The shadow of a red tailed hawk soaring overhead scared the shitty little pellets out of a rabbit trying to cover his quaking ass. That’s where searching for water at high noon leads during a drought. The rabbit turned tail and fled into the sparse brush, where he dropped a few more crumbs to mark his trail.
No human at any historical juncture has ever been that aware. Fifty million years of evolution worked well for the rabbit. No vital bodily fluids were spilled, discarded, or exchanged, no stink, no myopia, no claptrap, no unsightly residue. What more could a little chickenshit bunny with an overwrought aesthetic tendency desire? Water? As if.
The rushing water was as busy as all fucking hell being expropriated for toilets bowls, putting greens, sticky rice, pre-stressed concrete, pissing contests, artisanal arugula. No aesthetic gene to follow in that bunch. Expert authorities in denial, in addition, continued to expect no end in sight. As if. Contiguous humans beyond mere shadows of doubt proceeded to pour into gaseous fissures en masse, as usual. Outposts along that trail were guarded with cheap lives on front lines. Heavy boots provided all the insulation required. What good are failed expectations if they don’t come packaged with built-in denial?
In the Pacific Ocean, meanwhile, past the artificial knoll at the crooked end of the gulch where western civilization cracks apart and crumbles beneath that final cliff, there was a whole bunch of water warming up. New waves of warm water were caught spilling daily into Monterey Bay from Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru. The effervescent warmth, as it will, attracted its own band of followers. More than the usual swollen numbers of parasites and lollygaggers gorged on squid in abundant new nether zones. Vibrant swells were teeming with dynamism, fizz, spunk, and funk. According to quickly developing lore, warm water was carrying its torch on a fast stream all the way to Alaska.
Along with all the spunky fizz came new life and life only, deep, dark, shallow, sleek, chubby, and slick. The locals dug the show to the max. Breaching whales were caught in profile laughing blubbery asses off as upstart oddities appeared daily. Hopped up brother otters laid back and watched with delight as giant mola molas cruised past in radiant style, munching scrumptious vallela vallelas on the half shell. The gooey blue parts glimmered on the steep walls of Monterey Canyon like opalescent Oreos. That caused a few eyeballs among locals and newcomers alike to pop.
I was fortunate as it turned out, sort of, that my strategy to beat the heat at high noon, and simultaneously observe all manner of comings and goings on the surface of Monterey Bay, had directed me to the cliff abutting the cliff above Rio Del Mar Beach as it began to crumble. I was able to retreat from the edge and remain solid on shifty ground.
My feet, however, appeared to stay somewhat splayed at two odd angles behind me. Unless that retreat was a strategic shift. Sort of. That’s when I looked up and saw the first phalanx of brown pelicans in the sky.
What was I supposed to do, ignore the unmistakable sign of an epiphany flying in the sky only a few hundred yards from shore? We all know what calamities tend to occur after that. Or should. The shore was demonstrably iffy and the sky was not. A thousand pelicans hefting bayonets were diving for anchovies. What a bunch of straight shooters they turned out to be. I have nothing but deep respect for the awesome prowess of diving pelicans. So I grabbed a paddle and a board. And I followed.
But, I had no plan, no goal, no thought processes whatsoever grinding away with purpose in my innards. I insist that it cannot be proven without a great deal of reasonably standard doubt that I was in fact beginning another futile search for the humpback whale who appeared to be light taupe, unless he more accurately represented dark ecru on the eternal color wheel. I was unarmed, ill-equipped, wearing tacky striped boxers under a worn, torn wet suit that used to fit better before I started to shrink. And though I was still warm and dry, my balls were already beginning to shrivel prematurely. In my book, that demonstrates lack of intent large enough to withstand any arbitrary interrogation in any so-called organized court of law.
Of all that I have to persistently repeat in my own behalf after that, which at times may appear to have no end, what could be more important than, “I’m innocent?” That is exactly what I said to my criminal lawyer, who was no less smug and condescending than usual. Sure, it may be true that I have been present and accounted for during numerous prior disturbances, but what does that prove categorically? If a recurring problem requires a convenient scapegoat for solution, it must be proven, right? Not once, but forever? Am I right or am I right? Fuck yeah, I’m right. I’ve been wrong enough. Go reference Immanuel Kant in one of your hoity-toity texts if you continue to have your doubts. Excessive reliance upon all of that sketchy shit googled on your precious Internet does not count.
What if the facts of my case in retrospect prove, if not absolutely then close enough for me, that I came face to face, or face to enormous eyeball as it turned out, with the humpback who that close up was decidedly not dark ecru, by doing little, or more accurately, nothing? Close up, that humpback was huge, and I was shrinking. He shot up out of the water like a missile expelled from its silo for recalcitrant behavior. Was I realistically capable in any of my current or previous conditions of interfering with him? Fuck yeah, in this one case only, is not the right answer.
What if, as I felt the whole earth and not just a bunch of water move, I continued to stay put in a solemn, fundamental way, breathing as shallow as ever, though quaking no less than any chickenshit bunny, and rigidly so? What if the humpback whale had come looking for me? What if staying absolutely put was all the fucking absolutism I could handle? What if the humpback whale blew his reeking breath into my face as a memorial to all of the dead fish that contribute to the funky smell of life and life only? What if I received the message precisely as it was intended? Is precision in color coding really so vital? Do blue vallela vallelas shit green? Is that so impossible to believe? Not to me.
Or what if all the heat I felt turned out to be mere happenstance? So what. That’s life and life only, too. You won’t discover me in denial. Fuck those smug lawyers. Fuck yeah, I’m innocent.
That’s exactly what I continued to maintain to the henchman from the government who grabbed me while I was still all wet. And that’s still the right answer for me.