Now that the latter day hipster with no need to embrace any stinking cause has completed conquest of the worldwide globe like swirly gluten-free cupcakes with cutting edge icing but no extravagant cherry on top, it can no longer be news to any moderately advanced creature able to capitalize on the evolution of opposing thumbs that the ironic environs in which we brutishly prevail on a limited and insecure basis are frustratingly short, slight, tight, slim, and dim. There is always another fucking eight ball to get behind. It becomes increasingly hard to fake it for long. Your wheels will squeak. Your windows will streak. You are doomed to choose eternally between thin soup and skimpy salad.
And yet, some stuff stays remarkably the same. Cows, lemmings, and sheep. Stripes, plaids, and solids. Bewilderment, gluttony, indifference, and blame. Psychodrama, sex, and squalor. Important stuff to some. Yucky stuff best expunged to others. Stuff may leak, spurt, stain forever. Bubbles burst, flames shoot, wads blow. Holes open wide. You may have some stuff stuck on you right now. The same messes get made, the same sheets rumpled, the same comings and goings. The same yummy bones get picked clean.
But, anyone who claims that good old-fashioned persistence in the face of adversity does not pay off big time doesn’t know fucking jackshit about the subject. Name the price, any subject. Here is the final answer: Miss now, but keep on swinging. Not only now, but for later, too. I know because I finally hit the fucking jackpot.
I was sitting under a redwood tree older than any wizened old dead President, paying no more attention than usual to current events beyond the scope of my nose, as is my inalienable right, when the tawny owl appeared silently above me. Owls are highly skilled at fluidity like that as a result of a highly advanced system of feathers.
Cryptically, he said, “Wishing and hoping and dreaming and praying won’t get you into that heart.”
I was surprised that he knew the lyrics to such a wan, soporific song. Responding in kind, sort of, I said, “Uh.”
Then he started to laugh his ass off. It seemed he was just fucking with my head again. He said, “My little man, this could become your lucky night into day.”
And I thought, whoa, fucking whoa. I know what this is about now. After coming up short for too long, my day came. I’m going to go where no little man has ever gone. Forget the abject humiliation over all of that due time. Forget what was, where it hurt, and how many days it took to heal. Now is all there is and ever will be. Count on it. I did, and I do. Sort of. And look where it got me. I finally succeeded in gaining an invitation to see behind the hyperbolic green door of Beaver Falls and Beaver Risings, the mixed use residence of the twin beavers, Barton and Burton, who are frequent astral traveling partners of the tawny owl on many of his jaunts to the nether regions between the spiral galaxies, NGC3314a and NGC3314b.
I said, “Tell me what more I need to do. You know I’ll do anything.”
He said, “That’s what I’m here for.”
Don’t let just anybody tell you the night time is not the right time. All I needed to come up with to more or less seal the deal was my vintage copy of the original 1962 Howlin’ Wolf album, Moanin’ In The Midnight, purchased clandestinely under the table in exchange for a pair of glass bongs at Comic-Con in 1999, and lovingly entwined in vintage wax paper with creases intact, that featured the perennial favorite of both studly beavers on piano, Otis Spann. I knew it had to be somewhere.
The kid who sold it to me after stealing it from his father probably didn’t know jackshit about its true value. He was wasted and he smelled. His father probably never recognized what a little prick he spawned. According to the odds, probability is passed down from one clueless generation to the next in bunches. My gain.
The tawny owl added, “I’m still waiting.”
I had to dig pretty deep in my handy subterranean closet to find it, buried under wads of duct tape, sex wax, dust balls, stiffened socks, and sundry rags presumably useful for wiping. But then there it was, my ticket to ride.
The object of my fascination, Beaver Falls and Beaver Risings, was located above, beyond, and within the mounds of meandering froth adjacent to the San Lorenzo River, not far from the town of Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was cantilevered above a jutting outcrop of limestone studded with the floating spores of magic mushrooms. A carved statue of a giant pre-Ice Age casteroid, spiritual grandfather to all astral traveling beavers, loomed mightily in front. Unless that outcrop was more a crag. I could not see in the vast darkness but I could feel my way. The interior of the lodge was reputed to have more than twenty seven levels that spanned a labyrinth of complex dimensions unknown to humans, although no one expected me to reach nearly high enough to find out at any time soon, or ever.
The tawny owl led me deep into the forest with a series of syncopated hoots that sounded like Trombone Shorty. I knew there was no predetermined path to follow. I was as prepared as I would ever be. I had my protection snugly in place. I knew from experience how to fall the right way. It’s too easy to fall just any which way. Then the going got rough.
I am not proud to admit that I tumbled over the first step that I did not see at the end of a wayward arc, but only because I had to dump what was left of my foolish pride on the other side of the green door. Dude, that hurt. Then I heard a voice that said, “Why is he gasping for breath like that?”
Believe me, nobody wanted to hear the answer to that question more than me. I’d crawl in more fucking muck all night for that. I’d scratch at any old artificial veneer. I’d pound bent nails. I’d eat it raw. That was a question I’d been trying to answer since before I knew what was hitting me in the head. Each time I believed I was getting close, I lost my train of thought. It wasn’t like chasing a train that left the station early, exactly, but close. Could this be what I have been striving for since I found out something was missing? Dude, I was stoked. I heard Howlin” Wolf on Smokestack Lightning, going off, “A whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whoo.”
But then the beavers started having way too much fun rising to their higher levels of consciousness and shedding all misery, desire, and regret. Just my luck. That left me out.
Pretty soon, I forgot what I was supposed to be doing there. That train, again.
Maybe next time.