Monday, May 25, 2009

Any Old Hiatus In A Storm

Of course I thought being on hiatus would be the answer to all my prayers. I felt the weight of the world, like Atlas carrying it around on his shoulders all day. But at least Atlas got a book named after him. All I got -- I was going to say All I got was this crummy T-shirt, but I'm afraid souvenir stores might have a copyright on it.

Anyway, don't make me laugh, because I don't think I can. That's how down I feel. I'm going to have to reach down deep today, and I don't know what I can pull up. Have you ever gone hog fishing? I haven't either except I've been there when other guys did it. You're crawling around in the river, reaching under stumps and down in holes hoping to get hold of a fish. I've heard some guys say they can sit there and pet the fish, and that's probably true, because you want to stroke it up till you get to the gills, then gently insert your fingers and finally come yanking it up out of the water, by then a mad, thrashing mess.

As far as I'm concerned, you're stroking things sight unseen, something might bite your hand off. That's what it's like, me crawling around here today. I could become partly paraplegic. Life is dangerous. It really is true that things can mash you, fall on you, crush you from the side, or open up and you suddenly disappear in a sink hole. My other grandpa and grandma were always telling me about the factory they worked in, who all lost fingers and hands in the last year from punch press accidents. Most of the old people of that little town walked around with missing pieces, physically not there but mentally still twitching phantom limbs. And that was the Grandpa who was dead at 59 from losing a lung to emphysema, then having a car fall on him and crushing the other one. There's a sharp edge somewhere waiting to slice you up, or a big dumb bulk just waiting to make a waffle out of you.

I'm really feeling it, the blunt end of life today. Like I'm under a mallet and a big blacksmith is about to pound a square peg into a round hole. Like insects feel when they're scurrying across the floor and someone chases and steps on them. Like a martyr at the stake.

I myself am Mr. Nice Guy when it comes to some bugs. Not flies. I rescued a big bug with probably 50 to 100 legs the other day. Took him out of the sink with a tissue and took him outside to let him go. I'm thinking How can I crush something that intricate? He's got more moving parts than a punch press. It'd be wild to hook sensors up to one of these bugs and watch his thoughts register on a tape printout. Let's say you had a tiny microsensor on each foot, and he's dropping them one at a time or maybe 10 at a time. It'd make an exceptional printout. If you could read his thoughts he'd probably like to have fewer feet but still he'd be hitting on every cylinder, at least mentally with phantom limbs.

It could be that I'm protecting nature just so nature can rally its forces and get me. I no sooner rescued that bug than I went out and a mosquito bit me. I think that's the first time in like three years. I've been remarkably lucky. I think maybe I've been spared out of the power of positive thinking. Like if I believe I won't get bit, I won't. I was out there and someone else had come by, a neighbor lady. She got bit by a mosquito and said so. At that second, I utterly lost all confidence and positive thinking and started thinking I might get bit. And it happened literally within two minutes, I got bit. Let me back up on that. It was around 10 minutes. I felt the sting and my hand swatted down and I smashed a mosquito to bits.

I've lost something. I'm not at one with nature. There's no sunshine on my brow. I'm undergoing what the old saints called the Dark Afternoon of the Soul. A storm is brewing, percolating, a slow drip. Here I sit, on hiatus. At this point I feel I can do no other.

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