The robot who mops my floors was sending out soprano signals of distress like some whiny wuss. I did not want to appear to be a bad guy again who routinely exploits the help like an entitled dweeb commuting with no clue to Silicon Valley, so I caved. That’s what set me back big time. The Buddha never worried about appearances like that. But then the Buddha never wore anything under his flimsy robe to hide his small private part. And that was then. Then I had to pick up the pace. But it was too late. We were stuck.
I said, “Let me think.”
Waves of heat curled from sixteen tons of tarmac like hula dancers skirting a bed of razor sharp shards atop Mt. Haleakala. Coincidence? I used to think to the contrary, but now I think not.
The Unpaid Internet Content Provider said, “I’m just supposed to be going along for the ride.”
Coincidence, like other mechanical devices concocted by humans in response to the many harsh artificial conditions endured after childbirth, does not naturally exist in the vast multiverse where real particles jet, whir, trickle, spin, spit, trigger, zoom, trip, zip, dash, whip, flicker, settle, collide. Cosmic dust just wants to be free by any means necessary. Why not me too? Nothing is too high or low to get in the way of that. Expectations are killers when they grip at sinew, arteries, and bone. No other particles have them hanging on and dragging down. Good thing they don’t hold up in the heat for too long.
“Where’s all this dust coming from?”
“There’s got to be a good reason.”
“Says who? Not Will Shakespeare.”
“A rotund lot of good that does us now.”
“If we can’t get there we can’t go.”
“I have to get there.”
“Not like this.”
“That’s easy for you to say.”
The misunderstood confluence of events at a consensual cloverleaf merging Highways 101 and 880 in central San Jose, where a FedEx tractor-trailer hit a moonlighting party bus carrying sixty gallon steel drums filled with martini olives to be ceremoniously shaken not stirred aboard a fleet of private jets taking off for a long week-end from the end runway at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, and which extended eight miles ass backwards to the wrong side of the back road leading to Lexington Reservoir in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where I idled like a pork butt in my own seasoned juices, compounded by jerry-rigged underpass construction behind schedule and over budget soon to be under investigation for kickbacks that awaited basic deliveries of toilet paper, pepper, and rivets, in which cosmic dust overheated and ignited the barrels of pickling brine into missiles launched through the flimsy roof of the bus accompanied by what sounded like the full contingent of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, proved to be decisive.
The lovely wife of HHUMH Thee Tawny Owl, Thee Mrs, who was able to replicate every sound in the history of rhythm and blues since Clyde MacPhatter, recognized the incendiary claw mark of her dynamic main man wreaking havoc. She was winging it near the top of nearby Mt. Umunhum She pictured him laughing his ass off, whistling while he worked. She could also see ahead to a hot time in the old nest tonight.
“If only Elon Musk had his pneumatic hyerloop up and shooting us.”
“There must be some kind of way out of here.”
“How does it feel when you have no clue?”
I willfully abandoned my post and surveyed the fray on spongy petroleum soles. If I had known first what I learned next I would have acted more decisively sooner. Decisive battles in long cataclysmic wars are best viewed from a strategic distance. Generals behind desks too big for shriveled butts learn that first in boys school after tank and potty training. I climbed to a scenic lookout used by the government to spy on espionage balloons infiltrating from pinko Oregon. The Unpaid Internet Content Provider opted to stay put and stew. Dust covered the clouds that were fleeing briskly for better zip codes in the hills. I suffered from thorns and internal bleeding trying to escape from cruel and usual punishment. Who put that puddle there that caused me to precipitously plunge? That was no accident. It wasn’t even raining. I sensed undercover wet work from a slyly seditious government. I was not only fighting against religious fanatics and ruthless henchmen to ensure passage of AUMA, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Prop 64 on the ballot, which would only legalize the bare minimum of freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles, but I was maintaining utmost alertness in my role as a committed traitor to my species in the just war against clueless human enablers of venal cats who murder beautiful birds. How was I supposed to know which foot goes first without falling next again. Juggling tender balls requires considerate handling. Expectations will reliably strangle, pulverize, paralyze and induce suffering every last time.
I had only just begun to sift and winnow through the smoke and debris when I needed a break for an exercise in shallow breathing. It was a good thing I did, too. Dark clouds were dueling with rapier sabres over turf spun up from the San Andreas Fault. Rooftops rattled and shook with the lowest caste of dust. I was missing my special apparatus for breathing dust, soon to be standard equipment on steerage passengers to Mars. I tried hard to keep my head down, and deny, deny, deny until the rescue squad arrived. I learned a little something about strategy that low by tracking a regiment of dominant ants until dizziness descended. If you ever need to know more about war, ask a reliable ant.
The next thing I knew, sort of, because knowing in my prognosis is often subject to misdiagnosed conditions, I looked up, and the tawny owl was there. If any superior intelligence possessed the decisive goods to rescue me from an early grave, he was the beautiful bird. He signaled me by dropping a regurgitated morsel of a pink bunny foot at my feet. Or sacrifice me if need be. But in a good way. Sort of.
Still on my knees, I said, “Sup.”
He said, “Follow me.”
As a subordinate to my superior commander in the just war against clueless human enablers of venal cats who murder beautiful birds, in which I was as committed a traitor to my species as any strategic tool can be, I was bound by my vows to secrecy. If any conspiratorial agents of the secret government were nearby lurking to deny freedom, like duh, success for the one true spewed absolute might suffer from unintended consequences, either a subset of the third or the fourth most basic building block of the multiverse, depending on terms and conditions. Benedict Arnold might have enjoyed a better outcome had he not blabbed so much while coming. But that will never be me. My condition was stable.
I said, “Always the joker. As if I could fly.”
So there’s no way for me to reveal in corroborated detail what happened next after next that mattered so much to not only beautiful birds but also as it turns the absolute cosmic freedom to relatively be. But you probably read all about it on the infallible Internet. If not then, or yet, soon. I can certainly attest to the fact that the tawny owl was superb flying high. I felt as if my consciousness was raised by proximity. And by acclimation. Even if that could just be me. Where there is no beginning and no end, as there is, expectations don’t cause such a deadly degree of pandemic. I’m all for less suffering all over.
“You know I can’t really follow you.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“But that hasn’t stopped me yet.”