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Jett Superior laid this on you on || December 31, 2003 || 2:43 am

Purposeless.

And then there are the days that I forget what I am supposed to be forgetting so that my thoughtspace is unfettered –bare, clean, but not echoing clang-clang as it so often does– and can play host to silly things, magical things, the coy, the absolutely (for whatever reason) unforgettable moments that pierced the walls of time framing the sidestreets and the alleyways of my consciousness…..and they hang there.

My brain, oh my brain. It gloms on to nonsensical bits of everything, anything, something. The things that I think should have been meaty enough for hangtime (the taste of His breath the first time we tore into one another, each trying to get to the far side of the other in our intensity) prove not to be, they bail with a cruel and fickle fleet-footedness but others that have no exact connection to a specific happenstance just hang around (maybe having beers together? maybe talking about the obvious illogical, untethered positioning that they all occupy in my memory? maybe mourning their lack of placement in any specific moment or emotion? whothefuck knows) and around. They are the class clowns, the wish-I-was-moody-and-evoked-longing-or-even-made-Her-think glib fashionings of a universe bent on making crazy moments that only I was privy to, that were crafted (purposelessly?) just for me.

They are tastefully ironic, these brainchecked pauses, they are subtly horrific while remaining comical, they are the stuffs that good film (and by ‘good film’ I don’t mean trucked-up pseudo-intellectual bullshit fluff like ‘2001: A Space Odyssey(kiss my ass on that one Kubrick, for fucksakes, you really were a pretentious, no-sense-making dipfuck on that piece of shit. I wipe my butt on that filllyum! Wipe! My! Shinybuttcrack!)….I mean casual puzzlements that leave you scratching your head and going “yeahhhh….” and “holy…what the?” in turns) is made of. You don’t get goobery-scary moments like the one in ‘Wonder Boys‘ where Vernon T. Hardapple comes out and does a little bow in front of the car for no reason and then goes highsteppnig away: You get them because the writer or director or ad-libby actor has had that campy nonsense happen to them in some fashion; a fashion that they could not explain to you in a million years if they tried, because there really is no context, only the moment, and it struck them crazy too, so they knew that you would be stunned or entertained or moved to barking, gut-punched laughter or some otherworldly combination of all three like they were.

Welcome to the Collective Imagination manifested. There are crazier, stupider things than you know out there.

Like this: I vaguely recall coming from Somewhere Life-Changing And Important (funeral? wedding? twenty-four hour bingo?), driving-driving-driving, my wheels eating up interstate while I vacantly took it in, too unable or too unsure to feel anything too acutely for self-preservation’s sake. I think. That part’s all a vague impression, really.

But this is crystal: The day was unflinchingly bright in a non-injurious way, there were poofy clouds and a sky so blue that it made you want to be a believer in something, anything, just so you could have a sense of unbridled faith soaring in your chest. I was driving a safe-and-sane seventy, looking –for some odd and fateful reason– at the bumper of the mini(deathofanyhintofmymassivecool) van in front of me. Suddenly, lickety-split and all, there comes a squirrel darting out from the right, trailing in fast and furious, having had its fill of the scrub at the roadside and whatever inanity it suddenly discovered there.

It came at breakneck speed, not willy-nilly frantic as squirrels are prone to, but like it had purpose. Like it was flame-and-fury-and-’lose-the-pantaloons,-fuck-the-dames!’ energized. Exuberant: You know, fresh outta the gate. It promptly charged littlesquirrelheadlong into (and dead-square in the center of, if you want the Exact Accountingtm) the rear passenger side hubcap of the merrily-speeding, abjectly-unawares multi-passenger vee-highcle in front of me. With a resounding (some would say impassioned) staccato ‘THONK!’ (you know the kind–a quick, roundly-peaking sound with a high top note so sudden that you question that precise note’s actual existence), it was bounced up in a clean, damned perfect (to, after all, match the sky and light bouncing off all the seventy-mile-an-hour hoods) arc.

I was immediately awash in hilarity. Roadside slapstick at its finest. Thank yoooou, Mister Squirrel!

There should have been some Wildly Important Message From The Universe (“If you musht dye-eee, dye-eee hahhpay, dollingk.”) in this, but there simply was not. There was a squirrel, there was a minivan (not quite as wonderful as say, an El Camino, but waaaaay funnier than a Toyota Tercel), there was an audible TONK! and there was an airborne squirrel. Fuuuuuck, was it funny. Sick-funny. And AHHHahaha!-funny. My eyes got big for all of one-point-three seconds and then I nearly wrecked the car from laughing so hard.

And now it’s filed in the Hey, Where Do I Effectively Seat This Memory? section of mine cranium.

When it appears on fillyum, you people will see it precisely as my memory says it happened (well, I’m sure that no one will want to hang out on the road’s toasty-blistering shoulder, chucking squirrels at seventy-mile-an-hour hubcaps for take after take, YAY for CGI!) save for one exception:

An El Camino, byGod. An El Camino will be employed in the execution of the cinematic re-enactment. But it still won’t compare in any way to the way it played out that day, the same way it continues to over and over when the conditions in my head and soul are just right.

Make this next year count. And, really, the one after that. But this coming one, it’s the one that counts. Here’s me, tipping my presently-turned-backward ballcap at you, sport.

::: :: ::: :: :::

every street is /dark and folding out mysteriously / where lies the chance we take / to be always working /
reaching out for / a hand that we can’t see / everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing / that’s holding me

invitation / to the last dance / then it’s time to leave / but that’s the price we pay / when we deceive one another / animal mother she opens up for free / everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing / that’s holding me

look at the talkbox / in mute frustration / at the station there hides the cowboy

look at the talkbox / in mute frustration / at the station there hides the cowboy / his campfire flickering / on the landscape

that nothing grows on / but time still goes on / through each life of misery / everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing that’s holding me

everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing that’s holding me

everybody’s got a hold on hope / it’s the last thing that’s holding me

// Guided By Voices, ‘Hold On Hope’

13 worked it out »

  1. Dean 12.31.2003

    Amen sister. I, for one, AM going to make this year count. 2004 will be one of big changes for me….

    Happy New Year Jett.

     
  2. Leslie 12.31.2003

    Yep! This year is definently going to be the ONE!

    I hope you have a great one!

     
  3. red clay 12.31.2003

    ima learn to behave this year.

    i probly won’t get around to actually DOING it, but i figure everbody should know how.

     
  4. waistdog 12.31.2003

    My goal for the new year will be to master saying the phrase “fickle fleet-footedness” more than twice, at a fast pace.

    I bow to the squirrel’s on a daily basis.

    Because they always seem to be having a good time.

    The dogs of the rodent world.

    Even when throwing themselves into hubcaps.

    They seem to do so with Verve and Gusto.

     
  5. Don 12.31.2003

    Hey Jett

    Here’s hoping that each of us, when we come up against that great final hubcap of life, provides someone, somewhere with as much pleasure and benefit as that squirrel did for you!

     
  6. sean 12.31.2003

    I’ll forget you said that about 2001, and Kuberick, and by implication, Arthur C. Clarke and Con Pederson (the last of which are the only ones I know personally).

    It’s, historically, a movie that few women get into, kinda like you shouldn’t hold your breath and walk from desk to desk searching for a woman who digs prog rock on a bet. You’ll either loose the bet or pass out trying to win.

    ;)

     
  7. Kandy 12.31.2003

    Cheers to the New Year! Make it great.

     
  8. sean 12.31.2003

    Anyway, your squirrel story reminded me of this guy that for some reason, despite the thunder and fury raining down on him from a couple blocks away, decided to cross in front of your’s truly in a 1994 Z-28 and some other guy in an early ’90s Mustang going neck-n-neck at 100+MPH down a deserted Ventura Blvd. at about 2AM.

    This ijit gets to the stripe dividing our lanes and stops, looking down the street at V8 death coming his way. He stops, then thinks better of crossing and decides to go back. He doesn’t just walk back or run back to the corner he jumps and does one of those Shaggy-style run-in-place but get nowhere moves. I kid you not, he was pumping his legs but not moving for all of a second or two. It was the damnedest thing.

    So I stand on my brake pedal and eventually come to a stop about a half block from the crosswalk. This gave the Mustang, which had inferior brakes, the room to dive over into my lane to pass the guy.

    I got up to the next light where the Mustang was waiting for me. The driver thanked me for putting my ABS to the test and then we laughed about the move that poor dude made. And I didn’t imagine the Shaggy bit because he couldn’t believe his eyes either.

     
  9. John 12.31.2003

    There seems to be some kind of deranged animal encounter trend. Last month I wrote about a strange incident with a deer, but I did not write as well about it.

     
  10. lizard 1.1.2004

    evil attack squirrel of death. i am hoping your commentbox takes links.

     
  11. badgerbag 1.2.2004

    I enjoyed that. Good, now I have another big juicy archive to go through.

     
  12. Jettomatika 1.3.2004

    badger: welcome to the Muffinass fold!

    Sean,

    I got no beef with them other fellers, only Kubrick. My pesky double-chromosome thing isn’t a barrier in this instance, I don’t think, because I *like* progressive rock. Got anything else to pin it on, mayhap? Like, I dunno….the fact that it was utter crrrrap? >:o)

     
  13. “you really were a pretentious, no-sense-making dipfuck on that piece of shit”

    AH HAHAHAHAHA. Awesome. Sock it to ‘em Jett.

     

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