Nobody's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hello, Land-Dwellers. And hello, Interlopers. Hello, Bondsmen. Hello, RiverBoat Captains. Hello, you Catfish, Soiled Doves and Proud Buffalo. Hello, you Bright and Shining Stars. Hello, China. Hello, Byzantium. (If I speak it, do you come?) I am afraid readership drops to all new levels this week. Aunt Magdalena is gone, as is my old school chum Randy Fellows.

Aunt Magdalena e-mailed me this missive:

“I thought for a while we were related. You sent me this link. Figured you were Lilly’s boy, but Lilly called me this week and said she never heard of you or any other creekbed character. I suspect this has been an awful joke. I will not be visiting any time soon.”

Aunt M, God bless you. Might you remember the time I rode your Sally, your Great Dane, down the staircase of your brokedown manse, spilling disastrously and with great aplomb onto the floor as I reached bottom? I can still remember the sucking sound you made with your mouth and the choked bleat which followed. Not the best Thanksgiving, but a helluva show. You may rest easier knowing that my collar bone never did heal right.

Randy Fellows writes:

“Justin. Quite frankly. No. You are still the same bloated asshole I knew you when. What I cannot figure out is who you are playing this game with?”

Randy, lay off the cheap beer. I will call you when I get to town.

And my Uncle Carl. He's outta here too:

“Dear, Justin. We have never known where you were going, but we figure you are to keep going there. But I’m tired. Thanks for everything.”

And thank you, Carl. I can still taste your Wine-Beef Stroganoff on my lips. I can still smell your many cats. Thanks for reading as long you did.

Mother, it is quite likely just you and me here now. Like it was in the beginning. I had no words then, and none now, but I stay up late practicing my Babble and my Cooing Sounds. And you ought to see me walk! I get to my feet, lunge forward several steps, grab the inn table and steady myself before lunging toward the bookshelf. I grab hold, holler, and pirouhette ridiculouslessly to the shag carpet where I bury my face in the tawny brown mess of it with sheer pleasure. Walking! Who knew? I still find it easier to crawl, and crawling calms me, it is true, but by Christmas your boy will be lunging across even bigger rooms.

I’ve done some research on “blogging” and have come to the conclusion that I do it all wrong.

Here goes:

I wake up this morning with a feeling that I often awake to and that is the feeling that two steel ball bearings have settled into my lower back. And my jaw is clamped shut, the muscles frozen in place. Awesome. I promise myself that I will start doing yoga tomorrow or the next day. I lay in bed and concentrate real hard, slowly working my jaw, slowly swivelling my legs side to side. I draw my knees up to my chest and really begin rocking, from the hips out, just going at it, man, and the jaw now I'm kneading and kneading, getting the action where I like it. This exercise I call the Leviathan. Let’s just say that something awful rises from the deep. After about ten minutes of Leviathan, I roll off my army cot and into the day. The sound of my spine popping is a glorious thing. Crawling now. The kitchen is like a foreign country where I don’t know the language and am told not to drink the water. I crack a raw egg into a coffee cup and then drink it fast. I found long ago that which works for Rocky Balboa works for me. I wash my face in the sink with splashes of water, careful to get none in my mouth. Beautiful. The day gets better and better. I put on my sweat-pants and I am off to work.

Bo-ring! Sorry. I could tell you all kinds of stories about my job, about the constant shamings and degradations and mumblings and misunderstandings and bathroom breaks and unmitigated disasters and paperwork and catnaps and bathroom breaks and fantasies and cold sweats and dreamt-of novels and opening and closing drawers and bathroom breaks and faked phone conversations and the tattoo I am thinking about getting on my neck, but who wants to hear all that? Not I, Mother. And not you.

When I finished work there was a message on my answering machine:

“Justin? Listen. About what we talked about last night... my answer is no. I loaned you a hundred bucks a couple months ago and you said you had a big plan about posting flyers around town and getting a guitar player and getting this thing off the ground, and nothing happened, I didn’t hear from you for weeks, and then now this again, and No, the answer is no. And besides, you can’t sing, Justin. There is no band. My old lady’s feet are the size of basketballs, my rent’s due in a week, and a jam session is just plain out of the question. And especially the loan is out of the question. There won’t be any more jam sessions and there won’t be any more loans. Talk to you later.”

That’s my drummer, the inimitable and lanky Fred Patterson. I call him Fandango, which always seems to cheer him up. He gets in these moods from time to time. Whatever. He will come running back as he always does, especially once he hears this new tune I'm working on called Disaster Belt. Besides, I got bigger things on my mind than our band. I realized today at work that I knew next to nothing about what Mary-Kate (remembered your hyphen, MK; do you love me?) and Ashley Olsen have been up to the past few weeks and so there is some research to be done on-line. And once you get started on the Olsen twins you are but scant clicks away from the band Journey’s fansite messageboard and several adamant, expletive-filled points to be made about why the song Stay Awhile was never a single or on the greatest hits compilation when it is clearly the best song Journey ever wrote, and then of course there’s all this information to be had about the Loch Ness pleiasaur. (He lives in the underwater caves, you blind, dunder-headed fools!!!!!) It is a wide, wide world, Mother, and I am but a player on the stage, trying to soak it all in and then squeeze it all out, trying to give the performance of a lifetime.

But it wears you out, you know? I take my sweat pants off, eat about a half jar of Peanut Butter, roll the name Justin Stone-Olsen around in my mind, dream of Andalusia in the spring, and call it a night. Dingdang!