"Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks"
- Raymond Chandler, talking about the “murderous summer heat”
I’ve been out of sorts lately. Also out of Cool Ranch Doritos, and energy to work out in the yard. It’s not you. It’s me. It feels like there are little bugs crawling around on the inside of my skull, leaving tiny footprints on the gooey surfaces of the curly pink glial cells. I think this intracranial bug traffic may have somehow re-written some of my short term memories. All I can think of is how lovely my melmac dishes would look in a table-setting for 4 on my new dinette set.
Yet somehow, this feels wrong. I have neither melmac dishes, nor a dinette, and I certainly don’t have four people to entertain. Further, my dishes are made from a space-age polymer extruded from an industrial syringe and stamped with brown roses. Finally, the dining room table is never used for eating family meals. That’s what TV tables are for. The dinning room table’s used to leave things on that you don’t feel like putting away until later, much later.
In a sort of dramatic foreshadowing of my eventual death of pneumonia, Tech Support Guy reports that last night in my sleep my breathing sounded like I was underwater – with burbling and wet snuffling. Charming. While my bronchial compromise has made it harder to perform any task requiring more aerobic stamina than making expresso, it has made it easier for me to sit and think. This is not generally a good tradeoff, since too much thinking often makes me angry about something. The focus of my anger is completely irrelevant. I find myself musing sadly about how, when DFW tried to write sober, he stopped taking his antidepressants and alcohol, and killed himself. Note to self: don’t stop taking medications. Self-medication is the key to the devil’s workshop.
So, what have I been thinking about?
Shall I compare gardening to particle physics experiments conducted in those big cyclotrons like the one in CERN in Switzerland or the slightly smaller one beneath Sanford University? Researchers speed up tiny things inside the merry-go-round tunnel, and then crash them into each other to see whether the universe ends in a tiny pop, or in the alternative, whether a new and more effective mouthwash springs magically into being when the particles collide. Various parts of my garden often have that particle colliding surprise outcome - like Dopey on the steps, musing over the water lilies in the pond below. Nah, probably straining that metaphor beyond its design parameters – catastrophic and destructive testing proves only that my metaphors are a weak as I’ve been.
Sleeping like the dead for 10 hours helps my pulmonary functions to improve. However, dreamless sleep provides no new insights into the dim and shifting shadows lurking at the edges of my awareness. Trying to think straight is like asking my cat to promise not to leave the litter box until the poop disconnects from her butt. This is either one of the warning signs of a psychotic break or my blood sugar is low and I should stop for lunch.
By the time I’m finishing the third bowl of puffed rice, I’ve created this lovely milk and sugar reduction in the bottom of the cereal bowl with the consistency of gritty molasses. Instead of creative or inspired writing, I tackle one of today’s biggest quandaries. I ask myself why I should follow anyone on Twitter.
Upon serious reflection, in order to induce me to follow you on twitter, I’d have to have one of the following reasons:
I find myself on the open sea in a lifeboat with a cannibal and Methodist (and Internet access).
I foolishly stop taking my meds, and find myself alone in a closet one quiet afternoon with a noose and a stool.
I find a dead body in the woods and now I’m lost and trekking across a railroad bridge to get back to civilization, and a train is approaching from behind. Quick – twitter me to run like hell.
My one remaining ambition is to die doing what I love, but can’t for the life of me think of what that might be. Twittering?
I find myself watching 2.5 Men on tv and thinking it’s funny. Twitter to remind me it’s not funny.
I find myself considering self-trepanation to stop the crawling bugs inside my head from leaving sticky footprints in my short term memory.
The best free advice in the world isn’t as good as my mom and her inchoate threats on a bad day. E.g. if you misbehave while I’m out, I swear to god.
You know the difference between allegory and metaphor. You explain in twit.
You neither attempt to talk like a cool urban hipster yo, nor do you succeed.
You promise never to do jello shots at my new ex-friend’s party and proclaim a fatwa on blogging while under the influence of Nyquil.
Somebody twits: It’s quiet outside. Too quiet. Let’s split up and investigate.