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I would rather hold back from saying anything than have to take back something I'd said. I would rather be seen doing the chicken dance on national television than tell anyone everything that's on my mind. And I would rather deal with my limited foresight than have a full-blown knowledge of the future, for fear of finding out that the years that lay ahead of me are just not worth hanging around for.
I'm at war with myself. There's wonderful, sociable, high-maintenance New Me and boring, tired Old Me. They can rend each other to pieces for all I care.
Power outage. A silent neighborhood listens to the sound of a single electric guitar, and I wonder.
My battery-operated laptop has failed me, and the muggy darkness sits, imposing itself, gently discouraging action.
Tonight is useless.
Thick, stupid, sweltering darkness. I don't hate you. We simply loathe each other in secret, harboring the slighest smidge of a grudge, then stretching it into a dull blanket of hatred.
Things would be much easier,
we say to ourselves,
if you just didn't exist.
But there will be no open confrontations. I will simply wait, patiently, for your inevitable death.
Mystery solved: yesterday's power failure was the doing of an invisible smelly Frenchman whose sole goal was to deprive my co-conspirator and I of the opportunity to watch the rerun musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Frenchman's name is Chauvelin. He used to hunt down the Scarlet Pimpernel, but nowadays he stalks us to make sure we don't have too much fun (or any pimpernel-related fun, for that matter). For some reason, this is very important to him. We have never seen him, but we know what he would look like: a tights-wearing, black-clad, diminutive, rail-thin, greasy-haired schemer.
"It is too late in the summer to get a job. My sister was in the city a while back -- I was always inspired by stuff I saw in New York, before it became a trend -- and she saw a couple guys with clarinets, playing by a sign that read, 'all proceeds go toward college tuition.' You could do that -- course we don't have clarinets, but I've got a kazoo you could borrow. This isn't the city, but you could play your heart out on a streetcorner in our Jersey suburb -- it's almost the same thing."
"I think you're a dimwit," he told me. "Here, the only people to listen to my glorious tunefulness would be two middle-aged joggers and their fat dog -- and only the dog would appreciate it."
I am one of those people under the horrible delusion that I'm brilliant. Don't worry -- the misconception is notoriously short-lived. I may be brilliant tomorrow, or even the day after that -- but soon after, I'll be the worst kind of idiot dirt slime that ever oozed across the face of the earth.
Note my incredible self-awareness. Wouldn't you call that brilliant?
A muffin ran down the road, flailing its arms this way and that. Its name was Patricia, and it was nervous. The muffin bumped into a puffin. "Hiya, penguin," said the muffin to the puffin. "I'm a PUFFIN," growled the puffin to the muffin. Patricia hopped back in fright and trembled. She was very nervous indeed. "I-I-I'm sorry," stuttered Patricia, as she stared up into the artic bird's beady black eyes (for puffins, though short to you and I, are much taller than muffins). Puffins don't eat muffins, however. They eat fish. Patricia ran away anyway, just to be safe.
The puffin waddled down the road, feeling very self-important.
I am the best puffin there ever was,
he thought to himself.
Not just the very best puffin, but the very best there ever was of all living things.
(He was a puffin with a very puffed-up opinion of himself.)
The puffin had eaten a full breakfast that day. He was stuffed. He was a stuffed, puffed puffin.
A dragonfly whizzed nearby. "Go away," bellowed the puffin.
"You have fish breath," said the dragonfly, and whizzed away.
Fish breath! The puffin's stuffed-up opinion was crushed. On he trudged, a humbler bird.
Later, the dragonfly came upon the muffin.
"Good afternoon," said the dragonfly.
"Hiya," said the muffin.
"Beastly hot today," said the dragonfly.
"Impossible," agreed the muffin, who never stopped bouncing down the road.
"Would you happen to know," inquired the dragonfly, "where this road goes to?"
The muffin slowed to a stop, sat on a stone by the side of the road, buried his face in his tiny muffin hands, and sobbed. "I can't go on."
"Why? Just a moment ago you were bouncing down the road, happy as could be."
"Yes -- but I don't know where I'm going."
"Let's get this straight," the dragonfly suggested. "A second ago, you were bouncing down the road, as happy as a muffin could be -- "
"Well, not quite the happiest that I
"Well, not exactly the happiest, but bouncing along at top speed nonetheless. And then all of a sudden, this little green buzzy know-nothing -- that is, me -- interrupts your happy journey to ask you where the heck you're going, and suddenly the whole world's at an end. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"I blame the cupcake," the muffin said solemnly.
"Explain yourself," the dragonfly demanded.
"I suppose I shouldn't be angered with the cupcake," the muffin said. "But even you know -- plain old muffins are passed up every day for sweet, brightly sprinkeled cupcakes that everybody loves."
The dragonfly pointed out that the muffin's nutritional value was far superior to that of a cupcake, and the muffin reluctantly agreed. Still, a whole wheat muffin -- even iced -- was a far cry from a true cupcake.
The dragonfly added this to his mental list of things he thought he'd never see -- a bran muffin with an inferiority complex.
The dragonfly considered convincing the muffin of the worthwhileness of its muffiness, but that would have been difficult. "Just think," said the dragonfly. "Not everybody is a chocolate eclair. You could be a brussel sprout and hated the world over."
"I suppose that's true," said the muffin. "I'm glad I'm not a vegetable, at least."
"Besides," the dragonfly continued, "everyone's got to capitalize on their inherent strengths. You, as a muffin, could have something no cupcake in the world could have."
The muffin couldn't imagine what the dragonfly meant. "What could a muffin have that no cupcake has?"
End of muffin story. The puffin will get what's coming to him. May continue this vein later, when opportunity knocks. For me, opportunity knocks often, and I get cheesed off and refuse to answer because opportunity didn't ring the doorbell. A lot of things cheese me off, before I realize I am too clueless to be rightfully indignant.
I sometimes wish I were a pirate. I'm already an unprincipled bloodthirsty rogue. Problem is, I'm an unprincipled rogue who likes to bathe frequently -- not exactly an option on the high seas. No bucaneering for me -- not yet, anyway.
Get in a canoe with the devil and rock the boat. Tell me a bad joke with a good delivery and I'll still respect your sense of humor. I may not laugh, but I'll still think you're cool. Only problem is you'll never be able to tell, but does it really matter? If I loved everyone they'd never know. If I hated them, they most certainly would. Why is that? Why is blind hatred and unparalled loathing so much easier for me to express than admiration, respect, idolization, affection? Because I'm in a canoe with the devil. Rock the boat.
Sugar shortage. Should have bought the gumdrops at Quickcheck (or is it Quick Check?). Not diabetic or anything, but I've been eating very healthily lately (cucumber sticks! cucumber sticks!) and it may very well be a drain on my system. Nothing's wrong with living in hyperdrive. It just requires a lot of fuel. Here I sit, ready to devour an entire box of wintergreen tic tacs for lack of anything better right now.
Look, five left. With two more stuck to the side of the container. They're really stuck, too, but with my expertise I was able to dislodge them...
The devil's in the bell tower and I can't get him out. "I can spit on all these people!" he keeps saying. "I can spit on all these people!" I can't get him to stop. He's dancing now, a warped flamenco that pounds the floor so all below can hear the rhythmic devil's stomping. "Arriba!" he shreiks, flames leaping from the end of his tongue like projectile drool. The bells do not ring, but they shiver in Satan's presence, clanking nervously. Heaven save us! If only heaven knew where to look. God, couldja send someone down here? Satan's raising hell.
Staying up all night to watch a tv special that features both Weezer and Muppets*. Possibly greatest collaboration idea ever. A message from beyond. The gods have spoken, and they said, "Rivers, meet Kermit. Kermit, meet Rivers..."
Prominently featured is Pepe the Prawn -- a mystery never fully explained. To myself (and all concerned) I offer this blessing: O, glorious day, may thy Muppets and thy Weezer go happily together...
*(Yes, would rather risk both life and limb by going to work a zombie tomorrow than risk programming a VCR which does not technically belong to me. No comments, please.)
Plans thwarted (I blame Chauvelin). The tv special was a no-show. The internet lied to me. How dare it.
I aim to do terrible things. The world should count its blessings that I'm a procrastinator, slacker and screw-up that never accomplishes what I mean to -- otherwise we'd both be in a bit of hot water.
super sona come on over win me over fly
crooked arms like broken arrows falling weightless from the sky
puff of fresh air floats around her like an enveloping sigh
they said it was my duty
but I never found out why.
Satan can sing, dance, and operate a cuisinart -- he cannot, however, fix a busted exhaust system. He asked what he could offer me for my immortal soul, and I said I didn't want anything. He said there must be
I really wanted. So I told him about the noises my car was making -- a kind of
, you know?. Satan was like, ah, shit, sure there isn't anything else? I said sure there was, but first I'd like my car fixed. "Hire a mechanic," he said, and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
A Metaphorical Summary of My Position At the Moment
It's chasing a rainbow made of saran wrap; bobbing for jellyfish in a bathtub filled with vaseline; directing a bunch of narcoleptic six-year-olds in a moonwalking contest.
The Saran Wrap: Forever in pursuit of the invisible ideal.
The Jellyfish: searching out the slippery reward (but is it a reward?)
The Narcoleptic Moonwalking Six-Year-Olds: attempting to tame utter chaos with mixed success but hilarious results.
Oh, dear me. What sort of indescribable terrors lay in wait for me today? Can't get out of bed, giant sharks will bite my head. No kidding.
(A little ditty to the tune of "Surf Wax America" by Weezer. Dedicated to my (not so) beloved Topaz.)
My wheel is sticky and I hope I can steer
I'm really hoping that I don't hit a deer
My car is old so it don't go real fast
I can't top 50 but it's really a blast
The other drivers are fed up with my pace
I'm mellowed out because I hate to race
They're like rats running on and running a maze
My car is stalling
My car is stalling
(tomorrow I'll have the chorus. bye for now, k'?.)
(continued from yesterday's entry. to the tune of "Surf Wax America," Weezer.)
You take your car to work
I'll take my pbbbbbbbbt*
And when I'm out of fuel
I'm in the road
All along my broken car is lying in the road
I never thought it would come to this
Now I can never go home. (repeat)
You take your car
I'll take my Ford
I'm in the road
(Sound of electric guitars)
(end of song)
(I call it Car Wax America. Or maybe Mercury Broken.)
*car exhaust noise most accurately depicted by a Bronx cheer
Midget Spice Drops. Too many Midget Spice Drops. Acquired in a moment of dire sugar craving at some Dollar Store. The only good flavors are yellow and green -- although red (cinnamon) and white (strong peppermint -- how messed up is that?) are tolerable. Purple (licorice -- what were these Midget Spice Drop makers on?) is quite good, but orange is cloves or nutmeg or something. Horrendous.
Between the midget spice drops, acquiring the cutest camper in the world, the upcoming Pimpernel show and missing all my friends terribly, I'm the most excited downbeat person I know. Dead, but fun.
Never fall for a prolific songwriter. It hurts in the wallet, and it hurts in the heart.
Finished the novel I was reading. Orr escaped to Sweden in the end, and Yossarian is still stalked by the murderous prostitute known as Nately's whore. Hungry Joe was actually smothered to death by Huple's cat. That's hilarious.
I've found I like having the ability to use scientific-sounding words I learned in my courses last year. Better enjoy it now before I go back to school and get stupid all over again.
Good God I ought to go to bed. Wait, already there...
The world has turned and left me here. I'm not kidding. Ponder: being the only insider makes one an outsider. Harrumph. I know everything. Everybody else just knows more.
People don't know anything nowadays.
sleep-craving motivationless absolutely fabulous academic warrior. the slacker who can't slack, the brain who can't do nuttin'. the actress who won't won't won't then falls to the silent minority, overrun by the half-imagined hate running rampant in the room. that was then, this is wow. peaks and valleys, I've hit a plateau. no suggestions please. I don't want to jump off just yet. might hurt.
don't tell me nothing I don't want to hear it I can't say much all I have is good music and a lousy attitude. I think I worry my boss. One should carefully consider the situation before resorting to the use of honesty. What I do won't send me to hell, it just won't further me on the Path of Goodness. I believe the true location of heaven may not be the afterlife. Instead it's an enourmous metaphor for what makes one truly happy in this world. I don't believe in either enough to stay good. Depressing myself on purpose.
Lud love me! Just saw a perfectly stunning rendition of The Scarlet Pimpernel and, sink me, if it don't make me want to shimmy across the English Channel and confound the French, I don't know what does. Saw it twice on Broadway and only now understand the humor. Black bells, stilletoes, sissy boys, Belgians, frou-frou! I've never cheered so much for frou-frou in my life. And CHAUVELIN! His latest incarnation was exactly what he needed to be -- a partially bearded sneering villain who looked like he wanted to take his enemies and shake them like a doggie toy. Grrrrowf.
Once I broke out of the morgue
and it wasn't easy going
they had stuck me on a board
to keep my blood juices from flowing
my brain was in a jar
and I couldn't find my liver
my right hand was put on ice
but the severed doesn't shiver
they were dissecting my toes
when I said, "enough's enough!"
I may be dead and all
But my feet? personal stuff.
so I stood up straight and tall
and I said "I'm outta here!"
the coroners were so startled
that they almost dropped my ear.
wonder where that came from.
Were all of Plato's relationships purely platonic? What kind of mousse would Mussolini use if Mussolini could use mousse? Ah, the questions that plague us. Read the chinese takeout menu: what the heck is Ho Fun? No fun if you don't know ho fun. Doop. Have a cow. Have a sundae. Have an ice cream float. I never have. Tell me about it. Spout. Sprinkler. Unheated pool. Sink into the clear clear blue that's new to you but everyone can see the struggle. Dig a hole and chill there until the pizza comes. Deliver in fifteen minutes or it's free.
New and improved fantasy world grand opening. I'm wearing pink. This is so incongrous. It's a silky pink knee-length-ish dress (which I would never look good in in reality) that I wear with a huge Hawaiin blossom in my perfect hanging wave of shiny silky hair. My companion, he's a darling, and it is many years from now. I wonder how this came about in the first place. I'm in California. I've never been to California. It's another world, really, and the sun is so bright. I exist well there. I wonder, from here, if I would be happy. Yes.
Three people on earth speak my language. It's very easy if you're fluent. It is very difficult if you're not (fluent, that is) and next to impossible to learn. It's a very tricky dialect. And the accent has to be just so. It's impossible to fake, though somewhat easier for foreigners to discern in e-mail or letter (typed or written) form. The grammar is very exact and can be improvised at random. It's very funny. There is no such thing as a joke. There is no such thing as a completely serious statement.
Life, you see, is a serious joke.
Things I can do on my own to come closer to my dream of one day becoming a clown:
- Learn to juggle.
- do headstands.
- practice falling over. (already do a lot)
- cartwheels? (shoot! a skill I never posessed.)
- Obtain costume. (have the makeup.)
- Obtain top-notch state-of-the-art red nose.
- Look for my bicycle horn and a better pair of white gloves...
- do further research on the creation of balloon animals
- meet and learn about other clowns...
Some people don't support my dream, but I'll show them. Oh, I'll show them.
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