Once The Man co-opted the sixties, erased all the tapes in the seventies, pushed crack in the eighties, rigged markets in the nineties, and settled scores in the aughts, the quarter-final games could begin. Same rules applied and apply. Nothing that happened before happened before your eyes. Stashed loot stays put. Incriminating evidence vanishes. Winners get to go to Mars for another tryout camp. Losers eat dirt raw. A comprehensive new count starts now. Justice is done, finished. First cut goes to The Man.
“Was that a shot backfiring?”
“I didn’t hear a thing.”
Unsurprisingly, results from the show that started out to dazzle came back mixed. Always have, always will. That’s been plenty good enough so far. It takes a lot of hard work to keep playing, though. Numbers of fallen body parts swell out of proportion. Heads get too big for caps worn backwards. Chic hips shrink from contact. Knees need replacement after so much jerking. It gets hot and stinky in the arena. Handles on body bags come off. But, that creates jobs. Then it gets hotter.
“Did you feel that?”
“I don’t feel a thing.”
When it’s late, though, as it was, is, and will be, and there’s nothing else to do, it’s a sorta seedy kinda fun shared by virtually many to watch and cheer and boo. One side claims to be chill by blowing. How can you not boo that? Denial is still a big stakes player at the fix-it casino. But, the finals can’t come soon enough for some.
That’s where I came in. I found my feet marching at the edge of western civilization over the cliff at Rio Del Mar Beach on the side of freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles against tyranny. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, AUMA, the single most important legislative proposition ever to appear on a California ballot in November became my duty to uphold. Without freedom how does a slack body achieve alignment with the most basic building blocks of the multiverse, fig-8’s? No fucking way, that’s how. Hips need to be free. That’s not too far over the edge to go. I know my hips are always nagging me about it.
I was trying to stay stuck to the facts. Contradictions remain the second most basic building block of the multiverse. I’d been recruited personally to the campaign by Lt Guv Gavin Newsom, a certifiable California native, who appeared on the street beside me in plain disguise. It became my honorable job to put words into his mouth on behalf of the freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles without chains attached. He was stylish enough to know which coattails looked best this season to ride. Sure, I was a rookie, a speck, a mere mite in the struggle, but my resolve was strong. Just in time, too. Big words need to be strong in dire times. Unbelievably, there are still craven enemies of freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles lurking out there like ghouls everywhere.
I can’t deny that I had my initial doubts. I’d seen the sheen wear off many new product launches. And political discourse takes place on such a low level of consciousness it seemed a shame to become soiled by proximity. But I vowed that this time my endurance of servitude would be different. When in doubt, as I was, am, and will be, I find it helps to continue to deny, deny, deny. There’s a bunch of overlapping categories that cover that and many closely related tics in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision, (DSM-IV). And sure, I’m not going to pretend that it wasn’t the abundance of roast pork banh mi on the table that first torqued my head in the just, right, and true direction, along with the heaps of filthy lucre by the hour. As we all know by now, transitions are never going to be easy in life and life only when contradictions, the second most basic building block of the multiverse, are abounding. But when it is what it is, as it is, it can’t hurt to slave for your wages in the name of freedom. What could be more just, right, and fair than that? We’ll show that dumb old Man who’s boss this time.
The spawn of my loins, the teen twins, who every other week enjoyed residual benefits from the filthy lucre free of angst and fear, helped to ease the burden on my soul in weak moments when metaphysical ambivalence over the craven desires to continue to cluelessly strive for the filthy lucre appeared to have me hooked.
I stated, explicitly, “Alas, woe is me.”
I could hear the old time ticking from a clock that I no longer owned. I threw it out when it stopped working. The yang twin shrugged while chewing a banh mi xu mai. His eyes were watery. The yin twin sagely explained, “In life and life only, you do what you gotta do.”
There was a hackneyed phrase that sure sounded familiar. I responded in kind, “Cool.”
The yang twin added, “This is authentic banh mi all right.”
The yin twin resolved, “We don’t want to risk becoming fakes.”
I silently thought, whoa, fucking whoa. She’s wise beyond her nearly fourteen whole years. I said, “This is bigger than all of us.”
That helped my mood swing suddenly. I felt safer out there on the edge. Balance can’t be all either/or, right? Why not both? Or else, again, what the fuck? This time it was a question. That only caused more contradictions to ensue. Like duh.
Yet on one late morning between recent storms, while the teen twins were being held captive inside of a typical middle school by armed guards, I became aware that something more was amiss. There appeared to be authentic red blood coming out of my ass. I was forced to pause for additional reflection. What would become of me under such mixed conditions? A twelve to fourteen foot swell seemed to be pounding Rio Del Mar Beach inside of my ears. Familiar landmarks on the beach were disappearing. Was it only the second most basic block of the multiverse again, contradictions, that was ruling my ass? Or more than that? Or none of the above? If so, again, I don’t know what the fuck. Under similar conditions, I never do. I was itching but did not dare scratch. What other animal would pause and stoop to breathe so much shallow, indoor air? How could I let this happen? My rigid hips were a disgrace to sentient cosmic dust everywhere.
I reiterated in shrieking horror, “What the fuck.”
Conditions soon became so dire that after a delectable steamed dumpling and a crispy fried bun at lunch I admitted weakness and asked for help from a higher power. Don’t use the word ‘block’ in any context near me because I don’t. That can only lead to nowhere good. I cleared the protocols on a need to know basis with my personal campaign handler who interfaced within the bureaucratic maze on my behalf. As tough guys like that go, she wasn’t half bad. Her crooked smile that drooped pointedly to the right indicated among Buddhist monks in Chiang Mai, Thailand a tendency to give less than a full fuck. But there was no smirk involved. She got the big thumbs up signal from Lt Guv Gavin Newsom who was busy staying on point during waking hours. I didn’t need to check my my messages to be confident. That handler is nothing if not certifiably a professional.
I called up my friend, The Unpaid Internet Content Provider, to inquire about a good rate for free lance sub-contracting assistance by the hour. All I wanted were standard jokes, smarmy patter, minor condescension, nothing original.
Feeling for parameters, he asked, “What do you need?”
I said, “What do you got?”
He said, “Any banh mi left?”
I said, “Plenty.”
He said, “I got what you need.”
And he did. It took more than just another bunch of blah blah, blah, but not much. While he worked non-stop, I pondered my next move. Next step, after the next step after that, freedom.