The first time the marauding scorpion currently wreaking havoc in the Santa Cruz Mountains heard James Brown, he was compelled to pause. He could feel a familiar, primal force vibrating deep in his dirt. It was a feeling that no determined survivor could ever afford to ignore. And who has more experience at survival than a determined scorpion? He was climbing a sheer cliff abutting Los Altos Hills that threatened to spill over into Silicon Valley at the time. But, a pause was all he would allow. Sure, there’s a connection, he mused. Nothing in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains above the Caribbean Sea where I was born and grew so solidly in the loose soil sounded so right like this. But, elemental wisps and tendrils of connections make up most of what is adrift in deep space. That’s not going to deter me. Why should I care about a few more bits of dust? I’m going to remain untouched. Nobody likes a parasite. There’s never been a parasite the size of a human before. And especially these clunky specimens in the Santa Cruz Mountains who are not nearly as harmless as the Kogi Indians living in the fertile mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Not in all of the 443 million years that have been passed down to me through dirt as my heritage have I seen forest denudation like this. I’m going to fuck up the next one I see, but good.
For sheer locomotion, no animal can match an angry scorpion who remains indivisibly connected to 443 million years of multiversal history that propel him to keep on keeping on. He has been around the longest on Earth because he has dared to struggle the hardest. Distractions, though plentiful, are routinely repelled, and not only by his shell. His mind contains trap doors leading to his and only his point with no escape. There are no allies where a scorpion dwells, and many enemies to defeat. A green bug dropped by a fat and inattentive woodpecker landed in front of him, but he’d eaten twice already in less than a year, and was not thinking of food yet. His powerful brain was ablaze with terrifying purpose. He started to buzz a song to keep his consciousness rising, “If I have my way…If I have my way…If I have my way…I will tear these buildings down.”
If you crave freedom above comfort, ease, regularity, and slumber, which clearly few do, and for what appear to be obvious reasons to a human, and accept that matter imbued with awareness includes all elements, and consciousness amalgamated, separated, launched, sliced, bisected, and crumpled, along with contradictions, the second most basic building block of the multiverse, is all there is and will be, with no beginning or end, then a pause does not satisfy for long. Soon, you will want more. By any means necessary it may seem. I’ve probably seen many of you catapulting off of the same walls, shooting the same rapids in a frothy stream, juggling torches and swords, executing equally stupid pratfalls that lead into the same shallow orbits. It’s just enough of a dose to keep you hooked on the road to trouble, right? You might mix it up, bob and weave, tug and squeeze, no matter. I know I can squeeze my tubes pretty fucking tight. But none of us are scorpions. And that’s before the stinger ever starts to come out.
So, as I considered the now familiar screams that were coming once again from the loudmouth techno-yuppie dweeb who commutes to Silicon Valley from the house next door to me, and who was lying prostrate in the prone position on his artificial lawn after being toppled from the spongy throne atop his beloved John Deere riding mower by the marauding scorpion, I was naturally seeking, while mixing hops to brew my bitterly balanced brown beer, and aware that I can only go where there is a there to go, a context in which to understand deeply. Like, duh.
Usually, the techno-yuppie dweeb would climb right back into the saddle. He had become a parody of yesterday’s news in that way. No bug was going to stop him in his tracks. Despite the unfortunate screaming, he was a man’s man. But, this time, he stayed down.
I heard distinctly abrasive tones mixed in with his caterwauling that seemed to be similar to those in the pronunciation of my given name, Singular, F.P. Did that mean I was expected in some manner or form to respond to his bleating and step out of my comfort zone? Yeah, right.
I started a count because I had nothing more mind-numbing to do while my brew continued to boil. As an uninterested neutral observer I briefly considered if it would be out of line for me to step in and declare an obvious victor by a TKO? I know, however, that in many cases once a man steps out of line he is hustled away by the so-called authorities. That’s flat out trouble for everyone. Where? How the fuck should I know? I’ve never been there. Yet.
The yang twin said, “Who’s carrying who away?”
I was unaware that he could read my thoughts with such precision. Even the idiosyncratic grammar and usage. That led me to fret, who else?
“The man, that’s who.”
C’mon, I worried. Don’t tease. You’re not blind. You know the man. He’s everywhere. How can you not know the man?
I muttered, “Oh, man.”
He said, “Dude.”
What if once marked, the indelible stain on the techno-yuppie dweeb will never rub off and he is caught in a subterranean spiral in which the prowess of the scorpion is unsurpassed? And as the dirt develops increased intensity all exits are blocked. Or perhaps the marauding scorpion has stirred up trapped minerals in the dirt that attract previously disconnected particles in deep space that were attuned to the same James Brown tune that was blasting from my laundry room window and I was inadvertently guiding the attack to its logical target.
What was I supposed to think after that except, whoa, fucking whoa?
From James Brown, though, I continued to hear, repeatedly, “Get back…gotta get back.”
So I went back to work, stirring. The inalienable beat of James Brown don’t lie. The yang twin, however, remained dissatisfied.
“Is the man you’re talking about that dweeby dude next door who’s always screaming? Because he better learn how to keep a lid on it? I learned in astronomy that disorders left alone tend to increase over time.”