Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bowling Shoes And Mismatched Socks


I hope this drink is strong enough to bring me some much needed peace.

Me, hustling and hobbling along Columbus with my burrito in tow, as usual, slightly jumpy, a tad at ease, worn out and weary, rubbed with a dab of hope. I do not make mistakes when it comes to cruelty. Sure, the excesses of my nights carom off rubber walls of doubt with an unhinged yet frivolous sense of self importance. Sure. But who the hell’s around to notice? I get nervous around crickets and crows. And there you go. I have my doubts about restriction. And— just a minor observation in the crux of all this— there are more or less goopier parts of salvation to sop up before the long ride back home’s all you’ve got to look forward to. I am less prepared to face it, too. A real screamer hit right back up the middle for your trouble, I tell you. Then again, it’s the stubble’s relatable sign of hazard that gets me all twisted up inside over barely a thing. It’s a cut of clouds sleeping over the rooftops again, and I’m off to other hassles. Trust me. I’m bigger than the grudges I keep holding onto by the skin of my teeth. Getting over things is a dilapidated proposition at best. Any poultry cook will tell you the same. The doom of dizzy spells tilts the pinball game of my ways, and it’s not even morning out yet. Still the same old bluesy terror stripped of context in the tawdry, sallow light. I might not mean more than a mashed potato to most, and I’m not playing the part of being me very well right now, but there’s still a streak of two of misery left in me; I’m sure of it.         

Counting on being counted out, when the humbling hurl of tragic instances gets me into bed for keeps in the morning. I am where I mostly don’t want to be, most of the time. I’ve got more anchors dropped from me than any boat on the waterfront. I’m doing the telling, and, kid, it’s not that bad. Also of note: it’s not that good.

You, rustic and stoic too. A bit absurd of mien and stance. Ruffled habits bordering on preposterous, with ill-fitting strums of moods, flagrant and obtuse, in or out of lesser-known meanings of try. Devastated with will power. A wintering souvenir special reeking of castor oil and Crest. There is no courtesy worth salting away for later in any of it. Keeping up the fa├žade of sour-faced deliverance. Nobody’s on hold. And the rain’s gone off the air.

Get this: my wind was gone for the night. A spiffy little drag from you to me, some shiver-sender to inebriated spines. All the shop being talked was this postulation-type stuff, and I didn’t care for it, to be somewhat in the vicinity of honest about it. Then some middle-of-the-night idea hits and I’m done for. This also: “Consciousness is not a countable thing.” That’s about when I learned how to stop being a misogynist and became a feminist instead. Mostly I was drudging up complaints too, something to do with the fact that some smile-at-anything-in-pants lady was roaming the districts of my discontent. And the sharps were busy with their baize games of looking cool. Nothing seemed enough. A barrel of water to spray on the dirt. I began to take my shots in the dark.

Aunt Millie started out seeing jumpers in her sleep. The high-wire act in her head was drooling and defunct by the end of it. Like a collapsed intake valve of past: bridges she’s seen in some other where of her spent time; or other spot-on marks of former achievements, the sight of which could well up a working title of space without time to be in it. She sold illegal fireworks to kids, the kind that’ll ruin a mailbox or catch fire to a barn. She meddled in optional responsibility. Millie had opinions about the true nature of Tardigrades, about how they’d outlast even our planet itself somehow, and that, really, this world belonged to them; the rest of us were just rushing about on it on a loan from the plants and bacteria, without whom we’d all be toast. This thought pleased her immensely. “Get me a jug of dirty hard cider and a rope,” she’d preach to the muskrats, “and I’ll never come on back this way again.” Apparently one day she did just that.  

Forget the plowing and the preacher-like tug of ecstasy that comes from “knowing” a small truth for a small time to be smaller and smaller even than you’d ever want to convince anybody of. In any two-cow town, scalping the flowers, scraping nothing but the scratch-awled walls. My penitence is never over. And the things I’ve said to absolute strangers would make even the scrawny sandpipers go ape-shit over measly scraps. Here’s one: “That’s a Loggerhead Shrike. Those bastards, they’ll even eat smaller birds from time to time, just to keep things interesting out there in the big old ornithological world. They hang their prey up on thorns and barbwire fences. They’ve got black-eye masks and hooked bills, and you only really see them during winter. You really don’t want to fuck with them, buddy.”  

Me, sullen and shirking all duty for another waylaid day. Putting on another showboating act for no one. I believe in long, slow, lazy afternoons with the promise of dusk tinging the horizon with juniper and hot asphalt while I mildly sip cloudberry wine with the windows slung open, with my feet dangling from the fire escape, or from the eaves— perhaps high-up above town somewhere with only a pinup girl’s photo and a rusty way to say goodbye to my name. I may be cruel, sure; but not wholly unkind. So. Come closer. There is something almost too gorgeous to be beautiful here that I do wish to show you.