Disclaimer

I dislike the term Blog.

First of all, it sounds like something you find stuck to the bottom of your shoe at an amusement park. But besides phonetically, the word “Blog” brings to mind collections of gushings, rants, unwanted opinions, and personal details that for some reason people thought everyone else would like to read. That is not what this is.

What this is is a low profile musing ground. Very little gravity is associated with what I write here; my goal is lighthearted, goofy, stream-of-consciousness-like clumps of words and punctuation. It’s not being graded (anymore,) or published or for the most part read at all. There is a grand total of ten people that see this page, (and even that statistic is comprised mostly of those that Goggle “stick drawing” and forget to hit the Images tab,) and I like that. ‘Blog’ is such a pithy hipster name for something that can really be a lot more simple.

I’m not on a journey and I’m not trying to find myself or make people understand me. The only quest I could be considered to be on here is to amuse myself. Selfish? Maybe. But also a lot more fun than airing my poorly informed opinions about politics.

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Sweet, Sweet Cron

I’ve noticed that there have been a lot of corn/cornfield references in my writing recently, and I thought it appropriate that I gave it a proper tribute.

I live in the Southwest, and corn is not a big part of my life anymore. But it used to be. The cycle of my midwestern summers followed the growth of the corn: when I arrived in May, it would only be about a foot tall. It was still growing because it had been planted at the beginning of the rainy season, which ends a few weeks into June. While we slipped in thick mud trying, too early, to play baseball in the empty lot, the corn soaked its leaves and struggled to sap nutrients from the flooded soils. We were movie watching, fort building, puddle jumping, mud sculpting hooligans until the corn was at least a foot and a half high.

And then there would be sun! The corn grew rapidly, and consequently the days moved at the same pace. Each day of running, swimming, sweating, and sun bathing seemed to add an inch to the stalks. We never wanted to go to bed because we knew that the corn would keep growing without us while we slept.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Knee high by the 4th of July.” This of course didn’t apply to our own knees, which had been lost in the corn weeks before, but really only to those of the farmers. Regardless, “knee-high” decided whether it would be a successful crop, and worthwhile to tend to the plants through the summer- a turning point, in other words, for the farmers. And thusly, so was the 4th of July a turning point for us. It was the pinnacle of summer adventures; the apex of the swing, the furthest date from both the end and the start of school years. Afterwards, it was a slow countdown until the drudgery began anew. And everyone was there, and we would cycle through every activity in a furious storm of baseball and King of the Raft and various imaginary games. It was a day of calculated enjoyment, because “knee high” meant the corn would continue to grow, and soon it would be over.

And after knee high…. Some kids have McDonalds playplaces or their Dad’s scrap yards to get lost in: we had the cornfields. Pseudo-adventures were played out for hours inside the stalks, and man did it take forever to bike around the perimeter! There were anacondas in there, and as the corn grew above our heads it began to hide lions and bears and then dinosaurs in its midst. We hunted them, ran from them, were swallowed by them, each as they appeared with the new, bright green ears.

And finally it would be the end of July, and up goes the misspelled “Sweet Cron” sign at the end of the lane. It was time to eat the corn. The first Sunday dinner after harvest is the last big event we would have before I flew back to the desert. From our numbers we would form a team of highly specialized shuckers, and Uncle Pete would place a bucket filed with corn on the picnic table and the trash bin on the ground nearby. We’d shuck them dutifully, revealing the gold and trashing the stringy coats. And dinner would be the best yet, even though eating your height in corn became more difficult each year. It was the best because it might be the last, and you’re out of time to try to cram in one more adventure. We would simply enjoy the night, relaxed, content with our achievements in the past few months and the sweet, sweet cron in our bellies.

When I left, I would fly over felled stalks in crisscross patterns. The corn was gone, and so was I. I wouldn’t know which fields would lie fallow or which would be planted with potatoes or soy while I was gone, because my life was no longer correlated with the fields. Only with the corn.

Back in the Day

I have never been a runner, so she is bound to put space between us fast. No, what surprises me instead is the denseness of the water in the air; long before I begin to get tired, my body is covered in a liquid film. I am now a salamander; my newly webbed feet slap the road loudly, and the webbing on my fingers helps me swim through the saturated night air.

We cross the bridge and enter the tunnel of trees. Soon the cornfield is beside us, filled to the brim with fireflies. It looks magical again, the same way it did when there were giant spiders and sphinxes and unicorns rustling behind the first row, and the corn still grew like a beanstalk miles over my head. The tunnel thickens, and there are no more houses for a moment. Just us and the fireflies, furiously winking at one another. They are so intent on finding a mate tonight; I just want to survive this run. And I do; we end up back at the house, empty and locked up tight. We are still amphibious, so we could just slither underneath the gate, but instead we open it and hang our clothes on the fence.

We slip into the pool and shed our salty skins, letting them dissipate into the water like cream in hot coffee. The world returns to normal, and I know down the lane the cornfield is losing its firefly-unicorn magic. We become human again, dehydrated and a few pounds lighter, and we float effortlessly in the dark.

The Nerd Queen

We were “her nerds” from the day we were born, and she was always the queen. The Queen of the Nerds.

I didn’t understand why we had to dress up, or what secrets we could possibly crack whilst swimming in my uncles flannel shirts, but I let myself be disguised because this godlike entity had chosen me to play Spies with. She was so cool, with her Coke-bottle glasses and backwards baseball cap. She was always having fun, always laughing. She always had friends or boyfriends who were nice to us. Had the best Barbie collection and nail polish in every color. We all wanted to be her, and she was singling me out.

Someone took a picture of us, an ancient Polaroid of our army crawl across the dark wooden floor. She has long legs and shiny gold hair; my limbs are far from escaping the rolls of flannel and my mop of hair is lost in my cap, which I’ve turned around to match hers. My sunglasses and the dim light make it hard to see while we drag ourselves behind the couch, but I don’t complain. I don’t care. In fact, I could have died then and been a happy ghost in a baggy shirt.

My queen had chosen me.

 

A Spider and Some Corn

Knees, he had knees!

Visible, distinct-from-the-rest-of-his-legs knees. This is the sharpest thing I remember from that day, because it was such a profound realization that a) this spider wasn’t going to kill me and b) I truly enjoyed examining it at such a close distance.

Everything else is so fuzzy that sometimes I don’t know if parts of it came from dreams I had later. The cornfield was real, and the scabs and the mud on my knees. So similar to the shape of the spiders knees.

The barking dog was real, but even more real was the moment I realized I couldn’t hear it anymore. Or anything else. The roaring in my ears may have been a dramatic effect I’ve added since. Terror. I didn’t want to play anymore. I resented them for bringing me with them when moments before I was thrilled to be included.

But the fear was real. And the spider. The three of us alone together in the rows of corn high over my head, higher now in my imagination than they probably ever grow. Towering, even. So tall I couldn’t see the ears at the top, couldn’t see the sky, and they were growing taller.

And then he found me, and I didn’t care that I’d just lost the game. I let myself be carried out of the corn like a football, grinning like a fool, wizened to the ways of playing with the big kids.

I let him stomp on the spider. I still regret that part.

The Return

I would like to thank my blanket, my headcold, and the rain. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.

A couple of people asked me what happened to this place. I had to spend a minute looking for an answer, and what I came up with was kind of lame. Life, school, etc. As if I didn’t just spend an hour sitting on my butt Googling tidbits I remembered from a book I didn’t finish before I lost it. (An unsuccessful attempt. Anyone have a guess as to the title of a book about an Indian spice farmer during their independence movement? The first few chapters were tantalizingly excellent.)

Life does get in the way. Everything has changed drastically in the past year or so, and I actually get non-cold-induced chills when I think about where I was this time last year, and some of the things I’ve done since.

Seriously. I would like to forget those first few months of cooking for and feeding myself.

And everything I’ve written in the past six months has been for school: carefully calculated, organized, to prove a point. I’m proving no point right now, and it feels pretty good. I don’t have a point. I can say whatever I want right now.

I strongly dislike harmonicas. See? Some things never change.

My personal writing style is still pretty much the same. Rhetorical questions, subtle sarcasm, stream of consciousness, my dear, dear chiasmus… all things I thought I’d lost forever, and yet here I am rambling, like I’m re-writing White Noise. (It has been too long since I’ve made a Donny reference!)

I love it when my writing breaks down into disconnect and nonsensical non-sequiturs. Incoherence: it’s like riding a bike. What an old, gentle friend.

So now what do you know?

(That was my grandpas favorite rhetorical question, and it seemed like an appropriate way to close.)

I had a slice of cheesecake

There it was. Magnificent. Sitting there, all mine. I had a fork in my hand, I had a craving on my tongue like I’d never known before. And nothing was stopping me.

The fork sank into the slice, meeting no resistance but barely disturbing the cake around it. So simple, so easy. The perfect bite, perched on my fork, like it was made for me. I was empowered, I had control. Mine mine mine.

But I paused. I watched it quiver on my fork, astonished at the beauty of such a thing. I couldn’t believe it was there. And then it wasn’t. I waited too long, disbelieving. It fell off my fork, tumbling into the dirt by my feet. Oh, what a loss, what a waste. How disappointing, what hot, burning shame.

Gone gone gone.

For A Quick Whirl

The weather is gorgeous, and I start to relax a little bit. There is still a large chance that I’m going to wreck, because my bici and I are new friends, but it’s too hard to think about that when the temperature is just so unreal.

In front of me there are hundreds of blinking red and white lights. Behind me there are more, some strobing and some just a steady beam, making my shadow dance almost as well as Sammi doing The Fish. I follow the lights ahead, turning and stopping when they do, throwing a foot to the ground because my brakes don’t work very well. There are so many of us, and we sail in a thick mob of chains and wheels. The dentist plays his music and manages to dance while riding. Somehow it works out; we sway and weave but no one hits anyone else, like a school of strange glowing fish.

I’m laughing to myself, because a while ago I was slogging through trigonometry, and now I’m coasting. How easy it was to put that pencil down and, heart thumping, flee down six flights across the street down the road and into the mass.

I hear all the bells suddenly ringing at once, in unison, together. When I look up, it’s hard at first to comprehend what I’m seeing.

Up ahead the points of light swirl, confusing because I can’t see the riders or the road. The leaders have found a huge turnabout, and instead of passing through they turn and lead us around and around. A circle of cycling, or maybe a cycle of circling. Lights blink and blend into neon streaks, and the bells. The bells! They hit my ears like drops of water.

We have built ourselves a carousel and we wait for our turn to ride.

There is a break. We go for it, pushing off the asphalt and becoming part of the ring. I have no sense of direction. I’m simply going perpetually around, surrounded by bells and music. People whoop and howl and screech. I sing aloud a song that has been stuck in my head. I look at the person next to me, and I see that he is just as happy as I am. Happy to be there, not doing our work, happy to be lost, happy to be chilly, and happy to be alive tonight.

And maybe, if I thought about it, a little happy about the company.

The carousel turns into a ribbon that slowly unwinds around a corner. Was this the way we came? Or some new way? I am sad that I don’t get to go around again. It was only a minute or two, but those minutes feel like they were taller, louder, and sharper than the minutes before and after them. A few stragglers stay behind, and they continue to go in circles, grasping in vain at the magic that was just there a second ago.

17th Street Market

AKA: What I think of school thus far.

You go to a place like this without a list. You wander the isles, mispronouncing the names on the labels and smelling different teas. Who knows what you’re there for; you’re kind of hoping that it will jump out and punch you in the face before you have to leave.

You turn your head sideways, but a Lotus root is still the oddest looking vegetable you’ve ever seen. And because of the nature of the place that you’re in, odd isn’t bad anymore.

Brand new treasures are all over the place; delectable treats like Mochi and TWO FULL ISLES of noodles. It’s very easy to get fat here.

There are somethings that taste just as bad as they look, and even have nasty little black pellets inside of them. Take note of your friends horrified face and avoid at all costs.

You learn new things in here. Not just how many variations of gourds there are, but you learn things about the people who pick them up or walk straight by without a glance. You learn things about the people who stop to try the mustard chips and the people who just buy a Hershey’s chocolate bar because it’s familiar, and things about the people who ask questions and the people who pretend they already know. You learn about what types of risks people are and aren’t afraid to take.

It’s a fascinating place. I guess I’ll stick around for a while.

Tip for the up and coming bands of our time: don’t open your set with the song “Do the Standing Still.”

Spell check thinks I’m an idiot. Well, the jokes on you pal, because with the click of a button I can add conclusionary to the dictionary and MAKE it a word!

Ahahahaha!

Dilly is my favorite, but don’t tell the others.

Spell check is a German invention. Did you know that?

Ha. I made that up, but you believed it for a second, didn’t you? Ah, the power of the typed word.

I’d like to meet a conspiracy theorist someday. I imagine that they are a) profoundly interesting and b) tragically good looking.

It is 1:32 am, and I can’t sleep. I decided to put my thoughts on the Internet, because I was sure their intrinsic value would benefit all of the two people who see it.

I really don’t know what I was thinking.