At least two fully formed adult human bodies, one a single mother of once normal stature who featured an identifiable rash on her chafed thighs, and the other a recently diagnosed small man with a massive behavioral disorder, remained missing in the Pacific Ocean on Monday morning after falling from a cliff that crumbled at the edge of western civilization on Sunday. Basic everyday rip tides no doubt carried them away, although not together. Parasites that had been sucking profoundly from the bones of sacrificial dinosaurs for 80 million years surfaced at mid-day and undercut the foundation of the cliff. That likely occurred Saturday if final calculations prove to be correct at a later date. The shaky cliff, which overlooked Rio Del Mar Beach, shuddered first before crumbling. Unless the shuddering followed a release of trapped, prehistoric gases, and was completed by Friday. Scads of humans at the scene, no matter the day, throbbed mindlessly in the sand below like spermicidal sponges. Civil order was torn asunder and a number of rampaging breasts and penises were exposed. It would all prove to be predictable in retrospect, however. The numbers in any advanced hypothesis are apt to grow quite large. The parasites had great genes for patience as well as longevity but by Sunday enough was enough. Monterey Bay continued to sparkle throughout.
The single mother left detailed instructions for the care and feeding of her daughter and there were those that suggested it wasn’t such a sad a situation after all. I wasn’t there but I heard the news independently from the spawn of my loins, both reliable sources, in a way, sort of. That was likely on a Tuesday, while in the kitchen designing fresh food to end up camouflaged on their plates. The yang twin, who was verifiably at the scene according to a number of statistical reports, confirmed my worst fears about the exposed genitalia. The colorful Gatorade he was gulping at the time came out through his nose as he sputtered to maintain equilibrium. It appeared to be a phosphorescent green that had once been icily blue. He was lucky it wasn’t carbonated. That shit really stings the sinuses. The yin twin, though, who had also been there for the duration, assured me that it wasn’t that scary. She slightly knew two older girls with exposed breasts who thought it was a big joke, although both were later punished independently by head-achy, pre-menopausal single mothers who had fucking had it up to here with the fucking attitudes of their ungrateful daughters all fucking day long.
I said, “Some days you can’t beat losing.”
The yang twin said, “Don’t try to pawn that pea pod off on me.”
The yin twin said, “It looks pretty next to the slice of lemon, but I won’t eat it either. Too bitter.”
I said, “I feel for your suffering.”
She said, “But I will be hungry.”
I said, “But, what’s so bad about a little bitter?”
The yang twin said, “I’m hungry now.”
I said, “I’m going to take a look at the disaster.”
The tween twins opted to come along for the same reason that beaches draw crowds, fun, fun, fun. Rio Del Mar Beach looked no different to me, though. It couldn’t have been much of a cliff. Not that many cliffs are anymore. More cliffs get lost every day to the Pacific Ocean but are rarely missed. If not for the yellow tape, who would know the difference?
The yin twin said, “Now, I’m hungry for a taco.”
“It will stand out on your plate next to a vibrant pea pod.”
“A fish taco at Taqueria Vallarta.”
“A carnitas taco at Taqueria Yucatan.”
I said, “Where would be without bitter?”
The aesthetically pleasing arrangement of raw food on an otherwise empty plate, when combined with a still hot and spicy taco of impeccable ancestral breeding, plus the fragrant drizzled juice extracted from many sliced limes, allows the prudent arranger lots of extra time to pursue important pursuits like the mastery of enhanced figure-eights atop a spinning orb proven to be conducive to better balance, awareness, breathing, flexibility, honesty, insight, pleasure, and appetite. What other path leads to the elimination of hunger, stress, and indignity? How can we ever know after the fact until an original assessment of details has been completed first?
I said, “That should just about take care of that.”
A mastery of simple equations that ignores the existence of contradictions and their consequences only leads close enough to getting anywhere to suffer from the proximity. It rarely takes long for the evidence to bubble up to the surface. And you ask why the bombs that are bursting out loud in your belly hurt? That’s a point to consider with care. Try to tug on it real hard and see where it gets you. What if the hole that opens so easily with a sharp point is difficult to fill forever after? What if the best food is to be found in a brier patch, where you’ve never ventured, not a boiling pot? Or an ice floe? Or a depth of seven thousand feet below?
The yang twin, who in his constant quest for ammunition to stockpile for delayed combat against me, and had taken to eavesdropping on my mutterings, asked, “Below what?
“What have you got?”
“I asked you first.”
“You won’t believe a word I say anyway.”
The different yet abutting bodies that began a journey at the same fragile point, a point atop a cliff of historic standing that was presumed to be safe and stable, on which there seemed to be a high opportunity for distant observation and a small likelihood of drowning, were discovered on consecutive days more than a hundred miles apart. Floating bodies that are sculptured to be hard, yet remain soft and rounded, and filled with elemental liquid salt, as a plain matter of fact rarely come to singular points, not heads, not fingers, not icons, nor idols. One body was tangled in kelp not far from shore near Point Ano Nuevo. A pair of divers poaching abalone called the Coast Guard anonymously, or so they believed. The elephant seals in the vicinity wisely kept their distance, not even remotely curious. It was too close to mating season to risk contamination. The body reeked of chemicals. It was still the body of a small man. Not even a shark was game for an encounter that smelled like that. That’s what enables parasites to seize their precious time.
The next body, funky and bloated in warmer water, was encountered two days later fifty miles from shore, west of Point Sur, a Thursday it seemed, unless it ran like liquid into a Friday. The warmer water was making the fish a little crazier as they stirred the murk, El Nino on the way.
After Labor Day, when the crowds diminished, the yellow tape came down. A new cliff doubled for the same old, same old. Who knew? Before long, no one, that’s who. The chemical smell retreated, replaced by another. The water stayed warm.
I thought I had relinquished the tween twins to the care and feeding of their mother that week, which was the first week of another middle school year, but the call came to me in that same old way, and tracked me, as an arrow to a target.
“Mr. Singular, First Person.”
“No need for formality. You know me by now. No one calls me mister.”
“Let me get right to the point.”