In the last year I lost a dog, crashed a car, gained a number on the heap that is my age, went on some dates,lost a fiance, got 7 hair cuts and lost a bit more faith in the world.
They found a city under a basement. I read about it in a book for some class with some name and some teacher droning on and on somewhere in my almost eaten away memories of that year in college. Imagine that. I am thrilled if I find an extra can of Spaghettios behind a box of stale cereal, a few odd orphan coins in the couch under the cushions. There were tunnels and staircases and different types of homes and stores and it was all under his crappy carpet. The guy only found this whole lost world because he had wood rot. I am 53 years old and my luck the wood rot would find mold which would find termites which would find wasps which would find angry disturbed ants which would irritate moths which would fly in panic irritating rats which would really piss of bats in the trees outside really annoying rabid wombats severely setting off the before unseen packs of deeply neurotic feral cats that would make such a racket it would drive to drink the once alcoholic vampires in the forests thereby really rubbing the wrong way the trying to be vegan werewolves ultimately sending a shivery wave across the land of general annoyance. Yep, that would suck.
It is so cozy watching things from behind a window. I noticed as a teenager sitting in the back as friends drove out to nowhere to de-stress during finals that window down it was hot, dusty, things almost seemed to want to move, cross the roads as we headed out of L.A, run in front of the wheels of my friend’s dad’s car. It was almost like cacti might jaywalk at random or grab my hand as it fluttered in the artifical breeze of speed of the aging station wagon and try to jump on in. The thought (classic vintage of my worry addled and ever spinning turbine brain…) was for a few miles fascinating as we all listened to music and static battle on the weak radio then not so relaxing, troubling even.
I rolled up the window that afternoon and something happened. The cactus, road signs, dust and other things seemed suddenly academic, distant, like pictures in an old encyclopedia and so passive and safe. Something about this was very soothing. We drove another hour or so before turning around and it was like things were more at ease in the world even with finals beginning the next day. It was something I learned later to come to quite often really.
I almost died last summer. The flu hit in the middle of the hottest day of the year and like the cliché of an unbalanced spurned lover it just would not let go. I wish I could find better words, that is such a corny metaphor but maybe the darkness and familiarity of it being recent just takes any cleverness off to a far distance. It was as though my body grew to hate me, to want to give up, just peel off the bones and go. The drive to the hospital felt like my kind neighbor who happened by to ask about an old comedy show on you tube was going 5 miles an hour on tires made of glue and feathers. It was an ugly slow kind of forever.