Little, tiny fruits dangle on the tips of branches waiting to be picked, or waiting for gravity to intervene; Waiting for a breeze to blow or an animal to come along. The grass surrounding this lone tree is so green. We’re on the cusp of summer, nearly departing spring; Like the seasons are one big train ride and we feel the anticipation of almost approaching our stop. Little yellow dandelions perk up smiling from the group, the ground and turn their happy heads towards the gentle sun, not yet punishing in its rays. The Earth is still turning. The bark of this tree is Crayola brown, everything has just come to life from a coloring book. The movie uses real film and not digital substitutes. There is an aesthetic quality, that will eventually, yes, be digitized. And in every tree I drew as a child, there was a hole in the center of that tree for an owl, a squirrel; A place for a creature to find refuge in the dark. Just in case. Acorns strewn about the base, or maybe just their caps. The air is sweet and the birds sing out lilting melodies, repeated over and over, hammering home that they are proud that they have built their nest, and they have laid eggs, and soon they will hatch. They are proud parents. They are expecting. A grey bunny rabbit sprints across the lawn, pausing to look up and twitch its nose. It looks around, paranoid. But there’s nothing here to threaten it. It’s just being overly cautious. To be so high that you can feel a pulsing heartbeat in every blade of grass as it catches your backside; So you can still feel its imprint once you stand back up. A crabapple tree in a painting inside a doctors office, where it is not appreciated only tolerated but impatient outpatients in the waiting room. Where the furniture is old and antiquated, and the TV blares and is on for no one. It’s just on. And it doesn’t matter what the content is, it’ll never be enjoyable. Because this is a place where no one wants to be, even the staff. It’s just another “punch in / punch out” kinda day. Where stress and paperwork gather in equal heights. The box behind the glass is filled with too many people, rushing back in forth catching telephones and medical charts, exchanging money and receipts and credit cards and checks. A buzzing hive. A healthcare nexus singularity. A microhive, insignificant in the grand scheme of things. A patient who has accidentally taken too many of their pills falls into this crabapple tree picture, like a less-awesome Mary Poppins recreation.
A pile of stuff, 12 feet high, sits aching, rotting, silently pleading to be cleaned up and maintained, contained. Many a night, guilty pleasure reality television, sometimes too gross and disturbing for “both eyes open” viewing. A wince or three is normal. But it’s amazing, at how much the trainwreck program continues, looking away becomes impossible and I sink further and further into my seat, unable to look away, simultaneously fascinated by this absurd reality (that I thankfully never had to experience). It is a deterrent against materialism and the collection and obsession with things, though I’m sure I’m not perfect and have my own faults. But it is mentally gut-wrenching to experience, even from the periphery. What could possibly possess a person to do that? Obsession over little plastic bottles, toys, and expired food from 28 years ago. Skippy Peanut Butter that expired in 1993 or 4, when Biggie was still alive. Surprised the that entire jar has not just turned to dust. What must that possibly taste like? Good things are all around us, but oftentimes get shadowed by the hoard. The hoard, a personification of our shadow selves, our conscious selves yearning to break out and be free, crushed by the overbearing size and weight of the trauma that came before.
A perfect egg feels smooth on the outside. Speckled and brown, because the brown ones are supposed to be better for you; Cage-free, organic. Cold from the refrigerator. I crack one against the bowl with some restraint and break it into the bowl, controlled. Discarding the shell in the trash, I do this dance that encompasses the kitchen space and suddenly I am Siva in that movement, in that moment. Lord of the Dance as far as breakfast is concerned. As far as my legendary scrambled eggs are concerned, which I balance with a good beat and a pat of Smart Balance. Of course butter is better, but not for me and this is what we have to work with. I’ll use two, maybe more if I’m splitting them with my mom. I love the moment when it all comes together and coagulate, when the toast begins to brown and make the kitchen smell heavenly. The rush to get plates I forgot to before. Bacon is a treat, but not a necessity. I am quick to season these eggs with a good amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Maybe if I feel so inclined, I’ll squeeze out a teaspoon of ketchup, red and vibrant, smelling sweet and vinegary.
I’m told eggshells are good for composting. But Dad always said to actively compost will attract vermin, so we don’t do it. Despite the fact that we go through plenty of eggs, coffee, and banana skins and orange peels. It could make for good compost. Decomposition, decompression, deescalating an increasingly uncertain future. Environmental urgency. Scapegoats abound. Conference table, head in the hands, facepalm, hand wringing anxiety. Walking on eggshells and scraping the yolk off bottoms of shoes. Wiping your feet on the ‘Welcome’ mat. Time comes for a change. Wet socks from a deluge storm, tidal wave dreams come true sometimes. Destruction again, the promise of Hindu gods waive your rights for preconceived notions. Logic and order are constructs and life is chaos.
The last to know. Siphoning crumbs from the bread basket that has been outlined and decorated with doilies the color of snow. Peace be unto you as doves fly free; This will be the last time. This will be the ultimate, or penultimate. Line leader antithesis, the caboose, the feet-shuffler. Pants with no belt, pulling up the waist. Wiping nose on sleeve, no tissue conundrum. Great Lakes Butter Incorporated – The last step, the piece de resistance of breakfast toast. Summer humid breeze, Bible verse in girly-girl calligraphy found on block of plywood in Home Goods store. Made in China. Sticker, certified, believable, probable. Survey says, *licks finger and points upwards*. Puny human brain. Relevancy. A perfect circle in which the snake eats itself, circles around and pulls on its own tail.
Mary Poppins is goddamn everything.
My head feels like a brick after a long day of leisure
proving you can have too much of a good thing.
I suppose you’re asking yourself some questions.
You’re not the only one.
I know I’ve been thinking a lot about masks
and whether or not we really have control over our emotions;
It affects the breath in the strangest way.
I’m not even close to taming it.
And can I tell you a secret?
I don’t know what I’m doing.
There’s days I’m drunk enough to shake it off;
there’s days it scares the hell out of me.
But what if I never find a happy medium?
I’ll be quiet now.
I’m a dodecagon times infinity.
I’m everywhere so much that maybe it doesn’t much matter at all.
Every day is “to be continued…”