Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So cut out the morbid verse / I know you'll make it work


Oh! Freedom!

A zig-zag knit sweater with a circle zipper pull. A piano that's busted, so you can paint it white and then draw all over it. A bread truck with no doors rattling along the highway at 80 miles an hour!

I recently turned in an article that had taken a lot longer to research and write than I'd anticipated. Before that, it seemed like every waking moment was spent painting this house and putting it back to rights. Remember that? Oh, those were FUN blog posts.

Now. Now, after I drop the kids off at day camp, I open all the windows and turn off the book on tape (although Tim Curry reading Lemony Snicket is pretty inspiring. I don't even hear the words, I'm so busy concentrating on the syrupy, hoarse, wet, dry, raspy, silky, papery lisping chortling VOCAL RANGE that's coming out of the speakers). I hurtle down the interstate like a flare shot out of a gun into humid summer sky. I let my mind wander.

I love humans. Humans think, and make things, and, as far as I know, they are the only species that consciously tells jokes. I love the different things humans do when they have time between the eating and sleeping and shitting and daily-bread-earning. They play guitar, or they build a treehouse. They read science fiction novels until their brains run out their ears. My girlie Constance looks at all the beautiful beads and scraps of paper and stuff she's collected, and lets her brain tell her hands how to put them together into something gorgeous and unexpected.

Tim Curry probably sits around and experiments with all the different ways you can say the word 'speculum'.

Penn Jillette and genius juggler Michael Moschen grew up together. Penn once said they they "practiced juggling with the focus that can only be attained by young boys who have not yet discovered masturbation." I paraphrase. I can't find the interview. I think it was in Smithsonian, and whatever else you think of Penn, you have got to give the man props for getting a masturbation reference into the official organ of our national museum system.

I don't juggle. When I read books aloud I cannot muster the spit and gravel that Tim Curry can. And I'm not much of a maker of objects.

I like looking at a vine surging slothlike up a telephone pole and thinking about the future. I like remembering the day they brought a giant squid into the museum of natural history, and how in that instant I saw a cryptid switch teams.

There's a corn truck up by camp, manned by a milky-eyed old farmer with square fingers and a stoop. The truck always parks at a bend in the road that makes me think of the one in Close Encounters of the Third Kind: there's a drop-off and a tremendous view on the other side. Just corn fields and sky, but maybe I'll go early and sit with him for a while, watch the weather.