There had been a feeling growing among the festivals, a revolt of sorts; although there was no elected leader to overthrow. For the most part of the year their calendar ran smoothly, peaks and trough, ups and downs, but a certain predictability was always present. Then December rolled around and Christmas began the parade of the insane. The grotesque with the mostess. They hated that guy, he minced around, all red and gold, balls and bravado.
What does one do with an inflated hand? A question I had never asked myself before and to be perfectly honest, a question I had never expected to have to ask myself. This morning though, the landmark moment arrived, I had to take a long, hard look at myself in the mirror, face the truth and ask myself, 'what does one do with an inflated hand?'
If you imagine a marigold multi-purpose rubber glove, in white man's flesh colour, slightly ruddy; then take the said glove and blow into the open end until it is full of breath, you are getting somewhere close to my reality, my mystery.
Even now I sit at my computer screen frustrated by my zeppelin, annoyed and frustrated by the sluggish motions it makes. I spit on my right hand, extinguish cigarettes on it's hump to reassure myself that it does belong to me.
Lightning strikes twice! Contrary to popular belief lightning does strike twice. Furthermore, the forecast predicts that it will strike for a third time on Sunday the 5th October, only this time the Gods may not be so kind, it is expected that up to 100 people will be struck simultaneously on the head by one mega-bolt.
An old friend spoke to me today. I believe he spoke the truth.
He spoke of a feeling so buried that I believe I am the only living person he has shared it with; for this I am grateful. He explained that his life was haunted, his daily thought was dominated by an overwhelming longing. His only desire was to be diagnosed with a terminal illness.
I wasn't expected to respond, this was clearly a confession. I understood.
I understood the sentiment. This was, in a confused weekday mind; an easy escape, a quick release, an ejector seat. To me, this seemed logical, the unnamed itch we all long to scratch. I reassured my old friend, cheering him in the knowledge that everyone in fact, thought thus; we all wanted to die.
To his bestfriends: "Chimichanga you guys. You guys are the best."
To his burger: "Chimichanga! Chimichanga! Chimichanga! THE-BEST-BURGER-EVER!"
Months later, to me: "Chimichanga. That girl is rocking the chimichangas out of those tortillas."
I had to say something, this was getting beyond a joke, i routinely encourage my friends to coin catch phrases, but this one was knackered, never had legs, broken spokes on a wheel that never existed.
"Mate, that's knackered, that phrase, it's shit!"
"Do you even know? Nnnn...you'd think i was being a knowcoach!"
"Go on. Say it."
"OK.....Do you even know where that word comes from? It comes from the founder of Tuscon, Arizona's own restaurant El Charro. She accidentally dropped a pastry into the deep fat fryer in 1922. She immediately began to utter a spanish curse-word beginning 'chi....', but quickly stopped herself and instead exclaimed chimichanga, the spanish equivalent of thingamajig. Fortuitously, the euphemism was a well understood Indianism for the standard Spanish 'chango quemado', meaning 'broiled monkey', which the chimichanga resembles. So, so mate, that's a shit turn of phrase to use, it just doesn't fit! Learn a lesson! Give it a rest."
That's what people must say about him, it's so obvious, it pours out of his every pore. His weekends were spent perfecting the art, a school of art at which he sometimes felt he was the only student.
He was a natural.
His days at work were spent dreaming of duvet days promised, but never delivered; missed opportunities for much needed rest. He could disengage at the drop of a hat, lost in remission for what seemed like decades, he was the Thor of thaw, unbending and unending.
....some snacks. I hadn't been out of the house for a few days and had lost track of the calender; turns out it was a Saturday. Whilst I had been inside, it seemed i had missed a lot more than Thursday and Friday. Society was falling to the ground, people were living out their wildest fantasies without asking anyone if it was okay to do so. This is what i had been waiting for, this is where i belonged.
It's like you always said, 'the spirit road won't let up, the childish will inherit the earth." Saturday strikes me as a creative day, a day that defines the winners and losers of this world. Well this Saturday i decided i'd be a winner.
I live at the dark end of the street, on the wrong side of town.
Burgundy St. had once housed the artistic community of Olympia City; it was a hive of creativity, a bubbling, melting pot, but now the closest the majority of it's residents got to Art was a daily splattering of their porcelain bowls with shit belonging to the night before. It was sad state. A sight for sore eyes. A sore on your sad sight. It was nowhere.
I was there because I had nowhere else to be.
I began the long walk towards the city, towards civilisation. As I rounded the corner of 22nd & 2nd I had the distinct feeling I was being followed....
The 'Bad Blog' on Loneliness was a curious place to say the least. Before visiting the 'Bad Blog' I hadn't been aware that places of this ilk existed; after visiting i wasn't sure why places like this existed. I don't mean to sound uninformed, I understand now the stated purpose of the establishment, but I'm fairly certain I don't agree.
On approaching the 'Bad Blog' there are no clues as to the ambiguous aspiration of this enterprise. It lies between two identical Italian restaurants, the sort of restaurants you rarely see anymore, the sort of restaurant that seemingly exists only to feed the extended family of the owner, no money exchanges hand, no business ever fails, it had always seemed a nice way to do business to me. Basically what I'm trying to make clear is that in a fairly uninteresting dark corner of a back street, the 'Bad Blog' was still very unnoticeable.
The man cried, 'bargin!' The man sighed, 'incredible!' The people bubbled around the stage, clambering for a piece of what he had to offer. He didn't have to offer, he wanted to offer this, it was one thing that he desired to share, never before, but for evermore! Secret santa packing handbags in Taiwan, that's what he did now, that's what he planned.
This is the state i woke up in this morning. This is the story which saw me wake up in this state.
As i rounded the corner to the builder's yard yesterday, a juggernaut rushed passed me, rushed is a strange way to describe the movement of a juggernaut i know, but rushed is what it did! Seconds later another, and seconds later another. The fourth juggernaut that passed was only just picking up speed; speed enough to make my death-defying leap death defying, but not speed enough to make it my last.
So i leapt.
In alone moments i like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert leaper, so i wasn't scared or nervous, i was confident, i knew i had the skill set required to leech onto this machine. As i did, i could feel the ferocious, stone age power of my horse, it leaked through me, this is what i'd missed, this is what had kept me leaping throughout my childhood, against doctor's warnings, through parental discipline, beyond friend's fascination. This too was my downfall.
I was suckered right through the town centre, laughing at those short-sighted walkers, waving to friends from times gone by, this is what i had missed; i think they had missed it too judging by their wild applause and acclaim!
That's all i remember, the rest i have consigned to the open road. I lay here whack eyed and blue.
We arrived at our destination this morning. It is very nice and extremely hot. Our hosts seem accommodating if not a little over familiar. They seem to know an awful lot about me and my companion. We were exhausted after the journey and fell asleep after eating a chicken.
The next day
We went on an excursion to the mountains today, it was very nice. The sun drenched landscape we had become accustomed to gave way to a land of colour, a limited palette, but colour all the same. I was surprised to find this alpine retreat in the middle of the desert. We ate lunch, I ate a cheeseburger, then began the journey home. On the walk I saw a wasp vomiting on the side of the road, on closer inspection i could see the the wasp was actually being sick on top of a minuscule ant. I had never seen a wasp being sick before and was surprised by how queasy it had made me feel. Without another thought I was sick a top both the living (but ill) wasp and the dead (murdered) ant.
Today i saw an abandoned hotel, it was called the 'Hotel Splendid'. I couldn't help but wonder.
A further day
I went to the fridge and took out a can of beer. It was to my great shock and confusion, that when I was closing the fridge door my selected refreshment spoke to me. He spoke clearly and confidently, but disappointingly not in what i had expected to be his native tongue. I presumed a beer domestic to a country would speak in the mother tongue of that country. It was explained to me however that this was very rarely the case. At great length i was told that it is only compulsory for beer whose name includes or is wholly comprised of a human name to speak the language of its country of origin. I thanked my beer for this information and allowed myself to pass comment that i thought this to be a little disingenuous. Anyway, we chatted more as i drank and i was really beginning to enjoy the company of my drink, but i was becoming more cognizant of my growing thirst and my drinking partner's parallel rise in temperature. So i asked, in a veiled sort of way, if he had any last requests. For a second time he surprised me. He didn't have so much of a last request, more a spoken epitaph, a reason for being, an admittance of love. He began: "I have been all around the world, working in many different forms and roles, and never have i been touched, drunk or treasured like i have by you. You blow me away! The respect, the tender caress, you complete me. Thank you!"
"Child, it ain't easy being a Man." I was telling this to my friend David today. He looked at me naively, not believing one word I was saying, "and believe me child, I am no liar!"
I grew redder and redder, madder and madder, I was shouting, "Child, what could you possibly know about being a man? You've lived all your life as a child, never experiencing the great responsibility and tension that comes with manhood." I knew that his whole argument was built on shaky foundations, he didn't need to say, I knew. His definition of manhood consisted solely of going to bed anytime you like and having money (from the job, that wasn't covered in his juvenile thinking) to buy video games on the day they are released.
"You're a pecker Nick, why are you such a cock to me all the time?"
I was getting to him, I could feel myself crawling under his skin. Then he began to cry, right there, in the middle of an adult discussion, in the middle of a crowded street.
I ran into an old friend today, as you'd expect we began to talk. As the chat developed it became clear that time had been cruel to my old friend, it appeared to have driven him mad.
I can't recall exactly how the conversation reached it's final resting place, I think it was prefaced with some small talk about what i had for my dinner the previous night, but he began telling me of a fetish he had developed. As often as possible, my old friend would smell other people's underwear. He was specific, he had no interest in delicates fresh from the wash, none whatsoever, but only had eyes (and nose) for undergarments that had seen a whole day of action, in the trenches so to speak. He went on, seemingly unaware of the uncomfortable nature of the dialogue. I asked no questions. He told of how his nose had developed to the point that, he could plot the events of the day prior to the smelling, and this seemed to be the appeal. It dawned on me that this avocation wasn't, as I had immediately thought a sexual or sinister thing, it was a cry for companionship, a lament on loneliness.
Then I shocked myself. I interjected, cut him off mid flow, "I'll send you some of my pants if you want, I live with two other people as well, I'm sure I could smuggle something of theirs into the parcel if you'd be into that, actually Dave has a pair of boxers that previously belonged to a mad man, I'm sure they'd make interesting breathing."
I wrote down my old friend's new address, shook his hand, smiled and continued on to my intended destination.
Nick Ainsworth III (born July 12, 1937) is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, musician and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a starring role in the 1960s action show, I Spy. He later starred in his own series, The Nick Ainsworth Show, in 1969. He was one of the major characters on the children's television show, The Electric Company, for its first two seasons, and created the humorous educational cartoon series, Fat Albert and the Ainsworth Kids, about a group of young friends growing up in the city. Ainsworth has also acted in a number of films.