Friday, March 24, 2017

Father-Daughter Duet

You have to stop watching the telly!

No. I don’t.

Oh for bloody hell and gut boots, the ringling clam of an overarched drake, how beastly you sound without the aid of a goat! Nay, on my nether and under thy bed there will be a squirrel dancing on a dead mouse’s head. But if you think this will improve the view of your crude and inexcusable antics, then you are not a fine judge of situational discourse in this culture. If that is so, and I would know as you are my daughter—and I know you have always lived in this culture except for that one Christmas when you were nine and we went to—

I was twelve.


I was twelve years old!

Little woman, let me tell you how it is in this culture, one centered on the Good Lord Jesus Christ in a fine nondenominational church serving the God-fearing public for a good 20-mile radius in this Godforsaken land. Pastor Barney, he knows when the final days are coming. So you, Miss Queen of the Castle, shall not talk back to your father and ye shall do as I say or you will burn in Hell!

What are you blathering about, old man?

Being disagreeable with your father is a bell cow of bad tidings to come within forty yards of our barn. You need to make right with God and to do right by God, you do right by me.

You are so full of shit.

Another log on the fire, eh?

Piss on yourself.

Oh, very nice, this daughter of mine, the words that escape her lips, where do they come from? How did they become so filled with hate? When I was a child there were no cracks or retorts, and if there were there was only regret and remorse. But then, we were whipped something fierce by Pastor Jeremiah when I was a child. Drove the devil right out of me. Took him some time as the devil had his claws dug into me, but I got out with the help of the pastor’s fierce whippings when he done caught me doing wrong. You’ve had it easy, too easy. Should’a smacked you more as a child. 

Oh, for fuck’s sake, Da, you smacked me plenty. How many have you had already today? And you speak to me of temperance?

Daughter, I’ve got a good mind to bring down all my imagination at once. You’ll be cuckoo-coddling and bubbling about Pipstones when they quanfigure your adenoids so slyly you won’t ever be contacted by school-hood chums. Doubt if you will, that’ll be your problem on the Dorfelstraat. Besides, what would I do with a quacky knocker sneaking up in me looking at them hem-haws you got hanging left and right throughout the house.

They’re paintings, Da. My paintings. The paintings you have never acknowledged except asa  nuisance and a possible source of evil on the walls. You know how that makes me feel that you not only don’t appreciate the time and patience and skill I’ve developed as an artist, but you also think they are eyesores and messages from hell. How do you think that, Da?

Ah, daughter, you paint erotic filth, the devil’s mischief, cacophonies of irritating colors, and violence against Christians.

They’re realistic landscapes of mountains, ocean beaches, rolling countrysides, waterfalls, redwoods, and so on. How could you possibly mistake any of them for the crazy things you think they are?

Landscapes, you say?


Well. Why didn’t you say so? I thought they were demonic.


Look honey, it might be that you have no talent for painting because I just see hate and anger and violence against Christians and all loving peoples who believe in the Lord. Whatever time and effort you invested and whatever skills you think you’ve learned, I have to say that I think you’re probably no better now than when you started. Maybe worse. There’s no skill. Time and effort? Just a waste. You could have been doing something productive like working for a telemarketing outfit. They pay on commission, a lot of them, so you need hustle and drive. Hopefully, you’ve got talents outside of the arts cause you’re going to need them.

Da … I have sold nearly four dozen paintings in the past two years. The largest one, on commission, was bought for $12,500. Obviously, your opinion is not held by everyone. 

Huh. Maybe they’re devil worshippers and they saw what I saw, but they liked it, the gore and the blood and the lakes of fire. 

What, you mean my sunset over a lake, the one with the bright orange being reflected on the water? You take that as being a lake of fire?

I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re full of hate and now you’re devil-tonguing me with a rapacity I do not appreciate. 

You don’t appreciate it? How do you think I feel when you chastise me, condemn me, and dismiss me? When you’re coherent, anyway. It’s been a mix so far today. I suppose I should count my blessings.

Oh, dear child, chastisement is a well-recognized and mostly admired motivational technique. Worked well in my generation and those that came before. Your idea of dismissal is me letting you get back to whatever you were doing, not getting in your way. It’s sort of a silent, “See ya.” And condemnation, well, that’s just love.

Oh my God! Do you actually believe the bullshit that flows from your drunken lips?

You mean the wisdom? Of course! I crated it, refined it, designed it, developed it, trimmed the fat, ate the yolk, and polished off the eggnog. It was a heady process, one I did not discover overnight. I had to think, meditate, and experiment. I once used Ajax and Woolite as the primary ingredients in a concoction I meant to pour on the driveway thinking that could help me develop insight into what life is all about. I forgot, though, and your sister Maisy dumped it out. Oh, the beating I wanted to give her, but your mother—God rest her soul—pleaded with me and I gave in when she started with the tears. Oh, the tears that woman cried to protect your sorry little asses from a good whooping. You never appreciated her enough and you still don’t know that she’s gone.

I appreciated mom, believe me. Daisy and I, we both knew she was saving our asses. That didn’t mean we weren’t scared and that we felt guilty and ashamed that mom had to endure such abuse to help us. You don’t even understand that it took me over a decade of adulthood to forgive you. You went sober for eight years, and that was great, but now you’re drinking again and combined with the memory loss, you’ve become a cranky old boob. At least your physically easy to control now.

Now wait a minute. You think I can’t put a whooping on you now then you got another thing coming. 

What, you’re going to get out of your wheelchair to … what? For crissakes Da, I have to bathe you every day! You think I like coming over everyday to get you settled in the morning and the evening? You think I enjoy paying the daytime caregiver to stay with you? You were a lousy, angry, mean drunk growing up and now you’re a cranky, ungrateful bastard who does nothing but complain as I do everything for you. Daisy won’t even bother with you. She hates you. You want to talk about hate, try Maisy. At least I’m here. You’re luckier than most.

Oh, yeah, I am basking in lucky charms and four-leaf clovers. Everything is beautiful and nothing is ever bad. I’m so thankful to be alive and served by the most doting daughter in the world, the one who hangs up Satanic images throughout her house to curse me and bring wraiths into my room at night to feed on my spirit, to slowly suck my soul dry before I go completely mad. You’re making sure of it. Damn you to hell, daughter, for giving me no spunky when there’s a battery gone haywire or fill up the gas tank before a long journey to the south of Mexico to visit a shaman I once knew.

First off, you’re horrible. Second, what?

Yeah, I knew a shaman. It’s a long story. 

I’d like to hear it some time. 

Another time. You’ve worn me out with your gallivanting about to and fro while spewing gibberish. 

My gibberish? You can barely follow your own thoughts!

Many a snug little one has said such things to me. You think you corner me? My mind is like a diamond: clear, sharp, impenetrable. I give my left hand what my right hand already held, that way they each know what it feels like to hold the same thing. It’s also like saying, “Hello!” There’s no reason to be unbalanced. But, by God, girl, you’re pressing too hard on the golden minutes trying to squeeze a lemon into a margarita mix, but you fail to see the piƱata for what it could be if you decided to place it on top of your car instead of whacking it with a stick. What day is it?

Look, Da, I gotta go. My shift starts in an hour and I have to get ready.

Sure, you leave your good old Da all alone with your hem-haw wickedness of Hell on earth! Cruelty, that’s what it is. Cruelty.


You think leaving my side is going to stop me? I’ll have you know I once THOUGHT a police officer into giving a guy who cut me off a ticket. I just thought, “A cop should pull him over and give him a ticket.” Sure enough, it happened not five minutes after I asked God to punish that man. So I’ll be thinking, “Daughter of mine, get you ass back here and take down these abominable emblems of the Devil!” 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Imaginary You

I was imagining myself as a being with different parameters of perception. I was aware that I was observing you while creating you and I was imagining you doing a thought exercise being willing to trade your current life for a life in which you wake up early every morning and have a great day, an incredibly great day, every single day, but you always wind up, during the last five minutes of the day, shuddering and screaming in stark terror, fully aware of the most frightening possible experience that you had never before imagined is suddenly occurring. After five minutes of it, it doesn’t matter where you are, what you knew, what you think you knew, what you didn’t know, or why you couldn’t possibly understand what you couldn’t possibly understand. Beyond that, whenever, the next day, some things become so obvious about your predicament that you came up with a catch-phrase: It Is Exactly What … It Is made you mildly famous as a C-level amateur meme generator on YouTube and, unfortunately, what made it impossible for you to walk around in public without being harassed in some form, usually by douchebags, the type of douchebags who hang out on message boards and Facebook and Twitter, and they yammer and the they stammer and they tell you they’re pissed, not even at you, just some generic “you” who happens to have been born some time 25—no, 50—no, no, 25—no, no, no, no, Dude: it’s 50 or greater— Well, it can’t be less—Do you even read what you type? How can you ask a question like that when the point trying to be made is that anyone born into any societal or ethnic or economic or racial or any other category from somewhere like The Princeton School of Telling You Who You Are identity compendium of subcategories beyond subcategories when you can’t even tell the difference between a “generic” you and the real you, the you that constantly invents itself and rocks out without any memory of what the fuck was just going on, oh my lord, sweet, sweet Sweet Sweet!

But those five minutes are inaccessible in memory each day, every day and yet there’s no way for anyone who does know—friends or family—to change your last moments of consciousness each day, meaning you'd be terrified nightly for five minutes which will be followed by a coma of sorts until you wake the next morning—who knows where or how you got there? Do you want that life? Percentage wise, it’s a great deal. No matter what anyone knows about the last five minutes of your every-night, they will never be able to make you experience anything bad on any day, ever, because everyone of your days begins wonderfully no matter what happened the night before and no matter what anyone believes they are going to do to create a bad situation, intentionally or not. The zen of the universe has said, “No, this one exists in this pattern for eternity.” No one else but you know and, so, no one believes you; well, better said that they believe you sincerely believes you’re forgetting, but that it must be pathological or, oh, some such psychological word that means you’re fucking cuckoo-cuckoo.

That could be you. Think about your life now. And now stop thinking about it in terms of the patterns you’ve identified that make up your day. Routines, if you will: Route to work, favorite restaurant or bar, checking your communications device for digital information flooding your Instagram, your Twitter, your or your Tendr. That you, this you I’m creating as I’m asking you to imagine that what I am writing is actually happening and you have awareness of my awareness of everything your imaginary you is experiencing at all times. I am, in some confused way, the god of your imaginary self. So, to best prepare myself for this task, I never thought about that until now and so it turns out to have been unimportant. Telling you what didn’t happen is sometimes as important as telling you what did. It wasn’t long ago that you felt embarrassed at the thought that I knew it. And then you cried when you realized I not only knew but also experienced, through my body, through my consciousness, and through whatever “else” that exists that has any possible use or meaning as possible or probable candidates for experience as a de-longated French Pole. But … you also cried when you realized, “If he’s writing me this letter, this letter that … now that I think about it, is long overdue! Why the hell didn’t you tell me?

But of course, I’ll say, This is your imaginary you speaking. Who could have told you anything at all other than me? Seeing as how I’m imagining you imagining that you can live as I’m describing while being the object of my observance, I’d say “me.” I’m not judgmental, I’ll let you know that. I don’t interfere in any way. In no way, shape, or form has my imaginary experience of what imaginary you experiences been a source of friction between us. I dug you. It was cool. I hurt when you hurt and I hurt about exactly what you hurt about. This isn’t about empathy or sympathy or judgment or anything like such concepts as they can’t exist in this imaginary world where I imagine you most often live. 

That was easily the best place to put to use my battery-activated mind. I call him Pudge Jocket Marl-Bone, the Fish Stealer. He goes by many other names, however, most of them you have never heard; in fact, if you heard some of those other names that you haven’t heard then all of your most cherished memories would be destroyed.

So, you think you got off lucky? I mean, I was imagining me imagining you imagine yourself as if you were following the instructions, both hidden and explicit? Remember, if you can, that your imaginary you always wakes in the morning completely unaware of the last five minutes of the night before. Imaginary you is able to recall all of your memories each day of your life except for those precious, few minutes right before sleep. In every terror experience which had been going on for years, every other minute except for those five minutes of panic attacks, catatonia, psychosis, The Jumping Frenchman of Maine, and coprophagy (at least one feeding during every five minute terror). Neither must I say that things are far too sweet. Nothing told no one about the picture at the park of me eating in the dark while sitting on the bark of a log as it was dislodged from the shore and swept up in the fierce upper current of the Upper Maw Maw Bi-Hi-Tiki-Mai-Tai, the river known by locals for its mystical healing powers but also for the Bark-Backed Biddle Puss, easily the most famous for rigor in recent wild wet water rides; it’s the type of river sometimes thought about in a snidely fashion by people who constantly tell themselves, in not so many words, just how lightly and fairly they believe that their use their subtle self-deceptive ethical mechanisms enabling them to love the thrill of white water “log-barging” makes them superior to anyone who hasn’t or won’t do it. They lie, they tell stories about their new-found powers, the powers they “discovered” they had after watching an investigative documentary about synesthesia or by seeing God in the form of a talking billygoat. 

There’s no reason to go on with this. But then again, there was no reason to not go on with this. At that moment, I tasted what it meant to be free: the power to choose. Whatever I prefer. Whatever I reason. Whatever I feel. Whatever I want. Whatever you want. Whatever you need. Whatever I need. Whatever we need. 

So, what did I do? I decided to stop writing.