29 Mar 2012

Non-Trauma

The Deon family is neat and nuclear: Dad's in the driver's seat, Mom's in the passenger seat, Alison and Jonathan, five and seven, are in the back. Everyone's strapped in, listening to the whines and drawls of the Double Exposure duo on the radio. In the trunk is an apple pie for Grandma. She'll join them when they get to Trail and they'll all go to church. It's the Sunday morning Grandma visit, starting with the hour-long drive from Nelson through the winding valley roads. Suzie, the tan-hued Subaru hatchback, is on its last trip, but no one has an inkling.

There'd been a dump of snow last night. The roads were bad in the morning. Not ominous though. Now the air is teetering back and forth over the freezing point. Past Castlegar the slush is thick and seems unsafe for driving. But what're you gonna do? Jonathan doesn't worry, at any rate. He's thumbing a wad of play-money his dad got from a friend of a friend of someone at a political campaign, satirical caricatures of a candidate’s rival on imaginary currency.

China Creek is an unmapped hamlet, a few houses they pass on the wide curves. It's where Mom lived when she was daughter Judy, with her mom, who is now Grandma. There’s a mountain slope on the right and steep bluffs on the left. They’re high above the river. The two kids in the back have gazed out at this part of the river on hundreds of these trips, wondering if they could swim to the gravel islands with their stubby trees and imagining what they’d do if they ever got there.

Suzie is kicking up slush like crazy. A car approaches around a bend from the opposite direction, close to the center of the road, maybe even a little on the wrong side, Dad thinks. There's so much slush in the air he can hardly see the road - he's even lost sight of the car. He swerves right to make sure they won't hit each other and loses control. Suzie’s slipping around in slush at highway speed, veering back left and continuing to slide. The edge is closer and closer and there’s nothing Dad can do. Luckily there's no more cars coming so there’s no collision. Unluckily, the trusty guard-rail is absent from this bit of road.

The moment before the car goes over the edge, Brian says "Shit", and Alison thinks for the first time that something serious might be about to happen because Dad swore! There's strange angles, a sheet of slush on the windshield and Judy says "Hang on." There are seconds of flashing bouncing chaos, too fast for memories. Judy thinks, absurdly: We're upside-down. Later, Jonathan will recall only his head knocking against his sister's head, and a headache. The car is tumbling down the embankment, rolling twice, hood over hatch.

Suzie rests in a crumpled heap, about thirty meters from the railway track, itself only a few meters from the edge of the forest, which is a few tree lengths above the river. The car nose points straight down the hill. Brian sees clearly out the front of the car. Most of the windshield has shattered. There are shards on the peripherals, smeared with slush and snow. There are trees and boulders nearby. We didn’t hit any of them, he thinks. How is that possible?

The inside is sprinkled with glass-chips. The passengers are still in their seat-belts. The radio is still on, still Double Exposure. Brian thinks: we ought to get out of our seat belts, quick. Judy says: "Oh, the pie!" The back hatch has popped open in the accident. It's how they exit the car. Brian notices the ceramic pie plate as they're climbing out.

The Deons gather on the slope, knee deep in snow. Before they have a chance to assess the situation, they see people at the top of the hill, on their way down. A family coming down the road noticed the tire marks in the slush, and stopped. A woman calls down, asking if they need help. A young man scrambling down the hill in socks and shoes is first to arrive. He pulls Alison up the slope. Jonathan is wondering if he can go back for his play money, and what else he might've left in the car, but is interrupted by a middle-aged man with a bushy mustache helping him up the bank. They could’ve gotten back up on their own, Judy thinks. But the help is nice, given the state of shock they’re all in. It's something like shock, isn't it? Some "degree" of shock?

When they’re back up top, they see that their rescuers have a van pulled over to the shoulder. The parents are being looked over for injuries. Brian has a cut on his face but feels alright. The man with the mustache points to Jonathan and says: "I thought I saw blood on his neck."

"Oh... I think that was from one of our cuts," Judy says, and people nod. “Everyone seems to be okay,” Brian says. "It's really quite miraculous.”

Other people are stopping now. An off-duty police woman pulled over. The kids sit in the back of her cruiser while the parents talk outside. Jonathan overhears something about how they might all ride home in the police car, and is excited. He thinks it's something appropriately dramatic for having just been in a car accident. But the family that stopped was heading to Trail anyway, also for church, so they offer to take the Deons to Trail with them. Jonathan is disappointed about not getting to ride in the police car. Normal people, now? Doesn't seem like a fair trade.

Everyone packs into the van for the rest of the drive. Turns out the rescuers are from China Creek, former neighbors of Judy's family when she'd lived there in childhood. There'd been no recognition, but the connection is made through conversation. They drop the Deons off at Grandma's house. She'd been expecting them to arrive in time to take her to church. In excited fragments, the four survivors tell the story. Grandma takes it pretty well. She doesn't appear surprised, exactly. "Oh?" she says. Jonathan is disappointed and bitter for a couple of hours. That's all she says? he thinks. After we almost died?

The Deons of Nelson and the Pich├ęs of Trail skip church. The kids are delighted at this, and everything seems a little funner. Mom and the kids stay at Grandma's house in the afternoon while Dad goes with Uncle Paul to the wreckers' to see about the car. Before evening falls, Suzie’s twisted metal corpse is back in Trail. Paul drives Dad to Nelson. There, he takes the green bug-shaped Honda Civic back to Trail. The Deons drive home that night in their anachronistic fall-back vehicle, which does well on the freshly-sanded highway.

Jonathan tells the story to his second grade class for Monday morning show and tell. He's disappointed that it doesn't get more of a reaction.

Brian and Judy will see the car once more, at the wreckers. Only a handful of belongings are retrieved, including the pie plate. It's still in one piece! The kids aren't present, and Jonathan never gets his funny money back. But he does get a little pin from the provincial insurance company. It features a stylized lego-like figure with a diagonal bar across its torso in negative space connoting a seat-belt. Under the figure is the caption: "I'm living proof!" There's talk of doing something "in the paper", to recognize the family's seat-belt use, or low insurance premiums, or something, but this doesn't end up happening, to everyone's relief.

Jonathan is now a little spooked about being in moving cars, especially in the winter, on the highway. Sometimes he'll say to his parents: "Are you sure it's safe to drive today? It's 'pretty safe'? How do you know? What if it's not safe enough?" But he'll get in the car, cause what're you gonna do? He'll get on airplanes too, even though they spook him more than cars. He's reading a morbid paperback called A Book of Disasters, full of vignettes about "the worst earthquakes in human history", and "the deadliest nightclub fires", and things like that, neatly divided into sections about trainwrecks, shipwrecks, tornados, etc.

The Deons will often pass the stretch of road where they went off. On weekly visits to Grandma, the new, nameless Subaru will pass China Creek, and the embankment by the river with the gravel islands will come into view, and Judy will think: Oh yeah, that's where it happened. And she'll have a quick look and then try not to dwell. Brian doesn't think about it much, but when he does, a strange feeling bubbles up briefly, what he imagines must be felt in the presence of miracles. "It does seem miraculous that none of us got hurt", he says on the rare occasions that he's called to tell the story. And then, in a sheepish way, as if apologizing for bring a weak-minded spiritualist, he'll describe the incident as God saying to him: "I guess I've got more in store for you, buddy. You're not going to die yet. You've got to carry on some more."

Alison is younger than Jonathan and less traumatized. She isn't saddled with a memory stamp. Not that Jonathan is either, really. Memory is weird, he thinks, years later. It must have been loud in the car when we were bouncing around. Why wouldn't I remember what it sounded like? There's nothing... but I remember that stupid wad of play money with the political caricatures.

28 Mar 2012

booga booga!

hmm, i think i'll wear one of my many warm comfy wonderful fuzzy hoodies today - as the weather in this time and place perfectly warrants the wearing of such a garment - perhaps in addition to that, i'll visit the corner shop on new gower street where i used to purchase many snacks, until they told me i wasn't welcome in their store with my scary scary hoodie on

funny enough, was just thinking about that quote while walking home from a meeting a few nights ago: a liberal is a conservative who's been arrested - a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged - i still think it's clever, but it's not perfectly accurate, cause arrested and mugged are not neat analogues for opposite things - when i was thinking about it, initially i was feeling sorry for the liberal who's been mugged in that analogy, and thinking, damn, i'd rather be the conservative who's been arrested in that equation, cause the poor liberal-turned-conservative, he's got no edge, he's just the victim, just a poor sap who got his wallet stolen and is whining about it, that's not the guy i wanna be - so, in my mind, which i'm sure ought to be the opinion-making standard bearer for everyone everywhen everwhere, the liberal who's been mugged carries the association of pitiful victim, which is funny, cause isn't conservative politics all about, shaddap you whiny baby, so life isn't fair, get used to it, maybe you'd be rich like me if you worked a little harder!

the conservative who's been arrested, he isn't associated with being a victim in my mind - even though he could be, massively, but i'll get to that in a sec, i'm sure you're way ahead of me... to me he or she or they or it or whatever, carries suspicion because he's been arrested... so probably, not necessarily, but probably, he did something wrong, unless he's in some place like china where he maybe just used the internet or something - so he's probably been the guy that mugged someone, and at least profited from a crime, for the moment - so i thought i'd rather be that guy, or girl, or woman, or thing, or people, cause at least i wouldn't be the pitiful victim of a mugging, but rather the rebellious scoundrel who made off with some rich dude's fat wallet, or maybe i was only suspected of doing such, cause i looked suspicious, and i got hassled by the maaaan, and later i can go around telling everyone, i went to jail maaaan, i've been through some shit you couldn't understand... or maybe i got hassled by the local neighorhood watch guy who forgot to take his meds that month and called the cops on me for the crime of wearing a hoodie and then i got arrested and put in jail and sodomized with a... with a... i dunno, some object that you could imagine someone being sodomized with that's particularly ridiculous therefore provoking laughter with the much-loved comedic chestnut of the prison rape joke - and i found the overreacharound of the cops so odious that i stopped being a conservative and became a liberal... or maybe a libertarian, hmmm

anyway, my point is, analogies are fun, but pointless - or something like that, hahahaha!

20 Mar 2012

categorical logick

surviving... staying awake... teacher's trying to demonstrate an idea, but the universe is trying to demonstrate entropy - i hope he doesn't see apathy - makes me think of that bad-ass dad of my childhood friend, reduced to a pitiful middle-aged man in a catcher's uniform trying to compete with the rainstorm for some kids' attentions: “look here, this is the crouch shuffle!” - i forgot why we're here - just cause, cause everything hinges on it, cause we lost the plot and this is all we got

playing, waiting, with typography and mesh - why do pens always leak on me? why am i sitting here? fly me to bermuda! lower me, raise me, i'll take the underground route if i have to, i'll plumb through pipe-world knocking blocks the whole way - oh look, restless leg syndrome, i'm doing it myself, unconsciously, the accuser becomes the perpetrator, prolly was all along, isn't that how things happen? i do it too, yes, and seeth at others - "everyone else is traffic" - chris, the bank robber for an hour junkie that died - a character that is, presumably, real, that stuck in my mind from the mary karr book because it stuck in her mind

look at these sunken eyes! not directly though - and pretend i'm on topic with my notes - i'm Slumpy, the Temporary Thought Stenographer - i tried, now i slump - people care about my welfare, abstractly, concretely, there's local charity, non-local well-wishers, the government even kicked in a tax refund, and that's good when you look at the big diagram - and i did my time in high school, so therefore i've earned the right to help myself to a modest amount from the collective pool - true, i didn't grow up to be beneficial, and i'm one of the takers, maybe once in a while an entertaining faker, but it's good to have some of those around, it feels good to support them i'd imagine, can only guess about being in a higher tax bracket

oh, the sadness i project onto everything - everyone is falling apart, like me, they must be - cause how nice it would be if that wasn't true, and nice things aren't realistic, they're symptoms of wishful thinking, so it must be true, it's not just me, it's everything that's in decline - some hold it together longer, and that's nice, a nice bit of niceness the universe throws down to this planet as a bone that someone grabs before the others

"tadpoles have gills at some phase" is not totally pointless to say, to him, i hear, in his voice - as this isn't totally pointless to write - and, bonus, it looks like i'm taking notes! albeit too many, too intently

oh, goddamn gordian knot solutions, that is the underlying addiction - of course, any drug, for an addict, is a gordian knot solution, and thinking there's a quick and easy solution to getting and staying clean is also a gordian knot solution, they're all delusional solutions, but i've at least managed to get free of those two illusions - but then, i'm still a raging addict to the false promise of gordian knot solutions - if i can't slash the knot in one easy beautiful machete move with drugs, if i can't slash the knot with some poetically compressed path to contented sobriety via spiritual awakening like on screen and in literature where it looks so simple and easy, then i can give death a make-over and think of that as a neat easy solution, and there i'm really just letting the deadlight in again and embracing the whole idea of drug-assisted pain-gain alchemy, staunch the bleeding of this miserable life in the best western hotel room, even, with a tight tourniquet to cut things off and delight in the head rush before blackness

gordian knot solutions, maybe i'll use that thing, about them being the underlying addiction, if i ever sponsor anyone - not even gonna make a chemistry pun here

"duh proof's in duh puddin", said the guy they always have in the group to moan about how nobody's here, nobody came, it's just this same lame gang of old moaners at the convention, arghgod i wanted to rage righteously, cause i'm mentally ill, not thinking but feeling like i have reasons to be rageful when i don't - i know, it's illness, and i'm poor at managing the psychic malady everyone has to deal with in their own maladjusted minds - you're maladjusted if you can read this, cause the frequency most words are written on can be picked up with a certain adjustment almost everyone has made, but that means maliciousness in dealing with the rest of the world, particularly the part sartre said was "mute" - there's new tricks they've come up with, still, for adjusting your nervous system, indeed, anyone's system, to the system, it's getting tricky to come up with new tricks, but there are a few left, and there's a place where tricks aren't needed, where we come from, but nobody knows where to draw the line, and tricks are needed in the mish-mash as a whole, and this is the place in which they're needed, which seems to be where we indigest with form and function, and maybe we could breathe without that stuff but how much of function is necessarily malicious? it shifts, like a trickster

some people wobble so wildly that you wanna put them on tv and eat popcorn to it, and call that your balance, a budget for cable and a free-standing sofa, that'll work for a while - everyone's mentally ill but not everyone is lazy, that's the crux of it - i've got a decent heart and soul but a weak will - well directed work could, well, not fix things, but could be helpful, could illustrate the best you can do with a life in this mess we're in, where no one gets out alive - a bid, not to fix things, but heroically battle against impossible odds for the sheer grandeur of it, like how rudyard kipling obnoxiously tells you how to be a man, my son - a finger in the dyke, a seat in the downing street clustershag, a princely bearing in the palace because tourist are moooney, and nigel didn't make all those plans so british steel could go bankrupt cause there was no monarchy to inspire large-scale building projects - but i don't wanna, no - i wanna die like uday hussein, if i can't die like christ, but if you wanna lay on me a kind of schizophrenia that will make me feel like i'm your son, and live, and die, accordingly, god, sure, lay it on me, let's see what happens, i know there's a lot of jesii running around at the moment, i've met one or two, but i could mutate a new strain - and i can't commit to death just yet, damnit - oh well, okay, that's fine, then, i should be thanking those things that made all of this necessary, and possibly possible

searching for the ultimate regime... the one that is good but not perfect, that's strict enuf to get results but tailored enuf for me to be comfortable with such a routine and happy enuf to stick to it... searching, searching, high and low, to the kwikimart mountains... it's utopian kinda, but not totally, not impossibly, and not necessarily in the category of "gordian knot solutions" - if i could be arsed to do it then it wouldn't deserve to be tagged and bagged as a gordian knot scheme

good god tho, energy is hard to come by these days - i'm a tired old man who never grew up - it's hard to be a prematurely old child - it's tiring - the awareness is draining

The badger is underground! The badger is underground. That's okay. Let 'er hib'rnate for as long as she can, there'll be no term limits - everything will be ok/anesthetized - awareness will be distilled into a drop

i will be the world's leading authority on gordian knot solutions and how to quit seeking them - one day, when i figure out how to quit seeking them... after sufficient folly, oh, i hope that's soon, this folly is hard for me to stomach, it doesn't feel like folly, it feels acidic - one day i'll be deputized to be a ditch-digger, cause the world needs them too, a ditch digger giving the occasional bit of sage advice to the roadside chain gangs, but still taking more than i'm giving - cause it'd be nice to take what people have to give, rather than giving shit to everything like the universe is my complaint department, which it is, among other things, they'll never take that away from me until they do - ugly duckling to narcissistic swan to survivalist scavenger to carrion

15 Mar 2012

don't wanna

what if we all entered into a suicide pact? what if? well there's surely some flaw in that design that's glaring to most and hidden to me, but i can sort of feel that it exists, like a crack that'll break your mother's back, like it'll make you come back as a dog with an abusive owner

so, you or he or she or they can shoulder the burden, pick up my slack, while i pledge allegiance to nonexistence - does it have to be nonexistence? no, but probably - that's the cleanest, and somehow when everything's so messy, i crave some kind of ultimate cleanliness - cause whatever i do, wherever i go, nothing's gonna fix anything, nothing's gonna reverse time, not even nostalgia

there's really nothing more to write, there's no words to put it into - i'm in decline, premature middle aged burnout, and i know a drink won't help anything - perhaps transcending the wheel of life and death would help, that i could almost imagine, migrating to the center and watching everything spin with a grin, and giggling and gawking at the spectacle

why are there always little strands of hair that settle about anywhere i sit still? i think i can guess - will i ever know why the stomach is so upset? that i doubt

some people have strength for alcoholism - some people have joie de vivre in middle age - what is my excuse? i have none - can't be bothered to even look now - it won't add up

what if, instead of channeling feelings into physical self-harm, i dropped all this school that i can no longer give two tin shits about? and then what? well, i could help a woman i love not be lonely, cook and chauffeur, read stories






13 Mar 2012

earth arena paraphrase

sitting on the dock of the bay, remembering blair's ass-kicking karaoke that made me sink in my chair, sitting, half-heartedly fishing for metaphors in the mud, new ways to say that the potency says so, so deal with that, the potency of pudding stone

i wish english was my second language, then everything i said would be creative, i'd rattle it off noisily and there'd be one special orbital person that would elliptically love it like it was ordained by the laws of righteousness and zebra crossings

the ungraded imperium decrees these fields of broken glass fertile - the unimproved authority says, so, like, love it or leave it but, oh, you can't leave it, can you? how could you? it's not an option, but can disrespectfully remain as an idea to return to, idly - in praise of idleness - steal rations of worship, the kind of worship that impinges on others in the work-gang, when you're worshiping in that way you're not working and then they're forced to drag you along and support the weight of your chains, on top of everything else, and the profit margin for survival is already razor thin

grease firm, waste estate, debris realty, dust polity, scraparchy, domain of chaff, fief of filth

i'm done with it, fuck it, take it... you can have it all... i'm dreaming of saintly scavengers, beautiful beneficent tinkers, better times in extra-temporal galaxies

the sun can set now, and also rise, like on premise beach, in the video game version

6 Mar 2012

morsels of sucrose vox immediately appreciate in memory
sound exponentially better in the mind's ear, the ten second delay
so i'll hang on the next fructose phrase
for lack of engaging activity and presence of body aches and general joint soreness and oncoming flu and absence of sleep

1 Mar 2012

kinetic molecular stasis

everybody's on adderall
they're doing the pee-dance
in sync with their study-buddies
knees bobbing to the left of me
feet tapping to the right of me
could you stop vibrating for a minute please
you pepped-up
stable angels
testosterized for the test?
if not, i'll helen-kellerize
shut my eyes
and plug my ears
while i have to be here

gotta admit
i find it hard to sit still too
maybe it's the environment
the food
the toxicity
or more likely, spiritual corrosion
or the two in collusion
an auxiliary evil

keep the husbands in the dark
they're happier that way...
but what if they're not allowed anesthesia?
in that case, feed them ordeal poisons
get them to purge, i guess
one of these times, it'll take