Right Alongside

list     I was editing the ongoing list I am plainly compelled by good old-fashioned empirical reason to maintain that delineates mistakes that I used to make more, but now make less. A concerned citizen can only go so far into the higher nether realms without serious introspection to lead the charge forward at all times out of the miasma, not backwards.  See The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, (DSM-IV), under the heading of Cognitive Distortions, Table 3.1, for a footnote on dicklessly challenged Dick Cheney and his famously unctuous sneer, right alongside his fatuous daughter with the zillion centavo smirk, who represent certifiably horrific symptoms due to excessive exposure to abrasive petrodollars that cause clandestine genitalia to become benumbed, besmirched, and brittle with rigidity to the distant touch, right alongside.

dick cheneyliz cheney

In my empirical observations, sort of, we all may require more of a luminescent type of outlook on a wide spectrum of vital issues in order to get where we’re going, and fast, without excessive bumbling into sharp objects. The list, in its own non-proprietary way, theoretically tracks definite progress in vital areas of concern like posture and flexibility, subject to alterations, of course, in length, breath, and volume. And correct positioning of hips at all times, needless to say. Without constant maintenance, who knows where I would end up. Or how. Sort of.


The list, semi-transparent, and partially illuminating on its better days, comes adorned with barnacles that are compounded by an uneven share of entitlement issues.  It is shaped quasi-amorphously, roughly a pyramid turned upside down and inside out, inserted via dark, posterior means, and squeezed through a ringer.  It helps my understanding to examine it from different positions while in repose, roughly horizontal on an axis,and segmented, plus diagonally, and split, and shifty.

sun bath

I keep the list on a pedestal attached with foolproof adhesive to a wall next to an historically important pair of fuzzy dice and bongos in which Frank Zappa was immersed up to his grand wazoo. Although I may bow down at times to craven imagery I aim to keep my back and ulteriors facing forward, into the nether realms ahead, along with my near-sighted eyes. Contradictions abound right alongside. There is also a vial of combustible black powder on that wall, which faces roughly southwest or southeast, depending on incidental curvatures, and a cylinder containing inert gas, until activated, which I know should never be mixed with iron, nitrates, or of  any of those previously cited sharp objects.


As the tawny owl reminds me, often, “Don’t point any of your common objects my way.”

I know I spend too much time poring over my list because I sort of honestly can’t help it. There are many others who claim out loud they can’t help what they do, sort of.  It’s an elastic topic amply covered in DSM-IV. As we all know by now, or should, mistakes are the third most basic building block of the multiverse. Add a little volatility, and boom.  Unless, that’s poof, right alongside.

air kiss ass

As a famous writer from the last century used to say, often, from varying angles, at odd times, as well as accompanied by a viewpoint of varying shapes, cadences, gaps, gases, and velocities, all activated, none inert, and thus famously, “So it goes.”

All I cling to for sure as a guide that leads ineffably into the vast stark subject spread out so widely in front me is twofold.  First, to the best of my recollection, I can’t be expected to reach depth, breath, and simultaneity off of the top of my head while it’s still spinning, not according to the terms of the agreement I’ve negotiated with my expectations. My expectations are more realistic. If I don’t cut the slack I need, who will? How can a truly concerned citizen see it any other way?  Otherwise, it’s certifiable. That’s where the DSM-IV goes way off the tracks.


No matter how high the dollar count, or how many objects stacked like mannequins, raw numbers are always hungry for more.

The sheer numbers of borderline personalities who present symptoms of distortions and disorders in the charts of the DSM-IV continue to grow at an industrial rate higher than any meager bull market boom. Loads arrive daily. Impulses strain at shackles.  There is a throb and a thrust.  Borders expand. Bounds unbind. Disturbances arise. Objects near. Holes are opened. Penetration is plentiful. Normal friction responds. Bones gnash. Dust swirls.

Opportunities abound, right alongside.


The tawny owl points out, often, that chronic pain only exists in humans and their pets. “No other animal wants to painfully stretch out dying like that.  You got to be downright certifiable. You all sure got the most fears, ever, I’ll give you that.”

“Even I know that much.”

“One good reason no righteous animal wants to have any contact with a lowly pet. Ever. Eww.”

“It must be contagious, like symbiosis,” I replied, as a concerned citizen, smartly.

“Not up here.”


I said, “I hear you, bro.”

“Don’t call me bro.  Ever.  Eww.”

“My mistake.”

“Of course it’s your mistake.”


“Of course, you’re sorry.”

“A little more of your infinite understanding wouldn’t hurt that much, would it?”

“What do you expect next?  Should I spiritually commune with one of your pampered white cats with the pink skin?”

“Not mine.”

“Close enough.”

“You might give a little bit of peace a chance.”

“Yeah, right.  What would you prefer me to say in the cause of world peace for your kind?  Nice skin?”

Since the beginning of the Iron Age, little more than three thousand years ago, the human population on the surface of the planet has soared from fifty million to nearly eight billion. The numbers of species on the planet during the same time have declined by more than 50%. Many holes have been opened, many wounds not closed. More of less is here now and on the way. Count on it. The numbers in the DSM-IV chart of borderline personalities exhibiting magnified fears of catastrophe have climbed to many peaks, few valleys. More and more is on the way. Count on it. Numbers display massive appetites, explosive numbers. Numbers like TNT and DDT. No words are able to cut though the loads of shit when put to the test. The fit becomes tighter when squeezed.

I said, “It’s hard for us to find the right comfortable spot that’s not too hot or too cold.”

“That’s where rising consciousness comes in. You fly high. And then, you pass it on.”

I said, “That’s easy for you to say.”

He said, “Like I said…”

An hour before sunset, the owls in the forest began to hoot in wild asymmetrical synchronization.  There was a big bash brewing on the top of Mt. Umunhum. All the high flyers would be there. The natural sound was magnified by no artificial numbers, no disorders, no catastrophe.  It only sounded like cacophony to the tinny human ear.  To me, it sounded as if Pharaoh Sanders hooked up his tenor with a cumbia band from Santiago de Cuba, a tight group of drummers from South Korea sitting on a platform with legs crossed, and a quaint recorder from somewhere savage in Europe that petered out long ago as the cliffs crumbled.

The tawny owl said, “It will get a lot better when your kind flees the planet and takes off for the floating platforms that your rich guys are starting to build in outer space.  Heads, only. The rest of the body gets dumped as useless baggage. The remaining creatures on the planet will be able to breathe easier.”

I said, “Uh…”

He said, “Uh huh.”

Repeating myself, as I am wont to do from time to time in a timely manner, from a position still not culled from my list, and only because what was still remains what is and only is, and though not exactly proud, while standing at the bottom that is so far from the top looking up, which I knew was as close as I was ever going to get to earning a spot right alongside, I said, firmly, “Whoa, fucking, whoa.”

In sum, the tawny owl chimed in, “So it goes.”


About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
This entry was posted in animals, culture, environment, humor, short stories, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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