It started out as one of those days. Now, it’s too late to turn back. Rain was falling heedlessly like skewered spit. I knew immediately when I became all wet and soggy. None of the active faults in the Santa Cruz Mountains were moved, but the trunks of innumerable redwood trees shook like the many ex-hos of Ike Turner.
I began to head sideways along with the prevailing wind. The wind had amassed forces far west of California, which is known to us locally as the Far East. Humans with overripe brains are nothing if not prideful about such exalted advancements in language. I remained alert for unidentified flying objects to deflect. Dark clouds came low to taunt all of the rubble with stubby legs and sedentary trunks that could not manage wiggle room. The raptors pranced in spare feathers and pantaloons like Parliament Funkadelic. No stubby legs without wings on the swinging scene there.
A smarter man would have escaped better than sideways. If any such smart-ass sucker had ever at any time been me, I’d know enough to shake a mediocre leg and opt like my elders for some funk. I would not stand idly by sucking so hard, nor wheezing against the wind, nor remain seated on a bumpy log, as the mud flowed out of the hills.
There remains on hand more than one rub that chafes the creamy skin that splits into soft shards and multiplies as a facade that sticks like icky goo: some live, some thrive, some dive, some simmer, some learn, some burn, some blame, some fizzle, some spill, some leak. Sitting ducks end up sauteed or fried. Lumpy cabbage heads carrying bounties roll unevenly when steamed. Contradictions crackle and pop that flimsy skin into bite sized crisps.
Later that afternoon, by the time the stoic technician who claimed to be a real physician stuck her authentic finger up my ass, I’d learned enough for one day. What’s next, a periscope?
The rain did not stop for that reason or any other. Those hills that housed all that mud were home to me. Amply funded experts proclaimed that no drought was over until their coffers were filled. I voted in my daily personal plebiscite for None of the Above and went AWOL. All elections need None of the Above as a featured option to be fair. Get or be got. I had all the alibi I required.
I returned to the source and sank hip deep upon the site of my grateful ass, which according to the operative machinery I had escaped was in pretty good shape. Sort of.
The hungry teen twins were waiting, dryly comic. Little empathy was in evidence. As twins will, they laughed in unison at the sad sight of me. As formerly tweens, they were still getting used to flexing. Unless that comedy was merely wry.
“What would you do if you were me?”
The yang twin said, “As if.”
“When you can’t run for the hills, what’s left?”
The yin twin said, “I’m hungry.”
I said, “Me too.”
“The water coming from the pipes is light ecru.”
The yang twin said, “Boil it. Like, duh.”
“I’m hungry now.”
“Now, I’m thirsty, too.”
“We don’t have to worry about the water until it becomes light taupe.”
“I’m so thirsty I could drink all the old water that poisoned well can pump out.”
“You’re the one always taking about who suffers most.”
“We have compromised genes we’re passing.”
“Our primate ancestors suffered from an endless ordeal of verbal diarrhea.”
“Lots of yak, yak, yak, boo-hoo, and jabberwocky. Then too much time spent in weak contemplation.”
The yang twin said, “You always say that.”
So, in order to fulfill base animalistic needs, I cooked. This added to that often equals the irreducible sum of broken parts. The tawny owl was not around to remind me that burning flesh remains an abomination among the more highly evolved species who are up there looking down. Arson is another brainy advancement in which only humans presume to gain. When there is no beginning and no end, as there is, and legs are only good for walking, not rising above, all available slack becomes mine for the whacking. I not only stirred at the stove, but whirred, and battered, and blended. Take that, I thought, but wisely kept to myself.
First, like duh, I had to boil my water. So what’s not to like about that? Muddy water is no authentic sign etched in granite like a tombstone. Serious predicaments in the course of a few measly hundreds or thousands of years don’t become real until viral exposure appears on the infallible Internet. Until then, although the the game clock remains ticking, the gun won’t go off. It’s worked great so far. You got something better to have and to hold?
“You really did it this time.”
“That’s good, right?”
“Think about it.”
“What’s your point?”
“Who said anything about a point?”
To me, it tasted a lot like chicken.