Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chapter 23 - Climbing Out of a Sump

I watched as he pulled book after book out of his white bag, then a cigar, a newspaper, a pack of cigarettes and more books. They were wonderful things with titles like "The History of Myth". I had to force myself not to introduce myself and say that I liked to read too. It seems such an odd thing that this should be such a distinguishing trait, a remarkable feature, a thing of such rarity that I heard two younger guys in Wal*Mart the other day talking about a girl they knew as being "a reader". This was not said with a great deal of awe or much respect. In fact it could even have been a cut coming from the two in question, though a dumb one indeed, but it might have reached vernacular street level at this point, used to label those alien types who sit for hours on end, quietly absorbed in something without a mute button. Just being sick these last couple days made me realize the woefulness of our plight, the strangeness, just how much we stand out...Doubled up in the back of the van last evening with the awful abdominal pain I watched as people would look into the van and see the dogs, sleeping comfortably, fur moving from the air conditioning sneer or shake their heads and then one of them, a vacuous blonde, peeked closer and said, "We should do something. They look like they might be dying..." I had reached bullshit critical mass so I reached out and smacked the back untinted window (one side of our van is tinted but we never got to the other) and she reared back in horror when she caught my eye glaring at her...
And J had reached her critical mass last night walking back to the van from Wal*Mart where she went to get some dog food. A Puerto Rican youth, she said, was very dramatically looking our van up and down, shaking his head, laughing, etc. So she did the same to the kid saying, "At least I can change what looks dumb about me."

"Fuck you bitch," she said he said which was really like saying, "You're right cause this is the only thing I can think of to say."

We do these things when all sense might say to let it go out of a basic desire to preserve some of our dignity. So I do believe it is time we get a place somewhere, just to get out of the public eye for awhile. The believe anything you tell it fucking stupid public eye. The same public eye that watches as my dog Hank get's into it at the dog park with some wierd jackal/pit bull looking dog creature after the other comes snarling up to fuck with him. Hank backs him off with his Dog of Chuckie routine then goes back to drinking his water. "Is your dog fixed," asks the female monster truck aficianado.
"No," I say. "He was never broken."
"No. He's hasn't been fixed."
"That's why. Mine is and he always messes with dogs that ain't."
"I thought getting them fixed was supposed to make them less aggressive."
"It does, but they gotta be around other dogs who are fixed..."
Oh I say like that has explained it all perfectly and walked past her to the back of the dog area, away from the eyes of the other dog parkers at the picnic table...

So when, a little bit ago, here at a table in the Flying J restaurant, I saw the man in his fifties with a spoof worker I.D. badge that says: Mr. Personality. A leather top-hat and all those books I felt a little better about being who we are. He is obviously not concerned in the slightest what people make of him and he is making his time here on earth as fulfilling as possible.

J wakes me up from these misanthropic reveries by mimicing the lyric "The moment I wake up, before I put on my make-up," from the song blaring from the overhead speakers --- adding that it is her most hated lyric in pop musicdom...

She cuts me little bits of meat that I sneak from her plate, unable to even think of getting my money's worth for the buffet. I am beginning to feel better. At least not throwing up anymore and bowels not wracking me. Health is such a wondrous thing and it is sad to think of people in an endless loop of pain. I fing it very telling to read the critics of suicides, usually saying they take the coward's way (H.S.T dances to mind), for in so saying they are saying they could handle whatever pain he was handling, that they are stronger, more courageous, on a higher moral ballfield.

Which reminds me of a dream I had of Thompson last night, actually it was a cartoon rendering of the gonzo icon holding up the American flag...