Wishing well made of clear cut glass. So thick that to see through it your vision becomes blurry. Optometrist. Making the adjustment. Chiropractor, making the crack. Popcorn kernels stuck in teeth make for a very unpleasant movie afternoon. Sticky soda floor and the big screen. Beer being poured at the bar. The communal nihilism that pervades spaces of pessimistic community. Even the excitables have their doubts. About love, about life, about the regrets which they swear they don’t have. When the bar closes and you’re alone in the stone-walled corner nursing a gin and tonic, mindlessly stirring the tiny black straw with your pointer finger you think about your less than optimal moments. And you wallow in self-pity and wish you could be given 2nd chances to correct everything you didn’t live up to. I drop pennies in the well and wish. A wish is a prayer, at least I believe it can be. A thought bubble that balloons forth and soars skyward toward Jupiter or Mars. Something will run into it, read it and interpret it. Carbonated bubbles do their dance I can see them. They are excitables and they are rushing. Never the Earth knew this sort of Life bubbling. An amoeba that begot a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Land Before Who? I find myself constantly marveling at how mankind has progressed this far at all. Surely, it’s a complete accidental.
When I say, “yay big”, I hold my hands out about 2 to 3 feet apart. If you rewind the tape and freeze frame it, I am karate chopping with both hands looking quite sure of myself. The VHS fuzz on the top and bottom of the frame. The black, white, grey, spools holding the tape in place. I always need a VHS player at all times. In the garage, before the flood, we had a large Rubbermaid container / bin of tapes. A miracle they didn’t disintegrate from the summer heat. Trunks as in elephant, trunks as in storage. African safari and Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad. What is our history if not through a singular lens? Well, I’ve been to the eye doctor and there are many lenses. They’re kept in cases and drawers. One is sometimes clearer than the other. Sometimes it’s too close to tell. Down in the valley there are elephant bones and as I read a summary of The Lion King I remembered how much I loved that movie as a child, and how that death scene was hard for me. Mufasa not waking up was…traumatic. Media sculpting the mind. Hands of Jeffrey Katzenberg in the clay. Raining tumultuous claymation raindrops. Synchronized swimming. Channel flipping. Angels of direction. The confusion of free will. The juxtaposition that there are some choices that will lead us to the exact same place, spare a few irrelevant details. The nightmare.
You talk about compromise like it’s some stick in the mud, some wound to be wasted, infected with oozing pessimism. Compromise like a world awakened and gone back to sleep. Eyes open and shut like cases, like a bag shaken out. I am empty and that’s all that’s left of me. But I want to breathe and believe in something other than magic and happenstance; Something other than Disney fantasy because happily ever after only goes as far as the camera zooms out and fades to black with grand orchestra, sweeping strings, lovely ballads made from consonant upbringings. I’m not saying it’s all gotta be painful and bad, but the story never just ends there. And even if you die alone in Tom Riddle’s house, there was certainly one person you meant in which you inhibited some memory. Imagination stretching outward, dancing darlings come, become crimson in their cheekbones after a long workout. I’m talking about college dorm rooms in November or December; Fresh snowfall and roommates gone home for the weekend. I’m talking letterman jackets and homemade sweaters, fireplace, hot chocolate, lovers gaze under low light. Youthful magic becoming more distant. We are comets, we are meteors, drifting away from the beginnings of our timelines in zero gravity. We are Tom and B’Elanna in spacesuits stranded, but hopefully cradling one another. And if we have to compromise to be there, so be it. There is nothing admirable about gargantuanly taking up space.
Leather and the smell of straw on a cloudy, dark day. Horses whinny in the background as barn doors get unlocked and opened, undoing thick metal bolts and chains. These horses are all special and they all have names. Different colors and personalities. I only gone horseback riding a handful of times. It’s a painful recovery usually, but so much fun. Horses are majestic creatures and have this quiet knowledge and understanding and intuition about them. The last time I rode was in Massanutten, Virginia in…2016 I think it was. I had a horse named Billings. He was whitish grey with dark spots, and I had to continuously pull up his reins to focus on the path, as he would sometimes get distracted by smells and the desire to eat grass whenever he saw fit. My chinese horoscope sign is the Horse, and I always felt it suited me; It’s always felt accurate when it comes to my behavior. Always watching, sometimes shy and timid, late bloomer-esque. But smart, kind, compassionate, welcoming.
Saddles are heavy and hold stirrups. They become uncomfortable after long rides. I don’t know how John Wayne did it. Do you eventually get used to it after awhile? No wonder why whiskey was so popular; I’d also want to drink my ass off at the next town over, just to forget about the constant discomfort from sitting.
Sphere found in the tongue of a clam singing taps because it doesn’t know how to play trumpet. Un-reined talent bubbling to the surface. It is Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Ariel’s hair is so, so red; so outrageous and outstanding that I want hair like that. I want it to billow fully in the ocean underwater. A necklace and earrings and bracelet that makes a statement about class, about worth, about being worth your salt. These captured rarities sent for sale and made for purchase, on display in windows and on hand mannequins and busts with no head or remaining torso. It is neutral and functional. A shopkeeper comes to the front of his store as the bell rings, signaling entry. Footsteps clack and click in both light and heavy percussive tones. Dirt trails. Camera follows up vertically to the face of a man with a five o’clock shadow smoking a cigar. He is a cartoon. He has no lines; His only direction is to look menacing, which he does, chewing the stogie so roughly that it’s mildly amazing how he does not actually eat it. Next to him stands a terrified Barbizon past-model with black hair. She is also a cartoon. Somewhere between Futurama and Arthur her skin is a pale yellow, her lipstick, fuchsia.