At the edge of a grove of redwood trees in the Forest of Nisene Marks, a California State Park that remains in good standing despite inadequate funding, under which the San Andreas Fault rumbled moderately, I counted to less than ten. Then I rolled over when the dominant trend became clear.
Until, disturbingly, I heard, “5.2”
“No way, 5.3, at least.”
Definitively, I countered, “Go back to sleep.”
“Go to school.”
“We’ll be back.”
“Too much information.”
“We need money.”
I reverted to an old-timey state of deep sleep, sort of, while at the same time remaining attuned to a distinctive version of relatively post-modern objective reality. Objectively, I began to sing back-up bass to Otis Redding’s lead. He continued after all these years to possess many dreams to remember, more than enough to go around. And last. That’s proof enough for me. Then, despite the historic drought, a bullfrog jumped in with impeccable timing. I reiterated, “Ooh wah ooh wah ooh.”
When the teen twins returned as threatened, because that’s what they did, and do, to unnerve me then, now, and for the future, the yang twin was rubbing a sizable bump on his head.
The yin twin said, “He got clobbered with an unleashed surfboard.”
His neck appeared to be bent at an awkward angle and the skin was scraped a tad raw and a muted grayish tinge mottled the redness. And yet there was countervailing evidence of powdery white sugar on his lips. Otherwise, he looked to be in stellar shape.
“Some wannabe kook better not see me again,” the yang twin hissed
Helpfully, I offered, “Follow the path of my finger without crossing your eyes. Now, do you know where you are?”
“No one thinks you’re funny.”
The yin twin said, “It wasn’t even his fault this time.”
I said, “Dark brown dirt is historically good for rubbing.”
The yang twin said, “Go away.
The yin twin said “I’m hungry.”
How is it that cancerous white skin became so highly prized and privileged in the worldwide marketplace when it is always itching, chafing, peeling off in clumps? Creams don’t work any better than salves, nor do ointments inserted lovingly into the grand wazoo. No matter how hard or what, the redness never rubs all the way out. Not even the puzzling new math provides an adequate formula for that.
And precisely when was it, anyway, that devolution began to extract a cold commodity out of still warm flesh?
I said, “When it is what it is, as it is, you gotta do what you gotta do.”
The yang twin said, “You always say that.”
“This time I mean it.”
I agreed, however, to ply them with furtive nourishment before foisting them off again on the unsuspecting community at large. Carrots, celery, a sliced tomato, and slivered jalapenos appeared strategically on the oblong table, along with ancient olives, moldy cheese, and a choice of starchy fillers ideal for stuffing. This time, though, real money exchanged hands, no donut holes. The hands, like the money, were grubby, not only mine, but mine.
Before they left, I added, “Don’t be no slave.”
“You always say that, too.”
“This time I mean it.”
Then I locked a majority of the doors behind me and I escaped. I climbed a strategic hill close to my back door where I encountered agents from a sub-committee of an unidentified governmental agency frolicking to and fro in a field of clover. They were studying the advanced effects of stomping on vital bee habitat in order to save it.
One sage voice intoned, “This important team building experience will pay off big time, trust me.”
They wore matching windbreakers sporting an indistinct logo derived from obscure pagan lore. The mousy voice, though, was no match for a bullfrog. The study would later be additionally studied by blindfolded graduate students with excellent SAT scores that still counted for something.
“You can never underestimate the ultimate value of true objectivity.”
“Right on, brother.”
“I’m a sister.”
“Right on, right on.”
Later, while watching the teen twins surf dangerously close to the pier at Rio Del Mar Beach, I noticed the same agents enjoying a catered lunch on a heated veranda protected by a see-through acrylic wind shield. Many of them had attended a symposium in Monterey on the role artificial sweeteners play in destroying the traditional food pyramid from the top down, which skewed the bottom line from the ground up. The lunch featured chicken tortilla soup dispensed from a biodegradable green tureen, textural green dip with pure oxygenated bubbles, green tacos de camerones grandes that were farm raised in Sumatra, black beans devoid of dangerous DDT that qualified as green, or close, sort of, and virginal lime green margaritas dashed with a mere pinch of 90% natural sodium dredged from San Francisco Bay.
“I’d like some fresh clover honey to add to my all natural green tea, please.”
“I’m sorry sir, but we ran out of fresh clover honey earlier this morning.”
According to speculative governmental studies deemed sufficient for adequate funding, though sadly not necessary, the next big thing coming soon will jolt the one global market behind all borders determined by wars, which is all borders, like duh. It is expected beyond a shadow of a doubt to become an inalienable right: Overcoming genes at birth.
Don’t like that delicate slim dick right from the get-go? Why not ditch it for a stouter specimen? Forget all you ever knew and feel lots less forlorn. And voila.
Naturally, not just any decrepit gene will qualify for ritualistic slaughter, like duh, which would be dumb as a rock baking in the burning desert, only the menacing genes that creep and coagulate, seep at the drop of a hatchet and fork, a scourge that recognizes no bounds, no limits of creed, no standards of heresy, that cuts off the stuffy feeling in your head at the neck, that thrives in the byways, parking lots, fetid deserts, and desiccated swamps. You know the ones, right? If not, there may be something seriously wrong with you requiring intervention.
This is where I am compelled by the force of arms to reveal, by way of an under the table servitude that I had no opportunity to examine before incarceration, that the previous and subsequent message and messages were secretly brought to you by the same unidentified entity that perfected, don’t ask, don’t tell ( and don’t forget it, suckers), of which I was forced to become a temporary instrument thereof.
Unless that was prior entity was a commodity.
When the twins returned, I said, “No message you may or may not have heard here today or any other day in any way, shape, or format came from, reflects upon, or connects to me, or you, or anyone known or unknown to unidentifiable parties in the near, intermediate, or far vicinity. Now, before, or then. Thereof.”
In tandem, each twin responded separate but equally, “Well, yeah, like…duh.”