All posts by jarvitron

My Grandfather the Pug Dog

We’ve adopted some pugs. Fosternapped I guess is a way to put it. They were in desperate need of care and we were in a place to provide it. They’re good boys. I’ve decided one of them is the reincarnation of my paternal grandfather.

I suppose I should talk about Hank. I never really grieved him proper.

The man he was was dead before I knew to give a shit, and only in glimmers and drabs before that. Alcohol. For many years it was his focus to get fucked up. Early in the morning, early in the evening, fucked up at suppertime. We’d joke about his repetitiveness, his forgetfulness, his mindless marching toward the granite-etched dinner schedule. Dinner in my childhood home was a variegated feast of delights, we could have anything any night! We decided together and stared into the fridge conspiratorially calorie-stacking its contents in our shared imagination.

In Hank’s house there were dinners that you got on days of the week and you decided on them in advance. In case anybody forgot it was written down on a yellow pad of paper, pages curled and feathered from his constant handling. Next to it an endless punchbowl of miniature snickers, in case touching the meal’s name didn’t ease the pain. If you were to go out the place was decided upon in advance (Shangri-La); its menu constant and Henry Marvin’s meal invariable.

That’s what happens when the days of the week start to drift on you. When you wake up and can’t remember if today is a Tuesday or if that was yesterday. Yesterday a presumption more than a recollection. The sun has risen so a day must have passed. Perhaps we read a book. Definitely we took a nap. Probably we jerked it to some porn.

And when it turns out to be Monday all along you panic. And when you panic, you drink. No matter that the crisis was booze created, you drink. First. Early. Beer for breakfast and all day long. Malt liquor, actually. He took a disastrous step into hard liquor for a very short time before ending up in detox, then AA. He died sober, long sober, and somewhat more than he had been. But I know I never met the man himself.

Angry, I have deduced. Perturbed. From his participation in this country’s wars and a thousand other equally valid reasons, I’m sure. But I know the liquor softened him, all of him. The intellect and the presence. I would play with his crispy-gelled hair while he snoozed in his armchair, his weiner dog snoozing quietly beside him. And wonder at the play of light through his bubbling beer. His constant companion. His true love.

He died while I was on vacation. And we didn’t even go back. It was a relief that it had happened. Poor timing, to be sure. And I regret not going back, a bit. But who was I to make that call at the time. We kept on truckin. His funeral is a blur in my memory. Sad family members. My grandmother’s horrifying dandruff, her spontaneous grief alopecia. Corn flakes of it. A wig maybe? I didn’t come home when she died either.

He asked me for a cigarette, begged me for one. Shoulda tried to. Regrets, I’ve had a few. Something monstrous going on with his teeth, tartar like a dog, thick, or maybe just what a dying man’s maw looks like when you can’t get him to let you brush em. He was strong too I wouldn’t wanna fight him at any time he was capable of standing. But when I touched him he was so frail. His skin was so soft. Fragile seeming, it drooped on him translucent over boiled-soft meat. Dying from the outside-in. Wet eyes, sometimes here, sometimes far away. Hell of a thing.

I don’t remember what suit he was buried in. Memory missing. I see him there. Well, not there, in some platonic coffin. Some perfect personal funeral. One where I spend the time to grieve. I see him in every fancy clothes he ever owned. The frilled tuxedo shirt from my parents wedding album. The awful purple number from the reception. The never quite right on him suits he wore for numerically significant anniversaries and birthdays. Unfamiliar closed collars bringing the waddle of his neck together.

If they loved him they’d have buried him in a plain white t-shirt. Worn so thin you could read newsprint through it. A pack of cigarettes, can’t remember his brand, tucked in the pocket. A pair of cutoff jorts so short and ragged they bordered on scandal at the bottom. Waist set fully belly button height, midway up the curvature of his avocadoesque abdomen. They’d have folded his hands on his chest. And made a special coffin, so he could prop his knees up like he liked to do when he took his naps. Those orthopedic looking black shoes, and gym socks that stretched to his knees. They’d have cinched his gut in his weight belt and put his typerwriter down by his feet.

Shit, if you made room for a spaceheater and sprinkle some daschund bones in – you wouldn’t even have had to have an estate sale. He could be buried like a Pharaoh with all his worldly possessions intact. A Colt 45 in place of casks of mead. Henry Marvin will likely be thirsty in the next world too.

A Niner

So this is out of the blue, but I’m building a new bike. I’ve been riding the Raleigh for quite some time, almost ten years it turns out. It’s gone through quite a bit of change over its course. The 2×8 never really suited me, or maybe I never tuned it right, it was skippy even after I put on a new cassette. I ended up riding the fixed IRO all the time because it was bulletproof and the Raleigh wasn’t, so eventually I dismantled all the geary parts, bought a freewheel for my IRO’s wheels (On One Inbred hubs on Delgado Cross rims) and made it into a townie. Nitto Albatross bars, 40×17 gearing… maybe. On those sweet FSA cranks. Technomic stem to bring it all up high. Dura ace cartridges in the centerpulls. 700x32c Panaracer UrbanMax’s. I’m not as hardcore in the miles per year as I used to be but it was as close to the perfect city bike as you can get. Full coverage fenders, single speed that was just fast enough not to feel slow but low enough you could get up a hill if you had to. Tires fat enough for a curb drop or a fire road.

But, I’m not as strong as I used to be and I’m tired of muscling a bike around every single day. Sometimes you just need to spin up something. And the bike was very much a jack of all trades, master of none – it will continue to be a valued companion and is a hell of a bike, but I was never going to huck it off a drop or hit a big berm on it at speed. Since my aspirations are mostly dirt related, I decided on an MTB. But I finally managed to ignore all the parts of me that said to go buy a torn up Stumpjumper and rebuild it.

I decided on something MUCH stupider. Turns out you can just buy a 29er carbon fiber frame straight from china now, so I did. Thru axles, but I stuck with the british thread bottom bracket because I have heard NOTHING but bad shit about BB30 and all it’s ilk. It’ll be here in two weeks. In the meantime I’m gathering the rest of the parts. So far – A set of Bontrager Duster Elite 15×100/142×12 wheels craigslisted (needs at least one new tire, sidewall cut and bulging). Found out Marzzochi still makes forks, or at least Fox brands some with that name, and their factory was clearing them out for less than half price, plus I got a free shirt. Deore cranks with external bearings and shit were cheap. Still need brakes, a seatpost, and the rest of the drivetrain. Pretty sure I’m keeping it simple with this one, 1×10 or 1×11 if I can find it cheap enough. And two sets of wheels, one for the commute with some semislick or trekking tires and one with some full gnar MTB. I’m stoked.

Still doesn’t have brakes on it but it’s currently 24 lbs, and I found out that’s with these fatass tires and tubes, and my B17.
Ended up spending more than I aimed to on this bike but it’s wicked. 1×11, Shimano SLX shifter, ShadowPlus derailleur. M615 brakes should be here tomorrow.

Better without…

It’s been a while since I’ve talked to my folks now and… just like the last time it’d been a long time, it feels better every day. A sick sort of better like having lost a limb that was rotten with infection. Alive but not necessarily intact. Further from the advancing fever that threatened to kill you but missing something nonetheless.

I’m not sure what it is about them that I hate so much but I guess I’ve come to accept that it is a type of hate. I love them too, of course. They’re family. But I hate them just the same. I hate that I felt like I could fix them. I hate that they liked it when I tried. I hate that I wasn’t a person to them and that the terms I laid out to them were unacceptable – not even worth dignifying with a response.

But it helps that they relent in trying to contact me, still not having absorbed one fucking iota of what I’ve ever fucking said to them. No recognition of what I’ve said. What I’ve asked. Reminds me I did the right thing.

So yes, every time one of them reaches out bleating, but not reading – it’s annoying. A reminder of things lost. Opportunities missed.

But every day without that fever reaching for my brain is better than the last.

The Choppers

For two summers I worked on a cotton farm. A native american owned (in name only, all the management of the farm was caucasian men who had married into the tribal leadership) farm in the Gila River basin, just south of Sacaton, the capital of the Gila River indian community (home of a variety of poverty that few people in the United States understands exists much less exists inside the borders of the US). I was a supervisor for a team doing cotton bollworm moth control, a vicious pest that eats the fruit of the cotton plant before it can bloom, capable of ruining entire crops. We would stake out catch cups, just paper coffee cups, filled with old oil from the farm machinery, with holes cut in the sides, and a strip of red rubber stapled to the inside of the lid. The rubber was impregnated with a pheromone that attracted the males whose flutter would inevitably touch the oil and the bug would drown. Every thirty steps, every thirty rows. You’d load up a big bundle of the stake cups, and fill a watering can from the 500 gallon trailer of old oil. Then you’d slowly drive the truck down the rows, counting them out, pointing the next kid out into the field. They’d walk and stake out the length of the field, then count fifteen rows up and stake back toward the road, finally jogging to catch us some 90 rows down the road, then jump in the truck bed to drink gatorade and nap until it was their turn next. When the order was over, I’d jump out and do my turn. I liked it. Sometimes I took extra turns. The exercise was good for me.

It was boring. It was also very illuminating. I learned what life was like on the reservation. A young boy taught me how to steal “any chevrolet” with just a flathead screwdriver, prying off the column cover and using it to jam out the ignition interlock cable. “I can do it one handed.” he told me, proudly. A frequently antagonistic boy, who had moved to Sacaton from one of the Apache nations in eastern Arizona, lopped open a sun warmed watermelon with a foot long knife, while telling me how easy it would be to cut somebody’s head off. He later taught me how to swim in the irrigation reservoirs and how to tell when it was about to get activated so you wouldn’t get sucked down into the intake and drown. They were all educated in religious school, so when adults or people of authority were around they never used curse words, and even when amongst only themselves swears were whispered. If threats were made or jibes, they were made in low voices. I rarely understood why fights were breaking out simply because things had become very calm seeming and quiet before they occurred. Fights were infrequent, as was discussion about the home or family. Family was sad territory. Stories about who liked who and who screwed up at school were popular.

The physical territory was vast and not as boring as initial glances would impress. Lots of snakes. Rabbits. Feral dogs. A dust devil in town was frequently large but in the open fields they became monstrous, scary. Worthy of the name. Sometimes my boss and I would take a long lunch and go to Indian Cultural Center, look at the exhibits. Eat a Pima Taco. Think about Ira Hayes. See all the white crosses on the roadsides. The furthest fields were close to where the japanese internment camps were, just visible on the hill. Further out in the wasteland were the defunct uranium mines. Defunct copper mines. The desert is a good place to put things you don’t want people to see.

When we were on our rounds, very occasionally we would work in a field adjacent to the cotton choppers, a migratory group of 40 or so adults and several dozen children who performed the intensely hard stoop labor of chopping weeds out from between the cotton plants. When on the farm, they were given free reign of several working houses pocketed in between the fields. Usually nothing more than an open doored shack with a few metal burn barrels out front, and a nearby hand pump for drawing up water, but as far as I could tell they largely lived in and out of their cars; a motley caravan of full sized trucks and inexpensive and misshapen used sedans. The cars, either for reasons of expedience or disrepair, were usually towed, sometimes two or three in a chain, behind one of the trucks, a small scale locomotive. The trunks housed long ice chests that comprised their larder. Pots and pans. Propane stoves. The cars were heavily loaded with the scant possessions of the tribe, and the aforementioned children, dozing in the seats or helping steer the towed vehicles straight. Mothers worked with their infants slung in threadworn bedsheets, swaying gently back and forth as the woman chipped at the hard earth with a pointed hoe. My spanish is limited to bathroom and library seeking phrases and the ability to order a lunch for a team of 20, and knowledge of any native north american language nonexistent, so communication with them was limited. Infrequent. Merry. Only the men talked to me, at me. The inchoate but unmistakable timbre of schoolyard taunting. They made fun of the long fatigues I wore to cover my delicate skin, and my large brimmed gardener’s hat. They saluted me a lot. And even the women seemed to like to laugh at that. The kids didn’t like to talk to them, and I got the impression that the choppers made fun of them as well, but they could understand it.

When their work was done, one of the white men with the honorary names would show up in their air conditioned luxury truck and shake hands with whoever was in charge, thank them for the work and hand over the predetermined cash payment for the work done. The choppers would load up whatever they had put into the worker houses and drive off into the horizon, to the next farm, or maybe back to some of the southern farms whose seasons would be starting next, winding their way from gig to gig back toward Arizona to chop at the next stage of growth, then back again. I wonder where they went. Where are those children. Where is that boy who steered the Stanza with his ankles hooked in the steering wheel?

Unnecessary Nudity

Okay Taco Bell can we taco-bout (do you see… nevermind) this.
Of Course I’m excited.

Everybody is excited about this taco, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the crispy chicken taco shell is exactly what civilization was created for.

When our proto cave folk ancestors wanted a fourthmeal they lacked sufficient caloric overflow to power dreams as grand as the crispy chicken taco shell. They fought and fucked and suffered and died so one day a stoned organic chemical scientist could hallucinate this foodbomination into existence.

And while their primitive brains couldn’t comprehend what it means to build such a food; the infrastructure that exists to provide the meat, the science of its construction, its shipment and preparation, the power to ship such a thing to every truckstop and privatized school cafeteria in America; were they to dig their rotten splintered foodmashers into it, their exuberance and increased energy levels after processing it would drive them to a sodium, satiety, and salsa based murderous hump rage that would illustrate their approval more clearly than their primitive metered grunts could ever hope to.

But is it too much to ask, that we dive a little deeper?

Why is it the _naked_ crispy chicken taco. Taco Bell, your speciality, the plinth upon which the bell tower is constructed, is the hazy grey meat like slurry that goes onto every single foodstuff you make that isn’t covered in the gritted putty amalgam you call beans, and several that are. In fact the only foodstuff you serve I can think of that doesn’t have one of those on it is the dessert balls and churro. It is what I crave when I crave Taco Bell. And all the cheese dust and flatbread or flattened chicken you try to hide it under, it is your heart. It is to the song of this slurry that I run, when I hear the Border calling.

So for those cave people. For their howling guts and the howling guts of untold battalions of centurions, score of soldiers, generations of subsistence farmers, the millions of stoned college students — and those of us who just realized they never had anything resembling dinner before drinking seven beers at karaoke…. I beg you. Whither the Crispy Chicken Tostada? Whither the Crispy Chicken Cheesy Gordita Wrap Supreme? Whither the dreams of dreams. Whither the courage that started this crazy project? Why did it not survive through to the end.

Genetically Modified Food

Can we talk about Monsanto for a minute?

Everything you eat is a genetically modified organism. From the cows we have selectively line bred from wild ungulate, the chickens which there’s probably no accurate timeline for when humans removed from nature and began to bend to our uses as food producers, the pigs which we whittled from great ugly boars to be the various shapes and varieties of domesticated hog we’re familiar with, from the porcetta to the pet pigs. The sweet corn you eat is a human-created hybrid of a hard kernel corn that the native north americans had, with a softer kerneled corn that the europeans brought with them. Wild bananas are filled with seeds and barely nutritious. Wild apples have such incredible biodiversity it’d be a stretch to say even 1% of their wild types are human-food-compatible.

So do I believe that genetically modified food is bad for humans? Of course not. Drought resistance is a genetic modification we’ve made to food, pest resistance. Even food color, texture, ship-ability, all things we have chosen as humans as genetic traits we favor, cultivate and keep.

So now Lets talk about Glysophosphate. Glysophosphate is marketed in North America (and elsewhere) as Roundup. Which is a powerful, wide spectrum herbicide, used to unselectively destroy plants wherever applied, to clear land, to eliminate pest species and drive back invasive plants. Now lets talk about penicillin, azithromycin, erythromycin — powerful, wide spectrum antibiotics, used to unselectively destroy bacteria and other microbiological life wherever applied, to break down bacteriological overruns, detrimental biological outbreaks and drive back invading disease so our natural immune system can complete its job of healing. Both of these are powerful tools and have BOTH immensely increased the quality of life for millions if not billions of humans.

HOWEVER… If you talked to a doctor about making an azithromycin resistant form of bacteria, they would realize, beyond a shadow of doubt, that while we may learn something from the process of making this bacteria, that allowing that enhanced, resistant form of the disease into the natural world would necessarily come back to bite us in the ass. Period. You make something resistant to your most powerful tools and it will resist those tools whether in the lab or in nature, and the stressor of creating that resistance has also created dozens of other unknowable potential genetic expressions in the bacteria.

But that is exactly what Monsanto has done with its roundup ready crops. They’ve built plants that are hard to kill with the best tool we have to kill plants. And those plants have already hybridized with wild/non RR plants in the wild, transferring their roundup resistance, along with whatever other modifications were made, intentionally or unintentionally, from the laboratory right to the soil of the earth. The reaction of Monsanto to these hybridisations is yet _another_ indicator of how sick the ideals behind this creation are — they have sued the farmers whose plants are in fields adjacent to RR-plants, saying that those hybrids are Monsanto intellectual property and they should be compensated for them.

This is what I’m worried about. This is what needs regulating. This is what needs labels and investigative journalism. Fucking apple-fish-corn cars and Organic avocados and locavore kale can all go fucking die, because if we accidentally end up with a form of durum wheat that is round up resistant, has no nutritive value for humans because of other genetic changes, and can breed true in the wild? We’re gonna have dark days ahead. If we end up with BT-apples that are releasing nicotine analogues or other esthers we barely understand into our kids before they’re hitting puberty, we’re going to learn more about developmental disease than we ever have before. And the whole way, those that are the most impacted will be sued and harrassed and lose their worlds, and those who have the power to change thiswill be ignorant and distant and greedy and we will all pay for it.

This is what I hate about Monsanto.

What is right and prudent

OK, so again, we have another mass shooter in this country. And like last time, everybody (including me) wants to see what he looks like, see if we can judge the potential for evil in his face or his story. Now a friend was mentioning that this guy was the reason they believed in the death penalty, and I disagreed.

In the interest of being honest here and not just arguing about what I think is right, I wanna differentiate here between what I want to do, and what I think is right.

So if I were emperor right and they told me about this guy we’d flay him and my whole phalanx of dark hooded thugs gets do some shit that’d make George RR Martin turn white in front of the whole town and every video camera I could convince y’all to point at it. I’d yell THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DISOBEY THE LAW through a megaphone like the Lord Humongous and then everyone would rev their engines while monster trucks pull him apart right that’s what I _want_. I _want_ that spectacle to hearten the good people that crime is not allowed in My Empire and hopefully fearshame some potential criminals into future citizens, right? Ideally.

And only since I have lost the ragged-edged, fatalistic and bichromatic tunnel vision of my youth, I recognize that the part of my brain that wants to do that is the same part of the brain that told this guy that shooting these people was the right thing to do. It’s the same part of the brain that told millions and millions of Americans, on September 12th 2001 that the ONLY way we could FIX this was to GET OUR FIGHTING MEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST _IMMEDIATELY_. ANY PRETENSE. It’s the same part of my brain that tells me that when somebody goes 52 miles per hour in the fast lane of the freeway that the “right thing” to do for the world would be to run their car off the road, bludgeon them to death, find their wallet, go to their home, burn it down, and then scan the remains to make sure none of their progeny survive to breeding age. And in fact anything that subconsciously feeds this desire; that results in the instigator of a negative emotion in me “paying” for that transgression in corporeal form, is immediately five clicks more appealing, more logical. It gains ground in reason as I lose mine.

What I think is right, however, is to look at the statistics of programs that don’t include the death penalty, that have “dis-imprisoned” hundreds of thousands of white collar criminals who end up in prison over fines and fees they could never afford BEFORE they were a convicted criminal much less after, provided job placement, counseling, housing that transitions from full penitentiary to halfway house to supervised independence. Which really cares about rehabilitation and reintegration as opposed to retaliation and retribution, and seen what it has done to the countries that have implemented them. See what it means for their economies and their literacy rates and socioeconomic mobility. Then look at the statistics of countries which follow our format. Look at their recidivism rates, their percentage of GDP spent incarcerating their own citizens, look at their murder rates, their drug use rates. And the real thing I think is right is to listen to the specialists on this, listen to the researchers, and not listen to the sharp hard thump of my own terrified heart.

the Next Big Thing

Where do we go from here.

That’s the big one right, pretty much as soon as they wipe the chunky effluvia from your crusty eyes and slap your first unheeded complaint into the world, people are already bored of your shit.

They’ve done 12 hours of the least endearing episode of the You Show already, they’re done.

The nurses wanna go to sleep,

the doctors wanna leave,

your parents wanna sleep.

They want to feel like something is done, crossed off the list, and that you’re moving on to

the Next Big Thing.

 

You feel like crying just because a doctor slapped you, little dude?

You just wait a few days and you’ll see what’s worth crying about.

Wait a few years. You’ll break a finger but that’s nothing.

You break a leg but that’s nothing, you know nothing.

A collarbone? That’s nothing.

You think you know pain, you know nothing.

 

This is pain, this thing _I_ have, what you have is nothing.

Oh.

Good to know. I filed that one.

“I don’t know what pain is.”

Color code that fact a light magenta to denote “a light air of menace” and filed it under topics to not bring up unless I wanted the day ruined, a vast array of such cards, in old fashioned card catalog cabinets. Light magentas go third row, fourth column, arrange by context: race, politics, health, sport, masculinity, femininity, truth, validity, logic cross index and update master catalog.

My pain cannot be discussed on any level, I have compiled the numbers, the cross indexes eliminated and the statistics rendered. It is an off topic subject.

My pain brings him shame. It means I’m not perfect, I’m not the perfection of him.

My health brings him fear. (His health can not be discussed. I’m just a kid. How would I know. I know nothing.) If I’m not healthy it means he has failed, it brings the shame, and then the anger. Why didn’t you tell me?! Why didn’t you think about how this would make me feel that you didn’t want to talk to me about this? Why don’t I ever want to talk to him about anything?

I did, but… then

I ran the numbers.

I knew it would end here.

Well, the Me show is just getting started.

It’s not done. I’m sorry for being morose here, all the time, but I try to limit my mourning to this space. I’m working on things. I’m failing at them and learning and doing them more times. Doing all that theater tech I never could because everybody was convinced I was gay without the pink cast of stagelight. Playing in my life, and with my partner, instead of playing in my head with a phantasm.
PS I’m really quite fun on facebook, don’t friend me if you can’t reasonably expect a friend back.

I’m a honky ass peckerwood.

OK, so you know how sometimes you’re cruising along in your life and you think. I’m doing good. Fuck it. I’m a _good_ person. Better than average! Right? We all think we’re just a biiiit better than average, which is good, that’s healthy for humans. But I went to a trivia event last night which absolutely kicked my penis right in the middle.

So round one – Mysteries of the Unknown! 85 points out of a possible 101. I didn’t realize virtues and principalities were angels but we guessed and it worked out. Creepy shit is good fun to learn about and not depressing for the most part. Good team effort all around.

Second round. Spin Off Shows – One of our team members just ruled at this. 102 points out of 102 possible. We are DESTROYING.

Third round… Black History Month. Uhhh. I’m… we’ll be fine right? Frederick Douglas. That’s a historical black guy. Dred… Scott? That’s a… thing. Bad thing? I mean as far as Black History goes it’s all basically bad things. We start.

First question! Frederick mother fucking Douglas. And I forgot to think of the white guy (Abraham Lincoln) as the other half of the answer, so that makes me a civil rights champion, I think. We move on. Which amendment abolished slavery? I forget. the 21st is about booze. We guessed and were wrong but no big deal. Amendments, schmamendments. Who remembers them other than guns and booze and the freedom to say dumb shit.

Then it’s just… sad emptiness. Not even the hope of an answer, for a very long time. Who held the civil rights movement together after MLK? Huh was it… Malcom Sharpton? Hrm. Boo Radley is not a real person. Nat Turner is and his name is definitely not Dred Scott. Those are two different people. I’m starting to feel a little bad about it and then… Right at the end… we get a question about black women.

I panic. My vision narrows. In my minds eye I see only two things.

A lithograph from my childhood history textbook of who I believe to be Harriet Tubman. But I cannot remember her name at all in the moment and label her — Jesus, Lord this is so sad; “Georgia O’Keefe?” in my brain with a confidence rating of “about two or three out of ten”. And another notable black woman whose name I cannot quite place, looking VERY upset at me. I think about the face and I try to remember the name, she’s clearly not the director of Selma but I gotta be able to figure out who this woman is right. As I try to piece it together – I slowly but surely remember to actually be…. Frida Kahlo with some kind of blackface filter my brain put on her. She is looking very terse at me indeed when I restore her skin tone to normal. Hmmm.

If I were as ignorant about white historical figures as I was about black ones I’d get laughed out of conversations. If I couldn’t think of a single modern powerful white woman’s name, NOT A ONE, if I couldn’t think of a single _HISTORICAL_ powerful white woman’s name, people would treat me as sub-normal. It’d be like if you asked me which woman was going to direct Spider Man and I answered, “Queen Emily or something of like… Belgium I guess. The cake eating lady?”.

A horrid core

I say breakdowns come and breakdowns go.
So what are you gonna do about it.
That’s what I want to know.

I can finally talk about it, as obvioused by a whole month of me bitching about my childhood. But what do I do with it. What use is it to know these things and feel bad about them now, when I packed them up so tight and emotionally dehydrated when I was a kid. You ever dissect an owl pellet in science class? Why pull em apart and wet em down with tears. Why unearth their musty remains and pick them apart. That smell, wet hair and corruption, while you squint at a tiny jaw bone. Was this a vole, perhaps. A mouse. A baby rat? We could magnify. Study the teeth. We could scrape the inside of the marrow for dna and run a full analysis. We could analyze the canines for size and relative position, count the molars. Compare it to every known type of jaw bone. But when we have it, when we know exactly what it used to be – does that change the nature of the owl? Or of the vole. What do we really learn about the life of the owl from this, that we didn’t already know. Owls eat little mice shaped shit. It stands to reason that if the herk up a wad it’s gonna be little mouse parts. The tiny jawbone is as useful to understanding “Owl-ness” the second we prise it from the regurgitate as it is when we scientifically determine its species. And no amount of analysis of that vole’s bones or of its diet or life or mineral content is going to add, meaningfully, to the understanding of owlness. The raison d’oiseau.

But right now that’s what I’m doing. I’ve done it before. I lived my entire life in denial of my emotional response to situations, for reasons both noble and foolish, so I’m no stranger to having an emotional meltdown in the wintertime. But only now, at 35, do I understand that in order to use that section of my brain I have to ACTUALLY unpack all the crap in there. I have to hawk these little mouse parts out because they’re just clogging my ability to think and act in the interest of my own life. And I promise that I’m gonna try to spend less time being overwhelmingly negative but when I dug deep down to find what I was most upset about, I found a horrid core within. A blackened stunted gnarled thing, packed on all sides with these memories I could not talk about, feelings I could not feel, and fears I dared not name. An immature, selfish, lazy little thing that Life was “happening to” in protest. The ultimate victim. I found a boy who lived his life backwards and blamed the world for the scenery going the wrong direction. And I’d found him before too. He’s a mean little thing. Cruel and crude. When you touch him he tries to break you. He spits poison and screams that you should put him back where you found him. Leave him alone forever. But you can’t, well, _you_ can. Lots of well justified folks have. But I can’t walk away and I can’t just leave him in there anymore. The only medicine for this malady is motion. I have to unpack his little shitty hole, have to make him move. Because this horrid little shadow in me that thinks it’s supposed to hold perfectly still is really supposed – not just to move, but dance. RACE. Not just to show but to SHINE. But he has gotten lazy, and I have let him. I let him jam himself down in these bad memories and ossify.