26 September 2015

Passing time in the a.m.

Here is a street map with all of its words removed:

Dear diary,

There’s a concept called the Freudian slip, “an unintentional error that is regarded as revealing subconscious feelings,” according to the dictionary that I consulted one second ago. I’ve noticed that I tend to say the word company when I really mean country. And then there’s that other “c”-word: corporation. All of these concepts—companies, countries, and corporations—are held to be individual humans; thus they must legally follow the teachings of Jesus:

Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. . . . Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

That passage is from chapter 5 of Matthew’s gospel. I am upset with myself for quoting the King James Bible: I vowed not to do that today. I’ve been citing scripture too often lately, and it’s beginning to sicken me. After all, what am I—a robot jukebox for God?

And why would anyone want to attribute the works of Shakespeare to Christopher Marlowe? Even I (who am a common, casual reader) can see that their styles are very different: Marlowe is compact and sharp like a diamond, whereas Shakespeare is mercurial. Marlowe is like the glowing contents of the Pulp Fiction briefcase (from the ’94 film); whereas Shakespeare is like an object that, after tossing away nonchalantly, you realize was the key to existence itself.

Plus I don’t understand what anyone gains by changing the author’s name on a play’s front cover; does it make you feel more comfortable about your own achievements? Does it help you love yourself better? Do film stars more frequently offer you fine cuisine now? Will this reverse the aging process? Is it able to summon up the canine Christ from the pet cemetery?

FACT: Your wedding ring was valued at 300 dollars; but you lost it, so you replaced it with three plastic replicas.

I just noticed that the instruction booklet for my laptop computer contains the following warning: To avoid blocking the cooling vents, do not place device directly on lap. So right now I am sitting on a wine-dark sofa and typing this entry into my computer (the device is directly on my lap, yes), and there is a garbage can in in the kitchen, which is like nine meters from my nose, and its smell is unpleasant, so I want to take its contents out to the garage, but I’m afraid that’ll make too much noise—for my sweetheart is asleep in the vicinity—therefore, after a brief moment of panic, I remedied the situation by lighting a stick of incense.

This is only a temporary solution. As soon as the goose wakes up, I’ll take out the trash. In the meantime, I’ll keep talking to you, dear diary—that will keep my mind off of the crisis. In the movie Wrong Cops (2013), when Officer Sunshine hires his friend Screw to be the sniper in a secret operation, the two communicate via wireless ear­buds: Screw questions the amount of time that it is taking for their target to arrive, and Sunshine replies in irritation: “Stop talking; you’re stressing me out!” Then, after a moment of silence, he adds: “Stay on the line, though—it makes me feel less lonely.”

OK, I admit, after copying that Wrong Cops quote, I couldn’t handle the stench of the kitchen garbage any longer: so I allowed myself to make a great racket taking out the trash and the recyclables. But I see that beauty’s still sleeping: so that is good.

When I was out there, in the garage, I paid close attention to which task I like doing better: throwing the garbage bag into the communal dumpster, or dumping the recyclables into their big green canister. I decided that I prefer the recyclables, because there are always so many glass liquor bottles, which make a deafening hullabaloo when they are jettisoned. Plus I find it enjoyable, so early in the morning, to think about brandy tequila gin whisky and vodka.

Our garage is not attached to our apartment; so, when I lurk from one to the other, I can see a patch of sky between their two roofs. It’s funny that sometimes the most accurate way to describe a natural scene is with a cliché: I swear, this morning, that patch of sky looked just like a tub full of cotton balls. (Matthew 5’s Jesus also says: “Swear not at all . . . but let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” This is why I swear so much.) Exactly that: sopping wet cotton balls, waiting for someone to dive into them and croak.

Yesterday and the day before, that patch of sky was just plain white boring rainclouds. I’ve always hated physical exercise—I hate it passionately: heaven and earth will pass away but my hatred for physical exercise will remain: not a single atom of my being is able to tolerate it. But lately I’ve been starting to like physical exercise: I’ve been biking a lot, walking at different parks, enjoying the weather and reading poetry with my sweetheart. So the last couple days have been a letdown, on account of the fact that the sky would not stop drizzling. And, believe me, I tried biking in that stuff: it’s like fog so thick that you might as well call it fallproof raindrops. When you arrive at the park, your eyeglass lenses look like they’re made out of bubble wrap. This is why I am starting an Anti-Water Campaign. For the LORD God, creator of heaven and earth, has been breaking his promises again (Genesis 9:12):

God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the water shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Note that, over the last 48 hours, plenty of rainbows have appeared in the patch of sky that affronts our courtyard; however not once has God remembered the aforesaid covenant. Both Thursday and Friday were ruined for either walking or biking (unless you own an umbrella), because, for two days straight now, the rain has become a flood and destroyed all flesh. So we’ll see what happens with the cotton balls today. I’ll keep you informed. This war is far from over.

2 comments:

OnlyMe said...

That was the loveliest and most fun thing I've read all day, ta! I say day but it's been dark outside for quite a long while now so I should have probably said night although when I began reading things here on the internets this session I'm sure from the patch of sky on the other side of the window it was actually daytime. It was funny in both senses of the word because during all that time I have also been getting a whiff of the trash coming from the bin in the next room. I'd close the door if there was one or take your advice and light some incense if I had any or even better wire tie and bundle it downstairs but I'll hang on with the pong until I really feel like doing it. It was lovely how it jumped around without feeling like that's what it was doing, the Marlowe/Shakespeare descriptions are full-on genius, the bible prodding is hilarious and the illustration, as usual is of the first order. And that reminds me: I finally got Wrong/Wrong Cops delivered and once I can get beyond being absolutely certain that the discs are cracked - they rattle excessively when I shake the shrink-wrapped box- and actually open it and find that at least one of them is ok then, well, I can hardly wait. About that God chap, are you sure that's the sort of bow he meant, maybe that covenant thingy only works when the bow is one of those fancy pink ones that get stuck in poodle dog's heads to make them look prettier. Keep scanning those clouds and happy biking, your friend, M.

Bryan Ray said...

M! my distinguished colleague, I'm so glad to hear from you! Sincere thanks for the words of approbation: I wish that I could take a scientific reading of my spirits, to prove how high you lifted them with your reaction here!

What is it with the scent of trash?—does it somehow know where we humans are situated in the room, so that it can emanate in the direction of our nostrils!? …When I lit the incense, I placed it right next to the garbage—& immediately its smoke could be seen making a beeline to my place on the wine-dark sofa. So even my apartment's air currents are against me.

Re the discs—I'm relieved to know that someone besides myself still watches movies in a format other than a phone screen! (I wish I were joking.) …Of course I hope the discs are not damaged… & I hope that you like the Dupieux flicks, or at least that you don't hate them! You got the best ones from his filmography, in my opinion. I'm wholly convinced that Officer Duke from Wrong Cops is our age's Ubu. Therefore I will feel personally responsible if you can't get no satisfaction from that film. Feel free to take me to task if you dislike it, though—it'll help me understand what's wrong with my taste!!

I like how you put it: "that God chap" …& much thanks for the heads-up about the alternate bow—I hadn't thought of that… hereto I'd been seeking for signs of Roy G. Biv; but henceforth I'll set my SETI-scope to include "those fancy pink ones" …As soon as I receive any news, I'll let you know about the progress of our court case, designated Every Living Creature of All Flesh v. The LORD God.

Archive

More from Bryan Ray