Friday, September 16, 2011

Spinning my Wheels

The low clouds finally surrendered their payload on Corner Brook, choosing the hours of 2 and 3 am to unleash buckets of rain on Oggy's weathered van. I'm no climatologist but I think the dust storms from the drought in the west are the cause of what has been called the wettest summer in Newfoundland history. Rain is h2o collecting around dust more dust in the west equals more rain in the east. I've fought the leaks for months now and can't believe the water is sneaking past an entire cylinder of silicone epoxy. The windows leak and the windshield leaks and the dampness creeps into the bed. I'd had stomach trouble for a few days and this afternoon figured out why. The loaf of manager's special flax bread was as moldy as a witch's fruit salad. Why would I eat moldy bread? Because my evening snack time now arrives in darkness and I've been sticking my hand blindly into the bread bag to get 1/2 a slice to put 1 tbsp of unsweetened peanut butter on it. It tasted ok but ten minutes later my belly was belching like a Hank Williams song. Days went by of this and finally I wanted a half a sandwich during daylight hours. So I pull the chest out of the damp corner it resides in and open it up, resisting the urge to eat a marshmallow, which are rationed now at one per week, and get my bread and...what the hell? Maybe I can tear the mold, it's totally moldy. I've been eating it for days but whatever bacteria has been growing in the flax does not agree with the bacteria fighting for survival in my gut.

Now I'm reluctant to replace the bread. I think crackers will be the better choice. Or maybe eat the peanut butter off the knife and be done with it. DO I need starch?

The rain makes it impossible to play music on the street, which is my alternate plan to put some queen Elizabeth quarters in my pocket. The first plan is to stand near the Kent hardware store, basically a Lowes, and wave my work gloves at passing trucks, which is the universal sign for "Mexican for Hire: I Ask No Question"

I've been trolling the job market in New England and see a job repairing musical instruments and accessories in my future. I waffle on the idea of writing and researching for the World Watch Institute because I see them as basically fund raisers for their own causes but using the WWI moniker as a cloak of legitimacy. I know that any change in paradigm that happens must take place in ones own life first. There are no short cuts and no number of articles talking about cfl lightbulbs is going to change anything. The world will change, as it always has, at the last possible second...after a hurricane wipes the earth clean from Miami to Atlanta, after New York is hit with a Tsunami. Etc. We are a clever animal and the will to survive at all costs is evident.

Dennison said, "In our lifetime there will be millions and millions of people dying in global catastrophes. We will become numb to genocide."

And history would basically support that prediction. With more people alive today the catastrophes will naturally be bigger and our means of anesthetic relief are better today than ever. The 1918 flu epidemic didn't stop the Red Sox from winning the world series that year for the last time in 86 years.

I wonder where that leaves us in the light of the universe? When God is eclipsed by Mickey Mouse dancing to distract us from a police state then are we better off? I think we're getting to the bottom of the human relevance scale and conversely inflating our own importance. Before Copernicus and Galileo, humans and the earth were important. Now that we are scientifically proven to be universally insignificant it has become imperative that we survive. This makes no sense. The nihilist is supposed to be depressed and despondent and drink black coffee and not have kids but the urge to procreate increases in the face of ultimate despair. Are there proportionately as many doomsday prophets today as there were in 300 A.D.?

I think it goes back to the cat in the bag metaphor. Once the cat has escaped the bag, the baby is born, the song is written, the axe thrown, then there is no way to put it all back in place. The world will not wait for the eagle to learn to fly. The eagle must fly or die. It doesn't care that it is endangered. The wolf is extinct from New Foundland. The Great Auk is extinct from the earth. Men are as thick as fleas on a dog's ass. But the philosophical injustice this presents makes no difference because there is hidden in us all a genetic understanding that we're 3 degree F away from a climate so hellish it'll make last summer feel like a stroll through an air conditioned mall. So, we prepare, or in my case, we pontificate and procrastinate. My contributions to society are markedly unwanted and undesired. They aren't even very creative or original. I've been called a "waste of air space" and "vagrant" and I can't defend myself against those accusations. So, what is my motivation to lift myself from my damp makeshift mattress and prepare my van for travel under damp skies and hostile stares of morning commuters on their way to the pulp mill? I sit in a library with thousands of books (that are quickly becoming obsolete and dusty) but I think I can add one more to their ranks. Mutual funds for Canadians. Badges of Canadian Armed Forces. The Menopause Book. Coping with Macular Degeneration. War. Breaking Bad Habits. Where does mine fit in there? Does it matter except to my own delusion that I can complete the great Santa Cruz saga and see it pirated to Singapore?

I'm in a 6 mile holding pattern in Corner Brook from the defacto used car lot to the supermarket parking lot where I use the bathroom and check on my vacuum modulator at Canadian Tire, to the Sir Richard Squires building where the library offers some refuge and view of a single red leaf maple tree that has jumped the gun on its photosynthesis hiatus. Then back to the used car parking lot where the van sits with stove pipe sticking out into the rain like the ugly girl at a bar amid pretty Hondas and Fuel Efficient Toyotas. Maybe I should put a for sale sign on the windshield. Cloud cover is complete and puddles are forming in my wheel wells. I will wait a few more days because the weather has turned sour anyway. I have a bad neck from sitting and typing for too many hours but I've bought a manual on how to crochet and now realize some of the mistakes I've been making with my hats. It turns out that most hats are actually crocheted as flat scarves and then slip-stitched together at the seam and drawn in at the top. This was news to me since all I do is crochet in a spiral until the thing fits on my head. Why is that important? I think it is a matter of self-deception.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.