Grassy knoll, taking large strides to reach the top where we will lay down a red-checked cloth for a picnic. The hill the belly of a friendly beast who is sleeping now; A Snorlax dreaming for 1000 years. Round curvature, no sharp edges. The sun is a heat lamp, and now sweat trickles from our brow and dampens our armpits. There are no trees, but a clear view of a clear blue sky that threatens to promise the possibility of all good things, yes. The lawn of the knoll is freshly manicured. There are hummingbirds and beetles minding their own business. Bees buzzing bravely that have been here forever, generations past, through storm and inclement weather. It's a lookout. And from the top you can see the rest of the park and forest, more thick with trees than anywhere else around. I hold my binoculars to my glasses and focus in on a woman walking her oversized dog. She is on the phone, ignoring his cuteness. I would not ignore him. There is a little girl on a scooter and she's rapidly chatting away to her father, who fixes her bright pink helmet.
Metallic circle makes geometrical sense, I suppose. Especially when it’s the only thing you’ve known for your whole life. Though I have seen other geometric coin shapes in my lifetime, from other countries. Where the marrow of life is a little bit sweeter, different. Flipping coin from the top of thumb to call a side. Vending machine frustration. Maybe a little too close to home for the realities of the American Dream: Sometimes your Cheetos just get…stuck. Sometimes your dollar is no good here. And there’s no customer service, or phone number to call. But even if there is, what is anyone going to do about it that doesn’t severely inconvenience you at that given time? Quarters as always the most valuable. Pennies as annoying, but still savable. It has been months and months and months since an ATM transaction. So account numbers and just account numbers – kaCHING. Racing, ripping through the rule book. Licking thumb and forefinger to flip through pages, panting inwardly, singing the first verse to 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” over and over and over like a loop. Stress mind, clutching to melodies and rhythms that seem familiar. Fabled fiction fantasy, figuring fallacies, finagling filmreel, Newsweek, Time. Where have the published giants of yore gone? Where is the money if we cannot find it? Dark web based transactions, still coming down from my Homeland high. Dolly Madison, sewing in her powder wig. Some never grabbed snapshot of at what was one time modern life. The painting never painted, the words never written. But somehow, I know deep down with absolute certain, that Dolly Madison had a powdered wig, she would have been completely ugly by today’s standards, and she knew a thing or two about a needle and thread. Certainty, like I lived it. That’s my truth. Even though it isn’t true. It’s a logical conclusion based on education whether approved by a school board or not. Don’t you get it? It’s my truth. The kind of self-truth that grabs you by the collar and shakes you into compliance. Bag of nickels, hit on the face. To the CoinStar machine we go. Hunks of metal we have ascribed value to with symbols of our democratic republic. Democracy Enforcement. Notebook value system, College-Ruled. Five-Star folder and Trapper Keeper. School again. Christian-based value system as some topsoil certainty. But don’t you know that under your feet lies the Earth’s core? And don’t know you that it’s not too late to start digging for answers and unEarthing all you know? It is scary and frightening and does not jive with complacency –
Cresting waves aquamarine dream diamond reflections sparkling on water current movements ruled by Luna herself - Goddess of the night lighting all around her, her back warmed by the Sun. Gender roles that used to be switched and for all we know, may switch again. There are changes in the currents, tidepools deep within the underbrush. Flickering fire still continues to char remains and ruins of a civilization long past, yet everlasting never ending. Fire the ultimate purifier and destroyer. I Am Shiva. Hum. Regulatory oratory performatory in all its glory. I look back on distant beach days with gladness and satisfaction that I have seen snow, I have seen the ocean. I have been to the coast at night with a ruptured soul and dissonant blood flow, when frigid winter breezes blow bitterly and seem to mirror and echo the song in my heart without outputting a single note, and perhaps that to which I am grateful. Combative elegance in the "no, no, yes, yes". Staple gun pulpit. Machines ready. Built by men to kill other men. I just want a sailboat. I just want to confirm the taste of salt in the ocean tides. Knowing that the marine life is still there, down below, and that once upon a time Pirates and Vikings were once here, water as the ultimate passageway to new adventures and new lands and eventually, the invention of Peanut Butter.
A favorite of mine to draw as a child, perhaps at the end of the school year in art class using my free time in this manner: Upside down triangle sugar cone, latticed acutely. A big scoop (or two or three) of ice cream on top and perhaps it begins to drip down the side, melting in the hot summer sun. All main flavors represented, or maybe just pink strawberry because that is the most colorful, though the least accurate flavor as to what I would go to. While I do enjoy strawberry and do not mind it, vanilla and chocolate are my usual mainstays. That is, outside the realm of more niche flavors like mint chocolate chip (which might be my absolute favorite) or chocolate peanut butter or raspberry. There is always a mood at hand, always changing and never quite always exactly the same. Sugar molecules ricochet in my mind, right at the forefront and when they collide with the awareness of temperature, causes a brain freeze and then suddenly, Coach – I must sit this one out a moment. Soccer on the sidelines. Yelling at the ref. I miss the digestive ability to consume Choco Tacos and Drumsticks. I loved eating the end of the chocolate filled cone. Though the size of it never seemed worth the calories. Now I have pledge my allegiance to coconut milk ice cream or rather, “non-dairy frozen dessert”; I guess “ice cream” is trademarked. Banana split sundaes with cherries and whipped cream on top. These are the sweet things in life that we break for and make time for because honestly, what is life without ice cream? And what is ice cream without the pains and joys of life? And in this symbiotic relationship and nature of things is some equilibrium never quite talked about, yet understood. Because ice cream makes it all better somehow, or emotionally grafts over wounds where we sometimes do not even know how deep they go or how they will hang on to us throughout our lives, still a deep crevasse in psyche, holding traumatic ink begging the well to be dried up and home free. But I digress – Sugar cones over wafer cones always, big, fresh, sweet waffle cones when ice cream becomes a replacement meal because that cone can hold a lot. Kitchen sink promises. And Carvel ice cream cake with the chocolate crunchies. Forbidden pleasures, things I can no longer have. BOGO sundaes on Wednesdays at Carvel. So close to school, we had all the time in the world. To talk shit and get wet walnuts and caramel and fudge. Saccharine promises to make Spock drunk. I read it on Twitter yesterday so it must be true. Nails hammered into gingerbread coffin.
To comply and follow rules and directions written out on top of worksheet paper on top of schooldesk. Sharpened pencil. You wouldn’t dare get up and disrupt, unless of course you would dare. Comply like Borg cubes in a glass in outerspace. We all know the glass would shatter and nanoprobes would get out and not be rendered unconscious by lack of oxygen. I just want to stare it all in the face until it backs down. Resolutions like steel bricks in a safety deposit box. Dog Day Afternoon, films on-demand. Ricochet gumdrops off sugar windshields in some Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka-esque theme I keep coming back to. Calculator and pushing buttons that send signals in all directions. Ghost codes, encrypted keys in some Egyptian cryptex buried at the bottom of the pyramids. All good things crumble to dust in the end. All good cookies crumble to dust in the end. Maybe the world was spit out of God’s mouth. Little spitball planets rotating around and around. Grey and green tones, a dim outlook put upon the mindset like cages we cannot break out of. Dementors closing in entirely. That’s why it’s always important to keep Patronouses close to the vest. You never know when you’re going to need it in this world. Army soldiers march straight all in a line with matching uniforms and hats and the expressions on their faces –