I joined my gang in a local and rarely visited (by me) drinking establishment to toast a common friend (take that, Dickens) who had passed away very suddenly. He’d leaped hurriedly off the mortal coil with the usual aplomb. Which is to say, no aplomb at all. He’d had a terrific spark when ‘alive’, as do most, on even cursory inspection. This wonderful man was an experiential white buffalo; a drinker, lover, a musician; not one of Thoreau’s wax dolls living in quiet desperation. We’d learned of his un-cinematic and anti-climactic passing the evening it happened. Why do we roman candles get such fucking short shrift from the gods, lower case? Celebrated Life is stolen by the stupidest punk-ass little things, of course. We are soil, and giddily return to base at the slightest provocation. We accept this fucked quantum contract in a state of ongoing rage. Hence art, aspirin, hollering into telephones, white-knuckle love, hair care products, drugs of a spiritually ruinous order. Glasses were raised and there was much carapace-slapping. Individually there were covert interludes of staring into space as the collected gray matter strove to regard itself in light of this development, and there was that sparkling and bestial joviality that barks out when groups gather in public places to bemusedly acknowledge death and the unbelievable dead. A dear old pal of philosophical bent cornered me at the bar and typically enthralled me with much articulate bourbon-catalyzed speechifying about the possibly blank universe, our desperation to make it cohere, and his own present problems with spiritual stasis. As he spoke, the late afternoon sun poured cruelly and boldly in through the establishment’s windows, dusk-announcing sun the color of backlit honey and charging in with the brashness of a laughing moron. My friends’ hairy heads were limned in platinum as they bobbed and jabbered about the eternal, and it must be said the effect was inexplicably ghastly. At turnings of his own handsomely coiffed bulb, my friend’s miraculous eye was struck by the sun at intervals; a fairly famous trick of the light. The flattened brown iris was seen to glow, and to turn in the glow, a piece of cheap and adorable beveled glass. We’re built of such junk. You can see it strikingly when the sun shines just so upon us.
Published by jef
The blood thrumming around the still-point of this light headache can be traced back to the first rain. That is, our blood just sort of drifts, like smoke, through time; with stops in the Cambrian, the Renaissance and so on. It’s an impenetrable, infinitely-layered heap of unknowing. Okay? (sighs) Yeah The World (as it’s called) is a hopeless lucid dream, but not the kind where you can leap off a building, flap your arms and take joyous id-flight. It’s the kind where you show up for just long enough to see yourself in a mirror and Know that You are Here. That apparently necessary bit of business having been addressed, thermodynamics or some other such fancy idiot enters with a tea towel over its forearm, takes you politely by the gnarled elbow and ushers you back into the soil, where the mostly irritating Circle of Life awaits to make of you a tree, then a shoebox, then wet mush in a landfill again. Bring me my slippers! Oh…never mind. But I’m not here to philosophishizzle. We’re doomed animals at the momentary top of a food chain of no eternal consequence. It feels like. That’s not meant to be a downer. Bacharach sprang from the Ur-ooze, so that recommends the place. Let us celebrate our moment in the hum de dum dum de dum de de de dum dum. View all posts by jef