent day I was due to appear as a defendant in the Criminal Court of Santa Cruz County, I awoke to the smell of skunk. Despite the persistent presence of an historic drought, it appeared to be raining. The smell of skunk never gets better. Stuffing up cracks won’t work. Rain won’t wash it away.
Humans seem to have no problem in co-existing with the scent of weasels, who are close cousins of skunks, as well as vermin, worms, snakes, and slugs too, who climb walls and ooze ickiness. Look at Dick Cheney and his incestuous daughter. And fucking squirrels. But, not wolves? You might believe squirrels are cute but you’re wrong. They are sneaky and vindictive little ballbusters. Makes no fucking sense, does it? Nuts, balls, cracks, go figure. I can’t. Walls are built to keep some animals in and some animals out. Scheming to find a safe place to hide is considered a sign of intelligence in humans. Many smart animals are considered nuisances. Alas, the walls have holes.
The power of accurate observation has always been a vital tool for every species on Earth. There was and is a big incentive to use it before losing it. No equivalent exists in any other species of an idiot or a dolt who thrives. Ignore the facts and go extinct.
Smelly skunks have been around the block more than once over the last ten or so million years. There has never been a more accurate asshole. Humans, not so much. Only humans have concluded that facts don’t apply to them. Especially inconvenient facts that challenge the subsidized fantasies of spooks and fairies enforced by laws that are touted to soothe like warm milk before sleepy bedtime for bonzos.
Big brains that are predominantly unused, as it turns out, become predominantly useless. Look at all the lambs that were slaughtered in the burning desert. Look at the callouses on bare burning feet. Or so much of the ickiness oozing from open sewers and sores. Look at the price of loin lamb chops. Look at Dick Cheney and his incestuous daughter.
Many historical humans scorned and derided observers of verifiable facts with dirty names. Some bones as a consequence had to be broken alongside. Citations from several religious texts applauded the efforts. Many of those same dirty named infidels who could still walk and later figured out shit like gravity that the many naysayers such as Dick Cheney and his incestuous daughter could take profitably for granted, were hanged by the neck, burned in pyres, pummeled with rocks and stones. Some big brains were working overtime there.
Although it was still early in the morning, and my operating system was severely handicapped until the lone wee brain warmed up to speed, I concluded that these unseen but palpable skunks merely wanted to come in out of the rain no less than any smart animal. They must have found a nearby hole that was safe from any presumptuous logic. It had to be near my house. Perhaps under. You think humans are the only animals that dig in the dirt? In deference to all open holes, I prepared to leave.
The smell was very strong in the shower where my choices were tightly constricted by design. I was not sure what aspect was going to cling tightest to me but it could hardly be helped at such a rushed hour. I stayed the course. Like heat, I am aware that stink rises. Then it spreads out before taking over. I learned this from observation. My criminal lawyer warned me, however, not to be late. This Judge might tolerate a few standard antics, he emphasized, but not that.
At the courthouse, I stood in a line that backed up outside while the rain continued. There was a drain nearby that was not yet overflowing. In time, though, watch out. Standing in the rain like a lemming, a lamb, a chicken, is said to be good for an immortal soul. Bodies, not so much. Again, I refer to several religious texts.
After my body passed inspection, I crossed to the fluorescent dark side. I could hear chains rattling, and whispers. Not coincidentally, I crossed wayward paths with my divorce lawyer in the hallway. A crack of thunder accompanied more rain. Her turf, her choice of weapons. To that point in the still morning, none of my extremities had turned up missing. I double-checked to be sure. She was not going my way but my gag reflex kicked in anyway. Her grimace that passed in a pinch for a grin served as a reminder why. I feigned a coughing fit and turned my head. I maintained balance, sort of, and distance. If it wasn’t a wolf howling that I heard, then I don’t know what.
The doors to the cells and the courtrooms in the dungeons of Santa Cruz County were numbered, as were the chimes of freedom flashing. High heels clicked like sharpened swords. My reflex to fight or flee was neutered. I proceeded to open the correctly numbered door. There was no prize inside. My criminal lawyer appeared at my side when the Judge called my case. Even though his heels were flat. And I had no side.
“Singular, First Person.”
I stood abject, mute. It wasn’t the first time I’d been called the same dirty name. Or the last. I blame it on the deeply flat heels of my squashed mother and her personal attachment to slavery that held me back. Me and Einstein.
My criminal lawyer spoke glowingly on his own behalf. He said all that needed to be said. That’s how the system works best. I heard blah, blah, blah. Eerily, it sounded like the sort of sanctimonious sentimentality that never goes out of style. The Judge did not turn his head when he coughed, though. It sounded to me as if he was muttering, “Blowjob.” Then another system emerged, of low pressure this time, and dominated the staid, stale air. My criminal lawyer had a small gob of powdered sugar stuck to the end of his nose. It had to be mixed with some kind of oily goop to stick that well. I bet it would have glowed in the dark under natural light. I was the only witness, though, and in my role as a traitor to my species in the war against human enablers of venal cats who murder beautiful birds I had vowed to reveal no secrets.
Low pressure tends to accompany fog and so I knew change was coming fast. A dominant high pressure system as dense as the Sierra Nevada Mountains had begun to crack up north of Maui. We were all in for it now. Don’t believe that fog takes no prisoners. Limpid bodies are scattered willy-nilly at odd angles by fog in the sand. You’d be surprised where many burials at sea wash up. Some sand turns into mud, though none of it verifiably burning. Quicksand is the worst. The Judge was too far away to see through it, due to an affliction with prior myopia.
I was originally charged with incitement to riot on a dark though dry night, famously known as Halloween according to superstition, and resisting arrest under a vaporous glare that limited vision. I was supposed to be grateful when the charge was reduced to failure to follow a lawful order from a lawfully sworn dickhead. My criminal lawyer claimed he needed more time to prepare his case, though. Reluctantly, the Judge agreed. Although my criminal lawyer had warned me that my case was hopeless due to laws being bound as they are, he assured me the darkness was going to help my cause in due time. All he needed to uncover was a connection. And another check. But, I still had nothing to say. I was only crossing a street at the time of the incident, about which I have no recollection to the best of my ability. Hear no, see no, that’s my latest vow until absolution. I was prepared to plead guilty, however, if it meant I didn’t have to come back again and stand in line. But, it was too big of an ‘if.’
Although darkness in the midst of limited vision coupled with a neutered gag reflex appeared to work brilliantly as a defense for Dick Cheney and his incestuous daughter, my case was to be continued.
Yeah, it stinks.