In honor of my second week of hazy reality following hernia surgery, I present some "previously unreleased" material (i.e., I'm feeling too leaden and lifeless to churn out something shiny and new.) These then, are my riffing sessions, ideas that might have been full-on essays (or blog posts), had they only jazzed more than 3 paragraphs out of me. Hope you enjoy.
Don't Show Me Your Shit
One of my personal goals is to make it through life without ever seeing another person's faecal waste. Well I've already failed, though by no fault of my own. A holistic M.D. once asked me if I "looked" when I flushed after a dump (I have to assume this was a "psychological" question), to which I replied, "Yes, I look. I look FONDLY." I say bye-bye. But only to my shit, not yours.
The arrogance in "forgetting" to flush is staggering. It's sort of the ultimate fuck you. "Here, man, here's what I think of you. Look what I left for you. Isn't it pretty?"
So don't show me your shit, OK? I don't want to see it. Don't take pictures of it, either. (And that means YOU, Dave; your camera phone privileges should be suspended for life.) The image of your brownish-yellow, spiraling doopy-doops will give me a bud of repulsion that will last a lifetime.
If raising the dead were as easy as lighting a few black candles and reading from a book, everyone would be doing it. The focus and dedication required to conjure up a spiritual entity within an exhumed corpse, usually for the purpose of divining information, is way beyond a guy like me.
Eliphas Levi, widely believed to have been somewhat successful in such ritual conjurations, most likely didn't have to punch a clock full-time. Bon vivants such as The Great Beast, Aleister Crowley, were removed enough from ordinary society by wealth and class to afford them the time necessary to indulge in such pursuits. I can't remember the last time I went on a horseback opium-poppy expedition, crafted a homunculus, or just performed a good ol' black mass. There just isn't time for these things once your life gets going.
Show me a drunk and I will show myself to the opposite side of the room. "Drinkin'", and by extension alcoholism, brings out my most dreaded traits in the average person: false and overt emotionalism, blind aggression, indiscriminate lust and surly camaraderie to name only a few. Drunks always want you to "join the party." "Are you sure you don't want a glass of wine?" No I fucking don't — now go float your eyeballs someplace else. Go and get a respectable habit, like smack, grass or hookers.
My wife is still close with the group of friends she had in grade school—how many of you can say that? I find this incredibly admirable. Friends for me are more like Thai food—I really love them, but not every day of the week. Of my two best friends from grade school, one is a homeless addict, the other has chosen a lifetime career in the military. As you might have guessed, I don't naturally seek out low-maintenance people.
No, sorry, popular culture in the 80s just sucked. Not kitschy, not worthy of legitimate nostalgia, just sucky. Sucky, Sucky, Sucky. REO Speedwagon, you say? Not amusingly bad or charming, just bad. Vanilla Ice's haircut? Just an unfortunate eyesore - not worthy of your belly laughs.
These days, things become "classic" overnight. It's all getting logged in way too fast. Besides, you're not ALLOWED to have grunge retro, grunge was only the early 90s, and it HASN'T BEEN LONG ENOUGH! Francis Bean Cobain is only 13, so don't get too excited.
On the other hand, maybe YESTERDAY is about ready for a revival.
Did I like what I had for lunch?
Marriage is like a journey by sea. There are some great, exciting parts - especially embarkation.
The rest of it is long, highly variable and might make you a little sick. Still, no sensible person gets off the boat when you've already paid for the ride.
Some mornings, you come out on deck, the birds are singing, the sun is shining and all good things seem possible. Other days you're just gonna feel like staying in your cabin.
Our wedding invitation illustration by Christine Shields.