May 23 2013 6:54 pm

how all the systems threaten to shut down

She’s way out of my league as a sexual object and I’m way out of her league as an emotional one. This fact oozes from our weird conversations like a thick paste convincingly. These are real father issues and real mammalian reproductive instincts. We are real low animals. These are definitely not the delusions of a fat, sensitive man. Probably.

I’m not talking about you, at least not in this part, just to be clear.  

What I need to do is get that girl from the bar to come back to my house. The one with the short hair that keeps the little bag of coke in her blue panties.

Wake up, alarm, out of bed, bathroom light, pee, shower, towel, deodorant, bathroom light, bedroom light, clothing, bedroom light, stairs, desk light, computer, kitchen light, coffee, cereal, email, computer, shoes, stairs, bathroom light, toothbrush, toothpaste, bathroom light, desk light, kitchen light, door lock, every day.

I’d like to make a map of all the lights in my life and have a big section of it labeled: “Here Be Dragons.” 

Parts bucket, clamp, gasket, sample cock, iodophor, brush. Ladder, ethanol, torch. Sterile tube. Beer in a fermenter. Double check the jumpers to packaging. Taste one off the line every time just to make sure we’re not running caustic into those bottles.

Reel and line and flies and leader and forceps and camera and boat and trailer and oars and anchor and fish and river and rod.

At least ten years of perspective. A generally upbeat personality. A good night’s sleep. Alternating absolutely overwhelming enchantment and disgust with the world. An acute, terrifying awareness of the sublime. A good narrative you can tell yourself, a story about how the world works and your place in it. An identity, maybe.

Hemispheres and magnetic poles. A planet and a sun.

Metaphor and allegory, meaning and emotion. Words and concepts. Brains. Bodies. Matter. The theater of existence. Space and time.

I used to see beautiful things every day and watch the sun rise all the time and I had bad hands from rowing and pulling anchor and I’d bang my shin on the trailer tongue and swear a lot. These days I participate in a really old industry sharpened to a fine point with stainless steel, microbiology, and electricity. Maybe they’re not too different when you put it like that.

I need these new rivers with these new river banks and new trees and new rocks and new fish where the Chautauqua moraine splits the headwaters of the Mississippi off from Lake Erie by just a few miles. Radically different destinies for the rain that falls in Mayville, though I guess it’s Atlantic all the same.

Maybe I need the grind of midsummer baseball. The stamping of cleats, the rubbing of pine tar on wooden bats over and over again, stepping in, stepping out, the Velcro on batting gloves, shaking off the sign.

I need to get in the lineup at Bear Creek in September again early in the morning and dump the drift boat into the river like I know what I’m doing and mix it up with all the jet sleds in the dark. As soon as you stop doing that you get soft.

I need to be careful. Narratives are all fine and good but sometimes they fail traumatically. In fact, these days, I find that merely thinking about consuming hallucinogenic drugs is enough to break that last skinny strand, the one that does all the heavy lifting. It breaks and shrivels up and the naked world rushes in and it’s not coherent and it’s not a world at all it’s just my sensory inputs on fire and how all the systems threaten to shut down. 

A big curvy doe, a slug gun, a shoulder thump.

It didn’t work out with the foot fetish model. I picked her up in New York City in line for the bathroom while she was on a date with some other guy. Things seemed so promising. But when I went back to visit her it turns out she’s just a fucking weirdo with super low self esteem. I think I flew too close to the sun with that one. 

I need to always remember the time this past fall when we took turns yelling into the copper heat reflectors behind my wood stove to hear the echoes. You laughed so hard and I was so happy I thought nothing would ever go wrong.


comments 39