Did you ever get caught trying hard to live in the moment when an object that appears closer than may seem comfortable follows in your blind spot and won’t let go lest you forget? And then a counterpoint whizzes by at variable high speed and leaves a vapor trail that further clouds your vision and adds a choice hallucination or two to the stew that kicks ass? Well, yeah, like…duh. Show me who hasn’t been squeezed from the ground up and can hardly breathe. Nothing makes us more human than an awareness of that eternal leaking sensation. Where is it coming from? A fracture, a fissure, a simple hole dug in the wrong place and time? You could feel compelled under such circumstances to ask: why me, why here, why now?
What you might get as you end up in that known prone position is a big mess, a puddle, a plop, or a fizz. Everybody knows that. You can’t see, or listen, or know what the fuck is happening, so you don’t. In a key situation, nothing turns out as hollow as a used belief system. You can even find proof on the infallible Internet. Keyword: douche touches down from Heaven. Now holding steady at 31 million hits, but soon to be expanding mightily. Unless that squeeze is an obvious contraction.
I was saying just the other day to the tween twins, who were not listening no less than usual, as I proactively worried that I had passed a bad gene that contributed to habitat degradation, “How do you expect to hear what I have to say with those wires embedded so deeply in your young ears?”
The yang twin said, “Huh?”
The yin twin, who was watching an ancient rerun while performing nimble mind tricks without benefit of appendages or utensils, said, “Yada, yada, yada.”
I said, “I’m just saying.”
The yang twin said, “What?”
I said, “Don’t you have some homework to do?”
The yin twin replied, “It’s Summer.”
What I said was close to , “Darn it all,” but what I secretly meant was, what the fuck?
Animals who are better adjusted than humans, without an hysterical need for heat, cooling, cooking, ease, creaminess, medicines, and entertainment that tends to clog the pipes and drains, figure out fast what it takes to avoid becoming the next meal of a neighbor who is no friend. Unless they don’t. As it turns out, that is not a direction in which to turn when concerned with health and longevity. Otherwise, keep that head up. Flip, flop, and fly. Don’t buy, don’t sell tricks. Smell before you turn your back on a character lounging in shade.
Animals who can’t compete well in the neighborhood, like cows, chickens, pigs, and sheep, end up as dead meat. Animals that uniquely hold tight, squeeze, cheat, maintain, avow, exploit, and deny they are animals, who are truly one of an exalted kind in their own narrowed minds, end up buried or burned.
I was digging up dirt later that afternoon because it’s what I do. It’s not all that I do but close enough. I don’t need to get anywhere. I’ve been there. The sun was hot and getting hotter. I specialize in digging after the fact, for relics that represent what I’ve missed. Not all of it but close enough. I dug up the still potent roots of poison ivy, oak, and sumac, the fin from a ’57 DeSoto, the skeleton of a sacrificial lamb, a directional signal with a dead battery, a clock still ticking, a bottle of faded pink pills, a hula hoop, a reset button, the vandalized handle stolen from that pump that don’t work, another shovel for digging, the brittle shed skin of a former snake.
Bemused, the tawny owl said, “That snake was some good eating meat. Tastes a lot like chicken.”
At the Thee Tawny Owl Institute of High Flying and Rising Consciousness, I have learned that under the broad category of compounded human error over compressed time, nothing surpasses for sheer barbaric destruction the practice of burning delectable fresh meat with the deliberate, unleashed rage of fire. How many more creatures of the forest have to continue to suffer for this dull, appalling lack of good taste? How much more searing stench can be smothered before explosives unite and ignite?
I raised my hand as usual to ask a question without consulting the law of unintended consequences, and without a second more temperate thought in my head, said, “Does that include me?”
I have also learned at the Thee Tawny Owl Institute that it is always too late to take back the wrong question. Sorry doesn’t help. Forget retracing steps with so-called justifications, answers, or explanations.
As he flew away, the tawny owl said, “See ya.”
The acquisition of dirt is one assured outcome of continuous digging. Dirt recognizes nowhere to stop. Dirt befouling faces, minds, and skin, dirt under cover, in cracks, and filling voids. Washing the dirt won’t cut it. Scraping the dirt from the surface does no good. It only spreads exponential pestilence and disease.
The tween twins often become miffed when my digging interferes with their transportation to events more exciting than anything I have to offer. It seems as if the main point is often to leave me behind. I get it. I’m as good as gone, gone, gone.
I receive complaints in other areas of mental health as well. Speed, or lack of, is a demon. The food I cook takes too long and looks weird when it arrives on the plate, often in disguise. What’s the use of getting somewhere where the getting is not good?
I was dutifully slicing, dicing, parsing, mincing. I was crying due to a sneak attack of piquant habanero peppers. In fairness, it was all my fault because I forgot once again to utilize my sterile gloves and dark goggles as a defense mechanism. Without a good defense, all sorts of burning sensations may run wild, and then spread like an insurrection. That’s where a neutral, buffer zone comes in handy, to keep wayward elements in their place. Hot peppers provide a panoramic backdrop for scenes of one great hemispheric divide between tribes. Wrapped inside of a tortilla who knows for sure what sedition may be stirring? In the south, fiery peppers provide an important turn-on for buds and tongues. In the north they learned how to shoot off with guns instead.
I said, “It looks good to me. There is green, and purple, and yellow, and cream.”
The yang twin said, “The purple is turning into green.”
“You could find out why. It seems to me that ordinary green and purple would turn brown. Start by experimentation with sticks in the dirt. Make that your Summer homework.”
The yin twin said, “Will you take us for ice cream after?”
“Do you want to know where this redness in my eyes comes from?”
The yang twin said, “Why can’t you just grill a simple burger?”
“It’s rare that it’s that simple.”
Unless it is.