The elderly women Conspire
You’ ve walked through the exchange,
It’s possible, ma’am, but I think I’m done. I’ve been run down and pressed to the ground. I’m gonna go this way. You go where you want to. Too much time has passed and I’m not talking about "pretend" time. I’m talking about real time, with real consequences. Real shifts in reality. "Ontological" time that ticks in cosmic permanence. The type of time that clicks and whizzes on the clocks of God’s observatory; His grand balcony overlooking his show. We prance around and run into each other, and God and his angels… they laugh and laugh and laugh. But you know what? That is okay. I’m glad someone thinks it’s funny. I just don’t want him to change the channel, or cancel my program. Not yet, anyway. Not until I see what happens with all these improvements I’m making. Not until I finish this episode I’m working on. But you... you have had your episode on my show, and the ratings just weren’t that good. Sorry ma’am.
The squeak startled me, I’ll admit that. I’ve been to your planet and I know what’s going on there. You told me to follow that twinkling star, but I lost track of which one and ended up here on your planet earth. You pointed to "that star," but you were sleepy and your hand was wavering, and the sky has so many stars, I couldn’t keep track. And so earth it was. This is where I ended. It’s not that bad, if you don’t mind eating chicken, or drinking bottled water. The gas prices here fluctuate. The price of stamps stay stable. The friendlier the person the smaller their net worth. The richer the child, the slower their intellect. The clouds are from moisture, which builds up in the sky, then purges itself on the weekends when all the blue-collar families seek picnics and worship. The speed limit refers to "driving machines," and is established by assessing the dangers of the immediate environment.
On the one hand, I’ve got all these work requests coming to me demanding my time. I’ve got well dressed peers handing me work orders while they are pointing at deadlines on a calendar. I’m at the bottom of a hill and milestones are rolling down on top of me. I’m following all my lifelines all the way to my deadlines. I check that one off, then hand it back. I check that one off and hand it back. I’m always checking things off, but nothing is ever satisfied. I’m dynamic in my resource allocation, but nobody shares a joke. On the other hand, my foot aches and I limp from place to place. All my schedule estimates will have to be delayed because my foot is slowing me down. All my estimates are suffering. These non-physical, fairytale estimates are laying on the floor and I am squashing them under my aching foot. And as my body slowly disintegrates, my projects slowly integrate.
I’m at the ocean, standing at the edge of the beach. People pass me with distorted faces and misguided dreams. Reflective people stare at the ground. They're at the beach, but are nowhere to be found. I hear the ocean water pushing and pulling, like the breathing of the earth. I’m on the edge. I can either go in, or I can turn back. But if I go in, I’m going in deep. Women pass with their Japanese hand-fans. They cover their face, but not their eyes, and I feel like the world is waiting for me to move my feet. There are certain people who have earned a place in my mind. They are my portable audience. I carry them with me wherever I go. Everything I do is done for them to see. With eager anticipation, I imagine what they will say and think and if they will be pleased. They're in my mind, in the back, behind the hypothalamus and the amygdala, just beyond my hoping lobe. I check my watch. I check my feet. “If I go in, I’m going in deep.”
Reaching and stretching to clasp it. He, or she, is just a thought that tumbles through the mind of God, and into the minds of lesser animals. This all makes sense if you read my book. My book is about the thoughts that tumble through the very mind of God, and how the lesser animals are totally perplexed by them. Except for this one (a Chihuahua no less). For some reason - maybe it was his genes - he understands them, and his life is totally ruined because of it. He is a freak amongst dogs. He is cast out. He is... he is "the one who knows the thoughts of God." Knowing God made him freaky. A freaky little dog with a dynamic leash, and a tendency to deconstruct conjunctions when he reads them. Oh yeah, he can read as well. His name is Tony. He likes to scratch his ears and fetch sticks. When the thoughts of God first tumbled upon him, they knocked him over and he tumbled into a pond. He came out, shook water all over the place, sniffed himself, and felt different... smarter... more in touch with reality. The thoughts of God will do that to you.
You've been a good friend, Nerton.
"You've been a vague, vague boy," said the mother with her long crooked finger shaking sternly at a starry-eyed boy who looked up at momma, or just past her shoulders (or out that gray window, I really couldn't tell). He wore out his welcome at "Ned's Candy Store," because of his deep inimical questions of freedom and fate. He once stole a sucker, but Ned let him go. The "boy with the vague look," yes, the wandering face. When momma shook her crooked finger down at him he looked out the door. And there by his rope was the drummer who played for him Egyptian notes. He grinned, so it seemed, and tapped his left foot. Momma's eyes rolled and she fell to the floor. Papa was sleeping in a box six feet deep. The chickens were restless. The dog was in heat.
Forgiveness isn’t free. It ain’t easy. It is a chisel and a block of stone. It is a rock and a chain around the ankle, with a long journey to the top of a mountain. Forgiveness isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be. It would be strange if it were. It would be some sort of strange force-field that throbs and hums. It would engulf us in it’s uncanny warmth and lull is to sleep, suck our blood, and inhibit the re-uptake of our neurotransmitters. Let me out of this forgiveness field. Let me back to the cement streets and the tall trees. Let me back to that sweet realm where words still meant something. Where forgiveness was earned (and deserved). Where God dwells in real ways, and humility is tangible.
I was in a wide flat space with small old towns. There were bridges where you wouldn't think there should be bridges. There were confident women telling me to leave. I was driving faster than anyone trying to get to the other side of the biggest bridge. It was long and unkept with crashes and wrecks. And I could see for a long distance and saw endlessness. Over the side I could see shimmering water. The bridge crossed through a dark and murky world but the water was living water and reflected sunshine from some other place. But like a fool I didn't search for the source of light. I continued my absurd drive. I continued my unjustified obedience to some female figure. I chased a drop of hope that dangled before me like a forbidden fruit. I come from a land of bridges, but I want off of this one. I come from a land of water. I should have stopped and sought the source of that glorious light.
This place was warm with grace. It was warm with forgiveness while whispers of acceptance echoed off its walls. My brain is empty. Where are the vivid images that danced for me in my prime? Where are the silly thoughts that stimulated my mind? Gone. Now I look at plain things and they remain plain. Vanilla. Default beverages that bring no relief to my thirst. Cacti appetizers that make us wince and frown. Poor people with tight pockets. Long streets with no sidewalks and cold, cold wind. I’m not trying to bring you down. I’m not trying to block your street lights. I’m just in this moment and I’m defining it. I’m just stuck in unwanted moments, trying to describe my way out of it. I'm just reaching out for the rail, straining for that warm place of grace. Looking for something worth looking for.
I’m in a happy place. I’m tapping all the right keys on the piano and song lyrics are flowing like taxes in the spring. Huh! See what I mean? I’m lean. I’m on the scene. I’m pondering who the first guest on my television show will be. I’m considering who I’d have on my team for my think-tank, ideation, consultation squad. I’m tapping the right keys, and the details are slipping into place. Distractions are slipping off into deep-deep space. I’m lean. One punch here, another over there. I get pounded to the ground, but spring to my feet. Important people are intrigued when I speak. I’m eating good food at all the socially aware restaurants. I’m honored by scholars and home-owners alike. Song lyrics float in front of me. I’ll write those down when I get a moment to breath. Right now, though, I’m too deep in my happy place tapping the keys.
This is a test. A query. A thought to be pondered (not a yawn to be conquered). I’m so dead, you’d think I was a reckless driver. I’m so feathered, you’d think I was a symbol of a brave new country. These are times that test a man’s feathers and make them drive reckless. These are times that make morticians grow beards and wear fancy clothing. The more a watch sparkles the higher it’s price. The longer it lasts, the greater the value. Now look here, don’t leave me. Don’t turn your back on me. I just don’t think my barbed-wire heart could take it. Look into your homes. Reach into your pockets. Find yourself some affection for me. I’m no feathered freak. I’m no danger to your freeway.
If you want to make it in this world without getting parking tickets, you need to read between the signs, Roll with the friendship, sink when they tell you to, and, for the sake of freedom, leave your gavels in the car. You came here determined to fix me, now I’m smiling. You told me to lay on my side, sleep with the light on, and chew well before swallowing – and, Lady, I haven’t gotten a parking ticket since. You told me to roll around in the dirt and wash my clothes with baking soda. And when I paint, you said, wash your brushes quickly. I did as you said – and I haven't gotten a parking tickets since. You told me not to hide, pay my taxes on time, keep my grocery bags under the sink – and neighbor, I haven’t gotten a parking ticket since. Now what does money have to do with improper parking? Why should I pay cash for mistakes? I take out my trash, I buy my oranges with cash, I read about spiritual things, and, I guess, I haven’t gotten a parking ticket since.