It turned out to be one of those transitional points during the deepest hours in reverberating space with no beginning or end, but in a good way, when material conditions altered. I don’t know how or why because I was spiraling out of it. No reaction from me was necessary or sufficient. Unless to ask why makes no sense, not even its own. But by morning, a new trajectory was taking me elsewhere. What did I do? I went along.
I sent the teen twins blithely off to middle school with erasers that came to a point, money for pure raw milk, primitive felt tip markers that leaked, and some fresh raspberries to share with a needy teacher.
“It’s for sharing.”
The yang twin said, “If I get caught spitting fruit balls again, it’s going to be all your fault.”
Later, I thought I was doing a pretty good bang-up job of it, coping that is, experiencing the rough mid-point of a fair to decently middling day. I had been admirably maintaining both loose custody and tight control over many of my better protected first person faculties behind the closed walls erected atop my shoulders. But then a jack-booted thug entered the picture. Until then, it wasn’t even a bigger picture. Evidence in support of a bigger picture would only appear at a later date.
I said, “Oh no, not you again.”
I knew who she was all right. I said, “Who are you?”
“Why don’t we step inside for a serious discussion?”
“Where did you come from?”
“Are you sure that’s the question we ought to be asking ourselves? Everything created aesthetically by conditions in your head is a political event according to me.”
“Who are you?”
“Hah. It’s past more than me or us.”
“What more can you or they want from me?”
“Choose one to rate first and foremost, eat or breathe.”
Her skins was so white it was growing icicles. She carried ugly pictures in the crook of her armpit. She held one up as proof that her standards reeked. Her piece of the action came to a sharp point. I still just said, “No.”
I had previously stopped stirring the Meyer lemon cream sauce to step outside and feel the balmy breeze blow me. Then I had become engrossed listening to Allen Ginsberg recite Kaddish through a nasal headset. I tried to skip over the parts where boys were implicitly bonked. Many heavy feelings of ambiguity returned. I required a rousing dose of Femi Kuti to compensate. And a tad more pepper. Then I felt like starting up again. Was I mistaken in still believing that it was my right to stir?
She said, “A likely story.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“Fiction is getting stranger.”
“So is fruit.”
“That could be construed as hate speech.”
“Now you’re trying to compare pine nuts and kumquats.”
“We can make more trouble for you.”
Always more, more, more. The striking boots featured distinctive waffled soles made of molded petroleum jelly, the good kind that passed international muster, from a sanctified oil well in a Saudi desert. I tried to appreciate them from a distance, as an objective observer might. But in the only objectivity I know for real, humans add up to a tiny speck of cosmic dust. She wanted to be bigger. And closer.
I said, “Beat it.”
She said, “We’ll be back.”
I did not like the sound of that ‘we.’ I knew she represented the Communist Comic Art Curators Coalition, CCACC. She did not like my doodling. None of them did. With little or no more provocation she went on to add, “No, no, uh, uh, verboten. Achtung.”
In a valiant but doomed retort of defiance, I spat, “A likely story.”
This factional business of politics to which I had become indentured in order to attain gobs of filthy lucre while fanning the righteous flame of freedom to smoke weed and ingest edibles sure was getting rough and tumble. Major contradictions continued to roll uphill. There seemed to always be a new parasite hanging on who wanted another piece of me. Then more factions morphed into sects with talking heads fitted for the chopping block. That meant more blasphemy from faceless names. I chewed my pork banh mi long though not hard over that. The meat was tender enough to dispense with teeth. My banh mi reminded me of smooth sailing on warm seas among swells. After passage of AUMA, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, in November, I expected to need a long soak in a restful tub to resurrect me. No dumb-ass politician or religious cartoon looking for a handout better follow me.
Later, while I was waiting on a bench for the teen twins to escape unscathed from middle school I felt a tap, tap, tap, first on my shoulder, and then higher.
I said, “Ow, that hurts.”
Maybe I should have kept my insurrectionist leanings private but how was I to know how extensive surveillance had become? I’m innocent of every premature crime, after all. No stinking facts need to tell me diddly.
“This open space is personal.”
“Didn’t we warn you?”
“It’s merely more mindless doodling.”
It’s easy to blame the nets and goal posts that change directions for all of the many false conclusions drawn daily in the mud. But what about the captains picking scabs for sides to battle in crooked zero-sum games? We all enjoy laying blame like pipe, right? There’s got to be an us against them. It’s the only reason to keep dumb politics and religion to kick around. But, still. Or what about proper nouns that won’t conform? Or the hot gases that spin too fast to subjugate? The multiverse rumbles with a lot more gas than spin. Or the murderous expectations that can’t keep up appearances with all the proper nouns making hay? Unless it’s the teams that suck harder. And reek higher.
Or, why either/or, when in the bitter end you can get, both/and?
“I’m smelling some faux baloney rotting in these tall reeds.”
“I’m standing in it.”
“Your small part is important to us.”
“I’d like to jump through a hoop to escape.”
“It’s too late for that.”
Black and white, fruit and fudge, rich and poor, punish and judge. From the herky-jerky we derive the hully-gully. Pick one, scorn another. But why expect the same putz to jerk off and spew a panoramic new fluid to cushion the blow? That’s what leads to rising fatalities on the slippery byways. It was way back in 1957 when Elmore James unmistakably wailed, “It hurts me too.” According to categories embedded like tin soldiers in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV -TR), a superior tome to DSM-V in a majority of categorical respects, support for your one true curative candidate of choice who will make all the difference just like the last time and the next time constitutes symptoms of insanity. Don’t you ever get that funny feeling? Why not?