Sunday, March 16, 2014

testing testing

I’m a nibbler and a sipper. I am a tester of water. Yes. And I will ask myself also, “What if there is no water? And what is water? How do I know if it exists, or if I exist? For what reason or reasons am I testing it, and for whom? And what results would qualify as passing for this test?” I get lost far too easily in such matters. I cannot become staunch now about being a passenger here. “A diamond for your thoughts,” they say. I say, “Loosely ground,” to it. I won’t make myself special if it can be helped. Assuaged and lip-read, I grouse without a sound. If the water’s warm I will jump. And be settled to it.

A discovery: “trisp” is not a word. Let the letters be whatever color they want. Brash is the lunge I get after the spectacle of acting my part is done with. Okay. Hurry up with a tad more on the revolutions of the celestial spheres: Copernicus. His sunniest side didn’t work out in the always heliocentric ego of what’d last and go on. “Proper,” you say? Well. I’d give a look-see to it. The ease that comes without opulence: an inebriated pride perhaps, a wheelbarrow’s fortifying grace. I know not the aluminum’s crash, yet. We here— including myself, of course— are not neighbors. Shed. Sweep. Level the surface. Joists turning under the whole rig’s weight. More things to worry about. “Trisp,” I say to it. “Bogus.”

“Treat me for ringworm once in a while.” That’s the shipbuilder in me talking. He continues, “Ahem. Yes. That about does it. Goodnight nurse.” I guess it’s about time for some carpe dieming. I’ve been putting it off for so long. “Get to it then.” That’s me growling back at the shipbuilder. Neither one of us is becoming very comfortable with the other. And now some joker’s turning off the hot water on us.

The water stays, tested or not. I prowl over it lightly with bated breath and a few jab steps. Who would I be to glide safely through it? If I must administer these tests, these showboating things with crabby mysteries to unveil, who will be there to see the results? I am not the one who functions well under the cool eyes of disbelief. I almost could get myself to swear to that. I won’t though. I have to believe that all of this is necessary. I have to believe that I am, if nothing else, this “me” who shudders at most vain attempts at placing whatever it is that resides in these tests to the test. What test would I use to get results like the ones I never am able to comprehend, nonetheless get? Rich am I with empty gestures. I skim my lithe hands over the choppy wave crests of what little I know, and I pretend to know things that I wouldn’t give a glass of spinach milk for the knowing of. Shallow or deep, I am at least proper in my estimates at what I can claim to be constraining myself in with these acts of motionless awe. I am a too, also.

A man arrived just the other week. It was not another incompetent one (man or week), but a trifling stipend of guff and grist for me to sift through and over. And so I thought, ‘Let me just see here.’ The man was a bright-tie guy, and he was balding and wore wire-rimmed spectacles and had on a corduroy jacket with patches on the elbows, and his presence made me think of a small house cat for some reason. “I do not have time for silliness. We all need results.” This was his way of introducing himself. I would’ve shook his hand and said, “Howdy. Put ‘er there,” if it had seemed likely to be reciprocated in this by some fashion of his, but his perturbed scowl came to a hilt, and it came to pass that he was solely perturbed with my diddling and trawling nature, and his, “Let’s slice to the core of all this frank-and-beans,” was a necessary course of events.

I sorry-ed my way through amateur-hour courses in flamboyance over a topic which concerned me about as much as if I’d been slipped a note reading: “I still think of you as a babe. Hotter than coals as ever.” The man was ho-humming the whole affair, and I carefully washed his thoughts in vinegar as we walked and tiptoed towards what one of us believed to be water. Soon he was aghast at things I hadn’t mentioned. “Where are there squeaks like these?” He asked. I told him, “I know not squeaks, madam.” A certain puckering came to his visage. I quit our journey and stowed my luck away in a broken radio. “I want rascals, not childish egos to deflate. Are either of us kidding the other?” That’s the last thing he allowed me to hear.

There will be dump trucks and wagons here at seven in the morning. I will be listening to the sound that planes make as they perform flybys overhead. I do not preach sympathy or little smacks of deliverance. I test the water. That is all. I am doing nothing but something, and I will continue whether anything here really exists. Snip go the gardening shears. I can notice them from where I belong. Dip a toe in? I distrust such obvious designs. If I were somebody ordinary I might flay the expense from the trust I never had a chance to retain. I am that man who was here the other week. He is not here now. I am. Of these peculiar things I can be sure. Lips on a face. A wisp of hair curling from a neck. Bright waters run still deeper with it, more than can be supposed or tested. Water is just a guess. I was not made for it. Laugh so I might not starve before the next test follows from the last, and all over again, and, of course, never. Never is my final at-all. Test it out yourself. See what you think. If you really are there and not here, or are you and I not the same? The point of all the testing is that it doesn’t matter. The water’s not anyone’s to test. One is not capable of the other. And the days will trickle by now, and you will not know for whom you test and on whom or what, if the water’s still there in the morning. Yes?