Adrift in the vast middle of nowhere in his mind, which had veered off in a nebulous direction of its own choosing, and with nothing better to do, the leftover moving parts of First Person Singular attempted to make a difference. He had read an article all about it on the infallible Internet. All he had to do was be better than he’d ever been. He would be able to behave somewhat normally otherwise, eat and drink and inhale. Even more importantly, it remained uppermost in his mind that he had nothing better to do. Anything is better than nothing, right? Do whatever can be done, beat the fucking reaper, and live to tell your twisted tale about it? Well, yeah, like…duh. And of course disregard the unintended consequences of debilitating mistakes in the doing. What’s not counted as collateral damage right from the get-go can’t add up and come back to bite, right, not with the severity at least of a savage beast with horns that penetrate and impale? Or is that not right? What if complications arise? Or contradictions, the second most basic building block of the multiverse. Cause enough for histrionics and panic? First Person Singular not only had nothing better to do but he knew no better.
It did not take take long until First Person Singular, First P.S. to those of you inclined to self-identify as cyber-rats in a maddening rush to gorge on cheese whiz from a can, became aware that while his mind might have taken off, a mind that was proud to be independent and self-sustaining, sort of, his remaining matter was firmly plodding on the ground bounded by the typical redwood forest he often frequented when wandering without purpose. In the attempt to replicate the modicum of a graceful pirouette, while looking up at a majestic tree that appeared to be spinning diagonally on an untethered axis, he floundered.
Balance is a worthy goal not often easy to achieve in the human species. It gets awfully hard on the ground without wings. Routine disorientation is one of those chicken and egg fables with a simple-minded moral to chew on. The tree was growing directly out of the stump of the original 600 year old redwood tree that had been sacrificed to the gauche altar of a cornice with a big bucks view from the top of Nob Hill in San Francisco. First P.S. may have initially stumbled but according to standard galactic criteria that did not constitute in the big picture of the multiverse what registers as a metaphysical fall. Why start a countdown that will likely only lead to the dim prospect of a technical knockout? No fucking way, he often thought in his own mechanistic defense. Even if that cornice was in fact a corbel. Or worse, a minuscule finial at the pointy end of a quasi-stiff rod.
In the wake of his sprawl, which only looked flummoxing from close up due to the excessive heat caused by global warming, he observed a greenish fly gravitating to the area occupied by a stinky oblong shit. The shit, medium brown like the massive stain caused by a drop of incendiary Starbucks coffee, and medium size, like a hunk of deep fried batter surrounding scant meat of an uncertain lineage shoved through a takeout window, had been deposited by an unidentified species. Meat like that could be often be found at a three ring circus as well. The stink, however, was very nearby and immediate. Though flies eyeball the same stars in the same infinite sky without beginning or end, and are worthy of equal footing as sentient beings of the multiverse with a unique point of view, he swiftly vacated the area.
The next time he looked down where his feet were pointed, he was elsewhere. He was still in a forest, and on a mountain, but at a lower elevation. It was darker than he remembered and his vision had become blurred, though he was used to that. This looks like a gulley, he concluded with an uncharacteristic alertness, though incorrectly. He felt his way forward with his arm extended warily like a traffic cop urging moderation to a road raging lunatic.
HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl was observing this slapstick routine from a low limb of a gnarled manzanita tree at the top of Mt. Umunhum. The antics of myopic humans who manifested telltale symptoms of mental retardation were a great source of belly busting entertainment to him. He was laughing his ass off so hard that he prematurely released a prime piece of regurgitated rat. No biggie, though. There were plenty more rats where that came from. Along with dumb and dumber humans. He continued to shake his ass like a reunion of Ike and Tina Turner in the backseat of an Olds Rocket 88.
Before too long, HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl was joined by a pair of red-tailed hawks, a white-tailed kite, a green-winged teal, a blue heron, a bufflehead, and a goldeneye. Electric green hummingbirds showed off a few dive-bombing antics to thrill the crowd, and a clique of cackling woodpeckers stopped by to jabberwock, always welcome as a counterbalance to neutralize the contingent of irascible blue jays. Even a bunch of wayward crows on the way out of town were tolerated. Crows would eat anything, which was hard for a highly conscious raptor to tolerate, but at least they could fly high with a little flair, not like trash eating gulls sitting on fat asses awaiting a handout from overfed tourists.
HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl remarked to his lovely wife, Thee Mrs., “Looks like we got a party going on.”
The lovely Thee Mrs. replied, “Just don’t go getting yourself too worked up too fast.”
It never did take much of an excuse to get a good party going at the top of Mt. Umunhum. Beautiful birds have no debilitating stress over mortgage payments, performance reviews, leaky roofs, breast implants, tighty whities, minimum wages, flat tires, tax deductions, or erectile dysfunction to drag them down. Even teeny weeny seed peckers stuck in the shitty dirt know that flying high is the only way to travel in style. It would take a mentally retarded human to think otherwise. Like, duh.
When First Person Singular finally concluded that being better than ever was no piece of cake, nor akin to any casual walk in the park, or a forest, like duh, and thus momentarily beyond his reach, he began to retrace his steps in his usual crumby way. He maintained his wayward limbs in the strict stiff position close at hand. Some crumbs as it turned out were simply meant to be left behind. In that way, decomposition builds strong teeth and bones. The shit he stepped in on the winding descent served as a reminder. If only he could remember that smell in advance of his next journey out there.