21 February 2016

A thought, a sight, a list, and a simile

(The number means nothing.)

Dear diary,

I admire people who can embrace the messy side of life; the mortal side; the facts of the flesh; the “natural” functions; the common ground that humankind shares with animals. Necessity repulses me. I wish that I were a pristine being; perfect, impervious to decay—like a monolith in a bedroom.

However, if I really were some changeless idol, I’d probably only want to escape from myself: find some way to become all creatures while remaining oblivious of my royal origin. The messier the better.

Yesterday afternoon, during a walk at our favorite park, I asked my companion to stop and photograph a scene: it was a pond whose surface had been frozen, except for a small, circular area which had been liquefied by an underwater agitator—there were flocks of ducks floating around its perimeter; and, in the foreground was a bright orange sign that said, “BEWARE THIN ICE! SUBAQUEOUS FAN INSTALLED FOR CIRCULATION!” I offer this description in lieu of the photo, which didn’t turn out. Also, I wrote myself a bracketed reminder, which is well worth sharing: [Insert pic of quack-quacks on thawed part of skate rink from sweetie cake’s phone cam.]

As I said, we saw the above scene yesterday. This morning, despite the rain, we went for a walk at the very same park and saw fresh sights; but I᾿ll skip recording them, because now I feel like listing my earliest jobs…

Cash register and drive thru at a fast food burger joint. Two years of that. Late night closing shift at a fast food taco joint. Two years of that. Unloading boxes from trucks at a discount retailer. A year and a half of that. Vacuuming upholstery at a car wash. One year of that. Also, at an eyeglass factory: grinding lenses; burnishing lenses; inspecting lenses; and running the anti-reflective coating machines. Four years of that (one presidential term).

I’m like a circus elephant that doesn’t want to continue to perform this degrading routine, but I’ve never known any other life; so, when philanthropists rescue me and release me into free pasture with the other salvaged elephants, I just stand there and weep.


Anonymous said...

I wanted to put all those paragraphs in a bag and shake them up and see what happened but that felt like too much work so all I did was imagine for a few seconds what a perfect elephant wearing over-sized ground lenses might look like hovering above a SUBAQUEOUS FAN. It was fun. All the more so because I'd only a while before been looking at this which made it all seem so real. http://www.ignant.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/benoit-jeannet_photography_007-1050x840.jpg

Anonymous said...

I guess pictures don't post that way so if you're interested here's the source of that one, and a few more:
yrs, anonymouse

Bryan Ray said...

Anonymouse! hey I know you & miss you!—so glad to hear from you!! …I appreciate what you said here—thanks for taking the time to write! …& yeah, these comment boxes on this blog site are so clunky: they don’t show pics or make links clickable; but it was easy for me to just copy the web address from your first comment and view the photo—I love it! Also, I visited the main site too: I’m now a fan of Jeannet’s Illusory Landscapes …those images are magnificent! …I hope you are enjoying the weather of your wonderland. Our MN winter is finally coming to an end: today was the first day that it was actually comfortable to go walking outside. …Anyway, much love to you & yours!

Anonymous said...

We all miss you too Mr. Ray and thanks for asking about the weather! It's rubbish here basically - the earth is hostile, it despises us. A constant buttoning and unbuttoning of coverings just to step outside, burning whatever we can find to ease our panic and give us a few moments of peace. All quite normal.
I'm glad you like the Illusory Landscapes, they sent me back to Self's story Scale which is in his collection Grey Area. I can't find it online but did come across a separate journo piece (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2010/aug/28/will-self-bigness-and-littleness) that I haven't read yet but will, you know, later. x, anonymoose.


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