12.4.07

Today Everything is Thicker.

Today everything is thicker. I have taken to speaking in absolutes. I had a great sentence formulated for here but I lost it. It was formulated on the John. But it is gone. Flushed Away. Them’s the breaks. It was a good one too. I think it was about polar bears. Or derby caps. Or not.

I made a boat out of rotten driftwood and rotten planks salvaged from dumps and fallen down barns by the sides of gravel washboard roads that rattle the teeth in the back of your head. I calculated surface area and buoyancy and things of seafaring sorts with sharpened pencils and dulled erasers and bits of oily envelopes and grocery receipts and other places where calculations take place. By rights and arithmetic my boat should float. It is big enough. Buoyed enough. Light enough. Air-tight enough.

But, my dear friends, my boat was made with rotten driftwood found on Alberta beaches. My boat was made of rotten planks salvaged from dumps and fallen down barns by the sides of gravel washboard laneways that make your molars rattle in your head. Rotten driftwood and planks don’t float so well, my dear friends.

Sure they float and drift and buckle and bend and warp and turn and turn brown and turn grey and black and decay. Eventually my rotten driftwood and rotten planks become water logged and slowly the water swallows the boat made of rotten driftwood and rotten planks salvaged from dumps and fallen down barns by the sides of dirt back roads in the middle of nowhere.

I didn’t understand. I couldn’t understand. I had read all my seafaring textbooks from front cover to back cover. I checked, checked, and double-checked my surface area-buoyancy calculations scratched on bits of oily envelopes and grocery receipts and other places where calculations take place with sharpened pencils and dulled erasers. I was certain. I was sure. My boat was to float. Books read and numbers crunched told me so. With absolute certainty. Absolutely.

Absolute faith in words and numbers and diagrams about materials and sealing seams did not give me Tahiti treats, only wet feet. Wet socks, wet shoes, wet pant legs. Wet knees. Wet hips. Wet ass. Wet guts. Wet back. Wet neck. Wet. Wet. Wet.

I drowned to death before the sun went down. I was buried at sea. Eaten by sharks and krill who were eaten by a whale and spent 6 years in the gal bladder of a whale. There I learned much about life and struggle and strife and got stock tips from an octopus who had been a big time stock broker until 2001 when the markets collapsed and he lost his shirt and went on the road. He wrote a travel memoir of his life on the road called On the Road. He couldn’t find a publisher and wound up in the gal bladder of the same whale as I.

We became great friends out of scarcity of options and necessity. If I had my druthers I would druther have nothing to do with Walter the stock broking octopus who was my whale gal bladder cohabitant. He was painfully boring and only wanted to talk about Enron and Enmax and Bre-X. All well and good and fine and dandy, but sometimes I wanted to talk about girls and football and good sushi places in the neighbourhood. If only I had my druthers.

I had left my druthers and my withers and my rental tuxedo for a blackjack game later that night on the dock awaiting my speedy return. That was 6 years ago. If you read this, pray for me.

Good night Kilgore Trout.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

So it goes.